Skechers Max Cushion vs Hoka Shoes – Comparing All Aspects

For runners and walkers seeking maximum comfort with plenty of cushioning, Skechers and Hoka are two of the most popular performance footwear brands available today.

Both companies offer a range of supersized, ultra-cushioned shoes perfect for absorbing impact and easing pressure on joints.

But with so many comfort shoe options on the market, how do you decide between Skechers Max Cushion vs Hoka for your needs?

We compared flagship maximally cushioned models from both brands on key metrics like cushioning, fit and feel, stability, durability, and more to help you choose your next pair.

Skechers Max Cushion vs Hoka Shoes

The main difference between Skechers Max Cushion and Hoka shoes is in their cushioning approach. Skechers provides versatile, responsive cushioning, while Hoka emphasizes maximum plushness and stability, catering to different preferences in footwear comfort.

Before comparing the specifics, here is an overview of Skechers Max Cushion vs Hoka Shoes:

FeatureSkechers Max CushionHoka Shoes
CushioningUltra soft and responsive Max Cushioning foamMeta-Rocker midsole geometry for smooth transitions
Heel-to-Toe Drop6mm drop5-6mm drop (varies by model)
Weight11oz for men’s, 9oz for women’sRanges from 5-13oz depending on model
OutsoleDurable rubber outsoleVibram rubber outsoles for traction and durability
UpperSoft knit upperEngineered mesh uppers for breathability
Use CasesDaily walking, casual wearRoad running, trail running, hiking
Key TechnologiesMax Cushioning system, Hyper Pillar technologyMeta-Rocker geometry, Active Footframe, early stage Meta-Rocker

In summary, the Skechers Max Cushion has a soft, responsive foam midsole with a knit upper ideal for casual daily use.

Hoka shoes utilize rocker sole technology for efficient transitions and cushioned rides, with multiple models to accommodate different types of runners and terrain.

Hoka shoes tend to be lighter in weight but more expensive than the Skechers.

Skechers Max Cushioning vs Hoka Cushioning

While Skechers and Hoka share similar EXTREME comfort goals, key performance differences emerge:

FeatureSkechers Max CushioningHoka Cushioning
Heel to Toe DropLow (4mm-8mm)High (5mm-10mm+)
WeightHeavier (11oz-13oz+)Light-Medium (5oz-11oz)
Durability300-500 miles300-800 miles
Width SizingWide optionsRun narrower
Cost$$ ($50-$130)$$$ ($140-$170)

Pros and Cons

Pros: Skechers Max Cushion

  • Extremely plush and cushioned for maximum comfort
  • Wide range of styles and designs to choose from
  • Relatively more affordable price point than Hoka

Cons: Skechers Max Cushion

  • May feel overly cushioned and soft for some wearers
  • Not quite as much support and stability as Hoka shoes

Pros: Hoka

  • Provides exceptional cushioning and shock absorption
  • Excellent support and stability, even for high-impact activities
  • Rocker-style sole promotes a smooth, natural gait
  • High-quality construction and durable materials

Cons: Hoka

  • Very bulky and maximalist design that some find unattractive
  • Significantly more expensive than Skechers Max Cushion models
  • May feel too much “shoe” for some casual/everyday wear

Which Shoes Are Good for Different Activities

Shoes for Running

  • Hoka is widely regarded as one of the leading brands for max-cushioned, high-performance running shoes. Models like the Bondi, Clifton, and Speedgoat are renowned for their exceptional cushioning, responsiveness, and biomechanical features that provide an excellent running experience.
  • The Skechers Max Cushioning line also performs very well for running, with the Lightweight Hyperburst cushioning technology offering great impact protection and energy return. However, Hoka’s shoes generally have a slight edge in terms of overall running-specific performance and responsiveness.

