REVIEW: HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Trail Running Shoes

REVIEW: HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Trail Running Shoes

REVIEW: HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Trail Running Shoes

Written By: SportsShoes

A pinnacle product for technical trail, the HOKA Mafate Speed 4 distills what we’ve already seen in the EVO Mafate and the Mafate Speed. The same lines are here, just updated with new textiles and construction, including a breathable, single layer jacquard mesh and two-part PROFLY+™ midsole with the lightest, most responsive HOKA foam underfoot.

hoka-mafate-speed-4-trail-running-shoes

Pictured: HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Women's Trail Running Shoes

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Our Sportsshoes Trail Running Ambassador Marc Smerdon has been busy putting the HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Trail Shoes to the test. He explains the improvements in terms of technology and design and how they fit into his trail shoe rotation.

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Price:£159.99
Weight:Women's: 241g / Men's: 295g
Most suitable for:Long, technical trails where comfort, cushioning and protection are all key priorities.
Drop:4mm (low drop - best for runners who land on the middle or front of the foot)
Stack Heights:Women's: 31mm heel, 27mm forefoot / Men's: 33mm heel, 29mm forefoot
Grip:5mm lugs (deeper lug for added grip and traction)
Fit (Length):Fits small (true to fit for shorter runs, but maybe ½ small for long ultras)
Fit (Width):Standard
RATINGS:(out of 5)
Comfort:5/5
Cushioning:5/5
Support:4/5
Breathability:4/5
Grip:4.5/5
Protection:4/5
OVERALL:4.5/5

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SHOP ALL HOKA MAFATE SPEED 4 TRAIL SHOES NOW

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The Hoka Mafate Speed 4 in summary;

  • A perfect blend of the Mafate 3 and the EVO Mafate
  • The go-to-trail shoe for everyday technical trails
  • A high-level of cushioning
  • Amazing traction from the Vibram MegaGrip with lightbase construction and deep 5mm lug
  • 21g lighter than its predecessor

hoka-mafate-speed-4-trail-running-shoes

Pictured: HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Men's Trail Running Shoes

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The Mafate Speed 4 have had a complete overhaul from the 3rd generation, with some great updates including the dual density ProFly+ midsole, the new sustainable and breathable jacquard mesh upper and the all-singing, all-dancing Vibram Megagrip Litebase rubber with grippy 5mm lugs to take on every type of terrain possible.

This shoe really stands out, with vibrant colourways throughout the range. It also feels more stable than the Speedgoat 5 thanks to the slightly wider base, which helps on certain types of terrain but is still agile enough to turn on the speed.   

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THE UPPER

Key Features:

  • Single layer woven jacquard mesh
  • Dynamic tongue and vamp
  • Rubber toe cap for protection
  • Lay-flat gusseted tongue
  • Bolstered heel collar

Featuring HOKA’s new sustainable jacquard mesh upper this shoe locks your feet in place, but at the same time gives you the breathability you require when tearing up the trails. I have tested these shoes in the heat and with that they have not rubbed or shown signs of cooking my feet which is great. In comparison, I have worn the HOKA Tecton X a lot recently and whereas they are light and fast, they do lack some protection on the more technical trails. However, the Mafate Speed 4 are more durable and rugged, complete with the rubber toe cap for added protection. The shoe also features the new bolstered heel collar that HOKA seem to be moving towards.

The Mafate Speed 4 also come with a nice cushioned gusseted tongue for added comfort, fitting perfectly on your feet whilst keeping out dirt and debris.

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THE MIDSOLE

Key Features:

  • All-new lightweight, resilient foam
  • Early stage Meta-Rocker
  • PROFLY+™ construction

The new PROFLY+ construction and the dual-density foams really help to make this shoe lightweight and cushioned.

For a little comparison the Speedgoat 5 features a single-density for responsive cushioning, while the Mafate Speed 4 features a dual-density midsole with a softer top layer of foam and firmer, more responsive layer of rubberized EVA foam underneath.

I feel this new foam construction just gives you a spring in your step throughout your run and with the addition of the early stage Meta-Rocker it really propels you in the right direction with ease. For me, the midsole is the main reason I come back to HOKA time after time, as the unrivalled cushioning and comfort really helps to protect my joints and muscles throughout training and racing.

