As an ultra runner, between training and races you put a lot of miles on your feet. Making it even more important to find the right shoes featuring a balance of performance and cushioning. Enter the Hoka One One Torrent. From one of the premier brands in trail running, the Torrens feature a 5mm drop and a bit more of an aggressive bottom grip than other Hoka One’s.
I decided to give the Torrents a try and over 2 months put them through a 21 hour last man standing trail race, a Rugged Maniac OCR events, and class 3 hiking/bouldering peaking three 14er’s in Colorando. I’ve put the Hoka One Torrents through the ringer so you don’t have to. Check out how they held up!
Hoka One One Torrent Specs
Heel Drop: 5mm
- Open engineered mesh construction optimizes breathability, quick drying comfort, and support
- Protective overlays surround the forefoot and toe box designed for trail debris protection and support
- PROFLY™ midsole for a cushioned landing and propulsive toe-off
- Strategic hi-abrasion rubber zones for lightweight durability
- Multidirectional lugs for supreme grip on varied terrain
- 100% Vegan
- RN 88276
Hoka One One Torrent Review
My first impression of the Hoka One One Torrent was that they didn’t look as much like moon boots as the Hoka One One Speed Goats and that they featured a slightly more aggressive grip. With a 5mm drop they are surprisingly light for how they look and they are pleasure to put on the your feet. The Torrents are considered a medium cushioned shoe and noticed the difference right away compared my Inov-8’s. I also found that they fit true to size with no need to 1/2 size up.
I purchased my pair or Torrents two weeks before a last man standing race which runs a 5k trail loop every hour until the last racer stops. That’s not a lot of time to break in shoes but I was able to get in a good 7 mile run in and they felt surprisingly good for new shoes. I did notice with the extra padding comes a higher stance. This could lead to a higher likely hood of rolling your ankle if you’re not careful.
The race itself lasted 21 hours and over 105k of running. Paired with the right sock and body glide I was able to wear these shoes comfortably the entire race with out taking them off. At a few points I felt a hot spot or two and wondered what I would see once I did take them off. But to my surprise they weren’t bad at all. I did have a slight heal spot I don’t typically get but they may have also been from needing a little longer to break in or just missing that area with lube. Aside from that I was incredibly happy with the Torrents performance through an extremely long event.
Obstacle Course Racing (OCR):
The next challenge for the Hoka One Torrent’s would be the Rugged Maniac 5k Atlanta. I couldn’t find any other reviews for the Torrents and OCR so I thought this would be a good test. With this being a shorter race with 25 obstacles I was really interested to see how they would perform and grip while wet.
Like many OCR events the Rugges Maniac started with a long trail run which these shoes excel at. Over and under a few obstacles we made our way up a long hill just after the half way point. This summit and run down would be the start of the water/mud obstacles culminating with 10+ over the last 3/4 miles of the course. Once I got wet and muddy on the sleep down hill back into the festal area I couldn’t help but be impressed with the Torrent’s traction. The water drainer quickly and shoes are incredibly breathable over all.
One of the toughest obstacles at Rugged Maniac is the Warped Wall. Getting the speed and traction to get up the wall has even a lot of top finishers skipping it. This would be a true test for the Torrents. Wet and muddy, could they get me up? I started slow, accelerated the moment I hot the wood, and up I went. The next thing I knew my hands were gripping the ledge and I was pulling myself up and into a top 10 finish.
Overall I loved these shoes for shorter OCR events and would not hesitate to wear them at a Spartan Race or Savage Race.
Having loved the Torrents so far I decided to take them with me to Colorado to do some serious hiking. This included three 14ers in three days, the hard way. Class three climbing where your footing is very important, bolder fields, and some crazy downhills. I didn’t carry a lot of weight, maybe 25 lbs but I wouldn’t hesitate to wear them with a heavier load. They performed as well as I was hoping and made the trip foot pain and blister free.
To sum it all up. I love these shoes and am officially a Hoka One One fan. They performed for 60+ miles, held up and felt great through an OCR race, and are just as comfortable for a long day of hiking through tough terrain. The are light, comfortable, breathable, offering good traction, and feel like they will add years of life to my legs compared to other brands. They really shine on the down hills. So if you’re on the fence don’t hesitate to grab a pair and try them for yourself.