Verdict from 7.8 hours of research from the internet

81
Good!
277 users: 3.8 / 5
39 experts: 81 / 100

5 reasons to buy

  • Most runners applauded the overall light weight construction of the Speedgoat.
  • This shoe provides an impressive grip, making it ideal for technical and varied surfaces based on a couple of testers’ reviews.
  • It features welded synthetic overlays for added support.
  • The Hoka One One Speedgoat offers flex grooves in the outsole for stability.
  • The midsole provides a comfortable soft ride as mentioned in some reviews.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some observed that the Speedgoat wears out quickly as expected.
  • The Hoka One One Speedgoat has a narrow toe box and tight fit as noted in some reviews.
  • Some runners found this shoe uncomfortable.
  • Moderately high-priced shoe.

Bottom line

The Hoka One One Speedgoat is a neutral running shoe that offers outstanding grip and soft comfortable ride. This gained positive feedback when it comes to stability, support and cushioning. It is a great option for lightweight training and rough trail running.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

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Our reviews

83
/100 by Avery Smith, posted on .

The Hoka One One Speedgoat is a fast, yet beefy running shoe. It is the only lightweight, max-cushioned, and responsive trail running shoe on the market.

The Speedgoat has an uncomfortable upper, but if the shoe fits you well, then it has a lot to offer.

The Vibram Megagrip outsole gives you the grip to tackle almost any terrain, and the voluminous midsole gives you the comfort to tackle any distance. The technology used in this shoe is game changing, but it was not necessarily executed perfectly by Hoka.

 

Upper

The Speedgoat has a complicated and uncomfortable upper. The upper is essentially made of a heavily perforated, rough mesh material, covered with large overlays, connecting the laces to the midsole.

This material is very breathable, but not very comfortable on the foot. The holes in the upper were too large; they allowed too much dust and debris to enter the shoe.

Side Walls

The Speedgoat uses a technology called ‘side walls’ which means that midsole is built high around the foot. This technology gives the shoe much-added stability. There is a one-inch-wide plastic overlay that circumnavigates the shoe just above the end of the side walls.

The side walls and this overlay cause the shoe to be resistant to any shallow puddles. Water will only enter the shoe in puddles deeper than the top of this overlay.

When the shoe does get wet during a river crossing, the same technology that keeps water out, hold water in. It takes a long time for the water to drain out of this shoe.

 

Toe Bumper

The toe bumper is a strip of a canvas like material. This toe bumper did a fine job at deflecting little pebbles, but it did not stand a chance at protecting the foot from large rocks. The first few times that I wore the shoe, the toe bumper’s color leaked into my socks turning them red.

Tongue

The Speedgoat has a thin, double layer tongue. The top layer is a piece of synthetic weather resistant material. The inner layer is a thin piece of cushioning, made from the same cushioning material used in the heel collar.

The tongue is pretty comfortable. It is thin to keep the weight down and cushioned to prevent any pressure points from the laces.

Heel Cup

The Speedgoat does not have a plastic heel cup. The heel cup is constructed from the same mesh used on the upper, covered with a thick plastic overlay.

The low profile heel counter did not provide much support, which was not a problem due to the other support features in the shoe.

Heel Collar

The heel collar has a large amount of plush cushioning. My heel is comfortable when I tie the laces of the speedgoat very tight. There is a tab on the outside of the heel collar that really helps with putting on the shoe without tying the laces.

 

Fit

The fit of this shoe is its biggest weakness. The shoe only has five lace holes on each side, which is fewer than the standard shoe. The fit is less secure because of this.

The shoe has a narrow, curved platform. My feet had all sorts of issues with this shape. The toe bumper rubbed against my pinky toe, ripped all of its skin (more red socks).

The narrow toe box was very uncomfortable, especially for my big toe. The poor lockdown also turned some of my toenails black.

