Our take HOKA has a reputation for churning out comfy running shoes built on tall, cloud-like midsoles that are best for lightweight trips on dirt singletrack. However, that tall midsole and large toebox can be somewhat clumsy. But the Speedgoat 4 changes that thanks to sleek shape and a key update: A 3D-printed overlay on the upper increases security and agility by beefing up the upper’s structure, making this shoe ultraresponsive. “On the 12-mile approach to the Pfiefferhorn in Utah, this shoe was dextrous enough to shepherd me across rocks flowing with spring snowmelt, muck, and 3,800 feet of elevation gain,” one tester says. We found the Speedgoat breathed well up to about 80°F.
The details Our tester put more than 400 miles on the Speedgoat 4, and reports that it hasn’t suffered the durability issues that plagued previous models thanks to the upper’s reinforced construction. The EVA midsole still provides plenty of cushion, and can comfortably support pack loads up to 20 pounds. Note: It comes in a waterproof version for $15 more.
$145; 1 lb. 6 oz.; m’s 7-15, w’s 5-11