Who should buy the Hoka Mach 5
The Hoka Mach 5 if you're looking for a:
- road running shoe that's lively and enjoyable for fast and easy runs
- lightweight yet cushioned trainer that can go the distance
Who should NOT buy it
Although it's a well-loved shoe by runners, the Mach 5 also has its share of flaws. One of which is its lack of grip on wet pavement. If you want a shoe that clings regardless of conditions, the better alternative is the Hoka Mach Supersonic.
It also gets easily dirty. If you want a dirt-resistant Hoka shoe, get the Hoka Rincon 3 instead.
Hoka One One Mach 5 vs. 4
"This might be the shoe to convert any remaining Hoka haters," and "It's a considerable upgrade" are some of the remarks from experts regarding the overhaul done to the fifth version of the Hoka Mach.
Curious what changed? Here they are:
- A new and improved midsole makes the shoe more energetic. So much so that a runner has this to say, "The HOKA Mach 5 is back and bouncier than ever."
- It has a new and more supportive upper, which according to another reviewer "improves the match 4 in every way possible." Another even dubs this iteration the "best version yet."
The ride is the real star
The Mach 5 from Hoka, as one road runner describes, "feels really energetic!" He then continues to say he ended up "taking off much faster than [he] intended to run." It's snappy and bouncy; another tester claims that it's easy for him to give a "two thumbs up for the upgraded ProFly+ foam."
The shoe has "a little bit of bounce but isn't anything overly poppy," explains another. Another runner even condenses his thoughts about the shoe's ride with this statement: "HOLY SMOKES!" He leaves this comment because according to him, the shoe literally knocked 1:30 off his mile time.
It's easy to glide in the Hoka Mach 5
"The ride throughout is rockered," remarks one long-time runner. The shoe's meta-rocker geometry allows each step to feel "buttery smooth" as one critic describes.
The Hoka Mach 5 is very cushioned, and it looks very cumbersome. But it's actually very light. It's even lighter than the average speedster (232 grams/8.1 ounces vs. 248 grams/8.7 ounces in US men's 9).
And runners' experiences only make this even truer. Among them is a road runner with muscular dystrophy. He says the shoe's weight "helps tremendously in keeping [him] from tiring quickly."
With the shoe's snappy ride and non-draggy ride, a reviewer commends Hoka, stating that it's a "hard combo to knock."
Ready to ground you
And we don't mean this weight-wise. We mean this stability-wise. The shoe has a heel that flares out which makes it very stable when cornering. The midsole is also a touch firm, which adds support underfoot.
Made for comfort
The shoe's midsole is a lot of things. It's peppy, stable, energetic, and it's even comfortable. Here are some of the reviews left by runners:
- "cushions your stride as you rack up the miles"
- "has a dreamy feeling overall"
- "absolutely zero 'break-in' time needed"
- "extremely comfortable!
It's softer than its predecessor, which makes it homier to the foot. But it's not overly soft that it compromises stability.
The shoe has a highly stacked design, which means it offers loads of impact protection. "As my foot landed, the Profly+ took the brunt of the impact," happily shares one running expert.
The fit is everything you could ask for
There's no heel lift, the midfoot is locked in, and the toe box is roomy. Overall, the Hoka Mach 5 has a solid lockdown. And with its roomy forefoot, even wide-footed runners love it!
The form-fitting upper is also complemented by the gusseted tongue (attached to the sides). "You can securely strap yourself on the ride. Two times over," remarks one running shoe reviewer.
The Mach 5's upper takes comfort to new heights
"Supremely comfortable" is how one running athlete finds the upper. It has light padding through the heel and collar, which doesn't cause rubbing or hot spots. The padded tongue also acts like "thin pillows" that prevent lace pressure.
Comfort aside, another upper perk from the Mach 5 is that it's reflective.
Not for wet days
On dry pavement, the shoe has good traction. But come rainy days, it becomes slippery.
It only took 30 miles before the upper became dirty. Add in the copper stitching; it looks even more rugged.
A great investment
On average, speed trainers cost $132 a pair. Although the Hoka Mach 5 is more expensive at $140, road running athletes still consider it a great-value purchase. Why?
Because it's responsive for fast days, cushioned enough for long runs and comfortable for easy days. "For all that at $140, it's really a steal," commends one runner.
Complete lab-specs overview
||Hoka Mach 5
|Flexibility of the shoe (N)
|Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N)
|Flexibility of the shoe (% of change)
|Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)
|Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)
|Thickness - Tongue (mm)
|Width Upper - Forefoot (mm)
|Width Upper - Heel (mm)
|Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)
|Tongue: gusset type
|Heel: pull tab
|Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm)
|Width Midsole - Heel (mm)
|Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm)
|Stack - Heel with insole (mm)
|Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA)
|Durometer Midsole - Heel (Freezer 20 minutes)
|Durometer Midsole - Heel (% of change) (TEST)
|Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm)
|Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC)
|Insole Heel Thickness (mm)