Hoka Torrent 3 - Women's Review
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Hoka Torrent 3 - Women's
|Price||$129.95 at Backcountry|
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|$112.46 at Backcountry|
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|$104.99 at REI|
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|$64.98 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Comfortable, great traction, affordable, durable, packs out to fit your foot shape||Supremely comfortable, spacious toe box, far more durable than previous models, great stability||Amazing traction, very protective, durable outsole, specific fit||Light, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stable||Affordable, responsive, beginner-friendly, familiar fit|
|Cons||Might be too cushioned for some runners, slightly less sensitive||Zero-drop isn't for everyone, might be too soft for some||High heel feels less stable, narrow fit won't suit everyone, lugs wear down on pavement||Narrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-in||Less aggressive traction, runs slightly narrow|
|Bottom Line||A great all-around trail shoe that hosts some of our favorite protective features, all for a relatively affordable price||This zero-drop trail runner takes trail running comfort to a whole new and ultra-protective level||With an aggressive outsole and exceptional protective features, this trail running shoe is our top choice for the sloppiest terrain||Stable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alike||An affordable shoe that is perfect for novice runners who want to take their trail legs for a spin|
|Rating Categories||Hoka Torrent 3 - Wo...||Altra Lone Peak 7 -...||Salomon Speedcross 6||Dynafit Feline SL -...||Brooks Divide 3 - W...|
|Foot Protection (25%)|
|Comfort and Fit (15%)|
|Specs||Hoka Torrent 3 - Wo...||Altra Lone Peak 7 -...||Salomon Speedcross 6||Dynafit Feline SL -...||Brooks Divide 3 - W...|
|Measured Weight (per shoe)||7.48 oz (size 7)||8.22 oz (size 7)||9.07 oz (size 7)||9.45 oz (size 7)||8.04 oz (size 7)|
|Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot)||21 mm, 16mm||25 mm, 25 mm||32mm, 22 mm||Not disclosed||20 mm, 12 mm|
|Heel-to-Toe Drop||5 mm||0 mm||10 mm||8 mm||8 mm|
|Upper||Mesh||Mesh||Textile/synthetic||Mesh, continuous nylon||Mesh|
|Midsole||EVA||Altra EGO Foam||Energy Cell+||Feline SL midsole||EVA|
|Outsole||Rubber||MaxTrac rubber||Rubber||Sticky Pomoco Outer||TrailTrack rubber|
|Rock Plate?||No||Yes||Not disclosed||Not disclosed||No|
|Wide Version Available?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Sizes Available||5 - 11 US||5.5 - 12||5 - 11 US||5 - 11 US||5 - 12 US|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Hoka reconfigured the upper of the Torrent this time around. Instead of using a double-layered mesh, they pared it down to a single layer with a lay-flat gusseted tongue. The toebox seems to offer slightly less space, but overall the Torrent again impressed us by being an ultra-worthy trail runner that can tackle most terrain types. With its exceptional traction and ability to adapt to the demands you impose upon it, this shoe is one of our most recommended.
The Torrent 3 does not have a rock plate, but we don't think it needs one. The 21mm total stack is plush enough to protect the soles of your feet while allowing you to feel what is beneath you as you run.
Much like the Torrent 2, this version was put forth with a strong yet unintrusive toecap. It is big and burly enough to protect your toes but flexible enough to feel comfortable as the miles add up. We had reservations about the reconfigured upper since an entire upper mesh layer was removed. Ultimately, we found very little difference, protection-wise, with this new upper. We did, however, enjoy a slight bit more breathability, which is always appreciated. The rubberized lateral siding extends slightly higher on the sides, providing an added protection barrier between your foot and sand, dust, or water splashes. The upper is not waterproof by any means, but if your run leads you to a quick hop across a stream, droplets from a slight mistake won't sabotage your feet. The Torrent 3 also doesn't get water-logged as quickly as other shoes, which earned it extra points in this metric.
When we test traction, we intentionally try to lose our grip by pushing our shoes to their limits. No shoe is perfect, but we remain impressed by the traction of the Torrent. The outsole pattern is identical to the previous version, with 4mm lugs comprised of durable rubber. As we experienced with prior versions, the outsole rubber is durable and strong without being too rigid.
The balance of strength and softness in the outsole of the Torrent 3 adds to its stability and comfort when traveling over would-be painful terrain. We might not recommend this shoe for all sloppy spring terrain, but if damp trails and loose scree are in your future, the Torrent will definitely show up. Hoka redesigned the outsole rubber to be more durable and stickier. While this incredibly grippy shoe sticks to most surfaces, we noticed no difference in the grip between the last iteration and this one. It did a great job before, and it does a great job now.
