Shoe Review: HOKA ONE ONE Mach 4

2021 FFxHokaMach 023

The HOKA ONE ONE Mach just got a spring makeover.

The freshly updated Mach 4 keeps the same lightweight, energetic feel as the previous version but wraps it up in a brand new package.

HOKA designed the Mach 4 with its Carbon X 2 and Rocket X shoes in mind–a streamlined body and super responsive feel under foot propel you through everyday training and speed work alike.

Thanks to a mixture of foams underfoot and a redesigned upper and heel collar, the HOKA Mach 4 creates a feather-light feel and provides all the support you need for daily runs.

Fleet Feet reviewers took the Mach 4 for a ride through long runs and speed work. Here’s what they thought.


Tech Specs

HOKA ONE ONE Mach 4

Weight

7.1 oz (W) 8.6 oz (M)

Drop

5 mm

Category

Neutral

Use

Everyday training, speed work, road racing

Surface

Road, track

New Upper Design Locks In Comfort

A top view of the HOKA Mach 4

The biggest change to the HOKA Mach 4 is the refined upper shape and makeup.

In previous models, the mesh upper was intended to lock the foot into place with specialized detailing around the midfoot and added panels for breathability.

Now, the Mach 4 sports a sleek, redesigned mesh upper knit from heat-pressed TPU yarn for added durability and structure to last through everyday mileage. This new upper material helps maintain the lightweight feel of the shoe.

The updated upper also works with the reconstructed heel collar to create a super-secure feel that our reviewers loved.

“My heel feels locked in place, and there's a nice bucket-seat-like feel in the footbed—I land right in the middle of the shoe every time,” says one reviewer.

The pull tab on the heel flares away from the Achilles to prevent uncomfortable rubbing on the run. This construction is paralleled by the flared heel counter in the outsole to create a speedy vibe.

“I love the heel counter and the collar shape. The upper is super comfortable and adjusts really easily,” says one Fleet Feet reviewer.

HOKA designers zeroed in on the snug, fast fit of the Mach 4 by attaching the super-thin, padded tongue to a semi-bootie construction within the shoe, adding to the easy adjustability of the Mach 4. Plus, a removable molded EVA sockliner helps you customize the fit throughout the midfoot.

“The midfoot is dialed in, and I think the tongue's semi-bootie construction helps create that security,” one reviewer says.

The Mach 4 upper is thoughtfully redesigned to cater to a wide range of foot shapes while still offering the lightweight support and durability you need in an everyday trainer.

Blended Foam Creates a Responsive Bounce

Fleet Feet reviewers loved the Mach 4’s bouncy ride. HOKA homed in on their signature dual-density ProFly foam to create the most cushioned, responsive feel yet.

The midsole is mostly constructed of the ultra-light ProFly foam that fosters a springy toe-off and cushioned landing. This, combined with a rubberized, EVA outsole, adds to the responsive ride of the Mach 4.

“The softer top layer adds plenty of cushion, and the firmer bottom layer feels stable,” says one reviewer. “Sometimes soft cushioning makes me feel like I have to dig out of the shoe, but the Mach feels more responsive and nimble.”

A woman runs up a flight of stairs wearing the HOKA Mach 4

Even though the Mach delivers a snappy, responsive feel, it’s still plush enough to support you through daily training or track workouts. Fleet Feet testers praised the cushioning on pavement, which can stand up to big mileage.

An early stage Meta-Rocker promotes fast transitions and smooth landings so you can fly through any workout in comfort.

One reviewer says, “I have shoes I love for my speedwork, but I’ll be doing all my fastest training in the Mach 4’s from now on.”

The roomy forefoot not only accommodates a wide variety of foot shapes, which our reviewers loved, but it adds stability through every stage of your gait cycle.

“I really appreciated the wider forefoot," says another reviewer. “I noticed the stability it added to my landings and it really let my foot move naturally especially during faster workouts."

Even though the Mach 4 does not feature a blown rubber outsole, the wider forefoot helps create traction by giving you more surface area in contact with the pavement. It’s not ideal for messy weather, but testers found there was plenty of grip for dry concrete or the track.

Reviewers also found the Mach 4 durable enough to handle heavy training loads.

“There isn't any blown rubber on the outsole, but HOKA has done this with a few shoes and there haven't been any problems with durability,” a reviewer says.

HOKA Mach 3 vs. HOKA Mach 4

Screen Shot 2021 03 02 at 1

While the new Mach 4 builds off the same HOKA technology featured in the older Mach 3 (namely the ProFly midsole and MetaRocker), the updated Mach 4 is lighter and more flexible.

Similar to the Mach 3, the Mach 4 features a ProFly dual-density midsole and rubberized EVA outsole. However, HOKA blended the midsole foams together in their newest update to create an even more lightweight feel and to slim down the shoe.

The mesh upper in both shoes remains breathable and well-ventilated, however the Mach 4 uses heat-pressed TPU yarn to create a stable feel up top and add to the overall durability of the shoe.

Though the Mach 3 also has a pull tab on the heel, the overall heel collar adheres to a more traditional shape.

HOKA sought to challenge that in the Mach 4 by implementing an anatomical heel collar that contours to the shape and movement of your heel, really driving home the bucket seat feel of the shoe.

A flared Achilles heel pull-tab serves dual purpose by creating an easy-on, easy-off experience in the Mach 4, and also prevents uncomfortable rubbing against the back of the heel that can lead to blisters.

Reviewers thought the Mach 3 felt stiff, but the Mach 4 felt more flexible and provided smoother transitions.

Overall, the Mach 4 reflects HOKA's intent to create a cushioned, lightweight ride that gives you the responsiveness you need to pick up the pace.

Final Thoughts

A woman stretches wearing the HOKA Mach 4

HOKA ONE ONE running shoes are known for their plush comfort and super comfortable fit. The updated Mach 4 is no exception.

Built on a plush, dual-layered ProFly midsole set atop of a durable rubberized EVA outsole, the Mach 4 offers a comfortable fit and neutral ride. The early stage MetaRocker and responsive foam combinations add a plucky kick to each stride.

Most notably, this version of the HOKA Mach features a redesigned upper and heel collar. The wide toe box accommodates a wide range of foot shapes and adds stability to landings.

A bucket seat feel in the heel and anatomically shaped heel tab prevents uncomfortable rubbing against the Achilles and adds to the overall fast look of the shoe. The flared heel counter mirrors the Achilles heel tab and promotes smooth transitions.

Overall, the HOKA Mach 4 is great for everyday mileage or for speed work. It’s durable enough to handle daily wear, and light enough for you to sail across the finish line on race day.

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 shipping on orders over $99 and free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

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