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Hands-on Gear Review
HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit WP Review
Cons: Below-average traction in loose sediment, not the most durable, pricey
Bottom line: The unique, thick sole of this shoe provides excellent comfort while also delivering support at a low weight.
The folks at HOKA ONE ONE have a fever, and the only prescription is more comfort. The Tor Summit WP utilizes the oversized, multi-density rubber soles this manufacturer has become known for. We have tested several different models from HOKA ONE ONE, from runners to hiking shoes and boots, and our testers are impressed by the cushy feeling underfoot and fresh feet after a day of crushing miles. This shoe isn't a one-trick pony, either. We were impressed oversized did not equal overweight, landing in the middle of the pack on our scale. And despite not having a shank insert, this shoe boasts incredible torsional stability and supports short backpacking trips. And, it's waterproof yet still breathes. If you're ready to say goodbye to sore hiking feet or want to reduce stress on your knees, this is your shoe.
This shoe faced tough competition in this review, and some shoes fared better in some metrics and specific uses. The Salomon X Ultra 2 GTX provides greater traction on sloppy trails and more durable through rough terrain. Our Editors' Choice winner, The North Face Ultra 109 GTX writes the book on versatility and weighs an ounce less per pair.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Men's Hiking Shoes of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit WP sets the bar high for comfort in hiking shoes while also offering great performance across the board. It retails at $160. The upper consists of nubuck and suede leather which has an eVent waterproof membrane with full bootie construction. The midsole is thick RMAT rubber, which is also utilized in the center of the outsole, coupled with a Vibram MegaGrip Hi-Traction Outsole with 5mm lugs.
HOKA ONE ONE understands that if your feet aren't comfortable, all other aspects of your footwear matter little. This shoe is the comfiest model reviewed, with a soft and spongy tongue, good arch support, a thick insole, and a fatty midsole and outsole combination. Rocky, bumpy, spiky terrain isn't a problem when cruising in these shoes, and our feet felt fresh hike after hike. The toe protection isn't robust, yet with our feet raised higher atop the uber-thick soles, we were less likely to stub our toes. Even our Editors' Choice winner The North Face Ultra 109 GTX didn't provide this much comfort.
The lacing system is simple, with five sets of metal eyelets for the flat-style laces to slide through. It's easy to tighten the laces as desired, and the supple leather upper doesn't resist snugging up against the foot. The cushioned tongue allowed us to tighten the shoes tighter than comfortable on other models.
As expected, these shoes also absorb shock better than the other contenders. For hopping boulders, they are the best. And despite the leather uppers, they were breathable. Taking off our shoes after the treadmill test, there was barely any dampness in our socks. Our feet didn't overheat or sweat profusely hiking in this pair. If you prioritize breathability and don't need a waterproof shoe, the Vasque Juxt is for you.
Weighing 2 lb. 0.8 oz. on our scale, the Tor Summit initially felt bigger and heavier than it is due to its oversized outsole. After a short distance, however, this feeling went away, and we enjoyed the lightweight feeling under these ultra-comfortable hikers. Its weight lands within one ounce of six shoes tested here, so it's not off in outer space, and lighter than our other Top Pick Award winner, the Salomon X Ultra 2 GTX.
If you like the other features of this shoe, its weight should not deter you whatsoever. Check out the Adidas Terrex Swift R GTX for the lightest shoe.
The Tor Summit lacks a shank insert in the sole, which lead us to expect a less rigid midfoot. Nope. In our lateral torsion test, this shoe tied the Keen Targhee II as the most rigid among all contenders. The four layers of rubber (varying in density) provide a supportive sole. This combines with the wide forefoot width of 4.75 inches to increase stability in each step.
Overall, it proved to be one of the most supportive shoes in this review. For more ankle stability, we preferred The North Face Ultra 109 GTX, which has a higher ankle height, stiffer upper, and a lacing system that secures the shoe higher up the foot.
The Vibram MegaGrip Hi-Traction Outsole features multi-directional, dense rubber lugs on the perimeter and much softer rubber, rectangular RMAT lugs in the center of the sole. The tread has plenty of surface area contact for traction on wet and dry rock. The muted sensitivity from the thick cushioning, however, didn't inspire our confidence on steep terrain.
In loose gravel, mud, and snow, this model didn't impress us much. Our feet slid around as the gravel rolled underfoot, and the outsole collected snow and mud. For a comfortable shoe with better traction across the board, check out the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof, or the X Ultra 2 GTX, which scored the highest in this metric.
From day hiking to brief backpacking trips, this shoe will not let you down. It offers exceptional comfort on any trail. Our reviewers compared this model often to beach cruiser bikes — it can go fast, but tends to just cruise. The soft soles feel unresponsive, and provide less spring in each step in comparison to other models. For a more nimble, aggressive model, check out the Salomon X Ultra 2 GTX.
Several folks with knee joint issues or who wear orthotics claim in their online reviews that these shoes decrease pain experienced while walking. As this doesn't pertain to our testers, we cannot confirm this, but we imagine the cushy ride reducing joint stress and discomfort.
Not only appropriate on a trail, the Tor Summit is great for anyone spending days on their feet at work. The thick soles of this pair draw attention around town, but the comfort might be worth it. For something more subtle around town, but still comfy, check out the Vasque Juxt.
The Tor Summit features an eVent waterproof membrane, which did not leak in any backcountry stream crossings, nor in our five minute underwater test. Out of the box, water beads off this shoe well. After significant use, the upper began absorbing water along the seam of the toe abrasion guard and the leather.
The 4.125-inch flood level was below average for the field of competition, yet we were satisfied with the water resistance of this model. If you need higher protection, check out the Salomon X Ultra 2 GTX or La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX.
Over the three-month testing period, we experienced zero durability issues with the Tor Summit. The majority leather upper took all the abuse we put it through in stride. There is little protection around the toes and the sides, though, when compared to models like the Salomon or Keen models. These high-wear areas are prone to breakdowns in any hiking shoe and is a point of potential failure down the road. The soft rubber in the center column of the outsole is also susceptible to wear. While these shoes might not hold up to the most aggressive abuse, they should last many miles on easy to moderate trails. If you're willing to sacrifice some comfort for longevity, the Asolo Agent GV is the most durable shoe in this review.
We did read some user reports of delamination of the sole from the upper. Although we see no signs of this after three months, the small rubber toe cap has potential to peel away from the shoe over time.
This shoe is an excellent choice for easy to moderate day hiking and short backpacking trips. If you have past injuries that often cut your hikes short, the Tor Summit might push your limits further than other less comfortable, less supportive models. These shoes are also for anyone who spends a large amount of time on their feet throughout the day.
The cushy support of the Tor Summit does come with a steep price tag, listed at $160. If this shoe makes hiking more bearable on your knees, or keeps your feet fresh after a long day on your feet, spending the extra cash is worth it. If you don't need the extra comfort, our Best Buy Award winner, the Vasque Juxt provides the best value of all models reviewed.
Comfortable feet are happy feet. The HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit WP is a pleasure to wear on trails and around town. Premium comfort comes with a premium price, yet the cost is justified if it allows you to get out and hike longer or more often. This model receives a lot of attention for its cushy feels, but as we found out, it is a solid all-around performer.
— Ross Robinson
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