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Hoka Mafate Speed 3

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.

The Consensus

9.3Overall score
The flashy trail running shoe that ensures a smooth, responsive, and lively ride!
The latest model in Hoka’s Mafate Speed line-up is now available, and the vibrantly-colored 3 does not disappoint. With an improved upper and only slightly heavier design, we’re about to weigh the pros and cons of this trainer—pun intended!

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!
Comfort
10
Grip
8.5
Protection
9.5
Durability
9
Value for money
9
Design
9.5
PROS
  • Great comfort
  • Cushioning that combines shock absorption and responsiveness
  • New and improved upper provides excellent foot lockdown while being comfortable
  • Good overall grip
CONS
  • Lack of stability at times, according to some testers
  • The grip is not optimal on very technical terrains

Technologies

Outsole

  • 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.
Hoka Mafate Speed 3 rubber outsole with lugs

Midsole

  • 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.

Upper

  • 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.

Facts

Technical Specs

TerrainTrail
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop4 mm
Heel stack height33 mm
Forefoot stack height29 mm
Lugs5 mm
FeaturesHeavyweight runners, Toe cap
Weight (men)303 g/10.7 oz
Weight (women)252 g/8.9 oz
FitWide feet
Release year2021

Cushioning

Softness (1-5)4 – Soft
Bounce (1-5)4 – Bouncy

Technologies

OutsoleVibram MegaGrip, 5 mm lugs
MidsoleCMEVA, Meta Rocker
UpperSandwich mesh, toe cap

Use

SpeedAll
DistanceMid, long, ultramarathon
WorkoutDaily 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)

Is this trail shoe true to size?

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.

Is the Hoka One One Mafate Speed 3 a shoe for heavyweight athletes (187 lbs/85 kg or more)?

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.

Is this model suitable to run a marathon?

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.

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

1 thought on “Hoka Mafate Speed 3”

  1. Hi, I’m a heavy runner (95kg), and have found that after a while I can feel the lugs through the forefoot of the shoes, leaving my feet incredibly sore during the run. I wonder if anyone else has had this problem?

    Reply

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