The Hoka Torrent 3 ($130) is a middle-of-the-road trail shoe that performs well on a variety of terrain. It has maintained a lot of what we loved about the previous iteration, but we see improvements in the outsole, which performed better on wet rock and felt stickier and more durable.
The Hoka Torrent 3 has an actual weight of 9.1 ounces (257 grams) in a men’s size 9 and a 5-millimeter drop. The midsole features the same responsive ProFly foam used in Hoka’s carbon shoes, and a new, improved, and breathable upper is among the improvements in the latest iteration.
We enjoy the Hoka Torrent 3 so much that it’s part of iRunFar’s Best Trail Running Shoes guide.
Watch the video below for a detailed review.
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Hoka Torrent 3 Review Transcript
Hey, welcome to Trail Trials, the video review section of iRunFar. My name is Travis Liles, and in this video, we’re looking at the Hoka Torrent 3. This is the third iteration of the shoe, as the name states, and probably the most accessible, non-maximal-cushion, middle-of-the-road, trail running shoe that Hoka has to offer. It’s probably the most widely applicable shoe across their entire line as it relates to trail running. In this iteration, they’ve updated the grip, and they’ve added some changes to the upper. Let’s get into all that right now.
Hoka Torrent 3 Outsole
Let’s jump right in to the Hoka Torrent 3 outsole. One of the things that was called out in the literature was that there is an upgraded outsole, to be stickier and more durable. I think that has happened here, compared to the last version. They feel less slick. When you’re on muddy things or a wet bridge or a rock in a watery area, like a stream crossing, I feel like these definitely have more friction than they used to on the previous version.
I wouldn’t put it in the same class as, say, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 — check out our Hoka Speedgoat 5 review — or the Hoka Mafate Speed 4 — and here’s our Hoka Mafate Speed 4 review — in terms of grip, but overall, I think it is definitely adequate. It does the job.
From a lug depth standpoint, it has 4-millimeter lugs, so they are fairly toothy, which I think is great. This is the same exact patterning as the Hoka Torrent 2 — look back at our Hoka Torrent 2 review. So nothing has changed there in terms of what this looks like. It’s all pretty much the same. All the dark parts are the tread, and all of the lighter sage green areas are exposed foam and midsole. You have it here in the middle, and you have it in the back here in a couple of places.
There is no rock plate in this shoe, so unlike other versions of Hoka shoes, where you have more cushioning that keeps your foot up and above when there is a puncture or hard things, this is a shoe where you’re going to feel a little more of that stuff poking through because it lacks the protection of a rock plate. But it also lacks the protection of having extra foam between you and the obstacle that might be beneath you.
The last thing I’ll call out here on the outsole are these lugs that hang off the side, and again, in the Hoka Torrent 2 review, you can see these, and they broke off. Both of these are still okay. At this point, they seem fairly well secured, but the patterning’s exactly the same, and it could happen. I just don’t see that, without connecting all of this, how to keep that from happening. So I would anticipate that these side lugs will eventually pop off. And in fact, some of them feel a little bit sturdier than others.
Hoka Torrent 3 Midsole
Ok, let’s jump to the Hoka Torrent 3 midsole. This is a neutral midsole, and this is ProFly foam, so this is more rubbery or rebound-y. It’s meant to go a little bit faster. You see the ProFly foam on the more advanced or faster-focused Hoka shoes in their trail line. The carbon shoes and faster road running shoes also include this same type of foam. It’s a good foam. It feels nice, and it works in a lot of conditions. It’s not sloppy, and it’s not too squishy.
It’s a middle-size stack height that’s more of a standard stack height of a shoe, so it feels like it’s pretty much enough to do whatever you want to do. This is a shoe that can do a whole lot of things, and I think the componentry that’s built in here exemplifies that. And this is a foam that, while meant to go fast, also can provide good comfort over a longer duration run.
In fact, my first run in these was a 28-mile hybrid run — road, gravel roads, dirt trail, there was a little bit of mud — and it performed fine. There was never a spot where I was like, This isn’t really the right shoe for the job. It felt like it was exactly the right shoe for the job. So I think that’s a really good testament to the componentry here.
Hoka Torrent 3 Upper
Next up, let’s look at the Hoka Torrent 3 upper. And from an upper standpoint, this is another area on top of the compound used for the lugs and the tread that Hoka is updating from the second to the third version. All around, this upper is lighter mesh, and it’s supposed to breathe better. I never felt like that was a major drawback of the previous version. And I don’t know that I can confidently say that this is a more breathable shoe than the last version.
What I will notice here is that some of the overlays and the way they have been updated aren’t working out well, and you can see some of that in the connection point of where you’ve got the mudguard — it runs all the way around the shoe — and then this other overlay that adds a little bit of structure to the upper on top of the mesh. But on both the medial and lateral sides, it’s breaking down between these two areas. I don’t know if it’s just the shoe that I have or if this is a production issue at large, but it’s definitely happening.
