Hoka launches sleeker new Kawana 2 shoe for fashionistas as well as runners

People wearing Hoka Kawana 2 shoes
(Image credit: Hoka)

Most people don’t instantly think of Hoka road running shoes as fashionable. For serious runners their unusual wedge-shaped heel says 'I’m a serious athlete', not 'I care about how I look walking down the street'. An anti-fashion statement, almost.

And yet, Hoka shoes have become fashionable without the company even having to compromise on its running cred, riding the wave of the 'ugly shoe' phenomenon and being seen on the feet of fashion-conscious celebrities.

But perhaps conscious that such success can be fleeting as fashions change, today HOKA launches an update of its Kanawa running shoe, which is specifically targeting the fashion-conscious who want a stylish running shoe they can wear for everyday use, as opposed to making a fashion statement or running multiple miles in.

HOKA Kawana 2

HOKA Kawana 2, black men’s iteration (Image credit: Hoka)

The Hoka Kawana 2 is a sleeker take on the original Kawana sneaker, first released in 2022, that tones down some of the garish excesses of its predecessor’s 'dad shoe' vibes.

It has a new foam sole fitted with the company's signature wedge – or beveled – heel and comes in a range of neutral versatile colorways: all-black, black and white, rosy sandstone and oatmeal. Features include a lightweight upper made from a single layer of engineered mesh, a sock-like bootie liner, and what Hoka calls "eye row gillies" – loops of fabric rather than traditional eyelets to secure the laces. They are available in men’s and women’s versions, and can be ordered now from the Hoka website.

“These features combine to deliver impressive comfort during runs, but also during everyday walking or casual wear to accommodate the preferences of today’s consumer,” says Hoka.

“Geared for lateral side-to-side movement, this go-to trainer easily shifts from street to studio with a speckled regrind midsole and gum rubber outsole.”

HOKA Kawana 2

The men’s Oatmeal iteration (Image credit: HOKA)

They don’t look the kind of shoes you’d ever attempt an ultramarathon in, but it’s good to see Hoka experimenting with its shoes, and we’ll be interested to see where this leads. But you know what it’s like – celebs and influencers will probably still opt for the clunkiest, most garish, statement-making Hokas anyway.