Bounce, splash, and bound like your feet are invincible. HOKA’s hybrid fast-hiking/trail-running Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX adds both fun and confidence to the nastiest trails. But you’ll have to appreciate a unique sense of style to pull them off.
“Whoo, boy!” I yipped this little cheer more than a few times when I first took HOKA’s latest hiking/running/moon boot for a spin. In fact, I said it as soon as I laced ’em up — because I knew I was making a pretty bold statement just by walking out the door with them on.
Launched this winter, the Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX represents part of HOKA’s renewed partnership with GORE-TEX. And while many will appreciate its low-cut sister, the Speedgoat 4 GTX, for true trail running, I decided the mid would be great for sloppy winter runs around Denver.
In short: Fans of the old HOKA Tor Ultra Hi hiking boots will love the look and feel of the $170 Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX. It’s as plush and bouncy as any of the brand’s offerings but deceptively quick for a mid boot last.
The GORE-TEX membrane performs beautifully to repel rain, puddles, snow, and muck, opening up more days and more paths to a quick run or hike. And though its snug fit provides welcomed stability, those with wide feet might find the Speedgoat Mid’s fit a little too unforgiving.
HOKA Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX Shoe Review
Let’s be clear: This will not be your daily trail-running shoe. At an advertised 13.2 ounces per shoe, it’s more of a lightweight hiking boot. But with an ample 32-28mm heel-toe stack and a “new lightweight foam” midsole, you’d be well within your rights take these on a healthy wet-weather jog.
HOKA even says as much, calling the Speedgoat Mids the “sweet spot between a trail runner and hiking boot.” And with an unusual mix of wet, blizzardy snow and 65-degree January days around the Front Range, I found the high-ankle, GORE-TEX-wrapped Speedgoats perfect for hikes on nice days and city runs on not-so-nice days.
For both dry trail and loose snow, the Speedgoat Mid’s 5mm stepped lugs — a new design from HOKA — performed admirably. I caught purchase on everything the tread could bite into, save for sheer ice. Still, the Vibram Megagrip outsole offered at least a fighting chance on those super-slick surfaces, so long as I stepped mindfully.
And while you can’t fully submerge these in water up to the ankle and expect dry feet, the GORE-TEX membrane reliably defended my socks against damp through normal puddles, rain, and 5-inch-deep snow.
I haven’t tested these on long treks on hot days, so I can’t attest to the shoes’ breathability in those conditions. But I wore them for full days, indoors and out, and never felt sweaty or stuffy when I took them off.
HOKA Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX Specs, Fit
One of the Speedgoat Mid’s selling points for me might also be a drawback for some. HOKA advertises “an anatomically designed collar for additional ankle support.” And to be sure, for such a big profile, these shoes felt nicely snug and secure. But some of the early reviews from buyers suggest those with wider feet might find the Mids difficult to get into.
However, the pillowy collar combined with high lacing means you’ll have to loosen these up quite a bit when you put them on. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, maybe look elsewhere. Personally, I have average-width feet and didn’t find getting into the Speedgoat Mids overly cumbersome. And I appreciated the secure fit during my activities.
It’s worth noting that, if dashing through deep snow, it will likely collect in the collar of these boots. Consider light gaiters if you’ll be off the trail very much in the snow.
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat Mid 2 GTX
- Best use: Fast hiking, short- to mid-distance trail running
- Bootie: GORE-TEX waterproof
- Outsole: Vibram Megagrip
- Lugs: 5mm “stepped”
- Drop: 4 mm
- Stack: 30-26 mm women’s / 32-28 mm men’s
- Weight (sample size, per shoe): 11.3 oz. women’s / 13.2 oz. men’s
- Price: $170