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THE OUTSOLE

Key Features:

  • Vibram® Megagrip with Litebase construction and traction lug
  • Grippy 5mm lugs

I have to start by mentioning the Vibram Megagrip with a 5mm lug depth, as this is a work of art, you can also find this outsole material on the Speedgoat 5’s and you can see why as it get the job done when it comes to keeping you glued to the trails.

It’s a new style of outsole design than I am probably used to using especially compared to that of the Tecton X, but on the more technical trails its simply perfect.

Its crazy to think these shoes contain 5mm lugs as they hide them so well, but you know you have them when it gets sketchy underfoot and they provide added confidence on more extreme surfaces.

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SIZING – FIT AND FEEL

I am a standard size UK 11 in most brands and these are no different, but maybe I would want to go half a size up if I was to wear them in an ultra-distance race - just to be on the safe side. The toe box is a little wider than the Speedgoat 5, but due to the upper being so well constructed your foot still feels well-supported and snug.

One big change compared to the Mafate 3 is the weight. Since HOKA have shaved 21 grams off, I feel like this takes it from an every day shoe to a really good racing shoe. I think the concern of dropping a lot of weight is that you might compromise cushioning, support or protection. However, I don’t feel like the performance in any of these areas has been sacrificed and the PROFLY+ midsole construction works a treat.

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PERFORMANCE

After testing them for a number of weeks, I can confidently say that I would use the Mafate Speed 4 as a training shoe, but also for technical mid-long distance trail racing. The grippy outsole gives you plenty of confidence and the lightweight design just makes them one speedy shoe.

I feel like everyone can benefit from this shoe, whether you're a beginner or an elite athlete. The Vibram Megagrip allows you to take on any trail and the new PROFLY midsole will help propel you to a PB.

We all know that the market for shoes these days is really competitive, so to find a shoe like the Mafate Speed 4, which covers so many bases for me, is a real bonus. I feel that they have made a lasting impression and have become a staple part of my shoe collection. They work perfectly alongside the Tecton X, which have now been downgraded to lighter (but still mid to long distance) trails.

Overall, the Mafate Speed 4 offer something different than the Speedgoat 5 and the Tecton X and I for sure will be bringing these with me wherever I go.  

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hoka-mafate-speed-4-trail-running-shoes

Pictured: HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Women's Trail Running Shoes

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ENHANCEMENTS FROM THE MAFATE SPEED 3

  • 5mm Vibram® Megagrip with Litebase construction and Traction Lug
  • New PROFLY™+ midsole with our lightest, most responsive foam
  • New single layer woven jacquard upper for a more dynamic fit

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hoka-mafate-speed-4-trail-running-shoes

Pictured: HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Trail Running Shoes

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COMPARISON WITH OTHER HOKA MODELS

Mafate Speed 4 vs Speedgoat 5:

  • Both the HOKA Speedgoat 5 and Mafate Speed 4 feature enhanced cushioning as well as Vibram® Megagrip with traction lug outsoles to inspire confidence on challenging terrain.
  • The Speedgoat 5 features a single-density for responsive cushioning, while the Mafate Speed 4 features a dual-density midsole with a softer top layer of foam and firmer, more responsive layer of rubberized EVA foam underneath

OUR IN-DEPTH REVIEW OF THE HOKA SPEEDGOAT 5

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hoka-mafate-speed-4-trail-running-shoes

Pictured: HOKA Mafate Speed 4 Women's Trail Running Shoes

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Mafate Speed 4 vs Tecton X:

  • Both the HOKA Tecton X and Mafate Speed 4 offer an early stage Meta-Rocker and Vibram® Megagrip with Litebase for enhanced traction.
  • The Tecton X is built for speed, bolstered by parallel carbon fibre plates, and cushioned with a ProFlyX™ midsole

OUR IN-DEPTH REVIEW OF THE HOKA TECTON X

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SHOP ALL HOKA MAFATE SPEED 4 TRAIL SHOES NOW

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Find out more about off-road running by visiting our trail running hub and make sure you've got all the running kit you need for your next adventure.

Related posts: REVIEW: HOKA Tecton X Trail Running Shoes | The Trail Hub | SportsShoes.com

REVIEW: HOKA Speedgoat 5 Trail Running Shoes | The Trail Hub | SportsShoes.com







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