Our verdict

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX aims to retain the strengths of its regular version while adding a waterproof membrane. However, in our experience, it lands in a middle ground. While it maintains the same stability, grip, and cushioning as the non-waterproof version, the addition of Gore-Tex makes the shoe noticeably heavier and less agile. But for those seeking a comfortable, waterproof, and surprisingly breathable trail running shoe, the Speedgoat 5 GTX stands out as a top choice. We really liked its balanced approach, and for runners prioritizing comfort and all-weather readiness, this Hoka could be the go-to option.

Pros

  • Plush, cushioned midsole
  • Exceptional stability
  • Remarkable breathability for a Gore-Tex shoe
  • Spacious enough for most foot types
  • Well-suited for ultra marathons
  • Superior grip on easy and moderate trails
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole
  • Utilizes recycled materials in the upper

Cons

  • Simply too heavy
  • Midsole hardens noticeably in cold temperatures
  • Could benefit from increased flexibility

Audience verdict

82
Good!

Who should buy

We concluded that the Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX is an excellent choice for:

  • Enthusiasts of Hoka trail shoes looking for a waterproof addition to their collection.
  • Runners seeking a versatile, Gore-Tex running shoe that's capable on trails and even occasional road use.
  • Trail runners in need of a winter-ready shoe with a Vibram Megagrip outsole for enhanced grip.
  • Those looking for a Gore-Tex shoe that also offers good breathability.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX

Who should NOT buy

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX is undeniably heavy, and there's no getting around that fact. If lightness is your priority, we think it's a good idea to skip the waterproof feature due to the Gore-Tex membrane's weight.

In this case, we suggest considering the non-GTX Speedgoat 5 or the Nike Pegasus Trail 4. For ultra runners prioritizing speed and a carbon plate over waterproofing, the Nike Ultrafly is worth a look.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX

Another aspect that didn't impress us in the lab was the Speedgoat 5 GTX's performance on extremely challenging terrains, like mud. For such conditions, a shoe with larger, chevron-shaped lugs, like the Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX, will offer superior performance.

Breathability

The Speedgoat 5 GTX features a double-layer jacquard mesh with a Gore-Tex membrane. From our lab testing experiences with Gore-Tex shoes, we expected a low score in breathability—typically a 1 out of 5. But, to our surprise, the Speedgoat 5 GTX earned a 3 out of 5!

Why the higher score? While the toebox lacks airflow, Hoka opened up the tongue, allowing effective heat and moisture escape.

However, water can enter the shoe through the ventilated tongue. So, we recommend not submerging the shoe beyond that level.

When we held the upper to the light, the toebox and medial parts' lack of ventilation was evident—no light passed through.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX microscope

For more evidence, we headed to our lab's microscope.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX micro

There, we saw the thick, dense mesh we anticipated. After leaving the microscope, we examined the Speedgoat's unique construction.

Unlike most shoes, Hoka positioned the GTX membrane inside rather than outside the upper. Additionally, the mesh is made of 44% recycled materials, which is always a big plus!

Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 3
Average 3.3
Compared to 71 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The TPU overlays on the Speedgoat 5 GTX hinted at an impressive result—they cover a significant portion of the mesh.

True to our expectations, in our Dremel test, this shoe scored a 4 out of 5, nearly acing it. You can look forward to exceptional durability, even if you're hitting hard, rocky trails.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Toebox durability
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 4
Average 3.1
Compared to 51 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Riding high on the success of our last test, we turned our attention to the heel for another round with the Dremel.

And once again, the Speedgoat 5 GTX impressed us with its stellar performance, elevating it well above the average trail running shoe!

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Heel padding durability
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 4
Average 2.8
Compared to 49 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The outsole, manufactured by the Italian company Vibram, features an 86.0 HC rubber in terms of hardness.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Vibram

It seems like they're aiming for a balance between grip and durability.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Outsole hardness
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 86.0 HC
Average 85.2 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
72.5 HC
Outsole hardness
95.0 HC

Outsole durability

In our final Dremel test, we put the rubber to the ultimate challenge.

