It’s safe to say Hokas are different! Despite the almost comical, thick, wide sole, (which leads you to expect a heavy, clumsy shoe), the Speedgoats are actually very light and felt surprisingly nimble. The 4mm lugs gave a reasonable grip on muddy ground and coped well with loose rock. The upper gives adequate protection to the forefoot and a toe bumper protects from accidental stubs on rocky ground. The shoes have a huge amount of cushioning – 33mm under the heel – yet there is only a 5mm drop between heel and forefoot so you don’t feel as if you’re on tiptoes. My first sensation was how comfortable they were to run in, without them feeling bulky or oversized. That amount of cushioning makes them less stable than a minimalist shoe and they definitely won’t suit runners of the barefoot persuasion. The design doesn’t work well on boggy, uneven moorland, so you won’t see them off the paths in the mountains. However, they are well worth considering for long, steady training runs on hard ground; drier, less muddy trails; or for ultra long distance races all year round.
A unique running shoe, Hokas could be a good choice for ultra long distance runners, or anyone running long distances on hard-packed trails all through the year.