What You Need To Know
- Locations in Los Angeles (Melrose) and New York City (Flatiron)
- Official introduction of the first 360-degree HOKA retail experience
- Offering 3D foot-scanning devices for the perfect fit
- First apparel availability in a brick and mortar location
HOKA, which is hotter than Hansel right now after increasing revenue by a staggering 95% ($213 million) last quarter, is venturing into the in-person retail space. The brand responsible for fan-favorites like the Clifton, Rincon, and Mach recently rolled out two pop-up stores in Los Angeles (Melrose) and New York City (Flatiron).
Sure, you could pick up a pair of HOKA from your local running store. But then you have to sit in the company of Mizuno while trying on a pair of Clifton. You may as well wear a neon running vest during daylight hours. So drop the mom-walker vibe and strut your sweet-ass runner legs into a HOKA pop-up shop, because pop-up shops are just, well … cooler.
Oh, but of course they’re more than just pop-up shops where dollars are exchanged for shoes. Both shops feature 3D foot scanning to help you find the perfect fit and style. They’ll also be chock-full of kickass HOKA apparel, normally only found online. We’re especially pumped for that last bit, as they make some of our favorite-looking gear.
The locations will also include smart lockers so runners can actually test the shoes on an actual run or enjoy the store hands-free (weird flex, but okay).
According to HOKA, the pop-up shops will “incite a two-way conversation with customers,” which I’m pretty sure is just called a conversation between a store employee and a customer, aka that thing I hate more than anything when walking into a store. But I appreciate a good spin, so shout-out to the PR team on that one.
There’s some more top-level PR jargon like “omnichannel retail models” and “consumer psychographic insights,” which I thought may involve DMT and/or microdosing psychedelics, but I think it’s just probably algorithm-based shopping recommendations.
Joking aside, it’s awesome to see HOKA break out of their mold a little with these stores. Despite the steady migration toward e-commerce, having a presence in the brick and mortar retail space is huge for any brand, especially one as popular as HOKA. Going into a store and getting to see, touch (or not), and try on shoes is such a big part of the running consumer experience. HOKA is looking to elevate that experience for all of us and make their products more accessible.
Both shops are open now, so we recommend checking out these stores if you’re in or around either city. We’re not ones for hyperbole here at BITR (he said with tongue firmly in cheek), but this is a once-in-a-blue-moon type of experience for true running fans. Rumor has it Meaghan is already mapping out her drive up to the Big Apple.
If you’re looking for some HOKA content while you wait for the grand openings, check out our in-depth shoe reviews on the site (some linked above), or head over to our YouTube channel for our video reviews.
*DISCLAIMER: No, Thomas and Robbe do NOT get high before our video reviews. They’re just really excited about gusseted tongues*
Robbe is the Senior Editor/Review Manager for BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards. When he’s not running in weird places or getting injured in odd ways, he can be found hiking, camping, bikepacking, or hanging with friends.