Hoka One One Mafate Speed

Hoka One One has become a household name amongst runners due to the company’s reputation for generously-soled shoes which provide the support necessary for endurance, as well as speed. The Hoka One One Mafate Speed is no exception.  Exceptionally constructed, it’s advertised as a durable trail shoe that maximizes performance on technical trails. It is a lightweight, flexible running selection that holds up well for endurance runners. Users have found that it offers protection from mild to technical terrain, with an excellent blend of speed and stability. However, on rougher surfaces, many who are looking for a more comfortable feel and better midsole/upper shoe grip have found that the Hoka One One Mafate Speed may leave much to be desired.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Speed without backsplash
  • Excellent Support
  • Traction
  • Thick, efficient midsole
  • Durability
  • Cons
    • Stiff heel cup
    • Instability off the trail
    • Inconsistent tongue covering
    • Key Features
      The Hoka One One Mafate Speed outsole is comprised of RMAT over layers of EVA foam which adds durability. Runners may find the high abrasion rubber to be a bit sparse to provide the level of durability Hoka One One users are accustomed to. However, the wide outsole platform of this trail-running shoe does provide the stability necessary for endurance runs or sprints. The outsole definitely delivers the kind of durability and traction needed for the daily run, if not so much for off-trail running. The combination of materials is perfectly balanced for hitting the turf and hold up well, even on an all-day marathon event.
      Hoka One One has a reputation for comfortable support and they live up to their name in the creation of this midsole. The CMEVA upper midsole gives this shoe the classic Hoka One One “cloud-like” quality, with a comfort that the foot will sink into. The EVA foam is about 30% lighter than your standard running shoes and is definitively more voluminous, helping to evenly distribute shock from heel strikes. The overall geometry of the midsole is great for daily runs, providing cushioned comfort, while still delivering on the desired level of support.
      Sweaty, hot feet on a marathon is not the runner’s idea of comfort. However, neither does a sprinter want dirt and debris coming through a wide mesh cover. This shoe will satisfy desires on both accounts. The upper on the Hoka One One Mafate speed is a breathable synthetic textile which delivers on comfort, if not on high durability. The upper is also an easy clean when using a hose and cloth, which will be a definitive comfort after a day on a muddy trail. This no-seam fabric also reduces irritation and chafing due to its smooth weave and speed lacing system, although this does present problems for creating a stable lock.
      The average Hoka One One Mafate Speed for men comes in at 10.2 oz a lightweight for fast, long runs. The weight is a definitive improvement for runners who had been asking the company to produce a lighter option for the runner who focuses on speed. The average women’s shoe in the same category came in even lighter at around 9.6 oz, providing a nearly weightless effect at high speeds. The shoe is relatively lightweight overall, providing a buoyant feeling on mild to technical terrain runs. The lightness of the shoe is probably one of its best features and impresses nearly every runner. Users find the shoe to be an easy go-to for the regular run, not adding needless burdens for the long stretch or the sprint.
      The no-sew upper of the shoe is comprised of an AirMesh that provides superior breathability. The mesh is made of a synthetic, flexible material sure to please and help mitigate sweat and chafing. The user looking for premium airflow is certain to be pleased with the Hoka One One Mafate Speed. The mesh fabric allows the comfort of airflow, without the discomfort of debris penetration. Users also found the shoe to remain comfortable even in muddy conditions where water might be expected to be an issue. The designers were able to combine fabrics in the perfect mix for a comfortably cool run whether on or off the trail.
      The shoe is designed with comfort at the forefront and any runner slipping their foot into this shoe will feel the utmost comfort. Layers of foam, an anatomically designed shoe, and supportive midsole ensure a comfortable fit for most users. The EVA upper midsole provides superior elevation which allows the foot to sink into a pillow-like feeling, as opposed to merely sitting on top. The problem sets in, however, when engaging in a run. The structure of the shoe, although it provides great support, may cause slippage. The forefoot of the shoe causes and awkward splay when striking the ground. These issues become especially noticeable during a longer run. Overall, the Hoka One One Mafate Speed does incorporate the comfort users expect from the brand.
      The Hoka One One Mafate was not necessarily created with style in mind. The shoe is obviously performance focused and is for the runner who doesn’t mind its bulky appearance. It has a broad profile but does come in a variety of colors to select from, so the user won’t be completely option-less when it comes to the appearance of their Hoka One One Mafate Speed. If the buyer is looking for a high-fashion running shoe that goes well with the Prada jogging suit, this is probably not the shoe they want. It has an appearance that gives the impression of its capabilities rather than its stylishness. All of that being said the shoe is not ugly, nor even unattractive. It’s simply not for the fashion-forward runner, but for the forward moving runner.
