New shoe store, Hoka, opening on 69th and Columbus
Hoka, a California-based athletic shoe company that debuted in France in 2009, is taking over the former Reiss space at 197-199 Columbus Ave at West 69th Street.
Hoka hastened to move in. On Friday, a sign was plastered in the store window promoting the company’s newest brand of women’s clothing. Bounce 8 shoe, which he describes as “the ultra-cushioned game changer”. The Bondi 8 is also available sizes men.
Company founders Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Dicard previously worked at Solomon; a French brand known worldwide for its high-end ski equipment and other technical equipment.
When Hoka burst onto the scene in 2009, its shoes became favorites among marathon runners for their lightness and extreme cushioning. Hoka has since grown in popularity with runners of all skill levels and has evolved its offerings to include sleeker, less bulky models that are lighter while retaining much of the brand’s signature cushioning.
It’s no surprise that Hoka has also been a hit with seniors. In February 2022, Forbes named the Hoka One One Bondi as the best sneaker for women. “This sporty sneaker features a “high level of foam combined with [a] firm midsole,” wrote Andrew Majak, a podiatrist in Watertown, NY. The Today’s show recommended the Hoka Clifton 8 for Women as a comfortable option for bunion sufferers.
Hokas have found their place on the feet of celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Britney Spears, despite being considered one of the ugliest shoes around, writes Bloomberg. Cameron Diaz was seen jogging on the set of the Kelly Clarkson show wearing the Hoka One Clifton Edges in May.
Let’s not forget the guys, though. Squire named Hoka’s Clifton 8 shoe the “most stable dad shoe” of 2022 for its “unmatched stability, comfort and fit.”
Now the question remains: is Hoka ready for prime time on the Upper West Side? The shop will compete with Allbirds and the soon-to-open Rothy’s, both within a one block radius.
Lace them up, ladies and gentlemen. We now have an emerging footwear district to accompany our eyewear district. There’s Warby Parker, MOSCOT Shop, Robert Marc Eyewear, and SEE, Eyewear, all between West 68th and 70th streets on Columbus Avenue.
Lots of coffee options too, if you get tired along the way. I recommend The Sensuous Bean.
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