The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 is a lightweight trail running shoe with a Vibram sole that’s a popular choice among runners, thru-hikers, and backpackers alike.
It’s the successor to the Speedgoat 4 and HOKA has made some serious improvements to the shoe; my favorite being the Speedgoat 5’s new back that no longer digs into my ankle (although the back still lacks a gaiter attachment).
Here’s everything you need to know about the HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 to decide whether you should include it as part of your next outdoor adventure.
Pros and Cons
+ Easy on/off tab that doesn’t rub against ankles
+ Comfortable tongue and laces
+ Wide sizes available
+ Awesome colors available
– No gaiter attachment
– Tread wears down quickly
– Wide sizes have limited colors
– Blowouts possible
- Weight: 10.3 oz / 292 g (per shoe)
- Heel-To-Toe Drop: 4 mm
- Heel Height: 33 mm
- Forefoot Height: 29 mm
- Volume: 651 cm³
- Spring Measurement: 35×21 mm
- Stability: Neutral
- Cushion: Balanced
- Sole: Vibram Megagrip
- Closure: Lace-up
- Rock Plate: No
- Colors: 9 colors available (5 in wide sizes)
- Largest Available Size: Men’s 15 US
- MSRP: $155
The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 is a comfortable shoe. I’ve worn multiple pairs across literally hundreds of miles of hiking, backpacking, and running across varying terrain from the Utah desert to the mountains of California and have had no complaints. Even when the tread is worn down and the shoes have been beaten to nearly beyond recognition, they still make for incredibly comfortable shoes (turning used pairs into river/water shoes is probably a good idea). Finding comfortable shoes that fit your feet is perhaps the most important thing when looking for a pair of shoes and the Speedgoat 5s have certainly treated my feet well.
The Heel Tab
A huge improvement in the Speedgoat 5 over the previous Speedgoat 4 is the improved heel tab. This makes getting the shoe off – but especially putting it on – a lot easier and more comfortable. Should you untie your shoes every time before taking them off and putting them on? Yes, you should. Does the improved heel tab make taking off and putting on your shoes without unlacing/lacing them a lot easier? Also yes. I hope future versions of the Speedgoat never change this. Why would a shoe not be designed this way? I don’t know.
Of all the trail runners available, the Speedgoat 5 has debatably the best color schemes. Sadly, I am limited in my choices due to wide versions of the Speedgoat only being available in limited colors, but that doesn’t stop me from being jealous of all the other options out there. Does the color of your shoe matter at all? Absolutely not. But does having just a solid black or solid gray shoe likely stop some people from buying one shoe over another? Probably.
Honestly, I’m pretty happy with the overall durability of the HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5, but I felt it worth mentioning that I have had blowouts in the toe of one pair. Overall, I’ve gone through probably six pairs of Speedgoat 5s and have always replaced them because of the tread wearing down (addressed below). The blowouts occurred at nearly the same time and on the inside/ball of the foot portion of each shoe. I can’t say I was doing anything of note beyond hiking through the desert when this happened, but as I said, I thought it was worth mentioning.
To be clear, the Speedgoat 5 does have wide sizes available. They do not however have extra wide sizes available. I find that I still need to size up half a size to get the proper width out of a pair of Speedgoats. It would be awesome to see HOKA introduce a 4E version of the Speedgoat as they have started to do with some of their road running shoes such as the Bondi 8.
The cushioning on the Speedgoat 5 – and nearly all HOKA shoes for that matter – can be a point of contention among users. I have no problem with and even enjoy the cushioning (which can add noticeable height to the shoe), but others steer clear of HOKA for this reason alone. Shoes are perhaps the most personal choice of gear when it comes to kitting yourself out so the only way to know whether HOKAs cushioning will work for you is to try it for yourself. Fortunately, HOKA offers free shipping and free returns (on full-priced shoes).
One of the worst things about the HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 (and most other HOKA shoes)? They’re challenging to find on sale. Most of the time they are excluded from promotions on third-party websites and HOKA rarely runs promotions. The one time you can easily find them on sale? When they discontinue a model. Best to stock up when you find one that you like.
One of my least favorite things about the Speedgoat 5 is how quickly the tread wears down. I haven’t had as much of an issue with this while using the shoe for running as I’ve had while backpacking. Maybe it’s the extra weight I’m carrying in a pack or maybe it’s just the different movement of the feet hiking versus running. After about 300 to 350 miles (480 to 560 km), I’m finding the tread to be woefully worn down. See the photos below for a pair with just over 300 mi / 480 km.
The Gaiter Trap
I’m surprised that HOKA has been resistant to the idea of putting a Velcro gaiter trap on their shoes. It seems so obvious a need that I imagine there must be some reason I’m not aware of that’s stopping them from adding this to the Speedgoat. It’s gotten to the point where I’m sometimes so frustrated with the Velcro strip I add to the back of the shoe (because it will inevitably fall off after days of abuse and/or water crossings and snow travel), that I would consider switching shoes just to have a gaiter trap pre-installed.
Used vs. New
|Shoes||Weight (Pair)||Price||Heel-Toe Drop||Rock Plate||Cushioning||Largest Size (M)|
|Altra Lone Peak (M/W)||21.2 oz / 601 g||$140||0 mm||No||Medium||16|
|Altra Olympus (M/W)||24.6 oz / 697 g||$180||0 mm||No||Maximum||15|
|Altra Timp (M/W)||21.8 oz / 618 g||$160||0 mm||No||High||15|
|Brooks Cascadia (M/W)||21 oz / 595 g||$130||8 mm||Yes||Medium||15|
|HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATR (M/W)||19.6 oz / 556 g||$140||5 mm||No||High||15|
|HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat (M/W)||20.6 oz / 584 g||$155||4 mm||No||Maximum||15|
|HOKA ONE ONE Stinson ATR (M/W)||23.4 oz / 663 g||$170||5 mm||No||Maximum||15|
|La Sportiva Bushido (M/W)||21 oz / 595 g||$145||6 mm||Yes||Medium||15.5|
|La Sportiva Wildcat (M/W)||24.7 oz / 700 g||$135||12 mm||No||Medium||13.5|
|Merrell Moab (M/W)||33 oz / 920 g||$110||N/A||No||Medium||15|
|Oboz Sawtooth X (M/W)||31.6 oz / 896 g||$125||N/A||No||Medium||15|
|Salomon XA Pro 3D (M/W)||24 oz / 680 g||$130||11 mm||Yes||Medium||14|
|Topo Athletic Terraventure (M/W)||20.4 oz / 578 g||$130||3 mm||Yes||Medium||15|
|Topo Athletic Ultraventure (M/W)||20.8 oz / 590 g||$135||5 mm||No||Medium||13|
The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 is a functional and comfortable shoe that, so long as you aren’t opposed to having a cushion beneath your foot, is a great choice for trail runners, backpackers, and thru-hikers.
That said, the tread does appear to wear out rather quickly so you can expect to be replacing the Speedgoat 5 more regularly than you would a similar pair of shoes.
Rating + Recommendation
The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5 is a comfortable and well-built shoe that is great for trail running, backpacking, and hiking. Speedgoats come in wide sizes, have the one of best color schemes on the market, and are typically readily available. However, the lack of a gaiter attachment, the seemingly soft tread, and the price point may be enough to turn some would-be users elsewhere.
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