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Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's Review

With a comfortable and responsive midsole and enough room in the forefoot for toe wiggle, you'll be happy running mile after mile
Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's
Photo: HOKA ONE ONE
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $120 List | Check Price at REI
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Pros:  Well cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high value
Cons:  Stack height takes some getting used to
Manufacturer:   HOKA ONE ONE
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 17, 2021
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81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 16
  • Foot Protection - 25% 9.0
  • Traction - 20% 9.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 6.0
  • Stability - 15% 6.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 9.0
  • Weight - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

From roads to ridges, the Hoka One One Torrent 2 offers a comfortable and consistent ride for any type of runner. We fell in love with this shoe while testing it in the mountains of Colorado and the deserts of Utah. It’s seen deep sandy, water-saturated clay roads, steep singletrack, and rocky ridgelines. We’ve worn it daily to work and even taken it on several mountain bike rides. After 150+ miles of trail running, 50+ miles biking, and who knows how many miles walked, it’s a new favorite for comfort. The ultra-cushioned outsole doesn’t feel bulky or unstable underfoot but cradles your foot with every step. Ideal for all types of runners, we believe this shoe can do it all.

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$130 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Well cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high valueLight, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stableExcellent traction, great balance of foot protection and sensitivity, specific fit, durable outsoleSensitive, stable, precise fit, great for technical surfacesSticky traction, protective, rainbow design is fun, great value, all surface capabilities
Cons Stack height takes some getting used toNarrow fit, runs small, rigid construction takes time to break-inHigher heel is less stable, lugs wear down on pavementHeavier, lacks cushioning, best for narrow feetLess stable than most, harder midsole is less comfortable, narrower fit
Bottom Line With a comfortable and responsive midsole and enough room in the forefoot for toe wiggle, you'll be happy running mile after mileStable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alikeAn aggressive trail shoe that is built for steep, technical, and sloppy trailsA sensitive yet protective trail runner best for technical terrain, with a little less cushioning in the forefootThis rainbow contender has the ability to tackle all kinds of trail with excellent protection and sticky traction
Rating Categories Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Salomon Speedcross 5 La Sportiva Bushido 2 Merrell Antora 2
Foot Protection (25%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Traction (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Stability (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Comfort And Fit (15%)
9.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Weight (10%)
9.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
6.0
Specs Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Salomon Speedcross 5 La Sportiva Bushido 2 Merrell Antora 2
Measured Weight (per shoe, size 9) 8.6 oz 9.8 oz 10.7 oz 10.4 oz 9.6 oz
Heel-to-Toe Drop 5 mm 8 mm 10 mm 6 mm 8.5 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) Not disclosed Not disclosed 35 mm, 25 mm 19 mm, 13 mm 28.5 mm, 20 mm
Upper Engineered mesh Mesh, continuous nylon Nylon mesh, sythetic overlays AirMesh, Thermal adhesive microfiber, High frequency welded ripstop Mesh and TPU
Midsole EVA Feline SL midsole Injected EVA 1.5 mm dual-density compressed EVA EVA
Outsole Rubber Sticky Pomoco Outer Contragrip Dual-Density FriXion XT V-Groove with Impact Brake System Vibram TC5+ rubber sole
Rock Plate? None Not disclosed Yes Yes Yes
Wide Version Available? No No No No Yes
Sizes Available 6 - 11 5 - 11 5 - 12 36 - 43 EU 5 - 11

Our Analysis and Test Results

What’s new with the Torrent 2?


While we haven't reviewed the previous version of the Torrent, here is a list of updates from the last iteration that we learned about:
  • Lighter with better elemental distribution to decrease clunkiness
  • Updated lug pattern

The Torrent 2 is a cushioned and lightweight trail runner that easily flows over technical terrain with a responsive ride. It's a favorite for long-distance runs that you can wear all day, boasting superior comfort. Over time it molds to your foot for a solid fit that feels wider than most Hoka shoes we've tested.

