Altra Olympus 4 Vs. Hoka Speedgoat: A Comparative Review

It’s a showdown of the titans: Altra Olympus 4 and Hoka Speedgoat are locked in a duel for the title of the best trail running shoe on the market. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a trail runner, or simply a shoe aficionado, the Altra Olympus 4 and Hoka Speedgoat debate has likely crossed your path.

Let’s delve into this analysis, break down the pros and cons of each model, and help you make an informed decision on your next shoe purchase.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureAltra Olympus 4Hoka Speedgoat
Design PhilosophyZero Drop platformTraditional running shoe design
Cushioning and ComfortBalanced cushioningResponsive cushioning
Shoe FitFootShape™ toe box (wider fit)Narrower fit
PriceTypically higherTypically lower
OutsoleVibram MegaGripVibram MegaGrip
Best ForNatural foot alignment and abundant cushioningLightweight construction and superior responsiveness

Altra Olympus 4: Comfort Meets Durability

Altra Olympus 4

The Altra Olympus 4 brings a lot to the table for any trail runner.

Its claim to fame is its Zero Drop platform, which offers an equal heel and forefoot height to ensure natural foot alignment and balanced cushioning.

Pros of Altra Olympus 4

  1. Zero Drop Design: This promotes a more balanced and efficient running stride. If you’ve been having trouble with your form or struggling with shin splits, the Olympus 4 might be worth considering.
  2. Vibram MegaGrip outsole: Olympus 4 provides exceptional traction, ideal for rocky and rugged terrains.
  3. Ample Cushioning: The shoe offers abundant cushioning that promotes comfort even during long runs.

Cons of Altra Olympus 4

  1. Weight: Despite its advantages, the Olympus 4 is relatively heavier than some other trail shoes. This could be a downside for runners seeking lighter options.
  2. Price: The Olympus 4 sits on the pricier side of the spectrum, which might make it less appealing to budget-conscious consumers.

Hoka Speedgoat: Lightweight and Agile

Moving onto the Hoka Speedgoat, these shoes are revered in the trail running community for their responsive cushioning and excellent traction, especially on wet surfaces.

Hoka Speedgoat

Pros of Hoka Speedgoat

  1. Lightweight Construction: The Speedgoat outshines many competitors in this area, offering lightweight comfort without sacrificing durability.
  2. Responsive Cushioning: Hoka’s proprietary foam delivers a plush and responsive ride, ensuring comfort throughout your run.
  3. Excellent Traction: The Vibram MegaGrip outsole offers impressive grip and stability, even on tricky, wet terrain.

Cons of Hoka Speedgoat

  1. Narrow Fit: Some runners might find the Speedgoat a bit narrow, particularly in the toe box, which can be an issue on long runs.
  2. Lack of Breathability: Although well-protected, the shoe could use a bit more breathability for those hot summer trail runs.

Key Differences Between Altra Olympus 4 And Hoka Speedgoat

While both Altra Olympus 4 and Hoka Speedgoat are reputable trail shoes, they possess several distinct characteristics that set them apart.

  • Design Philosophy

Altra’s trademark Zero Drop platform design is one of its primary distinctions. It keeps the heel and the forefoot at the same distance from the ground, promoting a more natural running form.

Conversely, Hoka Speedgoat follows a more traditional running shoe design, with more height in the heel.

  • Cushioning and Comfort

Both shoes provide ample cushioning, but the type of cushioning is where they diverge. Altra Olympus 4 focuses on balanced cushioning throughout the shoe, which provides comfort but also increases the shoe’s weight.

On the other hand, Hoka Speedgoat offers responsive cushioning. This design offers a comfortable yet energetic ride, contributing to the shoe’s lightweight nature.

  • Shoe Fit

In terms of fit, the Altra Olympus 4 has a FootShape™ toe box, allowing your toes to relax and spread out naturally for more comfort and stability. The Hoka Speedgoat, however, is known for a narrower fit. This may provide a secure feeling but could be uncomfortable for those with wider feet.

  • Weight

When it comes to weight, the Hoka Speedgoat tends to be lighter than the Altra Olympus 4. For runners who prioritize speed and agility, this could be a deciding factor.

However, if comfort and natural foot movement are your priorities, the weight of the Olympus 4 might be a worthwhile trade-off.

  • Price

Lastly, price is another key difference. The Altra Olympus 4 typically retails at a higher price point than the Hoka Speedgoat. While both shoes offer excellent features and performance, budget constraints might influence your decision.

Also Read: Should You Get Ecco Or Johnston & Murphy Shoes?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you run on the road with Hoka Speedgoat?

Yes, you can. However, the Hoka Speedgoat is primarily designed for trail running, which means it might wear out faster on pavement due to its aggressive lug pattern. It’s best suited for off-road use.

Is Altra Olympus 4 zero drop?

Absolutely! The Altra Olympus 4 incorporates Altra’s signature Zero Drop platform, which provides a balanced cushioning by keeping the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground.

Who is the strongest Hoka?

The Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 is often hailed as the most robust Hoka shoe for its superior grip, stability, and durability.

Why are Hoka running shoes so popular?

Hoka running shoes have gained popularity due to their unique design philosophy focused on maximum cushioning, lightweight construction, and excellent stability. They provide runners with a comfortable and efficient running experience, hence their popularity.


The Altra Olympus 4 and Hoka Speedgoat are both exceptional trail running shoes, each with their strengths and drawbacks. While the Olympus 4 shines in its balanced cushioning and grip, the Speedgoat stands out for its lightweight nature and superior responsiveness.

The choice between these two ultimately depends on your specific running needs and personal preferences. We hope this comprehensive review has been helpful in your quest for the perfect trail running shoe.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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