Hoka One One Speed Instinct Reviewed

8.7
8.7 score
(WalkJogRun) score (8.7)/10

Our WalkJogRun score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 8.1 / 10
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Hoka One One Speed Instinct Reviewed Review Facts

Hoka One One Speed Instinct Hiking Shoes – Mens Formula One/Black 9Hoka creates some wonderfully functional running shoes. From the Stinson all the way down to their fantastically designed Gaviota, their shoes all provide the highest level of performance and allow wearers to push themselves to areas that have never before been seen by them. The shoe that we are going to pay attention to today is the Hoka One One Speed instinct. The name of this shoe insinuates everything that it’s about, speed and functionality. These shoes have a sleek design and are imbued with several of the technologies that have made the Hoka brand what it is today.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very Lightweight
  • Roomy toe-box
  • Grips terrain
  • Cushioned
  • Responsive design
Cons

 

  • Best for dry ground
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What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.2 hours analyzing a total of 730 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • Hoka never fail to impress me, I love the cushioning and propulsion in the front of these and the protective level of cushion designed into the heel. I use these for really long trail distances.
  • This feels like one of their best cushion shoes so far with a lot of response, I like the comfort from the upper and no rubbing at all, not too narrow-average fit, great aggressive lugs, awesome flexibilty, I have covered a lot of miles and the durability is better than earlier Hoka shoes. I highly reccomend these as worth a try-out.
  • Not long to break in these, the sole easilly deals with stones, wet and dry mud, the lugs give very impressive grip, the cushion in the heel is extra supportive, the return energy from the front of the shoe is wow level, fit is average and good, the shoe flexibility is nice while giving just the right level of firm.
  • Run trails twice a week, three months and the durability from these is great, very slight wear showing, very nice energy feedback, lots of heel support, the design of the sole easilly deals with loose stones, muddy trails and dry due to the great lug system and patterning for grip/protection. When I need it I can feel the flexibility, these are in my opinion the best from Hoka.
  • The uppers are soft but very supporting, the criss-cross designs gives support, protection from wet and also top ventilation, the shoes has amazing grip for dry, wet, muddy and gritty trails, energy return has a really nice amount of propulsion, the heel gives more support than I expected, the width is a perfect fit, these are a seriously wortyhwhile trail shoe.
  • As an avid regular runners on all types of trails I looked for a shoe with durability, a grip which can deal with all surfaces, lots of heel support, a high level of propolsive response, a high amount of proteion and nice breathability, 5 stars for these they gave all I need.
  • My suggestion is to go up a size for these, the cushioing in these is impressive, the design and finish of these looks and feels great, the shoe feels fully supportive and gives nice grip combined with protection, the shoe wears quicker on dry surfaces, amazing return and propulsion.
  • I hit tough mid-west trails and these shoes deal really well with the different surfaces, grip is good and works in dry, wet, slippery, muddy, loose stones, the shoes give highly decent response-support, these are one of the very good Hoka shoes.
  • The sole feels midway between using the shoe on both trails and streets, they grip both surfaces without any issues, the stability was important to me due to recent surgery, yes i recommend these as a really good double purpose running shoe with a hot level of propulsion.
  • I'm into Hoka big time, even have Hoka hiking boots, what I wanted for trails was fit and support and these do that in abundance, the cushion in these is thought through, the fronts give response while the heel gives secure support, very nice shoes, solid trail runners.
Negative
  • Had to go from 9.5 up to 10 to get the correct fit, still the fore foot feels narrow and the shoe feels hot on my feet after about 5 miles.
  • These shoes give a lot of response and I feel less in control, the gait these produce does not work for my running style.
  • The fit for the forefoot is small and the material does not stretch to fit, the shoes does feel heavy after running for half an hour.
  • Found these to be too tight around the toes for my feet, the shoe is good but I can’t use it for longer distances due to the discomfort around my toes.
  • Too narrow, I tried re-sizing but no luck, like these but I just can’t get the right width, sold these on to a friend.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 730 reviews we found in total, 9% were negative, and 91% were positive.
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Outsole

