Hoka One One – Tor Speed WP

I’ll be honest, I really didn’t like these quirky boots when they first came in for review. They’re so completely different an experience from wearing traditional hiking boots that my feet and ankles just proved to be useless at wearing them. I rolled off the sides a couple of times, and I stubbed my toes. But, after a good few months’ of perseverence I finally ‘get’ the crazy Tor Speed boots, and I quite enjoy wearing them. In fact, for a wet night-hike yesterday evening, they were my boot of choice from a shelf-full of exotic technology.


First and foremost I like these boots because they make me taller. And that’s a good thing.

But asides from that height, the enormous soles which are Hoka’s trademark serve a purpose. There’s about 2.5x the depth of sole on a normal trail-running shoe, and it’s a very, very squishy material that is a little like stepping on a molehill. It’s incredibly disconcerting at first, but at the end of a long hike you realise that your feet are still nice and cosy. In my case I can certainly walk further in comfort in these than in a stiffer boot.

However, there’s a caveat with the squishy sole, and that is that you can feel the trail. Step on a sharp stone and you’ll know it. If you like that, that’s fine. If you don’t like to be connected to the trail, these aren’t the boots for you.

The big, fat, wide sole allows your foot to sink in to it and Hoka reckons this gives you more support. I’m not sure I agree because the sole is so squishy it is possible to just compress it and roll off the side of the boot. The uppers are very soft and don’t offer much in the way of ankle support. However, the longer-term effect of this has been that I think I’m walking a little more straight up and with less lazy-feet. If the Hoka Tor is your main boot, you adapt to this difference. I find it to be more of an issue when I’ve been wearing stiffer boots regularly.

That upper is completely waterproof, despite looking like a mesh. And it feels very breathable too. In fact, I’ve been extremely impressed by the waterproofing as I’ve stomped through miles of soggy bogland – they’ve held up better than many leather boots I’ve owned. The flip-side is that they’re not a warm boot, so are best suited to faster hikes where you’re creating lots of heat.

The sole is a particularly aggressive affair and has proven to be capable on most surfaces. I’ve had a couple of slips on wet rock, and very sticky mud, but nothing major.hoka soles

The lacing system is good, and allows you to get the supple upper to snug down on your foot well. It fits like a running shoe, rather than a hiker, and the fit is nice and wide.

All in all, I’m pleasantly surprised by the Hoka Tor Speed. It wasn’t an immediate love affair, but I’ve grown an understanding and respect for them, and they’re now one of two boots that I’ll wear out for a hike. Sure, they’re not the prettiest thing in the world, but when on your feet nobody seems to notice them anyway.

4-hammers Price: 150EUR
More: Hoka

4 thoughts on “Hoka One One – Tor Speed WP

  • January 14, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    How did you get on with the width of the speed tors? I ahve read a lot of reviews saying that Hoka in general come up pretty narrow. Ive got size E width feet and am longing to find a trail runner style mid to accommodate me in comfort

    • January 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Hi. I have wide forefeet and narrow heels. The Tors, if anything, are a little too wide for me. They’re definitely a wide, American-style fit, rather than a narrower European-style fit.

  • January 15, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks Andy,I will check them out

  • May 11, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I have the tor speed now for a week as an alternative to my tor mid for higher temp. Both have a great grip slick surface and bags of comfort. The speed is more terrain and running oriented as the mid and that aggressive profile works no much muck holding butt after a 40km mixed terrain and pavement it does show wear! The normal tor mid a lot less and that one also walks better on pavement as the speed. But it will hold muck a lot more also. Temperature wise the speed is a bit cooler but a 35deg c shoe maybe.
    The speed has a softer less stable heel cup and since there is less rock protection a bit softer wider forefoot
    And the speed is a bit lighter and runs a lot better if you want that both are good walker compared to my altra Olympus a more rounded walk with more grip but narrower fit


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