I was so excited to try the Hoka Torrent 3. The Hoka Torrent will always have a special place in my heart. When we moved to Northern California a few years ago, the Torrent 2 was my first “real” trail shoe. I ran through 3 pairs of them, and it got me through many different trails, including Adobe Regional Park and more.
The Hoka Torrent differs from most Hoka running shoes because, unlike most, it has minimal cushion. It’s designed as a “fast” shoe on the trails. I don’t run a lot of super long trail runs (maybe up to 15 or so), so having a lightweight trail shoe is essential to me.
Hoka Torrent 3 Quick Facts:
Weight: 9.1 oz
Heel to toe Drop: 5 mm
Hoka Torrent 3 Fit:
First, we need to talk about the bright orange color of the Hoka Torrent 3. How fun is that? The Hoka Torrent 3 uses a different upper than other Hoka shoes. Unlike others, it has a multilayer foam-filled upper. It’s interesting for a “minimalist” shoe; it does have a lot of cushion and protection in the upper. Hoka has added minor updates to the Hoka Torrent 3, making it more breathable than the Torrent 2. This is excellent because California has gotten a lot of rain, and it feels like every trail run now has a stream crossing. Plus going into the warmer months, no one wants a shoe that doesn’t breathe!
The best-running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and the Hoka Torrent 3 does just that. Nothing irritates or bothers my foot; it is the same step in comfort as the previous two versions. I do appreciate the slightly thinner mesh, so it’s more breathable. I also don’t notice the multilayer foam filled upper.
One thing I’ve noticed in reviewing Hoka shoes recently is they are slightly more narrow. Not enough that I would say “Hoka is a narrow shoe,” but Hoka is getting more narrow lately—just something to consider.
I tend to wear Hoka shoes between a size 10-11 wide. I found the Hoka Torrent 3 in size 11 to fit the best. The narrow width wasn’t enough to go up a half size, but it is causing Hoka to do more true to size. Hoka used to run bigger, but they are fairly true to size now.
Hoka Torrent 3 Ride:
The biggest(not significant) update in the Hoka Torrent 3 is a lower stack height (23/18 for men) and (21/16 for women). This means it’s slightly less cushioning which can play a role if you run on rocky trails like the Appalachian Trail. This is not the first shoe I would take to the Northeast, but it’s been great for well-groomed California trails. You would likely feel every small rock under you. I know I did when I ran in creekbeds with the Hoka Torrent 2 so imagine if anything, the Torrent 3 is worse.
Minus the lower stack height, the Torrent 3 hasn’t changed too much. The signature Hoka ProFly is respnisve and firm. You feel the ground, and you can pick up your feet fast. There isn’t a rock plate that can play a role on technical and rocky trails.
Durability and Traction: The outsole of the Hoka Torrent 3 is thick, which helps with rock protection and traction on the trails. As mentioned, California has gotten a ton of rain this year, so traction on wet trails is necessary. The 5 mm lugs can handle most terrain well without slipping or falling issues. Honestly, I was pretty surprised by how minimal the Hoka Torrent 3 is but how well it handles wet trails.
Regarding durability, you aren’t getting as much as one of the more cushioned shoes from Hoka. It’s just less shoe and doesn’t last as long (a tradeoff for the lightweightness). I’ve consistently got about 300 miles out of the Torrent, and I expect the Torrent 3 to be similar.
I knew the Hoka Torrent 3 would be a trail shoe, and it continues to be. I appreciate how lightweight and minimal it is. I tend to prefer it for races or shorter runs. I can’t tell much of a difference between Torrent 2 and 3 as far as the ride, which is excellent for me!
Hoka Torrent 3 Conclusion:
If you like a lightweight and minimalist trail shoe, the Hoka Torrent 3 is for you. You feel the ground, and picking up your feet is easy. If you liked the second version, there isn’t a massive update in the third version, so it’s a great option.
Who should buy the Hoka Torrent 3? If you like a lightweight, fast, minimal trail shoe, this is one of the best options.
Who should not buy the Hoka Torrent 3? This is not the best option if you are running super long on trails, prefer something with more cushion, or are running on very rocky trails. Try the Hoka Speedgoat for something with just more shoes. The Hoka Zinal has slightly more cushion but not an overwhelmingly large amount.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: ASICS Superblast
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Hoka Torrent 3?
What is your favorite lightweight trail shoe?