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Hoka One One Torrent 3 review

6 expert score
0 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 03rd April by Henry Howard Ultra runner and certified running coach.
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Hoka One One Torrent 3 Verdict

The Hoka Torrent 3 has a slightly different personality than many of its better-known brethren. While it handles smooth trails well, it is clearly not meant for rocky surfaces, challenging terrain or long distances. For those looking for an affordable alternative with Hoka’s premier cushioning for shorter distances, the Torrent could be a good fit.

The pros

  • Cushioning
  • Lower stack height
  • More affordable than similar options

The cons

  • Not for paved or rocky surfaces
  • Still doesn’t handle technical terrain well
  • Not meant for longer distances, marathon and above


Rating breakdown

Comfort
8.0
Build quality
7.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
5.0
Transition
5.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
6.0
Durability
5.0
Value / Price
8.0

Facts / Specs

Model
Torrent 3
Previous model
Type
Weight
8.7 oz (247 g)
MSRP
$130.00

Heel
mm.
Toe
mm.
Heel drop
5 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Tight
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Normal

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced/plush
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Stability
Some stability
Flexibility
Medium

Trail specs

Rockplate
Not present
Traction
Average Traction
Water resitance
Poor

Best for these distances

Road-to-trail
Max cushion
Trail racing  
Technical

Best for these terrains

Moderate trails
Technical trails
Rocky areas
Muddy areas
Through creeks and streams
Through snowy or icy sections
Dirt trails  
Paved trails
Through grassy sections  

Who should buy the Hoka One One Torrent 3 ?

The Torrent 3 (23 mm/18 mm men’s, 21 mm/16 mm women’s) would be an ideal match for those transitioning to trail running who are looking for the Hoka quality at a discounted rate.

Who should not buy the Hoka One One Torrent 3 ?

Training for a technical or long race? Look elsewhere for a shoe that will handle rocks, challenging terrain and adventures 50K or longer.

Hoka One One Torrent 3 Introduction

Picture of Hoka Torrent 3

The Hoka Torrent 3 offers a slight upgrade from its predecessor, meaning that if you liked the Torrent 2, you will find comfort in the new version.

Conversely, if the Torrent 2 didn’t work for you, the third iteration does not include any upgrade that will change your opinion.

Hoka One One Torrent 3 Impressions

Picture of Hoka Torrent 3

The fairly lightweight Torrent 3 (9.6 ounces for men’s size 10) includes very minor updates to the upper and the outsole. The upper has been changed in an effort to improve breathability, which was evident during my 50ish miles of testing on minimal trails.

The Torrents seem to know their place in the Hoka lineup.

Need a tough shoe for handling technical, mountainous terrain? Go for the Speedgoat, not the Torrents. Looking for a shoe that will transition well to and from paved and trail surfaces? The Challenger is calling you. Need a fast shoe for sub-ultras? Add some zip to your step with the Zinals.

So who — or what — are the Torrents for? They are a lower-cost option for runners seeking Hoka’s well-known cushioning for short to medium distances that don’t deviate from grassy or dirt trails. Think a half marathon or marathon course on easy trails. They could also be a go-to for those looking for a shoe for midweek short runs on trails.

The fit is pretty true to size and the foot feels secure inside. There is no rock plate so if you venture into rocky or even rooty trails, be forewarned. On the other hand, the Torrents don’t perform well on paved surfaces, so look for better options for runs or races that necessitate running on harder surfaces.

Hoka One One Torrent 3 Protection

Picture of Hoka Torrent 3

Hoka didn’t change the midsole from the second version. The ProFly midsole is quick and responsive, yet firm. Do note that there is no rockplate. Still the protection is enough for basic trail running.

If, however, you crave the plush feeling of Hoka, this midsole is for you. The Torrent does deliver a stable platform with enough material between your foot and the ground to allow for a decent ride.

The Torrents do offer 4-mm lugs, so they have the potential to provide support. The lugs have the same pattern as their predecessor so runners an expect to have some grippiness on the trails, but it is not a strong suit of the Torrents.

Hoka One One Torrent 3 Durability

Picture of Hoka Torrent 3


The Torrent’s traction is good while running in dry conditions, over soft ground and similar minimal terrain. But taking it through snowy, slick, rocky or other challenging terrain will lead to issues.

Take note of the overlays. The updates appear to leave something to be desired. There is an overlay that boosts the upper atop the mesh. However, I can already see some wear and tear on the medial and lateral sides. This deformity isn’t from technical terrain, either. My experience has been on a combination of grassy cross-country courses and soft and plush single track dirt trails.

Another thing to keep in mind is how your running surfaces and durability add up to the overall value of the shoe. Running on softer surfaces will keep the integrity of the shoe so you can enjoy it for a fairly typical life of a running shoe.

But venture out into harder-core areas and the shoes will break down, and end up being added to the donation pile or used for yardwork sooner than you might have anticipated.

Hoka One One Torrent 3 Responsiveness & speed

Picture of Hoka Torrent 3

As a neutral midsole, the Torrent’s ProFly foam can be considered rubbery.

You can push the pace, not as much as in the Zinals, but a decent amount.

After all, it comes from a good lineage. Hoka’s carbon shoes and faster road running shoes also include this same type of foam. The foam combines with a moderate Hoka stack height for a good ride.

If you want a bit of a boost of speed, a good amount of comfort and just enough traction for up to moderate trails, you could find a good fit in the Torrents.

Hoka One One Torrent 3 Comfort and fit

Just like all Hokas, the Torrent’s cushioning provides comfort on the go. The fit is true to size for me. But if your experience with Hokas necessitates an adjustment up or down a half size, I would recommend doing the same with the Torrents.

Hoka One One Torrent 3 Conclusions

Picture of Hoka Torrent 3

The Torrents have established their own identity. They can be considered an entry-level shoe for the Hoka curious, or for runners beginning their own journeys on trails.

But for the seasoned ultra runner or those seeking out adventures with some combination of snow, mud, gnarly terrain and rocks — especially the rocks — there are better Hoka options out there.

In the Hoka line, the Torrent 3 may be most comparable with the Challengers. Though I find the Challengers to be vastly superior as they can handle harder surfaces like pavement and also offer a speedier response.

On the other side of the spectrum are the Speedgoats. They provide what the Torrents do not: even more cushion, superior traction, better durability, and lock-it-down protection. The Speedgoats are just getting warmed up at 50K while the Torrents are beyond their limits.

This is not to say at all that the Torrents are a bad shoe. They have a purpose and can be a solid solution for the right runner.

The Torrent 3s are best suited to shorter distances on trail, and perform best on softer ground.

How does the Torrent 3 compare?

Nike ZoomX Zegama Trail
Hoka One One Torrent 3
Hoka One One Challenger 7
Expert score
7
6
10
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$159.95
US$130
US$145
Shoe type
Weight
11.3 oz
8.7 oz
8.9 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
5 mm
5 mm
Recommended for
Dirt trails, through grassy sections
Dirt trails, through grassy sections
Moderate trails, technical trails, through creeks and streams, dirt trails, paved trails, through grassy sections
Cushioning type
balanced/plush
balanced/plush
balanced/plush
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
medium
medium
medium
Stability
some stability
some stability
some stability
Sizing
true to size
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Hoka One One at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
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Reviewed by Henry

This review was written by Henry Howard on 03rd April.
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.

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