Shoe Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 3
In what became and unexpected successor in the Hoka One One trail running lineup, the Speedgoat 2 dethroned the Challenger ATR last year as clearly Hoka’s best trail running shoe. This year brings us the new Speedgoat 3 was well as a new version of the Challenger ATR. Does it still hold the title is the question. They haven’t changed a lot on the Speedgoat, but we’ll confess before going forward that it is still the better shoe.
Again, Hoka has only made minor adjustments from the Speedgoat 2 to the 3 and the upper sees some of those tweaks, but overall it remains very consistent. Note, the Speedgoat is still narrower than the ATR, but the actually upper feels more comfortable overall. Those with wider feet or those who want a slightly roomier toebox will probably look elsewhere, but we find the mix of materials and the profile of the upper overall to be a great combination… breathability, flexibility, and a little protection.
We find the mid on the Speedgoat 3 quite enjoyable, but have heard others say it’s a little too soft and plush. For us, especially when we are talking about distance and even responsiveness, you have to love the bounce that you get from these. Because of it, your legs have to do less work than they would otherwise and over distance this is a positive because those tired legs are always welcoming a little extra. It is one the real area of difference between the ATR and the Speedgoats as these just feel quicker and for us feels better overall underfoot.
Again no real adjustments here, the outsole maintains its same design from the 2 sporting a mix of rubber and EVA. None of the Hoka shoes sport incredibly high lugs instead opting for more strategically placed lower profile placements. On slippier or muddier conditions, you may experience some grip issues, but overall on 90% of services you’ll be fine.
Style & Aesthetics
If we go back to the beginning of the Speedgoat model lineup, the 1 was very interesting and polarizing to say the least, but not great. The Speedgoat 2 gave us a much better aesthetic although I would argue the colorways worn’t great. Fun sure, but it felt more haphazard. With this version the 3 maintains the profile of the two, but feels a lot more thought out in terms of the use of color and accents and even in the overall material placements. This gives it a more solid look and it is available in three colors for men and women and all color choices are solid.
I mention this above in the section on the midsole, but I love the bounciness of this shoe. Some folks are referring to this update as 2+ or even a little pillowy, but I think it’s actually what makes the shoe successful. It really harkens back to Hoka’s roots offering a high platform, deep cushioning, all coupled with solid responsiveness. The 3 does feel almost exactly like the 2 underfoot, but I do think the overarching platform feels a little more stable. Looking at the two side by side it very clear to see that the two are closely aligned, with all the changes being very well thought out and strategic.
Next, just like the 2 I don’t think the 3 has a sweet spot from a distance perspective. You can take these on a quick little 6 mile trail run or you can take these for a 50 or 100 mile ultra. They stand up to really anything you can throw at it, another reason to love them. They also don’t suffer too much from speed efficiency issues. You can dial these things up given the Hoka meta-rocker design and really knock it out. I also find the pacing to be highly controllable, so if you want to turn it up the Speedgoat’s respond appropriately.
The Hoka Speedgoat 3 is not a major update, but a natural next step that sees a ton of subtle touches that just improve the overall experience. While the 2 really dethroned the Challenger ATR in the Hoka model lineup, the Speedgoat does just that again this year. If you’ve ever been curious about Hoka and are looking for a fun trail shoe, then look no further than the Speedgoat 3. The mix of materials, the meta-rocker design, and the overall comfort lead to a consistently fun running experience.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 10.3oz (size 9)
- Drop: 4mm heel/toe
- Type: Neutral Trail
- MSRP: $140.00
- Available: Now