Hoka Mach 5 Review (2023): Fastest Daily Trainer?
Published on: 07/31/2022The Hoka Mach 5 is a brilliant road shoe to go faster and longer comfortably. One of the fastest trainers out there, it's a truly unique pick for daily workouts and races!
Stable, lightweight shoe for speed workouts and competition days
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
A stable, lightweight shoe that suits speed workouts and performs excellently on race day. The Hoka Mach 5 takes the best improvements to the running shoe made by the brand with Mach 4 and continues to deliver a great balance between cushion, a rockered performance, and a lightweight design built for speed on the road.
For beginner and experienced runners alike, these shoes provide a snappy ride that propels you forward and definitely lasts the longer runs, too. The versatility of the Mach 5 will appeal to many, as it can serve almost any type of road run and doesn’t do too badly on hard-packed, easy trails either, thanks to the rubberized EVA foam outsole that gives it an ok grip.
If you’re looking for stability, these shoes are not specially designed to help with overpronation or supination but do keep the foot neatly in place and have several comfortable features that will satisfy Hoka brand lovers. And they come in various attractive color schemes that have certainly excited most reviewers!
In summary, the Mach 5 is an excellent daily uptempo trainer shoe for road workouts such as interval training and fartlek sessions. It combines some of the best features of the Hoka Mach Supersonic and the DNA of the Mach 4, adding improvements that make it comfortable, fun and fast. With enough cushion to take you through a longer race, too, it really is an ideal road performance running shoe.
Please read our full review of the Hoka Mach 5 for more information.
- Snappy and comfortable in equal measure
- Stripped back design to facilitate speed
- Precise lockdown, no heel slips
- Softer than the Mach 4
- Holds a bit of heat due to the tight fit
- A little slippy off-road – but they’re meant for urban surfaces
- Maybe a bit narrow
Hoka Mach 5 Complete Review Analysis
The Hoka Mach 5 comes hot off the heels of the Mach 4, taking the performance training shoe category by storm. What runners loved in that shoe continues to dazzle in the Mach 5! The lightweight design, the rockered feel, the perfect amount of cushioning for speed and agility; it’s all there. Additionally, Hoka has improved the weight, the upper, and some of the shoe’s overall agility by using some of the learnings from the Mach Supersonic. The result is a shoe that can be your daily trainer, racing go-to, or a great all-rounder on the road.
How does it perform in tests, and what technical details make the Mach 5 such a great shoe? Read on to get an in-depth analysis!
Starting with the famous Hoka cushioned feel, the Mach 5 features a molded EVA sock liner and slightly lighter foam, keeping the nice comfortable ride but saving a bit of weight in comparison to the Mach 4. Thanks to this design, these new running shoes are cushioned yet responsive and will appeal to a larger portion of the running population.
The stack underfoot is quite great: 29 mm in the heel and 24 mm under the toes for the men’s version, and 27 mm and 22 mm respectively for the women’s. This means you’ll feel a comfortable landing without it feeling overly cushioned.
Overall, the underfoot feel remains firm, but it’s softer than on the previous model. In any case, that’s a good stack height for long runs on pavement.
Additionally, the PROFLY+ technology in the midsole gives a bounce on landing. However, it’s not all rosy with this latest iteration of the Mach. Indeed, some users report that running in high temperatures gave the foam a bit of a squishy feeling. However, as long as you’re aware of the potential sensitivity to the heat, this midsole is a recipe for success for us.
Foot lockdown (upper)
Another area where Hoka has made improvements since the Mach 4 is the upper. There’s a minimal tongue with a single layer of mesh that makes these shoes breathable and contributes to their light weight.
Overall, the Hoka Mach 5 weighs in at 7.5 oz/212 g for men’s size 42 (vs. 7.6 oz/215 g for the previous version) and 7.1 oz/200 g for women’s size 40 (vs. 7.2 oz/205 g for Mach 4). It’s not a monumental change, but every bit counts when you’re looking at performance!
The tongue features a flat design, and the upper is made from creel jacquard engineered mesh.
All this aims to reduce weight, improve fit and facilitate speed. There’s also a good amount of room in the toe box, and athletes report that the shoes fit well and don’t move unnecessarily, which is a great plus.
Finally, Hoka has updated the heel collar, providing a more secure fit against heel slips and also a more comfortable feel.
Grip and durability (outsole)
When it comes to grip, the Hoka Mach 5 doesn’t need to be all that high-performing, given that it’s been designed to perform on the road. The rubberized EVA outsole combines with a sort of “crash pad” under the heel to protect on landing and provide a smooth ride.
At the same time, the design is so stripped back and lightweight that the shoes may not be as durable as their competitors. Remember, this pair is more of a racing shoe, so expect to wear through the outsole relatively quickly.
There’s a rockered ride throughout and a large centralized heel bevel that goes back a little.
Under the forefoot, some reviewers feel that the Mach 5 is still quite rigid, but Hoka has added some flex grooves to make this shoe iteration more flexible than previous versions.
With its rockered ride and relatively plush cushioning compared to the weight, the Hoka Mach 5 running shoes manage to tick off many boxes for road running.
The decent stack height provides protection and shock absorption for comfort on the road. Also, the stripped-back design gives you speed and agility.
Transition is excellent in these shoes. The bounce you get from the rubberized EVA outsole combined with the PROFLY+ seems to help at a faster pace. They are “made to fly” for a reason!
Testers unanimously feel that the Mach 5 is an improvement on the Mach 4, without any drastic changes. Those who loved Hoka’s previous road racing shoes will love these ones while also appreciating the subtle but effective upgrades. There is consensus around the snappy, fun ride and the general comfort and breathability of the shoes. Many runners also appreciate the extra comfy touches, such as the padded collar and heel.
Whether you’re a beginner runner or an experienced 5k racer looking for comfort, the Hoka Mach 5 can be for you. They offer a superb blend of medium cushioning and responsive, agile ride. Your feet will love them for anything from a short speed session to a long run.
The Hoka Mach 5 is an upgrade to the Mach 4. Hoka has incorporated advances from other models like the Mach Supersonic without changing too much. The result is a lively, upbeat shoe for road runners.
While the 5 mm drop may be a bit low for some, the Mach 5 is still accessible for most runners. An ideal pick for those looking for a lightweight shoe for comfortable, longer miles!
|Heel height||29 mm|
|Forefoot height||24 mm|
|Weight (men)||212 g/7.5 oz|
|Weight (women)||193 g/6.8 oz|
|Midsole||EVA Sockliner, Profly+|
|Upper||Jacquard Mesh, Articulated Heel Collar|
|Speed||Slow, Moderate, Fast|
|Distance||Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon|
|Workout||Daily running, Racing|
Reference: Hoka's official site
Comparisons – Hoka Mach 5 vs.:
Hoka Mach 4
Without changing too much from the original design or DNA of the shoe, testers consider the Mach 5 a welcome upgrade from the Mach 4. Both shoes are built for speed and comfort on the road, but the Mach 5 is slightly lighter and snappier.
As we mentioned above, the upper has been redesigned for a tighter fit and more breathability, although some will say that the shoes run hotter now than before. Reviewers feel that the Mach 5 is also a little softer and more flexible than the previous version. Overall, the latest iteration is an upgrade, but not an overhaul.
- Hoka Mach 5 vs. Rincon 3
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- Hoka Mach X: the X version is similar but includes a Pebax plate for better responsiveness.