Performance Comparison


We take the Torrent 2 with us while running up ridgelines in the San...
We take the Torrent 2 with us while running up ridgelines in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. We tested it for over 150+ miles (and counting) across all sorts of terrain. It earns top marks for comfort, built to carry you for hours on the trail.
Photo: Amber King

Foot Protection


This trail runner boasts superior protection scoring high in this metric. It keeps out pesky particulates while protecting you from underfoot hazards. We tested it over deep sand, dusty trails, and high ridgelines. In all cases, we felt more protected in this shoe than most others in this review.


Log the miles with excellent underfoot cushioning that is responsive, pushing you forward with each step. We wore the Torrent 2 while taking on rocky, root-saturated trails without feeling much. The cushioning is soft and responsive, wrapping itself over any hazard without translating the underfoot architecture of the trail to your foot.

The upper proves to keep out the peskiest of particulates including...
The upper proves to keep out the peskiest of particulates including sand. We were surprised that after three hours of running a deep sandy desert trail, we didn't have to empty our shoes once.
Photo: Amber King

The toe cap isn't one of the hardest we've seen, but it does a good enough job protecting from unexpected stubs. When testing in deep sand, we didn't have to stop once during our 15-mile run to empty out our shoes.

A look at the extra cushioning at the heel and throughout the...
A look at the extra cushioning at the heel and throughout the midsole that we have come to love. It offers superior protection on most types of terrain, earning high marks in this category.
Photo: Amber King

That said, when it comes to water, the Torrent 2 isn't waterproof or even water-resistant. Though, the upper does dry quickly, taking about 15 minutes while running to feel dry again in warmish weather in our experience. If you're seeking a protective shoe for long distances on technical terrain, this is a good one to consider.

Traction


We've tested across the lithosphere, from steep trails littered with gravel to flat dirt roads. We've run over wet rocks, muddy terrain, through rivers, and into sandpits. While playing out in the wild, we assess all aspects of performance. So far, traction scores for this shoe have been high, sticking to some of the hardest to grip surfaces. Overall, we're impressed.


The ultra sticky outsole composed of soft yet sticky rubber seems to grab across all the surfaces. We were impressed when running in both wet and dry conditions. The rubber is soft enough to mold around underfoot hazards, sticking to most surfaces.

The lugs are sticky and deep, which inspires confidence on unstable...
The lugs are sticky and deep, which inspires confidence on unstable surfaces. We can easily recommend this shoe for most surfaces including rocky scrambles and soft surfaces. It crosses over to pavement well, too.
Photo: Amber King

The only area the Torrent 2 didn't perform fantastically was over super wet and slippery quartzite rocks, but let's face it — no shoe can stick to these surfaces (that we've tested so far). We give it two big thumbs up for everything else — including technical scrambles. Don't be afraid to wear these kicks over technical and varied terrain. Oh, and they cross over to roads beautifully as well. Bonus.

Demonstrating the stickiness of the rubber on a slot canyon run in...
Demonstrating the stickiness of the rubber on a slot canyon run in the San Rafael Swell of Utah.
Photo: Amber King

Sensitivity


While the Torrent 2 gets an average score in this category, it's one of the more sensitive shoes we've tested from Hoka. While there is ample cushioning underfoot for forefoot strikers, we were surprised at how well we can feel the ground underfoot. Without a built-in rock plate, you can still feel undulations in the trail without any pain or consequence. This shoe balances sensitivity with protection, offering an optimal ride.


We tested on over 150 miles of terrain in Southwest Colorado. Here, we met flat sandy trails, narrow slot canyons, rocky stream beds, high mountain trails littered with scree, and rambly ridgelines. Through it all, our testers appreciated the balance between cushioning and information about what was underfoot.

Riley (the dog) might have a more sensitive experience with just her...
Riley (the dog) might have a more sensitive experience with just her paws, but the Torrent 2 still lets you feel just enough of the trail underfoot.
Photo: Amber King

Stability


Earning an average score for stability, we were surprised at how confident we felt on uneven terrain. In the past, when testing highly cushioned contenders, we have taken extra care on uneven and rocky terrain out of fear of rolling an ankle. The Torrent 2 does a great job at balancing shoe elements to offer a stable and flat ride over most terrain. That said, it is still a shoe that sits taller than most, which can take some getting used to.


