Altra Olympus 5 VS Speedgoat 5: What Should I Buy?

The Olympus 5 and Speedgoat 5 are both designed for runners looking to tackle long distances and technical trails. They provide maximum cushioning and comfort over many miles, with grippy outsoles to handle slippery terrain.

While the shoes share some similarities, they differ in their specific technologies, fit, overall feel, and best uses. This comparison covers all the nitty-gritty details, from weight and cushioning to traction and durability.

Whether you’re looking for a comfortable ride for ultramarathons or a shoe that can power you up steep ascents, this breakdown has got you covered. Time to hit the trails!

Similarities And Differences Between Altra Olympus 5 and Speedgoat 5:

SpecsAltra Olympus 5Hoka Speedgoat 5
Launched In20222022
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-14, Women’s 5-12Men’s 7-14, Women’s 5-12
Weight10.5 oz (men’s), 9.5 oz (women’s)9.7 oz (men’s), 8.7 oz (women’s)
CushioningHighHigh
OutsoleVibram MegagripVibram Megagrip
MidsoleAltra EGO Max foamCMEVA foam
UpperMeshMesh
Retail Price$245$155

Features Comparison

Materials

The Olympus 5 uses a breathable mesh upper to allow airflow to your feet. The midsole consists of Altra’s responsive and durable EGO Max foam. The outsole features sticky Vibram Megagrip rubber with 5mm lugs for traction. A full-length rock plate provides underfoot protection.

Altra Olympus 5
OLYMPUS 5

SPEEDGOAT 5
SPEEDGOAT 5

The Speedgoat 5 also has a breathable mesh upper and Vibram Megagrip outsole. The midsole uses CMEVA foam, which is softer than the Olympus for increased shock absorption. There’s also a full-coverage rock plate.

Durability

The rugged Vibram Megagrip outsole and rock plate allow both shoes to stand up to hundreds of miles of rugged terrain. However, the Olympus 5’s beefier EGO Max foam midsole will likely outlast the softer Speedgoat foam over the long haul. The sturdy mesh upper is also built to handle scrambling over rocks and roots without excessive wear.

The Speedgoat 5’s lightweight mesh upper is known to be less durable than the Olympus. The CMEVA foam, while responsive, can lose its bounce before the Olympus foam. The outsole rubber holds up well, but high-mileage runners may experience wear sooner than the Olympus.

Fit

A key difference between these shoes is the fit. The Olympus 5 features Altra’s signature FootShape toe box, which is wider and allows toes to splay naturally for comfort on long runs. It fits best for runners with wider feet. The roomy midfoot and heel provide a secure but non-restrictive feel.

Altra Olympus 5 TOP VIEW
OLYMPUS 5 TOP VIEW

SPEEDGOAT 5 TOP VIEW
SPEEDGOAT TOP VIEW

The Speedgoat 5 has a more conventional semi-curved shape. The forefoot is slightly wider than most shoes but more snug than the Olympus. The midfoot has moderate volume and the heel locks in securely. This shoe accommodates narrow to medium-width feet best.

Stability

Both the Olympus 5 and Speedgoat 5 are neutral shoes, meaning they don’t have any pronation control mechanisms. The midsole and outsole are designed for natural foot positioning and movement without medial or lateral posts. These shoes work for neutral runners as well as mild under and overpronators.

Cushioning

Cushioning is where these shoes shine. Both feature thick, pillowy midsoles over 30mm in the heel to absorb impact.

The Olympus 5 uses high rebound EGO Max foam for exceptional softness underfoot without an unstable feel. It provides plush cushioning for ultrarunners and heavier runners alike.

The Speedgoat 5 utilizes softer CMEVA foam for a more dampened, mellow feel. This responsive foam combined with the 4mm drop makes for a smooth heel-to-toe transition. The plush cushioning allows running into the night on the longest ultra races.

Value for Money

At $245, the Olympus 5 sits at the premium end of price point for a high-cushion trail shoe with top-tier components. The durable materials and comfortable fit make it a worthwhile investment for serious trail runners.

The Speedgoat 5 costs $155, making it a more budget-friendly option. The well-cushioned ride and grippy traction provide plenty of quality for the price. However, it may not be as long-lasting as the Olympus for high-mileage training.

Performance Comparisons

For Walking

Both models provide ample cushioning and support for walking on trails, but the Olympus 5 is the clear winner for hiking. The extra room in the toe box allows a comfortable stride without jammed toes, even when going downhill. The soft midsole protects feet and joints without feeling mushy. Sturdy stability prevents ankle rolls on uneven terrain.

The Speedgoat 5 isn’t quite as optimal for walking. The snugger fit in the forefoot can cramp toes after miles on the trail. And the soft foam, while great for running, lacks the supportiveness some hikers prefer. But the traction and underfoot protection get the job done for short hikes.

For Running

For trail running, the Speedgoat 5 takes the lead. The responsive CMEVA foam and 4mm drop make it agile and fast over technical terrain. The cushioning provides a smooth, enjoyable ride at ultra distances. The grippy traction inspires confidence traversing muddy and slippery trails.

The Olympus 5 is also a strong trail running shoe, just better suited for recovery days and long miles than faster paces. The super soft midsole and roomy fit absorb shock well but don’t have the same energetic bounce as the Speedgoat. Traction is excellent for varied terrain.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The high cushioning in both shoes helps take pressure off the plantar fascia and provides pain relief. However, the Olympus 5 is the top choice for plantar fasciitis thanks to its soft, sinking midsole.

The wide toe box allows room to splay feet and reduce tension. While also cushioned, the Speedgoat’s snugger forefoot would likely aggravate sensitive feet.

For Standing All Day

Cushioning is key for prolonged standing, and the plush Olympus and Speedgoat midsoles don’t disappoint. However, the Olympus 5 again emerges as the winner.

The extra roomy toe box prevents pinching and discomfort even after hours on your feet. It also provides better overall support and stability when fatigued muscles need help staying upright.

Final Verdict

In the battle between the Altra Olympus 5 vs Hoka Speedgoat 5, there’s no single all-around winner. The Olympus 5 takes the lead for comfort, roomy fit, versatility for walking and running, and durability. It’s the ultimate ultra-cushioned trail shoe ready to go the distance.


The Speedgoat 5 is ideal for runners who want a responsive, lightweight shoe for tearing up technical trails and PRs during ultramarathons. The secure fit and energetic ride make it the livelier of the two models.

Your choice comes down to fit and running style. Need a wider toe box and prefer slower paces? Go with the Olympus 5. Want a more nimble feel for faster trailing? The Speedgoat 5 is your shoe. With max cushioning and grip to spare, you can’t go wrong with either of these trail-running powerhouses.

Leave a comment