      Hoka One One delivered on the request for a lighter, more flexible shoe; however, with that compromise in weight and stiffness seems to have come to a drop in durability as well. The central lugs showed signs of wear after about twenty miles of usage and high abrasion rubber was sparingly applied. The RMAT added under the layers of EVA foam, however, did help provide additional resilience. It has been used in 25K, 5K and various weather conditions and held up well, although there was a problem with the lugs experienced. Overall, the Mafate Speed is on middle ground for durability, neither the best nor the worst.
      The mesh overlay on the Hoka One One Mafate Speed does provide great breathability. However, it does not compromise protection in any way. The AirMesh technology employed in this updated, lighter version of previous Mafate models, filters out unwanted debris which could cause chafing, including fine dirt. The High-Abrasion rubber stripping also helps to ensure the runner’s most valuable asset does not go unprotected.
      Users find the shoe to provide a superior response as the runner moves down the trail. The EVA midsole has appropriate support for a lateral run. However, moving up and downhill may still present a problem in this area as the shoe is a bit slow to give the desired feedback when moving at high speeds. Yet, the quality of the support combats the stiffness of the heel cup to give reasonable, if not excellent responsiveness during a level trail run. It’s also worthwhile to note that, although users found the treads to wear down in a short amount of time, the midsole gives excellent performance throughout the life of the shoe.
      The combination of the layered AirMesh upper, cushioned midsole, and overall geometry of the Hoka One One Mafate Speed provides the perfect combination to deliver on support. Whether it’s a morning sprint or a 25K run, this shoe will give the cloud-cushion Hoka One One has built its reputation on. From arch support to heel strike rebound, the Mafate Speed is the shoe for great support for high arches and the overall foot.
      The Hoka One One Mafate Speed is excellent for mid-terrains. However, reviews are mixed for tougher terrains as the treads sometimes don’t provide the traction needed to ensure proper strides. Also, the elevation of the ankle sometimes causes the user's foot to feel unstable, especially during uphill runs. This shoe is still a great choice for the daily run on the trail, if not off.
      When the Hoka One One Mafate Speed was originally released the SRP was what some may have considered being cost prohibitive for an “iffy” purchase. However, many retailers are now discounting the shoe to prices under $100, dropping it into the category of a reasonable bargain for this level of a running shoe. For the technology and design of the shoe, it’s not a bad price range. Runners who want a good shoe for a fair price may find this shoe the one to meet their needs.
      Reviews for the traction is mixed for the Hoka One One Mafate Speed. The treads on the shoe work well on trails, but not quite deep enough for many runners to be comfortable off the trail. Users also have found that the grip slips on many uphill runs, creating discomfort and fear of falling, not the best experience for the daily runner. However, the high-abrasion outsole does provide decent grip on the average surface.
      The last Mafate released drew some complaints of stiffness. However, the decreased weight in the Mafate Speed is the perfect answer to this issue. Users find the lightweight shoe to provide flexibility that moves with the foot and delivers on performance during heavy strides and heel strikes. Overall, users find the shoe more agile than the previous versions of the Mafate.
      Stability is another point of mixed reception for this edition of the Mafate. While some found the AirMesh layers and EVA foam to be well-structured for support, others found the ankle elevation to create an off-centered gravity for landing. The consensus, however, is that for running straight the shoe is great, although medial-lateral running is questionable. The lack of stability for all users across the board may indicate a quality control issue more than a design flaw.
      The Hoka One One Mafate Speed features a 4mm heel-to-toe drop which definitely encourages a smooth midfoot/forefoot strike. This gives the runner a nice, natural propulsion when running as there is no jarring effect on the stride. The geometric structure of the shoe is partially defined by this drop as it promotes a forward momentum reduces the impact of heel striking, especially critical since the heel cup is so stiff in this shoe.
      Key Features
      • AirMesh seamless synthetic fabric uppers
      • Active Foot Frame midsole geometry
      • CMEVA upper midsole
      • High-Abrasion Rubber Stripping
      • RMAT layers with EVA foam outsole
      Bottom Line
      The Hoka One One is a brand that’s known for producing excellent quality, high-endurance, high-performance shoes. The Hoka One One Mafate Speed is no exception to this tradition of reliable shoes, although there are exceptions to when the shoe performs well and when it doesn’t. The geometry, structure and material of the shoe demonstrates the focus of the designers: comfort and speed.

      Durability played second in this shoe’s configuration and even the focus of the shoe didn’t always miss the mark, as a sliding foot and awkward splay do not make for a comfortable run. However, the Hoka One One specialization in midsoles and breathable uppers make this shoe a viable option for hitting the trail. It’s a great choice for the endurance runners on non-technical, lateral to medial terrain. Users looking for a shoe that delivers on comfort and speed will not be disappointed with it. However, buyers should beware that if they want to go off the beaten path, they may wish for a different selection.

      Overall, the Hoka One One Mafate Speed is a comfortable shoe which supports speed and will not overtax the purchaser’s purse.
      Where to Buy
      By Stephenie Tucker
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 03. 2021

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