Hoka One One SpeedGoat Review Facts
The Hoka One One SpeedGoat gets its name directly from Karl Meltzer’s rugged 50K trail race. Designed and bolstered to withstand the extreme vertical ascents and descents of the Utah race, the SpeedGoat shines as a weather-resistant trail shoe. With its fantastic traction due to the noticeably larger lugs on the outsole, this shoe has the perfect balance of cushion and traction necessary for longer races. The Hoka One One brand is known for its bulky, and almost cumbersome appearance. Meltzer’s design for the SpeedGoat was built off of the Rapa Nui body and retains many of the same aesthetic features. The SpeedGoat is a trail specific shoe with the classic support and quality you expect from Hoka One One.
The outsole is made by Vibram, a company credited with inventing the rubber lug commonly found in many trail shoes and best known for their FiveFingers brand
. Vibram rubber is abrasion resistant and is designed to conquer a variety of terrain. The grooves on the Vibram outsole provide flexibility and stability. Largely due to Vibram’s use of vulcanized rubber, which is the same sulfur-infused product that car tires are made of, the outsole of the SpeedGoat handles rocky terrain with ease. The outsole is certainly a defining feature of this Hoka One One trail shoe
The midsole is made of EVA Foam, which is a polymer that acts like rubber, but feels soft and provides good cushioning. EVA Foam is lightweight, water-resistance, stress and crack resistance, and absorbs shock. Perfect for the ultra runner, this nuanced cushioning in the midsole also does wonders for a trail that promises varying altitudes and hazards along the way. The excellent shock absorption in the midsole makes for a comfortable, supported ride.
The SpeedGoat’s upper is made of thermoplastic urethane/polyester. Unfortunately, for a shoe that provides so much support and traction in other areas, the upper’s tight fit means that there is a lack of space in the toe box. Although the upper is wider through the forefoot and midfoot areas, a drastic taper in the toes makes it slightly uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the upper leaves something to be desired in the way of sizing. However, if your foot is relatively narrow, then the fit of the SpeedGoat might not be a problem for you.
The average weight for the SpeedGoat is 8.6 ounces for the women's version and about 9.7 ounces for the men's version. Extra support can make these feel bulky for those who aren’t used to running in a robust trail shoe, but they are really quite lightweight. Like other models
of Hoka One One trail shoes
, the EVA foam makes the shoe feel much lighter than it looks. The bulk and extra cushioning creates a smooth ride over uneven gravel, mud, or dirt that inevitably comes with a trail run.
Reviewers agree that the breathability of the SpeedGoat is good. The uppers are made of an extremely porous material that allows moisture to exit quickly. When running through streams or puddles, the material in the upper allows the shoe to shed excess water. However, some runners experienced slow draining of water which can cause blisters
and overall discomfort.
The extra padded tongue provides more cushion and support around the shoe's upper, which contributes to a more comfortable ride. The figure eight pattern on the Vibram rubber sole of the shoe is supposed to make the runner feel as if they are running on a suspension system. Similar to an all-terrain vehicle that absorbs shock thanks to its elevated suspension, Hoka One One created a pattern that mimics this experience. The carve-out in the base of the heel contributes to this “suspended” and extremely comfortable ride. Although incredibly padded and supportive, this is a shoe that moves and breathes with you through the miles.
Redbull, one of Karl Meztler’s sponsors, inspired the wildly colorful palette that the SpeedGoat comes in. Bright, neon yellow
laces zip up the kaleidoscope of electric blues and greens on one pair. Unfortunately, this bright color scheme is the only option. The shoe also has the signature Hoka One One look, defined by the high platform and convexly curved midsole. For those that are looking for something flashy and fun, this style is a perfect fit.
The Vibram’s unique rubber composition of the outsole makes it both supportive and durable, wearing out minimally with consistent trail use. The multi-directional lugs and durable rubber outsole are the same features offered in other Hoka One One trail shoes that promise to outlast even the rockiest trails
. As is typical of a shoe designed for longer distances, it is still wise to change the shoe every 300 to 400 miles. This is slightly better than some of Hoka One One’s other trail shoes, like the slightly less cushioned Speed Instinct
, which will start to wear at around the 200-mile mark.
