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Hoka One One Mach 4 Review

These lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upper
Hoka One One Mach 4
Credit: HOKA ONE ONE
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $130 List | $64.98 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upper
Cons:  Less responsive, lacks rubber outsole
Manufacturer:   Hoka One One
By Matthew Richardson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 6, 2022
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 12
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Responsiveness - 25% 8.0
  • Upper Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Lateral Stability and Support - 15% 5.0
  • Weight - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Hoka One One Mach 4 provides maximum cushioning in a highly lightweight design, making it a noteworthy competitor in the running world. Thanks to the Profly midsole, cushioning underfoot is luxurious and plush while still responsive when toeing off. With Hoka being known for its cushioning, we were impressed with this model's responsiveness, and we loved using this on our longer runs. The upper is made of lightweight materials that are durable and breathable, and a thinly padded tongue helps secure the midfoot. The outsole lacks rubber, which will likely reduce long-term durability, but helps keep the weight down. Those looking for a lightweight men's running shoe with maximum cushioning may enjoy this option.

Editor's Note: This individual gear review was updated on March 6, 2022, with extra sections to assist your product determination.

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Hoka One One Mach 4
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upperResponsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweightResponsive, excellent lightweight upper, cool colorwaysResponsive, fast, lightweight, affordableStable, supportive, comfortable upper
Cons Less responsive, lacks rubber outsoleMinimal support and stabilityStiff, minimal ground feel, narrowMinimal support, lacks outsole rubberStiff, heavier, less breathable
Bottom Line These lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upperExcellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upperThis shoe has excellent responsiveness to propel you forward and is perfect for long-distance tempo runs and racingThis affordable ultralight model allows for maximum turnover which provides a snappy and quick feelingIf you're looking for a supportive and stable shoe with a comfortable upper, this is the model for you
Rating Categories Hoka One One Mach 4 Saucony Endorphin S... Nike Zoom Fly 4 Saucony Kinvara 13 Brooks Adrenaline G...
Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Responsiveness (25%)
8.0
8.0
10.0
9.0
6.0
Upper Comfort (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Lateral Stability and Support (15%)
5.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
9.0
Weight (15%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Hoka One One Mach 4 Saucony Endorphin S... Nike Zoom Fly 4 Saucony Kinvara 13 Brooks Adrenaline G...
Weight (per shoe, size 9.5) 8.1 oz 8.3 oz 10.0 oz 7.3 oz 10.4 oz
Heel to Toe Drop 5 mm 8 mm 8 mm 4 mm 12 mm
Midsole Material PROFLY PWRRUN React foam EVA EVA
Sole Rubber Rubberized EVA XT-900 Rubber Rubber Rubber
Upper Material Engineered mesh Engineered mesh Mesh, Flyknit Engineered Mesh Mesh
Width Options Normal Normal Normal Normal Normal, Wide
Sizes Available 7 - 14 7 - 15 7 - 15 7 - 15 7 - 15

Our Analysis and Test Results

Among the tough competition of men's running shoes, the Hoka One One Mach 4 impressed us with its plush cushioning design delivered in a lightweight package. This cushioning is pure comfort when landing, and it excels at keeping our legs fresh for our long runs.

It has a minimal 5-millimeter heel-to-toe drop and wide upper, making the shoe feel natural and sure-footed. A breathable upper paired with a thin compressible tongue helps lock in the midfoot, and it was one of the more comfortable uppers we tested. Some may find the plush cushioning less responsive than other light and fast trainers, such as the Saucony Kinvara 12, but the added comfort greatly reduces fatigue. The only downside is the lack of a more durable outsole, but we realize this would increase the weight, a standout feature of this contender.

Performance Comparison


Hoka One One Mach 4 running shoes - the mach 4 from hoka provides luxurious cushioning with a responsive...
The Mach 4 from Hoka provides luxurious cushioning with a responsive 5-millimeter drop.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


Every step in the Mach 4 was pure comfort. We doubt many shoes in this weight category have such luxurious comfort and cushioning. This model provided soft underfoot compression with each footstrike that reduced impact and left us feeling free of fatigue. Long runs in this model were a joy to run in. Typically, we would expect a 5-millimeter drop shoe to have a bit more harshness, but we think the cushioning helped soften the stress on the calves, which normally take the beating when it comes to low drop.