So what makes this shoe stable? Firstly, it has a wider forefoot than other Hoka shoes we've tested. After 15+ miles, the interior packs out a little to give you even more toe spread, equating to more stability. The platform is also wide on the heel, which is a nice addition for heel strikers. You can cinch down the laces for a more specific fit, adding more stability overall. Finally, the sidewalls of the outsole aren't steeply angled, making a potential ankle roll a little less catastrophic. When running, we could take our mind off of the potential of a rolled ankle and just cruise along confidently. That said, it earns a lower score simply because of its taller height compared to other contenders in this review.

The outsole wraps itself around underfoot hazards, swallowing them...
The outsole wraps itself around underfoot hazards, swallowing them up to keep the landing platform flat and stable. The more we ran in this shoe, the more confidence it inspired. It's stable, despite its slightly taller stack height.
Photo: Amber King

Comfort and Fit


With extra underfoot cushioning in each step, any runner will appreciate the ride for miles upon miles. The Torrent 2 offers a nice fit for those with regular to wide feet — wide enough to wiggle your toes and accommodate for foot swelling on super long runs. Overall, it earns top points in this category, mostly for its cushioned outsole that we find extremely comfortable.


When we first wore this shoe on the trail, the forefoot did feel a little narrow, but with daily wear and more miles, the shoe's interior began to pack out, opening up space for a more wiggle room. Those with a narrow foot might find the fit a bit too wide.

A look at the fit. Our main tester has a "regular" width foot. While...
A look at the fit. Our main tester has a "regular" width foot. While the fit does taper towards the top, there is still plenty of room at the widest part. Over time, the interior packs out for even more room, with the laces offering space to cinch it down.
Photo: Amber King

Unlike other Hoka shoes that constrict laterally at the arch to offer a little more support and a more fitted feel, that constriction doesn't exist on the Torrent 2. While our main tester likes this feature, testers with narrow feet felt that it was a little too roomy. The heel cup offers a nice fit, but it's a little wider than most. When testing on steeper terrain, we really needed to cinch down the laces so our foot wouldn't slide forward, hitting the top of the shoe on a fast downhill. It does not have any arch support, with extra cushioning in the heel compared to the forefoot. Overall, this is a well-cushioned shoe that feels exceptionally comfortable to wear, mile after mile.

We are levitating with excitement as the springy ride is one of the...
We are levitating with excitement as the springy ride is one of the most comfortable we've experienced so far. We love the responsive outsole that offers superior cushioned performance that continues to last well after the 20 mile mark.
Photo: Amber King

Weight


For such a cushioned shoe, the Torrent 2 is still super lightweight and airy feeling on the trail. The springiness had us feeling like we could set new personal records, while the upper dried quickly after getting wet.


The elements are well distributed on this shoe without any clunky components to weigh you down. For a size 9 women's shoe, it weighs in at just 8.6 ounces (per shoe), making it one of the lightest in this review.

Whoa - despite the ample cushioning, this shoe is still super light...
Whoa - despite the ample cushioning, this shoe is still super light, making it a great trainer or racing option.
Photo: Amber King

Value


When we saw the price, our jaw dropped just a little. This is a super affordable and high-value trail shoe destined to take you over hundreds of miles of trail. Aside from normal wear and tear (i.e., lug wear and a few wear zones), this shoe is holding up well after beating it against the ground for 150+ miles. The midsole has packed out just a little bit with some wear around the outsole exterior, but it's still going strong. Overall, we think it's a fantastic value for any runner — whether you're new to the trails or taking on your next 200-mile race.

Conclusion


If you're devoted to finding a comfortable trail runner, the Hoka Torrent 2 is the shoe to buy. It's no wonder you see it on the feet of ultra runners going up to the start line. With ample underfoot cushioning, a responsive ride, and enough wiggle room in the forefoot, it's built for comfort and long days on the trail. It's our new favorite that we'll be wearing while training for our next 50-mile race for sure.

Bounce your way down the trail in comfort. This cushioned trail...
Bounce your way down the trail in comfort. This cushioned trail runner is shoulders above others when it comes to logging hours of miles. Use it while running, walking, working, hiking, and more. You won't be disappointed (assuming its the right fit).
Photo: Amber King

Amber King

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