Kit & Gear

REVIEW: HOKA Speedgoat 5

Take control on technical terrain with the new HOKA Speedgoat 5. This outdoor workhorse is designed to excel on high-altitude, remote, rugged trails, using its exceptional Vibram Megagrip outsole and multi-directional lugs which provide unparalleled grip on any surface.

Our SportsShoes Trail Running Ambassador Will Harper-Penrose has been busy putting the HOKA Speedgoat 5 Trail Running Shoes to the test. He explains the improvements in terms of technology and design and compares it to its predecessor, the hugely popular Speedgoat 4;

Most suitable for:Daily training on all-types of off-road terrain
Drop:4mm (low drop - best for runners who land on the middle or front of the foot)
Lug Depth:5mm (deeper lug)
Fit (length):Fits small (we recommend 1/2 a size bigger than normal)
Fit (width):Available in both standard and wide fits
RATINGS:(out of 5)


The HOKA Speedgoat 5 in summary;

  • A highly cushioned and supremely comfortable trail running shoe

  • A solid all-rounder, suitable for day-to-day runs to ultra-distance races

  • Ideal for dry, hard and rugged terrain

  • 15g lighter than the HOKA Speedgoat 4

  • Complete with a new Vibram MegaGrip outsole and deeper 5mm lugs for more traction


Pictured: The HOKA Speedgoat 5 Men's Trail Running Shoe (Blue Coral/Evening Primrose)

Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

The HOKA Speedgoat, in its various iterations, has become one of the most popular trail running shoes in recent years. First built for ultra running legend Karl Meltzer, the Speedgoat is designed to go fast and run long on light to technical trails. Where I run, the South West Coast Path, if you see a group of runners, you can almost guarantee one of them will be wearing a pair of these. The combination of lightweight cushioning and good grip makes them the perfect partner to this type of terrain. Over the years the Speedgoat has had minor upgrades and changes, but aside from the Evo Speedgoat, made famous by Jim Walmsley and his record breaking Western States win, the shoe has remained relatively unchanged… until now.


Pictured: The HOKA Speedgoat 5 Women's Trail Running Shoe (Blue Coral/Corellia)

Photo Credit: HOKA

So, what's new?

Hoka have clearly listened to their athletes and the community when redesigning this shoe. The Speedgoat 5 has much in common with the Evo and less so with the workhorse that was the Speedgoat 4.

The biggest and most notable change to the shoe for me, is the midsole. I was lucky enough to get my feet in a pair of the Evo Speedgoats, to experience that light, bouncy, cushioned ride. This shoe feels almost identical underfoot, enabling an effortless stride on a variety of surfaces. The first run in these was a short interval session on road and light trail and the shoe felt great moving at pace, while feeling comfortable and light at a jog as well. The new midsole really makes it a do it all shoe, perfect for any run where you’re going to hit tarmac. Weight is such a huge factor for me in shoe choice and enjoyment of a pair of shoes so it’s great to see this shoe losing weight in all the right places (it's 15g lighter than the Speedgoat 4). A big win for the midsole.


Pictured: The HOKA Speedgoat 5 Men's Trail Running Shoes (Blue Coral/Evening Primrose)

Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

Another great new feature on this shoe is the undercarriage. The new outsole is made from Vibram Megagrip which is without a doubt the best material for a coastal path trail shoe. It grips wet rock, just about as well as anything can and there is plenty of that on the coast. The rubber also adds to bounce you get from this shoe which is another reason it’s so comfortable on the road. Unlike a pair of fell shoes which will leave you with stumps where your feet should be after a few miles of tarmac, these transition beautifully. A nice update to the outsole on the Speedgoat 5 is the actual lugs themselves. They have a special ‘traction lug’ design which gives considerably more grip than the previous version (It has 5mm lugs compared to 4mm for the Speedgoat 4) . I accidentally gripped my own leg with this new feature and can confirm, it’s effective!

The upper has also been redesigned on this shoe, giving your feet more room while using fewer overlays to make the shoes more sustainable. After 50-miles of varied terrain and some rocky trails, there is no wear at all to the upper. They feel well built without being bulky and the upper is very comfortable. I actually prefer the upper on this to that of the Evo Speedgoat as my foot feels totally locked in and secure.


Pictured: The HOKA Speedgoat 5 Men's Trail Running Shoe (Blue Coral/Evening Primrose)

Photo Credit: HOKA

How would I use this shoe?

It’s a daily trainer. I would and am using this shoe for most of my runs as I often hit tarmac, light trails and technical woodland trails within the same run. This shoe feels good on all of that while remaining bouncy and light.  

When wouldn’t I use this shoe?

I’m yet to test this shoe in wet conditions (we’re having a heatwave) but I would opt for something with even more lug depth if I was going to be encountering a lot of mud. I think between this shoe and the HOKA Evo Mafate I’ve got virtually all trail bases covered.


Pictured: The HOKA Speedgoat 5 Men's Trail Running Shoe (Blue Coral/Evening Primrose)

Photo Credit: Daniel Evans

In my opinion, if you’re looking for one pair of trail shoes that will do most things quite well, then you can’t do much better than the new HOKA Speedgoat 5.


Interested in the latest shoes, apparel and technology? Then head over to our Kit & Gear category for more reviews, tips, advice and product releases.


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