 

 

Almost all Hoka shoes have a cushion built up underneath the arch of the foot. Since the fit was not very secure in the Speedgoat, my arch rubbed against this cushion and developed severe blisters.

Overall, the fit was very bad.

Midsole

The Speedgoat has a very thick and responsive piece of midsole foam underneath a Strobel board. The amount of cushion on the Speedgoat is what sets it apart.

The Speedgoat is the only lightweight, max-cushioned trail shoe on the market, which is why I bought a pair for an upcoming ultramarathon. The midsole lives up to its promises on being max-cushioned.

 

 

Hoka claims that the Speedgoat is a responsive shoe. I agree that the Speedgoat is both responsive and cushioned. The responsiveness comes from many aspects of the midsole.

These aspects are the Meta Rocker, the stiffness, the Strobel board and the foam density.

Oversized midsoles cannot be very flexible. Stiff shoes are naturally more responsive.

All shoes are forced to flex a little bit during the push off part of the gait cycle. Stiffer shoes recoil with more force just before you take off, giving you a responsive, ‘pop’.

Meta Rocker Design

Hoka’s Meta Rocker design means that the shoe is shaped like a semicircle. This allows the foot to rapidly roll through the ground contact phase. The decreased ground contact time gives a responsive feeling.

Strobel Board

A Strobel board is a hard piece of material underneath the sockliner. Due to the Strobel board in the Speedgoat, your foot does not sink into the midsole.

The epicenter of the midsole compression is at the contact point between the shoe and the ground, not where your foot meets the shoe.

This makes your stride faster and more efficient by forcing you to engage more of your foot and lower leg muscles, despite the cushioning. The faster, more efficient stride gives the shoe a more responsive feeling.

Finally, the foam is a little bit more dense than standard EVA, which causes it to be more responsive. Overall, the Speedgoat is both very cushioned, and very responsive.

Drop

The Speedgoat has five millimeter drop. Generally, this is a comfortable amount of drop for a forefoot striker and not for a heel striker, however, the Speedgoat felt good while both forefoot striking, and heel striking.

The Meta Rocker design helps heel strikers rapidly roll through the ground contact portion of their cadence. The massive amounts of cushion make heel striking very comfortable.

Outsole

The Speedgoat has a Vibram Megagrip outsole. The outsole is made of many, four millimeter, bird shaped lugs, that are widely spaced apart.

 

 

The wide spacing makes the speedgoat good at gripping loose terrain. It also makes the Speedgoat quite uncomfortable on roads.

The Vibram rubber is very sticky. I had very good traction on all surfaces apart from ice. The lugs wear down quite quickly. Therefore, the Speedgoat will only last around 400 miles, depending on how it is used.

There is no rock plate in the midsole of the Speedgoat. This is not a problem because rocks sink into the oversized midsole and do not upset your balance.

There are four flex grooves cut into the midsole to give the shoe a little bit of flexibility. There is also a hole in the rear of the outsole to cut down on weight.

 

Best Uses

I used this shoe on trails, and roads covered with snow. I used it primarily during long runs, recovery runs, and ultramarathon trail races.

When I was injured, I preferred the highly cushioned shoes. I found that due to the responsive nature of the Speedgoat, I could do some uptempo trail running in it.

Overall, I recommend this shoe to anyone who wants a lightweight, max-cushioned trail running shoe, as long as it fits your feet well. This shoe is also good as a primary shoe for any trail runner who is nursing minor injuries.

 

-0.5 indicates that you should buy 0.5 sizes smaller in a different shoe; -1 indicates that you should buy 1 size smaller in a different shoe.

Comparisons

Hoka One One Speedgoat vs. Brooks Caldera

The Caldera has a much wider, straighter, and in general more comfortable fit. The Caldera is 0.5oz heavier than the Speedgoat.

The Speedgoat feels much softer than the Caldera because the midsole of the Caldera is much denser. The Caldera has the most heavy duty plastic toe cap out of any trail shoe, compared to the dinky piece of canvas on the Speedgoat.

