Hoka is really working hard to round out their lineup and put target specific shoes for each situation and type of running. With the original release of the Torrent, Hoka went after the speed trail runners who are looking for a bit lower stack heights, more aggressive outsoles, a nimbler feel but still value responsiveness. The original model was not perfect, but its popularity is hard to question as they have become a staple at many races lately. Hoka made some minor tweaks to the formula with the Torrent 2, but the overall recipe remains the same. Let’s see how they run.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Hoka’s lowest stack and nimblest trail shoe with an aggressive grip.
- Best for shorter distance trail runners looking for a little more speed and less cushion.
- Weighs in at 9.3oz or 264g for a US Men’s 9.
- Has 23mm of cushion and a 5mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $120.00 USD and comes in 4 colors for Men and 3 for Women.
First off, let me go into this saying I have tested a number of Hoka trail shoes over the years and I really value what they are doing with the lineup. I could probably put a sticky on each one identifying their exact use and this is the sign of a really well thought out lineup build by Hoka.
The Torrent 2 out of the box feels great on the foot. The new upper is a bit softer than the prior iteration which is a welcome change, but in general, feel is still good. They are going to feel a bit narrow for some, but given they are a faster and nimbler shoe it is to be expected. The rubber is sticky and until you get on the trail, you will hear them actually stick to the ground with every step.
On the trails, these things are super fun. I am a giant fan of the Speedgoat, but the Torrent 2 is a lot nimbler and really gives you more ground control. Singletrack is definitely where they shine more than anywhere else as you can get your foot right where you want them at any time. Where they didn’t fair as well was when I started pushing the distance more. As soon as I ticked into the high teens, my legs started begging for a bit more cushion. So for me, they will definitely stay in rotation but will probably be held back for speedy technical trail runs probably runs with distances in the teens.
The shoe is a really strong contender for me as one of the best trail shoes out there right now. If I have to push for negatives, then first I would point at the laces. They are long and unwieldy and there is no way to store them in the shoe. I am nitpicking though as overall, I totally dig them.
The upper gets a slight update here as Hoka moves to an engineered mesh made with recycled fibers (REPREVE). There is a reinforced overlay ring where the upper meets the midsole which should add some additional protection. There is a slight gusset on the tongue to hold it in place which works well and then the heel has a medium-firm cup and medium padded collar. The only drawback here is on the laces as they are very long for some reason and Hoka provides no storage or tie-down option.
The midsole on the Torrent 2 uses Hoka’s PROFLY tech which you also find in the Mach 2 road shoe. There is only 23mm of cushion along with a 5mm drop, but they do give you a decent cushioned landing pad and the transition to push off is smooth.
The outsole has been updated with better multi-directional lugs on top of a sticky rubber material. The lugs are nice and deep giving you maximum grip on varying terrains and these shine on singletrack and when the weather gets nasty. For fire roads and harder ground, it can feel a little firm.
Style & Aesthetics
The Torrent 2 shares the same look and feel as the original model, but the new colorways are really solid. They look fast and most of the two-tone designs are really well thought out. Glad they didn’t mess too much with the look.
The Hoka One One Torrent 2 remains a fantastic option for trail runners who are looking for a little less cushion and a touch more speed. The lower stack height provides a lot of mobility while the outsole grip is tremendous on singletrack and is messy environments. They are not going to be great on really hard-packed surfaces and when you start heading into the 50k plus range as it can feel a little too firm. You will want to jump over to the Speedgoat or maybe the Challenger models or even the new Stinson for a ton of cushion. If you need something for speedy lower mileage trail runs, the Torrent 2 are truly a lot of fun.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.