This Hoka Speedgoat 5 review is part of our 2022 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards, where the shoe won Best Neutral Trail Running Shoe. You can see the rest of our award winners here.

Something I’ve learned about myself over the years is that, as a runner, I need to coddle my feet. It’s probably a sign of a bigger issue that I need to get to the bottom of, but in the meantime, it means that I have to be really choosy about my shoes. This is even more important when trail running or hiking, since that often places me on rough trails and loose gravel.

As an extremely clumsy person, I’m surprised every time I go for a trail run and don’t face-plant. Uneven terrain covered in unpredictable rocks and roots is kind of my nightmare. But I’ve found over the years that, as long as I’m wearing really great trail running shoes, I can go out there and enjoy the views without destroying my body or face.

Hoka One One is a shoe brand known for its high-cushion, high-performance sneakers, and also for its top-notch trail runners. Ultra-running-pros swear by these shoes—and the brand even sponsors the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, known as UTMB, or the most epic ultramarathon that takes place in the Alps every August.

While I’m certainly no high-level mountain ultra-marathoner, I am a casual trail runner and hiker who tends to put a lot of mileage in on dirt trails and gravel paths, whether on trails around my house or on a hiking-focused vacation. Which is why I was thrilled to test the Hoka Speedgoat 5 ($155,, the brand’s latest iteration from its popular Speedgoat trail runner family. Here’s what I thought about them—and why they earned a spot on this year’s SELF Certified Sneaker Awards.

How I Tested

My usual walking and running path goes through my town’s park. While some of the sidewalks are paved, most are gravel or dirt. To put these sneakers to the test, I wore them for both walks and runs through the park, as well as a few runs and hikes in a local nature preserve, which is just dirt hiking trails through the woods. Each run, hike, or walk was between 30 to 60 minutes and 2 to 4 miles.


I’ve found that Hokas always fit true to size, and one of my favorite features is how roomy the toe box is. I don’t have wide feet, but some popular athletic shoe brands make my toes feel a little squished. The Speedgoats had plenty of room for my toes to splay and move as I ran.

The heel area is secure, with a little extra cushion that adds more comfort and support as you move on uneven terrain. It also functions like a little tab to help you pull the shoe on—not necessary but a nice little touch.

The upper felt a bit loose, almost like the tongue was too stretchy. It actually wraps down around the midfoot with an elastic band, and that’s what felt kind of loose. But it was easy to fix by just tying the shoes tighter than I typically would.