Hoka One One Cavu 2 Shoe Review

Hoka cavu 2 shoe review

The original Hoka One One Cavu was one of my favorite shoes of 2018. It was simple, light, and relatively inexpensive. If you’re subscribed to the newsletter, then you know I firmly believe the Hoka One One Cavu 2 is even better and one of the most underrated shoes out there. It’s part of the Hoka Fly Collection with more responsive shies,

The Hoka Cavu 2 simple and a solid trainer.  As you can see from photos, I’ve gotten plenty of mileage out of the shoe. I’m well over 100 miles and the shoe feels great.

Similar to the Mach, the Hoka Cavu 2 uses the “Profly” sole.  The significant difference between the Mach and the Cavu is the Cavu is lighter. It’s a little better for racing, workouts, and faster runs. The Mach is better for easy runs.  The Mach is less pounding on your body, but you trade a slightly more substantial shoe.

Hoka cavu 2 shoe review

Hoka One One Cavu 2 Fit:

The fit and upper of the Cavu 2 has been redesigned. It’s a simple open engineered mesh which works for it. It’s seamless with a wide toe box which gives the toes plenty of room.

Like the Mach 2, the Cavu 2 runs larger but not large enough I would go down a half size. It offers a comfortable fit and optimal breathability. Typically I wear a women’s 10-11 wide and a 10.5 is perfect. The Hoka One One Cavu 2 isn’t made in wide, but even if it was, I think I would stick with a regular width. The embroidered Hoka One One logo keeps the design simple.

Hoka cavu 2 shoe review

Hoke One One Cavu 2 Ride:

In my opinion, the Hoka Cavu 2 is the least “Hoka shoe” out there. When you think of Hoka, you think of maximum cushion and a soft pillowy mattress under your foot. For some people, all of that cushion is intimidating! The Hoka Cavu is much lighter and lower to the ground.

If you’re new to wearing Hokas, the Cavu is a good start because of how many characteristics it shares with a traditional brand. If you ever wore the Clayton, Tracer, or the original Clifton, you’ll appreciate the ride of the Cavu 2 as well. It’s a versatile running shoe that you can use for long runs, workouts, or easy runs. Due to how flat they are, they are even good gym training shoes.

The shoe performs well in weather too. If it’s rainy or icy, I would use the Hoka One One Cavu 2 over many other lighter shoes. I don’t feel as though Hoka sacrificed tread and grip to reduce the weight.  The rubberized foam outsole allows you traction when running in the rain. It’s a shoe I would be me more likely to choose for a rainy half or full marathon versus other flats of about the same weight.

Hoka cavu 2 shoe review

It reminds me of shoes such as the Saucony Kinvara, New Balance 1400, or even Brooks Launch. It has the ability to run fast and be responsive. It’s a shoe, Hoka was missing from their line until recently.

The Cavu 2 is nearly an ounce lighter than the original Cavu. There is no telling; you’ll feel fast in this shoe. I’ve run longer tempo runs as well as easy days. For me, I find it’s the best place to be with longer and faster runs. It’s my go-to long run shoe.



Hoke One One Cavu 2 Summary:

I think the Hoka Cavu 2 is one of the most underrated shoe out there. If you’re already running in Hoka and want a lighter shoe, it’s a great option. If you’ve never tried Hoka but are thinking of trying, it’s also a great option.

Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin, Hoka Mach 2, New Balance 1080, 

Long Runs/Tempos: Hoka Cavu 2

Speed Work/Racing: Nike Fly, Nike LT Streak

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Questions for you:

What is your favorite long run shoe?  What is your current favorite shoe? 


  1. I wear newton distance for racing/speed, Newton fates for easy runs and long runs. I have a pair of the original Cavus that I rotate in as well. I had the Hoka Tracers and loved them, but I find the Cavu slides on my heel (which I have never had happen to me in a shoe before). I have a hard time getting them tied so that they don’t slide, but not so tight that they hurt my feet. Otherwise I love the ride! Have you had this problem before? I’m thinking next time I may just move back to the Tracer or try out the Mach.

    1. I haven’t had that issue Seletha, but often times typing the shoe to back eyelid will help secure your heel into place. Tying a shoe too tight can cause issues in the feet so in running shoes looser is always better.

      1. Thanks for the tip! I’m super picky about how my shoes are tied, so sometimes it takes a while to get them just right.

  2. Thanks to your newsletter I bought these and love them! I did have to go down a half size, but they are a great. I think they’ll be my spring marathon race shoe. I like that they are responsive, but were also immediately comfortable out of the box.

    1. That’s awesome Sarah! Which spring full are you doing? Good luck!

  3. Since I wear two of the shoes you described as similar to the Cavu, this might be one I should check out (after this marathon – I need to stop trying new shoes mid-marathon training).

    1. I think they would be a great marathon racing shoe Gracie. I’ve personally been doing a lot of long fast runs in them.

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