I Found the Perfect Supportive Sneaker For Arched Feet

The Hoka Gaviota 5 Sneaker.
POPSUGAR Photography | Anvita Reddy
POPSUGAR Photography | Anvita Reddy

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About a month ago, I dealt with a painful charley horse cramp on the bottom of my foot. Usually, stretching it out relieves the muscle tension in a few minutes, but this time, it lasted for several hours. I was in tears from the pain and also completely freaked out that I couldn’t walk and therefore couldn’t get myself to urgent care if something was really wrong.

After a quick panic cry, I remembered my best friend is a doctor. I called her up, and she gave me a few tips, like drinking electrolytes, soaking my feet in warm water, and keeping the affected foot elevated. Because the muscle cramp was at the arch of my foot, she also said to try to gently massage the foot out with something rounded like a tennis ball to help ease the tension.

That last piece of advice jogged a memory. I’d recently tried on the Hoka Gaviota 5 sneakers ($175), and they felt so supportive beneath the arches of my feet. It didn’t feel like I was standing on tennis balls, but my entire sole felt hugged and supported, and it made me wonder whether it might help “massage” out the cramp. Sure enough, I donned the Hoka and within five minutes my charley horse cramp went away. For the remainder of the month, I couldn’t wear anything else; they became my emotional support sneakers.

Keep reading to see why the Hoka Gaviota 5 sneakers are worth it for arched feet.

What’s the Criteria For a Good Sneaker?

A good sneaker should feel supportive on your feet, especially after a long day of activity. Finding your ideal sneaker is dependent on a variety of factors like your foot’s shape and your activity preferences. For me, I want something that doesn’t fatigue my feet when I’m out and about. My ideal sneaker is also versatile enough to wear every day, from workouts to errands and travel.

What I Like About the Hoka Gaviota 5 Sneaker

Woman walking while wearing the Hoka Gaviota 5 Sneakers.
POPSUGAR Photography | Anvita Reddy

The Hoka Gaviota 5 sneakers are the most supportive sneakers I’ve tried for my arched feet, and I never had to break them in. They truly fit like a puzzle piece, offering cushioning where I need it most, like at the arch of my foot and near the back of my ankles. Since these are stability sneakers, I’ve seen a significant improvement in balance, especially while working out and stretching, but also during my daily life, like when the subway I’m on brakes suddenly. The stability isn’t in my head. The Hoka Gaviota 5 sneaker has a brand-specific frame technology that helps prevent an excessive inward roll, or overpronation. As someone prone to tripping, I appreciated this feature a lot.

I’ve also noticed that this sneaker improves my gait, due to the slight curvature of the sole, or as the brand calls it, the early-stage MetaRocker. It delivers the momentum to push forward but also lets me complete the step with a balanced follow-through. Whether I’m walking around the city or working out in my building’s gym, these sneakers are the ones I turn to when I need optimal support and stability.

According to the brand, this sneaker has the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, which means that the association recognizes that the sneaker is beneficial for the foot’s health.

What to Consider Before Trying the Hoka Gaviota 5 Sneaker

These sneakers feature plush cushioning throughout, and if you have a flatter foot, it may feel like too much. According to the brand, the soft cushioning on this model is set higher, providing a more forgiving impact and ride — but it won’t let you feel as close to the ground as other options might. And while I’ve worn them for weightlifting, it’s often recommended that people wear a flatter, roomier shoe when lifting heavy, so it may not be the top choice for people whose main workout takes place in the weight room. These sneakers aren’t waterproof either.

Who’s the Hoka Gaviota 5 Sneaker Best For?

Woman wearing the Hoka Gaviota 5 Sneaker.
POPSUGAR Photography | Anvita Reddy

The Gaviota 5 sneaker is best for anyone looking for more comfort and stability during their active life. As someone with an arched foot, these provide the ideal amount of support and comfort whenever I’m on my feet. The brand says these sneakers are built for those who are on their feet often or enjoy walking and running.

Additional Details:

  • It comes in regular and wide sizing, ranging from women’s 5 to 12.
  • Get it in four core colors and six seasonal colors.

Where Is the Hoka Gaviota 5 Sneaker Available?

The Hoka Gaviota 5 sneaker is available on the brand’s site and from Dick’s Sporting Goods.


Anvita Reddy is an assistant editor for POPSUGAR Shopping. She has a passion for products and is an avid reviewer of everything including furniture, mattresses, home gadgets, cookware, tech, and more. Having dealt with acne as a teenager and into adulthood, her expertise lies in beauty. She has tried and tested plenty of skin care, makeup, hair care, and countless other beauty products.

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