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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
Credit: HOKA ONE ONE
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $125 List | $124.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Well-cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high value
Cons:  Stack height takes some getting used to, less customizable lacebed
Manufacturer:   HOKA ONE ONE
By Amber King and Ally Arcuri  ⋅  May 26, 2022
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 18
  • Foot Protection - 25% 8.0
  • Traction - 20% 9.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 7.0
  • Stability - 15% 7.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 8.0
  • Weight - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

From roads to ridges, the Hoka One One Torrent 2 is made for trails but 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, the deserts of Utah, and the coastal mountain ranges of California. 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 is the kind of shoe that can do it all.

Editor's Note: This product review was updated on March 26, 2022, with additional information following our Spring testing season.

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Price $124.95 at Backcountry
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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 stableGreat traction, streamlined profile, encourages speedUltra-comfortable, lightweight, stable, protective, plenty of toebox spaceAffordable, comfortable, good crossover shoe, great for beginning trail runners
Cons Stack height takes some getting used to, less customizable lacebedNarrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-inLess protective, runs narrowPacks out more quickly than others, zero-drop isn't for everyone, less arch supportNot rugged enough for technical trails, less sensitive
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 alikeWhen you are looking to ratchet up the speed on technical trails, this is the lightweight and snug-fitting shoe you'll reach forWhile not necessarily built for speed, you'll get a plush ride with all of the space your toes need to spread on long-distance daysIf 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 Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Saucony Peregrine 12 Altra Lone Peak 6 -... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Foot Protection (25%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
9.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Stability (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (15%)
8.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
7.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Saucony Peregrine 12 Altra Lone Peak 6 -... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Measured Weight (per shoe) 7.41 oz (size 7)
8.6 oz (size 9)
9.45 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
7.76 oz (size 7) 7.62 oz(size 7) 8.0 oz (size 7)
Heel-to-Toe Drop 5 mm 8 mm 4 mm 0 mm 8 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 31 mm Not disclosed 26.5 mm, 22.5 mm 25 mm, 25 mm 20 mm, 12 mm
Upper Engineered mesh Mesh, continuous nylon Recycled polyester Air-mesh Quick-Dry Air Mesh Synthetic mesh
Midsole EVA Feline SL midsole PWRRUN Altra EGO EVA
Outsole Rubber Sticky Pomoco Outer PWRTRAC rubber MaxTrac rubber Rubber
Rock Plate? None Not disclosed Yes Yes Yes
Wide Version Available? No No Yes No No
Sizes Available 6 - 11 5 - 11 5 - 12 5.5 - 12 5 - 12

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Torrent 2 is a cushioned and lightweight trail runner that easily flows over technical terrain with a responsive ride. It has 31mm of stack height, and a women's size 7 US tips the scale at a scant 7.41 ounces. It's a favorite for long-distance runs, boasting superior comfort. Over time it molds to your foot for a solid fit that feels wider than most Hoka shoes we've tested. While this is a quality that we love about the Torrent, if your gait is imperfect based on muscular imbalances, your shoes might not wear down evenly, potentially leading to further gait issues. But overall, for the price, the Torrent 2 does it all and provides epic value for long distances.

Performance Comparison


Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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.
Credit: 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, and we ran ultra distances and even took them out for a few beach runs. We felt more protected in this shoe than most others in this review.


The Torrent 2 allows you to log miles with excellent underfoot cushioning that is responsive, pushing you forward with each step. We wore the Torrent while taking on rocky, root-saturated trails without feeling much. The thick underfoot cushion and powerful base help to dissipate pressure, which came in handy during coastal runs on rocky sea cliffs. The cushioning is soft and responsive, wrapping itself over any hazard without translating the underfoot architecture of the trail to your foot.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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.
Credit: Amber King

The toe cap isn't very hard and certainly isn't the biggest in our lineup of contenders, but it does a good enough job protecting from unexpected stubs. We didn't have to stop once during our double-digit mileage runs to empty our shoes, even when testing in deep sand.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running 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.
Credit: Amber King

That said, when it comes to water, the Torrent 2 isn't waterproof or even water-resistant. That said, the upper does dry quickly, taking about 15 minutes while running to feel dry again in warmish weather in our experience. It also takes a bit longer for the shoe to get saturated in comparison to other shoes. We found that if we sprinted through our favorite coastal creek without a pause, we often wouldn't feel the freshwater soak in. If we hesitated and tiptoed through, though, our socks became damp. If you're seeking a protective shoe for long distances on technical terrain, this is a good one to consider.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - a rocky and flowy descent overlooking the pacific ocean is a dream...
A rocky and flowy descent overlooking the Pacific Ocean is a dream in the Torrent 2.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Traction


