I’ve been looking for a new hiking shoe for the 2019 season. As most people know, I like running but also appreciate and like hiking just as much. I like a good hike as much as a good run and just enjoying being outside.
I’ve also wanted to try something a little higher cut shoe so when I noticed Hoka had a midlevel version of the Speedgoat I knew I wanted to try it.
Technically the Hoka Speedgoat Midi could be considered a running shoe or hiking shoe. A boot and shoe that does it all! I will personally use it as a hiking boot since I don’t live in an area that needs this aggressive of a trail shoe.
The original Speedgoat has won several awards as a top trail shoe, so I thought why not try it. For the Speedgoat, Hoka combines their famous sole with Vibram. Plus, it’s waterproof, so if you step in puddles (which I have), you’re fine. I’ve come to realize waterproof trail shoes are essential to me, especially when hiking.
The upper varies from a traditional shoe as it’s a boot. It’s water resistant, so when it’s wet, your feet stay relatively dry. I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide. I found the men’s size 9 to be a good fit and truthfully I liked the color of the mens better.
With trail shoes, traction is significant. You don’t want a trail shoe that you’re sliding around in.
The major difference between road and trail shoes is trail shoes have a more aggressive bottom.
Hoka has partnered with Vibram for the entire bottom of their shoe. While hiking, I had no issue taking them through mud, dirt, washed out, or dry trails. Most people don’t realize how rocky the Appalachian Trail can be, but they have gripped well. I haven’t had an issue where I’m like, oh that could use more traction.
One of the significant draws (for me) is the water resistance. As I hiked through muddy and wet terrain, I didn’t have any issues with my feet being wet. Sometimes you might worry a waterproof shoe is too hot (and think lack of breathability) but the Hoka Speedgoat has a wrap-around liner. This means it keeps water out but also allows your feet to breathe.
As someone who loves both running and hiking, I believe this shoe can do both. For avid trail runners, it’s a lightweight boot that you can put miles in a while still staying comfortable. For the casual hiker (like me), it a good boot with plenty of traction to keep you stable. Plus unlike many hiking boots, it’s not heavy. I run any trail races this summer; this is one I’ll keep in mind.
Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2
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Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Floatride
Questions for you:
Do you have a favorite trail shoe? What is your current favorite shoe?