Hoka Speedgoat 6 Review: Are They Still The G.O.A.T.?

The GOAT lives on with feature enhancements, that for the most part, improve upon this popular trail running shoe. You're going to want to read this one! ☝️

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It’s not often a running shoe like the Hoka Speedgoat comes along, but when it does, damn do I praise the mountain gods! 2023 was the year of the GOAT for me, the Speedgoat 5 blew me away with its comfort and performance on the trails, over any distance I used them for.

I took them to multiple trail races from fast half marathons, to a high elevation ultramarathon in Big Bear, California for the Kodiak Ultramarathons by UTMB race. Needless to say, they were with me on all the trail moments that I needed a solid training and racing partner that I could rely on, and they never let me down. And that is the essence of why I’m so excited to bring you this Hoka Speedgoat 6 review.

So where does that leave us today? Well, I still own multiple Speedgoat 5’s but I now also own a pair of Speedgoat 6. One worry I always have as a running shoe reviewer, is that when I find a near perfect running shoe, what will happen to it when the next version gets released..?

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Review | Trail & Kale Running Co.
Hoka Speedgoat 6 Review | Trail & Kale Running Co.

Will the running brand continue to innovate and further improve upon a shoe that already performs best in class (risky move but generally the right one), or will they for the most part, keep it the same, and continue to be a crowd pleaser among the hardcore trail enthusiasts like myself, at the risk of getting left behind by competitors.

Well I’m here to tell you that Hoka has continued to innovate with the release of the Speedgoat 6, and that means it’s time for me to share all my insights and experience running in this latest version, and to let you know if all the updates are improvements, or whether they’ve taken the Speedgoat down a peg or two among the stiff competition out there right now.

➡ The Hoka Speedgoat 6 is available for purchase in July 2024

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $155
  • Sizing and fit: They have a snug fit, I recommend sizing up a half size to get an accurate fit.
  • Weight: 9.4oz (266g) for a size US(M)9 (my pair).
  • Drop: 5mm – Stack height: 40mm at the heel, 35mm at the toe
  • Toe box width: Medium to narrow.
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support.
  • Midsole Cushioning: CMEVA foam; it feels well balanced with a good amount of cushioning and response.
  • Outsole: Vibram Megagrip with 5mm Traction Lugs.
  • Best for: A do-it-all trail running shoe for all-terrain, and all distances

Who are they best for?

The Speedgoat 6 is a versatile trail running shoe that will suit the majority of trail runners. It’s perfect for those who enjoy running distances between 5k and ultramarathons thanks to their blend of responsiveness and durability in the midsole.

Its ability to tackle all types of terrain with confidence – from rocky paths to muddy trails is and has always been a highlight for me and the Speedgoat series, backed by the superior traction of Vibram’s Megagrip and a thoughtfully designed 5mm deep traction lug pattern.

The shoe is also well-adapted to a variety of climates, although not the best in extreme heat due to a new upper that’s not as breathable as the previous version.

How the Hoka Speedgoat 6 looks on my feet, and if you're wondering what the ankle band is, it's my Para'kito mosquito repeller
How the Hoka Speedgoat 6 looks on my feet, and if you’re wondering what the ankle band is, it’s my Para’kito mosquito repeller

Opting for thinner socks, will help mitigate any warmth for those running in hotter climates, ensuring the shoe remains a versatile choice across different temperatures.

The introduction of CMEVA foam in the midsole speaks to runners prioritizing durability and longevity in their footwear, promising a shoe that maintains its supportive cushioning and responsive nature over extensive wear and tear – this will provide longevity over the previous version.

If you’re looking to increase your speed on the trails, whether it’s on flat stretches or technical downhills, the Speedgoat 6 supports a faster pace without sacrificing on comfort or control, making it also great for those looking to run longer distances.

This positions the Speedgoat 6 as a top contender for not just those who enjoy short leisurely trail runs but also competitive runners seeking to push their limits in trail races. Its design and robust build make it a great choice for a wide spectrum of trail runners – from seasoned ultra-distance athletes to those just starting to explore the varied landscapes the trails offer.

