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Road Running Shoes • February 6, 2024

Hoka Transport GTX: Urban Adventures Await

Hoka Transport GTX - feature final

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What You Need To Know


11.9 oz. (337 g) for a US M10,

10 oz. (284 g) for a US W8

Stack Height / Drop

Men: 37 mm in heel, 32 mm in forefoot (5 mm drop)

Women: 36 mm in heel, 28 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

Best For

Walking in the rain

Key Features

Cordura abrasion-resistant upper, Gore-Tex Invisible waterproof membrane, Vibram Ecostep outsole

On The Run
Can handle any condition Midsole is pretty average Stiff and inflexible upper
Price / Availability

$175, available now

Hoka Transport GTX - hand holding

Gore-Tex = Waterproof

Introduction to the Hoka Transport GTX

ROBBE: At this point, the name Hoka is synonymous with comfort. Max cushion is essentially the back on which the brand was built. Not just on the run, but for everyday life, which can be seen as you walk anywhere these days.

Speaking of walking anywhere, Hoka knows that while they started in running, the brand has exploded thanks to walkers of all sorts– healthcare workers, college kids, city slickers … pretty much the whole spectrum. And while models like the Clifton, Bondi, and Arahi are the go-to choices in that department, it’s always nice to have something a bit more specialized.

That’s where the Transport GTX comes in.

A shoe “conceived at the intersection of lifestyle and performance,” the Transport GTX was designed with the city-dweller in mind, a “weather-ready commuter style geared for walking, biking, or hiking.” The GTX stands for Gore-Tex Invisible Fit, which means this shoe features a fully waterproof upper membrane, perfect for withstanding any element on your commute. The Invisible Fit is a variation on Gore-Tex, designed to deliver lighter, more breathable waterproof ventilation. An EVA midsole is made from 30% sugarcane, while the Vibram Ecostep outsole is made from recycled rubber.

We’ve worn the standard version of the shoe before, but this is the first time trying the Gore-Tex version. I walk my kids a mile to school every morning here in Baltimore city, and ride my bike as often as I can, so it seemed like the perfect testing scenario for a shoe designed for exactly that. Let’s see how it performs.

Hoka Transport GTX - medial

Cordura upper

What we like about the Hoka Transport GTX

ROBBE: I’m always going to appreciate a good-looking shoe, and I think Hoka did a nice job on the design of the Transport GTX. The military green upper contrasted with the off-white midsole and brown of the Vibram outsole is a cohesive but simple look that can work with just about any outfit.

It also is a toned-down version of what we normally see from Hoka. Instead of a chunky midsole and plush upper, we get a slimmed down profile. The specs say the stack height is 37  mm in the heel, but it looks lower on the foot (it also feels much lower, but more on that later). The fit overall is more narrow, especially in the toe box.

Hoka Transport GTX - outsole

Vibram Ecostep outsole

More on the upper: I appreciate the 360-degree visibility of the shoe, with reflective overlays on the sides and rear. Always good to have that, especially this time of year. The Gore-Tex membrane is indeed waterproof. I took this out on a 7-mile rainy day run (I was away from home and forgot my real running shoes), and through puddles and everything else my feet remained dry. The toggle laces are nice, making this essentially a slip-on shoe; however, Hoka also includes a set of spare trail-style laces if you want to swap them out. 

The medium-length Vibram Eco lugs on the outsole are good for gripping most surfaces. I didn’t have any issues with them, though they don’t feel quite as sticky as Vibram Megagrip. 

This isn’t really meant to be a running shoe, but as I said, I did run in it. It was surprisingly manageable, though I wouldn’t recommend it. Just saying, in a pinch it can work. 

Shop The Shoe - Men Shop The Shoe - Women
Hoka Transport GTX - goretex

What we don’t like about the Hoka Transport GTX

ROBBE: I’ve worn this shoe on a 7-mile run and as an everyday shoe for about a week. I’m still praying both the upper and midsole break in, but I have my doubts.

I have zero doubts that the Cordura abrasion resistant textile that makes up the upper is ultra durable. It will certainly last a long time. However, what it has in durability it lacks in comfort. The upper is straight-up stiff as a board, to the point that it’s really awkward and uncomfortable. It feels like it’s impossible to get a good fit because it doesn’t conform to your foot in any way. The toe box is so hard and stiff that there’s virtually no flexibility.

It feels like you’re wearing a shell, especially since the toe box ceiling is so low. There’s a good amount of rubbing on the medial side of both big toes, almost like the toe box portion of the last cuts in too hard and too fast. 

In terms of the midsole, it’s supposedly a high stack shoe, but feels more like something in the 25 mm range. It’s not soft or bouncy, as you would maybe expect from a Hoka. I typically blame this on the sugarcane EVA; 90% of the time when I see that in a shoe, I find it to be generally firm (hello, Allbirds). Again, I don’t think it’s awful, I just think you need to reset your expectations, because they’re probably quite different if you’re buying a Hoka shoe.

Hoka Transport GTX - laces

Also comes with standard laces

It’s also a bit heavy, but then again, it’s not technically a running shoe. It’s more of a hiking/lifestyle shoe, so 12 oz. for a US M10 isn’t totally absurd. Set your bar at “hiking shoe” and you won’t be disappointed.

The price point on this is a little yikes. For $175, it’s a pretty simple shoe. I know there’s a premium on the Gore-Tex, but you can find much more comfortable shoes that perform essentially the same job for either the same price or a discount (I’m basically talking about the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GTX).

Shop The Shoe - Men Shop The Shoe - Women
Hoka Transport GTX - toe

Final thoughts on the Hoka Transport GTX

ROBBE: I wanted to love this shoe, because I love a good GTX shoe and think that Hoka did a nice job with the design and purpose of the shoe. However, it’s been hard for me to get past the discomfort of the upper and the average performance of the midsole. 

So while yes, it may not be meant for running, it’s still supposed to be an active shoe. I just find it unsuitable for most activities. I’m still probably going to wear it because I do think it looks good and it’s most certainly waterproof. If it somehow eventually breaks in, I’ll update the review.

That said, I’m hoping the next version of this shoe features a more flexible upper that still retains a good level of durability and/or waterproofability. Nike has pulled this off in their GTX versions, and Norda has done it exceptionally well in the 001, as that upper is virtually indestructible. Two things can be true at once, but the truth of the Transport GTX is that it’s a bit of a stretch to say it can stretch.

The Hoka Transport GTX is available now for $175, you can pick it up at the shop links below.


Shop The Shoe

hoka transport gtx - shop men 1
Shop Hoka Transport GTX Men
hoka transport gtx - shop women
Shop Hoka Transport GTX Women

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Patrick says:

    Robbie nailed this review! I wanted to replace my old Pegasus 38 Trail GTX shoes b/c they were getting worn down. I had the same use cases in mind — walking kids to school, biking around town, doing the odd lowkey hike, urban rain scenarios. This shoe seems so good in theory! But the ride wasn’t as fun as a Clifton or Peg. I wanted to have a shoe with a lower stack than a GTX Clifton and no weird neoprene on the Ankle (hello Nike Peg Trail). But the Cordura was too thick. Great for backpacks and shells, but too much on this item. Good job, Robbie!

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Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

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