The Hoka One One Mach 5 provides ample 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: Our team updated this gear review on October 12, 2022, to showcase the latest version of the Hoka Mach series, the Mach 5.
Hoka One One Mach 5 Review
Cons: Less responsive, lacks rubber outsole
Manufacturer: Hoka One One
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Hoka One One Mach 5
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|Pros||Lightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upper||Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweight||Responsive, fast, lightweight, affordable||Stable, supportive, comfortable upper||Responsive, snappy feel, performance fit upper|
|Cons||Less responsive, lacks rubber outsole||Minimal support and stability||Minimal support, lacks outsole rubber||Stiff, heavier, less breathable||Stiff outsole, lacks arch support, tight toe-box, slightly heavy|
|Bottom Line||These lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upper||Excellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upper||This affordable ultralight model allows for maximum turnover which provides a snappy and quick feeling||If you're looking for a supportive and stable shoe with a comfortable upper, this is the model for you||A classic model that is fast and responsive with great energy transfer and a performance fit upper|
|Rating Categories||Hoka One One Mach 5||Saucony Endorphin S...||Saucony Kinvara 13||Brooks Adrenaline G...||Nike Air Zoom Pegas...|
|Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)|
|Upper Comfort (20%)|
|Lateral Stability and Support (15%)|
|Specs||Hoka One One Mach 5||Saucony Endorphin S...||Saucony Kinvara 13||Brooks Adrenaline G...||Nike Air Zoom Pegas...|
|Weight (per shoe, size 9.5)||8.0 oz||8.3 oz||7.3 oz||10.4 oz||9.5 oz|
|Heel to Toe Drop||5 mm||8 mm||4 mm||12 mm||10 mm|
|Midsole Material||PROFLY+||PWRRUN||EVA||EVA||React foam|
|Sole Rubber||Rubberized EVA||XT-900||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber|
|Upper Material||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh||Engineered Mesh||Mesh||Mesh|
|Width Options||Normal||Normal||Normal||Normal, Wide||Normal|
|Sizes Available||7 - 14||7 - 15||7 - 15||7 - 15||6 - 18|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hoka One One Mach 5 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. The wide platform and 5-millimeter drop also help your foot land in a neutral position, great for easy runs where your legs are more relaxed.
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, 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.
Cushioning and Landing Comfort
Every step in the Mach 5 is pure comfort. We doubt many shoes in this weight category have such luxurious comfort and cushioning. This model provides soft underfoot compression with each foot strike that reduces impact and left us feeling free of fatigue during our training runs. Long runs in this model are a joy. 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 a low heel-to-toe drop.
While the cushioning is on the higher side than the other 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 feels tiring and heavy. This cushioning seems 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.
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 works great with the responsive design, allowing for a good ground feel and quick turnover.
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 too loose nor too constrained. The tongue on this model is thin compressive material that is one of the better we've seen.
The average arch support feels sufficient given the low heel-to-toe drop and low 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. The minimalism of the upper provides great breathability and fast drying times. The semi-stretch laces also provide compression but also provide some elasticity to the arch support.
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 such 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 holds the heel more firmly in place. It also is worth mentioning that this stack height is smaller than most, making for the potential to have less torque on your ankles if you get out of line. Some of the more rockered sole designs can be comfortable but can also create stability issues due to their higher stack heights. In our testing, those shoes which stabilize the heel generally feel most stable and supportive. We think this would be great for most people without stability issues.
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.
We love the low weight of this shoe, and it's a joy to run in as it's lively and agile with great cushioning.
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.
Should You Buy the Hoka One One Mach 5?
If you seek premium comfort with great cushioning and a simple 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 cushioning for longer runs, but it's also light enough for speed workouts. The wider platform and shorter 5-millimeter heel-to-toe drop make this shoe feel lively and confident. If you have yet to try a Hoka product, we would recommend starting with this great middle-ground design that has a compromise between responsiveness and comfort.
What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?
For those seeking maximum support and stability, we suggest looking into the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22, which provides some of the best support and stability across all of the running shoes we tested. Those looking for something a bit lighter should consider the Saucony Kinvara 13 or our Editors' Choice Saucony Endorphin Speed 3.
— Matthew Richardson
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