As it relates to the performance of the shoe, I don’t notice it. I only noticed it when I cleaned these up for this review. But it is there. The mesh underneath still seems to be fine. I don’t notice any ripping, tearing, or snagging, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. And again, with 150-plus miles — but less than 200 miles — on this shoe, this is a concern. You could probably glue this back up, and it may be just fine. And you can move on about your day if you’re really into this shoe, but it’s a durability issue that will have to be kept an eye on if this is going to be a long-term shoe. Because at some point, if it doesn’t outweigh how long you’ve had it, how many miles you’re putting into it, and the type of conditions you’re putting it under, obviously, that dollar-per-mile can start to flip if a shoe starts falling apart.
The upper is much like the last version, so even though these are more breathable materials, the fit is roughly the same. I’d say this is a middle-of-the-road fit. It’s not wide, and it’s not narrow. There’s enough room up here for your toes to move around and a lot more room for your toes to splay, so it was never a comfort issue. It has a very simplistic upper. Again, we covered the falling apart here, but very minimal in terms of what’s changed here. It has just enough structure to keep the shoe from feeling too floppy and, for the most part, does a good job of locking your foot in place.
For me, on this shoe specifically, I also notice a little bit in the heel that’s looser. I don’t feel like the heel has quite the lockdown as the previous version, and, just like all of my reviews, I always use the top eyelet because I’ve got a little bit of a narrow heel. So again, your mileage may vary, but overall if you like the Hoka Torrent 2, then the Torrent 3 is pretty much a parallel move in terms of version-to-version.
As we move to the front, there is very much a strong or mostly strong toe cap here. Again, you’ve got some TPU overlays that add a little bit of structure to the toebox and keeps it up tall versus sagging down on your foot. This will wrap around from the midsole and create a good point at the front. If you accidentally kick something, there’s enough protection here. It’s not bombproof, but there’s enough there that you can feel mostly confident unless you’re really bad at stubbing your toes.
As it relates to the heel cup, it is fairly rigid. There is some sort of plasticky type of cup in here that creates that structure, but this is well-padded. It’s soft, and there’s a nice amount of cushioning around the collar. And as it relates to the tongue, I guess this is an anomaly these days, which is having just a little bit of padding with some foam inside. A lot of the shoes are starting to go toward very basic and very thin fabric for the tongue. You still have a little bit of padding here, so if you do need to crank those laces down farther because of a slightly looser fit compared to previous versions, you can get a little bit more crank down on the front.
And then, in terms of gusseting, there really isn’t any. There is a little bit of fabric in there, and it’s more for keeping the tongue in place. So debris and those types of things could get in. That said, the tongue’s thick enough that it wasn’t something I experienced during my time with the shoe.
Hoka Torrent 3 Overall Impressions
In closing, what you have in the Hoka Torrent 3 is a good, all-around shoe. It doesn’t really specialize in anything, and if you’re looking for a specialized shoe, you’re going to be able to find options for more heavy-duty, heavier cushion, and more protection shoes for the really rugged stuff. You’ll find more lightweight, spiky, grippy, built-to-go-fast types of shoes as well. This fits right in the middle of those two.
If I’m going on a hybrid run and I know I’ll be on groomed trail, some road, maybe a little bit of technical, and some other stuff — this is a fine grab because it does all that stuff well, without ever feeling like, Uh, I wish I’d have picked up something else. I think that’s what this is trying to do, and it works well in that scenario.
Where this shoe falls down for me is the more technical side. Some of it’s that lack of protection. It doesn’t have a rock plate, and it’s a shorter stack, so you feel those pokey things. I think the side lugs that are just kind of hanging out here, as I said in the Hoka Torrent 2 where they shredded off, these haven’t, so something looks like it has been done to keep that from happening. But they’re still the same patterns, the same exact look. I feel like, at some point, these will pop off and start flopping around, and I will have to cut them off, or they will shred off on their own.
The other part is you’ve got this mudguard meeting this overlay on the top of the shoe. On both sides of the shoe, it’s cracked and split. I think long term, potentially, you’ll get weak points in here. Dirt’s going to get in here, sand is going to get in here, and something is going to happen. The good news is, I’ve seen Hoka do an update in the middle of production when something like that happened, so maybe we’ll see that here, or maybe it’s just my shoe doing this.
Do check out our Best Trail Running Shoes guide, where we’ve named the Hoka Torrent 3 one of our favorite shoes.
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Call for Comments
And that’s a question for you — do you have the Hoka Torrent 3? Is yours having the same issue with this mudguard and this overlay? Do you feel like the protection is good and the lug patterning and updates that have been made on the bottom are keeping these things from shearing off? And, of course, what are your thoughts on the Hoka Torrent 3 in general? Leave those below this video. Thanks for watching, and we’ll catch you next time.
[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!]