Shoe Review: HOKA Mach 5
The HOKA Mach 5 is back and bouncier than ever.
The HOKA Mach 4 saw a serious overhaul in its upper and fit, and the Mach 5 continues to evolve with a stripped down mesh upper, a lockdown heel collar and a more responsive dual-layer midsole. The result is soft landings, snappy toe-offs and a smooth, energetic ride.
Fleet Feet reviewers put the Mach 5 to the test on long runs, fast efforts and recovery miles. Here’s what you can expect.
HOKA Mach 5
6.8 oz (W), 8.2 oz (M)
HOKA Mach 5 Offers Responsive Cushioning for Everyday Training
The HOKA Mach 5 provides both comfort and speed, thanks to a dual-layer midsole made up of PROFLY+ foam and a rubberized EVA foam.
The plush, responsive PROFLY+ foam sits right underfoot, providing a springy sensation with each step. The rubberized EVA foam sits beneath the PROFLY+ foam, absorbing impact and adding durability.
Reviewers appreciated the smooth ride.
“These shoes are so light, soft and springy. The PROFLY+ foam feels much more responsive than what I remember from previous versions of the Mach,” Nate says.
HOKA shaved off almost a half ounce of weight in the Mach 5, which doesn’t sound like much but can make a difference when you’re picking up the pace.
“These feel really energetic! I ended up taking off much faster than I intended to run. The cushion is soft yet reactive,” Caroline says.
HOKA’s classic meta-rocker geometry helps you transition from heel to toe quickly and efficiently, making each stride feel buttery smooth.
Because the HOKA Mach 5 is equal parts comfort and performance, the shoe can be used for a variety of runs. They’ll cushion your stride as you rack up the miles and provide a pop of energy for fast paced runs.
“I would happily use these shoes for every run until they fall apart…and then buy another pair,” Alex says.
While most reviewers enjoyed the Mach 5 for speed workouts, some felt it was a tad too plush.
“I love these shoes, but I prefer a slightly firmer feel when I'm running at top speed. That said, they’re light, comfortable and have a dreamy feeling overall,” Kate says.
While the HOKA Mach 5 doesn’t pack the same punch as a carbon-plated racer, it’s durable enough to handle the bulk of your training miles and is easier on your wallet, too.
“The Mach 5 is soft enough for recovery runs, cushioned enough for long runs, and responsive enough for fast efforts. For all that at $140, it’s really a steal,” Caroline says.
Smooth, Airy Upper Offers Lockdown Fit
The latest iteration of the HOKA Mach features a newly redesigned upper consisting of single-layer engineered mesh. It’s lighter and more breathable than previous versions of the Mach.
“This shoe slides on nicely and I appreciate the sheer breathable upper and straight-forward tongue and lacing system,” Alex says.
A thin, slightly padded tongue sits flat atop your foot while a tapered heel collar flares out. The new heel collar offers a snugger fit than the Mach 4, while still steering clear of your achilles to avoid any rubbing. Plus, long laces make it easy to customize the fit with different lacing techniques.
“I’m in love with the upper of this shoe. It’s so soft and it seems to mold perfectly to my foot. The whole fit is supremely comfortable,” Kate says.
A reflective strip runs vertically along the back of the heel, adding visibility during dark runs.
HOKA Mach 5 vs. HOKA Mach 4
HOKA Mach 5
HOKA Mach 4
6.8 oz (W), 8.2 oz (M)
7.1 oz (W), 8.6 oz (M)
The HOKA Mach 4 underwent a major transformation in 2021, so not much has changed in the latest version. The Mach 5 offers a few key improvements while maintaining the same feel and performance that made the Mach 4 so popular.
The most notable differences are the redesigned upper, the new foam material used in the midsole and the slightly lighter weight. The Mach 4 used PROFLY foam, while the Mach 5 uses PROFLY+ foam. PROFLY+ is more reactive and energetic, resulting in a smoother, peppier ride.
Overall, reviewers appreciated the updates to the HOKA Mach 5.
“With a good balance of softness and responsiveness, the Mach 5 continues to delight. This will be a solid workhorse shoe for medium to long runs on the road,” Nate says.
The latest version of the HOKA Mach stays true to form as a lightweight, uptempo trainer with enough cushion to go the distance. With less weight and a more lockdown fit, the Mach 5 is the best version yet.
“If my feet are tired or my legs are sore, this shoe is like the security blanket I want to reach for,” Kate says.
With plush, responsive cushioning and a smooth, breathable upper, our reviewers can’t wait to lace up the Mach 5 for more runs.
“I’ve added these to my line up for just about every type of run. This is really a do-it-all kind of shoe,” Caroline says.