We've tested all over, 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. Even though we tested shoes with much more aggressive lugs, the Torrent performed incredibly well with its lower profile lugs.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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.
Credit: Amber King

The only area the Torrent 2 didn't perform particularly well 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, which is a massive bonus in our book.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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.
Credit: Amber King

Sensitivity


While the Torrent 2 gets an only-slightly-above average score in this category, it's one of the more sensitive shoes we've tested from Hoka. In fact, we found that as the shoes got broken in based on our wear patterns and gait, they became slightly more sensitive. While there is ample cushioning underfoot for forefoot strikers, we were surprised at how well we could 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 300 miles of terrain in Southwest Colorado, western Washington, and California. Here, we met flat narrow slot canyons, rocky stream beds, high mountain trails littered with scree, rambly ridgelines, dank forested singletracks, and oh-so-much sand. Through it all, our testers appreciated the balance between cushioning and information about what was underfoot. No matter where we were testing, we found that we could truly feel the features of the trail we were on.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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.
Credit: Amber King

Stability


This shoe earned an above-average score for stability, and we were surprised at how confident we felt on uneven terrain for how tall it is. 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 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 an excellent addition for heel strikers. You can cinch down the laces for a more specific fit, adding more stability overall. Unlike a few others, though, the lace eyelets all sit in straight lines surrounding the lacebed, which means that cinching to create a perfect fit is your only option. If it works on your anatomy, you'll love the way this shoe adheres to your foot.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - we love how free we feel flying down trails in the tightly cinched...
We love how free we feel flying down trails in the tightly cinched, yet perfectly spacious Torrent 2.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

One of the other reasons why the Torrent 2 is so stable is because it only has a 5mm differential between the heel and the toe. While trail running shoes often have a flatter base than traditional running shoes, allowing your heel to rest only slightly above the toe leads to strong anatomical stability. 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 cruise along confidently. That said, it earns a lower score simply because of its taller height relative to other contenders in this review.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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.
Credit: Amber King

Comfort and Fit


With extra underfoot cushioning in each step, any runner will appreciate the ride of the Torrent 2 for miles upon miles. This is one of the reasons why so many ultrarunners proclaim the Torrent as their go-to trail sidekick. It offers a nice fit for those with regular to wide feet, and it is wide enough to wiggle your toes and accommodate foot swelling on super long runs. Overall, it earns top points in this category, primarily thanks to its cushioned outsole that we find incredibly comfortable.


When we first wore this shoe on the trail, the forefoot did feel a little narrow to one of our testers, 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. Our other tester found that the midfoot fit like a glove upon unboxing but grew to love how the toe box opened up after a few short runs.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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.
Credit: 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. The heel cup offers a nice cushioned fit, but it's slightly wider than most. When testing on steeper terrain, we 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 much 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.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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.
Credit: Amber King

Weight


The Torrent 2 is super lightweight and has an airy feeling on the trail for such a cushioned shoe. The springiness had us feeling like we could set new personal records.


This shoe's elements are well distributed without any clunky components to weigh you down. The clunkiest part is the maiden voyage, especially if you are unaccustomed to a full 31mm of stack beneath your feet. For a size 7 US women's shoe, it weighs in at just 7.41 ounces (per shoe), making it one of the lightest in this review.

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - as one of the lightest shoes in our review, we never felt bogged...
As one of the lightest shoes in our review, we never felt bogged down by extra ounces.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the Hoka Torrent 2?


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 everywhere as they toe the starting 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 one of our all-time favorite shoes that we'll be wearing while training for our next 50-mile race for sure. The comfort of this shoe has us dreaming of what competing in a 100-miler might be like too…

Hoka Torrent 2 - Women's trail running shoes - 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).
Credit: Amber King

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


When we saw the price, our jaws dropped just a little. The Torrent 2 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, this shoe is holding up well after beating it against the ground for hundreds of miles. Overall, we think it's a fantastic choice for any runner — whether you're new to the trails or taking on your next ultra. But we also understand that ultradistance cushion is not everyone's cup of tea, especially if you prefer quick jaunts before strapping on your climbing shoes. If you tend to like more of a minimalist shoe, the Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 offers a more tapered and glove-like feel. Conversely, if you love an out-of-this-world stack height with a less rigid upper, the HOKA Speedgoat 5 might be more your bag.

Amber King and Ally Arcuri
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