For my Dolomite Mountains adventure, where I spent 8 days exploring the Alta Via Uno trail, I needed the best trail runners available, so I opted for the Hoka Speedgoat 5.
I wasn’t looking for a barefoot-like experience but for trail runners that offered reliable cushioning and a good stack height to ensure my safety on wet rocks and challenging terrains, where minimalist shoes often fall short.
Although they may feel slightly heavier compared to ultra-runner models, these shoes provided an unparalleled level of comfort throughout my journey.
The new Hoka One One Speedgoat 5 exceeded my expectations. Not only is it lighter and more traction-oriented than its predecessor but it also excels in running downhill and tackling technical terrains with loose dirt or mud.
To learn more about their performance and how they fared in my tests, feel free to check out my detailed Hoka Speedgoat 5 review below.
- Vibram® Megagrip outsole
- Double-layer jacquard mesh
- CMEVA midsole
- Late Stage Meta Rocker
- Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz. (women) & 1 lb. 4.6 oz. (men)
- Stack Height: 33 mm heel and 29 mm forefoot
- Lacing System: Lace-up
Things We Tested When We Reviewed Hoka Speedgoat 5
The upper is made from durable mesh and synthetic overlays that hold up well against abrasion and resist tears or fraying, even when encountering rough surfaces or brushy trails.
The only element that was affected – and I sort of saw it coming since I subjected these trail running shoes to really rough treatment – was the outsole, which showed signs of wear.
The soft rubber, while excellent for traction, was prone to minor chunks and wear in more aggressive terrains. Nevertheless, the shoes still look good, and I didn’t feel that their overall performance was compromised in any way.
During my testing, I found that the Hoka performed exceptionally well in terms of traction.
The shoe’s outsole features aggressive multidirectional 5mm lugs that provide a solid grip during steep ascents and descents on tricky slopes.
Moreover, the shoes’ sticky rubber compound improved my grip on wet or slippery surfaces, allowing me to walk faster on trails where I would usually feel tense and insecure.
I particularly appreciated their wider footprint, as it contributed to their impressive traction capabilities. The wider platform provided a larger surface area for contact with the ground, which proved especially beneficial when navigating uneven or technical terrains.
One of the standout features of this trail shoe is its generous cushioning. It utilizes Hoka’s signature CMEVA foam in the midsole with a smooth toe-off, which delivers a plush and responsive feel underfoot.
According to my measurements, this shoe has a 33mm stack height, so the sole is pretty thick. This means good support on long distances, but a higher stack height can also mean a more reduced trail feel, especially when combined with a 4mm heel drop.
It does make up for it with a wider toe box, which allowed my toes to splay naturally, preventing any discomfort or pinching during descents and ensuring ample room for foot swelling on longer treks.
Speedgoat 5’s emphasis on durability and protection slightly affects its breathability compared to lighter and more minimalist hiking shoe options.
But in regular hike conditions, it proved to be a great shoe, which offered plenty of room for my wide feet to breathe.
The upper of the shoe is constructed using a combination of mesh and synthetic materials, allowing for ample airflow and ventilation.
Additionally, the shoe’s strategic placement of perforations in the upper enhances breathability. These perforations create additional ventilation channels, promoting airflow and further facilitating the evaporation of moisture.
While it’s not the lightest on the market, this versatile shoe still manages to offer a lightweight feel that doesn’t compromise performance or protection.
When I first laced up the Speedgoat 5, I immediately noticed its surprisingly light and nimble nature, which enhanced my overall agility and reduced fatigue during long hikes.
With a weight per pair of 1 lb. 1 oz. (women) & 1 lb. 4.6 oz. (men), Hoka achieves this optimal weight-to-protection ratio by utilizing innovative materials and construction techniques.
Additionally, the shoe incorporates Hoka’s signature cushioning technology, with a lighter midsole that provides excellent shock absorption while keeping the weight down.
Just like the previous versions, Hoka’s fifth iteration is not fully waterproof. The shoe’s upper materials have a quick-drying property, which is advantageous when encountering wet conditions.
During my testing, I appreciated how the two shoes rapidly dried out after being exposed to moisture, allowing me to continue hiking without prolonged discomfort.
However, as with any hiking shoe, there is a threshold to the level of waterproofing provided, and while the Hoka can handle creeks and light rain, they aren’t built for river crossings.
It features a sturdy and well-cushioned new midsole that effectively absorbs shock and minimizes the impact on your joints, reducing the risk of fatigue and discomfort during long hikes.
Moreover, the shoe’s innovative design includes an efficient heel flare, an extended heel counter, and a supportive toe box, which contribute to overall foot stability and protection.
The only complaint I have regarding this aspect is that while the ample midsole cushioning provides excellent support and shock absorption, it may feel slightly bulky, especially when switching from a lighter shoe design.
8. Fit and Sizing
Typically, Hoka shoes maintain their true size, eliminating the need for me to go up by a half size as I do with most hiking shoes.
I found the conventional recycled polyester lace-up system simple to adjust, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shoes feature an extended heel tab, facilitating ease of putting them on.
Nevertheless, the shoe’s overall width might pose a challenge for some users. The Speedgoat 5 leans towards the wider end, which may not be ideal for those with narrower feet.
How It Evolved?
Compared to Speedgoat 4, the new version from Hoka brings a series of improvements we all have been waiting for.
