HOKA Mafate Speed Review


This is definitely the best pair of HOKAs that I’ve tried. They are fairly comfortable and they feel well-made. HOKA says these shoes can be used on a variety of terrain (more on that later).


These shoes have a fairly narrow toe box – slightly narrower than the average shoe. I’m still waiting for HOKA to start making shoes in widths. They have a flat tongue that pairs nicely with the HOKA lacing system. There is also a harder piece (plastic, I think) that holds the heel firmly in place (see picture below).


The size 10 weighed 12.0 ounces on my scale. These shoes have a 36mm heel and a 30mm forefoot – a 6mm drop (HOKA claims it is a 4mm drop).


My one criticism of this shoe is the sole. There are black lugs that are on each side of the forefoot and on the outside part of the heel. The lugs are made of hard rubber and they are well-suited for trails. However, the majority of the sole has smaller blue lugs that are quite soft. I don’t think they would hold up well on a trail where traction is a priority.

I agree with HOKA that these would work well on a variety of terrain. They can definitely be used on roads and some trails. However, I would be reluctant to take them onto very technical trails because of the issue with the lugs.


– comfortable
– well-made
– great lacing system

– narrow toebox
– too many soft lugs
– $170!!!

These shoes are available at Running Warehouse by clicking here.

Check out another review below:

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12 Responses to HOKA Mafate Speed Review

  1. Nick Bradley says:

    Really, really looking forward to these! Got my first 100 miler next year so these could be the shoes I use…
    How’s the fit vs. say the Kinvara 5 (a go to road shoe for me)?
    I’m a size 12 in the Kinvara, and most running shoes … but I’m a B/C width so I need something pretty narrow.
    I’m especially curious about toe box length as I find Hoka shoes are generally narrow but longer than other shoes.
    Great blog by the way!

    • Jason says:

      The Kinvara 5 fit me well and I thought the HOKAs were snug – so they may be a little wide for you – with that being said, it might be okay for 100 since you’ll probably have a bit of swelling. As far as the length, i thought it was average. I was quite impressed with this shoe although the price tag is a little ridiculous. Definitely give them a try! Which 100 are you planning on running?

      • Nick Bradley says:

        Great, thanks for the comparison.
        I live in the UK and running the South Downs Way 100 …
        But just got back from running the Vermont 100km race in the US. Used an older pair of Rapa Nui’s for that which were a perfect choice for me – great fit! Just picked up the Huaka in the same size and it’s really long. Definitely worth checking out though … the midsole is superb.

      • Jason says:

        How’d you like Vermont? That race is only about five hours from me and I’ve considered it for my first 100.

      • Nick Bradley says:

        Vermont is superb. Do it!
        As mentioned, I did the 100 km – took about 13hrs … good enough for 19th place, with 3,000m ascent/decent over the distance. Weather is pretty hot, humid.
        But the 100 mile looks a lot of fun and not too crazy for a first attempt. The organisation is fantastic and the people are great. I’d love to go back one day …

  2. Bryan says:

    Nice review! Thanks for the thoughts! I haven’t tried Hoka due to the price point, but I’ve been interested for a while. I run in what many may consider minimalist shoes, but shoes are shoes and I’d love to try a maximalist at some point.

    • Jason says:

      I’ve tried the whole spectrum at some point – and I’ve had pretty much the same results 🙂 HOKAs are interesting. Sometimes, at the end of the season, they go on clearance and they aren’t as bad!

      • Bryan says:

        Nice. I’ll keep my eyes open! It would be nice to have a pair like this for winter running! Keep my feet out of the snow a bit better!

  3. Ruaca says:

    Because I am a heavier runner, I love the Hoka shoe. It took a bit to get used to, but now, anything else feels like I am running barefoot. I realize they are expensive, but to run in comfort its totally worth it for me. 🙂

  4. Hollie says:

    I like walking around in the Hoka. I want to try them at some point to run in as well…probably after I do Wineglass and can start fresh.

  5. SoWhatIRun says:

    Looking to switch to Hokas after getting beat up on some pretty technical trails over the past few runs. My Brooks ARS, which I love, just don’t seem to be cutting it.

  6. Jason says:

    That’s too bad about the Brooks – I used to really enjoy that shoe!

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