HOKA ONE ONE Stinson Mid GTX Hiking Shoe Review
The HOKA ONE ONE Stinson Mid GTX Hiking Shoe is among the most cushioned you’ll find. It protects the bottoms of your feet when you’re on rocky terrain. It provides excellent ankle support for long-distance hikes. And it offers a waterproof finish for rainy days on the trail.
Let’s take a first glance at the major specifications of this hiking shoe before we get into more detail.
HOKA ONE ONE Stinson Mid GTX Hiking Shoe At-a-Glance
- MSRP: $180
- Weight: 16.9 ounces (single)
- Heel to Toe Drop: 5 mm
- Upper Material: Nubuck Leather
- Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
- Stability: Neutral
- Cushion: Plush
Intended Use / Who Is This Best For
From my perspective, this hiking shoe is best for late spring conditions. It’s excellent for keeping your feet dry on muddy trails or small stream crossings. It’s also great for hikers with wider feet and anyone who wants a lightweight mid hiking shoe for extra ankle support.
Circumstance of Review
I tested the HOKA ONE ONE Stinson Mid GTX hiking shoe on late spring hikes in the Tahoe region. My first test was on a short hike up a snow-packed trail in June. I was impressed by how well these shoes kept my feet dry while my hiking companion was getting cold feet.
My next test was on a 12-plus mile off-trail bushwhack bonanza into Desolation Wilderness on Tahoe’s west shore. This hike involved a lot of rocky, uneven terrain. It also tested the grip of these shoes on several steep, exposed granite rock faces. I’m happy to note that the Stinsons performed as advertised in these conditions as well.
Because I live just north of Lake Tahoe, we experience very little rain during the summer. So stream crossings and early season snow were the most moisture these shoes saw during my testing.
- Gore-Tex Construction: Keeps your feet drier on rainy days or when hiking on shoulder season snow.
- Max-Cushioned Midsole: Protects your feet from rough, rocky terrain.
- Anatomically Designed Collar: Provides more support for your ankles.
- Wide Midsole: Accommodates wider feet and thicker hiking socks.
- 4mm Outsole Lugs: Provide additional traction and stability.
- Rugged Leather Upper: Gives the shoe additional weather-resistance and a stylish finish.
As I broke these hiking shoes in, I evaluated them for comfort, ease of lacing, and performance. I’ll provide a few more insights on each of those categories here:
It’s hard not to notice the cushion when you put on these shoes. It feels a little bit like walking on a cloud when you first set out. Especially if you’re used to hiking shoes with minimal cushion, it’ll feel like your feet are barely touching the ground.
I also liked the extra width of the foot box in these shoes. I don’t have particularly wide feet, but I’ve had shoes that pinched in the middle of my foot before. That’s no fun whether you’re thru-hiking the AT or just walking along the river trail just outside of town.
Additionally, these shoes required a minimal break-in process. I tackled almost four miles and 1,000 vertical feet on snow the very first time I tried them on. And I had no blisters, hot spots, or areas of irritation.
The same was true for the 12-plus mile day in Desolation Wilderness. So I’ve definitely been happy that they haven’t caused any discomfort so far. I’m also happy that they haven’t made me dive into my stash of Wuru Wool to doctor up any blisters.
All of that said, these shoes have their drawbacks. The fact that they’re black means they heat up more than other colors. I have hot, sweaty hiking feet anyway (please tell me I’m not alone!). Also, Gore-Tex is great for keeping moisture out of your shoes, but it’s not great for allowing your feet to breathe.
So while they were super comfortable for colder, wetter conditions, they wouldn’t be my first choice for thru-hiking or hot summer days.
Ease of Lacing
The lacing process for these shoes initially caught me off-guard. I’d never seen anything quite like it before. I honestly thought I might have to take a 101-level course on Hiking Boot Lacing before I could hit the trail.
But in all seriousness, I actually came to like the versatility that these shoes provide when it comes to lacing. I was able to switch seamlessly from a traditional criss-cross lacing pattern to a surgeon’s knot or overhand knot without entirely pulling the laces out.
This is because the upper hooks require you to insert the laces from the outside every time you lace them up. This also makes it easy to skip a set of hooks to minimize pressure on certain parts of your feet that are feeling sensitive.
As of yet, I haven’t found conditions when these shoes let me down. They kept my feet dry hiking on snow. They didn’t allow any seepage when crossing small streams. And they gripped like Super Glue on steep and slick granite surfaces. This grip was a stark contrast to my other worn-out Scarpas.
I should note that I haven’t yet encountered rainy conditions with these shoes. That’s the blessing of living in Lake Tahoe in the summer. Just bear in mind that this review comes without a thorough evaluation of their performance when the skies open up.
- Lightweight: I was initially skeptical of mid hiking shoes because the models I’ve tried in the past were super heavy. But these mids are barely heavier than my other low hiking shoes!
- Waterproof: I tested them crossing small streams and walking on soft, late-season snow. My feet never got a drop of water on them!
- Super “Cush”: The cushion on the bottom of these shoes is evident from the moment you lace them up. They make my other La Sportiva hiking shoes feel like I’m hiking in barefoot shoes.
- Culture Shock: I’m used to low hiking shoes. So it took me a few hikes to get used to the thick cushion on the bottom of these shoes. At first, it made me feel like I was actually more apt to roll an ankle than normal. But once I got used to them, this con was quickly overshadowed by the comfort and grip of these shoes.
Overall, I’ve been impressed by HOKA ONE ONE Stinson Mid GTX Hiking Shoe. And that’s coming from someone who hasn’t been a fan of mids since nearly getting trench foot while wearing a pair on the John Muir Trail. But I used to only hike in mids when I was experiencing ankle issues, so I see tremendous value in these hiking shoes for anyone that wants more ankle support.
The great part is that you can get that additional ankle support without lugging around a super heavy hiking shoe. And while the price is a little higher than I’d like, I’ve learned that it’s pretty tough to enjoy any hike if you don’t take care of your feet.
These hiking shoes are a great choice for day hikes or short backpacking trips. They are also a great choice whenever you know the trail conditions are going to be wet or muddy.
A Few Comparison Items
Here are several other mid-height hiking shoes you can compare the Stinson with:
- MSRP: $199.95
- Weight: 15.24 ounces (single)
- MSRP: $144.95
- Weight: 13.8 ounces (single)
- MSRP: $159.95
- Weight: 14.6 ounces (single)
- MSRP: $139.95
- Weight: 15 ounces (single)
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