Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Hoka Mach 5 Multi Tester Review: Putting the Mach in Machine, a smooth, sleek, fun machine.

Article by Steve Gedwill and Peter Stuart

Hoka Mach 5 ($140)


Steve: Love at first flight ? I was excited to get my hands on the Hoka Mach 5 after logging a ton of miles in the Mach 4 which was one of my favorite trainers of last year. It’s like the new trendy IPA, bright, bold, and has you coming back for more! 

Right away you notice the lighter and more breathable upper, thinner tongue and a fantastic new colorway. I was really interested to see how this new Profly+ foam compared to the regular Profly midsole on the Mach 4. This shoe is touted to be a lightweight daily trainer that can also handle tempo work.

Peter: New versions of favorite shoes make me very nervous.  I, too, put tons of miles in the Mach 4 and really liked it a lot. The Mach 4 and the NB Rebel V2 were both shoes that I bought multiple pairs of last year running tons of miles in each of them. 

As many of us have experienced, sometimes a nearly perfect shoe gets iterated into being terrible. I mean the Adidas Boston 7 was sublime and, for me, it has gotten worse and worse every version.  

Anyway, I was nervously excited for the Mach 5, and even though I didn’t get a no cost review pair, I started to hear some rumblings from friends that they might be a really great daily trainer. I heard that they were a little softer than the Mach 4 and one dear friend even said they remind him of the amazing and long gone Adidas Boston 7. Okay, fine, I’ll buy a pair. How are they? Read on, reader, read on.


Lightweight, comfortable upper: Steve/Peter

Snappy fun ride: Steve/Peter

Cool new paint job: Steve/Peter


Grip in wet conditions: Steve

Long laces (really nit picking here): Steve

A little unforgiving after long miles: Peter


Official Weight: men's 8.2oz  / 232g (US9)  /  women's 6.8oz / 193g (US8)

  Sample: 9.15oz  /  260g (USM12)

Stack Height: men’s 29mm heel / 24mm forefoot : women’s  heel 27mm / 22mm forefoot

Available now including at our partners below.  $140

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Steve: The White/Scuba blue paint job was a match made in heaven for me (my nickname growing up was “Scuba Steve” after the action figure in the movie Big Daddy). Seriously though, these new colorways “Pop” just like the new Profly+ foam constructions. 

Left: Mach 5 Right: Mach 4

The new design lay-flat gusseted tongue is super light and has added protection where you secure the laces.  

The upper is magical, virtually disappearing on foot, made of a single layer engineered creel jacquard mesh. It is very comfortable, breathable and the fit is spot on and true to size for me. 

The heel collar feels secure and no issues with rubbing thus far. The upper molds to your foot shape and has solid lockdown. 

My foot shape leans a little on the narrow side, which requires me to pull the laces pretty tight. I almost feel like that was done on purpose to give a glove-like feel, and I could see this upper working for many foot shapes. 

I usually find Hoka’s to run long, but the Mach 4 and 5 both run true to size. 

Peter: We got the same colorway! Yay! The mesh looks more breathable and the thin tongue is a nice addition. Overall it’s a very good looking shoe. Hoka has really come a long way from where they started design-wise. 

The outsole foam and midsole foam are both softer to the touch  than the Mach 4 (the very scientific finger poke method of measurement) and the shoe feels a little more flexible and softer overall. 

The upper is true-to-size for me and fits beautifully. My laces weren’t particularly long and I haven’t had any issue locking my foot down in the Mach 5. This is one of those shoes that I just took out of the box, laced up and went for a 10 mile run in without having to adjust anything at any point. 


Steve: The midsole is just as stable as I remember the Mach 4 feeling, with a conservative stack height of 29mm heel/ 24mm forefoot compared to other popular trainers on the market. The big difference is the new Profly+ construction with a new lighter and softer resilient foam under the foot with rubberized foam midsole as outsole below. It  had me grinning ear to ear on my first run. The top foam layer is both noticeably softer on foot and on the run. We retain the same 5mm drop as the previous version which works well with my stride.  

Peter: It’s amazing what a few tweaks to foam density can do. The Profly+ foam is softer here than on the Mach 4 and the Supersonic  (as is the outsole EVA) and this winds up making the Mach 5 feel pretty different. The 5mm drop is nice. The midsole material here returns more energy, bounces a little better and is softer than on the Mach 4 and it changes the shoe–largely for the better. 