Outsole

To give the shoe a bit of a longer-lifespan, Hoka fashioned the outsole from a Carbon rubber material. Carbon rubber, unlike several of the other variations of the rubber materials, gives wearers both an above average level of grip as well as the security that they’d need in knowing that their shoe will be able to stand the tests of time. The outsole features a lugged pattern as well (the grip that it provides will be expounded upon in later sections) which helps the shoe to provide wearers with the lifespan that it’s known for having.
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of the Hoka One One Speed instinct has one of the most elaborate designs that anyone will probably see in their shoe in a very long time. The complexity of the midsole doesn’t stem from various layers though, rather, it stems from the shoe’s use varying densities as one progresses from the forefoot to the heel of the shoe. The midsole of the shoe is designed from the typical EVA foam but features the Pro2Lite +10 tech which enables the forefoot of the shoe to be a bit denser than the surrounding areas. This boosts the shoe’s overall durability as well and ensures that the shoe doesn’t feel like one big cushion in an area where takeoff is the focus.
Upper

Upper

The upper of the Speed Instinct is designed from a standard mesh material but, makes use of welded webbing. The seamless Air Mesh material in the design of this shoe allows it to provide wearers with the airflow that they’d most likely like when running for the extended periods of time that they’ll find themselves running in this pair of shoes. The cool thing about the Speed Instinct is actually the Welded Webbing that they feature; this material gives it a bit of integrity but continuously keeps the shoe from holding or retaining heat when in use. To make the shoe a bit more comfortable, Hoka made sure to give the toe area a bit more width (this will be discussed in a bit more depth in later sections as well).
Weight

Weight

All of the design specs of the Speed Instinct come together to give wearers an incredibly lightweight shoe; when this thing is on-foot it is hardly noticeable. The use of the Air Mesh and the Welded overlays are a huge contributor to the 8.4 oz weight that these shoes have. The air mesh (as the name suggests) is perforated and doesn’t really have the copious amounts of cushioning that other shoes of it’s kind have. Also, the Welded overlays, and the lack of overall thickness that they have keep this shoe from weighing down the wearers foot. This is one shoe that almost no one can regret having after a long run, especially if they’re looking for something that lacks weight.
Breathability

Breathability

The upper is made of “Air Mesh”; that name basically lets one know that it won’t be the thickest material on the planet. Like regular mesh, Air Mesh is highly perforated and is relatively thin; this allows the material to give an above average level of air flow to the foot during use. In addition to the shoe’s upper having qualities very similar to those of regular mesh, the Air mesh has moisture-wicking properties which prevent it from either retaining smells or feeling moist after being taken off of one’s foot.
Comfort

Comfort

The airflow supplied by the Mesh upper and welded overlays do provide an adequate level of comfort to the wearer. They have been working on switching up the design of their shoes and, as mentioned in a previous section, have given the Speed Instinct a wider toe box. The wider design of the toe box on this shoe is something that has been much south-after simply because of the fact that it reduces the pressurized feel of the toes as they begin to swell during longer runs. Something that isn’t always mentioned in shoe designs nowadays is the heel cup; the upper of the Hoka One One speed Instinct is equipped with a rubber cap at the heel. This cup keeps the foot locked tightly in place and reduces the movement that one is likely to experience while the shoe is being used.
Style

Style

For a trail shoe, these shoes sure are slim-cut. Hoka is known for designing their shoes with their standard bird logo. Something that adds to the aesthetic pleasure that the shoe has is actually the welded overlays that it has. The overlay allow the shoe to come off as being slim but also make the design look somewhat elaborate. I wouldn’t recommend wearing these shoes for anything but their athletic purposes though; they don’t have a style which can blend very easily to various different clothing and atmospheres in my opinion.
Durability

Durability

Something that never ceases to amaze me about shoes like the Speed Instinct is that it appears to be incredibly fragile yet, has so many durable features incorporated. It isn’t very often that a shoe with almost nonexistent overlays such as those of the Speed Instinct are able to last without ripping in the way that these shoes manage to. The semi-firm cushioning in the midsole also gives it the ability to provide cushioning on a variety of terrains for a relatively long time without breaking down as well.
Protection

