Our verdict

Our review revealed the Hoka Torrent 3 as a harmoniously balanced and affordably priced option from Hoka. Perfect for smoother trails such as fire roads or gravel paths, this shoe shines with its lightweight build, stable ProFly foam, and a durable outsole. Yet, for longer distances or technical trails, it falls short in providing the necessary cushioning and grip. While we believe it may not be the go-to shoe for die-hard trail enthusiasts or ultramarathon runners, it stands out as a versatile and dependable choice for many runners.

Pros

  • Exceptionally stable
  • Excels on nearly all dry terrains
  • Lower stack height offers a more natural ride
  • Adaptable across various running paces
  • Reasonably priced
  • Excellent performance in winter conditions
  • Incredibly durable outsole
  • Comfortable upper

Cons

  • Lacks a rock plate
  • Not suitable for ultras
  • Too rigid for technical trails

Audience verdict

80
Good!

Who should buy

We highly recommend the Torrent 3 for:

  • Hoka road running shoe enthusiasts venturing into trail running for the first time.
  • Runners seeking a versatile trail shoe that outperforms road-to-trail options.
  • Trail runners with mild stability needs in search of a comfortable and long-lasting training partner.

Hoka Torrent 3

Who should NOT buy

If budget isn't a major concern, we believe there are superior options with additional features such as a Vibram outsole and enhanced cushioning. For example, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 or the Hoka Tecton X 2 are excellent alternatives.

Additionally, the Torrent 3 isn't the ideal choice for ultra distances, whether in racing or training.

Hoka Torrent 3

In those scenarios, shoes with more responsive and thicker cushioning are preferable. Models like the Nike Ultrafly or the Saucony Endorphin Edge provide a ride that's both protective and more responsive, thanks to their premium cushioning.

Breathability

The importance of lab testing shoes, like we do at RunRepeat, becomes clear in situations like our experience with the Hoka Torrent 3.

At first glance, the upper appears extremely breathable—there are huge ventilation holes in the toebox and a thin mesh. However, we were surprised when we used our smoke machine on the shoe.

The airflow was clearly more limited than we expected from its appearance. We rated it a 3 out of 5.

When we held the shoe under the light, it seemed really breathable again, thanks to the thin mesh—not just in the toebox but also in the medial zone.

Hoka Torrent 3 microscope

We then used a microscope to take a closer look at the mesh. We saw the ventilation holes but noticed there's a mesh layer beneath them, which restricts pure airflow.

Hoka Torrent 3 close up microscope

It's true that for a trail running shoe, breathability isn't critical, and even sometimes unwanted. Yet, this shoe could have easily scored a 4 out of 5 in our test if the internal fabric had also been perforated.

Test results
Torrent 3 3
Average 3.3
Compared to 78 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

After completing our breathability test, we shifted focus to evaluating the durability of the upper. 

Our Dremel did cause some damage, but it wasn't enough to create a full hole in the engineered mesh. Thanks to this, the Torrent 3 impressively scored a solid 3 out of 5 in our durability test.

Hoka Torrent 3 Toebox durability
Test results
Torrent 3 3
Average 3
Compared to 58 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We then shifted our attention to evaluating the heel padding's durability with another round of Dremel testing.

This time, the outcome was disappointing. The heel fabric could only muster a below-average score of 2 out of 5, falling short of our expectations.

Hoka Torrent 3 Heel padding durability
Test results
Torrent 3 2
Average 2.8
Compared to 56 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

After examining the toebox and heel, we turned our attention to the outsole, a crucial component in all trail shoes.

Hoka Torrent 3 outsole

Unlike other Hoka trail shoes, the Torrent 3 doesn't sport a Vibram outsole, but this is totally reasonable given its more affordable price within the lineup.

We discovered that the outsole has an average hardness, measuring 84.0 on the HC scale.

Hoka Torrent 3 Outsole hardness
Test results
Torrent 3 84.0 HC
Average 85.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
72.5 HC
Outsole hardness
95.0 HC

Outsole durability

With this level of hardness, we anticipated average durability. However, the Torrent 3's rubber outperformed our expectations with a mind-blowing performance.

The Dremel test only managed to erase a mere 0.3 mm, an incredible result that speaks volumes about its exceptional durability.

Hoka Torrent 3 Outsole durability
Test results
Torrent 3 0.3 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 51 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Despite having only 1.8 mm thickness in the outsole (+ lugs), the Torrent 3 might just be one of the most durably crafted shoes out there based on our previous test.

