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HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's Review

While not for all runners, those who like a solid stack and extra sticky soles will love running in these
HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's
Credit: HOKA
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Price:  $155 List | $154.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Versatile lacebed, tons of cushion, great traction, durable
Cons:  Poor sensitivity, lacks lateral support, no rock plate
Manufacturer:   HOKA
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#17 of 18
  • Foot Protection - 25% 7.0
  • Traction - 20% 8.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 5.0
  • Stability - 15% 5.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

Some trail runners swear that the HOKA Speedgoat 5 is the only shoe they will run in. Others find its underfoot feel to be cumbersome and awkward. When pitted against the best trail running shoes on the market, this iteration of the Speedgoat didn't score as highly as we expected. Once we became accustomed to the fit, we fell in love with the underfoot cushion and traction that it offers. While not the most sensitive shoe, we enjoyed ripping up trails far and wide after an obligatory acclimatization period. If you are looking for a pillowy ride without any extra bells and whistles, the Speedgoat 5 is likely to be your perfect match.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Versatile lacebed, tons of cushion, great traction, durableSuperior comfort, light on foot, protective cushioning, stable architecture, breathable upper, great tractionLight, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stableWell-cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high valueAffordable, comfortable, good crossover shoe, great for beginning trail runners
Cons Poor sensitivity, lacks lateral support, no rock plateLace pocket is difficult to use, tight collar can bite into the ankle, pricyNarrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-inStack height takes some getting used to, less customizable lacebedNot rugged enough for technical trails, less sensitive
Bottom Line While not for all runners, those who like a solid stack and extra sticky soles will love running in theseOur favorite shoe offers a well-balanced ride with one of the stickiest and most confidence-inspiring outsoles we've ever seenStable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alikeWith a comfortable and responsive midsole and enough room in the forefoot for toe wiggle, you'll be happy running mile after mileIf you are looking for an affordable shoe to run light trails and fire roads, look no further because this is the perfect shoe for you
Rating Categories HOKA Speedgoat 5 -... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Dynafit Feline SL -... Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Foot Protection (25%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
5.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Stability (15%)
5.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (15%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Specs HOKA Speedgoat 5 -... Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Dynafit Feline SL -... Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Measured Weight (per shoe) 8.57 oz (size 7) 8.68 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
9.45 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
7.41 oz (size 7)
8.6 oz (size 9)
8.0 oz (size 7)
Heel-to-Toe Drop 4 mm 8.6 mm 8 mm 5 mm 8 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 31 mm, 27 mm 26.8 mm, 18.2 mm Not disclosed 31 mm 20 mm, 12 mm
Upper Mesh Textile/synthetic Mesh, continuous nylon Engineered mesh Synthetic mesh
Midsole CMEVA Energy Cell, polyurethane foam Feline SL midsole EVA EVA
Outsole Vibram Megagrip rubber Rubber Sticky Pomoco Outer Rubber Rubber
Rock Plate? No Not disclosed Not disclosed None Yes
Wide Version Available? No No No No No
Sizes Available 5 - 12 4 - 13 5 - 11 6 - 11 5 - 12

Our Analysis and Test Results

A beloved favorite for some trail runners and a last choice for others, the updated Speedgoat 5 offers exceptional traction via the Vibram Megagrip soles with a long and versatile lacebed for a secure fit. We grew to love these runners, even though their numerical scores added up to much less than some of the more well-featured superstars in our review.

Performance Comparison


HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - we grew to love the thick base and sockliner upper of the speedgoat 5.
We grew to love the thick base and sockliner upper of the Speedgoat 5.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Foot Protection


The Speedgoat 5 offers some great protective elements but lacks others that we have grown to love. The tightly woven, double-layer mesh upper does a great job at keeping sand from infiltrating but provides little to repel water. The heel cup is uniquely shaped with some cushion and a propensity to mold to your anatomy and keep spare dirt particles out. The toe bumper is one of our favorites, as the transition from mesh to bumper feels seamless while running. Unlike more rugged shoes whose bumpers feel rigid against our toes, the Speedgoat's bumper is protective but unintrusive.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - the mesh upper definitely let water in, but the stack height...
The mesh upper definitely let water in, but the stack height prevented us from getting too wet when crossing streams.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

The Speedgoat 5 lacks a rock plate, which is part of why the upper construction feels fairly minimalist, despite this shoe being of a maximalist design. Because of the outsole, stack height, and shape, we didn't miss a rock plate, but we award more points to shoes that include them. Since these shoes have a full 31mm of underfoot construction, the protection provided for the sole of your foot is next level.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - great protection and minimal heel-to-toe drop in the speedgoat 5.
Great protection and minimal heel-to-toe drop in the Speedgoat 5.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Traction


The Speedgoat 5 employs Vibram Megagrip rubber as its base, allowing it to be an incredibly trustworthy shoe no matter the terrain. Much like other shoes that use Vibram soles, the Speedgoat sticks to even slippery granite with ease.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - the vibram megagrip soles and perfectly contoured lugs provide great...
The Vibram Megagrip soles and perfectly contoured lugs provide great on-trail grip.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

