Outdoor

HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 Path Shoe Assessment: Nimble, plush improve to a favourite on race day

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The Torrent 2 is a crisp, snappy update of the original. And it retains its role as a race-ready trail shoe from HOKA ONE ONE.

Grippy uphill and forgiving downhill, the torrent just got its first update in 2 years. It fits differently but continues to be the most responsive off-road option from the brand we've tested so far.

We took that Torrent 2 Around the neighborhood hardpack and dirt as well as in the mountains with rocky, easy trails. And we did a long hike with occasional jogging on flatter sections. In all of these areas, the slimmer profile felt like a faster trail shoe that still offered plenty of protection around and especially under the foot.

In summary: By prioritizing the ability to react to the padding of the toes, the shoe gets more bite, especially uphill, and the HOKA-like heel minimizes missteps on stones or roots. This update of a HOKA classic is worthwhile considering the mixture of comfort and function.

See men's torrent 2See women's torrent 2

Hoka One One Torrent 2

What's new in Torrent 2?

We liked that original torrent and many other runners too. Maybe that's why a minute has passed since the debut.

HOKA has switched to Unifi REPREVE (recycled) polyester in the mesh upper, which is thin and seamless. In its first iteration, the torrent received criticism for the fit of its upper. In this version the fit is tighter and slimmer (compared to other HOKAs), and the laces lock the fit with the overlays of the upper.

The sole has realigned multidirectional tabs in the middle with slightly larger, angled tabs on the edges. When tested, these felt more grippy in curves and on uneven terrain.

Gone are the design lettering on the TPU overlays of the original. They're still there, but now they blend in with the aesthetics of the upper. Another style change is the removal of the angular protrusions of the first torrent from the sidewalls of the sole.

HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 trail shoe review

We threw up a lot of dust and the occasional loose stone before we decided these were best for fast running on neater trails.

That stack just 18mm below the toe Torrent 2 is one of the lowest riding shoes from HOKA. The fit and shape of the forefoot make this nimble on levels and climbs, while the thicker heel offers a cushioned ride on descents.

It's just enough stack for the Profly midsole to absorb impacts from under the toes and bounce back, then put more cushion under the heel. When landing on our forefeet, this shoe proved to be very responsive.

Hoka One One Torrent 2 after the hike

The toebox feels slimmer (and looks slimmer) than most HOKAs, albeit not as tight as current speedgoats. However, the angle of the toebox isn't as strong and didn't pinch either big or small toes. It also has a spacious volume.

On steep descents, my toes never slipped into the front of the shoe and never caught on top of them. During the long and steep hike up Mount Yale, I noticed that the low profile of the cleats and toes didn't catch on large rocks. Yes, these are trail running shoes, but hiking in them for a day also showed a lot.

HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 Technical specifications

  • Weight: 9.7 oz. (Men size 10)
  • Stacking heights: 23/18 mm (men), 21/16 mm (women)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm
  • Lugs: 5 mm
  • Price: $ 120

benefits

  • Fastest HOKAs we've run in
  • Grippy soles (on wet and dry)
  • The lug layout increases traction

disadvantage

  • HOKA has some problems with the sole consistency: either they wear off in pieces or studs tear off parts of the profile
  • Shoelaces can be too long if you don't use all of the eyelets (this is called a heel closure for a reason).

Who are these for?

The Torrent 2 will appeal to HOKA loyalists who want a more aggressive and agile ride. And runners who are used to faster shoes (like Salomon) but want more protection under the heel should consider them.

They're good for hardpack trails with climbs and descents, or on uneven terrain where the placement of the foot is more important than just rooting over roots, rocks, or debris.

These torrents are suitable for fast and medium trail runs. I wouldn't recommend using these as a long distance trail trainer or as a crossover like the Challenger ATRs (which do well on both tarmac and trails).

Check out the HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2

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