We like to assess whether or not our trail shoes will make good crossover shoes. The Torrent historically has been a shoe that we recommend for light road running because it crosses over well. We noticed that the outsole rubber held up a bit better during this phase of our testing than in the past. Previously, we noticed that the lugs were susceptible to small abrasions, but we did not find this to be the case while testing the Torrent 3. If you happen upon the occasional bike path or need to run down your street before you pop onto your favorite trail, the Torrent is a great shoe to do so in.
If you are looking for a sensitive shoe that allows you to feel every bit of trail information, the Torrent 3 likely won't be the shoe for you. However, if you want to strike a balance between trail feel and comfort, read on.
As we ran in this shoe, we found that its sensitivity increased. One of the things we love about Hoka-made shoes is that they mold to your feet and adapt to your gait without losing their integrity. Once we had the Torrent 3 broken in, we loved the balance of underfoot protection and trail information. With a lower stack height, the forefoot sits at only 16mm, allowing your foot to ride close to the terrain beneath you.
The lower stack height and 5mm offset make the Torrent 3 incredibly stable. Much like its predecessor, this trail runner can absorb the impact of an ankle roll so you can stay upright and on the move.
The lateral edges of the Torrent 3 are tough enough to prevent lateral movements inside the shoe but flexible enough not to imprison feet. The underfoot feel, heel-to-toe differential, and support all come together to create a shoe that is one of the most stable we've tested. We run a lot and, especially during the course of testing shoes, we find our legs fatiguing frequently. In our experience, lazy legs lead to rolled ankles and an increased need for a shoe that can do a lot of work for you. The Torrent 3 can't get the runs done for you, but its wide base of support and other features can encourage your body to move in biomechanically-correct patterns. We have tested other comparatively stable shoes, but the Torrent is the one we find ourselves returning to.
Comfort and Fit
The comfort and fit of a shoe are unique to the wearer. We are straight-up obsessed with the way the Torrent 3 hugs our feet and think it will appeal to most runners. The toe box will stretch a bit to accommodate your foot, making for a trail running companion that is unique to your foot shape.
The Torrent 3 balances strength and comfort in a unique and functional way. The cushioning almost feels like it is built for protection, so the interior never crosses the line into feeling plush or mushy. This version's toebox feels a bit tighter than the last, but as we have mentioned, it loosens after a few miles. The heel cup is beefier than most, but we love how secure it feels. Even the updated, lay-flat tongue has adequate cushion. Because of this, we never felt like the lace bed was digging into our feet when they swelled. If you are looking for a shoe that prioritizes comfort without weighing you down or feeling soft, the Torrent will likely be a great fit for you.
Despite Hoka redesigning the upper panels to exclude an entire layer of mesh, this new version doesn't weigh any less than the previous model. If we are splitting hairs, each size 7 US Torrent 3 actually weighs .07 ounces more than the Torrent 2. This is such a negligible amount of weight that it certainly isn't noticeable as you run.
Each size 7 shoe weighs 7.48 ounces, which is an impressively low weight for something with such great protective features. And, because of the weight distribution, we never felt weighed down. The upper feels lightweight, the midsole feels protective, and the outsole feels springy and fresh. The responsive bounce of the midfoot aids in the overall feeling of weightlessness.
Should You Buy the Hoka Torrent 3?
Because it has great traction, we feel comfortable recommending the Torrent to runners who intend to tackle mixed terrain types. Its plush-but-not-mushy comfort makes it well-suited for higher trail mileage, and it can easily crossover to the pavement. If a trail marathon is in your future, the Torrent is a fantastic shoe to consider. With a little something for runners of all types, the Torrent is more than deserving of its standing and award status in our review.
What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?
If you like the sound of the Torrent 3 but want to race more efficiently, the Hoka Tecton X 2 is worth a look. The Tecton fits in a similar way, but has a speedy carbon fiber plate embedded into its sole for maximal speed. If you want a shoe with a bit more softness, check out the Hoka Challenger 7. With its thick stack height and slightly softer outsole, the Challenger offers the features we love in a Hoka shoe but with an emphasis on softness. If you want a budget buy but feel like the features of the Torrent 3 are a bit too overboard, the Brooks Divide 3 is a fantastic shoe for a newer or more casual trail runner. The Divide fits more like a road shoe and has mildly pared-down expressions of protective features, making it a great choice for someone who is trail-curious but not ready to commit to a full-blown trail shoe.
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