What You Need To Know
- Weighs 9.3 oz. (264 g) for a US M9.0 and 7.6 oz. (215 g) for a US W7.5
- Lightweight trail shoe with an aggressive outsole
- PROFLY midsole remains unchanged, definitely firmer than other HOKA trail shoes (e.g. Speedgoat)
- Great shoe for HOKA fans looking for a shoe with better trail feel than their higher stack models
ERIN: The HOKA ONE ONE Torrent is a shoe that I see everywhere on the trails. Despite reviewing trail shoes for the last several years and running in many other HOKA models, I’d never tried it and wondered what I was missing– and now I know! And I shall share that with you, if you are also wondering what you are missing.
Quick rundown of the HOKA Torrent 2: It’s a lightweight trail shoe with aggressive outsole lugs, making it a favorite for runners who want to go fast on varied terrain. The PROFLY midsole is unchanged from the original Torrent, but a newly engineered mesh upper made of recycled polyester provides a breathable experience on the trails. Men’s stack height comes in at 23 mm/18 mm while the women’s is 21 mm/ 16 mm (so, 5 mm drop).
Now onto the review.
ERIN: The Torrent 2 differs from other HOKA trail shoes in several ways: first, it looks more like a standard trail shoe, and by that, I mean that the stack height is more in line with a New Balance Leadville than a HOKA Stinson. Second, it offers more traction than most other HOKA trail shoes I’ve tried (aside from the insanely aggressive EVO Jawz). And finally– this may be a sub-bullet of the first two points since it’s likely due to a combination of those elements– it is much firmer. I’m listing these things under “good” because, in general, I think these are the positive elements of the shoe. Unless, like me, you’re a diehard Speedgoat fan.
The Torrent 2 is the HOKA you want to wear if you’re afraid of twisting your ankle in a high stack height trail shoe and/or if you find other HOKA shoes to be lacking in the traction department. While I didn’t love this shoe on its first outing, I didn’t hate it, either. After subsequent runs, however, I realized that for me, the Torrent required some breaking in, and settled into being a shoe I would reach for on trail runs under, say, 10 miles or so.
Though I haven’t run in the OG torrent, it seems the most common complaint was the upper. People tended to have issues dialing in the fit due to the stiffness of the upper and its inability to mold to the foot, causing friction and instability when the foot slid around in the shoe. In comparing the upper of the OG and the 2, they look very similar to me, but I can say that I had no problems with rubbing or fit (aside from some slight heel slippage, which I’ll get to below).
THOMAS: This is the shoe HOKA meant for faster miles on the trail; at 9.75 oz./275 grams for a US M10.5, the Torrent 2 moves through your stride with ease. If you want to run trails with roots and rocks, the Torrent 2 will keep your feet nimble. Erin writes that it feels more like a traditional shoe than the other HOKA trail shoes. She is right. This is a positive for the Torrent when you need a shoe that can handle your regular mileage on most trail surfaces.
The upper is a cleaned up, softer version of the original Torrent. The fit is on the money. No heel lift here and a gusseted tongue, this is one of the most comfotable uppers on road or trail shoes. Thin rubberized overlays protect the shoe with 360º of about 1″ coverage right above the midsole. If you have busted through a trail shoe, you know that this overlay is there to add life to the shoe. While I didn’t do any stream crossings in the Torrent 2, the porous engineered mesh should drain water well.
The midsole isn’t that high in stack height and my feeble ankles appreciated it. While not super-stacked, the aggressive outsole and foam protect your feet from rocks and trail debris. The traction is solid on packed dry, muddy, sand, and light technical sections. Surefooted describes the Torrent 2.Shop HOKA TORRENT 2 – MEN Shop HOKA TORRENT 2 – WOMEN
ERIN: This shoe is a bit too firm and unresponsive for me to want to wear for any kind of longer trail run, and I really, really don’t like how it feels on the road– now, this maybe shouldn’t be perceived as a negative, since it is a trail shoe, after all. However, I have worn the Speedgoat, the EVO Speedgoat, and the Challenger on both road and trail and all three are shoes that perform great on either surface. I just find the midsole (Profly, natch) to be too firm; it’s not a dealbreaker on the trail, but it is on the road.
I did experience some heel slippage in these and had to employ the lace lock for the first time ever. It did prevent the heel slipping, so that was nice. It also used up some extra lace, which was necessary since the laces in these are the longest I’ve ever seen in a shoe and that’s really saying something ‘cause 2018-2019 was off the rails in the long laces department.
THOMAS: Here is where Erin has me scratching my head. She loved the New Balance 890 v9 which I felt was too firm. The Torrent 2 feels like the sweet spot between firm and cushioned. With that in mind, I would agree it is too firm for a trail shoe where you would need to run on roads to get to the trail, or if the trail was more of a hard-packed fire road.Shop HOKA TORRENT 2 – MEN Shop HOKA TORRENT 2 – WOMEN
HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 Conclusion
ERIN: At local trail races, it seems that every other person I see is wearing the Torrent, and there must be a reason for that. It isn’t the shoe for me, but if you are unhappy with the traction of the Speedgoat or Challenger and/or are looking for something with a less aggressive stack height, try it out!
THOMAS: If you are looking for a fast and lightweight trail shoe for less than 20 miles, the Torrent 2 is a great pick. I’m not saying it wouldn’t work out well for higher mileage, but you may want to compare it to some of the other HOKA trail shoes that Erin mentioned to make sure you are getting the best ride for your long mile preferences. I have a soft spot for the Torrent, it was one of my favorite trail shoes when it originally came out. If you liked the original, this one is an upgrade.
You can pick up the HOKA ONE ONE TORRENT 2 for $120 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop HOKA TORRENT 2 – MEN Shop HOKA TORRENT 2 – WOMEN
Thomas is the founder of Big Run Media, Believe In The Run, and the Faster Bastards. His mission is to get everyone running. Life is better when you run and running is always better when you have the right gear.