Our verdict

The Speedgoat 6 aims to replicate and refine the massive success of its predecessor—and we think it stands a fair chance of doing that. We were pleased to find that it retains the versatility, grip, and stability of the previous model, but now with increased cushioning at the same weight. However, in our testing, we observed that the midsole's subpar energy return and the upper's poor ventilation render it less suitable for ultra races and diminish its versatility when compared to previous models.

Pros

  • Durable upper
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole
  • Still lightweight for its size
  • Supportive and stable ride
  • Increased cushioning
  • Improved tongue design
  • Still reasonably priced
  • Revamped heel collar

Cons

  • Disappointing breathability
  • Rigidity increase
  • Outsole durability concerns

Audience verdict

61
Bad!

Who should buy

We think the Speedgoat 6 is an excellent choice for:

  • Fans of the Speedgoat 5 looking for a similar feel but with added cushioning for longer runs.
  • Trail runners who often face cold conditions—its lower ventilation excels in cooler climates.
  • Those who prefer a snug fit seeking a versatile trail shoe that works well in dry and wet conditions.

Hoka Speedgoat 6

Who should NOT buy

We think the Speedgoat 6 may not be a wise choice for some runners. For those with wider feet or who prefer a roomier fit, it might not be suitable due to its notably tapered toe area. We recommend considering the Altra Olympus 5 for its spacious feel and Vibram outsole; or the Brooks Caldera 7, which offers superior, plush cushioning.

Additionally, the Speedgoat 6 lacks sufficient energy return and breathability—two crucial attributes for many runners, especially in ultra distances. For those concerned about these aspects, the Nike Zegama 2 is a better alternative, featuring a Vibram Megagrip outsole, springy ZoomX cushioning, and enhanced ventilation, though at a slightly higher price.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 parts

Breathability

Our first assessment of the Speedgoat 6 focused on a crucial feature for ultrarunners, especially during the summer: breathability. Unfortunately, it proved to be a letdown for us. Employing our smoke-pumping machine, we discovered that the SG6 lacked airflow, earning a disappointing 2/5 for airflow.

Driven by curiosity to understand why, we illuminated and examined the sliced upper. Although we found thinner sections, the majority of the shoe is covered with TPU overlays or thicker material and shows little ventilation. This really needs further investigation in our lab.

With those unanswered questions, we turned to our microscope for a deeper look.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 mesh

Here, we unveiled the truth: the new mesh used by Hoka is extremely dense and features basically no ventilation holes. This lack of airflow is ideal for cold conditions but is a major drawback for warmer weather.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 microscope

We also took a detailed look at the upper. It’s well padded, which adds to the comfort, but Hoka opted for a single-layer design that is rare in trail toeboxes. This decision likely stemmed from a desire to prevent any further reduction in airflow.

From our analysis, it’s clear that while the SG6 excels in winter conditions, this shoe is not suited for hot summers.

Test results
Speedgoat 6 2
Average 3.3
Compared to 83 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The limited airflow of the Speedgoat 6 does have a silver lining—it typically results in uppers that are more durable, as they feature fewer weak points like ventilation holes. This is certainly true for the Speedgoat 6.

In our initial Dremel test, we discovered that the toebox was remarkably resistant, scoring an impressive 4/5. This performance not only highlights its durability but also sets it apart from many competitors in terms of toughness.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Toebox durability
Test results
Speedgoat 6 4
Average 3.1
Compared to 63 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

While we had the Dremel running, we took the opportunity to test the heel padding as well—another critical area for many trail runners.

Once again, we encountered a very positive result, with a score of 4 out of 5. This impressive performance elevates the Speedgoat 6 above the majority of trail running shoes on the market.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Heel padding durability
Test results
Speedgoat 6 4
Average 2.9
Compared to 61 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

After mixed results in breathability and durability, we now turn our attention to the outsole of the Speedgoat.

Hoka has renewed its partnership with the Italian-based, industry-leading company Vibram, featuring once more a Megagrip outsole that provides exceptional traction across various conditions and surfaces.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Vibram

In our initial evaluation, we used our Shore C durometer to measure the rubber's hardness. We discovered that it registers at an average 84.5 HC, indicating a balance between durability and flexibility.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Outsole hardness
Test results
Speedgoat 6 84.5 HC
Average 85.4 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
72.5 HC
Outsole hardness
95.0 HC

Outsole durability

In our third and final Dremel test, we doubled the tool's speed to rigorously challenge the rubber, maintaining consistency with our standard testing protocol across all running shoes.

The results were somewhat disappointing. While Vibram Megagrip is known for its durability, the 1.4 mm dent we observed is less than satisfactory—it's not terrible, but it does fall short of our expectations and could suggest reduced longevity of the outsole.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Outsole durability
Test results
Speedgoat 6 1.4 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 56 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

We discovered that the outsole of the Speedgoat 6 is thicker than typically seen in trail shoes at 3.1 mm.

