I’ve found them! The most comfortable trail shoes I’ve ever worn…so far. I know I haven’t even scratched the surface of testing trail shoes on the market yet but that’s because they’re expensive! But, I need to talk about the Hoka One One Speedgoat because they have exceeded my expectations.
I’d been looking for new trail shoes for awhile after wearing down both pairs in my current rotation: the heavy waterproof Adidas Ultra Boosts, and the Nike Pegasus 36 Trail, which don’t have great traction. I’ve been wearing them both for about six months so I knew it was time to upgrade, but it’s really hard to bite the bullet when each pair is upwards of $140.
Anyway, after a trail run in Golden Gate Canyon State Park (post coming soon!), I headed into the town of Golden to have lunch at Windy Saddle and stroll the streets. I could definitely live in Golden if it wasn’t so far from my job and friends in the Boulder area. It’s such a cute town! I stopped into Vital Outdoors while they were having a massive sale and discovered one pair of last season’s Hoka One One Speedgoat left in my size at 50% off, making them just $70! I had read great things about the Speedgoat and loved how plush they felt when I tried them on.
So I bought them!
^^^ It’s always the weird colors that are on sale…but I still love them.
I took them out on a couple shorter morning runs at Marshall Mesa and they felt great. Then I put them to the test on a longer, more technical run on Sourdough Trail up near Nederland for a 9.3-mile run with 1,300 ft. of climbing. They passed with flying colors! Here are my initial thoughts:
- The midsole: You don’t need numbers and measurements to know that the midsole is quite a bit thicker than other shoes, which deters some people, because who wants to run in a platform shoe and roll their ankle? The cool thing about Hoka shoes is that the Active Foot Frame cradles the foot and allows it to sink into the midsole instead of sitting right on top.
- The heel counter: It is so amazingly clear how badly my heels were slipping in my Nike Pegasus after wearing these shoes. It seems like the heel counter rises a bit higher in these shoes because my foot was totally locked in and didn’t slip or rub at all.
- The laces and tongue: I really hate when I have to pull my laces so tight that it causes pain on the tops of my feet. I didn’t have to do that in these shoes. Plus, the tongue was super soft and long enough to give me that locked-in feel.
- The outsole: The lugs on the bottom really felt like they gave me good grip as I made my way through sections with loose rocks and also on a wet bridge I crossed twice. The Nike Pegasus had a sliiiightly more aggressive outsole than its road counterpart, but I’m realizing now that it’s more of a hybrid shoe that can’t handle much more than a buffed, dry trail.
- The color: It’s growing on me. Hoka stocks a lot of flashy colors and patterns, but this one feels cool while still being kinda neutral. Ya know?
I haven’t tested them in wet conditions yet. The upper is mesh, so I don’t know how they’ll do if my feet really sink into any sort of water or mud, but we’ll see. Plus, it’s summer so I’m not worried about my feet getting too cold on the run if they do get wet.
^^^ Stewie approves.
What’s your current favorite trail or road shoe? I’m DYING to test out the Salomon S/LAB SENSE 8 SG. They’re SO sick.