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Track & XC • February 11, 2021

HOKA ONE ONE Speed Evo R Performance Review

hoka speed evo r - damn pretty

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 4.9 oz. (139 g) for a US M9 / 4.2 oz. (119 g) for a US W8
  • Full-Length EVA midsole
  • Shiny and sharp plate is stylish
  • Socks are REQUIRED for this one

MERCER: The cushion gods at HOKA created a spike back in 2016 for their track athletes at the Rio Olympics. It was clear the industry stalwart had two key ideas in mind with this spike: running through curves and style.                                                                              

I’ve always been intrigued by the Speed Evo R, from the asymmetrical and shiny plate to the inspiring colors. When I finally got it in my hands, I was amazed by the atypical design. Then I asked, “How does it perform?”

hoka speed evo r - feature

The Good

MERCER: The Speed Evo R sports a plate that’s everything I could ever want out of a pair of spiked. It’s aggressive, sharp and damn pretty too. The asymmetrical plate accomplishes its primary goal, which is to take curves hard and tight. When standing, there’s a bit of an odd sensation as the right shoe contains cushion more in the flat part of the midfoot, and the left more so in the arch. But once you get rolling, it all blends well together. 

I put this spike to the test, running everything from a few 400 reps to a 2.5-mile workout. At every distance and every pace, the Speed Evo R felt spectacular. It encourages you to get on your toes and use the aggressive plate to pick up the pace in a controlled manner that allows your stride to flow. I get a bit skeptical when brands say that their shoe can cover everything, but this shoe really does cover every distance.

It wouldn’t be a HOKA without some cushion and this spike has a solid slab of EVA foam that pops in the mile and is great for the longer 5K or 10K.

Finally, this spike just looks so damn good. Whenever I saw someone on the line in these it felt like they knew something I didn’t. With the bright glitter HOKA logo and rainbow spikes, this shoe just steals the show. Now I feel like that someone.

Shop Speed Evo – Men Shop Speed Evo – Women hoka speed evo r - upper

The Bad

MERCER: As gorgeous as the upper is, it’s a little too bulky for me. Normally, the best spikes sport an upper that fits so close to your foot that it disappears when the gun goes off. This one, however, is thick and isn’t very breathable. Socks are a must-wear with these to avoid rubbing.

One more nugget about the upper: it began to crease and compress down near my toes. It wasn’t a painful feeling, but I wonder if it’ll get worse as time goes on.

Shop Speed Evo – Men Shop Speed Evo – Women hoka speed evo r - sides

HOKA ONE ONE Speed Evo R Conclusion

MERCER: I like to think of the HOKA ONE ONE Speed Evo R as an ugly sweater. On certain occasions, it can look and feel great. But at other times you have a scratchy ugly sweater. If you’re looking for a cushioned spike that can do it all, this is a great option. I would compare this spike to the Nike Matumbo and the Adidas Adizero Avanti.

You can pick up the HOKA ONE ONE Speed Evo R at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Speed Evo – Men Shop Speed Evo – Women

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