Setting a button to ‘outline’ mode with a subtle color serves this purpose well, except for the hover suggesting ‘active’ status still.
I was hoping to use buttons to create a horizontal navigation, if you please, for small subsections of a a category. While - from a layout/conceptual standpoint - a button group would be perfect for this, they are even less configurable for the purpose.
Tabs work nicely, but because of the lack of ability to link to specific tabs (subsections) would not work in this case. I also need to have those on separate pages to have searches reflect that they belong onto different pages, which tabs - technically - aren’t.
So, in short, I am making a custom horizontal navigation bar.