- Ian Morgan
The Mafate Speed 2 from Hoka is a trail shoe that is designed for longer distance/ultra training and racing. It builds on the first version with some great updates and improvements. I have now run a couple of Ultras in this shoe, and spent many training hours in them. In my summary, I will compare them to one of my favourite Hoka “race day” trail shoes, the Hoka Speedgoat 2, as I’m often asked which model I prefer.
The outsole contains a mix of strategically placed Vibram 5mm Supergrip rubber lugs, and Hokas own R-MAT blend of rubber. It has a few flex grooves to allow a bit of movement on toe off. Its wide base helps maintain stability on most surfaces, and its got good grip in wet/muddy conditions. I would like to see more Vibram heel lugs on the next version as this would certainly help when descending in wet/slippery conditions.
LOTS and LOTS of cushioning with a massive 35mm heel-31mm forefoot pad between you and the trail. It still has a reasonable amount of ground feel and flexibility despite the cushion. R-MAT and CMEVA midsole material is used to provide comfort. This helps when you're running super long distances. The rubber seems to hold up well and there is little sign of “compression” or “breakdown” as the KMs/Miles click by.
This is the most “cushioned” Hoka model I have run in. And it’s still reasonably light and nimble across most trail surfaces.
The upper is breathable and drains well, improved padding around the heel helps on those extra long runs. The forefoot is quite wide even with my big feet which I quite like. What I’ve found suits me personally, is swapping the Speedgoat 2 shoe liner for the Speed Mafate 2 shoe liner. It improves the fit of both shoes for me.
I fit a US Mens 12 and this shoe runs true to size and fits me perfectly, a fair bit of toe room compared to other Hoka models. However, this makes it good for long long trail runs where your feet will naturally swell a little anyway.
Being a trail shoe, you would expect that it’s going to get knocked around a fair bit. I’ve run in many different terrains with the Mafete speed 2, from the mountains of New Zealand, the rocky, technical trails of the Andes in Chile, to the Muddy plains and forests of Patagonia. The shoe holds up well, especially in the sole and midsole, the upper did start to wear and breakdown around the midfoot flex points after around 300 - 400 plus kms. However, the shoe was still usable for another few hundred kms. And remember, I’m running through rivers, swamps, forests, and in the Andes!
This is a great long distance trail shoe, especially for those big mileage days.
As I mentioned at the start of this review, if you wanted to choose between the Mafate Speed 2 and the Speedgoat 2, here are my thoughts.
I mainly use the Mafate Speed 2 for my longer, steady training runs, where I’m gonna be on my feet for hours. They have plenty of cushion and a comfortable and breathable upper that drains easily and dries well. While I have run a couple of races in the Mafate, Personally I find them a bit to much shoe for faster ultra events. This is where I prefer the Speedgoat 2, as it’s lighter, lower to the ground, and with more gripping lugs to pretty much get you over anything.
The Mafate is great if you're knocking off a 100km ultra where it’s about time on feet and crossing the finish line.
I mainly use mine for long training runs and those big days in the mountains when comfort and support are required. Yes, you can race in them if you want, and they are a great option for those starting out in trail running and wanting a good all-around shoe. . .Definitely a great model to add into your shoe rotation.
Weight (US Sz 9): 11.60 oz
Heel-Toe drop: 4.00mm (35mm heel-31mm forefoot)
Best suited for: Long steady trail runs.
Rating out of 10 8
Mens Mafate Speed 2 RRP $299.95
Wmn's Mafate Speed 2 RRP $299.95
Mens Speedgoat 2 RRP $299.95
Wmn's Speedgoat 2 RRP $299.95