Hoka Mach 5 First Look Review
The HOKA Mach 4 was a big hit, and since its release the limited launch Mach Supersonic stoked up even more interest, with HOKA describing the Mach 5 as the lovechild of each of the above it certainly looks an interesting launch. Below we highlight the changes and improvements made, the place it takes up in HOKA’s line up, and potentially its place in your rotation.
Technical details for the Hoka Mach 5:
Foot type: Neutral
Men’s weight: 232g (8.2oz)
Women’s weight: 192g (6.8oz)
Men’s stack height: 29 – 24mm
Women’s stack height: 27 – 22mm
Heel Drop: 5mm
Best for: Fast training sessions or race day
Starting with a supremely cushioned feel, they then added the Meta-rocker. A curved shape to the underside of the shoe that creates a smooth transition from impact to toe off, nowadays both features are mainstays of the shoe market. They also introduced their active foot frame, functioning like the bucket seat on a sports car it cradles the heel for a secure feel across the foot.
If you have run in a HOKA before, you know the sensation this gives underfoot, but in case you haven’t run in the Mach range before, think of it as a lightweight shoe capable of daily training, up tempo training, and race day all in one.
With a softer landing than their Carbon X3 (and of course, minus the carbon plate – and associated cost) it offers a dual density foam that brings improved responsiveness over their other lightweight trainer, the Rincon.
What is new with the Mach 5?With three different colours available here at Pro:Direct on launch day for women’s and men’s styles, the richer colour palette that the new upper can hold are displayed to the fullest.
A single layer creel jacquard engineered mesh, the vegan upper has both targeted hold, and breathability. A lay-flat gusseted tongue is lightly padded for improved comfort, and the articulated heel collar construction gives a more dialled in fit.
Like the Mach 4, it features a rubberised EVA outsole, in a normal shoe, a standard rubber outsole is the heaviest part, by rubberising the EVA HOKA can keep the weight down and still offer traction and durability.
ConclusionHaving taken the very best parts of the hugely successful Mach 4 and the experimental Mach Supersonic, Hoka have created a seamless blend that improves on an already well-loved shoe.
The bouncier, more responsive feel can be felt immediately, giving even more speed and performance to an already fast shoe.
Thanks to its minimal new upper, and that bouncy foam used in the updated Profly+, the whole shoe has lost weight, adding to the feeling of speed, and encouraged by the familiar HOKA smooth transition from impact to toe off.
If you don’t fancy the firmer feel of a carbon plate, then this makes a race day shoe with serious performance, if you have a plated race day shoe and you need a faster training shoe, look no further, built to withstand daily training but with ferocious speed, it seems to have it all.
To find out if we think it lives up to its potential, check out our full review which will be released once we have time to put it through many miles and a thorough test.
Frequently asked questionsWhat is the difference between the HOKA Mach 4 and Mach 5?
Although it has a brand new upper, the main difference is in the updated midsole, a new, lighter, and more responsive foam in the Profly+ construction offers a more energetic ride.
Can you run in the HOKA Mach 5?
It is made for running, and running fast, lightweight, and responsive this is a performance running shoe.
What other shoes are similar to the Mach 5?
Although they feature variations on plates, the Saucony Endorphin Shift and adidas Boston are worth looking into, while the super light Nike ZoomX Streakfly and ASICS Novablast also offer fast training or race day shoes.