Hoka’s distinctive chunky running shoes are set to make footfall in Sydney for an activation event ahead of its first dedicated Australian store opening next month.
Hoka was founded in 2009 in France and has slowly built up a cult following over the decade that followed. In 2013, it was acquired by UGG and Teva parent company Deckers Brands.
Named after a te reo Māori phrase hailing from Aotearoa New Zealand, the brand name loosely translates to “fly over the earth”. With their distinctive cushioning and thick soles, the running shoes were quickly embraced by runners for their comfort. Last year, Deckers Brands reported that Hoka global sales reached $2.19 billion.
In Australia, Accent Group managed to strike up a partnership with the brand seeing its growing popularity overseas. Sold originally just through its The Athlete’s Foot stores and other specialist stores, it struck up an exclusive partnership in 2021.
Now, the brand has announced plans to open up to five Hoka stores in the next year, reports AFR. Already in the pipeline is a Brisbane outlet store planned to launch at the end of October, and a flagship concept store set to open November 2 in Westfield Bondi Junction with more to come. “With the stores that we’re rolling out now the plan is to test and learn to understand how they try to see what opportunity there is and then assess from there,” Hamish Allison, the general manager of Accent’s performance division told AFR.
As part of its branding campaign ahead of these store openings, Hoka has sponsored a free running event in Sydney on September 23 which will offer masterclasses within a giant Hoka shoe box hosted by celebrity athletes Turia Pitt, Craig Alexander and Owain Matthews. The event will also have Hoka shoe trials and giveaways.