While the cushioning is on the higher side than contenders we tested, we found a defined stopping point where the midsole seemed to compress and would allow for a good return of energy into the pavement. This did not have that bottomless cushioning feel that sometimes felt tiring and heavy. This cushioning seemed dedicated more towards the mid and forefoot, which we prefer, as heel compression can often feel sinking when the rest of the foot does not have enough weight to compress the same amount of foam equally.

Hoka One One Mach 4 running shoes - premium cushion that is comfortable and responsive.
Premium cushion that is comfortable and responsive.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Responsiveness


We were impressed by how responsive this model is for the amount of cushioning it provides. Part of this is due to the well-engineered foam that has the right density to absorb and a spring-like return that feels poppy and agile. The responsiveness also feels more lively, given there is less to weigh you down.


It's easy to associate high cushioning with less responsiveness, but we do not think that the comfort of this model should deter you from giving it a shot. We loved this shoe on longer runs, where we would not experience the same amount of fatigue that we'd develop with a stiffer and more stable model. The 5-millimeter heel-to-toe drop worked great with the responsive design, allowing for a good ground feel and quick turnover.

Hoka One One Mach 4 running shoes - the hoka mach 4 has surprising responsiveness given the amount of...
The Hoka Mach 4 has surprising responsiveness given the amount of cushion.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Upper Comfort


There isn't anything special about the upper on this model other than it simply works. The knit upper is breathable, and while a tad thin, we had no durability issues. The upper is snug and has a wider toe box which provides a natural platform that does not feel loose or too constrained. The tongue on this model is thin compressive material that is one of the better we've seen.


The average arch support felt sufficient given the low drop and weight that is meant to keep your foot in a more active position. A well-designed heel cup has what appears to be an integrated pull tab that provides coverage over the Achilles. This thin design creates a sensation of no upper and your foot and foam all as one unit. Even in temperatures reaching 100 degrees, the shoe felt cool, and we experienced less sweating than other models in this weight range.

Hoka One One Mach 4 running shoes - the mach 4 from hoka has a thin, lightweight upper with one of the...
The Mach 4 from Hoka has a thin, lightweight upper with one of the best tongue designs we've seen.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Lateral Stability and Support


With no specific implemented support features found on some other contenders, we can only expect so much stability and support from a lightweight shoe. Surprisingly, there is a good amount of support and stability, which we found was enabled by the wider platform and the same cushion design which held the heel more firmly in place. In our testing, those shoes which stabilize the heel generally feel stable and supportive throughout.


This would not be the first model we would suggest to those looking for maximum support and stability, but we don't think the low drop and weight should deter you. If you already have a shoe with some stability, it may be worth trying this model and running in it on even terrain for shorter distances to see if you can adapt to running without the added support systems.

Hoka One One Mach 4 running shoes - a wide platform helps improve pooer stability due to high cushioning.
A wide platform helps improve pooer stability due to high cushioning.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Weight


We love the low weight of this shoe, and it's a joy to run in as it's lively and agile on your feet, with a great cushion. We did not experience any durability issues, but the outsole has zero rubber and only exposed foam. This did not degrade during our testing, but we do not expect this to last as long as a more rugged rubber outsole. Other than that, we think little to no tradeoffs are made with the low weight.


Hoka One One Mach 4 running shoes - due to low weight, there is no durable outsole material on the hoka...
Due to low weight, there is no durable outsole material on the Hoka Mach 4.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Should You Buy the Hoka One One Mach 4?


If you seek premium comfort with the cushioning and upper, we would highly recommend this model. We think Hoka did an awesome job creating an all-around trainer that works well for various workout types. There is plenty of cushion for longer runs, but it's also lightweight enough for speed workouts. Running in this wider platform and ground feel drop of 5-millimeters makes this shoe feel lively and confident. If you have yet to try a Hoka, we would recommend starting with this great middle ground design that has a compromise between responsiveness and comfort.

Hoka One One Mach 4 running shoes - a top pick for its blend of high cushioning and responsive feel.
A top pick for its blend of high cushioning and responsive feel.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?


For those seeking maximum support and stability, we suggest looking into the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, which provides some of the best support and stability across all of the running shoes we tested.

Matthew Richardson
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