Nine months ago, I was given a pair of Mafate Speed 2’s to test. Since then I have run through that pair and replaced them with another. They have become my default mountain/ fell/ trail shoe that needs that more aggressive traction compared to my previously favourite Hoka ‘Speed Goat’.
I have run in snow in the French Alps, Scottish Wilderness, Lake District trails and pretty much down the length of Wales and they have not let me down. I have literally run thousands of kilometres off-road in harsh wilderness and challenging underfoot conditions in these bad boys and they have rewarded me with some of my best running experiences to date.
The Mafate Speed 2 like all Hoka’s is so much lighter than it looks and you really do sit in the sole rather than on top of it. So, what can I tell you? The R mat and Vibram sole gives a limpet like grip on rock, whether wet or dry and inspires confidence when traction is important to your well-being.
The shoes have taken a battering and those times I did end up on my bum or hands and knees it was generally my fault through fatigue or just not paying attention to my environment. Where the shoes have struggled is on steep, wet, grassy hill sides where the top surface is breaking away. These are not fell shoes with 10mm rubber studs.
What they are is aggressive 5mm lugs with a super sticky rubber compound designed to give you maximum grip over the widest range of terrain. It really is the ultimate do everything shoe. I have even enjoyed them out on tarmac and trust me that’s hard for a trail runner to say.
My last race really emphasises their capability. I have just finished completing the legendary Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race, a 315km mountain race with 15,500m of vertical ascent down the mountainous spine of Wales. I used only one pair of shoes for my five-day journey, a pair of Mafate Speed 2’s. My feet survived where most had theirs taped up from day 2. I tackled a mixture of underfoot conditions and not once did I think I was in the wrong shoes?
The awesome traction is complimented by soft uppers and good toe protection. This all adds to their overall comfort and how they really do look after your feet. So, if you are looking for a great confidence building shoe that will let you cover short to long distances on a variety of off road conditions from mountains to your local canal path or country park then these are worth a go.
Currently these are the best trail shoe I own and it’s going to take some magic to better them.
Be sure to check out the Hoka One One Mafate Speed 2 at the links below!