HOKA designed the Mach 3 for speed, and its lightweight form doesn’t disappoint.
The third version of the shoe sticks to the same formula as the previous model: a minimalist upper plus a PROFLY midsole for a fast ride. Only this version of the Mach has a different upper.
Fleet Feet runners took the HOKA Mach 3 for a test drive to check out how it fits, how it rides and how it’s different than last year. Here’s what they thought.
HOKA Mach 3
7.1 oz (women’s), 8.6 oz (men’s)
Everyday training, speed work
The Mach 3 has a snug, racer-like fit without excess overlays or added structure.
The jacquard mesh upper is smooth on the outside for a clean silhouette, and the only overlays in sight are the HOKA logos near the heel. Without midfoot overlays, the Mach derives its structure from the mesh alone: It’s fairly stiff and doesn’t stretch much, which means it keeps its shape. However, on the interior of the shoe, a few embroidered supports create a cage around the midfoot for a locked-down feel.
The heel counter is soft and flexible. Even without a rigid heel counter, testers didn’t have any problems with their heels slipping—the heel tightens snugly around the back of the foot.
A minimally-padded tongue sewn into a bootie keeps the tongue in place and adds to the snug midfoot feel.
One of the things that stands out about the Mach 3 is what HOKA calls the “active footframe.” The design creates a sort of raised bumper of foam around the footbed to add stability without using any sort of medial post.
“I love the bucket-seat footbed,” one tester says. “It makes me feel like I’m always stepping directly in the center of the shoe and it prevents my foot from rolling inside or out.”
The Mach 3 has a firm and snappy ride thanks to a PROFLY midsole.
PROFLY couples two densities of foam: softer in the heel and firmer in the forefoot. The dual-density foam gives the Mach 3 a forgiving landing and more responsive takeoff, which provides versatility for different paces and footstrikes.
While HOKA says it gave the Mach 3 an early-stage Meta-Rocker—the HOKA-specific rocker-like shape of the midsole—testers say it doesn’t feel as prominent as other HOKA running shoes.
“It's fairly responsive but doesn't feel as propulsive as other HOKAs,” one tester says. “It also doesn't have the distinct rocker that a lot of HOKAs have.”
Testers found the Mach feels liveliest at faster paces. The firmer forefoot foam gives the Mach a snappy toe-off, and its light weight is easy on your legs. It also performed well in the gym for lighter workouts.
Comparing the HOKA Mach 2 and Mach 3 side by side shows some cosmetic changes, but the shoes are largely the same under the hood. The two-tone PROFLY midsole, early stage Meta-Rocker and rubberized foam outsole remain the same from shoe to shoe.
The biggest change is the switch from the engineered mesh upper on the Mach 2 to the engineered jacquard upper on the Mach 3. The jacquard is a tighter weave than the mesh, which gives the Mach 3 a more uniform look across the entire upper.
On the Mach 3’s heel, HOKA integrated a large pull tab to make it easy to slip on—a feature that’s always appreciated by Fleet Feet testers.
The HOKA ONE ONE Mach 3 is a solid all-around performer, capable of taking on your daily training, speed work, gym sessions and even errands.
A split PROFLY midsole allows for a softer heel with a firmer midfoot, and the engineered jacquard upper provides substantial structure and a snug fit. While the Mach 3 sports a less-pronounced Meta-Rocker than other HOKA shoes, it feels snappy when you pick up the pace.
Runners who like HOKA cushioning but want a firmer ride will find both in the Mach 3.
Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.
By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.