Overview of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2:
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 is a significant upgrade in many key areas compared to the original Speedgoats from Hoka. The fit, platform, and upper have all been improved leading to what I believe is the best maxi-cushioned trail shoe from Hoka to-date. Folks with narrow to average width feet, who like maximal cushioned shoes, will probably really enjoy the updated Speedgoat 2. Folks who enjoy letting their toes spread or have wide feet will probably think this shoe is still too narrow despite the increased width compared to the original version. If the fit and stack height work for you the Hoka Speedgoat 2 should be able to handle just about any distance or terrain.
- Weight: 232g / 8.2oz (US women’s 7.0); 278g / 9.8oz (US men’s 9.0)
- Drop: 4.5mm (32mm heel, 27.5mm forefoot)
- Upper: engineered 3D Puff Print mesh upper with midfoot cage construction and speed frame overlays to provide significantly improved support
- Cushion: standard EVA (feels a bit firmer compared to the traditional softer Hoka EVA cushioning so I suspect this version uses a slightly firmer EVA foam)
- Rockplate: No (but not really needed due to the high stack height and nearly full rubber outsole)
- Outsole: Vibram Megagrip (6mm? semi-sticky, durable lugs that are fantastic)
- More data on the HOKA website right here.
Presenting the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2. A completely redesigned animal from Hoka.
Now for more details. In this review, we’ll break things down in to four areas:
- What’s good: the new, differentiating, or simply well designed or built features or aspects of the shoe.
- What could be improved: tweaks or improvements that could be made to make the shoe better.
- When to use it: the situations or scenarios where the shoe excels.
- How it compares: my current go-to shoes and how this compares
I’ll try to be as succinct as possible. After all, you’ve probably got more running you can do today!
What’s good about the HOKA One One Speedgoat 2?
- The cushion-to-weight ratio. Despite having a stack height of 32mm in the heel and 27.5mm in the forefoot the Speedgoat 2 is only 8oz. I don’t consider 9.8oz to be light by any means as I remember the original Hoka One One Challenger ATR very well and that shoe had 33mm of cushion in the heel at an amazing weight under 9oz (with the caveat being the original Challenger had some serious outsole durability concerns). However, as shoes have for some reason gotten heavier and heavier in recent years the Speedgoat 2 strikes a great balance of having maximal cushion at a very reasonable weight. For comparison sake, here are the specs on the medium to maxi-cushioned shoes I most often see on the trails and/or in ultras these days: Wildhorse 4 (10.7oz, 28mm), Challenger 3 (9.5oz, 31mm), Sense Pro Max (10.4oz, 33mm), Olympus 2.5 (12.3oz, 32mm), Caldera (28mm, 9.9oz).
A nice ratio of cushion compared to weight in the Hoka Speedgoat 2.
- The grip. The Speedgoat 2 continues with a Vibram Megagrip outsole and it’s fantastic. The lugs are deeper, they are more of them, and the pattern is improved. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on pavement with this shoe but it can handle some pavement miles on a door-to-trail type run while you seek out your mountain fix. This is a really nice outsole especially for technical mountain terrain but it can also handle all types of trails with ease I believe.
It’s refreshing to see a truly lightweight, race-ready trail shoe.
- The value. While $140 is not inexpensive per se I do like this price point for two reason: 1) It’s the same price as the original Hoka One One Speedgoat and that shoe is over two years old now. 2) It’s only $10 more than its closest competitor in the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3 (and the Challenger models also have not increased in price in over two years – amazing!) and should be more durable I’m predicting.
- The upper. The upper has really been improved with this version. We now see a higher quality mostly mesh upper with welded overlays throughout. The upper is quite breathable and doesn’t hold water nearly as bad as many of its competitors.
Close up view of the updated mesh upper on the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2.
- The style. The shoe is loud and full of color in the four men’s and two women’s colorways offered at launch. This is going to be a personal thing for folks I’m sure as many like more muted colorways but I think all six options look great. I can’t pick a favorite!
What could be improved?
- The fit. While the fit of the Speedgoat 2 is wider compared to the originals it is not a wide fit. As it always the case the fit of this shoe is going to be a personal thing. Folks with narrow feet will hopefully love the fit. Folks with average feet who like a closer fitting shoe will also hopefully appreciate the fit. Folks who have wide feet or simply prefer a lot of room for the toes to splay will probably still find this shoe too narrow despite a claimed 5mm increase in forefoot width compared to the original Speedgoats. I like a roomy toe box and I’m not sure my feet would love me for more than 50k in this shoe.
The fit is improved in the Speedgoat 2. I just wish the fit was a little wider still.
- The ride. Again, this is a personal thing. The ride is responsive while also really cushioned. And the traditional Hoka rocker is there to promote a quicker transition through the gait cycle. However, it’s still a little stiff for my liking. To be fair though I’m not sure how much this can be improved though because the amount of cushion and/or protection would have to give to make it more flexible I’m guessing.
- One or two details. It doesn’t have a gusseted tongue. Certainly not a deal-breaker as the top of the tongue has a lace pass through to somewhat hold the tongue in place but I simply believe all trail running shoes should have a gusseted tongue. Sizing is also a little off on the Speedgoat 2 just like I believe it was in the original Speedgoats. I had to go up from my normal size 12 to a 12.5 so I’d suggest trying both your normal trail running shoe size as well as a half size up if considering this shoe. I suspect sizing may be affected by the width of your feet in this shoe.
The ‘Speedgoat’ logo remains!
When to use it?
- Big days on the trail. With maximal cushioning and great traction, the Speedgoat 2 should be able to handle just about anything you can throw at it.
- Technical terrain. The platform is surprisingly stable for such a high stack height and with the deep lugs and closer fit it can handle steep and technical terrain with ease.
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 is a great option in these scenarios.
Similar shoes to compare with:
- Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3: very close in weight, amount of cushioning, and price. The Speedgoat 2 has a better upper, traction, and a more durable outsole, and thus more protection. However, the Challenger ATR 3 is a little more flexible and perhaps has slightly more room for the toes to splay. Toss up for me. I’d choose the Speedgoat 2 in more demanding terrain and the Challenger ATR 3 for tamer trails.
- Salomon Sense Pro Max (my review right here): the Sense Pro Max is roomier and just fits my foot better overall. However, the Speedgoat 2 is lighter, grips better and is better on technical terrain. Toss up again. Just depends on the type of terrain.
So, the $140 question – should you purchase the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2?
In a word, probably. If you like maximum cushioning and traction in a fairly lightweight package the Speedgoat 2 is a great option. Just be sure you find the right size and that your feet can tolerate the fit if you want to run long in this shoe.
Questions, comments, or feedback on this shoe? Please share! And thanks for reading!
If you’re interested in purchasing this shoe, please first check availability at your local, independently owned running specialty store. They need your business and are a great resource for the community.