Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 Review

[Check out the most recent Hoka Speedgoat in our review of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4.]

I was always excited by the idea of the Speedgoat by Hoka One One. It is a cushy, aggressive, stable 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.

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 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.

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

resides in Portland, Oregon where he is a husband, father, and a technical specialist for a software company. In his spare time, he is exploring his new home in the Pacific Northwest, getting more vertical but still not living in the thin air, while producing "Trail Trials with Travis Liles" video gear reviews for iRunFar.

There are 17 comments

  1. Andy M

    Was super excited when I read that the v2 was a bit wider and raced over to my local Fleet Feet to try on a pair. Alas, even with the increased width, the toebox was still a bit too narrow, even going up a half size. Otherwise a super-comfortable shoe that felt remarkably stable given the stack height. Bummer for those of who need just a tad more room up front.

  2. AT

    All things average (weight, height, stride, etc), just wondering what kind of mileage people are getting out of this shoe.

    I’m sure it’s not a clean comparison but I’m on my second pair of Clifton 4s because I treated them similarly to how you treated these Speedgoats, which is to say they were my go-to for any situation. However, I wouldn’t have treated them as such if I had known they were only going to last 300 miles.

  3. Jon

    I speedily ordered a pair with the excitement that they are wider up front…. alas they’re not, in my mind (or foot?) they could even be narrower than SG1.

    I like them on shorter runs, but just can’t trust that snug toe box for the long ones.

  4. Henry

    Count me as one of those disappointed by the toe box. It’s fine up to about 90 mins., but after that, especially on technical descents, it’s a toe killer. Also, on my foot, the tongue always rotates outboard, with bad results. If not for those flaws, I’d wear it all the time. Traction rules, nimble for such a big shoe, and don’t leave my feet and legs sore.

  5. Tropical John

    The Speedgoat 2 is a fair bit wider than the original, but is still probably narrower than average. I, too, have found more wear and tear on the uppers than normal, but the soles are holding up well. Other than those two minor complaints, this is a great trail shoe! Incredibly grippy tread on all surfaces, bouncy (but not mushy) ride, even ok on pavement. I like to switch several pairs of shoes around to give my feet and legs different rides, but find myself reaching for the Speedgoat 2 more often than not. Five stars!

  6. Rick

    I mostly love the Speedgoat 2 but for one clear flaw, it seems, and one relatated know he on effect. The flaw is the floating tongue that just doesn’t stay put and rotates outboard. In my case this leads to the the overfit going from snug, but not pressured, at the start of a run to loose and a bit sloppy. Have to relace/refit my shoes at my first or second aid station in long trail races.

  7. Trevor

    I have been wearing them since July, and I’m a big fan. I also wear the Clifton 3 for road and having been wearing the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor for several years as my go-to trail shoe. I’m Southeastern runner, so I prefer beefy shoe for the tech trails we have here. I wore the Speedgoat 2 for TRT 100 in July basically out of the box. One 3 mile fun before the race to check fit. They did great. No blisters, comfy all day. I’m not prone to blisters, so new shoes on race day have never been a problem for me. Since then, I’ve been wearing them here in southwest VA for lots of running on the AT. I did have to send my first pair back. The toe cap delaminated with less than 300 miles. Pair two seems to holding up well so far, so that durability issue could have just been from the very dusty TRT course. Dust over a 100 miler can wreak havoc on a shoe. That said, I’ll be watching the new pair to see how they hold up here at home over the fall. Fit is true to size for me. No sloppy at all, and plenty stable for techy SE trails, for me.

  8. Mike

    Like many of the commenters above I too STILL find the forefoot to be slightly lacking in volume/width. Don’t get me wrong, the fit is much improved over v1, which pretty much everyone I know had issues with (mainly too narrow) but it is still on the narrow side. To save me from waiting for possible improvements in v3, how about a wide version Hoka? Also, sadly like many Hoka shoes the upper is showing prematurely wear (in this case in the small forefoot gaps between the overlay). Otherwise, I love this shoe…getting so close to perfection Hoka!

