Review: Hoka One One Torrent 2

Written by

Henry Howard

Ultra runner and certified running coach.

This expert review is written by

Henry Howard

Ultra runner and certified running coach.
Henry Howard has come a long way since a teacher called him "molasses" during a fifth-grade track and field event.

Now living and running in Indiana, he has completed more than a dozen marathons and is a regular age-grouper in shorter distances.

Weight

We usually consider 10 ounces a "medium" weight for a running shoe: less than 10 and we are entering the lightweight category and above 10 the shoes start to be heavy.

Heel-to-toe drop

Heel drop is the measurement in mm of the difference between the height of the heel and the toe of the sole.

A lower drop (0mm - 5mm) promotes running on mid-foot and fore-foot, while higher drops (8mm - 12mm) are more traditional and meant to support a heel-striking gait.
Expert score
8/10

Expert Review: Hoka One One Torrent 2

Quick overview

Best for
Regular training, speedwork on flat surfaces, short trail races (up to half marathons)
Terrain
Best for moderate trails, technical trails, rocky areas, muddy areas, through creeks and streams
Grip
The Torrent 2 provides excellent grip and traction on all kind of terrains and surfaces
Lack Traction
Average Traction
Provide Traction
Cushioning
The Torrent 2 offers just the right amount of cushioning
Little cushioning
Medium cushioning
Highly cushioned
Weight

9.1

 oz
258 g
Heel to toe drop
Drop

4

 mm

Pros and cons according to our running expert

Pros and cons according to our running expert

  • Lightweight
  • Lugs provide superior traction
  • Lower stack height than other Hokas
  • Sheds water well
  • Firmness gives off an uncomfortable feel
  • Laces are excessively long

Our verdict

The Hoka One One Torrent 2 gives its runners a solid option for a firm yet speedy shoe that can handle a mix of trails.

While most Hoka trail shoes are geared for longer, mountain climbs, the Torrent is effective at shorter, speedier trail runs.

Introduction Hoka One One Torrent 2

Hoka One One Torrent 2 - Medial Side

Hoka One One Torrent 2 – Medial Side

The second version of the Torrent could well be viewed as a gateway to those curious about Hokas but not sold on the brand’s well-known stack height.

With a 5 mm drop, the Torrent has a stack height of 23 mm/18 mm in men’s and 21 mm/16 mm in women’s.

Cushioning Type
The Torrent 2 is more plush than responsive:... Read more provides shock absorption and some energy
Responsive
Plush
Cushioning Amount
The Torrent 2 offers just the right amount of... Read more cushioning
Little cushioning
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
The Torrent 2 is quite rigid and does not... Read more flex easily
Rigid
Flexible
Stability
The Torrent 2 has some inherent stability and... Read more support
Not particularly stable
Very stable

Impressions Hoka One One Torrent 2

Hoka One One Torrent 2 - Lateral Side

Hoka One One Torrent 2 – Lateral Side

That gives the Torrents a more similar appearance to other trail shoes. Additionally, its combination of lightness and strong lugs allow runners to scoot down the trail with speed and ease.

With all of that said, the Torrents (about 9.3 ounces for men, and 7.6 ounces for women) come across as stiff and harder to break in than other Hokas I’ve tried like the Challengers and Speedgoats.

Even after 50 miles, the shoes felt stiff.

Kudos to Hoka for improving the upper from the original Torrent. While I never had the opportunity to run in that model, there were complaints that it contributed to an even stiffer shoe.

Hoka kept its Profly midsole unchanged but used a blend of recycled post-consumer polyester for a smoother feel for the upper.

Hoka did not change the Torrents’ Profly nimble midsole from the original.

For runners interested in Hokas, the Torrents do serve as good test.

There is certainly a lot to like about Hokas and overall, the Torrents do not disappoint — just be sure to match them with an appropriate distance.

Protection Hoka One One Torrent 2

Hoka One One Torrent 2 - Sole

Hoka One One Torrent 2 – Sole

One of the most notable upgrades from the original Torrents is the outsole, where Hoka created more aggressive multi-directional lugs.

