Hoka One One Speedgoat's name originates from Karl ‘Speedgoat’ Meltzer. He is the world record holder with regards to winning trail-races with a distance of 100 miles!
Actually, all you can find in the Speedgoat 3 is a ‘breathing’ Hoka One One—a very cushioned midsole, the ‘metarocker’ shape of the sole and a safe feeling while your feet are perfectly locked into the shoe. Both in going uphill or downhill, these qualities can be fully appreciated.
|Speedgoat 2||Speedgoat 3|
|Weight||Men: 277 grams/Women: 232 grams||Men: 292 grams/Women: 258 grams|
|Height||Forefoot 28mm||Heel: 32mm|
|Type||Neutral trail||Neutral trail|
|Cushioning||Maximum cushioning||Maximum cushioning|
|Price||100-140 Euro||125-140 Euro|
Speedgoat 1 and 2
The first iteration of the Speedgoat was introduced in 2015. This shoe was very cushioned and had an excellent grip. However, there were a lot of remarks, especially on the fit of this shoe. The fit wasn’t comfortable for most (trail) runners.
The Speedgoat 2, introduced in 2017, was a big improvement in all ways. The shoe was fully revised, and as a result, Hoka returned with an almost perfect trail shoe.
I ran several longer trails with this shoe, one of them was 65km including 3500 meters of elevation gain, and I really liked it. Therefore, I was curious about how it could be perfected.
Similarities and differences
The complete midsole in the Speedgoat 3 is the same as in the Speedgoat 2. What is good, doesn’t require a change!
The nice midsole cushioning, in combination with the Vibram© MegaGrip Hi-Traction outsole, is giving a lot of comfort and traction on different terrains.
The ’lugs’ have a length of 5mm and make sure you have a good grip. If you are running on tarmac with these shoes, you’re really ‘sticking’ to the ground, the same feeling you will also have on rocks.
The most significant differences and improvements in this shoe can be found on the upper. What you don’t notice immediately, but is a notable improvement, is that the full tongue is attached to the upper.
In the earlier version, the tongue was only attached to the lower part of it. In that execution, the tongue could slightly move. Now, the full upper construction, including the tongue, completely wraps your foot.
Also, the upper secures your foot better because Hoka decided to use a little bit more material. This combination, from how the tongue is connected to the upper and the wrapping around the foot, makes sure your foot is locked down perfectly. This gives a confident feeling while, for instance, descending a mountain or hill.
It also seems that Hoka used a different material for the upper, which is more durable. However, I couldn’t find proof for that, at least not for the regular Speedgoat 3.
This wasn’t bad for the Speedgoat 2, but somehow it feels more robust. Time will tell if I am correct, but after 50km I don’t see any wear.
Finally, I have a couple of remarks, which should not be forgotten. Like almost all Hoka shoes, the toe box width might be a concern for some runners. The Speedgoat 3 is not available in a wider size (Speedgoat 4 will be!) and might feel too small for some.
There’s a simple trick to get some more space in the forefoot. It might be smart to take a look at the sock liner.
The Speedgoat 3 has a standard sock liner, which is a rather thick one. If you replace this with a thinner one, you will have more space, and the shoe will be approximately 20 grams lighter.
It doesn’t influence the comfort since the shoes have tons of cushioning, and it’s never bad to lose some weight on your foot.
For runners familiar with Hoka shoes, you can simply buy these shoes straight away. But, for newbies, better try them first.
The Speedgoat 3 is an excellent trail shoe with nice cushioning and good traction on different surfaces. The changes to the upper are securing your foot better than before.
The additional weight of approximately 20 grams is neglectable because there’s no negative influence on the running itself. It’s still a light shoe just below 300 grams in a men’s size 9.
The changes Hoka has made were well-thought-of, and in my opinion, the shoe has been improved. This is especially true with the locking of the foot and the durability.
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 is the new version of a successful model. It delivers comfort, and expectations are met.
I did not have the opportunity to try the previous Hoka One One running shoes from this line, but the major updates are the improved comfort, the strengthened upper, and the slightly increased weight.
I do not love maximalist shoes, but the Speedgoat 3 intrigued me because it's considered as the most effective in the category of speed running shoes.
I was not discouraged by the absence of rock plate due to the large amount of material in the sole. True enough, I wasn´t bothered by the rocks or roots under my feet. I never missed a stepped or misstepped.
Even just by looking at the packaging, it is clear that Hoka paid maximum attention to the details, pretty much to my satisfaction.
As mentioned, one of this model's major differences from the previous models is the upper; it now has coating on the largest tip to give greater protection.
The connection system is made more robust by lateral buttresses and slightly refined flat wraps. The wraps is integrated with the upper to avoid annoying translations during the run.
The semi-rigid heel shell adapts itself well to the foot; it wraps it in a firm and reassuring way. Aesthetically, however, the presence of numerous plastic reinforcements makes me very puzzled.
The fit of the Speedgoat 3 is much improved compared to the 2.
