Hoka shoes for hiking

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Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby Drew » Wed 30 Oct, 2019 3:44 pm

My partner has a shoe dilemma. She has been struggling with a sore toe for quite a while (MTP joint). On advice from a podiatrist she has been replacing her existing shoes with shoes that give more support, have more rocker and a stiff sole and a sole that doesn't twist along its length. For everyday wear she's bought a pair of New Balance 1080s which are really comfy and reduce toe pain. The other day she bought a pair of Hoka Speedgoats (https://shop.hokaoneone.com.au/womens-speedgoat-3-seaport-medieval-blue/) to use as hiking shoes (instead of her Anatom SkyeTrails). Wearing them in the house she's finding them insanely comfy (like she never knew hiking shoes could feel so good), and they tick the boxes for sole stiffness etc. However we're concerned about their durability. They are trail running shoes, but don't seem as durable as some other trail runners. The mesh feels a bit flimsy to me, and there's a big area of squishy foam on the sole that looks vulnerable to a sharp rock.
She's wondering if any of the other Hoka models might be a bit tougher.
The Evo Speedgoats (https://shop.hokaoneone.com.au/womens-evo-speedgoat-citrus-black/#product-tab-information) claim to have MATRYX (with kevlar in them) for durability.
The Stenson (https://shop.hokaoneone.com.au/womens-stinson-atr-5-seaport-aqua-haze/#product-tab-information) looks like the sole might have a smaller soft area and a reinforced toe cap, but has more mesh.
They do make a hiking shoe but it's very expensive (more than she's willing to spend) and is being discontinued.
I'm wondering if anyone is using any of these shoes for hiking and if you have thoughts on their durability compared to other hiking shoes or trail runners (not compared to leather boots or similar). Most of her walking isn't too rough. Vic Alps, Grampians, Wilson's Prom etc, rarely off-track. However she is considering joining me on a Western Arthurs Trip, which I imagine would destroy these shoes (I'm planning to wear Salomon XA Pros and am slightly concerned about them too).
Thanks.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby ofuros » Wed 30 Oct, 2019 7:38 pm

I've used the speedgoats on off-track routes & for rock hopping up streams here in Qld. Just waiting for my size to be on sale again so I can grab another pair. :wink:

Like walking on clouds. The grippy lugs on the soles will wear out before the cushioning & mesh uppers give up the ghost.

Can't help you with their use in the Western Arthur's though...
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby Drew » Thu 31 Oct, 2019 8:19 am

I've used the speedgoats on off-track routes & for rock hopping up streams here in Qld. Just waiting for my size to be on sale again so I can grab another pair. :wink:

Like walking on clouds. The grippy lugs on the soles will wear out before the cushioning & mesh uppers give up the ghost.

Can't help you with their use in the Western Arthur's though...


Thanks Ofuros. That sounds promising. Maybe they'll be fine for most walking. Although I suspect once she's accustomed to walking on clouds she won't want to put her old shoes on for rougher walks!

I'm particularly wary of durability at the moment after my North Face Hedgehog Fastpacks failed. First pair had sole damage after about 4 days walking and was replaced under warranty. Second pair had matching holes in the shoe fabric on each shoe after about 10 days of walking and were returned for a refund. A shame as they were super comfy. Obviously only intended for gentle hiking on smooth tracks.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby ofuros » Thu 31 Oct, 2019 11:04 am

We have lots of knee high, trippy, wait-a-while, native raspberry & barb wire vines here in Qld, plus Lantana...if the mesh upper can survive all those rip-you-to-shreds thorny nasties, they're doing well in my book. :wink:

Goodluck with your trip & choices... 8)
Last edited by ofuros on Thu 31 Oct, 2019 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby Tino B » Thu 31 Oct, 2019 11:14 am

I have a pair of Hoka Tor Summit Low WP (Gore-Tex) shoes. They aren't as light as some of their other models, as they are nearly all suede, but they are lighter than traditional hiking shoes. They are insanely cushioned, have a relatively stiff mid sole, and have excellent grip. I had extra eyelets put in to increase heel grip by using lock lacing.

I used them on the OLT in April when the track was flowing with water and then covered in snow for the second half. I climbed Oakleigh, Pelion East, went down to both of the falls, the Acropolis, and trail ran from Narcissus along the Lake St Clair section -weather and a 5 day itinery limited side trips. They performed well on all surfaces and did not cause my plantar fascia any problems - unlike some of my other shoes/boots.

The downside of these shoes is the Gore-Tex lining and low cuff - water got in over the tops, as I wore Gore-Tex over pants the whole trip without gaiters, and the shoes stayed wet the entire trip until the last day along the lake.

I've also done lots of off track hikes in the Grampians, Northern and Southern circuits in the Prom in these shoes and they have held up very well - the soles have surprisingly little wear. I've looked at Stinsons and Speedgoats and will probably go with one of these for benign conditions. Run Repeat has a review on Speedgoats that reports that the soles wear quickly.

I've reverted to boots and currently wear Salewa Rapace - heavier but by far the most comfortable pair of outdoor shoes I have owned. The stiffness of the soles - suited to semi-auto crampons - really doesn't take any getting used to, and my feet are never fatigued, regardless of how many km's I do. They also have a generous toe box and a great lacing system.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby Drew » Thu 31 Oct, 2019 2:41 pm

ofuros wrote:I've used the speedgoats on off-track routes & for rock hopping up streams here in Qld. Just waiting for my size to be on sale again so I can grab another pair. :wink:

Like walking on clouds. The grippy lugs on the soles will wear out before the cushioning & mesh uppers give up the ghost.

Can't help you with their use in the Western Arthur's though...


