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HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 Review
Written by David Salas

The HOKA ONE ONE Torrent is a favorite trail running shoe for many. The Torrent 2 delivers in continuing the strong trail running tradition set up from HOKA ONE ONE. The Torrent 2 is a lightweight and nimble trail racing/training shoe that can take a large variety of conditions, paces, and distances. 

Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 9.1 oz, 257 (men's size 9) / 8.0 oz, 226  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 31mm heel/ 26mm forefoot   
Drop: 5mm
Classification: Trail Racing/Training Shoe


The HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 is a lightweight and agile trail running shoe that is a little bit of a jack of all trades. The shoe can definitely be raced in as well as trained in. The shoe is lightweight and nimble, but still responsive and a little aggressive when it needs to be. I will go into this more in detail later but that is in large part due to the PROFLY midsole being softer in the heel and midfoot and firmer and snappier in the forefoot accompanied with decently aggressive lugs. The shoe is really balanced and does not feel overdone in any way. 


The HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 fits true to size in my normal 9.5. At first I thought the shoe might be too wide in the midfoot upon step in feel, but once you tighten the laces down that feeling goes away. The shoe is dialed in both with length and width throughout. The engineered mesh certainly has a noticeable thickness and reinforcement to it, but is certainly breathable and comfortable as well. The tongue is padded and the shoe provides good lockdown throughout. There are some overlay along the medial and lateral aspect of the shoe that help with providing some structure without being overbearing in any way. There is a padded heel counter present that only rides up about 1/4 of the calcaneus along the posterior aspect of the shoe. The remainder is nicely padded along the back of the achilles. The fit overall is really nice and one of my favorite trail uppers. The shoe also has plenty of volume in the forefoot to accommodate some swelling late in runs. 


The HOKA Torrent 2 has a very pleasant ride. The shoe is very balanced throughout and does not feel overdone in anyway. The ProFly midsole is noticeable in that the heel is certainly softer than the forefoot. The transitions from the heel through the midfoot are smooth thanks to the bevel and softer midsole in that region. The forefoot does have a small snap and bounce to it when you pick up the pace, but not so much that it effects running slower. The lugs are just deep enough to tackle loose footing in soft surfaces or loose rocks, but not so much that it effects more packed down surfaces. I have been able to run technical terrain really well in this shoe which is huge in Santa Barbara. I also have had some sub 6 minute miles in this shoe with decent comfort as well on some of the fire roads out here as well. Overall the shoe performs really well and can run both slow and fast. 


Like most HOKA shoes the platform is a little wider than some other companies. The wide platform provides more surface area and helps with stability when running through uneven surfaces. The lug design is multi directional and is very sticky which also helps. The upper has plenty of overlay and supportive components that keep the foot locked in on sharp turns or uneven footing. The ProFly midsole is also firmer in the forefoot which gives great stability up front with some firmness and solid ground feel. There is a little bit of torsional laxity in the midfoot where there is exposed midsole. This did make the shoe slightly translate in some situations, but this was rare. Overall the shoe does a really good job overall. If the exposed portion was moved a little bit more anteriorly it could help with some forefoot flexibility and keep the midfoot stable. 


A lot of different running companies are now looking at rigidity in specific portions of the shoe and how it effects the ride and performance. One major example would be the research done over at Saucony looking at forefoot stiffness. They found that forefoot stiffness is unique to the individual and that some may respond better to more firm or more flexible forefoot regions in the shoe. Oleson, Adler, & Goldsmith (2005) found that during toe off, forefoot stiffness will significantly increase but then taper off steadily. This demonstrates that the foot and ankle is not as simple as a spring and load mechanism, but rather it is a dynamic system that is highly time dependent on loading and stiffness. This is essentially what ProFly midsole does. The system is dynamic and operates as one piece as the same midsole. The result is a pretty natural feeling ride that still has some responsiveness and flexibility integrated in. The rigidity in the forefoot can be unique to the individuals mechanics in this model of midsole and geometry which makes for a fun and smooth ride throughout. 

Oleson, M., Adler, D., Goldsmith, P. (2005). A comparison of forefoot stiffness in running and running shoe bending stiffness. Journal of Biomechanics 38 (9), 1886-1894. 


I noted this a little bit in my stability section. The Torrent 2 is definitely a stable relatively low riding trail shoe, but can be improved. There is some exposed midsole through the midfoot that does create some susceptibility to torsional movement. If that flex point could be shifted more anterior and into the forefoot region that could provide a more flexible toe off while also easing the transition point from midfoot to forefoot. Overall though the shoe is really well done. 


The HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 is for someone looking for a trail shoe that can do a little bit of everything. The shoe is nimble and lightweight, but provides enough protection for longer mileage efforts as well. The ProFly midsole provides a softer heel and a firmer forefoot to provide a fluid and responsive ride. The lugs definitely have some depth to them for softer surfaces but are also not so deep that running on packed dirt or even road is still very manageable. For any racing 50k and under this is definitely a shoe worth looking into. 


Fit: A (Dialed and reinforced well with enough room to accommodate large amounts of swelling)                    
A- (Incredibly balanced ride that is both nimble and responsive, traction great on all surfaces, not quite as responsive as some of the plated or lower profile competition out there for the racing category) 
(Overall stability is pretty good. Traction and upper is solid. The outsole design could have the flex point shifted anterior more to prevent torsional translation) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  
(ProFly is a good midsole to integrate with a trail shoe because it still maintains good ground feel and responsiveness while still being protective on impact) 
(The HOKA ONE ONE Torrent 2 is very fun to run in. It can go slow and fast and feels great doing both. Favorite trail shoe of 2021 so far.) 
Overall:  A- (A fun, balanced, nimble, and responsive trail option for training or racing 50k and under)       

Interested in purchasing the Hoka Torrent 2? Check out Running Warehouse here. Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!


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Thanks for reading!


Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased from Running Warehouse through our affiliation with them.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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