The slightly wider toe box provided enough room for the foot to sit nicely and securely without having the toes being pushed up against the front of the shoe, even on descents. The tip is very compact, and the shoe is fairly true to size.
The 33mm heel midsole is reinforced by a wide transverse extension, making the shoe very voluminous and cushiony. The shoe could be unstable for those who are not used to it, and this is true even if the difference of only 4 mm helps with natural mobility and agility.
The active foot frame also contributes to foot protection, always bringing it back into place with ease.
The foot sinks into the rubber with each stride. As I said, the absence of the rock plate is not felt; the midsole optimally absorbs the unevenness of the bottom, guaranteeing a large comfortable surface.
That setup, however, compromised reactivity and speed; a lot of energy is dispersed upon impact and not returned.
The Speedgoat 3 is listed by Hoka as a neutral runner. This is not known as a cushiony shoe. This is a shoe that is built for comfort, less agility, and not for speed and reactivity.
With a large support surface and a great ability to copy the bottom, the shoe holds well on all fronts. The Vibram Megagrip high-traction outsole with 5mm lugs definitely gives you a sense of control as you cruise over technical terrain. The multi-directional lugs grip the surface enough for running through wet rock, slick terrain, and mud.
I think there are no relevant differences between the Speedgoat 2 and 3. There was no good reason to change the outsole; so the lugs, their depth, and even the material remain the same.
It works well in lots of different types of terrain and weather conditions, both dry and wet.
This is the bad! My experience with the Speedgoat 3 was really awful; after 200 hundred miles, the ousole has collapsed and the shoes became flat. The upper, however, still looks like new.
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 is very suitable for long distances. It performs well on technical routes, even downhill on the "up and down" routes on singletrack or carter with stony bottoms.
This is a shoe that is suitable for all types of athletes. It withstands very long runs in any condition. You’ll reach your goals with the feet rested.
I would recommend the Speedgoat 3 to anyone who has experienced any lower body injuries or just prone to injuries. I use it also on the treadmill.
Let me now give my last score, and that is 79 on a 100-point scale due to durability and slowness.
On my typical morning runs, involving up to 40% road terrain, these shoes provide a cozy cloud on which to float, never eliciting a scolding from my knees.
On steep downhills of mud and dirt trails, this really makes a difference. The shoes have no problem trotting slowly back up.
Twenty mile days on the rocky (and snowy) trails of the early summer Sierras cruised by underfoot--in short, I’m ready to get engaged.
Long days on rocky surfaces still have left me comfortable and not terribly fatigued. Although, I’ll note that I have not tried swift movements over grapefruit-sized jagged rocks found in some trails.
I believe that the Hoka SpeedGoat would perform as well as any trail runner, though.
Labeled as a trail running shoe with 4mm heel-toe drop, SpeedGoat seems low for a road runner. Regardless, these Hokas are still currently my top pick for any terrain.
Even though the road may not be ideal for the softer rubber soles, the thick cushion of the shoe is more comfortable than any road runner that I have ever tried.
The uphill traction of these shoes is something I’ve heard lauded by many. In fact, I’ve even talked to someone who claimed to climb 5.9 in them. I just might believe him.
I felt extremely secure on rocky terrain. With their shallower lugs, this is what the Hokas were designed for. However, dirt trails and fine gravel were also no problem.
This suggests that these lugs can handle more than what meets the eye.
The one arena in which the SpeedGoat falls short is durability. I’ve been running in them for only the past month and a half.
This is several hundred miles. Still, I’m surprised to see the treads, particularly on the outer heel, wearing away.
Perhaps I'm naive? What I suspect is that the road sections, which comprises 30% of my running route, are the culprit.
Sense of Adventure
I have taken these shoes in snow and through streams. While they certainly are not waterproof (and do not claim to be), they dry very quickly given a warmer day.
Also, these do not create the ‘aquarium’ sensation (i.e. colonizing sea monkeys and several snails on each foot).
On snow, my foot remained dry. But, this is very dependent on conditions. I felt reasonably secure traversing on snow and didn’t worry about sinking in an inch or two.
An all-terrain vehicle, these Hokas are easy to adore. They are more versatile than they should be.
However, it is advised to minimize their exposure to road simply for longevity purposes (and get another pair exclusively for road, haha ;) Well, I might).
For my upcoming trip to Rocky Mountain National Park and Pikes Peak, I’ll be bringing these shoes. Equipped with gaiters, I think I can leave the hiking boots at home.
The Hoka One One SpeedGoat 3 are my favorite shoes of my life---so far. And, no, I don’t say that about every successive pair I try on.
They have excellent cushion that would keep any runner comfortable on the road, not to mention for the demanding downhills of trail running. However, running on roads may wear down the soles.
Indeed, they are intended as a trail runner and have the traction to drive up a hill of rock or dirt. I feel secure in them, despite it lacking the sensitivity of a minimalist shoe.
Another downside is that their long and comfortable toe box can cause clumsiness at times. For instance, I once tripped on a root and hobbled a mile crying softly afterwards, but it was still fun.
Ideally, these could be ultramarathon shoes, though any runner unconcerned about sensitivity would find them excellent for shorter runs.