Shoes for Walking

  • Both the Skechers Max Cushioning and Hoka shoes are excellent choices for walking. The thick, well-cushioned midsoles in both brands provide outstanding comfort and support for extended periods of walking.
  • Hoka’s “max-cushion” design philosophy may give their shoes a slight advantage in terms of all-day walking comfort, especially for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

Shoes for Standing All Day

  • For standing all day, the Skechers Max Cushioning and Hoka shoes are both exceptional options. The substantial cushioning in the midsoles helps reduce foot fatigue and discomfort associated with prolonged standing.
  • Hoka’s even more generous midsole heights and “max-cushion” focus may provide a bit more underfoot plushness and support for those who stand for very long hours.

Now that you have an overview of the Skechers Max Cushion vs Hoka differences, read on for an in-depth feature-by-feature comparison.

What is Skechers Max Cushioning?

Skechers Max Cushioning refers to select shoe lines engineered with maximum, ultra-plush feeling underfoot padding. This includes models like:

Ultra Go – Max cushioned walking/athleisure shoes.

Arch Fit – Podiatrist-designed arch support with a cloud-like feel.

Unwind – Easy slip-on walking style packed with pillowy padding.

And more!

Skechers leverages various advanced materials like high rebound midsoles, multi-density foams, and impressive Memory Foam across their Max Cushioned roster for what they dub “next-level cushioning comfort”.

Why Choose Popular Hoka Shoes?

Hoka exploded in growth when the ultra-padded performance running shoe brand hit the market nearly 15 years ago.

Blending a rocker-inspired outsole to encourage smooth heel-to-toe transition with shock-absorbing compressed midsole foams, Hoka developed a signature look AND feel.

Today, Hoka remains a leading choice for superb cushioning via models like:

Bondi – Their traditional high-stack max-cushioned runner.

Clifton – Beloved lightweight yet pillowy option.

Rincon – Balances softness with snappy responsiveness.

And casual options for wearing beyond running like the Hoka Recovery slide.

Much like Skechers, if you want comfort taken to the next level, Hoka designs put pillowy plushness first and foremost.

Now that you know the max-cushioning ethos behind both Skechers and Hoka, how do they compare to one another?

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Cushioning and Impact Reduction

Arguably the most important consideration for a max cushion comfort shoe is plush, shock-absorbing cushioning to ease impact on joints and keep you comfortable mile after mile.

Skechers Shoes

Skechers uses ultra-cushioned midsoles in its max cushion shoes too, generally with a 20-30mm profile. The Skechers GOrun Max Road 5 Hyper, for instance, has a 26mm stack height.

While not quite as thick as the Hoka midsoles, this still allows for ample cushioning and shock dissipation on pavement without being overly high off the ground.

Hoka Shoes

Hoka shoes are renowned for their oversized midsoles that provide extra thickness for superior impact reduction.

For example, the popular Hoka Bondi model has a midsole height of 35mm, compared to the typical 10-15mm in a regular running shoe.

This advanced shock attenuation means less pressure and wear and tear on feet, knees, and other joints sensitive to the repeated impacts of running and walking.

Cushioning Comparison

  • Skechers shoes still provides impressive comfort and support, at a slightly lower profile.
  • Hoka shoes have thicker cushioning overall, making them the winner if maximum plushness is your top priority.

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Fit and Feel

How a shoe fits and feels when you walk or run also determines the overall comfort experience. This is an especially individual metric that comes down to personal preference.

Skechers Shoes

Meanwhile, Skechers shoes accommodate a range of foot shapes with a roomier anatomical fit. With a wider toe box and forefoot than Hoka, Skechers comfort shoes suit flat feet well while also offering decent arch support.

Hoka Shoes

Hoka shoes are known to fit narrow-to-average in the heel and midfoot, with a wider forefoot and round toe shape ideal for wider feet. The cushioned ankles are also praised for a secure, supportive fit.

Fit Comparison

  • Hoka better suit narrow-to-average feet, thanks to their snug heel and midfoot coupled with a round, wide toe shape.
  • Skechers provides a wider, more spacious fit through the forefoot and toe box for flat feet or those who prefer roomier shoes.

