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Shoe Review: HOKA Torrent 2

The profile of the women's HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 trail running shoes

Finding the right combination of cushion and agility for the trails can be tough. The HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 makes it easy.

HOKA engineered the original Torrent as a racing shoe for trails. The design means the shoe is light without compromising cushion and traction, and the new Torrent 2 delivers more of the same.

HOKA maintained the Torrent’s light and nimble feel while improving its grip, all on top of HOKA's signature stack of midsole foam for premium comfort.

Fleet Feet runners put the HOKA Torrent 2 through its paces to see how it fits, how it rides and how it compares to the previous model. Here’s what they thought.

Tech specs

HOKA Torrent 2

Weight

7.6 oz (W), 9.3 oz (M)

Stack height (heel/toe)

21/16mm (W), 23/18mm (M)

Drop

5 mm

Category

Neutral

Use

Everyday training, racing

Surface

Trail

HOKA Torrent 2 Fit and Materials

The front and upper of the men's HOKA Torrent 2 trail running shoe

One of the new features on the HOKA Torrent 2 is woven into its mesh upper.

HOKA used Unifi REPREVE polyester yarn to create the engineered mesh upper on the Torrent 2. Unifi engineers the yarn from recycled plastic bottles, which they say has diverted billions of bottles from landfills.

The bottles are cleaned, sorted and broken down into pellets before being turned into the yarn used in the Torrent 2. The final product is indistinguishable from the mesh used on other running shoes, which is a good thing for runners.

The no-frills mesh on the Torrent 2 is lightweight and smooth all around. It’s seamless on the outside and sports a minimal design of printed overlays that run vertically up the side of the shoe. The inside of the shoe is similarly sparse, with only a few seams for the tongue and where the heel cup begins.

“I love the minimal design of the upper,” one tester says. “It’s not flashy or loud, and it feels lightweight.”

HOKA stuck an internal heel counter into the shoe to deliver a better fit. The counter creates solid structure that locks the heel into place for better security, which is important on steep climbs and descents.

One tester says the heel fit felt very secure on his feet; there was no heel slippage or movement. HOKA punched six standard lace holes up each side of the shoe, and they included a seventh hole at the very top to let runners use marathon lacing to really lock in the fit if necessary.

Designers shaped the midfoot and forefoot for a natural, comfortable fit. The midfoot is wide enough to accommodate a range of foot shapes, and the more rectangular toe box allows your big toe to remain straight instead of tapering in too much.

One tester says he ran in the Torrent 2 with a Superfeet insole and thicker running socks, and he had plenty of room for both.

“It's not a wide shoe, but has a lot of volume both in width and depth, especially in the toe box,” he says.

HOKA Torrent 2 Ride and Performance

The outsole of the HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 trail running shoes

The Torrent 2 is a performance-minded trail racing shoe, and it runs like one.

HOKA kept the shoe’s weight down to a scant 7.6 oz for the women’s model and 9.3 oz for the men’s. One tester appreciated the feathery feel on steep climbs.

Even with the light weight, though, HOKA maintained a generous bed of foam underfoot. The PROFLY midsole combines a softer foam under the heel and a firmer foam under the forefoot. That combo leads to easier landings and more powerful takeoffs, which testers felt.

“The firmer forefoot feels really confident going uphill or down,” one tester says. “It feels stable when I’m moving quickly downhill, and I feel like I can really push off when I’m going up.”

The midsole also helps protect from jagged rocks or roots that litter the trail.

HOKA tacked on a clingy rubber outsole beneath the foam and lined it with multidirectional lugs to dig into the trail. After a week of heavy rain, one tester says the Torrent 2 didn’t have any problems finding purchase on all different types of terrain from loose gravel to muddy descents.

Overall, the Torrent 2 feels agile. It’s nimble on fast downhill sections of a trail when you need to step lightly around rough and unpredictable terrain, but it comes with enough foam to make it comfortable for long training runs or races.

“It’s snappy and has a quick transition,” one tester says. “It almost reminds me of the HOKA Rincon but for the trails. I could see this being a great shoe for highly technical trails so you can easily move through the rocks and roots on single track.”

HOKA Torrent vs. HOKA Torrent 2

A side-by-side comparison of the HOKA Torrent and HOKA Torrent 2 trail running shoes

The HOKA Torrent and HOKA Torrent 2 are very similar trail running shoes, but HOKA made a few small changes to the Torrent 2 to boost its performance and reduce its footprint.

Designers used the recycled Unifi REPREVE yarn to help cut down on consumer waste. Unifi creates the polyester yarn from recycled plastic bottles, but it doesn’t look or feel much different from other engineered mesh.

The lightweight upper is also simpler looking than the original Torrent when you compare the two shoes side by side. The first Torrent wasn’t complicated, but the new model has a cleaner looking upper with only a few printed overlays. HOKA also revised the design of the midsole sidewall, which is purely aesthetic.

HOKA also tweaked the lug pattern on the outsole. The new pattern uses wider lugs around the edges of the shoe than on the original.

From the stack height and drop to the midsole build, almost everything stat about the Torrent 2 is identical in comparison to the original Torrent. The second edition is slightly heavier, according to HOKA, but the extra weight isn’t noticeable.

Tech comparison

HOKA Torrent

HOKA Torrent 2

Weight

7.4 oz (W), 9.0 oz (M)

7.6 oz (W), 9.3 oz (M)

Stack height

21/16mm (W), 23/18mm (M)

21/16mm (W), 23/18mm (M)

Drop

5 mm

5 mm

Category

Neutral

Neutral

Midsole

PROFLY

PROFLY

Use

Everyday training, racing

Everyday training, racing

Conclusion

The HOKA Torrent 2 is a lightweight yet cushioned trail running shoe that’s optimized for racing.

A burly rubber outsole studded with multi-directional lugs improves the shoe’s grip on unpredictable trail conditions, and traditional lacing provides a snug fit. Underneath, a PROFLY midsole delivers soft landings and powerful takeoffs.

“This is a lightweight and snappy shoe,” one tester says. “It’s a great option when you want a responsive underfoot feel to get after it on the trail without carrying a lot of bulk.”

Draped in a smooth mesh upper made from recycled plastics, the HOKA Torrent 2 is an ideal lightweight training shoe or trail racing shoe.

Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $99 and free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.

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