Thanks Ofuros. How have the lugs faired so far on the speedgoats? Do you ever have any problems with the soft part of the sole and sharp rocks?
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby ofuros » Thu 31 Oct, 2019 4:04 pm

Drew wrote:Thanks Ofuros. How have the lugs faired so far on the speedgoats? Do you ever have any problems with the soft part of the sole and sharp rocks?


Checking the calendar my pair lasted around 650km, give or take, before I had to replace them due to lack of tread on the soles...off track walking on the weekends & weekday trail walking after work.

As for the soft part & sharp rocks...they lasted on mine.

Trial your wife's speedgoats before you go, with her loaded pack on, uneven ground & get her feedback.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby slparker » Fri 01 Nov, 2019 9:58 am

I am constantly surprised at the capacity of trail runners to survive off track walking. Whilst i can't speak for the Hoka's i have worn some Salomons and Merrels off track in tassie and Victoria and my salomons survived dolerite boulder fields far better than my old leather boots did - the plastic or rubber rand on trail runners is pretty hardy.

@Tino
Interested to hear about the salewa rapace - how did you find the sizing? I am looking for some crampon compatible boots.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby Drew » Fri 01 Nov, 2019 2:55 pm

Okay, I think this feedback is encouraging enough that she'll wear them this weekend at Wilson's Prom. She's probably not super likely to come to the Arthurs so that might not be an issue.

The downside of these shoes is the Gore-Tex lining and low cuff - water got in over the tops, as I wore Gore-Tex over pants the whole trip without gaiters, and the shoes stayed wet the entire trip until the last day along the lake.

We both wore Gore-Tex shoes on the South Coast Track last Xmas and that experience made us both want to have non-waterproof shoes for really wet walks. I've enjoyed having dry feet in wet conditions thanks to Gore-Tex over the years, but when it's calf deep water/mud you're better off without it I think.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby camm » Fri 01 Nov, 2019 5:40 pm

I don't have a Speedgoat shaped foot, so can't really comment. However, for the Arthurs I suggest you avoid the Challenger ATR -- I killed a pair within 120km in the Drakensberg.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby ofuros » Sat 02 Nov, 2019 9:32 am

How they Speedgoats behave with 7-10days pack weight, rather than the overnighter or 3days worth of gear I usually tote around is another factor, especially in nasty terrain.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby Tino B » Sun 03 Nov, 2019 11:17 am

@Tino
Interested to hear about the salewa rapace - how did you find the sizing? I am looking for some crampon compatible boots.


Salewa Rapace https://www.salewa.com/en-us/rapace-gore-tex-mens-shoes-00-0000061332?c=1516599, bought at https://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mountain/salewa-rapace-goretex/136363312/p - I bought them on sale for less than AUD300.00. I based the purchase from reviews and experience with La Sportiva, Salomon and Hoka boots and shoes.

Fits true to size - I'm measured at EUR44 with an E width, and narrow heel. Salewa Rapace has good heel grip, climbing lacing allows for good footbox adjustment. They are comfortable from first wear and need no break in period - I did 50km's over 2 days with no troubles straight out of the box.

Construction is solid suede leather, with rubber rands and a very supportive, mid-height cuff with a soft rear section - making them very comfortable downhill. The sole is stiff and supportive for climbing, but still performs well on non-technical terrain - I find that my feet suffer less fatigue after big km days. The Vibram soles offer great grip on wet rock, loose stone, sand, mud etc, and has quite a good toe grip section for climbing. The rubber rands and hard toebox protect your toes and the sides of your feet from rocks, stumps and stones.

The boots are waterproof, except that the tongue can let in moisture. I've sprayed the tongues with extra waterproofing, and use Berghaus Yeti Extreme (non-insulated) gaiters if I think it will be really wet, or I'm on wet snow. XL size Yetis fit size 44 boots, with the usual struggles to get them on. The boots are warm enough for Australian alpine conditions with mid-weight merino socks, especially if wearing Yetis too.

A great all-round trekking, climbing and alpine boot for Australian conditions. I even favour them over approach shoes and trail runners for fast and light overnighters. After about 500km's, they show only a slight amount of wear, so I expect to get at least a few years of wear.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby slparker » Sun 03 Nov, 2019 11:43 am

Thanks Tino.
I was looking at trekkinn. I have the salewa alp trainers already and find them on the narrow end of the spectrum but so soft and flexible that it doesn't matter. I was thinking of sizing up 1/2 a size for the rapace - but if their fit is true I might not bother..
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 04 Nov, 2019 1:03 pm

I'm a bit late to this, but I experimented with trail running shoes for bushwalking a few years ago. I tried a pair of Hoka's, which I still use occasionally. For track walking I found them great, but they really struggled for anything off-track. Like most joggers, the rubber on the sole isn't particularly grippy if you end up on wet rocks. I found them very poor for rock scrambling, and not great when following creeks or moving on rock after rain. But if you're almost entirely sticking to tracks, I think they're probably a really good option.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby ofuros » Tue 05 Nov, 2019 7:27 am

Sole compounds vary from model to model within the range...the Speedgoat with megagrip soles are grippy on wet & slippery rocks I've encountered. Bouncy balloon feeling under your feet & flexible...if that's what your after.

The Terrex model I'm using now offers great grip when rock hopping upstream, in & out of the water, with it's Continental rubber sole, but has a jarringly stiff sole compared to the hoka's above.
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Re: Hoka shoes for hiking

Postby Drew » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 9:17 am

Well the Speedgoats were worn on a lazy 3 day walk at Wilsons Prom over the long weekend and passed the comfort test at least - the troublesome big toe was happy, which is the most important thing. They were grippy on dry rocks. I'll have to report back on durability after they've done something rougher.
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