We have zero worries about wearing out the outsole.

Hoka Torrent 3 Outsole thickness
Test results
Torrent 3 1.8 mm
Average 2.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.9 mm
Outsole thickness
6.5 mm

Weight

One of Hoka's standout achievements in the running shoe industry is creating shoes that are lighter than they appear, and the Torrent 3 is a prime example of this expertise.

Weighing in at just 9.1 oz or 258g, it's incredibly challenging to find trail shoes that offer a similar blend of decent cushioning and lightness.

Hoka Torrent 3 Weight
Test results
Torrent 3 9.10 oz (258g)
Average 10.34 oz (293g)
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
7.51 oz (213g)
Weight
13.37 oz (379g)

Cushioning

Despite having only 1.8 mm thickness in the outsole (+ lugs), the Torrent 3 might just be one of the most durably crafted shoes out there based on our previous test.

We have zero worries about wearing out the outsole.

Heel stack

We described the cushioning as "decent" just before because, at first glance, it didn't seem like it had an ultra-high stack. But it's important to note that you don't always need that, especially for short to medium-distance runs. Too much foam underfoot can add unnecessary weight.

Hoka Torrent 3 rearfoot

The Torrent 3 is designed for medium distances, probably up to 30K at most. This is our assessment after measuring the heel at 29.5 mm, which falls below the average.

Hoka Torrent 3 Heel stack
Test results
Torrent 3 29.5 mm
Average 32.2 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
16.1 mm
Heel stack
42.4 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot of the shoe follows the same concept, being slightly thinner than what you'd usually find in an average trail running shoe, at 22.4 mm.

This means forefoot strikers looking for a shoe for longer distances might consider something more cushioned, like the Hoka Mafate Speed 4.

Hoka Torrent 3 Forefoot stack
Test results
Torrent 3 22.4 mm
Average 24.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
15.2 mm
Forefoot stack
33.9 mm

Drop

After taking these two measurements, we calculated the difference to find a 7.1-mm heel-to-toe drop.

This drop appeals to a wide range of runners, potentially accommodating everyone.

Hoka Torrent 3 Drop
Test results
Torrent 3 7.1 mm
Average 7.8 mm
Compared to 100 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.1 mm
Drop
17.3 mm

Insole thickness

As part of their effort to reduce weight, Hoka equipped the shoe with a thinner outsole, which we precisely measured at 3.8 mm. However, we didn't experience any discomfort with it.

Hoka Torrent 3 Insole thickness
Test results
Torrent 3 3.8 mm
Average 4.7 mm
Compared to 101 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.

The midsole softness of the ProFly foam came in at 23.9 HA, which is a balanced approach, not aiming at the plush-feel of other Hoka shoes.

This makes the Torrent 3 a shoe catered for individuals who prefer a more traditional, firmer feel underfoot—and also a good choice for faster runs where a denser foam makes the difference.

Hoka Torrent 3 Midsole softness
Test results
Torrent 3 23.9 HA
Average 23.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 77 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
9.1 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.

When it's cold out, you can expect the Torrent 3 to feel the same. We tested this by putting the shoe in our freezer for 20 minutes. Afterward, we measured it again and got a 25.3 HA value on our durometer.

Hoka Torrent 3 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Torrent 3 25.3 HA
Average 28.7 HA
Compared to 77 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

That's just a 5.7% difference, which is an outstanding performance. We can partly attribute this to the denser formulation of this particular ProFly variation.

Test results
Torrent 3 5.7%
Average 26.8%
Compared to 77 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

In our opinion, if you're a neutral runner or even have mild pronation issues, the Torrent 3 will provide fantastic stability no matter what.

It combines multiple elements, which we'll discuss in this section, to offer one of the most stable rides we've experienced during our lab reviews.

Torsional rigidity

Clearly, not having a super tall platform helps in providing a stable ride. But a larger part of the stability comes from the shoe's impressive torsional rigidity.

This prevents the shoe from collapsing and moving laterally. It really pays off in terms of stability while running on easy terrain; although, of course, there's a trade-off—less agility on technical trails.

Test results
Torrent 3 5
Average 3.5
Compared to 95 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter appeared quite average to us, providing sufficient flexibility to be comfortable yet stable. We rated it a 3 out of 5, which is in line with most shoes. 