The Caldera has a four-millimeter drop, similar to the five millimeters in the Speedgoat. The tread is much less aggressive on the Caldera. Buy a ½ size up in the Caldera.

Hoka One One Speedgoat vs. Hoka One One Challenger ATR3

The Challenger is the shoe that most closely resembles the Speedgoat. The two shoes have the same weight and same offset. The tread is less aggressive in the Challenger, due to the large amounts of exposed midsole.

The midsole of the Challenger is much denser than that of the Speedgoat, therefore, the Challenger feels much less cushioned than the Speedgoat. The fit of the challenger is much more comfortable.

Hoka One One Speedgoat vs. Altra Olympus 2.0

The Olympus is 2.5 ounces heavier than the Speedgoat. It also has slightly more cushioned than the Speedgoat. The Olympus is a much wider shoe in the midfoot and forefoot areas.

Both shoes have Vibram Megagrip outsoles, however, the Olympus’s outsole is much less aggressive. The Olympus has a zero millimeter offset, which makes it exclusively for forefoot strikers. Both have the same sizing.

Hoka One One Speedgoat vs. Hoka One One Stinson ATR

The Stinson is the twelve ounce giant of Hoka trail family. Volume wise, there is more cushion in the Stinson, however, the cushion in the Stinson is so firm that the two shoes feel like they are equally cushioned.

The Stinson has a six millimeter drop. The Stinson has a less aggressive outsole and a more heavy duty toe cap.

Hoka One One Speedgoat vs. Nike Zoom Wildhorse 4

The Wildhorse is not a max cushioned shoe like the Speedgoat, but it does have a good amount of soft cushioning. The Wildhorse has a more comfortable and practical upper, a less aggressive tread, a more heavy duty toe bumper, and an 8 millimeter drop.

The Wildhorse is an ounce heavier than the Speedgoat. The Wildhorse also has a rock plate, unlike the Speedgoat. Buy a half size up in the Wildhorse.

Conclusion

I have mixed feelings about the Speedgoat. The Speedgoat has such a desirable underfoot feeling, but the upper causes so many problems for my feet.

I deducted three points for the toe bumper, three points for the insecure lacing, five points for the upper material and six points for the poor shape. Therefore, my total score is considered ok, but not that great score for a running shoe.

The technology used for the midsole and outsole are truly game changing.

I hope that Hoka will fix the problems with the upper for future iterations of the Speedgoat. The Speedgoat has the potential to become a spectacular trail running shoe.

Avery Smith | Level 4 expert Verified
Avery has run for about 4 years on all types of terrain, totaling about 80 miles per week when he is not injured. He loves shoes from Brooks, Hoka One One, Altra, La Sportiva, and Merrel. Avery runs every distance, from 100 meters to 100 miles. Notable accomplishments include winning several 5ks and winning his age group in the Leadville 50 by an hour and forty minutes. This year Avery will be competing in the Boston Marathon and the Leadman Competition.

90
/100 by Jose Espinoza Rodriguez, posted on .

I will say that when I decided to test and use/abuse this fat pair of puppies I was somehow pessimistic.

So, what better way to fall in love with some products than run and use it!

 

 

Doing long km sessions for my next ultra, I decided to purchase a pair of this very well. I have to confess that I have been a long time fan of the concept of zero drop and minimalist shoes.

This decision to have the Hoka One One Speedgoat then is like going from black to white, no sense maximalist and a significant drop on this pair.

Design

At first glance, what caught my attention was the outsole. The feel of the rubber of the Vibram in my hands was very positive and nice. The shoes feel light even for a trail running shoe.

What about the upper?

It's superb I will say! From the colors and the shape of the upper to its soft and light feel.

More so, the tongue though not padded is surprisingly not uncomfortable even when you tighten the laces.

 

The Tech Side

Weight: 9.8 oz

Heel-toe drop: 5 mm

For: Neutrals

Cushion: Balanced (I will say sufficiently cushioned!) 

