The Hoka Mach 5 is an everyday road runner that makes subtle but smart changes for a more refined experience. The fit is snug and comfortable, and the ride is just a little more responsive thanks to Hoka's new lighter midsole foam. If you've not tried a pair of Hokas before, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by just how comfortable and easy-going the Mach 5 is. Highly recommended.
Snug, secure fit
Soft and responsive midsole foam
Well engineered tongue and collar
Smooth motion-controlled ride
Outsole not exceptionally grippy
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Hoka Mach 5 first impressions
The Hoka Mach 5 is a lightweight daily road running shoe that makes small but thoughtful changes to the Mach 4. The biggest difference is the addition of Hoka's new Profly+ midsole foam, resulting in a shoe that feels both lighter and more responsive than its predecessor (our UK size 9 shoe tipped the scale at a mere 229g each).
• List price: $140 / £130
• Weight: 8.1oz / 229g (women's UK 9)
• Sizes: men's 6.5 - 13.5, women's 3.5 - 9.5 (UK)
• Colors: Radiant yellow / evening primrose, white / scuba blue, black/ castlerock, mountain spring / puffin's bill, white / copper (men's); baby lavender / summer song, white / scuba blue, black / castlerock, camellia / peach parfait, white / copper (women's)
• Compatibility: Everyday road running
This is a neutral shoe, but still offers Hoka's trademark motion control, encouraging your foot to roll naturally from strike to toe-off. The outsole is firm, and although the heel isn't as pronounced as that of the Hoka Bondi X, it's still outsized with a slight swallowtail shape that encourages your foot to roll smoothly from strike to toe-off.
The upper is made from a jacquard engineered mesh, which is breathable but provides a snug cocoon for your foot (different width options mean everyone should be able to get a comfortably close fit that's not too tight), and the collar is fairly high for additional support.
This is also an attractive shoe, available in a range of soft, summery colorways that don't scream for attention like many of the road shoes we've seen so far in 2022, making it feel more wearable for everyday training runs.
Hoka Mach 5 on the road
The overall fit of the Hoka Mach 5 is snug and secure, and during runs I particularly appreciated the shoe's high collar, which hugs your heel beautifully, but flares out enough to avoid ever digging into your Achilles.
The shoe is available in regular and wide, and the length feels true to size. The toebox offers ample space, but not so much your foot will be rattling around inside. The flat laces are slightly ridged for extra grip, and have plenty of length for creating a heel lock to make triply sure that your shoes don't budge.
The tongue is thin, with a carefully placed dab of padding on top, and comes a little higher up the foot than those of some other Hoka shoes. This prevents the problem we've sometimes experienced where firm lacing results in the shoe feeling uncomfortably tight across the top of the foot. Perforated gusseting keeps the tongue in place and helps prevent ingress of stones and dirt, without making the shoe feel stuffy.
The upper is a little thicker than we might have expected, and seems ever so slightly sturdier than that of the Mach 4, but I appreciated the extra protection and it feels like it'll be more durable in the long run.
There are currently no signs of excessive wear on either the upper or the outsole, which provides decent grip in both wet and dry conditions. It might feel a little slippery on smooth surfaces in the rain, but that's true of the vast majority of road shoes; for particularly foul weather, you might be well advised to try one of the best road-to-trail running shoes instead.
Although the Mach 5 features Hoka's signature rocker design, it's relatively subtle and doesn't dominate the ride as you run. There's no feeling of aggressive forward propulsion, despite the rigid feel of the sole.
The foam midsole provides plenty of soft cushioning, but not so much that the shoe feels unsteady at low speeds. This is a great all-rounder for any kind of training session, and although I'd prefer something with a little more zip for race days, the Hoka Mach 5 has proved excellent for everything from short evening sessions to putting in long miles at the weekend.
Where we tested the Hoka Mach 5
This out-and-back route takes you through two former railways tunnels, which have now been repurposed into dual-use pedestrian and cycle paths. The tunnels are pleasantly cool in summer and mild in winter. The longest of the two is over a mile long and illumination is limited to help avoid disturbing wildlife, so lights are essential whether you're riding or running.
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
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