A long-awaited update to the shoe named for HOKA ONE ONE ultrarunner and Speedgoat 50K race director Karl Meltzer, the Speedgoat 2s have a lot going for them. This second iteration sports redesigned (and eye-catching!) uppers and midsoles, as well as wider, more forgiving toeboxes than the originals, which many people complained ran uncomfortably narrow.
With their impressive stack height and new injection-molded EVA midsoles, the Speedgoat 2s also boast that classic HOKA trampoline-like bouncy feel. Matched with wide, stable platforms, these avoid feeling too top heavy or leaving your ankles prone to rolling.
Their plush mega cushioning is especially forgiving on weary joints, making them perfect for ultra distances and weathering the later miles of a race or long training day. There’s enough of it there that these shoes have a bit of a pillowy tank feel to them, bouncing over rocks, roots and other trail debris with so much cushioning between the ground and your feet that you hardly feel a thing. HOKA ONE ONE markets these as designed especially for rugged, technical trails—just like their eponymous 50K in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains—and other than the adjustment period that might be necessary for runners lacking previous experience in “maximalist” shoes such as these, we can’t see anything about the Speedgoat 2 that would preclude them from excelling on such terrain.
The Speedgoat 2s come outfitted with Vibram MegaGrip rubber that’s optimal for wet, muddy conditions. The 5mm lugs hit a nice sweet spot in terms of offering solid traction without being so rigid or pronounced that they can’t handle the occasional jaunt on pavement; in fact, all of that cush makes them a surprisingly comfortable ride on surfaces like asphalt or dry, hardpacked dirt.
Both the laces and the redesigned uppers have a great deal of stretch in them, making these feel extraordinarily comfy right out of the box. Our guarante: once you put these on, you won’t want to take them off.
The Speedgoat 2 will be available in summer 2017.
• Stack height: 32mm heel; 27.5mm forefoot
• Heel-to-toe drop: 4.5mm
• Weight: 9.8 oz. (men’s); 8.2 oz. (women’s)
• Price: $140