The Hoka Mach 5 is the next version of the newly popular Mach. I am so old; I remember when the Mach came out, and between that and the Cavu, I was a fan. Sadly, Hoka has discontinued the Cavu, and their rotation of shoes is still missing that basic lightweight trainer. I digress.
Last year, the Mach 4 came out swinging. It had a huge update and was a balance of cushion, lightweight, but in that “performance” category. How does the Hoka Mach 5 compare?
Hoka Mach 5 Quick Facts:
Weight: 8.2 oz
Heel to toe drop: 5 mm
Hoka Mach 5 Introduction:
What is the Hoka Mach 5 supposed to be? It’s a noncarbon plated trainer that can do it all.
Do you want to run fast? It can do it.
Do you want it an easy run? It can do it.
How about just a daily run shoe? It can do it.
The Mach 5 is lightweight, and the Profly+ midsole is slightly stiffer as you transition from heel to toe. As with many Hoka shoes, the traction is not the greatest, but the traction is ok as a whole. The shoe can do a lot decently, but it’s not perfect for any situation.
Hoka Mach 5 Fit:
Right off the bat, I keep thinking about how good the Hoka Mach 5 looks. Now granted, I selected the white and bronze color combination, but it does look good. 50 miles in the desert later, the white is now brown, but it looked good when it arrived.
Now onto fit! One thing that Mach has lacked through the years is an A+ fit. Sadly, the Hoka Mach 5 follows suit. The upper of the Hoka Mach 5 is breathable and reinforced, but the fit is slightly boxy.
The upper has extra reinforcement with more mesh, but it still breathes well. It does get a little hotter than I prefer in Mojave Desert summer, but it’s not the worst shoe I’ve tried. This is not the shoe if you are looking for a narrow midfoot.
I believe the best running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and the Hoka Mach 5 does not exactly do that. You always feel like it’s “on your foot.” The tongue is a little too sharp for me, cutting through my ankles a few times. This is not the first issue I’ve had with the tongues of Hoka shoes. Please, Hoka, add padding to your shoe tongues. The heel is padded and feels good.
I typically wear a size 10-11 wide in running shoes and have found the Hoka Mach 5 in size 10.5 fits well. If there were a 10.25, that would do even better, but this is fine.
Hoka Mach 5 Performance:
The performance is where the Hoka Mach 5 shines. The Profly+ midsole with the rubberized EVA outsole makes the shoe soft but can pick up the pace. The crash pad under the heel is large and helps keep the transitions smooth.
The large centralized heel bevel extends back to add more “smoothness.” Technical, I know…Up at the forefoot is fairly rigid but has a few flex grooves that help make the Mach 5 more flexible and not like a cinderblock under your foot.
Compared to the Mach 4, the Hoka Mach 5 feels a little softer. Which is nice; often, I found the Mach 4 too rigid for my own needs. The update to the Mach is not substantial, and if you were a fan of the Mach 4 or Hoka Mach Supersonic, you’d probably like the Mach 5 too.
Durability and Traction: Hoka, I beg you to add blown rubber to the bottom of your shoes. Yes, it will add weight but increase durability and traction. The Hoka Mach 5 is ok and maybe below average in both durability and traction because of the lack of blown rubber. I’ve put about 100 miles on my Mach 5 and expect it to last about 250-300.
I didn’t know where the Hoka Mach 5 would fit into my rotation. Would it be an easy run shoe? Fast run? Daily run? I’ve found it works best for days I want to run faster than an easy run but not a workout. I’ve used it on faster long run days or just days I want to pick up the pace. If I am going somewhere for a couple of days, it’s a shoe I enjoy bringing because it has so much versatility.
Hoka Mach 5 Conclusion:
I like the Hoka Mach 5, and it’s a good shoe. I could see it being a powerhouse if Hoka dialed in the fit and added more traction to the bottom. Besides that, it’s a great performance shoe and one I run in frequently when I’m looking for a faster-run shoe. A bonus update would be if Hoka brought back its sister the Cavu.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Hoka Mach 5?
What is your favorite performance running shoe?