I’ve been alternating Evo Mafate and Speedgoat 3 this year. Both have been an excellent addition to the armory and here’s my take on these two Hoka Trail Shoes.
Time to Fly
I’ve been a fixture on the trails on weekends. I’m way past the phase of running fast on the trails but I still am passionately enjoying my time with the dirt. So I usually go on 10 – 24 kilometers on weekends depending on the trail or if I’m preparing for something. Here’s a comparison of two of my dependable partners.
Speedgoat 3 has been my go-to race shoes and it’s also the shoes I’ve used in finishing Translantau 25K earlier this year. Having transitioned from Speedgoat 1 to Speedgoat 2 then to Speedgoat 3, it didn’t take long for me to feel comfortable with the new Speedgoat. In a nutshell, SG1 gave a better ground feel but SG2 was more cushioned. SG3 is a combination of both with a soft cushy feel with a better ground feel.
Since I’m not a fast runner, it also means I have more ground time whenever I’m on the trail so it helps that it soft on the heels with its enhanced heel support to reduce wear and tear. It’s also more compact than the previous Speedgoats reducing unnecessary movement when you run. It’s slightly heavier than previous Speedgoats at 10.3 oz but it makes up for the weight with a better fit.
I’m comfortable with the traction of Speedgoat 3 across all trail surfaces with its vibram megagrip outsole and multi-directional lugs. I’ve been to rocky and stony surfaces at Hong Kong, Muddy treks at Timberland and Capananan. It also remains comfortable on road. It’s mesh upper gives a more breathable feel and also functions as drains to river treks. One drawback of the Speedgoat 3 is that it does have a compact toe box so you can just go half a size bigger if you need more space.
Evo Mafate is a more muscular version of Evo Jawz. Evo Jawz had the best traction that I’ve tried on the muddiest treks including a rainy day race at Mount Ayaas last year. The drawback is that it’s not designed for longer distance runs since its minimalist and is not as durable as other Hokas. So when you ask the shoe Genie to give you a shoes that has the traction of Evo Jawz and the built of Speedgoats, then you have Evo Mafate.
If Speedgoat 3 is my go-to shoes on a sunny day, Evo Mafate is my go-to shoes on a rainy day. It’s a mud slugger with its vibram megagrip outsole, aggressive lugs and rubberized composition that can go on the muddiest surface and retain traction even on wet rocky terrain. Since it rains a lot, I’ve shifted to Evo Mafate and it just gives me more comfort to move around on wet and muddy trails. I’ve gone to enjoy a mud-slugging day on the trail since it’s a lot cooler and the lugs just keeps me grounded.
One drawback is that it’s not as soft and cushy as a Speedgoat but its still good to go. Let’s just say, I’m just so used to that soft and cushy feel of Speedgoats. It’s lighter than Speedgoat 3 at 9.6 oz and retains a good ground feel. The upper fabric of the shoes is just built for the wet trails with faster drainage and more breathable feel. It also has a wider toe-box than the Speedgoat 3.
My Weapon of Choice
I’d go with the Speedgoat 3 as my race shoes since I would always go for that soft cushy feel but when on rainy days and muddy trails, it’s Evo Mafate for me.