Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

A well-cushioned long-distance trail running machine 

Drew Thayer

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.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

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

Drew Thayer

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 - Very Comfortable Long Distance Running Shoes 1

Drew’s love of gear is born from his life-long obsession with human-powered adventure in the mountains. On foot, on ski, on bike, and on the steep rocks, he loves exploring Colorado’s mountains through each season.
Drew brings a technical eye to gear — he’s a data scientist with a Masters’ degree in Geophysics and loves to understand the design and engineering make great gear what it is. He’s also worked in the field for many years — as a wilderness therapy field guide and a Geophysicist — and knows a thing or two about function and durability of technical equipment.
Drew tests gear in real mountain conditions, on overnight ventures whenever possible. His specialties are rock/alpine climbing and light-and-fast human-powered pursuits on ski or mountain bike. He’s ventured on exploratory climbing expeditions in Argentina, Peru, and Alaska, and completed remote technical river descents in Alaska and Colombia.
When not building statistical models and writing code, he can be found tending his garden or trying to keep up with his awesome wife.
Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 - Very Comfortable Long Distance Running Shoes 2

About The Author

Hey, I am Sean - the co-founder of Engearment. We focus on mountain based gear - camping, skiing, splitboarding, snowboarding, hiking, etc. and a strong connection to the community. I am also a fitness professional - having created the Mountain Fitness School and building several fitness facilities around Denver. My heart is always in the mountains and I will do everything I can to help you get the right gear, train well and enjoy being outside. https://mountainfitnessschool.com/p/mountain-fitness-training-get-in-peak-backcountry-condition-using-kettlebells-and-trx

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