Hoka OneOne Speedgoat General Info
The Speedgoat is a brand new trail shoe this year from Hoka One One. It gets its name from the Speedgoat 50K race in Utah put on by Ultra running legend Karl Meltzer.
The Speedboat 50K is known as being a rough and rugged race. The shoe was designed with this race in mind, aiming to build a shoe that could handle the most technical of terrain.
Upon first glance I cannot help but notice the lugs on the outsole. They stand out and this shoe looks like it can grip. The shoe also looks like it will provide a lot of protection.
When I put them on for the first time I noticed a few things. There is an arch bump, more pronounced than any of the other Hoka’s I’ve run in.
The shoe feels great through the midfoot, but I did notice that it tapers quickly in the toe area causing my feet to feel crammed in the toe area.
It at first feels like the shoe may be too small. A couple taps of my heel on the ground and it feels a little better.
Hoka OneOne Speedgoat Sole Unit
The midsole and outsole of this shoe are really good. The midsole consists of a thick layer of EVA foam that strikes a nice balance between being responsive and is able to absorb rocks and roots to protect your foot.
The midsole also incorporates balanced-stage meta-rocker technology, giving this shoe a rockered profile. Overall this midsole provides a soft comfortable ride.
The cushioning is nice and thick so it keeps your feet comfortable over long distances. I found the cushioning to be spot on.
The outsole of this shoe is what sets it apart from others. It has 5mm lugs (Hoka advertises both 4 mm and 5 mm on their website) in an aggressive pattern composed of Vibram rubber.
Vibram rubber is high quality and it is nice to see it incorporated into this shoe. This rubber is durable and grips like a beast. I have not tested this shoe on snow but in all other conditions it had exceptional traction.
It has just as good traction on wet, muddy trails as it does on dry, dusty trails.
When you plant your foot in this shoe it digs in and holds on to the point where you actually notice that your able to generate more torque, especially when running uphill.
I don’t experience this sensation in many of the trail shoes I run in. I really cannot say enough good things about the outsole of this shoe.
Hoka OneOne Speedgoat Upper Info
The Speedgoat has an upper made of high quality mesh materials with welded overlays and underlays. It is both breathable and durable. It also has a reinforced rubber toe guard to protect your toes from rocks and roots.
My first few runs in the shoe were in torrential downpours and the upper drained really well for me. Additionally it seems to be fairly durable. After over 50 miles I see no real signs of wear and tear on the upper.
As mentioned preciously, this shoe does have more of a pronounced arch bump than other Hoka’s I have run in. This is still pretty subtle but is enough to provide a little bit of arch support.
This upper has a unique fit. For the most part it is very comfortable but it does feel a little too narrow in the toe area. What’s interesting is the upper is actually a little wider through the midfoot and even part of the forefoot.
It then quickly tapers at the toe area which makes it a little uncomfortable for your toes. I was able to make this upper work for me by really tapping my heel on the ground multiple times, pushing my foot back into the shoe before tying.
If I didn’t do that I had issues with my toes getting pushed up agains the front of the shoe.
Despite the toe issues, when the shoe was properly secured on my foot with my heel pushed way back, I actually enjoyed running in the shoe.
It was just too easy for my foot to come forward while running in the shoe especially on trails. I really do think that if I had gone a full size up from my normal shoe size the problem would have been solved.
Hoka OneOne Speedgoat Conclusions
Over the past few weeks I’ve had a real love/ hate relationship with this shoe. The grip it provides on the trail is probably the best I have experienced in a trail shoe.
Additionally I found the cushioning to be just about perfect for what I want in a trail shoe that I’m going to run long distances in.
I experienced moments of running in this shoe where I thought it was the best trail shoe I’ve ever run in, yet I also experienced moments where my toes were getting crammed and were experiencing some rubbing.
The outsole and midsole are so good in this shoe that I heavily debated on wearing it for a recent 50k and just dealing with the blisters I would surely get.
Unfortunately I had to go with a different trail shoe in order to preserve my feet for another upcoming race, but I would have loved to have had the traction and cushioning of the Speedgoat.
I cannot help but wonder how I’d feel about this shoe if I had run in a size 11 instead of a size 10. I really do think if I had gone a full size up that this shoe would have been outstanding.
I think this shoe could be a really great option for some people. I would suggest ordering a full size up and trying them on to make sure the fit is correct.
We thank the nice people at Hoka OneOne for sending us a pair of Speedgoat to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.