After a brutal test, we examined the results—it was a draw! With a 1.1-mm indentation, the outcome was decent but not extraordinary.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Outsole durability
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 1.1 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 44 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

With a 2.5-mm thickness, the outsole of the Speedgoat 5 GTX has enough rubber to ensure long-lasting wear, judging from our previous results. There's nothing to worry about here, so let's move on.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Outsole thickness
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 2.5 mm
Average 2.4 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.5 mm

Weight

Here's where it gets interesting. In the lab, the Speedgoat 5 GTX weighed in at 11.3 oz or 319g. In comparison, the non-GTX Speedgoat 5 is lighter, tipping the scales at 9.77 oz or 277g. This means it's 15% lighter.

So, the question is, do you need waterproofing enough to give up 1.5 oz of lightness?

Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 11.25 oz (319g)
Average 10.34 oz (293g)
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
7.51 oz (213g)
Weight
13.37 oz (379g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The Speedgoat 5 GTX, with its 34.6 mm stack height, offers a high cushioning level, enabling runners to tackle long distances on trails. It's even suitable for those ultra races with river crossings or wet conditions.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Heel stack
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 34.6 mm
Average 32.2 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
16.1 mm
Heel stack
42.4 mm

Forefoot stack

In the forefoot, we measured 27.6 mm, which is above the average and provides a fantastic amount of protection.

Midfoot and forefoot strikers can be confident they'll have plenty of cushioning!

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Forefoot stack
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 27.6 mm
Average 24.3 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
15.2 mm
Forefoot stack
33.9 mm

Drop

We noticed a 7.0-mm drop from the forefoot to the heel, which is quite different from Hoka's stated 4-mm drop. But remember, in our lab, we stick to World Athletics guidelines. 

It's interesting to see these differences between what brands say and our findings. To understand more about why this happens, check out our detailed guide.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Drop
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 7.0 mm
Average 8.0 mm
Compared to 93 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.1 mm
Drop
17.3 mm

Insole thickness

Hoka uses an average insole in this model. It's pretty standard, feeling normal with a thickness of 4.5 mm, which is typical for most running shoes.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Insole thickness
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 4.5 mm
Average 4.8 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
2.7 mm
Insole thickness
9.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

In the midsole, we found CMEVA foam. This means no superfoams like PEBA for the Speedgoat 5 yet, and we don't expect them anytime soon.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX

But, this foam performs really well, definitely enhancing the performance compared to regular EVA foam.

It's bouncy, comfortable, and softer than many running shoes. It scored 19.4 HA on our durometer test. To get an accurate result, we measured it after cutting the shoe in half, which is a necessary step.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Midsole softness
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 19.4 HA
Average 23.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 70 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
9.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
39.0 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

To check how cold temperatures might change the Speedgoat 5 GTX feel, we put it in the freezer for 20 minutes before testing it once more.

After leaving the ice cream alone, the shoe was noticeably firmer, registering 30.3 HA on our test.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 30.3 HA
Average 29.4 HA
Compared to 70 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
11.8 HA
Midsole softness in cold (soft to firm)
48.4 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

This shows a mind-blowing 56.2% difference, which clearly highlights the underperformance of the CMEVA midsole in this test, just as we expected based on our research.

For a trail shoe with a premium, cold-resistant midsole, check the Saucony Endorphin Edge.

Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 56.2%
Average 26.6%
Compared to 70 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Regarding stability, the Speedgoat 5 GTX offers the same reliable, steady experience as its non-waterproof counterpart.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX

While it's not specifically designed as a stability shoe, even runners needing a bit of support will find they fare quite well in this shoe.

Torsional rigidity

A significant part of the stability in the Speedgoat 5 GTX comes from its high torsional rigidity.

We rated it 4 out of 5, indicating it's quite substantial. So keep in mind that it may feel a bit stiff for those looking for a more flexible trail running experience.

Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 4
Average 3.5
Compared to 88 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter seemed pretty average to us, offering enough flexibility to be comfortable for any runner. We gave it a 3 out of 5 score, which aligns with most trail shoes. It shows that Hoka chose a safe, risk-free approach here.

Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

One of the most celebrated aspects of the Speedgoat series is its stability, which might surprise runners at first glance.

Hoka manages to deliver fantastic stability, largely thanks to the previously mentioned torsional stiffness and also the shoe's impressive width. Measuring 116.7 mm, it provides a generous landing platform, effectively preventing the foot from collapsing laterally.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 116.7 mm
Average 111.8 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
102.1 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

This benefit isn't just for forefoot strikers.

With 95.3 mm in the heel, the shoe also offers the same width in the rearfoot. This makes it suitable for heel strikers who have mild pronation issues.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 95.3 mm
Average 89.5 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
77.2 mm
Midsole width in the heel
109.3 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Since it doesn't have a rock plate or a carbon-fiber plate, we expected a low value in our 90-degree bend test, where we assess the shoe's longitudinal stiffness.

Indeed, we ended up with a pretty average value of 29.8N.

Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 29.8N
Average 28.8N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
10.5N
Stiffness
54.5N

Stiffness in cold

We repeated the test after freezing the shoe for 20 minutes, similar to what we did with the midsole softness test. This time, the result came in at 34.3N.

Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 34.3N
Average 39.2N
Compared to 91 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
11.9N
Stiffness in cold
92.1N

Difference in stiffness in cold

That's just a 15.4% difference, showing a very impressive performance from the CMEVA foam, especially compared to what we saw with the midsole softness. This is a good result.

Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 15.4%
Average 36.5%
Compared to 91 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
102%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

The Speedgoat 5 GTX is a trail running shoe designed to handle all kinds of terrain. Its 3.5 mm lugs are of average length, versatile enough to manage wet, sticky single tracks and still perform well on harder, packed trails.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX outsole

Vibram Megagrip outsole, although not the lighter Litebase edition. Maybe for the Speedgoat 6?

We tested the shoe across a wide range of terrains. From our experience, it performed at its best on easy-to-moderate trails and gravel roads.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Lug depth
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 3.5 mm
Average 3.5 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.7 mm
Lug depth
5.8 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

The fit is very comfortable, but don't expect a shoe crafted for those with wide feet.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX

At 99.1 mm, it's designed to be comfortable but, at the same time, to enhance stability. We think this is the right approach for this shoe. However, if you plan on racing ultras, consider going half size up.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 99.1 mm
Average 98.8 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
92.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
104.9 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The area around the big toe isn't very tapered, measuring 79.1 mm. It offers a regular fit, maybe slightly roomier than other Hokas.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 79.1 mm
Average 78.7 mm
Compared to 56 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
70.5 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

As a Gore-Tex shoe, we anticipated nothing less than a fully gusseted tongue, and Hoka certainly delivered.

With this feature, debris and water will have a tough time getting into the shoe.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

In the tongue padding department, the Speedgoat 5 GTX is quite lean, with only 2.9 mm of padding.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX tongue

This is on the lower side, so those who often have issues with the instep should be careful when tightening the laces on this shoe. Or you can try an alternative lacing technique from our guide.

However, aside from that, it does its job well, providing great functionality and the added bonus of weight savings.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Tongue padding
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX 2.9 mm
Average 6.4 mm
Compared to 94 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
12.2 mm

Heel tab

The Speedgoat 5 doesn't have a heel tab, but like many Hoka shoes, it features a swallowtail that can be pulled if needed. It's not enough to call it heel tab, but you can definitely grab it.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Heel tab
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX None

Removable insole

The insole is fully removable since it's not glued to the midsole, which is great! 

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Removable insole
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Not having any reflective elements on a trail running shoe is a downside for us. We're not too keen on that.

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Reflective elements
Test results
Speedgoat 5 GTX No