Test results
Torrent 3 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 93 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

With this shoe, we quickly realised that its stability comes more from rigidity than width. The reason behind this is to keep the weight as low as possible.

That's why we measured an average width in the Torrent 3 at just 112.8 mm.

Hoka Torrent 3 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Torrent 3 112.8 mm
Average 111.9 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
102.1 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel, however, is a bit wider than average at 93.5 mm, clearly designed to enhance stability for heel strikers.

Hoka Torrent 3 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Torrent 3 93.5 mm
Average 89.6 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
77.2 mm
Midsole width in the heel
109.3 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We already mentioned the shoe's rigidity from a torsional standpoint, but what about its longitudinal flexibility? If it's just as rigid, this could make it really uncomfortable for easy runs or even hiking adventures.

Fortunately, in our 90-degree bend test, the shoe registered only 29.1N, which is pretty average. This level of flexibility allows the shoe to double as a hiking shoe if desired.

Test results
Torrent 3 29.1N
Average 28.4N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
10.5N
Stiffness
54.5N

Stiffness in cold

After freezing the shoe for 20 minutes, just as we did for the midsole softness test, we repeated the bending test. This time, the result was 33.5N.

Test results
Torrent 3 33.5N
Average 38.4N
Compared to 98 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
11.9N
Stiffness in cold
92.1N

Difference in stiffness in cold

The heel doesn't have the classic swallowtail design found on many Hoka shoes, nor a finger-loop heel tab.

Test results
Torrent 3 15.1%
Average 35.3%
Compared to 98 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
102%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

Regarding the lugs, Hoka chose a classic approach aiming to be as versatile as possible, although this strategy risks underperforming in some terrains.

Hoka Torrent 3 lugs

In our experience, the 3.6-mm lugs perform great on dry, smooth trails but fall short on technical or muddy trails, much like the Hoka Challenger 7. For wet and soft conditions, we recommend opting for a shoe with larger, chevron-shaped lugs, like the Salomon Speedcross 6.

Hoka Torrent 3 Lug depth
Test results
Torrent 3 3.6 mm
Average 3.6 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.7 mm
Lug depth
5.8 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

The toebox didn't surprise us at all. It has the performance-oriented Hoka fit we're used to. It doesn't offer much room for toe splay, but it does provide confidence and enhances stability.

Hoka Torrent 3 upper

We carefully measured its widest point at 97.5 mm.

Hoka Torrent 3 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Torrent 3 97.5 mm
Average 98.7 mm
Compared to 101 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 big toe area has a regular taper that feels nice for those of us with regular feet. However, just like before, don't expect a lot of room for toe splay or swelling, as it measures 78.3 mm.

This is also why we think the shoe is better suited for shorter distances rather than ultramarathons.

Hoka Torrent 3 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Torrent 3 78.3 mm
Average 79.0 mm
Compared to 63 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
70.5 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.1 mm

Heel feel

That's just a 5.7% difference, which is an outstanding performance. We can partly attribute this to the denser formulation of this particular ProFly variation.

Tongue: gusset type

Another sign that this is more of an all-terrain shoe is the tongue design. Instead of a protective, fully-gusseted tongue, it features a nimble and lighter semi-gusseted tongue.

Hoka Torrent 3 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Torrent 3 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

However, we were quite taken aback when we measured the tongue thickness. Shockingly, it came in at 10.0 mm, which is baffling to us.

Hoka Torrent 3 tongue

If the shoe is designed for shorter distances and emphasises lightness in every aspect, why opt for an ultra-thick, heavy tongue? We believe a single slab of foam with a thickness of just 5 mm would have been great.

Hoka Torrent 3 Tongue padding
Test results
Torrent 3 10.0 mm
Average 6.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
12.2 mm

Heel tab

The heel doesn't have the classic swallowtail design found on many Hoka shoes, nor a finger-loop heel tab.

Hoka Torrent 3 Heel tab
Test results
Torrent 3 None

Removable insole

The insole is fully removable since it's not glued to the midsole.

Additionally, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it's one of the few shoes that we have tested offering a perforated model, thoughtfully designed to enhance ventilation under the foot.

Hoka Torrent 3 Removable insole
Test results
Torrent 3 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

We were disappointed to discover that the Torrent 3 has absolutely no reflective elements.

Hoka Torrent 3 Reflective elements
Test results
Torrent 3 No