Steve: The outsole consists of a Rubberized EVA, which helps reduce weight. On a wet track things can get a little slick. The grip seems to be solid on dry roads, but this I fear will quickly decrease as the outsole shows wear early on (which was also the case on the Mach 4). 

Even just a small amount of added protection would go a long way. I still do not fully understand the hoof shaped heel which was also on the Mach 4 and Supersonic. 

Peter: The rubberized EVA outsole here is, again, noticeably softer than the outsole r on the Mach 4 or the Supersonic. The grip has been totally fine so far, but then again it hasn’t rained here in Texas for about 2 months, so I haven’t gotten these out in the rain. I didn’t have any major slip-n-slide problems in the Mach 4, though, so I’m not particularly concerned. I am seeing a little bit of wear on the outsole at 50 miles, but nothing out of hand. 


Steve: This is where the Mach 5 shines the brightest and stands above many. The new Profly+ midsole is an absolute treat to run in. I can already see the piles of dust collecting on my other daily trainers. The soft foam absorbs impact well and keeps your legs feeling pretty fresh. There is definitely more pop/bounce/responsiveness which makes this Mach more fun than ever! Even with the softer foam, I find it to be quite stable and capable of handling longer runs. The overall design of the outsole helps you roll through your stride, great for cruising easy miles and for speedwork if you want to pick up the pace.

Peter: Fun factor is very high here. The softer Profly+ and softer outsole combine to make for a very comfortable and energetic ride. There’s more bounce here than on the Mach 4 and it’s an overall more enjoyable ride for me. I’m finding the Mach 5 to be excellent on easy days and tempo days alike. It’s an extremely versatile shoe that is stable , corners nicely, returns energy from the road and doesn’t leave me feeling beat up. It may be just a hair too little shoe for some folks when they get up over 12 miles in them, but I’ve really enjoyed all of my runs in them. They ride like a more stable, slightly less bouncy version of a Rebel V2–or a softer and more fun version of a Hoka Mach 4. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Steve: Every easy run has me reaching to strap on these little jets. I have these on my short list for daily trainer of the year! The new midsole foam is the improvement I dreamed of from the Mach 4. The added spring in my stride has me coming back for more! 

The lightweight design, comfortable upper and snappy ride gives me serious Endorphin Speed 2 vibes on a much more stable platform. I’m really loving these new colors on the Mach 5 and haven’t let myself take them out in the rain yet! These shoes cover a lot of runners , I am comfortable recommending these for a variety of paces and experience levels. If you are looking for a fun, lightweight trainer that can go the distance, the Mach 5 is worth the squeeze. 

Steve’s Score: 9.5/10 

Really my only negatives are the outsole grip/durability and the super long laces.

😊😊😊😊😊I give it the full 5 smiles, it’s a killer shoe. It puts the Mach in Machine, a smooth, sleek, fun machine.

Peter: Easily one of the best and most versatile daily trainers of the year. The Mach 5 takes all of the good stuff about the Mach 4, puts it in a more comfortable and breathable upper and improves the ride by making it more energetic and a little more forgiving. A strong update and a considerable improvement on an already excellent shoe. Strongly recommended. 

Peter’s Score: 9.8/10 

A nearly perfect shoe that may just have a little too much ground feel for some people. Versatile and worth trying. 

😊😊😊😊😊  Full 5. This is a laugh while you run shoe!


Hoka Mach 4 (RTR Review)

Steve: The Mach 4 has now become the less cool Uncle. The Mach 5 is the upgrade we all wanted. The Profly+ foam is softer and more forgiving. The Mach 4 felt firm at times and with less bounce it somehow made a lightweight shoe feel heavy? The upper on the Mach 5 is also a big improvement, more breathable, which is much needed in this summer heat. I thought highly of the Mach 4 (and still do) but the Mach 5 is just a better shoe. Men’s size 12 for both, fit is true to size.

Peter: The Mach 5 is the update I didn’t even know I wanted. The Mach 4 was great and I did tons of miles in them over several pairs. They did feel a little firm and perhaps a little inflexible, but I was a fan. The Mach 5 just blows the Mach 4 out of the water for me. A great, more breathable and more fun daily trainer ! The Mach 5 is very slightly heavier at 8.9 oz (M 11)  than the Mach 4 at 8.69 oz (M11) but feels lighter and did I mention more fun? 

