Hoka One One Torrent 2 | Best Trail Running Shoes 2020

The RW Takeway: The Torrent 2 won over Speedgoat fans with its lightness and soft midsole.

Price: $120
Type: Trail
Offset: 5mm
Weight: 9.3 oz (M), 7.6 oz (W)

The Torrent 2 is supportive, well-cushioned, and lightweight, helping you power through technical trails without the bulk usually associated with this much plushness. The shoe has Hoka’s proprietary ProFly midsole, which provides soft cushioning in the heel and firm cushioning in the forefoot, buffering landings on rocky stretches. Heel-striking testers took note of the generously cushioned heel, saying the shoe was “built for comfort.”

Lakota Gambill
Hoka One One Torrent 2

 

 

The Torrent 2 feels lighter than the original, even though both the men’s and women’s weights are approximately the same (the men’s Torrent is 9.3 oz; the women’s is 7.7 oz). When they were introduced to the first Torrent, diehard Speedgoat fans found themselves straying, enamored with its lightness, low profile, and ferocity on challenging terrain. Both Speedgoat fans and Torrent 1 converts will likely find themselves falling for the Torrent 2 for because of its responsive midsole and slightly updated outsole lug pattern.

One small drawback, however, is the lack of traction on slick rock. “The aggressive lugs were great in soft dirt and mud,” said a tester. “[But] traction on wet rock was almost zero; I found myself tiptoeing gingerly on surfaces I’d otherwise have no issue bounding across in those conditions.”

 
The right amount of cushioning without feeling too heavy (women’s shown).
Lakota Gambill
Lakota Gambill

Firmer—But Still Soft

Testers praised the first Torrent’s cushioning, stating it allowed them to go long without getting sore feet. Testers weren’t disappointed with the second version. One even commented how the 2’s cushioning seemed to be better than its predecessor’s.

“I remember thinking the first Torrents I tested had too much cushioning,” she said. “I felt like this shoe had the right amount.”

 
A marble-design with multi-directional lugs (men’s shown).
Lakota Gambill
Lakota Gambill

Other testers familiar with Hoka’s trail shoes felt the Torrent 2 was firmer than the shoes they’re used to running in. It also didn’t have that “high off the ground feel” you get with most of the brand’s shoes (that maximalist profile that adds a few millimeters to your height). But these differences actually put the Torrent 2 in a more favorable light. Instead of being too beefy or having that sinking-in, marshmallow-soft midsole feel, the shoe lends just enough softness so you can add on extra miles and not feel weighed down.

My first impression, along with other testers, was that the upper was quite thick, which could be problematic in the heat of summer when running long—or on some days, running at all—is iffy. But we found this thickness was a deception. The engineered mesh allowed our feet to breathe. The fit was slightly narrower in the toe box compared to other trail shoes, yet it was still had ample room for toe-splaying.

 
A secure fit—with very long laces (women’s shown).
Lakota Gambill
Lakota Gambill

Usually my feet swim in Hokas, but they felt secure in the Torrent 2. One nitpick is the astronomically long laces. They didn’t come untied, and honestly weren’t too distracting, but runners, take note.

“Laces were miles too long,” said a tester.

With some threading and pulling, the shoe has a nice, snug fit, albeit with very long bunny ears that you may want to tuck in.

More Wear Tester Feedback

Mary H., tester since 2017
Arch: Medium | Gait: Neutral | Footstrike: Midfoot
“I enjoyed running in the Torrent 2 much better than the first pair of Torrents that I had tested in the past. I felt like the newer model was lighter and less clunky. I liked how supportive the shoe was and that even though it had a narrow toe box it was still very roomy and comfortable. Even though it is a trail shoe it still felt good running in them on the road.”

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