Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 review
An addition to the Speedgoat lineup, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 is designed for ultrarunning.
There’s a lot of updates in here—some good, some bad, in my opinion. It’s insanely grippy and stable on super technical terrain. It’s also breathable and durable.
The downside is that it’s not the most comfortable and I had some issues with the fit. I think I can make things a little better by having some nicer insoles, and maybe some longer laces. One note: I did change the insoles on my fourth run and that’s helped a lot ever since.
Overall, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 may work for you if you want a firm sole. If you want a plusher version, you may be surprised when you hit the trails with this shoe.
- New upper design
- A bit more volume; wider midfoot and forefoot
- More aggressive outsole design
- Redesigned tongue
Robust upper of the Speedgoat 4
One of the upgraded features of the Speedgoat 4 is its upper. It is more durable and has more resistance to abrasion. It’s also thinner and a lot more breathable than the 3 which is a great update.
However, when it comes to stretch, it is less stretchy than the 3.
Just like other Hokas, the semi-gusseted attachments are like a stretchy neoprene instead of a non-stretchy mesh. The inside of the tongue is also very soft and flexible.
Unlike the previous iteration, the 4th version has a more minimal tongue now; it has been stripped of its padding.
Because of the stretchy materials, you can get a satisfying tongue pull even though it’s gusseted, which I think is a great combo. I normally like minimally padded tongues, but I had some issues with the fit. And I think the minimal padding causes some issues with tightness over the top of my foot.
Compared to the Challenger ATR 6, the laces are better on this one. However, they are pretty standard and I don’t have much comment on this. However, if you lace using the top eyelet for a slip-free heel lockdown, the laces do feel a touch short.
This is a bit stiffer and there’s less ankle padding than the previous iteration. I had some slip until I was able to figure out how to lace the shoe up.
Firm, steady ride
The midfoot and forefoot are a touch wider than the 3’s, and one thing I did notice is that the midsole is very stable. I think the firmer foam is responsible for this.
Because it’s a touch more rigid, it’s not as mushy as other Hokas, meaning it’s much less comfortable than typical Hoka models. It doesn’t also have that cloud-like underfoot feel when you lace it up the first time.
The outsole bites!
Aggressive! This is how I would describe the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4. The lugs are a bit deeper and their positioning has been changed too, which are great updates.
Overall, this was a confidence-inspiring shoe. The grip was amazing and you can CRUSH downhill, knowing these will dig in when needed.
It’s safe to say that my favorite part of the shoe is how well the Vibram Megagrip outsole performed.
Fit of the Hoka Speedgoat 4
As I have mentioned, I had some issues with the fit. The first few runs, I found myself continually relacing the shoe to get it to fit right. I got the 2E and I think the width feels good.
It’s not loose before I lace up; I don’t think I have too much room. The width is fine, but the toe box has a low height that seems to be pressing down on the top of my foot. And since the upper is not that flexible, it’s causing some issues.
Although I still had some room on the lacing structure to tighten it down, my foot just couldn’t find that sweet spot. I also had some heel slip so I tightened the laces. Still had it, so I relaced using the last eyelet.
This solved the issue, but it was too tight around my ankle. My foot went a little numb, so I loosened the laces. Yes, it made me feel better but the upper felt sloppy.
Ultimately, I have been running in the Speedgoat a little loose. Again, this made my foot feel better but it feels loose and sloppy on technical terrain. It really is an odd fit for me.
It misses the mark here. It just doesn’t have that Hoka comfort from other highly cushioned shoes.
Since I don’t really trust brand stats when it comes to weight, I weighed it myself. It's 11.2 oz or 316 grams, gaining some weight, which is always a bad thing.
This is a little heavy, for me. The EVA Speedgoat is almost 2 ounces lighter.
It seems very durable. I attribute this to the midsole and upper changes.
It’s a cool-looking shoe with lots of little design features with the welded overlays and the shape of the midsole. It is not plain, by any means, and I think it looks pretty cool.
Sold at $145, I think it’s very appropriate. I mean, $120 would have been better for a shoe over 11 oz in this category. However, there are some highlights in this shoe like the outsole.
Tip: see the best trail running shoes.