Hoka Speedgoat 4 Review Analysis (2022)
Last update: June 2023
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 is an excellent comfortable trail running shoe destined for the most technical terrains.
- Great comfort
- Excellent grip
- Maximum cushioning and responsive at the same time
- New upper with a broader toe area
- Robust, durable design
- Versatile: even though the SG4 excels above all on rugged terrain, it will also be suitable for small dirt roads with no particular technical skills.
- Slightly heavier than the previous model
- The outsole of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 uses the Vibram Megagrip Hi-Traction technology. This is a durable rubber that provides great traction on the most technical trail terrains with its effective grip.
- Also, the aggressive 5 mm lugs increase the traction of the sole by providing a secure grip on uphill and downhill slopes, even on wet terrains.
- Finally, the flex grooves allow the sole to follow the movements of the foot while running for a smoother ride.
- Injection molded EVA foam is used in the entire length of the midsole on this trail model. This foam is light and soft to provide comfortable cushioning while running in the outdoors. It absorbs shocks and allows you to run comfortably on rocky surfaces.
- Besides, we also find one of the brand’s flagship technologies: Balanced Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry. This design aims to encourage runners to adopt naturally midfoot strike. It’s this technology that gives a slightly curved shape to the sole to naturally start a rocking motion while running. This, in turn, is supposed to optimize propulsion by maximizing energy return.
- The upper of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 features a breathable and flexible engineered mesh to ensure effective foot lockdown in all conditions.
- The midfoot area features overlays and a structural cage to improve lockdown and increase the lifespan of the shoe by preserving its shape over time.
- Finally, the shoe featured a reinforced toe cap to protect the feet from painful and potentially dangerous shocks when trail running.
|Heel stack height||32 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||28 mm|
|Features||Available in GTX, Toe cap|
|Weight (men)||307 g/10.8 oz|
|Weight (women)||261 g/9.2 oz|
|Outsole||Vibram Megagrip Hi-Traction, 5 mm lugs, flex grooves|
|Midsole||Injection-molded EVA foam, Balanced Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry|
|Upper||Engineered mesh, overlays, structural cage, reinforced toe cap|
|Distance||Mid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon, ultramarathon|
|Workout||Daily runs, recovery, speed|
Reference: Hoka One One’s official website
Comparisons – Hoka Speedgoat 4 vs.:
Hoka Speedgoat 3
These two models are very similar, with relatively few changes from the third to the fourth iterations. The Speedgoat 3 being much cheaper, it seems an obvious choice if you are looking for the best possible value for money. However, if you have wide feet, the Speedgoat 4 is more likely to be adapted to your morphology because its upper is wider at the toe level.
Hoka One Evo Speedgoat
In addition to their names, these two models have similar configurations with the same stack height (32 mm under the heel) and the same drop (4 mm). However, the Evo Speedgoat is softer and much lighter (40 grams less), making it more comfortable but less secure in terms of foot lockdown. This may not be optimal on highly technical surfaces. Besides, although very good, the grip is also slightly inferior on the Evo Speedgoat compared to the Speedgoat 4.
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5
These two shoes are reference trail models, but they have very different configurations. They have a much lower cushioning on the Terra Kiger 5: 24 mm under the heel than 32 mm for the Speedgoat 4. Thus, the SG4 is a maximalist shoe that offers high-stack cushioning. Otherwise, comfort is there, and the grip is excellent in both cases. It is, therefore, primarily a matter of preference in terms of cushioning.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This model follows a regular sizing chart and must, therefore, correspond to the announced size. According to runners who have tested this shoe, this is the case. So you can order your usual size. However, note that this model offers a fairly firm upper with a tight foot lockdown. We recommend that you try these shoes in-store if you have the opportunity to be sure.
Ultramarathon refers to the practice of running in natural environments (e.g., mountains, forests) over distances of greater than 42.2 km/26 mi (the UTMB is 171 km, for example). In this case, the Hoka Speedgoat 4 is not only suitable for ultramarathon: it’s its raison-d’etre! Indeed, Hoka designed it for the mythical ultra-trailer Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer (hence the name). Thus, it offers a high level of protection and grip to allow the runner to face the most difficult conditions. Also, while many trail models provide a soft foot lockdown, the SG4 bets on slightly reducing comfort to improve foot lockdown and, therefore, safety.
These shoes are available in two versions: GTX and classic. The regular model is designed to prevent slight water infiltration and dries quickly thanks to its water-repellent treatment. Therefore, your foot should stay dry if you are running in light rain and passing through puddles. If the rain is heavier, your foot may get wet after a while. The Gore-Tex version offers more advanced protection to keep your feet dry even in heavy rain or through shallow streams. However, the Gore-Tex version is heavier and more expensive. It’s up to you to decide according to your practice.
3 thoughts on “Hoka Speedgoat 4”
Great blog post. I got the Hoka Speedgoat 4 earlier this year and did 2 trail races in them. I’m absolutely blown away. I didn’t like them during my first training run. They felt quite hard. But once I had a few miles in them they felt incredible.
I did a 27K with 1700m elevation gain and a 21K with 1500m elevation gain. One was on a volcano so sandy, rocky, dry trails. The other one was in the middle of the jungle in Indonesia. Wet, muddy, roots and sticks looking out everywhere.
The sole was great for these technical trails. And they felt light and responsive on my way up. It dries super quickly too.
Can’t wait to do the next race in them.
How many kilometres do you reckon can you do in them, or in trail running shoes in general?
Hi Danny, thanks for your comment! I would say 300 mi/500 km at the very least. It can be much more depending on how you use and care for them. Cheers, Kevin
My thoughts on the Speedgoat 4: I love this shoe so much I got a second pair. I did have to get a half size bigger than normal for the second pair as steep downhills hurt my toes in the first pair (so now I use that pair for flatter trails now). The cushioning helps for longer runs and I have never had the foot pains I used to get from the Altra Torin 2 (my previous trail shoe). They coped really well on the jungle trails in Thailand (2nd overall Yao Yai ultra) and the flatter trails and road combo for the Berkeley Marathons (1st ever Fun Run). They are my go-to for longer Trail runs, and although they don’t feel super quick for shorter races I wouldn’t discard them as they are fast enough and the comfort is worth it. I’ve not had any wear issues on either pair other than the tongue cover peeling a little, which is only a cosmetic issue. 480km in so far and can see them lasting a lot longer. Fully recommend this shoe – just take your time to find the right size (so hard to get it right as the trails are totally different to the shop treadmill!)