Hoka OneOne Speedgoat Trail Shoe Review
Now that we've got Hoka OneOne shoes in the shop, I've been desperate to get out and give them a try. Being a bit of a trail enthusiast, I decided to take the Speedgoat out for a test. So called after legendary ultra runner, Karl "Speedgoat" Meltzer, the Speedgoat has been designed to tackle the technical conditions as experienced as the Speedgoat 50k in Utah. The shoe is really light, at 275g, and has a heel to toe drop of 5mm. Despite the lightness, it does feel extremely robust, both in the sole and the uppers and the Vibram 4mm rubber lugs are very aggressive.
The sizing was a bit of an issue initially to be honest. Always a size 10 (UK), the Hoka size 10 I found to be a little on the tight side. Having gone up a half a size, the fit was now perfect. Although a neutral shoe, you do feel that there is additional support/cushioning under your arch. This seems to add to the stability of the shoe which was something I had been concerned about.
Like all Hoka's, it does have that rocking motion, due to the low heel to toe drop and a midsole which has been sculpted that way to enable a smooth transition through the gait cycle. Although incredibly cushioned, I did find the shoe to be a lot more responsive than what I had expected. Because of the lightness of the shoe I did find it to be quite easy to get my feet moving over the terrain and to be very adaptable.
As mentioned above, the Vibram sole is very aggressive and I certainly found it to give a substantial amount of traction, albeit I wasn't on overly technical ground. Vibram rubber is of extremely high quality and durability so would expect it to handle what was thrown at it pretty well.
Although the conditions I've ran in with the Speedgoats have been dry, I have ended up going through some major puddles and mud holes, and the uppers seem to cope admirably. Didn't feel my feet getting wet and the water seemed to drain off very well. With a protective toe guard, it just gives a feeling of a very robust shoe
They may not be for everyone though, especially if you're from the minimalist camp. For me though, it is the cushioning I love which will be especially effective on the longer runs. With their injected EVA midsoles, they are a lot more cushioned than traditional shoes. Really looking forward to using them on some of those runs I've got planned for later in the year.
Check out the shoes here on the website and feel free to come in have a try out in the shop. Keep an out on the Facebook page as well for the next Hoka OneOne trial night at the shop where you can get an opportunity to get a pair of Hoka's on your feet and go out for a run.
- Andrew Gordon