It is fair to say that this is my current trail running shoe of choice. Designed for long distances and challenging terrain, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 ticks many boxes. Referred to as a ‘workhorse of shoe’, it is the fifth version of the Speedgoat series and is named after ultra runner, Karl (Speedgoat) Meltzer. This latest model of trail shoe builds on the success of previous models and still tops the list of favourite all-around trail shoe by many trail runners. We take a very honest and detailed look at this shoe in our Hoka Speedgoat 5 review. 

One of My Favourite Trail Shoes

I am not going to beat around the bush here. I have tried many trail shoes, all have their pros and cons and all have served me well in various races/training runs, etc. but the Speedgoat feels like where my feet should be when I am putting in the long miles. That said, I was also a massive fan of the Hoka Tecton X – while some doubted that the carbon plate would offer anything off-road, I can assure you that they do. I notice a significant difference when trying to get some decent speed over tough terrain. That said, I wouldn’t wear the Tecton for more than half marathon distance.

I ordered my Hoka Speedgoat 5 in a wide as I have wider feet and they were a game changer. 

Updated 01/04/24 after many more miles and adventures. 

The Speedgoat 5 features a number of improvements over the previous models, including a lighter midsole, a more flexible upper, and a more aggressive outsole. Less weight AND more traction!!! They are light and they feel like a decent road shoe to wear. I convinced my other half to order a pair and his first comment was “These are light”. He loves them and wears them for most of his trail runs. The only time they have let us down (if you can call it that) is when tackling very heavy mud in them. They are not a shoe for thick mud – for this, you want a Mudclaw or similar. 

Anyhow, enough of me rambling on, let’s take a look in greater detail at this shoe and whether it is the right choice for you in our Hoka Speedgoat 5 review:

Speedgoat is best for

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 is a great trail running shoe for a variety of terrain, including:

  • Technical trails: great traction, great cushioning, a responsive shoe that lets you run comfortably over rocky terrain, gravel paths, across fields and more.
  • Long runs: The Speedgoat 5 is a comfortable and durable shoe that is well-suited for long runs. It does just feel the same throughout the run and offers a great level of comfort and support. it’s one of the few shoes that I haven’t suffered from squashed toes in. My longest run to date in them? 30 miles. 
  • Ultramarathons: The Speedgoat 5 is a popular choice for ultramarathon runners due to its comfort, durability, and traction.
  • Hiking: Not only is this shoe billed as a great running shoe, but for the same reasons as it’s a popular running shoe, it is also a popular hiking shoe. I recently finished a run half a mile from home and walked the rest of the way thinking how comfortable they felt. 
  • Road to trail: In an update to our original review, we had to add something about this. They are superb on the road as we experienced when we ended up doing 8 miles of a 12-mile trail run on the road recently. Don’t ask how – not the greatest plan and in some trail shoes, this would have been uncomfortable but the Speedgoats handled it really well. 

While the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is not as fast, or as breathable as some other trail running shoes, it is extremely comfortable and provides great traction. Not surprising that it is favoured by many for longer distances. 

Not so good for 

You won’t find a one-size-fits-all shoe, it doesn’t exist. What works well during the dry summer months, won’t be your shoe of choice come the winter. Where this shoe isn’t your friend is on slippery mud trails. It just doesn’t have the lugs to deal with deep mud like the Mudclaw for example. 

It’s a great shoe for putting in the miles but not so great in wet and windy conditions. That’s not to say it’s a fair-weather shoe. It just isn’t made for mud. A recent very muddy trail race proved that it wasn’t the most steadfast on proper farm mud. 

Also when it comes to choosing colours, choose darker brighter ones. The shoes pictured below soon lost their vibrancy whereas my other half chose the orange and they still look fairly new. 

And that is where the negatives end – they are not cheap but they will serve you well and if you have two or three pairs of trail shoes in your collection, or if you can only afford one shoe then make sure you choose the Hoka Speedgoat 5. 

hoka speedgoat 5

Let’s take a look at the makeup of this popular trail running shoe:

Tech spec

  • Weight: 290 g (men’s) / 240 g (women’s)
  • Drop: 4 mm
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Support: Moderate
  • Terrain: Trail


 

Features of the Hoka Speedgoat 5

  • Double layer jacquard engineered mesh
  • Protective toe rand
  • Late stage MetaRocker™
  • Vibram® Megagrip with Traction Lug
  • Vegan
  • Lay-flat gusseted tongue
  • Bolstered heel collar
  • Molded EVA sockliner
  • Compression-molded EVA foam midsole
  • 5mm lugs
  • 34% recycled polyester upper mesh
  • Laces with 70% recycled nylon and 30% recycled polyester
  • 100% Recycled polyester sockliner top cloth

Midsole

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 features a cutting-edge midsole crafted from an innovative foam blend known as Profly. This lightweight material is engineered to deliver a plush and cozy experience for runners, all while boasting remarkable responsiveness and longevity. With its generous stack height, the midsole offers ample cushioning, shielding feet from harsh terrains.

