Review: Hoka One One Torrent 2 for trail running
The Hoka One One Torrent 2 is billed as “a nimbler trail racer”. Further details from the brand state that the trail running shoe has a “streamlined silhouette that incorporates a seemingly contradictory combination of cushioning and agility”.
- PROFLY™ midsole, for a “forgiving landing and responsive toe-off”
- Recycled UNIFI reprieve yarn derived from post-consumer waste plastic
- Engineered mesh with recycled polyester fibres
- Multi-directional lugs for improved traction
- Sticky rubber outsole
- Reinforcing overlays for protection against trail debris (the rand, I think)
- Weight: 215g
- Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm
- Neutral stability
- Responsive cushioning
- Male and female fit.
- Price: £110
- To buy: Hoka Torrent 2. (I gain a small commission for any sales through this link.)
On test: Hoka One One Torrent 2
Hoka One One has become a bit of a Marmite brand: You either love the brand or you don’t. I haven’t been a huge fan of the over-sized, highly cushioned soles of previous shoe models but I actually really like the Torrent 2s.
The sole seems more “normal” in terms of height and cushioning. There is enough cushioning to make the running comfortable, but not so much that you can’t feel the ground as you run.
The shoes are lightweight and offer good stability. The heel area of the upper part of the shoe is secure but not too stiff. I want my narrow heel to stay in the heel of the shoe but I don’t want it to be too rigid. The Hoka design achieves this really well.
There is nothing particularly fancy about the shoes, although the colour range is great and they look modern. When Hoka first arrived on the running scene, the shoes looked very different with their big cushioned soles but now many of the models seem fairly normal. This is not a criticism, but rather I expect it is that the footwear ranges have been widened to suit different purposes.
You can still buy the more cushioned shoes, but you can also buy less cushioned soles as well. I am a fan of the less cushioned Hoka shoes.
So enough about the look! It’s how they fit and feel when running that is important.
I had always thought of Hoka as being wide fit but they comfortably hug my long and narrow feet. If you have wide feet you might want to go up a size or choose a different Hoka shoe or brand.
The shoes feel immediately comfortable, which is a good sign, and they remain comfortable when running.
Hoka describe the trail shoes has having responsive cushioning and this is actually a good description when running. I can’t tell you why, except that maybe there is the right about of give and cushioning in the sole to achieve this.
The cushioning feels more like it is in the forefoot and there is a bit of a rocker towards the back of the sole. All in all, the soles feels good.
The trails shoes are also lightweight and really easy to run in.
Traction is mostly good. I would suggest they are better for hard-packed trails than very muddy hills but even so they cope well in a range of terrains and in Scottish winter conditions.
I would describe the traction as moderately aggressive and it is sticky on rocks, so long as they are not too wet and icy.
There is a fair amount of flex in the sole and this you will either like or not, depending on your running style and where you run.
The shoes are a good choice if you plan to run on a mix of terrain in one outing, such as tarmac, hard-packed trails, paths and some wet and muddy sections.
I would like to see a more robust and protective rand on the shoes since they are meant for trail. I think the current rand will be easily damaged but so far, so good and the test will be the longevity.
At £110 these shoes are competitively priced. Running footwear is expensive these days but Hoka One One prices seem more reasonable.
I am surprised to like these shoes and I would recommend if you like a neat fit, cushioning and traction on a range of off-road surfaces.