The Hoka Mafate Speed maximally cushioned trail shoe for technical trails.

Fit-Feel-Ride: This Mafate Speed is true maximalism at its best. Yes, it has a ginormous midsole, putting your foot more than 30mm off the ground. But after a run or two getting used to it, it doesn’t feel overly large or clunky. The tradeoff for all of that cushioning is that there is less proprioceptive “feel” for the ground, so it depends what you really want from a shoe.

The Mafate Speed has a very soft ride, plus it flexes, twists and stretches to meet the features on the surface of the trail. It definitely runs better on mildly technical to very technical terrain, but it’s not too shabby on featureless, rolling dirt paths and gravel roads either.

Our wear-test team considered it an expert-level shoe, meaning if you’ve never worn Hokas before or run on technical terrain, you’ll need a period of adaptation in less maximally cushioned shoes and on milder terrain. But if you’ve worn Hokas previously on trails, you’ll totally get what the Mafate Speed is all about.

Like all Hoka shoes, the Mafate Speed includes a slightly rockered profile, a convex underfoot design that smoothly carries momentum through the gait cycle no matter your footstrike pattern. Runners beware, though: this is a lot of shoe. Compared to other trail shoes (and compared to other Hoka models), the Mafate Speed isn’t light, but our wear-testers said it’s less of an issue on rocky terrain. Also, the samples we received were about a half size too large compared to our wear-testers’ typical sizes. Be sure to try on both your typical size and a size a half size smaller to ensure you’re getting an optimal-fitting shoe.

This shoe is for you if … you want a maximally cushioned shoe capable of tackling mild to very technical terrain.

Price: $170
Weight: 12.0 oz. (men’s), 10.3 oz. (women’s)
Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm; 35mm (heel), 31mm (forefoot)
Info: hokaoneone.com

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