Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 Review

An in-depth review of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2.

By on October 12, 2017 | Comments

For the latest on the Hoka Speedgoat, you can read and watch our Hoka Speedgoat 5 review.

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Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 Review

I was always excited by the idea of the Speedgoat by Hoka One One. It is a cushy, aggressive, stable trail running shoe with the name of one of our sport’s legends right on it. However, the stack height of the brand in general was always a concern with my somewhat wonky ankles. Adding that worry to the narrow, tight fit of the first version had me putting the first iteration of the Speedgoat back on the shelf. When I saw version two pop up with comments of it being wider, more stable-fitting, and increasing the toebox room, I decided to take the plunge.  Since then, this 9.5-ounce (8.2 for women), 4.5mm drop do-it-all, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 ($140),  has accompanied me on everything from 10-plus hours in the rugged backcountry to a few miles on the treadmill on business trips. Though showing a little premature wear, the secure fit, extra cushion, and grippy outsole make this a shoe to grab when I don’t know what the day is going to bring.

Shop the Men's Hoka One One Speedgoat 2

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 Transcript

Today we’re going to take a look at the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2. This is a 8.2-ounce in a women’s size 7 and a 9.5-ounce in a men’s size 9 highly cushioned trail shoe with aggressive tread. Let’s get up close and personal and look at the version 2 of the Speedgoat.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2

The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2. All photos: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 Upper

Let’s start by talking about the upper. What I have here are two different colorways of the Speedgoat 2—one in the black here, and one in the red. Both of these shoes have roughly the same amount of miles, about 150. I did that just as a display to show you the wear that I’ve gone through and some consistent trends that I’ve seen on this shoe throughout my time with it. Let’s talk about the uppers first and my insights here.

Overall, this is a fairly standard upper as it relates to modern trail running and road shoes—that’s not a lot of stitching on this. If you look around the upper, you’ll notice there’s no stitching at all. Everything is based on this laminate, this rubber that is heat treated and adheres to the upper. It reduces the amount of stitching, which reduces weight and then reduces hot spots and the sort of things you might get from having things on the shoe. If you really kind of feel around the inside, you won’t notice any stitching or rough spots which, of course, is good for alleviating hot spots and those kind of things.

The tongue is free-floating. It’s not gusseted, which is generally not the case with trail running shoes, but that’s the choice they made here. It’s really just a very thin tongue here that does a good job of keeping the lace off your foot. I don’t feel like there are a lot of pressure points, but it’s not overly padded.

In the back, it’s definitely a structured heel, one that I feel locks down fairly well. You’ll notice I have it all the way up to the utmost eyelet, and that’s because I have a bit of a narrow heel.

The one thing that I will call out here is the extended wear that I think is happening and that I’ve seen on both of these pairs here and on others as well. It’s just of note and hasn’t affected the performance of it to date. You can notice on both of these spots here, the upper is tearing. Of course this will depend on your foot strike and those kind of things to you individually, but it is an area I’m noticing wears rapidly as it relates to the rest of the shoe. It’s something I’ll keep an eye on, but right now at 100 to 150 miles, it feels a little premature for me.

In general, this shoe has been updated over the Speedgoat 1. It’s increased in its width of the midsole, which allows for more room in the toebox. This is what I’d call a medium-height, medium-width toebox. You don’t feel like your feet are swimming, but I also don’t feel like my toes are too cramped. I wear a size 9 in just about everything; I wear a size 9 here as well and don’t feel like I need to go up or anything like that. Overall, it’s a fairly good upper and does a nice job of keeping your foot secure, which is important in my opinion when you’re wearing a high-volume stack type of shoe because you don’t want to be sliding all over on top of that midsole.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 - lateral upper

The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 lateral upper.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 Midsole

