Hoka One One Speedgoat 4
A well-cushioned long-distance trail running machine
I was skeptical. A year ago I tried on a pair of the Speedgoat 3 shoes found the exaggerated toe rocker to feel really weird. The toebox also felt really narrow and constrictive. I decided to wait, and I’m glad I did because Hoka fixed both these issues with the 4th version of the shoe.
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 is an incredibly well-cushioned, comfortable trail running shoe, and I wear it on all my longest and most hilly runs now. Here are some reasons why I’ve grown to love this shoe:
- Out-of-the-box comfort. These were ready to rally on day one, despite being a rather stiff shoe.
- Cushion for long distances and rocky trails. There’s no way around it, this is a thick shoe. With a stack height of 32 mm (heel) and 28 mm (toe), it’s a solidly-cushioned shoe by today’ standards (i.e. would have been called ‘moon boots’ in in the 90s). I know everyone doesn’t need high-cushion shoes to maintain their legs over long distances, but I’ve certainly been able to increase my mileage and resilience from running in shoes with a 20+ stack height. The EVA foam midsole on the Speedgoat 4 is stiff and durable. I’m about 120 miles into the shoe and I don’t notice any soft or squishy spots yet. Also, I run a lot of trails with technical rock-garden descents, like in the Flatirons of Boulder, CO, and the stiff and supportive soles of these shoes allow me to descend rocky trails quickly without feeling the impact in my feet.
- Good traction and foot protection. The Vibram MegaGrip outsole has widely-spaced 5 mm lugs and can handle the wet, gloppy conditions we often find on trails in Spring. The rubber is also grippy on rocky slabs.
- Snug fit with room for the toes. Hoka shoes don’t have a super-roomy toe box like Altra shoes (my other favorite), but the Speedgoat 4 has ample room for my feet. (Caveat: I have very narrow toes – if you have wide toes, you probably want to try them first.) These shoes lace tight fairly easily without any constriction or pressure points on the top of my foot.
Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Review
For runners who are used to well-cushioned shoes, this is an excellent daily training for long trail runs. If you haven’t tried the ‘moon shoe’ thing yet, but are curious, these would be a good shoe to try. I was a skeptic, but I’m glad I gave them a chance, because they’ve been a great shoe for my longest and most rocky runs all winter long, and I’m looking forward to logging some high-country miles this summer on these shoes.
Grab a pair here $145