SHOE REVIEW: HOKA ONE ONE TORRENT 2
Written by Tegyn Angel
Building on the success of the highly popular Torrent, the Torrent 2 adds several functional and cosmetic improvements without messing with the original “single track allrounder” recipe. That bit hasn’t changed; the Torrent 2 is still a great performer on just about anything off the bitumen, combining the best of other Hoka One One trail models into a lightweight, low-stack (at least, for Hoka), low-drop, responsive hybrid that is perfect for short to moderate-length runs and fast-paced racing.
Both the Torrent and Torrent 2 are built on Hoka’s PROFLY™ dual-density midsole, combining softer foam in the heel for increased cushioning with a firmer ride up front for direct toe-off and responsiveness. In practise, this offers a far less marshmallowy ride than the Speedgoat or Challengers, and makes the Torrent 2 ideal for runners transitioning from a more traditional shoe or those who prefer more ground feel. While definitely not as cushy as other Hoka models, a fact that may deter maximal diehards, for me, it’s a great compromise between comfort and precision.
Up top, the Torrent 2 has a new woven mesh made from post-consumer, recycled polyester fibre. Called Unifi REPREVE®, incorporating this engineered fabric into the shoes helps cut down on consumer waste by reducing the use of virgin materials. While functionally no different to the original, it’s nice to know you’re not adding *quite* as much waste to landfill. In addition to the change of upper materials, there some minor cosmetic changes to the sidewall and overall design that make the Torrent 2 appear more streamlined and conservative than the Torrent 1 (in spite of colourways called High Risk Red).
Hoka has also made some minor changes where the rubber meets the trail, with the Torrent 2 offering a tweaked lug pattern on the outsole. While the tread is still aggressive as hell and composed of a beautifully tacky rubber, the new layout adds meat to the outside lugs to give better side-to-side grip for when you dial up the technicality and things get really sketchy.
Hoka has finetuned the Torrent 2 and improved an already-great shoe, but perhaps my only complaint is with what they have NOT changed: there is no wide version. While there are now wide versions of the Challenger ATR5 and Speedgoat 4, the Torrent 2 only comes in traditional, low-volume sizing. I get it: narrow = speed and this is a racing shoe, but for those of us with wide (read: chubby, hobbit) feet, it makes it REALLY difficult to appreciate how “comfortable” these things are supposed to be. I admit, the Torrent 2s are more forgiving of my elephant toes than the standard width Speedgoat 3s and perfectly spacious rear of the toe box, but that doesn’t stop me hoping the upper of these babies will stretch a little and give my pinkies room to breathe.
THE LOW DOWN
GREAT FOR: Quick, grippy, agile running and racing. Runners used to more minimal shoes wanting some comfort in their old age.
NOT SO GREAT FOR: Minimalists, maximalists, lovers of feet confectionary, road.
TESTER: Tegyn Angel
TESTER MECHANICS: Midfoot striker, prefers tending to zero to minimal drop and low stack, but running less and increasingly happy to forego agility for the smooth embrace of cushions and feather duvets… oh, sorry, we were talking about shoes!
RRP: $219.95 AUD / $235.95 NZD
CONDITIONS: Shoes provided for testing by Hoka One One