The Hoka Solimar is a great all-rounder with a toned-down Metarocker shape and modest cushioning that make it ideal for mid and long-distance races and training sessions. It also works well for gym work (provided you're not hitting the weights) and for long days of walking. If you're only going to buy one pair of sports shoes, it's an excellent affordable option.
Understated Metarocker shape
More modest cushioning than other Hoka shoes
Soft but durable upper
Firm but not super stiff
Outsole not the most hard-wearing
Not suitable for all gym work
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Meet the reviewer
Our esteemed editor and UK Athletics qualified run leader, Cat Ellis is passionate about running, whether she's hitting the tarmac or the trails. She's an expert on running footwear and tests every pair she reviews with gusto – those PBs aren't going to beat themselves, after all.
Hoka Solimar: first impressions
The Hoka Solimar (released in late 2022) is a neutral, lightweight road running shoe for everyday training, and is essentially a toned-down version of Hoka's usual heavily-cushioned designs, such as the big, bouncy Bondi 8. The Solimar certainly isn't lacking padding, but it's less exaggerated than some of the company's designs. If you're not used to thick foam, or feel unbalanced running on inches of padding, it's a good compromise.
• List price: $125 (US) / £105 (UK)
• Weight (per shoe): 6.7oz / 190g (average women's)
• Drop: 6mm
• Materials: recycled mesh upper, compression molded EVA midsole, rubber outsole, EVA sockliner
• Colors: black/white, festival fuchsia/butterfly, blanc de blanc/blue glass and more
• Compatibility: Mid and long distance training and races
Similarly, the midsole isn't bulky, but is extended just to create a larger 'crash pad' to absorb heavy heel strikes and provide extra stability, and there's a modest 6mm heel drop.
That toned-down design means I found it practical for everyday wear between training sessions, and doesn't look or feel out of place for running errands around town or wandering around for hours on city vacations.
The recycled upper is soft and flexible, with a knitted appearance, but there's reinforcement around the eyelets to guard against fraying and a midfoot 'cage' for support. The flat laces have minimal stretch and plenty of length, making it easy to get a secure fit and create a heel lock.
The Hoka Solimar has a list price of $125 / £105 , but can often be found more cheaply now that it's a few months old. We've rounded up the best prices from around the web below, with deals updated daily so you can find the best offers on this versatile road running shoe right now.
Hoka Solimar: on the road
I've been running in the Hoka Solimar on my local trails around Bristol in England for weeks now, and have found myself reaching for my review pair rather than my usual road shoes without even thinking (in fact, I've worn them so much during spring showers, I had to give them a gentle wash before taking these photos).
They have been supremely comfortable from day one, with a stretchy upper, generously sized toebox, and a high but softly cushioned heel collar (with extended heel pull to make them easier to remove post-run). The molded EVA sockliner feels great, and the cushioning seems to hit a Goldilocks zone where it soaks up shock without being noticeable. It's a shoe you can just lace up and forget.
The knit upper might not look particularly breathable, but it was perfectly comfortable for an unseasonably warm 10k road race, and I expect it will fare well during the summer months. It's so comfortable and dependable, I've not hesitated to use it for everything from Parkrun to 14-mile Sunday runs. It's just rigid enough to provide a little extra spring on hills, which I appreciate.
The late-stage Metarocker doesn't give you the same degree of forward propulsion you'll get from the fun Bondi, so it's perhaps not one for setting your best 5k time, but for mid-distance and longer it's ideal.
Hoka markets the Holimar for gym training, and it's fine for most activities, but I wouldn't wear it for weight training due to the cushioning and the Metarocker shape, which mean it lacks the necessary stability. It's great for treadmill running, though.
I've been quite impressed by the durability of the rubber outsole, though the tread is beginning to show the earliest signs of wear on the heel. The upper is still immaculate though, despite its soft weave, which I feared may be delicate. The tongue isn't gusseted, but is extra wide, and I didn't experience any ingress of grit and dirt while running on a canal towpath.
Overall, the Solimar is extremely hard to fault, and if you're looking for a general-purpose shoe that you can wear for races, training. and almost everything in between, it comes highly recommended.
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.