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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
Photo: HOKA ONE ONE
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $130 List | Check Price at REI
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  ⋅  Oct 14, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 8
  • Responsiveness - 25% 8
  • Upper Comfort - 20% 7
  • Lateral Stability and Support - 15% 5
  • Weight - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Hoka One One Mach 4 provides maximum cushioning in an extremely lightweight design. Thanks to the Profly midsole, cushioning underfoot is luxurious and plush while still being responsive when toeing off. With Hoka being known for their 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 model with maximum cushioning would love this shoe.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Hoka One One Mach 4
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
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$159.95 at Amazon
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Check Price at REI
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Pros Lightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upperResponsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweightResponsive, light, fast affordableResponsive cushioning, smooth heel-to-toe rocker, durableResponsive, well-balanced cushion and support, performance fit upper
Cons Less responsive, lacks rubber outsoleMinimal support and stabilityMinimal support, lacks cushioning, lacks outsole rubberLoose heel cup, support under heel lackingStiff outsole, lacks arch support, tight toe-box, slightly heavy
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 upperA model that makes you feel quick, fast, and light that provides maximum energy transfer and forward momentumA rockered design with responsive cushioning keeps legs feeling powerful and fresh into longer effortsA classic model that is fast and responsive with great energy transfer and a performance fit upper
Rating Categories Hoka One One Mach 4 Saucony Endorphin S... Saucony Kinvara 12 New Balance Fresh F... Nike Air Zoom Pegas...
Cushioning And Landing Comfort (25%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Responsiveness (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Upper Comfort (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Lateral Stability And Support (15%)
5.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Hoka One One Mach 4 Saucony Endorphin S... Saucony Kinvara 12 New Balance Fresh F... Nike Air Zoom Pegas...
Weight (per shoe, size 9.5) 8.1 oz. 8.3 oz. 7.7 oz. 9.4 oz. 10.5 oz.
Heel to Toe Drop 5 mm 8 mm 4 mm 8 mm 10 mm
Midsole Material PROFLY PWRRUN PWRRUN Fresh Foam React foam
Sole Rubber Rubberized EVA XT-900 Foam with rubber inserts Ortholite Rubber
Upper Material Engineered mesh Engineered mesh Mesh Synthetic, mesh Synthetic mesh/recycled polyester
Width Options Normal Normal Normal, wide Narrow, normal, wide, extra wide Normal, extra wide
Sizes Available 7 - 14 7 - 15 7 - 15 6 - 20 6 - 18

Our Analysis and Test Results

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 excelled at keeping our legs fresh for our long runs. There is 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 makes this one of the more comfortable uppers we have tested. Some may find the plush cushioning less responsive than other light and fast trainers, but the added comfort greatly reduces fatigue. The only downside to this model is the lack of a more durable outsole, but we realize that this would increase the weight, which is a standout feature of this model.

Performance Comparison


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.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


Every step in the Mach 4 was pure comfort. We doubt there are many shoes in this weight category with 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. Normally, 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 compared to models 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 feels 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 equally compress the same amount of foam.

Premium cushion that is comfortable and responsive.
Premium cushion that is comfortable and responsive.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Responsiveness


For the amount of cushioning this model provides, we were impressed with the responsiveness. Part of this is due to the well-engineered foam, which has the right density to absorb but also has 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 good ground feel and quick turnover. 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.

The Hoka Mach 4 has surprising responsiveness given the amount of...
The Hoka Mach 4 has surprising responsiveness given the amount of cushion.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Upper Comfort


There isn't anything special about the upper found 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.


There is average arch support which felt sufficient given the low drop and weight which is meant to keep your foot in a more active position. There is a well-designed heel cup that 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.

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.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Lateral Stability and Support


Since there are no specific implemented support features that are found on some other shoes, we can only expect so much stability and support from a shoe this lightweight. 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.

A wide platform helps improve pooer stability due to high cushioning.
A wide platform helps improve pooer stability due to high cushioning.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Weight


We love the low weight of this shoe, and it's a joy to run in, lively and agile on your feet, and 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.


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.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Value


This model sits about average for an all-around trainer, and we are impressed with the value given all of the premium materials and comfort. While we do not anticipate this to last as long as a shoe that's many ounces heavier, we think this is a great value. Given the wide range of activities suitable with this model, we imagine you will get your money's worth across all of your different workouts.

Conclusion


If you are looking for premium comfort both with the cushioning and the upper, then we would highly recommend this model. We think Hoka did an awesome job creating an all-around trainer that will work well for your different workout types. There is plenty of cushion for longer efforts, but it's also lightweight enough that it will also work for your speed workouts. Running in this wider platform and ground feel drop of 5 millimeters make this shoe feel lively and confident. If you have been hesitating to try a higher cushioned model but still prefer the traditional responsive design, take a look at this model.

A top pick for its blend of high cushioning and responsive feel.
A top pick for its blend of high cushioning and responsive feel.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

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