The updated sole design includes specified traction lugs and a burly 5mm deep lug pattern across the sole. The lugs helped us feel surefooted as we raced across loose scree of varying inclines.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - even on descents, we felt strong and surefooted because of the great...
Even on descents, we felt strong and surefooted because of the great traction on the updated Speedgoat.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Sensitivity


The Speedgoat 5 is not a sensitive shoe by any means. At its highest, your heel is lifted 31mm off of the trail, and at its lowest, a tall27 mm.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - the thick stack and lack of lateral support added an extra challenge...
The thick stack and lack of lateral support added an extra challenge on sandy trails.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

However, though the sole of the Speedgoat is maximal, the lack of lateral support allows you to feel out trail features, though in a very muted way. We found that some of the more rigid and protective shoes prevent this, so it was a pleasant surprise to learn that there is at least some relationship with the trail while running in these.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - even with a thick stack height, we could feel out some trail...
Even with a thick stack height, we could feel out some trail features which allowed us to adjust our steps and have one success run after another.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


We feel that the Speedgoat 5 does a great job of balancing its minimal and maximal elements, but it lacks some stability, in our opinion. It has a 4mm drop, which is moderate enough to feel stable and secure through the base of support. However, the EVA sockliner upper provides very little lateral stability. If you have strong glutes and healthy ankles, you needn't worry about this. But if you are inclined to overpronation, these shoes might not be your best bet. The dual-layered mesh provides as much lateral stability as mesh can, but it lacks the structural integrity of more rigid uppers.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - the mesh upper is strong, but lacks the rigidity of more supportive...
The mesh upper is strong, but lacks the rigidity of more supportive kicks.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

All in all, the Speedgoat is adequately stable. We loved running in these, as do many gritty trail runners, but some people might find that they aren't quite stable enough. The heel stack and mesh outer won't be a match for everyone, but it makes for a delightful ride for those it works for.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - we loved putting mileage on the grippy speedgoats.
We loved putting mileage on the grippy Speedgoats.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Comfort and Fit


Because of its seamless toe bumper, the Speedgoat feels like it runs a bit bigger than most shoes. In some shoes, the bumper seems to eat into toe real estate, and we recommend sizing up in those cases. The Speedgoat rides like the bumper was added in addition to the standard shoe length, which makes it seem long but also adds to its overall comfort.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - the curve and length of the toebox make the toe bumper a gentle yet...
The curve and length of the toebox make the toe bumper a gentle yet strong protective feature.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

We grew to love the long lacebed because it allows us to cinch the toebox to perfection. Since this style of lacebed is unique, it definitely took a bit of getting used to, which is the name of the game when it comes to running in these shoes. The platform-esque feel was awkward at first, especially on sandy trails, but this sensation dissipated after a bit of a break-in period.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - coastal runs were fun, but challenging in the thick-soled speedgoat.
Coastal runs were fun, but challenging in the thick-soled Speedgoat.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

The underfoot remained plush as it conformed to our foot shape, making for an even more comfortable ride. Even though we criticized the lack of lateral stability provided by the sockliner upper, it is incredibly comfortable. We never felt any hotspots while running in these shoes, a sensation that we get really nitpicky about when endeavoring to provide you with the most reliable information possible.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - we never felt any hotspots or other niggles while executing long...
We never felt any hotspots or other niggles while executing long runs in the Speedgoat 5.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


A women's size 7 US weighs in at 8.57 ounces per shoe which is on the lighter side, especially for such a stacked shoe. But, because of how the weight is distributed, we couldn't help but notice that these shoes felt heavier underfoot than others. Some shoes offer more evenly distributed weight that makes them feel nearly weightless on the trails, despite it weighing in slightly higher on the scale. That said, once we grew used to the profile of the Speedgoat, the cumbersome underfoot feel became less prominent.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - the heavy underfoot feeling faded for us as the mileage added up.
The heavy underfoot feeling faded for us as the mileage added up.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 5?


The Speedgoat 5 is a reliable, durable, and grippy shoe that will go the distance with you. If you love a plush ride combined with a sockliner upper and versatile lacebed, this might be a great pick. However, we hesitate to widely recommend this shoe to all trail runners because it is too unique to suit everyone's needs. We recommend trying the Speedgoat on before buying if you can to ensure it is comfortable for your foot shape.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Women's trail running shoes - the plush underfoot cushion provides a great base for all gait...
The plush underfoot cushion provides a great base for all gait styles, making this stacked runner a bit more versatile than we originally expected.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


As mentioned, the unique features and profile of this shoe might not be a perfect match for you. If you want a maximalist shoe with a bit more protection and a broader appeal, snag the HOKA Torrent 2 instead. If a rugged, well-tractioned shoe is what you're after, the Salomon Speedcross 5 is another great option, though it has a full 10mm drop. If cushion and comfort are your main priorities, the plush and grippy Altra Lone Peak 6 and Altra Olympus 4 are also comfortable considerations. Both Altra options provide a more forgiving fit, with the Lone Peak being a bit more affordable when compared to the Speedgoat.

Ally Arcuri
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