Let’s talk about that midsole a bit. It’s pretty standard as it comes to Hoka. There’s no denying what that is. This is a high-stack midsole meant for additional cushioning. It’s a 4.5mm drop from heel to toe, and you’ll notice it has that Hoka rocker to it. It’s not a flat midsole. The toe picks up quite a bit. This midsole for Hoka falls in the middle of their responsive and their ultra cushy. This falls right in the middle, which I feel is about right for a trail shoe. It’s cushy enough to absorb impact and especially in the ultra type of distance gives you enough cushioning over the long haul. It’s not a soggy feel. I don’t feel like my energy is zapped by using these. In fact, I wear them for a lot of different things from short-distance trail to some road to treadmill. I’ve worn them in a lot of conditions. I feel like this is a really good all-purpose midsole. In general, this shoe feels like it’s got a lot of nice return to it. There’s nothing in the midsole that is for additional stability purposes like some sort of a bar or block, but this is rated in the middle as it relates to Hoka on their stability chart. It’s not a 100%-neutral but it’s not a pronation-control shoe either. It’s right there in the middle. If I was to say what type of gait I have, that’s me.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 - medial upper

The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 medial upper.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 Outsole

As we flip over to the outsole here, what you’ll notice is this Vibram Megagrip. This is probably one of my favorite outsole compounds especially now that I’ve moved somewhere like the Pacific Northwest where things are wet and slimy all the time. Nothing is ever going to be 100% excellent for that, but this is just the right amount of everything. It’s kind of sticky. You’ve got some decent lug depth on this and uphill- and downhill-facing lugs. Depending on what you’re doing, you’ve got the right types of tread for all of these kinds of activities. I really feel like this stuff does a nice job across a variety of terrain. It also translates well on the road. I’ve been in all types of scenarios with these shoes, and I feel like it’s one that just works across everything without being overly aggressive, without being too modest. You can really attack a lot of different terrain with this shoe and the tread holds up well. The only thing I will say is if you kind of look at these areas where there’s not any tread, which is done to save weight, those areas are definitely getting beat up pretty well. I’ve definitely dislodged rocks and sticks and thorns and all kinds of stuff from this midsole, but it’s super thick, so it’s going to take something really aggressive and big to really poke through there and cause a problem. With that said, let’s flip over and talk about closing thoughts.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 - medial upper

The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 outsole.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 Overall Impressions

In closing, the Speedgoat 2 is a really good update—a little bit wider, a little more stable in the wear and feel of it. You’ve got a little more toe room, so those people like me with a little bit wider foot can wear these. The Vibram Megagrip works really well. In fact, most shoes I’ve tried with that compound I’ve been really impressed with. It’s a cushioned shoe but it’s not overly cushioned, so it doesn’t lack stability or have that mush feel. I feel like it’s got a lot of good response to it. I’ve worn these shoes on a treadmill, on the road, on gravel, on really steep scree, and I’ve felt good about it pretty much anywhere. This is a shoe that tends to stay in the back of my car. I just grab it when I don’t know what I’m going to be doing for the day, or even when I travel, I might just take this as my only pair of shoes because it just kind of works on anything.

Any questions or comments or anything additional you’d like to add, drop those below this video. Thanks for watching. We’ll catch you next time.

Shop the Men's Hoka One One Speedgoat 2

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Are you running in the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2? If so, what do you think of the shoe?
  • Have you tried both the first and second iterations of the Speedgoat? What do you think are the main differences between the two versions?
  • Are you encountering any wear issues in the upper, like Travis is experiencing?

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a shoe brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

Travis Liles

Travis Liles is a gear reviewer at iRunFar. He’s been reviewing trail running and ultrarunning gear (and occasionally penning an article) for over 15 years. He is married to his Junior High sweetheart, has two amazing daughters, and works as a solution architect for a large software company. Originally from the Midwest but now based in Portland, Oregon, Travis is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner. Over the past 18 years, he has competed in many ultra-distance races and has completed 15 100-mile races, including Ozark Trail, Leadville, Big Horn, and HURT 100. He is a recovering RD and enjoys pacing friends, trail work, and volunteering at local events.