Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal 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.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$130
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

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.

Summary

We spent 8.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Some runners mentioned that the shoe was comfortable enough for trail running.
  • A few number of runners mentioned that the Hoka One One Speed Instinct has a good traction even on technical terrain and wet conditions.
  • The firmer forefoot cushioning and softer cushioning in the heel area gained positive feedback from users since it promotes a more responsive ride.
  • Many testers mentioned that the shoe feels light and fast.
  • Available in different color options.
  • True to size.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners note that the upper is not breathable especially when running on hot temperature.
  • Many runners noticed that the upper web material wore out quickly after several use.
  • According to some user reviews, the shoe too tight and narrow for their liking.

Bottom line

The Hoka One One Speed Instinct is a lightweight shoe designed for trail running. It provides runners a good combination of comfort, cushioning and traction. It is best for long and higher tempo runs.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 43 ratings

5 star
63%
4 star
23%
3 star
7%
2 star
2%
1 star
5%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

86 / 100 based on 19 expert reviews

  • 92 / 100 by RunRepeat • Nicole Pritikin • Level 2 expert

    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.

  • 82 / 100 by The Ginger Runner • Ethan Newberry • Level 5 expert

    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.

  • 88 / 100 by Dustin Branton • Dustin Branton • Level 1 expert

    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.

  • 94 / 100 by Road Trail Run • Jeff Valliere • Level 5 expert

    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

  • 82 / 100 by Running Competitor • Brian Metzler • Level 5 expert

    It's the firs trail shoe to utilize Hoka's new dual-density midsole that has a softer feel in the heel and firmer, more responsive sensation in the forefoot.

  • 95 / 100 by Active Gear Review • Kevin Fonger • Level 4 expert

    Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the Hoka Speed Instinct. As this has been my first try at wearing a Hoka trail running shoe, I am very pleased with the performance. At $130, this shoe falls right in the middle of the price points for a well built trail running shoe.

  • 88 / 100 by Trail and Ultra Running • Pete Stoughton • Level 4 expert

    Ultimately, the shoe is lightweight and feels streamlined without sacrificing Hoka cushioning. We were very happy with the room in the toe box. The upper doesn’t produce any blister-causing pressure points, nor does the interior. The shoe is touted as having a rocker, but we didn’t feel or notice it in any annoying way.

  • 85 / 100 by Running Warehouse • Jonathan • Level 4 expert

    The mixture of a lightweight, low offset design paired with a responsive yet cushioned midsole makes this shoe a great option for when I’m looking to add a little spring to my stride.

  • 82 / 100 by Trail to Peak • Drew Robinson • Level 4 expert

    If you’re a fan of Hoka, but have been looking for a shoe a little more nimble and responsive, this is probably the model for you.

  • 80 / 100 by iRunFar • Bryon Powell • Level 4 expert

    Where Hoka’s Speedgoat nails the burly trails of the Wasatch and Hardrock 100s, the Hoka One One Speed Instincttargets slightly milder trails.

  • 80 / 100 by Running Warehouse • Jonathan • Level 4 expert

    The Speed Instinct takes the go-fast midsole concept of the forthcoming Tracer and adapts it for trail use.

  • 89 / 100 by Outdoors Magic • Jon • Level 3 expert

    The Speed Instinct has much of the cushioning and rolling stride of Hoka One One’s signature shoes, but the firmer, more responsive forefoot gives much better trail feel and confidence, particularly descending on rougher ground.

  • 88 / 100 by Running Monkey • Running Monkey • Level 3 expert

    The Speed Instinct has an outsole with ‘strategically placed’ hi-abrasion rubber to increase durability; the multi-directional 4mm lugs provide good forward propulsion whilst keeping things stable on uneven terrain and adverse cambers.

  • 77 / 100 by Must Love Jogs • Jason • Level 3 expert

    To sum up, I’d say it’s a really nice shoe but it’s definitely snug!

  • 85 / 100 by Mountainblog Europe • Mountainblog Europe • Level 2 expert

    Built to nimbly dance over technical terrain, the SPEED INSTINCT is a lightweight and responsive addition to our lineup

  • 85 / 100 by Smooth Flow • Smooth Flow • Level 1 expert

    Overall, a super comfortable shoe that feels fast while maintaining that high level of comfort and protection I demand from a running shoe. 

  • 85 / 100 by Run Oregon • Kelly Barten • Level 1 expert

    The sole is still very stable, but not chunky. And they are light. Much lighter than I expected. A trail shoe, they can do double duty if you’re running on multiple surfaces, and just look fast.

  • 85 / 100 by Consistent Running • Consistent Running • Level 1 expert

    I absolutely loved how they felt on the technical downhills and they also climbed quite well (however I wasn't exactly smashing the uphills in this race)

  • 85 / 100 by Big Peach Running Co. • Dave • Level 1 expert

    I was able to run many miles on some very technical, rocky sections, and even small-type to little rocks and did not feel, you know, rocks protruding underneath my forefoot. So no worries about bruising the bottom of your foot at all.

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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.


Outsole

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.


Midsole

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 propusion. This works well with the Early-Stage Meta Rocker that is designed for a fast forefoot transition and smoother ride.


Upper

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.