The Hoka Mach X is another plated shoe from Hoka. I was excited to try it (as I usually am with new shoes from Hoka. The Mach has undergone a pretty intense transformation over the last few years. I’m old enough (LOL) to remember when it was the original Mach and Cavu. I appreciated that era of Mach, but I am excited about this era too.
Hoka Mach X Quick Facts:
Weight: 8 oz
Heel Toe Drop: 5 mm
Hoka Mach X Fit:
When I first looked at the Mach X, I wondered: does it *really* have a plate? It seems like just another daily trainer. I do love the seafoam color and it looks sharp, but it didn’t scraem: “time to run fast”.
The Mach X uses a “Creel jacquard mesh upper.” What does that mean? It has two layers: a more rigid exterior and an inner perforated layer that sits close to the foot.
It’s not just comfortable but performs well too. Now that it’s the summertime in the Mojave desert, I need shoes that fit and function well. I don’t want to be overheated and don’t want my feet to overheat. The two layers work together to breathe well, and I had no issues with breathability. Hoka usually fits various foot types, and I’ve found the Mach X to be no different.
The best running shoes disappear off your feet, and the Hoka Mach X does just that. It features a thicker-than-average gusseted tongue with a plush heel collar. I’ve heard people complain about the thickness of the tongue, but I haven’t had any issues and rather like a more plush tongue. There are no hot spots, and the shoe fits wide enough; you don’t have any rubbing.
I wear a size 10-11 wide in running shoes and found the 10.5 to fit the best. I will say that Hoka has started running more narrow (still reasonably true to size). I hope they keep their wider toe boxes because that is a massive brand draw, especially in their faster shoes! (It’s hard to find wider plated shoes!)
Hoka Mach X Ride:
The Hoka Mach X has a PEBA midsole, the same foam used in the carbon-plated Hoka Carbon Rocket X. In the Hoka Mach X, they combined a plastic plate and rocker shape to create a smoother but cushioned ride that is better fitted for speed work.
The Mach X is a blend of PEBA foam: The top layer (white foam) is PEBA, and the bottom layer (green foam) is EVA. The EVA also comes up further on both sides to help stabilize Mach X. I felt the EVA foam the most. My preference for running shoes is on the softer side, and I could use more PEBA foam to soften up the Mach X.
Does the Hoka Mach X have a carbon plate? No, it has a PEBAX plate. Between the two foams is a PEBAX plate. But it’s not as aggressive of a plate to make this a “speed work only shoe.” The plate adds more structure
One thing that differentiates the Mach X from other plated shoes is how much you don’t feel the ground. Hoka is known for its cushion, and the Hoka Mach X is no different, but even their speedier shoes feature that max cushion feel and faster ride. That extra cushion, plus the more flexible plate, also makes the Mach X suitable for easier runs.
Durability and Traction: While not confirmed, the rumors are that the Hoka Mach X is replacing the Carbon X 3. So comparing the traction and durability will automatically give Mach X an A+. The Carbon X 3 is a similar shoe with a carbon plate but no blown rubber. The lack of rubber (and exposed EVA) means the Carbon X 3 wears out VERY QUICKLY. You were *lucky* to get 100 miles out of it.
Now after that tangent, the Mach X has blown rubber and durability. I’ve used them for rainy runs and even some runs into the dunes with no issues. I expect them to last the entire 300-400 miles.
Finally, with nowhere else to put this, Hoka claims the Mach X uses a Propulsive Pebax plate with 65% bio-based content. Sustainability is enormous, and I’m glad to see Hoka working towards more sustainable shoes (really, they are leading the way in major running brands).
So what do I use the Hoka Mach X for? How does it fall into my rotation:
I assumed it would be a speedwork-only shoe, but that hasn’t been the case. The less aggressive Pebax plate surprised me that it can handle almost any type of run. Personally, for easier runs, I do prefer more cushion (like the Clifton 9), but the Mach can take easier runs. I generally use the Mach X for daily runs and runs. I may not know how I’ll feel for the day. I’ve used it for a few long runs as well. I haven’t raced a marathon in the Mach X, but I assume the Hoka Mach X would be a great option.
Hoka Mach X Conclusion:
What is the difference between the Hoka Mach X and the Hoka Mach 5?
The Hoka Mach X is designed more for workouts. It’s firmer and easier to pick up the pace and features a plate! The Mach 5 is softer and designed for easier running.
Who should buy the Hoka Mach X? If you are looking for a faster workout or even racing shoe, the Hoka Mach X is a great option.
Who should not buy the Hoka Mach X? If you want the marshmallow feel of Hoka, you’ll likely prefer something softer, like the Hoka Mach 5 or the Hoka Clifton 9.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: Hoka Mach X, ASICS Superblast
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.
uestions for you:
Have you tried the Hoka Mach X?
What is your favorite workout shoe?