Protection

This was a topic in the previous section as well but, the semi-firm cushioning in the midsole of the shoe does give it the ability to provide a bit of protection during a run; the thing is that this protection doesn’t appear in a way that is typically expected. The cushioning from this denser version of EVA keeps the wearers from experiencing rollover while the shoe is on foot; in a trail shoe, the ability to prevent this is crucial to preventing one from receiving an injury.
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The firmer cushioning in the forefoot of the shoe also aids the Speed Stinson in delivering a responsive feel to the foot of the wearer when in use; this design spec is one of the main reason why the shoe feels to bounce when used on it’s intended surface. The upper of the shoe doesn’t hinder the responsive feel delivered whatsoever. The lack of substantial overlays enables the shoe to provide wearers with what they need in order to retain a high level of movement while in use; this is something that directly compliments the energy return accomplished by the sole unit of the shoe.
Support

Support

While the whole of the shoe’s sole unit allows it to provide wearers with what they’d need in terms of cushioning, the semi-firm design does manage to thoroughly support the wearer’s underfoot. The heel unit of the shoe is where it manages to be a bit more on the plush side; this is where wearers receive the support for their heel and their arch on the medial side of the foot. Before anything else, it’s imperative that we mention that this shoe is designed for individuals with a neutral arch.
Terrain

Terrain

The area that the Speed Instinct was the most surprising in is its ability to handle various different terrain types. The Speed Instinct, despite the way that it’s designed, is actually meant for use on low-to-moderate difficulty trails. For a shoe to be this lightweight, yet be able to handle a trail is somewhat unprecedented. The Speed Instinct has a standard running shoe upper but a trail outsole. The trail outsole is lugged which allows it to dig into a trails surface and provide grip and functionality on the more untraditional trails. The welded overlays actually compliment the trail outsole that the shoe has by allowing it to be a bit more lightweight while still having that standard level of functionality that’s present in it’s design.
Price

Price

At the time of its initial release, the Speed Instinct was actually a bit more expensive than the average trail shoe; this is to be expected simply because of the fact that it features an extremely lightweight and durable upper as well as a functional and cushioned sole unit. These are 2 things that typically aren’t found together in trail shoes. As time has passed though, the price has dropped and it has become much more affordable. The technology that it comes with hasn’t deprecated at all though, which still makes this shoe something to pay attention to.
Traction

Traction

If you’re only going to be running on dry surfaces the grip that this shoe provides should be more than enough for you; if not, then it’s probably best that you seek a heavier grade of shoe. The Speed Instinct doesn’t function very well on spotty, mud-ridden trails simply because of the type of lugs that the outsole is equipped with. The outsole’s lugs aren’t of a width that would enable them to dig into the muddy surface and still supply one with the grip necessary to successfully avoid slippage.
Flexibility

Flexibility

There is really nothing else to say about these shoes in regards to the range of motion other than the fact that they are relatively flexible. The design of the shoe themselves enables them to provide wearers with what they need in terms of the range of motion due to fact that it simply isn’t as bulky as various other shoes. The midsole is sectioned off and can bend either laterally or along the medial plane with great ease. The mesh upper coupled with the thin welded overlays can move in almost the exact way that the foot moves; this means that ease of transition in a pair of Speed Instinct should definitely not be an issue.
Stability

Stability

Well, the cup in the heel of the Speed Instinct as well as the overlays in the surrounding areas will definitely keep the foot feeling secure during use. Aside form the upper though, there is another portion of the design that’s meant to provide wearers with a secure stable feel while worn; the foam in the midsole is a major contributor to the firm, steady feel provided by this shoe. While having a completely cushioned feel while a shoe is worn is something that many individuals seek from their shoe, nothing beats walking in a shoe and being able to have a solid understanding of the surface that’s being run on. Nothing.
Drop

Drop

Many trail running shoes have relatively low drops; this goes somewhat against the normal design specs that Hoka One One has in their shoes but has rung true for this particular model. The drop of the Speed Instinct is a surprising 3 mm. When running on a trail, it’s imperative that one is able to fully feel the surface that’s being run on; the low drop of this shoe allows that.
Key Features

Key Features

• Low drop
• Pro2Lite +10 Midsole
• Lugged outsole
• Welded overlays
• Air Mesh Upper
Verdict

Verdict

The design of the Hoka One One Speed Instinct isn’t one that you’ll want to miss out. With it’s low price and incredible features, this shoe is one that is sure to provide wearers with what they’d need in order to successfully navigate a trail surface without worry; some of the worry that one would be avoiding would be the worry of having to replace the shoe. You wouldn’t have to worry about that at all. This is a great shoe, much like several of the other shoes that Hoka has managed to create.