This might seem unusual to most, but it makes sense to us here in the lab. After testing the rubber with the Dremel, it became clear that the Speedgoat 6 requires this extra thickness to compensate for its durability challenges.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Outsole thickness
Test results
Speedgoat 6 3.1 mm
Average 2.4 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.9 mm
Outsole thickness
6.5 mm

Weight

When we first tested the Speedgoat 6 on the trails, it neither felt lightweight nor heavy—it struck a fine balance, much like its predecessor, version 5.

Back in the lab, we were impressed to find that Hoka managed to keep the shoe under the 10 oz benchmark, despite an increase in cushioning. We recorded a weight of 9.8 oz or 278g, which is quite remarkable!

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Weight
Test results
Speedgoat 6 9.81 oz (278g)
Average 10.30 oz (292g)
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
7.51 oz (213g)
Weight
13.37 oz (379g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

It appears that nowadays, when a brand updates a shoe line, the cushioning just increases, and the Speedgoat is no exception.

The creases in the midsole are intentionally designed to enhance midsole compression.

From the previous 27.5 mm in the heel of version 5, we've noted a significant increase. The latest version boasts a heel height of 32.1 mm, which is a considerable boost of 4.6 mm. This enhancement significantly boosts its appeal for long-distance runners and those who strike with their heels.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Heel stack
Test results
Speedgoat 6 32.1 mm
Average 32.2 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
16.1 mm
Heel stack
42.4 mm

Forefoot stack

In the forefoot, we noted a similar increase in stack height, which will be ideal for heavier individuals who found the cushioning of the SG5 a bit lacking for ultra distances.

At 27.2 mm, this enhanced cushioning sounds perfect for tackling multi-hour challenges.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Forefoot stack
Test results
Speedgoat 6 27.2 mm
Average 24.5 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
15.2 mm
Forefoot stack
33.9 mm

Drop

Hoka claims that the Speedgoat 6 features a 5-mm heel-to-toe drop, and our measurements of 4.9 mm confirm this with impressive accuracy—a testament to Hoka's precise manufacturing. We often encounter much larger deviations in other shoes!

The 5 mm offset represents the classic low-to-moderate drop that Hoka usually features. We think this is a smart approach, as anything less might not suit heel strikers well, while a higher drop could prove less effective on technical terrains. And the Speedgoat is designed to perform excellently across all types of environments.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Drop
Test results
Speedgoat 6 4.9 mm
Average 7.8 mm
Compared to 105 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.1 mm
Drop
17.3 mm

Insole thickness

The insole of the shoe is quite basic, featuring a mere 4.3 mm of thickness.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Insole thickness
Test results
Speedgoat 6 4.3 mm
Average 4.7 mm
Compared to 106 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.

We had high hopes that Hoka would upgrade the Speedgoat 6 with a superior supercritical foam like that used in the best-selling Mach 6. Unfortunately, they have continued to use the CMEVA (Compression-Molded EVA) midsole, a choice that proved to be a significant disappointment for us.

While CMEVA is somewhat better than standard EVA, it falls short of the performance enhancements offered by supercritical EVA, not to mention the premium PEBA foams.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 foam

For those who enjoy peppy, energy-returning foams, we believe the Speedgoat 6 may be underwhelming, and we recommend upgrading to the Mafate Speed 4. However, if energy return isn't a priority for you, this CMEVA foam will excel in durability, and provides a balanced feel underfoot, measured at 20.1 HA with our durometer.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Midsole softness
Test results
Speedgoat 6 20.1 HA
Average 22.7 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 82 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
9.1 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
39.0 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After subjecting the SG6 to a 20-minute stint in the freezer, we tested its softness again and were happy with the outcome. The shoe demonstrated only a 23% increase in firmness, showcasing exceptional cold-weather performance for an EVA-based model.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Speedgoat 6 23%
Average 26.4%
Compared to 82 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Rocker

The Speedgoat 5 was already known for its rockered sole—for being a trail shoe—which facilitates smooth heel-to-toe transitions, and we discovered that version 6 not only retains this feature but also boosts it slightly in the forefoot.

While this adjustment is subtle, it's also necessary to counteract the reduced flexibility caused by the thicker midsole.

Stability

Lateral stability test

The Speedgoat series has long been celebrated for its versatility on the trails, and we've also found it to be remarkably stable compared to other trail shoes—a feature that often goes unnoticed. And that's not fair.

We discovered that version 6 has improved stability even further. Let’s explore why.

Torsional rigidity

One of the significant updates Hoka has introduced to enhance stability in the Speedgoat is by increasing its rigidity, scoring a maximum 5/5 on our scale—even without the inclusion of a plate. While this boosts stability, it's a double-edged sword; the added rigidity can make the shoe less suited for technical terrain and somewhat reduces comfort.

Test results
Speedgoat 6 5
Average 3.5
Compared to 100 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Another step towards enhanced stability in the Speedgoat 6 is the heel counter.

The previous SG5 featured a pliable, soft counter that we rated at 2/5, but the sixth version is notably stiffer, earning a 3/5 from us. However, it remains quite average, similar to those found in everyday road trainers, which means it's unlikely to bother your Achilles tendon.

