Gear Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 2
Hikers might recognize the Hoka One One Speedgoat as the neon kicks that helped Hoka One One Athlete Karl Meltzer break the Appalachian Trail Speed Record in 2016. Here’s the updated, improved version.
Model: Hoka One One Speedgoat 2
Size: Women’s 7
Stack Height: 31mm
Best Feature: Combines comfort and stability for a great all around shoe that can handle long days and tough terrain.
Worst Feature: $$$$
The original Speedgoat boasted a grippy Vibram sole and a comfortable cushioned 35mm stack height. Although the original Speedgoat had a bit of a cult following, it received less than steller reviews due to its tight fitting upper and narrow toebox. The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 is completely redesigned shoe. It has all of the cushion that Hoka is known for with a grippy vibram sole, a stable ride, a completely redesigned and reinforced upper.
Circumstances of Review
I took the Speedgoat 2 to play in New York’s rugged Adirondack Mountains and the muddy high peaks of Vermont.
I encountered exposed rock, snow, ice and plenty of mud.
I have hiked in five different styles of Hoka One One trail runners over the past two years and thousand(ish) miles. I’ve really liked all of them, but they each needed a little tweaking here or there. The Speedgoat 2 is by far the most well designed and well balanced Hoka One One trail runner to ever hit the market (and the trails).
For Hoka One One fans, this is the shoe we’ve been waiting for. For hikers that have been on the fence about trying Hoka One One as a brand, this will be the one that sways you (your knees and your feet will thank you!).
Hoka One One is know for two things: oversized “Marshmallow” midsoles and their “Meta-Rocker” midsole design. The former provides an incredibly comfortable ride over rocks, roots and technical trails and the latter promotes a more natural gait cycle.
The Speedgoat 2 offers a 31mm and 26.5mm stack height in the heel and forefoot, respectively. Although this is similar to the prior Speedgoat, the Speedgoat 2 is noticeably more responsive.
Although the stack height is impressive the EVA midsole continues to deliver another Hoka One One classic, a generously cushioned shoe at a featherweight 8.2oz.
In short – the Speedgoat 2 has a wide enough base to provide stability, a thick enough stack height to deliver that signature Hoka One One cushion, with just the right amount of responsiveness for long days and technical trails.
The Great Range Traverse in the Adirondacks of upstate New York has been named the third hardest dayhike in America by Backpacker Magazine. The technical terrain of open rock faces and cable climbs as well as 17,600 feet of elevation change made it the perfect place to test out the Speedgoat 2’s revamped traction system.
The Speedgoat 2 has a Vibram outsole with 5mm multi-directional lugs. I actually wasn’t sure what this meant in the promo materials, but as I worked my way down Saddleback cliffs past hordes of New York City tourists on all fours struggling up the slick rock face, I was impressed with the new grip.
Perhaps most impressive is the Speedgoat 2’s ability to shed wet mud and snow. The 5mm lugs are grippy but not deep enough to hold mud or snow. They perform wet just as well as they do dry, and even performed favorably on some icy ascents.
The Speedgoat 2 has a nice mix of mesh and reinforcement in the upper as well as a solid toe bumper.
I only have 75 (rocky Adirondack) miles on these so far, but I am impressed with the durability of the upper, especially with the amount of breathability the mesh provides.
The oversized midsole on some Hoka One One models can make the shoe feel more like moon shoes than a trail runner. The Speedgoat 2 is well designed and super sleek compared to its predecessor.
Lastly, the folks at Hoka One One deserve major points for offering a women’s shoe in a primary color!
Retailing at $140 the Speedgoat 2 is comparably priced to other Hoka One One models.
Is it worth it? Yes. But for those of us with high mileage rotations is it painful? Also yes.
With updated style and fit plus all the performance of its predecessor, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 is an instant classic.
Disclaimer: This item was donated for the purpose of review.
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