Hoka Mach Supersonic (RTR Review)

Peter: The Supersonic was a bit of a miss for me. It was allegedly a tempo version of the Mach 4, but it was heavier (9.36 oz vs 8.69 for the Mach 4) and firmer. It wasn’t a joy to run in and, for me, wasn’t an improvement on the Mach 4 in any way. The Mach 5 is an infinitely more fun and peppier shoe. The top layer of midsole foam is much softer to the touch on the M5 as is the outsole foam. 

New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel v2 (RTR Review)

Steve: The NB Rebel v2 was one of my top choices for daily trainer of the year in 2021. The upper was a dream, but I found I needed to go a half size up. The upper on the Mach and the Rebel are similar in the sense that they disappear on foot. The Fuel Cell foam however is much softer and provides a bit more ground feel. The Mach is the more stable out of the two, but I think they are equally as fun to run in. Rebel Men’s 12.5, Mach 5 Men’s 12

Peter: I also loved the NB Rebel V2 and had to size up in them after I lost a couple of toenails in my first pair. The Mach 5 is more stable, but slightly less bouncy. It’s hard to go wrong with either of them. I’m still having fun in both. It will be interesting to see what the Rebel V3 is all about. 

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 (RTR Review)

Steve: I find te on foot feel to be very reminiscent of the Endorphin Speed. I do prefer the toe box construction on the Mach 5 though. On the run, they both provide a fun snappy ride and the lightness of the shoes disappears on foot. The Speed however has a Nylon Plate in the midsole, while the Mach 5 is plateless. This may give the Speed the advantage while picking up the pace, but don’t sleep on the Mach 5. The Speed is more durable, but the Mach 5 again wins in stability (I sound like a broken record here). I think both shoes are great options for a variety of paces and distances. Tested US Men’s 12.

ASICS Novablast 2 (RTR Review)

Peter: The Mach 5 is a slipper-like, fun and bouncy daily trainer and the Novablast is noone of those things. Feels kind of clunky and ponderous to me. Not a fan. 

Tester Profiles

About Steve: A former high school track runner, turned physique competitor that jumped back on the running scene. Currently running 20-30 miles per week in Chicago, my most recent race times are 36:07 for 8k and 47:12 10k. I am 6’0 175lbs and in my mid 30’s. I am a husband, dog dad, craft beer enthusiast and a big time run shoe geek! Instagram: @steve.runs.chicago

Peter lives in Austin, Texas and has been a sub 3 hour marathoner as well as a 1:21 half marathoner in recent years

Samples were personal purchases. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Anonymous said...

Will there be a comparison soon for rebel v3, novablast v3 and mach 5 at long run or marathon distance?

Anonymous said...

And the saucony endorphin speed 3. Thanks

Steve.runs.chicago said...


Anonymous said...

Exactly my thoughts, regarding comparisons (please more 2022 shoes, fewer 2021). Throw in Asics Evoride 3 and Noosa Tri 14. Thanks for the excellent work as always. Hard to stay on top of so many great shoes coming out

Anonymous said...

Great review! very interested to understand which is more stable, the upgraded Saucony Speed 3 or Hoka Mach 5?

Steve.runs.chicago said...

The Mach 5 gets the edge on stability, but the speed 3 is more stable than past versions of the Speed

Anonymous said...

The issue with these reviews is always durability. I won't buy any more Hokas unless ProFly+ proves to be more hardy than ProFly.

Anonymous said...

I’m also awaiting eagerly reports back on the Mach 5 durability from run testers. I loved the Mach 4 but by the time I hit 200 miles they were already dead and leaving my feeling like an injury was imminent. If they lasted the industry standard they would be a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

To echo what others have written and in hopes a manufacturing representative might read this, I won't ever buy a shoe like the Mach or the Rincon or the Kinerva, basically anything without roughly 90% rubber coverage on the tread. I look at the Machs,the Rincons, look at the crusty Vermont roads out my door and these Hokas wouldn't last a month.

Anonymous said...

Edit to add my earlier comment--
I ran a couple quick laps around town in pair Reebok Run Fast. Almost 2 full ounces lighter then the Mach 5 with full rubber coverage that bites concrete like a piranha. The idea of removing rubber to save weight is not a good design. I am more willing to believe these shoes are being designed with an accelerated rate of break down. Kinda like digital technology and planned obsolescence. I am not buying them for$140.
Rant over, I will get off my soapbox now.

Krischen said...

I would like to see some high quality rubber slapped on the bottom of the Mach. Lack of durability is becoming a major reputational problem for HOKA and they need to address the issue.