HOKA: Introduce yourself! How did you end up working for HOKA, and what do you do now? What does your day-to-day look like?
Jared: Heyyo, my name is Jared Smith, Product Line Manager with HOKA. I’ve been a part of the HOKA Product Team for coming up on 6 incredible years with a ton of growth and learning. I’ve been working with our Design and Development Teams to help create the best-in-class performance footwear for road, trail, and everything in between. No two days are alike and that’s a very appealing aspect to what we do: constantly learning by tapping into our Field Marketing teams and HOKA consumers to aid in creating the most thoughtfully crafted performance shoes in the marketplace.
HOKA: What goes into updating a shoe with such legacy as the Speedgoat series? How long does the process take?
Jared: There is a lot that goes into creating a shoe as well as updating a legacy style such as the Speedgoat. We take in as much consumer, athlete and team feedback to ensure that we’re working with as much insight as possible to help tweak and improve the style as much as we can that will help deliver a familiar yet improved experience. It’s tough to gauge how long a process takes when updating a style as we’re constantly taking in feedback, observing the performance, learning of new technologies, etc., but our overall development timeline is roughly 18 months from when a project is kicked off until it lands on the shelf at your local running store or on the hoka.com website. We look to include athlete feedback and testing as much as possible in the development of our styles.
HOKA: Tell us about the Speedgoat 5 (weights, stack heights, materials, etc.)
Jared: The men’s Speedgoat 5 (size 9) weighs in at just 10.3 oz (291g), while a women’s (size 7) is now 8.5 oz (242g). You’ll find the same stack height compared to its predecessor (33/29 for men, 31/27 for women), but it’s the new materials we’re employing that’s what really makes this shoe stand above its previous versions.
We’re now using the same midsole compound that was featured in the EVO Speedgoat which provides great cushioning with a lightweight and responsive ride. Plus, the Vibram Megagrip outsole now features Traction Lug: a new technology that is a microtextured feature that circumnavigates the lugs, increasing the surface area and improving traction. Finally, you’ll also find a new engineered creel jacquard upper that provides great foot support, breathability and durability while maintaining a lightweight feel.
HOKA: What are the key differences between the 4 and the 5?
It’s a lot of what you loved on the SG4, with small refinements to improve fit, feel and ride. You’ll find fewer overlays for more considered design while still maintaining good foot support, as well as a new dynamic vamp to accommodate for foot splay and (believe it or not) improved traction.
HOKA: What are you most proud of in the Speedgoat 5? Why do you think the Speedgoat 5 is so great?
Jared: I’m proud of every aspect of the style — it was a huge team effort and I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to the Designer Gabriel Nicasio and Developer Ryan Ritzau who really helped bring this incredible update to life.
HOKA: Who is the shoe for?
Jared: The Speedgoat 5 is for all trail runners; it’s designed and built for those looking to tackle technical terrain with confidence. Whether you’re gearing up for a trail race, a long day out on the trails with friends or one of your first trail runs ever, the Speedgoat 5 offers a quintessential HOKA experience with a cushioned and propulsive ride, confidence-inspiring traction and support throughout the upper, all at a surprisingly light weight. It really is #TimeToFly!
Shop the all-new Speedgoat 5 today at the link HERE.