Speed Goat 2 vs Speed Instinct 2 vs Evo Jawz. That’s my trail arsenal as of late and each one offers a unique way to experience the trails. Check out my take on the different variants of Hoka One One trail running shoes.
Hoka One One
Hoka One One has been my go-to trail shoes since last year with both the Speed Goat 1 and Speed Instinct 1, you can check my review on that here:
I then shifted to Hoka One One Speed Goat 2 last July and tried Speed Instinct 2 and Evo Jawz early this year. That’s more than a year of using Hoka One One on the trails. I’m not a fast runner but I love the trails and it has been my regular weekly habit on weekends. The three shoes are different in built but they all give the usual cushy feel that Hoka is known for.
Speed Goat 2
Of the three shoes, it has the most mileage. Aside from having it the earliest, it also is the most flexible among the three. It can go on technical trails and still feel soft even on fast trails or road surfaces. It’s also the heaviest of the 3 shoes at 9.8 oz which is still light compared to other trail shoes.
Its a maximalist shoes so it goes to say that it has more cushioning and has less ground feel. The cushioning gives you that sense of security especially to the knees when you attack the downhillls. It takes time to get used to especially if you’re not used to maximalist shoes. It has excellent traction with Vibram MegaGrip hi-traction outsole with multi-directional 5mm lugs. It takes time to get used to especially if you’re not used to maximalist shoes. On my first use of the shoes, I tend to pronate but once I got used to the maximalist feel, it felt like a natural fit.
It feels soft on the different surfaces, terrains and even on roads with its cushioned mid-sole so you’re good to go on technical trails and even on the roads. It feels lightweight with a good fit despite its maximalist built. The mesh is breathable, which gives the feet a cooler feel while also being a drain when ever you’re in river crossings and ponds.
It’s an excellent any day or any trail type of shoes as its durable and also can go on any trail surface whether your just hiking, training or racing.
Speed Instinct 2
Speed Instinct 2 is just a shade lighter than Speed Goat 2 at 9.5 ounces but its built for the fast trails. It has a cushioned heel and more responsive forefoot to keep you comfortable even on downhills. It has the multi-directional lugs to provide you with adequate traction.
With focus on a lightweight built and feel, it’s not as cushioned or have the traction of the Speed Goat 2 but it’s sufficient enough to keep you steady on the climbs. When the trails are fast and not too technical, Speed Instinct 2 would have an advantage over Speed Goat 2 but on technical terrains, Speed Goat 2 would have a better traction. It’s a fast shoes that can really give you a fast split and perfect for those who wants to blitz the trails.
Speed Instinct 2 is also good to go on the road. It has good drains on river crossings and wet trails with a breathable mesh upper. The shoes also gives you a better ground feel to help you navigate technical trails. It does not feel as maximalist as the Speed Goat 2 so it’s easier to adopt to the shoes.
It’s easy to love the Hoka One One Speed Instinct 2. It’s a much breathable version of the first Speed Instinct. It retains the cushioned, lightweight and multi-directional lugs features of the first edition. The traction is not as aggressive as the Speed Goat but it gives you a better ground feel and more stable foot landings even on roads.
Hoka One One Evo Jawz is the ultimate race shoes. It’s the lightest weight of the 3 at 7.2 ounces. It has shark-teeth like lugs in its Vibram® MegaGrip hi-traction outsole with 6mm lugs. That’s superior traction on any surface. It also has the best ground feel. It’s definitely an advantage when trails go technical.
At first, I was afraid to use it because I am used to more cushioned shoes but surprisingly, it felt cushioned even on the steep downhills. Evo Jawz gives you the best ground feel since its much lower to the ground than the two models but still has sufficient cushioning with a midsole wrap offering stability on the landings and protection.
It’s shark-teeth like multi-directional lugs gives you the courage to run on technical trails with its superior traction. I felt comfortable even on the steep and technical downhill as I felt that I’m firmly planted to the ground because of the lugs. It’s definitely an advantage as the trails goes more technical with the aggressive traction. It helped me get past the steep and technical terrains of Mount Sembrano and Mount Batolusong and it also helped me on the technical descent in Sta Fe area of Mount Ulap.
The woven rip upper gives you a secure fit. The fit is a bit of a pro and a con. The fit and the lower ground feel gives you a better feel and reaction to the trail surfaces. At the same time, it can also lead to blisters. I usually pair it up with drymax socks and usually tape the toe area to avoid blisters. Except for my first time wearing the shoes, I’ve been blister free.
It’s Hoka One One’s best race shoes available with a traction that will keep you focus on the run and not on the surface. It’s not an everyday trail shoes as I’d rather reserve Evo Jawz for more technical trails. With a higher lugs, its not as comfortable as the Speed Instinct 2 or Speed Goat 2 on the road. Overall, it’s a race shoes I would reserve for the tougher trail surfaces.
Time To Fly
I always go over the trail profile whenever I hit the trail. Speed Goat 2 is always a safe choice for any trail surfaces. Speed Instinct 2 is a faster shoes on flatter and less technical surface. Evo Jawz would be an advantage on technical and muddy surfaces. Of course, the shoe is just part of the arsenal but the skill of the runner is what matters in the trail field.
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