They also hold up to long days in the mountains and make sure that you hold up too. Gaiters came in handy, with it the shoes caught very little debris.
I will buy another pair of these--once the lugs on my current pair wear out. I’ll convert them to road running shoes and use a fresh pair just for the trails. My knees and I are excited.
I started running again recently, and since then, I run more frequently (3-4 times a week). I like running on the road, and I love running on the trails because of their soft surface.
I can assure you that I spent a lot of time while going over each shoe on my list. SG3 finally made it to the finish line, and I purchased one.
My knees are a little problematic for me over the years, even though I’m an active person and participated in multiple sports. I expect extra cushion from shoes to absorb some of the impacts and relieve some pain.
After a long run, the last thing you want is to have a painful knee instead of that nice sore muscles. Hoka shoes are known for their high cushions, and SG3 doesn’t disappoint a bit with its 32mm heel height and 28mm forefoot height.
I heard from some people that it is high, and they feel like wearing high heel shoes. I found them soft and wide enough to cover the needed ground. It actually helps me to run more stable without hurting my joints.
Let’s talk about the outsole. Vibram rubber outsole on these shoes provides an excellent grip.
I ran so far 38 miles with SG3 on dry fire dirt roads, single tracks on wet forest (some parts were muddy). I didn’t have a bit of any traction problem, no slippage, no ankle roll, no drama.
The space left under the heel looks a little worrisome if you are running on gravel roads or rocky mountains. I’m hoping 32mm of cushion can protect your foot from sharp rock edges.
I don’t have wide feet and always wear D (M). I felt a little snug while putting them on, but when it is in I felt comfortable.
I don’t like it when my foot is loose and moves inside shoes. SG3 gave me a nice wrap around my foot. I didn’t have any blisters even after 3-4 hours of running.
If you have a problem with some D size shoes, you obviously may want to consider wider sizes for SG3.
The mesh upper accomplishes breathability just fine until now. I need to test these shoes when the weather reaches over 70°F to have a full opinion. Let’s see if it can perform the same way in hotter weather.
I liked its soft upper material and tongue. They don’t pinch your foot after tying your shoes. It also has a firmer front to save your toes from smashing them while running.
I usually run half marathon distances, and SG3 can take you to the finish line without any trouble. SG3 is definitely the Jeep of trail running shoes! As long as it fits, you cannot go wrong with them.
If you are going to spend over $100 for a trail running shoe and if you are a newbie like me, maybe it is better to go with the safe bet. SG3 fulfilled my expectations and my current use.
I’m sure once I start longer distances and different terrains, then I will consider other options.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with the initial quality of SG3. It has great cushioning, which I was looking for.
I can enjoy long runs without pain, and it shortens my recovery time after. It’s a solid and comfortable shoe for trail running.
By the way before making your decision, consider newly released Speedgoat 4.
Good to know
- Trail runners praised the overall performance and design of the older version of the Hoka One One Speedgoat. The new Speedgoat features minimal changes in its design and runners can still expect the same performance on the trail.
- The upper of the Hoka Speedgoat 3 has been revamped to enhance fit, comfort, and durability. The overlays were improved and the tongue is integrated into the upper to keep it in place through the running activity.
In the outsole of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 is the Vibram Megagrip material. This outsole element gives durability to the shoe. It also provides traction on varied trail surfaces.
The sturdy Vibram Megagrip outsole has 5mm lugs that provides exceptional grip on both soft and hard trail surfaces. The aggressive lugs and durable traction offer runner stability especially on uneven trails.
Flex grooves are also strategically placed in the outsole without affecting the shoe’s cushioning and sole durability. The groves provide the foot freedom to move while running.
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 has a wider platform for stability, and it uses an oversized EVA midsole for lightweight, balanced cushioning. The midsole is designed to be soft and durable for trail running.
Along with the oversized EVA midsole is the CMEVA foam specifically added for balanced cushioning. The CMEVA foam absorbs impact during landing and it provides the foot a more stable platform for an efficient transition through the gait cycle.
Just like the older version, the upper of the Speedgoat 2 is made of an engineered mesh. The mesh is lightweight and it effectively keeps the foot well-ventilated through the running session. The perforations on the upper offer maximum breathability without compromising support and durability.
The reinforced overlays on the midfoot offer a comfortable foot lockdown. The lightweight overlays have been revamped for a more secure fit and these overlays worked perfectly with the heel support to further lock the foot while running.
The integrated tongue and heel collar are moderately padded. They deliver additional comfort and further enhance the overall fit of the shoe.
The reinforced toe cap delivers added durability while protecting the foot from debris and other sharp trail elements.
- The Hoka One One Speedgoat model was named after Karl Meltzer, known as “The Speedgoat, who holds the record for the most 100-mile trail race wins.
- The first version of the Speedgoat was released in 2015.
- The Hoka Speedgoat 3 is also available in a waterproof version. Designed for trail running, the shoe features a balanced cushioning, a grippy outsole, and a waterproof coverage that is made possible by the SKYSHELL waterproof membrane.