Dougie Cunningham takes to the trails to assess this lightweight new shoe from Hoka’s Sky range
If covering a lot of ground with a light pack is your idea of a good day in the hills then there’s a good chance that the Toa will appeal to you. Firmly aimed at a fast-and-light day out, it is a trail shoe with a mid-high ankle, which tips the scales at an impressive 425g.
The synthetic upper is very lightweight and doesn’t offer the same level of protection as the beefier Hoka One One Kaha. That said, when out testing the shoes in Iceland at the launch of Hoka One One’s Sky range, the boot never felt cold, despite us spending several hours on a glacier. However, though the shoes may have kept me warm enough, the Toas are not designed for snow or glacier travel – and it was back on the trails of Scotland that they really came into their own. Here, I have worn them on more familiar ground, including a trip up the Cobbler in Arrochar at the start of the week, which was perfect terrain for testing.
The Toa’s EVA midsole has a slightly lower profile than that of the Kaha, but still manages to soak up impact well, making the shoe very comfortable when moving quickly on the descent. Again, the broad sole feels very stable and the Vibram Megagrip delivers excellent traction.
If you’re used to wearing solid three-season boots on the hills, the softer upper might feel a little light for you despite the stable, comfortable ride. Those that sometimes prefer to walk in shoes rather than boots will find something here well worth trying.
Pros: Very lightweight; versatile; warm for the weight
Cons: Soft upper provides less protection than some alternatives
- Price: £160
- Weight: 425g
- Upper: Syntheti with eVent waterproof liner
- Midsole: Rangi midsole
- Outsole: Vibram Megagrip with multi-directional lugs
- Sizes: men's 7-13, 14; women's 5-11