Size fit: Narrow and true to size

Price: $140 

Comfort

Well, some say that what makes a food tasty is just a matter of preference, right?

Somehow feelings in shoes are (mostly in Sports shoes) is something similar. Some will say that they love the rocking chair feeling on this puppies.

On the other hand, others will hate it, simple as that!

As for me, I like it! Even if this was my first try on maximalist shoes (remember that I came from zero drop shoes), but yes, they are comfy and generate confidence to wear and run!

 

Sole & Durability

The super grippy Vibram sole is wonderful!

I tested in different types of terrain: sidewalks, pavement, gravel road, muddy singletracks, river creeks, grass fields, rocky/roots trails, uphill and downhill of course.

The performance of the sole outshines in gravel and muddy trail. Run fast with confidence, this will not disappoint you!

 

 

Way different feelings if you got on the pavement, you can almost hear the roar of the sole friction on the concrete or asphalt.

Again grippy, but surprise! They don’t slow you down.

Performance

Overall, I have to say, love it!

Lightweight feeling, nice grip on the soil, balanced cushion.  What else do you need for the wild trails?

 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Balanced cushion
  • Not too narrow
  • Super grip sole

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Too much cushion for some people
  • Some flex in the side of the upper body in some twisted terrain
  • Laces need better gripping material

Conclusion

trail running shoes for some serious long run on mother earth.

It is a well-finished shoe, has a good-looking design, amazing details/construction and gives you that wonderful feeling when running. And oh, don't forget they feel lightweight!

 

 

If you are into drop shape shoes, you will like it, if you are not in, please have an adaptation period and your calves will thank you or maybe not and try it!

Jose Espinoza Rodriguez | Level 3 expert Verified
Hi! I'm Jose, an avid MTB/Road biker/racer. I've been running trails for more than 25 years now and I average between 50 and 75 k per week plus 200 km on bike road. I've participated in countless ultras, half marathons and a lot of other 10 mile races. Current favorites are Hokas and Altras.

  • The Hoka One One Speedgoat features an improved midsole and outsole especially built for technical terrains. It has a trail-specific outsole with aggressive lugs for impressive grip and flex grooves for enhanced stability.
  • The innovative upper construction of the Speedgoat delivers full support to the forefoot which is also specifically designed for the toughest terrain. The welded synthetic overlays and underlays give added support and lightweight comfort.
  •  

The Speedgoat is available in standard running shoe length. The heel, midfoot and forefoot are in medium volume. It accommodates those with regular foot shape and offers a snug fit to those slightly wide-footed runners. This shoe is available in standard widths.

The outsole of the shoe uses the Vibram Megagrip element that has aggressive lugs and flex grooves, delivering an impressive traction on different surfaces and stability on uneven terrain.  This material also makes its way to the latest iteration of the Speedgoat.

The full ground contact construction of the Speedgoat enhances the traction and gives a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

The injected full-length EVA midsole delivers durable cushioning, delivering a soft underfoot feel and added support. It matches to the Balanced Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry that is designed to increase running efficiency.

The air mesh upper allows excellent airflow, comfort, and breathability. The no-sew construction delivers a seamless interior that reduces the possibilities of irritation and blistering. The welded synthetic overlays and microfiber underlays deliver an additional smooth support structure. This shoe has a ground rubber toe cap that keeps foot well-protected from debris and aberration.

Size and fit

True to size based on 134 user votes
Small (19%)
True to size (80%)
Large (0%)
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Same sizing as Hoka One One Speedgoat 4.

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Size comments

Size fit: Narrow and true to size. - Jose Espinoza Rodriguez, Level 3 expert

How Speedgoat compares

This shoe: 81
All shoes average: 85
59 99
This shoe: $140
All shoes average: $130
$60 $250
This shoe: 9.7oz
All shoes average: 10.4oz
5oz 24oz
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com