When we say we loved the HOKA Mach 4, that would be an understatement and we wore through multiple pairs of them. We were hoping HOKA wouldn’t mess with the recipe all that much with the Mach 5, but as it turns out they did… and it’s phenomenal. The Mach 5 takes everything we liked about the 4 and takes it up a notch with a better upper and a faster midsole. If you are looking for a daily trainer with an up tempo ride then this shoe should be at the top of your try on list.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Is it possible HOKA improved the Mach 4, why yes… yes, it is. And it lets you forget the Mach Supersonic.
- Between the new upper and PROFLY+, this is seriously one of our favorite shoes of 2022 so far.
- Weight – 8.5oz or 241g for a US Men’s 10.5, 6.5oz or 184g for a US Women’s 7
- Cushion – 29mm of cushion and a 5mm heel/toe drop
- Pricing – $140.00 USD
- Colors – 4 options
Construction and Materials
- Upper – The upper has been updated and features a super breathable engineered (Creel) jacquard mesh with some printed overlays for stability along with an improved midfoot lockdown. It gets a new flat version of that gusseted tongue along with more general width in the toe box. They have also redesigned the heel to prevent Achilles irritation.
- Midsole – HOKA has used PROFLY+ to provide a cushioned landing and an explosive toe-off, but they have also exposed a rubberized foam layer below the PROFLY+ layer to help absorb impact even more. This also uses their Early-Stage Meta-Rocker system.
- Outsole – Like all road HOKA shoes, the outsole uses a rubberized foam that offers solid traction without all the weight. It definitely wears faster so definitely not as durable, but this has long been HOKA’s model.
What we loved
There are only a few shoes that we reviewed over the last few years that became part of our personal lineup and that we couldn’t let go of. Of those two only one of those models, did we go buy another pair simply because we liked it so much. That shoe was the HOKA Mach 4 so when it was time to test the Mach 5, it was nervous excitement to say the least. Would it live up to its predecessor, just be a clone, be a poor replacement, OR could they make it better. The answer of course is the latter… the Mach 5 is better, seriously like way better.
The old mesh system has been replaced with a new Creel jacquard mesh that flexes better and breathes better than way before. Some minor overlays at the midfoot help with side to side stability and the gusseted tongue has been flattened out to improve fit. The tongue does still retain some padding however which helps prevent any lace bite issues. The heel has been elongated which improves Achilles protection and retains that elf ear design which helps with easy on and off. Collar padding is moderate but enough to protect the ankle and avoid irritation.
HOKA has also moved from the old PROFLY to their new PROFLY+ which provides a softer landing. However this is a dual density design and right below this PROFLY+ layer, HOKA has placed a firmer version of their traditional midsole foam which allows for a more explosive takeoff. What this turns into is a soft landing and then a quick take off and HOKA’s patented early stage rocker system helps with turnover. So yes this is a daily trainer, but it is way more up tempo than others in this category. This is a shoe that can run a fast 5k, 10k, or half marathon, and makes for a great training shoe.
When we say this shoe is a pleasure to run in, that is truly an understatement. It is simple, but it is solid and fast and honestly just really nice to wear. If you are a Clifton fan… this Mach will probably convert you OR you can pair them together using the Clifton for longer slower days and keep the Mach for the faster ones.
What we didn’t
Two little gripes on here but they aren’t going to change our overall opinion of the shoe. First, the gusset on the tongue could extend a bit higher because the tongue itself does start to migrate to the side during run. It’s not bad but it would deliver more snugness through the midfoot which would hold you well. Second, the outsole is still just rubberized EVA like every other HOKA shoe. It does grip well but it wears quickly reducing the usable life of the shoe by probably 50-75 miles or more. It basically starts to fluff off and anyone who has worn a HOKA road shoe knows what we mean. Still, this is not enough to steer us away.
The HOKA Mach 5 is seriously the best shoe HOKA has put out this year for our money. They took the amazing Mach 4 and tweaked the formula just enough result in solid overall improvements. The upper is ten times better than before and PROFLY+ just feels slightly softer than PROFLY delivering a softer landing. If you are looking for a daily trainer with a fun uptempo ride, then look no further as these are most definitely worth your time. Also, the color options are on point!
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Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.