Hoka Speedgoat Review

My New Favorite Trail Shoe – Hoka Speedgoat 3

By TMS Ambassador Kim Yamauchi

A friend recently called me a Chameleon.  She said it because I bike with her husband, I run with her, and like most people in this community, I just like to get out and do different things.  But, I think my love affair with trail shoes is somewhat “chameleon”. For years, I ran in the same shoe. I figured “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.  You can read my review of the ON Running Cloudflow road shoe from last spring.  It’s a great shoe and I really like the ON Running brand (including their trail shoe).  But, I had a visit at the podiatrist recently. He diagnosed me with a metatarsal injury and recommended that I switch to Hoka One One, that the additional cushion would be helpful.  I was a skeptic. I’ve tried-on Hoka’s and they just seemed “clunky”, a bit like walking on marshmallows. But, like a good patient, I went to Tahoe Mountain Sports, worked with the incredible knowledgeable staff (the infamous Jackie), and decided to give the Hoka Speedgoat a try.  

Here’s a bit about me.  I’m 5’3” and weigh in just under 110, so I’m not a heavy runner.  I’ve always thought I can get away with a minimalist shoe, but now that I’m “older” (50+), that extra cushion is helpful!  My mileage ranges from 15 to 50 miles per week depending on the time of year and what is on my race calendar. If I’m not trail running, I’m mountain biking, road riding, or skiing (anywhere) when there is snow!

Hoka One One Speedgoat 3

Price – $140

Weight – 9.10 oz | 258 g

Drop – 4 mm drop.  

What I like:

  • They roll.  What I mean is they have a camber to the bottom that makes you roll completely from heel-strike or mid-foot to the toe-off.  It makes for a nice fast foot strike and I like that.
  • They also have quite a bit of cushion (this is what they are known for), and my metatarsal injury is completely comfortable in these shoes.  With just a 4mm drop, that leaves a lot of cushion under the forefoot, which helps with my injury, but may also be helpful for those with Morton’s Neuromas, or just anyone looking for additional cushion.  Also, on rocky sections of trail, I don’t get that sharp rock penetration that I’ve felt in other shoes.
  • And finally, the grippy outsole is great.  It has a “Vibram® Megagrip hi-traction outsole with 5mm lugs” that seems to just “stick” on our rocky and rugged Tahoe terrain.
  • Even though these shoes seem a bit “clunky”, they are quite light, weighing in just over 9 oz.  

It took getting used to:

  • Because the sole on the forefoot is thicker than other shoes, I initially found myself tripping on rocks and ruts.  I think this just takes a little bit of the brain getting used to the extra few mm in height underfoot. Since I’ve been running in these for a couple months now, it is no longer an issue.  

I do like these so much that I now have two pair, alternating days in each.


Other shoes that I like:  

For years I have run in the Salomon Speed Cross.  

  • I love the sole on this shoe.  It has big lugs that grab the dirt like a tractor.  I’ve out-run others on steep terrain where these shoes allowed me to keep digging in and running while everyone else was slipping in the scree.  
  • On the down side, there is not much underfoot padding.  Running in this shoe is a bit hard on my metatarsal injury.
  • I like the speed lacing system.  
  • This shoe weighs in at 10.5oz and has a 10mm drop.  

I also like the ON Running Cloudventure trail running shoe.  

  • I love the upper on these shoes.  It’s super comfy with a slight stretch.  
  • They are light-weight, 10.3oz with a 6mm drop.  
  • The lugs on these shoes are cool and very interesting, providing lots of “cloud” cushion.  The model I’m running in is just not as grippy as the Salomon or the Hoka. However, I’m still running in last years’ model.  The newer model has the new “Missiongrip” rubber (see right side below) which appears to provide a much better and more rugged grip.     

Take a look at The Best Trail Running Shoes of 2019 and find your new favorite pair of trail runners.

Want to go for a run? The trails are melting out fast! Check out our Spring Trail Running Conditions Update and get out there!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Tahoe Mountain Sports will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Affiliate commissions help fund the content for this blog.



Kim is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys playing in the mountains whenever she has the chance. You’ll find Kim trail running and mountain biking in the summer. In the winter months, Kim enjoys the nordic trails and downhill skiing. Her latest adventure is kite boarding, but she has yet to have much success with this new sport.


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