Summary

We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The 4th version of the Mafate provides more support and protection, as observed by some runners.
  • Many applauded the durable construction of the Mafate 4.
  • This version features an added medial support that is needed for long distance runs.
  • The no-sew light construction of the upper keeps the skin free from irritation and blistering.
  • It has Protective TPU Toe cap technology for added foot protection, especially when running on tough surfaces.
  • This shoe offers a wider toe box for a more natural forefoot placement when running.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The heavy nature of this running shoe didn’t sit well with some runners.
  • The price of the Mafate 4 is expensive.
  • Some noticed that this version looked bulky and feels firmer than the previous versions.

Bottom line

If you are looking for an added medial support, this shoe is the perfect option for you. The Hoka One One Mafate 4 is a trail running shoe that provides plenty of cushioning and support for overpronators. This shoe is a great partner for trail running and long-distance runs.

Facts

Update:
Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Stability
Weight: Men: 12.2oz | Women: 10.2oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 4mm | Women: 4mm
Pronation: Overpronation
Arch type: Medium arch
Use: Jogging
Material: Vegan
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 33mm | Women: 33mm
Forefoot height: Men: 29mm | Women: 29mm
Brand: Hoka One One
Type: Heavy | Big guy | Low drop | Maximalist
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $170
Colorways: Blue, Green, Grey, Purple
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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79 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews

  • 69 / 100 | Lenny Sunday | | Level 3 expert

    It's really long. Definitely a stiff shoe; very heavy. I don't know if I like the cushioning… It's very awkward on my feet.

  • 65 / 100 | Chris World TV | Level 1 expert

    The Mafate 4 is exclusively a trail shoe, though it could be used as a hard-surface running shoe in a tight pinch. It's aggressive tread pattern, huge cushion from toebox to heel, massive sole, and excellent stability make it a very good choice off the beaten path.

  • 77 / 100 | Fellrnr | Level 5 expert

    It's not quite as breathable as I'd like, but it's not terrible.

  • 90 / 100 | Running Shoes Guru | | Level 4 expert

    I consider the mafate 4 to be the type of trail shoe sought out for specific reasons. Runners needing maximal cushioning with added support for the end of a long ultra can benefit from such a shoe.

  • 80 / 100 | Trail and Ultra Running | | Level 4 expert

    These are specifically designed for lighter, quicker running on more technical trails, the max-cushion way. 

  • 84 / 100 | Top Ten Reviews | Level 2 expert

    Mafate 4 outshines many other trail running shoes with posture-promoting stability while navigating sketchier trails. 

Become an expert

  • Hoka addresses past issues of bulkiness and clumsiness in the Mafate line by introducing a 4th version that is more than 2 ounces lighter than the past model. This is a very significant weight reduction and should translate to longer, more nimble, and better performance on the trail.
  • A new svelte and well-fitting upper helps in the weight reduction and provides a more comfortable and foot-wrapping fit. Hoka pulls off this update by using thinner and lesser overlays.
  • Arch support gets a little better in this shoe as Hoka increased the density of the medial foam for better support, especially for ultra-long runs on the unpredictable and uneven trail.
  • The outsole flex grooves are much deeper. As the grooves are deeper, they greatly support the “rockered” sole in providing smoother transitions and adding flexibility to an ultra-cushioned shoe.

The fit and sizing are trademarks of most Hoka shoes. This offers medium space in the heel, midfoot, and forefoot. The toe box has more than ample space for the toes to splay without feeling sloppy on the run. Available widths are D and B while sizes are from 6 to 15 for the men’s and 5 to 12 for the women’s.


5mm lugs are scattered all over the outsole in the Mafate 4. These lugs offer incredible bite on challenging trails. Hoka carpets the outsole with Hi-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber of its own for enhanced durability and traction. The Hoka One One Arahi 2 features the same kind of outsole. Helping the “rockered” sole for better transitions and flexibility are the Outsole Flex Grooves.


Another Hoka-exclusive technology is their own EVA, which is 30% softer than the standard EVA. This makes for a cloud-like feel regarding cushioning. The RMAT midsole is made of more durable material and is slightly firmer. When used with the Hoka EVA, they form the right mix of responsive cushioning, support, and protection. A design called the Active Foot Frame is basically the entire structure of the shoe that is engineered to envelop the foot and let it “sink” into the midsole. This takes away the unstable notion when runners see the ultra-sized cushioning and structure.


An Air Mesh makes the Hoka Mafate 4 very breathable. The seamless upper construction reduces the risk of irritation and helps make the interior more comfortable. For toe protection, Hoka uses a Reinforced toe cap. Traditional lace-up closure enables runners to get the right fit.

Comparison

Author
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Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com