With the Speedgoat 5, the upper has been redesigned, providing a more comfortable fit, while the toe box itself seems roomier, allowing for better toe splay and reducing the risk of blisters.
In terms of performance, it continues to excel on technical terrain. The Vibram Megagrip rubber outsole remains performant, delivering exceptional traction on a variety of surfaces.
However, this version is lighter, providing just a bit more agility than the previous models.
How Does it Compare with Other Products?
Salomon Speedcross 6
Salomon’s Speedcross 6 is one of the best trail shoes in terms of traction, with an aggressive Mud Contagrip® rubber outsole that makes it one of my favorite choices for technical rocky terrain.
At $140, it is just a bit cheaper than the Speedgoat, although it is just as durable and fit for rough hiking.
The Speedgoat 5, however, offers a notable advantage over the Salomon Speedcross 6 in terms of cushioning and comfort. While the Speedcross 6 is renowned for its aggressive lug pattern, the Hoka shoe takes the lead with its plush midsole and generous cushioning.
This makes it a better choice for long-distance runs or challenging terrains where impact absorption and underfoot protection are crucial.
Brooks Cascadia 16
Retailing at $130, the Cascadia 16 is a solid trail running shoe that held well on the numerous technical trails I ventured onto while wearing it.
The latest iteration has more cushioning and a more aggressive outsole with redesigned lugs that grasp well on muddy surfaces, and the rock plate doesn’t disappoint when the trail becomes truly rugged.
This trail runner is a good choice for more challenging outdoor activities, where comfort and stability come first, but in terms of lightness and agility, I would always go with Speedgoat.
Learn more about this product by checking Brooks Cascadia 16 full review.
Altra Olympus 5
The Olympus 5 is known for its zero-drop platform and roomy toe box, offering a more relaxed feel while still providing exceptional cushioning.
These trail running shoes work best for long walks that don’t involve wet or muddy surfaces, with their Vibram® Megagrip outsole clasping well on hard and dry terrain.
Priced at $170, the Olympus 5 hiking shoes are my go-to option for comfort, being better cushioned than other trail runners. However, Hoka’s traction lugs are more suitable if you are heading out on a difficult trail, where you need good stability and a more secure fit.
Read the Altra Olympus 5 review to discover more about this item.
Where Does It Perform Better?
I found this trail runner to excel in various terrains, making them my favorite choice for trail running adventures.
These shoes are a great choice for rugged and steep technical terrain, thanks to their exceptional traction and stability.
Whenever I encountered loose gravel, muddy slopes, or rocky paths, the Speedgoat 5 provided me with a confident grip and allowed me to maintain my pace with ease.
In terms of weather conditions, these running shoes proved their worth in both wet and dry environments. The durable and breathable upper kept my feet cool and dry during hot summer runs, while the robust outsole ensured reliable traction even on wet surfaces.
Moreover, the shoe’s protective features, such as the reinforced toe cap and ample cushioning, gave me the confidence and comfort to tackle long-distance runs and endure harsh conditions.
Where It Falls Short in Performance?
Speedgoat 5 is a highly capable trail running shoe, so there are very few aspects where it doesn’t truly shine.
One issue I encountered was the shoe’s weight, which can feel somewhat bulky, especially during long runs.
The added cushioning that provides comfort can also contribute to a lack of responsiveness and a slightly slower feel.
Also, while the shoe provides ample cushioning, it lacks a bit in terms of ground feel. This means that it may not provide the same level of sensitivity and feedback that some runners desire, especially on technical trails where precise foot placement is crucial.
From where I see it, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is not the ideal shoe for ultra-distance races, but can easily handle most technical terrain, which compensates for its slight lack of agility.
Do We Recommend It?
We also like that they fit on various hiking boots and footwear, giving everyone the confidence they need to walk outdoors in icy areas securely.
After my experience with this Hoka model in the Dolomites, I only have good things to say about it. It performed exceptionally on rough terrain and proved a better shoe than I had expected in terms of support.
The midsole’s responsive material and snug fit reduced foot strain, while the sloped sole basically propelled my foot forward, giving me a push with every step.
At $155, the Speedgoat 5 offers an excellent quality-price report, and even if it is a bit heavier than other shoes, I think that many runners would benefit from its improved traction and stability.
No, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 trail shoes are not waterproof. While they provide some resistance to moisture, these trail runners are not designed to keep your feet completely dry in wet conditions.
It is generally recommended to go with your regular size in the Hoka Speedgoat 5. On the other hand, if you have narrower feet, sizing down may help you achieve a snugger fit, considering that this is a wide version provided by Hoka.
Yes, you can wear the Hoka Speedgoat 5 trail running shoes on the road. However, since it is primarily designed for trail running, its aggressive outsole may feel less efficient on smooth pavement compared to a dedicated road running shoe.
The Hoka Speedgoat 5 can be a good choice for plantar fasciitis due to its responsive midsole offering good support on long distances and comfortable heel collar. But despite this supportive design, it is always a good idea to consult a specialist when it comes to selecting the right trail shoe.
Indeed, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 boasts excellent breathability. Its mesh upper facilitates ample airflow, making it an ideal choice for hot weather running. This feature helps prevent overheating and keeps your feet feeling comfortable during your runs.
Hoka running shoes excel on technical and challenging trails. With its robust outsole and superior traction, it provides the necessary stability and grip to navigate rugged terrain, making it an excellent choice for demanding trail running conditions.