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Hoka Mach X Review (2024): Hit or Miss?

Hoka Mach X review

Published on: 09/05/2023

The Hoka Mach X is a fast daily trainer with a Pebax plate for speed workouts.

Consensus

8.9Overall Score

Responsive shoes for your daily speed sessions.

Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

HOKA’s new training shoe is a perfect fusion of the Mach 5 and Rocket X 2. It’s designed for runners who want to train at a good pace for split or uptempo runs.

The cushioning is highly responsive and bouncy, combining two foams (PEBA and ProFly X). A Pebax propulsion plate completes the package, providing excellent energy return.

The upper is made of Jacquard mesh, which is breathable, resistant, and comfortable. Not too tight, the upper is suitable for all feet.

With Durabrasion Rubber, the grip is pretty good. However, we wish it was a bit more resistant. Indeed, the outsole’s durability is a little limited.

These shoes are ideal for all runners who are looking for a model for faster paces in dedicated training sessions. They are also suitable for competition. Overall, they deliver a pleasant, responsive ride, with plenty of forward propulsion and easier transitions thanks to the meta rocker design.

Please read our full review of the Hoka Mach X for more information.

Comfort
9
Responsiveness
9.5
Foot lockdown and protection
8.5
Stability
9
Durability
8
Value
8.5
Design
9.5

PROS

  • Good responsiveness with the Pebax plate
  • Smooth transitions
  • Stable ride
  • Breathable upper
  • Good grip on road surfaces

CONS

  • Poor outsole durability
  • Relatively expensive

Introduction

Hoka Mach X reviews daily trainer
📷 ©️ Hoka

New to the HOKA lineup, the Mach X is a subtle blend of the HOKA Mach 5 and the HOKA Carbon X 2. Designed to accompany you on speed training sessions or race day, it’s highly responsive and will appeal to runners looking for plated shoes. Let’s see if it’s the right model for you!

Cushioning

Hoka Mach X peba midsole foam

Stack height, drop, and underfoot feel

The midsole of the HOKA Mach X includes two different foam technologies. The first is made of PEBA, like that used in the HOKA Rocket X 2. The second is made of ProFlyX, an EVA foam. This combination is unprecedented, as the HOKA Mach 5 only used ProFly+.

The stack height is 39 mm in the heel and 34 mm in the forefoot, for a heel-to-toe drop of 5 mm. The midsole feel is soft and shock-absorbing. They are ideal for fairly short distances but can be used for half-marathons or even marathons.

Bounce

runner wearing Hoka Mach X daily running shoe for a snappier ride
📷 ©️ Hoka

The cushioning is highly responsive and bouncy. A Pebax propulsion plate is located in the midsole. It propels the body forward with every stride, allowing you to push off the ground easily.

The shoe’s curved shape, similar to a rocker, facilitates the transition between heel, midfoot, and toe.

Pronation type

These shoes are for neutral runners. There’s no special technology for overpronators or supinators. Support is good but not comparable to what you would get from a dedicated stability shoe.

Foot Lockdown

Hoka Mach X creel jacquard upper

Fit and sizing

The jacquard mesh upper is quite thin and highly breathable, which is pleasant when running in hot weather.

The construction of the upper includes a gusseted tongue. This prevents the tongue from slipping and provides a good foot lockdown.

The Mach X fits true to size, so you can choose your usual size for sports shoes (or a half size more than your street shoes). While not particularly tight in the forefoot and toe box, it offers a snug fit and suits those with slightly wide feet. It’s not possible to select a larger width.

Hoka Mach X mesh Jacquard

Men’s vs. women’s version

Apart from a slightly lighter color for women, there’s no noticeable difference between the men’s and women’s models.

The weight announced by HOKA is 9.4 oz/266 g for the men’s X and 8 oz/227 grams for the women’s version. Therefore, it’s a relatively lightweight shoe considering its high stack — a good configuration for speed work.

