Hoka Cielo X1 VS Speedgoat 5: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a trail runner searching for your next pair of shoes, you may be trying to decide between the Hoka Cielo X1 and the Hoka Speedgoat 5. Both shoes come from Hoka One One and provide the signature Hoka cushioning, but they differ in their specific designs and ideal uses.

Read on for a detailed comparison of the Cielo X1 and Speedgoat 5 to help you determine which is the better option for your running needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Cielo X1 and Speedgoat 5:

FeatureCielo X1Speedgoat 5
Launched In20242022
StabilityModerateGood
FlexibilityModerateLow
SizingRuns smallTrue to size
Weight9.3 oz9.8 oz
CushionHigh stack, softHighly cushioned
OutsoleRubberVibram Megagrip
MidsolePROFLY XCMEVA
UpperMesh and syntheticMesh
Retail Price$275$155

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Cielo X1 utilizes a lightweight yet supportive mesh upper with strategically placed thermoplastic polyurethane overlays that provide structure and durability without adding unnecessary weight.

Underfoot, it has a high-stack compressed EVA midsole to deliver ultra-soft cushioning. The carved-out section in the midsole allows for a carbon fiber plate that enhances responsiveness and energy return with each footstrike. For traction and high abrasion resistance in key high-wear areas, the outsole uses durable rubber that grips well on varied trail surfaces.

Hoka Cielo X1
CIELO X1

SPEEDGOAT 5
SPEEDGOAT 5

In contrast, the Speedgoat 5 features an air mesh upper that is optimized for maximum breathability on hot runs. Reflective accents help with visibility in low-light conditions. The upper includes no thermoplastic overlays, keeping it flexible and reducing potential irritation.

It has Hoka’s signature soft CMEVA foam midsole that provides a stable platform and responsive cushioning on uneven terrain. For multi-directional traction, the Speedgoat 5 utilizes a Vibram Megagrip outsole with 5mm lugs designed to grip perfectly on wet or dry rugged trails.

Durability:

Through extensive testing, both the Cielo X1 and Speedgoat 5 have proven to be quite durable trail running shoes that can stand up to hundreds of miles of rough trails. The Cielo X1’s thick rubber outsole shows minimal signs of wear even after 150+ miles of use.

The carbon rubber has a long lifespan and maintains its traction over time. The supportive upper also resists tearing or abrasions from kicks and rocks. Similarly, the Speedgoat 5’s highly durable Vibram Megagrip outsole maintains its grippy performance even after heavy use thanks to the sticky rubber compound.

The tightly woven mesh upper is surprisingly resistant to tears or damage from brush and rocks after months of wear. Both models have strong, reinforced eyelets that prevent ripping.

Fit:

The Cielo X1 fits snugly, especially through the midfoot due to the integrated tongue which wraps the top of the foot. It runs at least a half size small so sizing up a half or full size is highly recommended for a comfortable fit.

Hoka Cielo X1 TOP VIEW
CIELO X1 TOP VIEW

SPEEDGOAT 5 TOP VIEW
SPEEDGOAT 5 TOP VIEW

The Speedgoat 5 runs true to size for most runners, although those with wider feet may want to size up. It has a roomier toe box than previous Speedgoat versions to allow toes to splay, but still offers a secure heel and midfoot wrap to prevent slipping. The integrated gaiter surround also helps lock down the ankle.

Stability:

Featuring a structured, reinforced upper and supportive high-stack midsole, the Cielo X1 provides moderate stability for neutral runners who do not need correction for overpronation but still want some guidance. The midsole geometry also helps gently guide the foot through the stride.

Deep flex grooves allow just the right amount of twist. In comparison, the Speedgoat 5 does not focus heavily on pronation control but still delivers adequate midfoot support for neutral runners thanks to the stabilizing frame around the sole. The raised sidewalls also promote stability by cradling the foot. However, extremely overpronators may require a steadier platform.

Cushioning:

The Cielo X1 is known for its plush cushioning, maximizing comfort over ultra distances. It utilizes a high-stack compressed EVA foam midsole to absorb shock and deliver soft landings mile after mile.

Even with the carved-out section, it provides 20mm of cushioning in the heel. A carbon fiber plate further enhances the springy sensation underfoot without sacrificing comfort.

The Speedgoat 5 also delivers highly cushioned comfort through its signature soft CMEVA foam, although it has 4mm less foam than the Cielo X1. For foot protection over 50+ miles, both models provide ample cushioning to reduce fatigue.

Value for Money:

With a price difference of $120, the Speedgoat 5 retails for significantly less than the Cielo X1. Through testing, both have proven to be highly durable shoes that can last 500+ miles, so the Speedgoat 5 may provide better value over time for budget-conscious runners.

However, the Cielo X1 offers an energetic, responsive ride not found in the Speedgoat 5. Runners report feeling efficient and fast in the Cielo X1. So for those seeking a lively ride, the extra cost may be justified.

Performance Comparision:

Walking:

The thick, soft midsoles of both the Cielo X1 and Speedgoat 5 make them comfortable options for walking on trails. The Cielo X1 provides a particularly smooth ride thanks to its rockered profile, while the Speedgoat 5 is marginally more stable. For lengthy trail hikes, the plush cushioning helps reduce fatigue in both models.

Running:

During runs, the Cielo X1’s carbon plate gives it a discernible bounce and snappy feel not present in the Speedgoat 5. Testers found the Cielo X1 more fun and enjoyable to run in. However, the Speedgoat 5 offers better uphill grip and traction due to its aggressive lug pattern. For downhill sections, the Cielo X1 excels.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The ample cushioning in both shoes helps reduce pressure on the feet, making them suitable for runners with plantar fasciitis. The Cielo X1 provides softer cushioning underfoot, especially in the heel which is beneficial for PF. The rockered profile also promotes smooth transitions. For very painful PF, the Cielo X1 may be preferable.

All Day Standing:

Though not designed specifically for all-day wear, the cushioned midsoles of the Cielo X1 and Speedgoat 5 provide underfoot comfort when standing for extended periods.

The Cielo X1 offers greater overall softness while the Speedgoat 5’s firmer density foam may give better support when worn all day. Both are cushioned options for all-day use.

Final Verdict:

For runners seeking a highly cushioned and enjoyable shoe for long trail miles, the Cielo X1 gets the edge over the Speedgoat 5. Its energetic ride and plush cushioning make it ideal for training runs and ultramarathons.


However, at $120 less, the Speedgoat 5 is a better value for those wanting a durable workhorse shoe at a more affordable price point. It offers the cushioning Hoka is known for along with excellent traction. Consider your budget and priorities to decide between these two stellar trail shoes.

Leave a comment