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How we tested:
The Speedgoat 5 felt great right out of the box, with no break-in. We’ve tested it for 100+ miles, and it has held up spectacularly well. The upper remains fully intact, and the midsole retains the same responsiveness as they did on mile one of testing.
Our testers put the Speedgoat 5 through its paces on rolling mountain bike trails, technical climbs, and steep/loose descents in and around the sandy, rocky trails of Moab, Utah. We also took them for a few hikes in addition to rowdy trail runs.
While the upper is the most noticeable update, the face-lift extends deep into the midsole. Like many Speedgoat fans, we mourned the loss of the lineup’s Speedgoat Evo, but were delighted when that shoe’s trademark responsive midsole compound was incorporated into the Speedgoat 5.
The lighter CMEVA compound is race-ready and helps promote a bit of extra turnover at the end of long efforts, instead of feeling sloppy or heavy.
This is the lightest, most responsive Speedgoat yet.
While it maintains its trademark cush, it feels sportier, zippier, and faster than previous iterations. Even without a rockplate, this shoe felt plenty protective, even on Moab’s rough and tumble trails.
The Speedgoat 5 is half an ounce lighter than its predecessors, with the same stack height and midfoot rocker profile found in the Speedgoat 4. The meta rocker remains unchanged from the 4, and still feels as propulsive as ever. Testers reported the foam feels slightly softer than previous editions.
A new Vibram Megagrip sole with Traction lugs ups the grip on this workhorse. Each lug has a fractal-like pattern of smaller lugs, dramatically increasing the surface area and therefore, grip. We found the new sole performed particularly well on loose or rocky terrain, though it doesn’t shed mud spectacularly (the tradeoff of good grip: any shoe with decent traction isn’t going to shed mud very well).
The grip really shines on tough descents with plenty of bite for loose, rocky, or variable terrain. The micro-lugs did wear down a bit after 100+ miles, which didn’t noticeably affect the grip. The lug pattern itself is a jack-of-all-trades, with backward lugs for effective braking on the downs, and a toothy, forward-facing lug for efficient climbing.
The upper sports a new jacquard-engineered mesh incorporated into the entire Hoka trail lineup this season. Made from recycled materials, it’s a bit more flexible than previous iterations, and cuts down on overlays to reduce the chances of blisters from friction points. There’s a bit more toe room in this model, fitting more similarly to the Evo than the 4. For the wider-footed runner, there’s also a wide option coming later this year.
We found that this shoe dried and drained relatively well (hello, creek crossings!) and a GTX version will also debut later for runners in search of additional weatherization.
Sustainability spotlight: The Speedgoat 5 cut down on plastic overlays to minimize fossil fuel impacts. While it’s not a significant amount of plastic in an individual shoe, we dig the holistic approach to minimizing impact throughout the supply chain.
The Bottom Line
This is a fantastic update to a heritage line that goes beyond aesthetics. If you loved previous versions of the Speedgoat, you’ll love this shoe. If you weren’t sold on the sometimes heavy, occasionally sloppy feel of previous Speedgoats, give this one a try. And if you LOVED the Speedgoat Evo (like we did!), this is the next best thing.
Input from the Editor-in-Chief: This is my favorite Speedgoat yet! I love that it felt faster than previous ‘Goats with super soft cushioning.