HOKA ONE ONE SPEEDGOAT 4 – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | NOVEMBER 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What New: Hoka Speedgoat 4?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Hoka Speedgoat 4
- About the Author
Named for Hoka One One Athlete Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer, the 'winningest 100 mile runner on earth', the Hoka Speedgoat is perhaps one of the key trail shoes for agressive and rocky trails. The fourth edition is here for the new season and guest runner, Brian Metzler takes it on the trails around Boulder, Colorado to put the new edition through its paces.
Read on to learn what has changed and what is new with the Hoka Speedgoat 4.
The fourth edition of the Hoka Speedgoat – a super-cushioned trail running fiend – has a few subtle but significant updates that make it slightly better than its predecessor.
Like previous editions, the Hoka Speedgoat 4 floats over the ground with a soft and luscious ride, and is both grippy on the uphill and secure on the downhill.
WHAT'S NEW: HOKA SPEEDGOAT 4
The biggest changes in the Hoka Speedgoat are the new, slightly softer and springier foam compound in the midsole and a new breathable, durable mesh upper with 3D printed overlays for more support and security.
For those who care about their toenails, there’s also a bit more room in the toe box than previous editions of the Hoka Speedgoat.
The outsole is made from Vibram MegaGrip rubber and features aggressive, 5mm lugs for optimal traction and steadiness. Uniquely shaped recessed grooves in the heel and forefoot allow for greater freedom of movement and flexibility without sacrificing stability.
Hoka fixed the only troubling spot with previous editions of the Speedgoat by allowing for a more accommodating fit in the forefoot.
The step-in feel is modestly soft, but, like previous Speedgoats, that immediately gives way to the cushy sensation of the midsole. The high-off-the-ground ride feels slightly more energetic than previous editions of the Speedgoat, thanks to the new formula of injected-EVA midsole that runs the length of the shoe.
Combined with Hoka’s signature rockered geometry to promote efficiency, this Speedgoat rides smoother and more consistently than any of its predecessors.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
Long-distance trail runners who regularly log multi-hour runs will appreciate the cushiness and protection of this shoe the most. The extra cushion provides long-haul comfort for trail marathons, ultra-distance races and weekend adventure runs.
Any runner who likes a high-stack shoe might enjoy it, but those who are used to feeling the ground could feel awkward in it.
PROS AND CONS: HOKA SPEEDGOAT 4
Pros: Hoka Speedgoat 4
This shoe is most at home on semi-technical trails in the mountains, but it can hold its own on mild dirt paths and aggressive rocky terrain too. It might feel like too much shoe on milder terrain and too cumbersome on extremely technical terrain, but overall there isn’t much it can’t handle.
Sometimes it’s the little things. In this case, the lacing eye-rows contain a small winged component to ensure a secure fit.
A reinforced toe bumper protects toes from debris and adds aberration resistance.
Cons: Hoka Speedgoat 4
The only drawback is that some runners would identify with is the overall size of the Hoka Speedgoat 4.
It’s not a heavy or clumsy shoe by any means, but runners who prefer more “feel” for the trail might have trouble getting comfortable with the Speedgoat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”