As one of the longest-tenured shoes in HOKA’s trail running lineup, the Speedgoat has established a reputation for durability and performance as a training shoe that is also fully suitable for long-distance racing. When you’ve got a good thing like that rolling, you want to be careful not to get too clever with updates and risk screwing things up.
Fortunately, Speedgoat fans don’t have anything to worry about, as the new 5.0 version maintains its strength as a workhorse shoe while incorporating updates that result in improved comfort and performance. Top-to-bottom improvements are seen in the uppers, midsole and outsole, and the shoe loses about half an ounce of weight without compromising its cushioning or protective elements.
Upper construction features the new jacquard engineered mesh that is seen across the entire HOKA trail line this year. The soft fabric is constructed from recycled materials and has increased flexibility to allow natural flexion without creating hot spots. However, the jacquard weave is also inherently stable, so the overall upper holds its position well without the need for excessive overlays. We’ve tested these shoes on rocky and irregular terrain without any noticeable slipping or sloppiness. The laces are also made from recycled materials and hold their tension effectively without digging into the top of the foot.
Most of the weight loss in the Speedgoat 5 is attributable to the use of lighter weight CMEVA compound that was originally developed for HOKA’s race-ready EVO models. In our testing, this compound has a noticeable improvement in responsiveness compared to the Speedgoat 4, while preserving the same level of cushioning and comfort. This has been a particularly pleasant discovery towards the end of our long runs when we realize we still had decent leg turnover despite feeling a bit low on stamina. Otherwise, all of the geometry from the Speedgoat 4, including stack heights and meta-rocker design, continues in the Speedgoat 5.
Another significant update is seen in the outsole, which adds micro traction lugs to the already rugged Vibram Megagrip compound. Think of it as small lugs on top of big lugs, improving your traction in gravel or muddy conditions. It’s a cool idea, but the truth is that we were hard pressed to notice a difference compared to the standard 5mm lug system that performs great in virtually all conditions. Additionally, the micro-lugs wear out after the first 50 to 100 miles anyway, so even if you notice a performance boost, it’s not going to be a long-term benefit. Regardless, it’s a good concept, and it certainly doesn’t detract from the strong overall grip and stability that the Speedgoat line is known for.
The last of this shoe is identical to the Speedgoat 4, which got a tiny increase in width last time around, but it still might lack roominess for those with wide feet. Fortunately, wide options of the Speedgoat 5 will be available along with a GTX version later in the year.
The HOKA Speedgoat 5 is available in men’s and women’s versions from www.hoka.com.
Features and Specs:
- Weight: 10.5oz men’s / 8.5oz women’s
- Stack Height (heel/toe, in mm): 33/29 men’s, 31/27 women’s
- Heel-Toe Drop (mm): 4mm
- Upper: Vegan, jacquard recycled engineered mesh with recycled polyester laces
- Midsole: CMEVA with molded EVA sockliner and meta-rocker geometry
- Outsole: Vibram Megagrip with 5mm lugs
- 4 color options for men and women
- MSRP: $145