Recently, HOKA expanded its EVO series of racing innovation to include previously existing non-EVO models, incorporating performance design aspects from the former to upgrade the latter. The EVO Speedgoat is the newest result of that process, retaining the basic foundation and geometry of the Speedgoat 3, with minor upgrades that improve weight, fit and overall durability. Its target consumer is the Speedgoat fan who is seeking a bit more performance capability in pursuit of a race or PR.
Some things that haven’t changed include the fact that the last of the EVO Speedgoat is identical to the Speedgoat 3, which means it’s slightly narrow for some users. We preferred to size up by half for more comfortable space across the forefoot. Stack height and heel-toe drop are the same, as is the exceptional Vibram Megagrip outsole with 5mm lugging that provides super secure grip in a wide variety of conditions. The midsole of both shoes consists of the same CMEVA compound which provides ample cushioning and strong energy return.
The key design difference of the EVO Speedgoat is the upper, which uses the Kevlar-infused Matryx textile and lightweight stretch vamp seen on the new (summer 2019) EVO Mafate 2. Kevlar is a nearly indestructible fiber with very low weight or bulk, and the Matryx material breathes and drains very effectively. The vamp was a new addition to the EVO Mafate 2, providing a bit of flexibility to the original all-Kevlar uppers which lacked significant stretch capacity. The new upper is much better at accommodating your foot when moving on technical terrain, without sacrificing the connection between your foot and the midsole.
The new upper has a gusseted tongue that stays in place well and feels slightly more effective at keeping out grit than the Speedgoat 3, and it is also slightly lighter than the Speedgoat’s mesh upper. The EVO Speedgoat weighs 11g less than the Speedgoat 3, which isn’t a massive improvement but is certainly an update in the right direction. The weight savings also isn’t enough to fully justify the $20 increase in MSRP from the Speedgoat 3, but the improved upper might be, if you’re looking to optimize the durability and performance of your next pair.
The HOKA One One EVO Speedgoat is available now at www.hokaoneone.com.