Choosing the right trail running shoe is paramount in crafting the kind of trail experience that’s worth repeating. Opting for the wrong shoe can force your joints, knees, and mental state to take a beating. When looking for the best trail running shoes, it is important to find a pair with the right fit, cushioning, and heel-to-toe-height for you. The Hoka One Speedgoat 4 is a great maximum cushioning trail running shoe that’s perfect for those who need a bit of extra comfort without sacrificing stability.
Maximum Comfort and Ample Foot Protection
As a brand, Hoka has long been known for offering optimum underfoot cushioning in the form of EVA foam. The Speedgoat 4 offers up that iconic EVA foam and a generous 32mm stack height under the heel. For runners who suffer from joint discomfort upon striking the trail, this is a midsole that gets the job done. This is arguably one of the most protective trail running shoes you can buy. Stepping on protrusions such as rocks or roots won’t leave you reeling. With a 4mm heel-toe-drop, you’re getting underfoot protection from all types of terrain as well as relief from repetitive strain. While you can still feel where you’re stepping while wearing these shoes, you won’t be able to feel the exaggerated sharpness that would otherwise exacerbate your run.
Sticky Traction For Diverse Trail Types
The Speedgoat 4 is a protective shoe, but it is also a shoe that bears great traction on diverse trail types. Complete with the Vibram Megagrip outsole, you can depend on these shoes to really grip rock, whether wet or dry. This is a very sticky outsole that is soft yet grips well. With 5mm deep lugs crafted in a unique shape that is innovative to Hoka, you won’t find that the lugs wear much over time, nor will they rip off after continuous use. With a sharper edge than what’s granted on must lugs, the shoes do an amazing job of biting and gripping loose surfaces. Seamlessly glide over dirt, grass, and snow. We also found that these shoes do hold up well on mud, suggesting that these could be an excellent all-season choice.
A Generously Sized Toe-Box For All Runners
Obviously the Hoka One Speedgoat 4 is a comfortable shoe. Part of this comfort comes from the fact that Hoka generously upgraded the size of the toe box as compared to older versions. While the toe-box may be a bit more narrow than some would prefer, this is a toe box that allows for plenty of toe splay while still gripping the foot and offering up moderate stability. The fit is excellent and wider feet will appreciate the wider toe box on the standard version as well as the wide version offered for those who need a bit of extra room.
Excellent Construction With Zero Rub
Feel like you’re constantly getting an uninvited rub down on your heels from running shoes? Hoka sought to nip this in the bud. With seamless upper construction, there are no obvious rub points on the interior of the upper. The tongue of the shoe itself is a very thin piece of material that pads against the laces, without rubbing against the top of the foot. In terms of construction, this is a durable shoe whose only reel faults emerge when water is involved. Unfortunately, the Speedgoat 4 may absorb a bit more water than some shoes, making it less than ideal for rainy days or traversing creek beds.
Overall, this is an excellent trail running shoe that offers maximum comfort, superb traction, a great heel-to-toe-height, and amazing construction.