Designed as a technical trail shoe, the SpeedGoat also protects the runner from any debris or pebbles sneaking into the toe box and ruining a run. There is a lightly padded tongue that is connected to the toe box area, which provides optimal support in the front lace area, as well as insulation from colder weather. There is also a rubber toe that covers the sewn overlay of the cap to keep the shoes dry in muddy areas, while still maintaining the porous breathability of the upper and the toe area. There were no complaints that this shoe failed to protect its users from the elements. The SpeedGoat is designed to protect its user from the unexpected to the highly expected pebble in your shoe.
Lighter than other trail shoes, the SpeedGoat offers a bouncier, softer ride on a long run in comparison to competitors. Reviewers generally acclaim that the responsiveness of the shoe has less of a “rocking” sensation that some of Hoka One One shoe's other designs elicit. This shoe is comparable to a regular running shoe but designed to withstand the pressure of multiple hours of running. Despite the stack of the heel, the shoe is responsive and supportive, sometimes described as “lively”.
The thickness of the soles provides maximum support for these maximalist
running shoes. At the top of where the tongue rests, there are two shoelace holes that allow the lace to allow a more secure fit if needed. The high lacing protects the ankle from rolling and secures the sides of the foot. The tongue itself is cushioned to provide maximum snugness. The back of the shoe wraps around the achilles tendon
and hugs the heel inside of the shoe.
Created to tackle a trail with varied terrain, the SpeedGoat boasts a lively and enjoyable ride. The performance grade shoe is a product of Meltzer’s own ultramarathon experience through the deep Utah woods. Designed for slightly more moderate trails, the shoe also performs well on the gravel, paved, and dirt roads. In addition, the aggressive tread work on muddy trails and rainy conditions. The dual functionality of the shoe makes them an excellent choice for on-road or off-roading runs. Do not use these shoes if you are a sprinter, or primarily practice shorter interval runs. This is the ultramarathoner's shoe, designed to conquer mountainous terrain.
Some reviewers have complained that the price of the shoe is a bit high for such a limited use. In comparison to other technical shoes
, the Hoka One One brand is evenly priced. The SpeedGoat falls within the market range for other technical shoes designed specifically for trail running and is designed to stretch the extra dollars you shell out over extra miles because of the brand’s superior use of materials and attention to design.
As far as traction goes, there doesn’t seem to be many issues that users were concerned about. In fact, the traction in snow and wet weather conditions received rave reviews. Compared to other Hoka One One Models, like the Constant
, the SpeedGoat excels in traction on snow because of an increasingly padded outsole as well as the grooves on the outsole. The soft rubber allows the runner to curl their foot around uneven terrain and stabilize their stride with a natural grip. The Vibram rubber soles work beautiful in slippery, wet, or snowy conditions, but keep in mind the porous upper which will not protect your feet for long in the snow.
There is a distinct spring in the SpeedGoat that its predecessors, like the Challenger ATR and Rapa Nui, lacked. As stated earlier, the rocking design is cut down by the flexibility of the midsole, giving the runner the ability to grip the trail. The outsole and midsole grooves exist both up and across the shoe, creating plenty of flex to manage unexpected hills
Noted for less rocking, the SpeedGoat model of the Hoka’s trail shoe is very stable
. There is also a section of the heel that is slightly carved out. Coupled with the criss-cross pattern of the lugs, these features make for a very stable shoe. As described above, the bottom of the Vibram rubber outsole is intended to meet and embrace an uneven terrain. Distributing impact across different areas of the shoe means that the runner has a much more stable and controlled impact with rocky and slippery slopes.
The drop on this shoe is 5mm, with a 35mm heel and a 30mm forefoot. This is a similar drop to other Hoka One One
• 5mm drop
• Extremely supportive and cushioned
• Varied lug patterns on the Vibram rubber, enhancing traction
• Tight and protective around the upper
• Superior support during long runs
The Hoka One One SpeedGoat is not for every runner. This shoe is a highly technical trail shoe, designed with trails like Meltzer’s SpeedGoat 50K in mind. His home Wasatch trails in Utah inspired the SpeedGoat’s improved features. What truly sets this shoe apart is the design of its midsole and outsole, providing extra padding on the tongue and around the arch of the foot. If you’re the kind of runner that is training for a long distance
trail run and want the protection from a variety of weather, then you would enjoy the Hoka One One SpeedGoat.