Average Weight: Men's 312g / Women's 263g
Offset / Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
Stack Height: 28mm-32mm (men's) / 26mm-30mm (women's)
A terrific all-round trail shoe to take you comfortably from road to trail. It has cushioning, stability and grip to take you on pretty much any terrain for any distance.
Upper: There are good overlays on the upper which give a secure feel around the heel and mid foot. For me, the toe box is quite shallow, especially over the little toe.
Midsole: There’s never a shortage of cushioning in Hoka shoes and these are no exception. Although they are a neutral shoe, I did find them to be fairly stable.
Outsole: Vibram gives great grip on multiple surfaces.
- Great grip on frosty pavements, muddy and snowy trails.
- Loads of cushioning for firm trails and roads.
- Springy toe-off.
- Durable vibram outersole.
- Available in wide option.
- Toe box is quite narrow/shallow, and the overlays are quite thick so possibility of rubbing.
- Potentially unstable on rough technical trails or hills.
- Might not be stable enough for some over-pronators.
Although I’ve had a couple of Hoka road shoes, I’ve never enjoyed the extra height of the midsole and felt they didn’t quite flex in the right place for me. Maybe I didn’t stick with them long enough, but they never became my first-choice shoe. The thing that appealed about the Speedgoat was the grip combined with cushioning for winter running. I was also not convinced on the fit when I first tried them on, being torn between the regular fit which was slightly tight across the forefoot and the wide which just felt too loose around the mid foot and heel. I opted for the regular width and overall am happy with the fit. They do leave my feet feeling slightly cramped on a long run but are absolutely fine on shorter runs.
I’ve used them on road runs in snowy and icy weather and on decent trails which do also get quite muddy. The grip on snow is excellent and although I had to take care on icy stretches the Vibram does a good job at keeping you upright. They do way better than a road shoe on icy / wet / leaf-strewn pavements and better than most similar trail shoes too. Once the snow had all melted, they did well on muddy trails too, although in deeper mud they got a bit slippy.
Although I know runners who use Speedgoats quite happily over hilly and technical terrain, for me the softness of the midsole makes them a little unstable on properly rough ground. An unexpected bonus of the midsole height and the overlays around the base of the upper is that you can run through most puddles and even tiny streams on the beach without getting wet feet!
I did find the overall ride on these to be smoother than on the other Hokas I’d tried. The flex point seems fairly far forward so they had a decent responsiveness. After the first couple of weeks, I was really comfortable with how they felt underfoot. In terms of how far you could run on a road with them I wouldn’t put a limit on it as they have plenty cushioning, the only drawback being that with a lot of road use the grip will wear down faster.
Am I ready to be a full convert to Hoka shoes? Probably not. Did these shoes do what I wanted them to in terms of grip and comfort for winter running on streets and trails around the city? Definitely!
There is often a bit of compromise on trail shoes with either grip, cushioning or stability compared to a road or fell shoe. I found the Speedgoat a really good all-round shoe – no less cushioning or stability than my usual road shoes. While I wouldn’t expect them to give as much grip or stability on rough ground as my fell shoes they do brilliantly on anything wet, light muddy trails and snowy terrain.
In fact, if you had piled up all my running shoes in October and told me I could use only one of them for the next 6 months, these are the ones I would choose. Only time (and the unpredictable weather of a Scottish summer!) will tell whether I would end up also choosing the Speedgoat as my one shoe to run April-September. The reality is that I’ll probably use them when the trails are wet and muddy, but revert to my road shoes when the trails dry out a bit and the pavements aren’t covered in leaves or snow.