Verdict from 8 experts and +100 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • A no-sew construction with a debris screen ensures comfortable and protective coverage to the foot.
  • A good number of runners welcomed the early stage rocker geometry of this shoe as it encourages a better stride.
  • One of the best features of the Mafate Speed is its mid-sole because of its thickness and efficient cushioning components as noted by a few testers.
  • Some support is given to the arch, making every step more cradled.
  • High-abrasion rubber components cover the outsole, which improve the durability and traction of this shoe.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Many of the testers didn’t like the extremely bulky look of this shoe.
  • Some runners felt blisters forming on the tops of their feet because of an inconsistent tongue covering.
  • It has a very high price.

Bottom line

The Hoka One One Mafate Speed is a lightweight running companion. Despite its bulky look, many runners enjoyed the performance of the Mafate Speed. Its cushioning systems are some of the best in the industry and its durability and supportive mechanics are effective.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

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Video reviews

Good to know

  • The Mafate Speed built on the success of the original Mafate with a few changes that should gain the shoe more followers than before. A lighter shoe with better flexibility is a resounding answer to past issues regarding stiffness and weight. This new version has a more adaptable upper and a less stiff sole. The weight reduction may not be much, but it greatly enhances a shoe that is anchored heavily on maximum cushioning and outsole protection.
  • Hoka also made a very subtle change in the upper that makes it an upgrade over the prior model. With a lowered ankle collar, the ankle has lesser chances of getting blisters as it sinks into the plush cushioning of this shoe.
  • Traction gets a boost in the Mafate Speed as well. Hoka uses a new sticky compound that ramps up the performance of this shoe on wet rocks and technical trail.

An anatomically-based last ensures a really comfortable fit from the heel to the forefoot without being sloppy. The toe box has both the necessary width and adequate volume for runners of different foot types to really take advantage of. Medium is Hoka’s offered weight for the Mafate Speed. Sizing is regular and offered in options 6 to 14 for the men’s and 4 to 11 for the women’s.

The outsole stands out because of the numerous substantial and aggressive lugs scattered throughout, including huge ones on the perimeter. Hoka’s versatile and durable RMAT material, which is made of proprietary elements, gives it a long-lasting performance on the trail. With a new outsole compound for its traction, the outsole becomes the Mafate Speed’s most impressive part.

The RMAT material continues to the midsole for exceptional durability and added cushioning. Hoka utilizes the HIP CMEVA or its own version of a compression-molded EVA for sufficient cushioning with a dose of responsiveness. The oversized foam in the midsole acts as a wall that actively guides and supports the foot with each stride. This shoe offers the early meta-rocker sole or the slight curve of the sole just below the metatarsals for better flexibility and enhanced heel to toe movement. The Salomon Speedcross 5 features a platform that is close to height with the Hoka One One Mafate Speed.

The no-sew upper uses an AirMesh with excellent breathability and welded overlays for support. Part of the Mafate Speed’s trail-specific protection scheme is the mesh. It is an anti-debris mesh that prevents even fine dirt from entering the shoe. Hoka’s Race Lace System allows a quick and convenient way in getting the best fit.

How Mafate Speed compares

This shoe: 83
All shoes average: 82
55 94
This shoe: £160
All shoes average: £120
£60 £230
This shoe: 292g
All shoes average: 296g
179g 680g
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.