DiscontinuedUpdate: Hoka One One Speed Instinct 2
Neutral / cushion / high arch
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Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
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WeightMen: 8.4ozWomen: 7.5oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 3mmWomen: 3mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 22mmWomen: 23mm
Forefoot heightMen: 19mmWomen: 20mm
WidthMen: StandardWomen: Standard
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86 / 100 based on 19 expert reviews
Review of Hoka One One Speed Instinct
If life takes you running through slush, ice, dirt roads, trails, mixed terrain, then the Hoka One One Speed Instinct is for you!
But don’t discount them as a super light pair of race day shoes on asphalt either.
The Speed Instinct doesn’t look like the traditional Hoka shoe with the huge padded sole. Instead, it has a much lower profile, not a bad thing.
You can wear this shoe without it screaming HOKA or screaming running shoe as many of the other Hokas do.
It is a nice looking shoe with 5 color options for both men and women. At first glance, it would look like a bright low cut hiking shoe rather the speedy, padded running shoe it is.
Where I have had issues with other Hokas not being true to size and having to size down or issues with the toe box, I have no such issues with the Speed Instinct. They are true to size and comfortable.
These feel like what a running shoe is supposed to feel like. You put your foot in and it is soft, you can splay your toes, and nothing is pinching, poking or irritating.
The toe box is ample and truly comfortable. There is no break-in period. They feel comfortable right out of the box. These shoes have never caused bruised toes or blisters.
The upper is breathable and lightweight. The tongue is padded but not overly so. Laces stay tied.
For an incredibly light shoe, Hoka has managed to pack this shoe with cushioning in the heel and forefoot.
The shoe is not plush/maximalist by any means but for a lightweight trail shoe, it feels great. Looking at this shoe, it doesn’t look like a typical Hoka shoe with the huge super padded sole.
However, there is still plenty of cushioning there and it maintains the meta rocker design Hoka is known for that propels you forward. I tend to get knee or back pain from shoes with less padding, yet I can wear these for 6-13 mile runs and no pain.
If you need the maximalist padding Hoka is known for, this may not be the shoe for you.
The Speed Instinct feels light and fast. I have worn this shoe for several 10k's and two half marathons.
While I will not wear it for a marathon because it lacks sufficient cushioning, for any shorter races, it is perfect. The women’s version weighs less than 8 ounces and men’s less than 9!
I have consistently run faster in this shoe than any other pair in my closet. It is the kind of shoe that you can forget you are wearing because they are so light.
Traction is where this shoe excels.
I have tried this shoe on wet dirt roads, wet asphalt, slush, ice, gravel and it can handle it all with ease.
I am not a trail runner so I can’t report how well this shoe can handle technical terrain but the backroads of Vermont in all season were handled with ease.
The prominent lugs on the bottom provide excellent traction and are spaced far enough apart that small stones and dirt are not getting trapped.
I have not had to clean out the bottoms of my shoes even after running through wet dirt roads during mud season.
If the roads here are at all gunky (technical term), such as after a recent snowstorm that got cleared but left sludge on the shoulder or that leftover level of permafrost ice/snow mix on dirt roads present most of the winter, these are the shoes I reach for again and again.
The picture below shows my driveway in late January- a solid sheet of ice with a sprinkling of gravel and sand.
These shoes handled the terrain with ease.
I have run 130 miles on my Hoka One One Speed Instinct. I see absolutely no signs of wear or degradation of the padding.
This is in complete contrast to all of the other Hokas I have ever owned where I can feel the padding degrading even after 100 miles. Right now, these shoes feel the same as they did on day one.
There is also no flaking of the overlay or any visible signs of wear on the upper. I’m impressed.
Overall, a great shoe to have in your arsenal.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Since receiving this shoe, it has become my go-to trail runner and I really am liking it. Great for faster, long hauls as it tends to gravitate more towards a traditional running shoe form. But there is no lack of cushioning here.
It's like running on a cloud and people say that all the time, but truly it's a very soft ride and I think it's what I need for recovery.
The Speed Instinct is a very worthy lightweight, long distance trainer/racer, most at home on smoother trails, but can handle more difficult terrain when needed
Updates to Hoka One One Speed Instinct
- The Hoka One One Speed Instinct uses the new PRO2Lite +10 midsole technology that is designed to give a softer cushioning in the heel and firmer cushioning in the forefoot. This Pro2Lite +10 EVA cushioning is strategically created to deliver a more responsive ride.
- The upper of the Speed Instinct comes with a seamless air mesh upper that has Zonal 3D print. It is designed to breathability and added support.
- The outsole unit of the shoe is built with extreme durability and reliable grip through the high-abrasion rubber placed in the entire sole unit and the multidirectional lugs designed for technical terrains.
Hoka One One Speed Instinct size and fit
When it comes to sizing, the Speed Instinct has a standard size. It has an accommodating and snug fit that delivers comfort on both downhills and uphill runs. The toe box is roomy enough for toe splay. This shoe is best for runners with medium foot measurements. Sizes available are 5 to 11 for women and 7 to 14 for men.
The outsole of the Speed Instinct features the full length high abrasion rubber that is gives durability and reliable traction. This perfectly matched to the low profile multidirectional lugs that deliver enough traction on varied terrains. The low profile lugs work perfectly on smoother trail and even on the road. Some runners might pick the Merrell Trail Glove 5 as an alternate shoe to wear between runs, as it presents the same function as the Speed Instinct.
The shoe uses the new Pro2Lite +10 EVA cushioning that is strategically placed to provide a responsive ride. The heel has a softer cushioning while the forefoot has a firmer cushioning. This technology in the midsole provides a great balance of protection and propulsion. This works well with the Early-Stage Meta-Rocker that is designed for a fast forefoot transition and smoother ride. The Hoka One One Arahi 2 also has this same feature.
The upper of the Hoka One One Speed Instinct is seamless and lightweight. The air mesh upper is designed for breathability, added support and secure lockdown. It also comes with a thin toe bumper that is also flexible and the wide toe box creates a more comfortable ride.
The non-gusseted tongue and the heel collar are padded to give added comfort and support. The laces are a bit wider than the usual laces and these provide a snug and secure fit.