Here’s a quick breakdown of sizing between the two brands:

Heel/MidfootNarrow – AverageAverage
ForefootWideVery wide
Toe BoxRound, wide toe shapeVery wide, anatomical toe shape

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Skechers Max Cushion Vs Hoka Shoes


The weight of a shoe also affects comfort and wearability – excess heft can leave your feet feeling fatigued quicker.

Skechers Shoes

The max cushion Skechers models are heavier in comparison, which is often the tradeoff for the spacious, roomy fit.

A men’s size 9 Skechers GOrun Max Road 5 Hyper weighs approximately 11.8 oz (334 g).

So they’re not excessively heavy, but you’ll notice more weight than the featherlight Hoka.

Hoka Shoes

Despite their sizable cushioning, Hoka are surprisingly lightweight.

For example, a men’s size 9 Hoka Bondi 7 weighs around 10.2 oz (289 g).

Efforts have clearly been made to minimize bulk and materials for an airy, lightweight feel considering the thick midsoles.

Weight Comparison

●       At around 10 oz. for a men’s size 9, Hoka are over 1.5 oz. lighter than comparable Skechers.

●       Skechers prioritizes space and fit over lightness – but provide ample cushioning support to make up for the extra weight.

Skechers Max Cushion Vs Hoka Shoes

Traction and Durability

Good traction and durability ensures shoes provide long-lasting comfort and support, mile after mile. Key traits like outsole grip prevent slips, while sturdy materials stand up to repeated impact without breaking down quickly.

Skechers Shoes

Skechers uses quality rubber outsoles across their comfort shoe lineup for excellent traction even on wet pavement and trails.

Durable cushioning technologies also hold up well over time thanks to ample shock absorption and stability features.

Many Skechers max cushion models last impressively for 500-1,000+ miles with their sturdy materials and construction.

The ample midsole cushioning prevents it from compacting down excessively as with other lightweight shoes used for daily training.

Hoka Shoes

The thick midsoles of Hoka provide cushioning, but somewhat limit ground feel and stability compared to a more minimal shoe.

Many Hoka outsoles use strategic rubber placement for grip instead of covering the entire outsole.

Durability feedback is mixed, with some super fans logging 500+ miles happily while others report signs of breakdown after a few months. So longevity seems to depend on the model and how you use them.

Traction and Durability Comparison

  • Skechers has the edge for traction thanks to full rubber outsoles getting good grip in varied conditions.
  • For durability, Skechers tends to last longer across more models – but Hoka impress some fans with their mileage too. Must check expected lifespans per model.

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Proper support, stabilization and a balanced ride helps you feel confident and secure racking up the miles in comfort.

Skechers Shoes

Skechers builds in stability elements like supportive Power Pillar midsoles, stability plates, reinforced heels, and well-sized toe boxes into max cushion models like the Afterburn Lace for even weight distribution and balance.

Select models also have medial posts and pronation control for additional stability and management of overpronation issues.

Hoka Shoes

Some Hoka have narrow heel cups and curved midsole shape for decent inherent stability and guidance.

However, they lack pronation-control mechanisms for motion control if you need help with overpronation.

Stability Comparison

  • Skechers max cushion models generally offer better stability for overpronators needing extra medial support or motion control.
  • Neither has extensive pronation control features overall, best for neutral runners without serious overpronation.
  • Hoka rely on shape and foam walls for inherent stability. Skechers adds reinforcements and posts for enhanced control.
Skechers Max Cushion Vs Hoka Shoes

Sample Shoe Comparison

To help summarize the distinctions between Hoka and Skechers max cushion models, here’s an overview comparing flagship neutral cushioning shoes from both brands:

FeatureHoka Bondi 7Skechers Afterburn Lace
CategoryMax cushion neutral trainerMax cushion neutral trainer
Ideal ForShock attenuation, comfortCushioning, roomy fit
Total Stack Height35 mm30mm
Heel-To-Toe Offset5 mm8 mm
Weight10.7 oz. (men’s size 9)10.2 oz. (men’s size 9)
Midsole CushioningFull compression-molded EVA midsoleHyper Burst midsole + Air Cooled Goga Mat insole
OutsoleRubber zones in heel/forefootDurable rubber traction lugs
Stability FeaturesMeta rocker midsole shape for balancePower Pillar technology for stability

As you can see, the Bondi offers thicker overall cushioning while the Afterburn provides a more spacious and stable ride.