  9. Patrick

    It’s the best long distance/hill trail show i’ve owned. It’s like the Challenger ATR 2, but it ‘gives back’ energy (more of a bouncy feel). I haven’t had issues with the uppers or toe box, but i have thinner feet. It’s excellent in absorbing shock downhill & has more ground feel than you might think. I’ve scrambled extensively in it too — the sole feels almost as grippy as my approach shoes. This article reminds me to order a few more pairs – ! Great job, Hoka.

  10. Alex

    I wore 2 pair of the Speedgoat 2’s during the Wasatch 100 this year to a very comfortable (at least as comfortable as 100 miles can be) finish. Big fan of the shoe.
    The one odd thing I noticed is that between the 2 pairs (one yellow pair, one black pair) the uppers seem to break in and wear a bit differently. The black pair had some premature wear on the upper that worried me a bit initially, but never got any worse or turned into big holes, while the yellow pair have no signs of wear are fit more snug than the other ones. Anyone else notice this? I wonder if maybe they use different materials based on the color, or something like that…

  11. Peter M.

    I agree about the major issues: Narrow toebox and tongue moving outwards no matter how i lace them. I hope they fix them in next version. A gusseted tongue could solve the issue of tongue moving.

  12. Allen

    I have 120 miles on my Speedgoat 2’s. I sized up to a 12 because the toebox was too narrow (I wear 11.5 in the Clifton 3 and they fit me perfectly with plenty of toe room. Clifton 4 is also too narrow for my foot. I don’t have wide feet (I actually measure 11C on the brannock and have a low volume foot) but these shoes are still too narrow in the toebox – I can do about 10 miles in these, anything more and I get pretty bad toebang on the 3rd and 4th toes. I did a hilly 50k in them and lost 2 toenails, won’t try that again. Also the upper is getting holes already at the flex point between the overlays on the medial front of both shoes. I wanted these to work for me but they just don’t and the construction of the upper is not well thought out from a durability perspective. I will be going back to the Altra Olympus for long runs, and Sportiva Akasha for technical trails.

  13. rms

    I’d suggest not lacing the forward holes and letting the shoe break in a bit, for those wanting more toeroom; the upper has a bit more give to it than the ATR3 (which was painfully tight for me), and I soon stopped worrying about toeroom on the SG2, even on my one foot that is a bit longer and with a bigtoe with a bonespur that splays quite a bit. If the SG2 still doesn’t work, the Stinson4 has a Very Wide toebox, but is a much heavier and clumsier shoe. I’m also seeing small tears at the upper flexpoints, nothing a small dab of shoegoo can’t address. I wear a 13 in all Hokas/Salomon/NB, & 12.5 in Altras

  14. Allen

    Follow-up to my above comment: I used them again today on a hilly 14 mile run on the Dipsea trail. This time I used some thin Feetures socks instead of my usual injinji toesocks and that actually made a big difference on the downhills – no toebang issues this time, the toe box felt wide enough without the toe-spreading of the injinji socks. So I will go that route in the future. I really do like the cushion, stability and traction of the SG2’s so hopefully with thinner non-toesocks I’ll be able to get more use out of them.

  15. Tripp Knightly

    I’ve found on the five pair of Hokas I’ve owned (mafate and Stinson atr) that @ 200 mi I want new shoes. Run 1 on pair six happened yesterday- do the speedg2s fare any better?

  16. Karolyne Dunn

    I have run about 250km in mine and have had issues with the vibram outer sole coming unstuck from the softer more cushioned sole. Other than that the shoes are great. I love the cushioning, the rocker feel of the shoe and the upper seems to be secure and fits well. They felt a little sloppy at first but after adjusting the tension around the shoelaces a little they feel rock solid. I don’t have any issues with the width of the toebox, but I do have a narrow foot, relatively speaking. I use these and the Clifton 3, and have been so impressed. My recovery time has shortened, and I have none of the stiffness post-run I am used to. As an ageing runner (I’m 46) with an active life these have been game-changing. I would recommend these to anyone starting to feel the effects of the run long after they’ve taken their shoes off! I can move freely again without worrying about getting up off the floor :)

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