In my test runs, I took the Torrents uphill, downhill, over rocky sections, through grassy sections, around loopy trail bends and everything in between.

The lugs did their job remarkably well, and I never felt that they were holding me back as far as speed goes.

The best endorsement actually comes from a run I had, a day after I ran in the Torrents. When I was running in another Hoka model, I slipped and fell on a slick section of mud.

Literally the day before, I went through the exact same area with the Torrents and did not slip or slide one bit.

One thing to note for runners who regularly run in very rocky sections — there is no rockplate in the Torrents.

While there is overall solid protection, I would not recommend running in these on rocky technical terrain.

Rockplate
The Torrent 2 does not have a rock plate.
Not present
Solid protection
Lugs
The Torrent 2 provides excellent grip and... Read more traction on all kind of terrains and surfaces
Lack Traction
Provide Traction
Water resistance
The Torrent 2 provides a decent protection... Read more from splashes and puddles
Poor
Water Resistant

Durability Hoka One One Torrent 2

Hoka One One Torrent 2 - Heel

Hoka One One Torrent 2 – Heel

Like other Hokas, the Torrents are built to last. They should hold up under most trail conditions and perform well through various trail obstacles like roots, rocks and the like.

The shoes’ thickness helps repel water, pebbles and other debris, adding to the runners’ comfort as well as the long-lasting durability of the shoes.

After 50-plus miles, I have not noticed any discernible wear and tear on the shoes.

Responsiveness & Speed Hoka One One Torrent 2

Hoka One One Torrent 2 - Top

Hoka One One Torrent 2 – Top

The Torrents do offer a bit more speed than other Hoka counterparts on mostly flat and moderate trails.

I had no trouble hitting the high gears when the trail allowed as the Torrents were able to respond, regardless of the softness, hardness, wetness, or dryness of the trail.

So, based on my review, while one may be looking at the Torrents for a shoe for short races. It can also be used as a mid-week trainer, especially for speedwork.

It would be a good option for a series of hill repeats of short speed intervals on trails, while I’ll save my Challengers or Speedgoats for longer weekend runs.

Comfort and Fit Hoka One One Torrent 2

Hoka One One Torrent 2 - Toe

Hoka One One Torrent 2 – Toe

As noted previously, the overall comfort is lacking, even past what I would consider a normal break-in period.

On the bright side, the toebox does provide enough room to allow the runners’ toes to splay out, so that is a benefit.

Because of this firmness, I would also caution against using it when having to run from roads to trails.

When I run from home over to our local cross-country course, I have a couple of road crossings I need to get by.

Those are OK but I wouldn’t want to do an extended run (mile or longer) in the Torrents on roads, or even a paved trail.

Sizing
The Torrent 2 has average sizing: buy the... Read more usual size
Buy size smaller
Buy size bigger

Conclusion Hoka One One Torrent 2

If you are interested in a fast, lightweight Hoka for distance up to 10 miles (or perhaps a half marathon on an easy trail), the Torrents are a solid option.

For me personally, I would gravitate toward other Hoka models like the Speedgoats or Challengers but after all I do prefer longer distances.

I also prefer a less-rigid feeling shoe. But if you can get past that, the Torrents are a terrific option.

Here’s how they compare to some related models:

  • if you are looking for a bigger stack height and shoes that made for longer and more mountainous runs, the Hoka One One Speedgoats are the clear choice.
  • The Speedgoats are heavier and handle challenging trails extremely well. But if it’s shorter and milder trail runs you’re planning, the Torrents would be the choice.
  • The Nike Terra Kiger 6 offer a similar weight and amazing performance for speed. On the other hand, the Torrents’ cushioning and stronger lugs may be better suited for most trails.
  • But if it’s pure speed you desire for shorter distances, the Nike Terra Kiger is the best choice. Period.
  • Another shoe built for short, speedy runs is the Salomon S-Lab Sense 7. This pair and other Salomons are more comfortable while Hokas offer more cushioning.
  • Between these two, if I am looking for shoes for a short race on a cross-country course or mild trails, I’m edging toward the Salomons. But for moderate or muddy trails, my pick would be the Torrents.
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