Comprising two distinct foams, the Profly midsole utilizes a softer variant in the forefoot and a sturdier counterpart in the heel region. This dual-foam construction ensures a seamless and supportive journey, promoting stability and safeguarding against impact.

Moreover, the midsole prioritizes responsiveness, efficiently propelling energy back to the runner, thereby enhancing performance and speed. Whether navigating city streets or pounding the pavement, it rivals the performance of dedicated road shoes in terms of comfort and adaptability.

Upper

The upper of the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is made of a breathable and flexible mesh. The mesh is designed to allow the foot to move naturally and to provide a comfortable fit. The upper also has a secure lockdown system that helps to prevent the foot from slipping inside the shoe.

The upper is made of a single piece of mesh, which helps to improve the fit and comfort of the shoe. The mesh is also treated with a water-resistant coating, which helps to keep the feet dry in wet conditions.

It has several features that help to improve the fit and comfort of the shoe, including:

  • A gusseted tongue that helps to keep debris out of the shoe
  • A heel counter that helps to stabilize the heel
  • A padded collar that helps to protect the Achilles tendon

Note – I haven’t had to stop and re-tie my shoelaces once to date which is a massive bonus. 



 

Outsole

The outsole of the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is made of Vibram Megagrip rubber. Vibram Megagrip is a high-performance rubber that is known for its excellent traction. The outsole of the Speedgoat 5 has a deep lug pattern that provides even more traction on challenging terrain.

The outsole is also designed to be durable, which helps to extend the life of the shoe. It isn’t designed for mud though. 

Overall, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is an excellent trail running shoe that is well-suited for long distances and challenging terrain. It is a great choice for runners who are looking for a shoe that provides a smooth ride, a secure fit, and excellent traction.

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 is a trail running shoe that is designed for long distances and challenging terrain. It is the fifth iteration of the Speedgoat series, and it builds on the success of its predecessors. The Speedgoat 5 features a number of improvements over the previous models, including a lighter midsole, a more flexible upper, and a more aggressive outsole.

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Benefits of this Trail Running Shoe

  • Comfortable – I have been able to run for 20+ miles in these shoes
  • Durable – so far they have lasted a good few hundred miles 
  • Cushioned – they make light work of tough terrain 
  • Responsive – not bad in a race when you need a bit of a speed injection – don’t get me wrong – they wouldn’t let me run as fast as my alphas in my latest race
  • Versatile – the fact that they cover so many different types of terrain make them a great all rounder

Pros and cons 

Pros:

  • Lighter midsole
  • More flexible upper
  • More aggressive outsole
  • Excellent traction
  • Secure fit
  • Comfortable ride

Cons:

  • Expensive – if you sign up to Hoka’s newsletter, you will get 10% off – having said that these are my longest-lasting trail shoes to date
  • Not as fast as some other trail running shoes – the Hoka Tecton certainly zip across the ground 
  • Not as breathable as some other trail running shoes – this is not the view of everyone and has not ever been a problem for me.
  • Not designed for muddy mud!

Speedgoat 5 Sizing 

All the reviews suggest that you don’t need to go up a size as this shoe runs true to size however, we actually prefer to go up a size in Hoka – especially since a longer second toe can still take some pounding. the shoe does have a lockdown feature that keeps your feet in place though, Even so, if in doubt, go up a half size maybe. If you have wide feet, get the wide. 

Hoka Speedgoat 5 colours

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 is available in 16 colours for men and 17 colours for women. You will also find it in a regular D fit and width E for wider feet for men and B width and D width for wider feet for women. There is also a waterproof version available featuring the GORE-TEX to keep the water and debris out of the shoe when facing wet and muddy terrain.

We thought we would share our experience when it comes to colours – after approx 100 miles in these shoes, they look like this.

speedgoatAs yo

Update – another 100 or so miles later this is how they look after their latest outing. A muddy, local 7.5 mile race which was a combination of muddy, boggy fields and gravel paths/tarmac. We knew the Speedgoat would serve us well on the road/gravel paths as they are great for road to trail. I don’t think there is a pair of shoes yet invented that would have dealt with the sheer volume of mud though. I did find, after having to run through a stream, that they drained quickly and I didn’t have to squelch for more than a few steps. 

muddy hoka speedgoat 5

 

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Conclusion

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 is an excellent trail running shoe that is well-suited for long distances and challenging terrain. It is a great choice for runners who are looking for a shoe that provides a smooth ride, a secure fit, and excellent traction. It is no secret that it gets our vote and currently tops our list of favourites. If you were going to buy just one pair of trail shoes for all scenarios, we don’t think you will be disappointed in a pair of Speedgoats. Just be mindful that they aren’t great for mud.