I am not a big fan of tramping or hiking boots. I have memories of ending days with very sore feet from lugging heavy, rigid boots around trails or through the bush. To be honest I was quite reluctant to take the HOKA Kaha boots out for an adventure. I kept thinking I would trial them on a small trail close to home before I committed to taking them further afield. Well that never happened. I bit the bullet and threw them on for a 14-hour hike in the Kaimanawas instead!
As part of my training for the Godzone Adventure Race I needed to condition my feet to withstand long periods of trekking/jogging, steep ascents and descents, rocky, uneven terrain and recurring river crossings. So what better test for the Kaha boots.
What struck me straight away was how light they were once we started out. A far cry from how I remember hiking boots to be. This allowed for an easy transition into a little jog on the downhills without tripping or taxing my legs.
I was surprised just how much room there was in the toe box, which absolutely helped to avoid any black toenails or blistered toes, especially for the duration I was going for.
The benefits of the boot over a running shoe which really stood out for me was how much support in the ankle there was especially during river crossings. Usually I would be slipping and sliding all over the place, but with the Kaha it was light through the water but solid in terms of foot placement and ankle stability which made me feel very stable and confident crossing rivers.
It didn’t drain straight away however as it is Gore-tex however they dried surprisingly quickly for a boot.
One feature I really liked is the locking mechanism of the laces at the top of the boot. If the laces ever came undone, the boot didn’t loosen as they were locked at the top.
The Vibram Megagrip did it’s job on the downhill slippery scree sections and gave me extra confidence to push a little bit quicker.
This boot is the perfect choice for a day hike or multi day bush, back country adventure. Especially a good option if you are wanting to travel light and move quickly without using so much energy!
I’ll definitely be taking these ones to Godzone for those long off trail bush bashing/high elevation stages!