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Speedgoat 6 VS Speedgoat 5

The Hoka Speedgoat 6 introduces several key updates from the Speedgoat 5, while maintaining the core qualities that have made the series a favorite among trail runners, including myself. Here are the notable differences that I’ve discovered:

  • Upper Material and Fit: The Speedgoat 6 features a new textile woven upper, which provides a snugger fit. This material hugs the foot more closely, enhancing the shoe’s overall fit and feel. However, this also means that the shoe feels slightly smaller, leading to my recommendation that runners might want to consider sizing up a half size, especially if they’re on the upper end of their size range or prefer thicker socks. The tongue is still short, but extra padding has been added to it.
  • Breathability: The woven upper of the Speedgoat 6 does not breathe as well as the Speedgoat 5. While this change is not hugely impactful, it is noticeable to me during intense climbs.
  • Midsole Foam: The Speedgoat 6 uses a new CMEVA foam, which is more resilient than the foam used in the previous version. This change means the midsole is likely to remain responsive and cushioned for longer periods, potentially extending the shoe’s lifespan. However, this new foam also alters the feel of the midsole, making the shoe feel more responsive and less plush than its predecessor.
  • Outsole Lugs: While the Speedgoat 6 continues to use Vibram’s Megagrip with 5mm traction lugs for excellent grip, there has been a minor adjustment in the formation of the lugs to optimize traction further. This change is inspired by the hoof of a goat, aiming to improve grip, especially on steep ascents and descents – and although I haven’t noticed it to be better or worse, it still performs very well.
  • Weight: The Speedgoat 6 is slightly lighter than the Speedgoat 5, weighing in at 9.4 oz compared to the Speedgoat 5’s 9.7 oz for a size US(M)9 (my pair). This reduction in weight contributes to the shoe’s increased responsiveness and speed on the trail.

Overall, while the Speedgoat 6 remains true to the performance and reliability that has defined the series, the new updates aim to enhance the shoe’s fit (although it falls slightly ‘short’ here in my opinion – PUN INTENDED), durability, and traction, making it a compelling evolution of its highly regarded predecessor.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 performance review

My first test run in the Hoka Speedgoat 6 was a pretty thrilling experience, with a steep 300-meter climb, diverse terrain, and fast technical downhills. These shoes faced everything from sharp inclines to gradual ascents, and they excelled in all areas, echoing the performance I loved in the Speedgoat 5. The 5mm traction lugs, in particular, still provide exceptional grip, allowing me to tackle some of the most challenging terrains with confidence.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Review: Are They Still The G.O.A.T.? 2 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

Yet, I noticed a difference during those climbs; the new woven textile upper didn’t breathe quite as well as the Speedgoat 5. While not a major issue, my feet did feel slightly warmer – this was quite easy for me to pick up on as I have run hundreds of miles run in the previous model.

On flat stretches, the Speedgoat 6 showed another one of its new strengths, allowing me to stretch my legs and pick up a pace that felt notably quicker than its predecessor. This is likely due to the new CMEVA foam in the midsole, which makes the shoe feel more responsive overall.

Although they seemed to have slightly less cushioning, attributed to their resilience, it doesn’t negatively impact my running experience, and they’re now an even lighter shoe because of this new foam.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Review: Are They Still The G.O.A.T.? 3 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

In fact, I found the shoes to be faster overall and anticipate that they would prove more durable over time due to this CMEVA foam. I am especially keen to see how they perform over my favorite ultra distance of around 50 km.

I will be monitoring how the adjustments in the midsole influence long-distance performance and durability in the midsole’s energy return, and am committed to sharing these findings through updates on our YouTube channel.

My regular stomping grounds here in Northern California provide the perfect opportunity to fully evaluate their performance capabilities on not just steep up hills but also technical descents.

Proving their worth once again on the downhills, the Hoka Speedgoat 6 allowed me to fully unleash my pace, challenging them with the rigor of steep declines over sharp jagged rocks and loose dry leaves.

Their performance mirrored the commendable qualities of the Speedgoat 5, which I’ve held in high esteem throughout 2023 and into 2024. My experience on steep and also gradual descents has been one of joy, which I think comes across quite well in my Instagram reel, and also my full video review of the Speedgoat 6 – the smiles say it all.

When it comes to performance on the trails, the Speedgoat 6 once again earns itself the title of the G.O.A.T. once again, and more importantly a Trail & Kale Running Co Editor’s Choice Award.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

Is the Speedgoat 6 worth buying?

Hopefully then, my feelings about this trail running shoe have come across as unbiased, informative, and for the most part, highly positive. The Speedgoat 6 comes with a price tag of $155, and so for the all important question (and probably, the main reason why you’re here reading this), is the Hoka Speedgoat 6 worth buying? YES, it’s still the GOAT, and although the latest innovations have brought change to an already awesome trail running shoe, the changes are for the most part, good ones.

For those of you on the hunt for the ideal trail running shoes tailored to your needs, I recommend heading over to my comprehensive roundup of the best trail running shoes, which is a buyer’s guide that will help you find the best trail running shoes for you.

I really hope you found this review informative and enjoyable – If you did, subscribe to our Newsletter, so you don’t miss our other in-depth running shoe reviews as they drop.

Hoka Speedgoat 6 Review [VIDEO]

Did you know we also create video reviews on our YouTube Channel? Click the image below to watch our Hoka Speedgoat 6 review on YouTube next.

HOKA Speedgoat 6 video review on YouTube

More photos of the Speedgoat 6

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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