Hoka’s trail-ready shoes may seem intimidating, but its Tor Ultra shoes are 18 ounces of pure performance. The brand has built a cult following for its perfectly cushioned running sneakers and hiking boots, but the Tor Ultra, originally a 2018 Engineered Garments collab, is a true trail hoard.
While a few mainstream releases have sprung up since its 2018 debut, few can pick up a pair without paying extreme markups. Now, just in time for colder weather, Hoka One One is re-releasing the kicks in high and low versions. The shoes have mostly the same DNA as their 2018 counterparts, but get a host of fine-tuned upgrades.
Instead of the original eVent liner, the Gore-Tex liner takes its place for an extra layer of protection from the elements. The outsole is equipped with Vibram Megagrip, a sticky rubber compound with a resistance comparable to steel that provides traction on all terrains. Whether you’re traversing a field of slippery mud or caught in a rainstorm, the Tor Ultra will keep you dry and upright.
Two are better than one – Each shoe is presented in an all-black and all-beige color scheme. The tall boot features a chunky sole, flexible upper and additional panels that hold the heel to the ankle. An elongated lacing system extends from toe to collar, should you need a more snug fit. Its low sibling is constructed similarly with the bulky outsole and an upper fitted with full-grain leather and textiles. “Hoka” is printed into the fabric for a minimal branding touch.
As is the case with many Hoka productions, the shoes feel heavy. But as the outdoor editor knows, the key to a successful trek is proper footwear that doesn’t weigh you down. The Tor Ultra Hi weighs just 18.4 ounces, while the Lo is 16.7 ounces. Both rank high on Hoka’s cushioning scale because comfort is what the brand does best.
Hoka’s urban trail shoes are labeled as “all genders” shoes, and at the time of writing there are only a few sizes left on the brand’s site. Otherwise, you can still find them on other retailers such as Bodega. For such a special shoe, you are going to have to work a little.