Breathability and protection

The upper is sufficiently breathable thanks to perforated holes allowing the air to flow in the shoes during exercise, even in summer. There are no contraindications to using them in winter, although you may need to adjust the thickness of your socks if it gets too cold.

Use

Hoka Mach X highly cushioned road shoes
📷 ©️ Hoka

Specialty

The HOKA Mach X are ideal for speed training, whether for splits, MAS, tempo, or even fartlek. Their responsiveness enables you to reach good paces with a good running economy (less effort). They also enable you to recover better after a session.

Other suitable scenarios

These Hoka shoes are also suitable for road racing, from 5 km to marathons. While running at slower paces with them is possible, it’s not the most optimal use of their potential.

As they are really designed for road use, they should not be worn on technical trails, in mud or snow. The grip would not be sufficient and the outsole would wear out quickly. However, easy dirt roads should be totally fine.

Traction

Hoka Mach X rubber outsole
📷 ©️ Hoka

The shoe’s outsole is made of Durabrasion Rubber. The thickness of the rubber is quite substantial, and it provides a good grip on wet surfaces. You can use the Mach X on easy trails if they’re not too rough.

Quality and Durability

Value and price

Some testers were disappointed by the lifespan of this running shoe’s outsole: they noticed signs of deterioration after just 30 kilometers. The upper is more resistant: the Jacquard lining is quite robust. We can therefore expect the outsole to wear faster than the upper.

Mach X Hoka

Based on feedback from testers, we can expect to use these shoes for around 250 miles / 400 km.

The official price of the Mach X is rather high but lower than many carbon-plate super shoes. In the same category, it’s priced similarly to the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 and its nylon plate, one of its closest competitors. Therefore, the price of the Mach X is reasonable overall but its value remains a bit low when factoring in its expected lifespan.

Carbon footprint and animal welfare

Hoka Mach X outsole

This hybrid daily training/racing shoe is vegan and uses recycled and bio-sourced materials:

  • 65% of the propellant plate is made from bio-sourced materials.
  • 84% of the shaft is made from recycled polyester and the remaining 16% from recycled nylon.
  • 35% of laces are recycled polyester.

Conclusion

Hoka Mach X running shoes

The HOKA Mach X is halfway between two of the the brand’s flagship models: the Mach 5 and the Rocket X. They’re perfect for daily speed training and racing.

Its Pebax plate, a more flexible material than carbon, offers runners plenty of responsiveness and energy return for an easier, fun ride. The thin, breathable upper is exceptionally comfortable.

These running shoes will delight runners who want a model in their rotation for intervals, and beginners looking to train at quicker paces.

Facts

running shoes Hoka Mach X

Technical Specs

TerrainRoad
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop5 mm
Heel height39 mm
Forefoot height34 mm
Weight (men)266 g/9.4 oz
Weight (women)227 g/8 oz
FeaturesVegan, Recycled materials, Nylon plate, Rocker
Athletes
Release year2023
PriceCheck prices

Cushioning

SoftnessSoft
ResponsivenessHigh

Technologies

OutsoleDurabrasion rubber
MidsolePEBA foam, ProFly X, Pebax Plate, Early Stage Meta-Rocker
UpperEngineered Jacquard Mesh

Use

SpeedModerate, Fast
DistanceMid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon
WorkoutDaily running, Racing

Comparisons

  • Hoka Mach X vs. 5: The main difference is the nylon (Pebax) plate, which provides greater responsiveness for your faster miles. The Mach 5 is much less expensive, without the plate, and a more versatile shoe for your daily sessions. In fact, it can do it all, whereas the Mach X is not recommended for easy, slow-paced kilometers.
Charlène Bertein

Charlène Bertein

Charlene is a web writer who has been passionate about sports for several years. She ran her first 10K in 2014 and her first marathon in 2017. She also organized a relay run between Montreal and New-York in 2015, worked for the Paris Marathon in 2016, and for a running app until 2020. She now practices various outdoor sports: trail running, snowboarding/splitboarding, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, hiking, etc.

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