Test results
Speedgoat 6 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 98 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The Speedgoat remains a substantial shoe in terms of size, measuring 117.7 mm in the forefoot, similar to its predecessor. This dimension provides a broad landing base, enhancing stability across various terrains and maintaining the same supportive feel as the previous generation.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 step

However, the downside of this design choice is that the shoe lacks the agility and speed of shoes like the Zinal 2. But as we've found, there's a trail shoe for every scenario!

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Speedgoat 6 117.7 mm
Average 112.1 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
102.1 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel of the SG6 is slightly narrower than in previous models, yet it still measures a notably wide 94.1 mm under our digital calipers—wider than most trail shoes. 

This substantial width is highly effective in stabilizing the heel for runners who land on this part of the foot.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Speedgoat 6 94.1 mm
Average 89.7 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
77.2 mm
Midsole width in the heel
109.3 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We previously discovered that the torsional rigidity of the Speedgoat 6 resembles that of carbon-plated shoes. But what about its longitudinal stiffness?

Using our standardized 90-degree bend test, we found it has a comfortably standard stiffness, which is quite reassuring. A super-stiff Speedgoat would have been disappointing, as this shoe is meant to offer both comfort and versatility.

Test results
Speedgoat 6 28.6N
Average 28.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
10.5N
Stiffness
54.5N

Difference in stiffness in cold

We placed the SG6 in our freezer for another 20 minutes and then re-tested its stiffness.

What we discovered was okay—a 34.8% increase in stiffness that was definitely noticeable but not concerning.

Test results
Speedgoat 6 34.8%
Average 35.1%
Compared to 103 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
102%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

The Megagrip outsole incorporates the latest technology from Vibram for enhanced grip—Traction Lugs. These micro-protruding dots on the sides of each 4.0-mm lug significantly boost traction, proving especially effective during sharp turns or steep inclines.

While Hoka has revamped the rubber placement, the shape, depth, and orientation of the lugs have remained largely unchanged. 

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Lugs

This design consistency has continued to work wonders, maintaining its acclaimed effectiveness from past versions.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Lug depth
Test results
Speedgoat 6 4.0 mm
Average 3.6 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.7 mm
Lug depth
5.8 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Hoka is known for its narrow toeboxes, yet in our initial test, we were surprised to discover a measurement of 99.8 mm. This dimension is considerably wide, especially since the Speedgoat 6 we purchased is a standard width (D), although it's also available in a Wide size (2E).

The vertical toebox volume is adequate. Although the Speedgoat traditionally favors a performance fit, we discovered there's still enough room for toe movement.

Does this imply that the toebox is spacious? In our experience, it feels akin to an average trail shoe in this area. However, a single measurement doesn't fully capture the toebox's roominess—we need to conduct more tests to draw a definitive conclusion.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Speedgoat 6 99.8 mm
Average 98.8 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
92.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
104.9 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

While the widest part of the upper was surprisingly spacious, the Speedgoat 6 tapers significantly—that's classic Hoka design. Our measurements showed only 74.2 mm in the big toe area. This makes the shoe completely unsuitable for those with square feet.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 upper

In other words, it's the complete opposite of Altra's FootShape design, which is known for accommodating a wider range of foot shapes.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Speedgoat 6 74.2 mm
Average 79.0 mm
Compared to 68 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
70.5 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

While most trail running shoes come with a fully gusseted tongue to block debris, Hoka has chosen a semi-gusseted design for the Speedgoat.

Although this might seem like a slight compromise, it actually suits the shoe's narrow fit quite well, preventing the cramped feeling that a full gusset might cause in those with larger feet.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Speedgoat 6 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

In a shoe designed to excel at long distances, a thin tongue often proves to be a drawback. The Speedgoat 5, with its 2.3 mm tongue, lacked adequate padding.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 tongue

Hoka listened to the feedback from many runners and made significant improvements—kind of. The new version now features a robust 5.2 mm padded tongue—more than double the thickness of its predecessor, strategically placed to cushion the instep where pressure peaks.

However, as can be seen below, the rest of the tongue maintains a super-slim profile, so you still need to be careful tying the laces before every run.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Tongue padding
Test results
Speedgoat 6 5.2 mm
Average 6.4 mm
Compared to 106 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
12.2 mm

Heel tab

Another debated design element of the Speedgoat 5 was the absence of a finger-loop heel tab. However, this issue has been addressed in the Speedgoat 6, which now includes a convenient horizontal tab.

We also want to highlight that the heel has been redesigned to fix the issues with the SG5's flared collar, which occasionally acted like a funnel, collecting debris inside the shoe.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Heel tab
Test results
Speedgoat 6 Finger loop

Removable insole

A delightful feature we loved is the Speedgoat 6 insole. Not only is it removable—it's also perforated, adding a premium touch. 

This design choice is particularly beneficial in this shoe, as we've found that the SG6 lacks airflow. Fortunately, the perforated insole and last allows for heat and moisture to escape from multiple directions.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Removable insole
Test results
Speedgoat 6 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Hoka added reflective elements to the heel—ensuring your competitors can see you as you lead your next ultra.

And it's not just any ordinary reflective detail—it's actually the Speedgoat logo!

Test results
Speedgoat 6 Yes