HOKA ONE ONE was founded by outdoor sports industry veterans Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard in France. Today they reside in sunny Richmond California. Here, they continue to innovate and develop their original vision behind the shoe company. The shoes were initially marketed towards ultra runners, who participate in a class of more-than-marathon length races that, in their most extreme form, can extend over one hundred kilometers and take several days to complete. The innovative mating of chubby rocker outsoles composed of ultralight dual density foam makes it easy to float across the different terrains presented to these extreme runners, whether it was smooth road or rocky hills.
The starting goal was simple. Create shoes that support athletes in their most extreme aspirations. However, as time went by HOKA realized that premium running shoe technology, would easily paired with contemporary shoe design. This allowed for a reinvention of the conventional running shoe. At this point they were already well established in the minds of runners and other outdoor sports enthusiasts but after collaborating with Japanese cult brand Engineered Garments and American Opening Ceremony on more contemporary shoe designs, they quickly gained the attention from outside the running world. This placed Hoka at the intersection of comfort and fashion, with shoes ranging from vibrant, cutting edge running shoes to clean cut Gore-Tex hiking boots, with utilitarian casual shoes in between. While slightly different in look and function, they all inhabit the distinct Hoka One One look and feel. Philanthropy has always been a priority for HOKA. During the recent, ongoing, crisis they have pledged to provide 5,000 pairs of cushioned performance sneakers to medical workers on the frontline in the battle against the virus.
“Right now, front line medical workers are faced with a tremendous battle, and we are here to support them however we can”
Wendy Yang, President of HOKA ONE ONE
The program has been called “Front Line Give Back” by HOKA's parent company Front Line, who are also committed to donate $1 million to Covid-19 relieve efforts. This speaks to what kind of people sit at the wheel of HOKA ONE ONE, further emphasizing, just what, "The HOKA Difference" really is.