The Hoka One One Torrent. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Hoka One One Torrent. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

  • Price: £100
  • Colour: green
  • Weight: 558g/pair (size 9½)
  • Construction: synthetic material and mesh uppers
  • Rubber outsole and TPU rand
  • Country of manufacture: Vietnam
  • Sole stiffness: 3/10
  • Waterproofing: none
  • Women’s version: yes
  • Sizes: men’s 6½-14½ (40-50); women’s 3½-9½ (36-44)

The Torrent has been designed for trailrunning, with Hoka One One saying the shoe offers both the brand’s renowned underfoot cushioning while retaining the feel and agility to cope with the uneven ground likely to be encountered on the trail.

The uppers are made from a combination of fairly soft synthetic mesh and a part overlay of TPU around the base of the upper, over the toe and up over the heel box.

The forward part of the upper is unpadded and allows good ventilation of the forefoot, though on uncharacteristically hot British days over the summer the shoe did still feel a little warm. Further back, there’s an extra mesh inner layer and, at the heel and rear area, there’s some extra cushioning. The heel box is fairly stiff and held the heel very well on uneven ground and when contouring.

Will the Torrent allow you to show a clean pair of heels to other runners? Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Will the Torrent allow you to show a clean pair of heels to other runners? Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Hoka One One have found about the right balance between padding and breathability and the uppers felt comfortable in this area.

My forefoot is fairly wide, and the Torrent suited my foot shape. The forefoot area is wider than the brand’s Speedgoat model, which I found slightly cramping in the forefoot and toe area. The Torrent has a slightly lower volume in the forefoot too.

The Torrent is also lighter, tipping the scales at 558g for our pair of size 44/9½ shoes.

Hoka One One is noted for the large, cushioned soles its shoes sport. In keeping with the brand’s ethos, the Torrent has a good amount of underfoot absorption, but less than the Speedgoat – 10mm less in fact – so running and walking in the Torrents feels less like you’re floating on a sea of foam. There is a good amount of feedback from the ground while retaining enough cushioning for long-distance comfort. I wore the Torrents on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge – admittedly at a walking pace – and found the shoes offered about the right amount of protection for the foot over the 38km course.

In fact, the Torrent could be an option for long-distance walkers as well as runners, as long as you’re not hankering after a waterproof shoe. The feet will get wet in rainy conditions or running and walking through wet grass and puddles, though the mesh uppers will allow some drying out if the rain stops.

The Torrent’s midsole, at the heart of the thinking behind the trailrunning design, is the brand’s Profly, which combines more absorbent material at the heel with a firmer forefoot. Hoka One One says this allows for a more responsive push forward while protecting the heel. There is a definite progressive feel after the foot’s heel strike. The shoe has a 5mm offset, with a heel height of 23mm and a forefoot of 18mm.

The Profly midsole is designed to protect the heel while offering responsiveness in the forefoot. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Profly midsole is designed to protect the heel while offering responsiveness in the forefoot. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The outsole is Hoka One One’s own rather than the Vibram unit found on some of the brand’s other models. The 4mm soft rubber lugs are fairly tightly spaced and offered very good traction and braking on a variety of surfaces in both the wet and dry.

The insole is also Hoka One One’s own, with some cushioning at heel and forefoot and extra arch support. The forefoot area has vent holes.

Lacing is straightforward and the tongue has good padding. We found the shoes needed a little careful ajdustment to get the tension right over the instep.

The Torrent might be the shoe that converts runners and long-distance walkers to the brand who previously felt the brand’s footwear too squidgy underfoot. The shoe offers just enough agility while maintaining good cushioning over trails.

The Torrent earned a best buy rating from grouh. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Torrent earned a best buy rating from grouh. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Quality was good too. As with all footwear, we recommend trying on the shoes to ensure the fit is right for you. We found the sizing normal.

Performance 35/40
Comfort 34/40
Quality 7/10
Value for money 7/10
Total score: 83/100

  • The shoes were supplied to grough by Hoka One One.

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