So depending on your priorities and preferences, one may suit your needs better!

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User Reviews and Ratings

See how actual customers rate these ultra-cushioned shoe brands across major retailers:

Hoka Shoes

SiteRatingWhat Customers Like⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Maximum cushioning; stability
REI⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Plush softness; lightweight for cushioning level
RunRepeat⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Responsiveness; energic ride

The abundant cushioning earns consistent praise for comfort mile after mile without fatigue. Reviewers love the smooth heel to toe transition.

Some do cite the high price point as a con, but most agree you get top value from the innovative midsole technology.

Skechers Max Cushion

SiteRatingWhat Customers Like⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Extremely well-cushioned; relief for knee/ankle pain
Zappos⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Generous sizing/widths; lightweight for cushioning
Amazon⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Shock absorption; support from Ultra Go platform

These max cushion Skechers rate well for plush comfort that stands up to long wear times and high mileage.

Reviewers love the roomy toe box and say the Ultra Flight foam provides a perfectly balanced soft feel. Some do want even more stability given the high stack height.

Price Comparison

ModelMSRPAverage Sale Price
Hoka Bondi/Clifton$130-$180$100-$150
Skechers Max Cushion$100-$140$60-$120

While Hoka shoes sit at the top end for pricing, the max cushioned Skechers cost slightly less especially for standard models not incorporating GOga Mat or Hyperburst technologies. Significant sales can be found on prior year colors bringing better value too.


When it comes to maximal cushion shoes for ultimate comfort, both Hoka and Skechers are leaders in this fast-growing category. Choosing the right one comes down to weighing factors like:

  • Cushioning – Hoka have the thickest, plushest ride
  • Fit and Roominess – Skechers offers more space for wide feet
  • Weight – Hoka keep it surprisingly light
  • Traction & Durability – Skechers wins for grip and long-lasting wear
  • Overpronation Support – Skechers has more stability mechanisms

Hopefully this overview of how Hoka and Skechers compare gives you a better sense of their strengths and top considerations when buying. Both deliver impressive comfort in different ways.

For plush softness wherever you are headed, you can’t go wrong giving a pair of Hoka or Skechers max cushion shoes a try! Cushioning your miles pays comfort dividends as you log more time on your feet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to decide between Hoka and Skechers? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Are Hoka or Skechers more comfortable?

It depends! Hoka have thicker cushioning for luxurious softness underfoot. But Skechers provides a more accommodating anatomical fit with lots of wiggle room in the toe box suited to wide feet. So comfort is somewhat individual.

Which is best for walking or standing all day?

For all-day wear, Skechers Comfort walking shoes like the Go Joy or Skechers Work line tend to edge out Hoka. The roomier fit skews the comfort advantage over time versus snug Hoka.

Do Hoka last longer than Skechers?

On the whole across their cushioning shoe lineups, Skechers tends to come out ahead on longevity and durability testing. Materials like Hyper Burst foam and reinforced stability elements hold up impressively over 500+ miles. But mileage can vary by Hoka model based on user experiences.

Which is better for overpronation or stability?

Skechers max cushion models offer better motion control stability for mild to moderate overpronators, thanks to stabilizing features like Power Pillar tech, medial posts, and reinforced framing. Hoka rely more on the midsole shape for inherent stability.

Which has more color options?

It depends on the season, but Skechers tends to offer more color variety across their collections. Hoka utilize lots of signature color-blocking in complementary tones. So Skechers likely has more choice of shades and options to mix it up.

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