Hoka Mafate Speed 3 Review Analysis (2021)
Last update: October 2022
The Hoka Mafate Speed 3 is a very comfortable trail running shoe that combines maximal cushioning, protection, and responsiveness.
For starters, let’s talk about the CMEVA midsole of the Speed 3. Nearly identical to its predecessors (the EVO Mafate and Mafate Speed 2), it’s built for cushioning your foot at high speeds with its blend of softness and snap. Even with a bit of added weight, the 3 is fast, though taller lugs may require some adjustment. Thanks to a roomy yet supportive mesh upper, feet remain secure while allowing for a bit of stretch. Compared with previous versions, runners referenced the new upper as the most significant improvement to the 3. Finally, the outsole—with sturdy, 5 mm lugs—are built for traction yet fell flat for some runners on slippery surfaces. These same lugs proved a bit too bulky for other users, especially on rocky or gravel surfaces. Testers reported the best performance once the lugs had been a bit worn-in.
A few complaints about the Speed 3 included lug height (as it threw off stability), and subsequently, added weight. Users clarified that this extra weight was unnoticeable while running downhill and that overall, the 3 offers a fast, smooth ride. Also, at 10.7 oz/303 g (M) for a heel stack height of 33 mm, the cushioning-weight ratio is not bad at all! Once the shoe is broken in, and the lugs are worn a bit down, this model is great for long-distance runners. Slippery and very technical surfaces pose some traction problems, but the MS3 performs very well in most trail scenarios.
Ultimately, the Mafate Speed 3 is a very good option for those with wider feet seeking a secure yet forgiving ride. Price-wise, this model falls on the higher end of the scale, but the combination of comfort and responsiveness is worthwhile!
- Great comfort
- Cushioning that combines shock absorption and responsiveness
- New and improved upper provides excellent foot lockdown while being comfortable
- Good overall grip
- Lack of stability at times, according to some testers
- The grip is not optimal on very technical terrains
- Vibram MegaGrip: a high-traction resistant rubber that gives a safe grip on trails.
- The 5 mm lugs optimize traction to easily tackle difficult conditions. They are multidirectional with an aggressive design.
- CMEVA stands for compression-molded EVA, a single-density padding that provides comfortable and responsive cushioning.
- The Meta Rocker gives a natural rocking motion for enhanced propulsion.
- The Hoka One One Mafate Speed 3’s upper features a sandwich mesh that allows a comfortable and secure foot lockdown while letting the foot breathe. It uses recycled materials to be more sustainable.
- The toe cap shields the forefoot from potentially painful shocks while running.
|Heel stack height||33 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||29 mm|
|Features||Heavyweight runners, Toe cap|
|Weight (men)||303 g/10.7 oz|
|Weight (women)||252 g/8.9 oz|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft|
|Bounce (1-5)||4 – Bouncy|
|Outsole||Vibram MegaGrip, 5 mm lugs|
|Midsole||CMEVA, Meta Rocker|
|Upper||Sandwich mesh, toe cap|
|Distance||Mid, long, ultramarathon|
|Workout||Daily runs, recovery|
Reference: Hoka’s official site
Comparisons – Hoka Mafate Speed 3 vs.:
Hoka Speedgoat 4
The SG4’s lockdown is less comfortable (mainly because of the narrower toe box) but more secure. Also, its wider platform is more stable. Overall, it’s better suited for very technical terrain. In terms of cushioning, testers preferred the Mafate for its responsive ride. If you’re planning on running some challenging trails, the Speedgoat seems like the better choice. Otherwise, the experience will be more comfortable in the Mafate Speed 3!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, we haven’t yet seen reviews from runners indicating that it fits large or tight. Therefore, you can order your regular size for trail running shoes. Nonetheless, if this is your first pair of Hoka One One shoes, it’s recommended to test them in-store to be safe.
Yes, this model should generally be suitable even if you’re a heavyweight runner. Indeed, The Hoka Mafate Speed 3 has a stack height of 33 mm under the heel, which is enough to support most runners, so it should be suitable regardless of how much you weigh.
This Hoka trail running shoe is versatile enough to adapt to different types of distances and workouts. Also, it offers a high level of foot protection and comfortable cushioning. It makes it an exciting option for long-distance trail running. However, beware: testers note that the grip and stability are not optimal on very technical terrain, which can be a problem depending on your race’s layout.