If you don’t think that proper running shoes are all that important, you must be one of the lucky ones who’s never had a foot injury due to the wrong shoe. I can think of at least two injuries that have derailed my running and were caused by wearing the wrong shoes. I take my shoes very seriously, and even more so when it comes to trail shoes. I approach wear testing shoes with optimism, but very cautiously.
I have loved HOKA ONE ONE shoes since trying my first pair. They were road shoes, and they looked cool and performed very well for me. When I got a chance to review the HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 2 shoes for trail running, I jumped right in with excitement because I just KNEW HOKA ONE ONE would not let me down. When I got them, it was like Christmas. They looked so cool and the traction on the bottom looked top notch. My husband, who’s not even a runner, was jealous. But were they going to perform for me on the trails? The answer was a resounding YES.
The first time I put the Speedgoat 2 shoes on my feet, I was surprised by how cushy they felt. My other HOKA ONE ONE shoes were not as springy, so it was a bit unexpected. However, the shoes didn’t feel heavy like some shoes with more bounce tend to feel. The EVA midsole made the cushioning very lightweight. I had read a few reviews about the toe box being narrow, but I didn’t feel this at all, which is saying a lot because I typically need a wider toe box than what a lot of running shoes offer. These shoes felt like something I could wear all day. And, as mentioned above, they looked pretty sharp too. Not that it matters, but it’s still a plus. But the real question was how would they feel navigating roots and switchbacks?
I took the Speedgoat 2’s out for a 5 mile run on the trails of Wildwood and they did not disappoint. There were obviously many hills to ascend and descend and plenty of sharp corners. I gave the shoes a good workout and they were up to the challenge. The Vibram MegaGrip lugs were super grippy, so I never felt like I was losing control going down those hills, and they helped me climb too. I should also mention I wore then in the middle of a heatwave, and despite the temps in the upper 90’s, my feet never overheated. The mesh construction made them very breathable. The next trail run, an 8 miler, felt even better than the last.
You never know when a new version of a shoe comes out if it will be as good as the last. But the Speedgoat 2’s widened the base for more stability, opened the toe box a bit, and changed the lug shapes in all directions to increase the traction. The cushioning is softer in this version too. So basically, all the improvements that were made to the Speedgoat will make them even better than before.
The details on the shoes, as the website suggests, speak well to my experience with them:
Inspired by Karl Meltzer, who holds the record for most 100-mile trail race wins, and epitomizes the “go everywhere, run everything” attitude, this shoe is designed to attack all breeds of technical trail. The wide midsole creates a stable platform for the foot and offers a wide toe box with reinforced areas where your feet need them. The outsole features deep, aggressive Vibram® lugs which hold up to all kinds of rugged terrain, while the more forgiving upper offers comfort up top. The Speedgoat 2 means business. This is one fast, tough trail running shoe.
I’ve found my new favorite “go-to” trail running shoes. I wish all of my runs were on trails so I could wear the Speedgoat 2’s everywhere. But they will just have to do for my next 50k in September.
Products & Price:
Specs (from website):
- Weight: 8.20oz
- Heel-Toe Drop: 4.50mm
- Stability: Neutral
- Cushion: Balanced
More about HOKA ONE ONE:
HOKA ONE ONE was created with one goal in mind — make running easier. We do things differently, from the look of our shoes all the way to the technologies that make them possible. If you’ve ever worn a pair, you know what the HOKA difference feels like, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.
- CUSHIONED MIDSOLE: Over the years, we’ve become synonymous with premium cushioning – and for good reason. We are constantly searching for lighter, more responsive and durable cushion that protects without compromising performance. This has allowed us to add faster, lighter shoes to our range.
- META-ROCKER: Meta-Rocker, or wheels for your feet, is all about the geometry. We combine a low heel-toe drop, our unique-shaped midsoles and signature HOKA cushioning to complement a runner’s normal gait cycle and drive you forward.
- ACTIVE FOOTFRAME: The Active Foot Frame beds the heel and foot deeply into the midsole, as opposed to sitting on top. This means that every HOKA shoe offers guidance without the need for posts or other constricting elements. The Active Foot Frame functions like a bucket seat in a race car by cradling and supporting your foot.
- J-FRAME™: Our J-Frame™ supports and guides your foot without the use of heavy, rigid or unforgiving materials. It gets its name from the “J” shape, which uses a firmer density foam to support the inside of your foot and heel. It’s stability plus HOKA comfort.
- PROFLY™: PROFLY™ is a dual-density midsole with a forgiving landing and a responsive toe off. That means we use softer cushioning in the heel and firmer foam in the forefoot, so you can land comfortably, but push off quickly.
- TIME TO FLY™ 30-DAY GUARANTEE: We can promise a lot, but we encourage you to simply try on a pair of HOKA shoes to experience the difference – then run in them. As we like to say at HOKA, “Why run when you can fly?”
Thank you to HOKA ONE ONE for providing us with a sample pack. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.