Thursday, January 26, 2023

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX Multi Tester Review

Article by Renee Krusemark and John Tribbia

Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX ($170)


Complete Gore-Tex upper coverage: Renee/John

Versatility in winter conditions: Renee/John


Weight: Renee/John

Heel shape: Renee

Midsole is dense and harsh in cold temperatures: John


Sample Weights:  men’s     9.84oz  / 279g (US 9.0)

                               women’s 9.70 oz /275g (US 7.5)

Stack Height: M 32 mm heel / 28 mm forefoot :: W 30mm heel / 26mm forefoot

$170. Available now at our partner REI  HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Renee: The fan favorite Speedgoat returns with a freaking fantastic GTX upper! I bought the Speedgoat 4 (not a review sample) and returned it. The shoe was too heavy for me and my little toe needed more room. I won’t bury the lead here: I like the SG 5 much better. The GTX version is quiteheavy and still doesn’t have what I call a “roomy toe box,”  but it’s a useful winter running shoe. I don’t have the non-GTX version of the Speedgoat 5 for reference. Jeff V. and Jeff B. have an excellent review of the non-GTX version, which I recommend reading. 

The upper is a double layer jacquard engineered mesh with what Hoka calls a “Gore-Tex Leaf membrane bootie”. The fit of the upper uses a normal lacing system and I thought it fit much like a trail shoe without Gore-Tex. The “bootie” refers to the Gore-Tex completely wrapping around the inside of the shoe, including the tongue and tongue gusset. As a winter running shoe, that full coverage of Gore-Tex keeps sleet and snow out of the upper. 

I’d prefer a traditional heel style and I’m hoping Hoka ditches the “elf heel” for this shoe in the next version. The heel security is okay, but the shoe would ride much better for me on uneven terrain if the heel fit was lower and tighter around my ankle. Without a gaiter, the elf heel can be a funnel for snow. 

For sizing, I suggest true-to-size or the same size of any other Hoka shoe. I’m between half sizes, and despite Hoka having a narrow fit (and narrow toebox), I prefer to wear my half size lower (women’s 7.5 instead of 8). 

John: This is my first time running in the Speedgoat. The GoreTex upper is a great feature of the Hoka Speedgoat 5. I like that it is completely waterproof, but still somewhat breathable. I kept my foot submerged in standing puddles for well over a minute or two and the membrane bootie works like a charm - my foot was totally dry. 

The GoreTex upper also helps to keep my feet warmer in cold weather and the full coverage keeps water from seeping into the shoe. Unless you’re running in deeper snow, this means that my feet stay dry and comfortable, even when running in wet and snowy conditions. 

The Speedgoat 5 fits true to size. If you are at a half size, I would recommend trying on both the half size down and the half size up to see which one fits better. The Speedgoat 5 has a roomy toe box that allows for good movement of the toes. It is also designed with a midfoot lockdown system that helps to keep the foot in place. The upper of the Hoka Speedgoat 5 has a snug, comfortable fit. I don't feel like my feet are slipping or sliding around in the shoe, and the upper hugs my foot nicely. When I'm bombing down trails, I like that the Speedgoat 5 keeps a tight grip on my foot, with no slipping or rubbing


Renee: The midsole is CMEVA (Compression Molded EVA) with a late stage rocker. The midsole is firm, but not uncomfortably harsh and works for me as a trail shoe when I don't want an over cushioned midsole. I’m not a fan of rocker midsoles/rides for trails, but the late stage is just enough to help roll forward without getting in the way of being agile. 

The women’s stack height is 2mm less than the men’s at 30mm/26mm. For trail, the 4mm drop is perfect. I won’t choose the shoe for buffed or flat surfaces (mainly because of the weight). The shoe easily has enough cushion and comfort for long runs. The shoe works for easy short runs too, although I’d prefer a lighter shoe for any run less than one hour. 

John: Renee describes the midsole really well. I similarly found the midsole to be firm and in really cold temperatures (< 20*F) I also found it to be a bit harsh. That said, in more moderate temperatures, the Speedgoat 5 strikes a good balance in terms of cushioning. It's not super squishy that it feels like it's sapping energy with each step, but it still provides a good amount of impact protection. The CMEVA midsole foam provides a comfortable cushion that dampens the underfoot terrain while offering good stability. 


Renee: I tested the non spike version of the GTX, which has the same outsole as the regular non GTX Speedgoat. 

The 5mm lugs and Vibram MegaGrip are comfortable on a variety of terrain. I ran through snow (mostly), some mud, gravel, grass, and through fields. The 5mm lugs aren’t uncomfortable on rolling hills (gravel roads) and offer enough traction through slight mud.


At times, the lugs seem less than 5mm, but it’s hard to get good traction through snow regardless of outsole quality. Hoka’s “Traction Lugs” refer to the small, rubber triangular shapes that outline the front and back of most of the outsole lugs. 

John: The Speedgoat 5 outsole has a lot of small lugs that provide good traction on a variety of surfaces, including mud, loose dirt, snow, ice, and slick rocks. I've never felt like I was going to slip or slide, even on wet or muddy surfaces. I also ran them on pavement and they were reasonably efficient, although I would still prefer them off-road. 


Renee: The ride is smooth. The more I ran in the shoes, the more I liked it. The late stage rocker is not as obtrusive on uneven surfaces as I initially thought it would be. At slow paces (which is pretty much all I can manage when running through snow), the ride is protective and comfortable. 

At 9.70 oz /275g in my women’s US7.5, the SG 5 GTX is a heavy shoe, so it’s not my choice for moderate or fast paces. For 2-4 hour runs, the ride was fine. For a longer run at a fast pace, the weight would bother me so I’d hesitate to wear it for a race unless the trail conditions warranted a GTX upper. 

I thought the shoes worked well for snowshoe running, although I’d suggest a gaiter to keep snow from entering around the heel. 

John: The late stage Meta Rocker took some getting used to, but after adjusting I found it helps to propel me forward with each step and makes running feel more efficient. Like Renee, I like the smooth ride of the shoe, especially for slower paces on uphills and downhills, but felt encumbered when trying to pick up the pace. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Renee: For winter running, the SG 5 GTX is very useful. I don’t like heavy shoes and I’m not usually a fan of rocker midsoles. However, the GTX of the upper is well integrated around the entire tongue, so during winter snow/slush/sleet running I had no issues racking up miles in this shoe for review. 

I think Hoka fans will enjoy the ride. Runners who haven’t liked the toe box or narrowness of the SG in the past probably won’t gravitate toward this shoe, but I found the fit more accommodating than the SG 4, even with the GTX upper. 

Some of the appeal of the SG5 is the weight reduction from previous versions, but the GTX upper places the shoe in a heavy weight category for me. I can complain about the weight, but for logging miles in harsh conditions, the SG5 GTX is worth it. While I didn’t test the GTX Spike version, I suggest reading my fellow RTR reviewers’ thoughts here and consider it instead of the non-Spike version as it adds tungsten carbide spikes for yet more winter traction. 

Renee’s score: 9.0/10 (-.50 heavy, -.20 a bit narrow, .30 heel security/shape)


John: The Speedgoat 5 GTX is a great fitting shoe that has an extremely waterproof + secure upper. It boasts a well cushioned (but not pillowy) midsole with a smooth rockered ride. It is a fun, reliable and stable shoe that opens greater possibilities of exploring in harsh conditions thanks to the GoreTex upper.  The Speedgoat 5 is versatile and is a great option for moderately paced runs, short and long distance across a multiplicity of terrain types

John’s Score:  9.3/10

Ride: 9 - A smooth, well cushioned, and nice rocker

Fit: 9.5 - Roomy toebox and secure upper

Value: 9 - For a really winterized shoe that is waterproof AND breathable, this is a good one

Style: 9.5 - I love the all black!

Traction: 9.5 - Very versatile and secure on wintry stuff

Rock Protection: 9 - Dense midsole provides solid protection



Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Saucony Peregrine 13 GTX (RTR Review soon)

Renee: The Peregrine 13 GTX is a lighter weight shoe without a rocker ride. The rock plate helps with uneven surfaces although the Speedgoat has good protection underfoot without a plate. The GTX on the SG5 wraps around the heel, whereas the Peregrine GTX does not. For a more traditional, faster ride I’d choose the Peregrine. For the GTX coverage, I’d choose the SG. I have a size 8 in the Peregrine and a 7.5 in the SG. 

John: The Hoka Speedgoat 5 and the Saucony Peregrine are both great trail running shoes, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. Note: I didn’t test the GTX version of the Peregrine, so I’ll only comment on the non-upper shoe features. The Speedgoat is a more protective shoe underfoot with a pronounced rocker that is ideal for long runs and hikes, while the Peregrine is a lighter and more responsive shoe that is better for speed work, racing, or something uptempo.

Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GTX  (RTR Review)

Renee: The Pegasus Trail 4 GTX is a lighter, more nimble shoe. Although a road-to-trail shoe, it rides well on single track . The SG5 has a better forefoot cushion and overall protection for longer, more technical trails. The GTX coverage is better too, but The Peg Trail GTX upper is much more flexible and comfortable. The faux gaiter on the Peg Trail GTX is a nice feature to keep some debris out from the heel opening, a function I wish the SG had instead of the elf heel shape. 

John: The Hoka Speedgoat 5 has a more aggressive tread pattern than the Pegasus Trail 4, which makes it better suited for running on snow and ice. But the Pegasus Trail still does well in mud, rock, and off camber slopes. The Speedgoat also has a wider toe box, which makes it more comfortable for runners with wide feet.

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is a lighter shoe compared to the Speedgoat, which makes it better suited for uptempo running. The Pegasus Trail 4 also has a more responsive midsole, which makes it feel more agile on the trail. In addition, the Nike feels much softer and comfortable underfoot, thanks to the midsole.

The GTX upper on the Speedgoat is more protective, warmer, and holds up to full puddle submersion. I do like the pseudo-gaiter on the Pegasus Trail and will always approve of the bright, flashy colorways of the Nike. 

Speedgoat 4 GTX Review

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

The Speedgoat 5 GTX is available from our partners:


(other retailers coming soon)

Tester Profiles

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

John Tribbia (5' 6", 130lbs) is a former sponsored mountain/trail runner who has run with La Sportiva , Brooks/Fleet Feet, Pearl Izumi, and Salomon. Even though he competes less frequently these days, you can still find John enjoying the daily grind of running on any surface, though his favorite terrain is 30-40% grade climbs. He has won races such as America's Uphill, Imogene Pass Run, and the US Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer Series; and he's held several FKTs on several iconic mountains in Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. If you follow him on Strava, you'll notice he runs at varying paces between 5 minutes/mile to 12 minutes/mile before the break of dawn almost every day.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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