The Mach 5 is a race-day favorite, often hailed as one of the best HOKA running shoes. It’s a great alternative to a carbon-plated running shoe for racing in, as it’s so responsive, but offers much more comfort than your average speedy shoe.
But how versatile is the Mach 5, and does it stand up to the best running shoes out there? Let’s check it out…
HOKA Mach 5 technical details
Sizes: UK women’s 3.5-9.5
HOKA Mach 5 pro
- Responsive but versatile
- Chafe-free, comfy and relatively cushioned for a fast shoe
- Cheaper than other race shoes
HOKA Mach 5 cons
- No wide fit option as of yet
Who is this shoe for?
This isn’t a recovery shoe for long ploddy miles. That being said, there’s enough cushion under foot that you could definitely run longer distances in the Mach 5: you just might want to save it for quicker sessions or for race day itself. It looks fantastic, too, and has a less chunky sole than most HOKA shoes. There’s no carbon plate here, so if you’re after a super speedy PB you might be better opting for something like the HOKA Rocket X 2, but you could definitely run a fast race in these. Don’t be put off if you’re a slower runner, either: even though these are technically race shoes, I’m a plodder who loves wearing them for midweek tempo runs.
How does this shoe fit?
The HOKA Mach 5 is a relatively snug-fitting shoe – I found that a half size up was perfect for me. It’s also worth bearing in mind if you have wide feet that there’s currently no wide fit option available. I really got on with these shoes, though: once I’d found my perfect size they fit like a glove. I’d say there’s a little more support around the ankle here than with other similar shoes I’ve tried, like the HOKA Kawana.
Is this shoe comfortable?
I wasn’t expecting nearly as much comfort from the Mach 5 and was pleasantly surprised. HOKA are infamous for plus, maximalist shoes – but I was thrown off the scent by the smaller sole and promise of speed. The foam underfoot is indeed firmer and lighter than other HOKA models, but I found it really comfortable. The gusseted tongue sits flush to my foot and is barely noticeable and the sockliner feels soft and didn’t chafe or rub at all.
HOKA Mach 5 running review
I took the Mach 5 for a spin during one of my midweek runs – a slightly speedier 3K round the park. They fit really well from the off, and they definitely put a spring in my step as I pounded the pavements. The PROFLY midsole gives a nice bounce to an otherwise relatively cushioned sole. This is a responsive shoe for tempo running, but can definitely be used for slower-paced runs, too.
I wouldn’t opt for these for a recovery run, but I found them comfortable enough that I also took them out on a 5K plod later in the week. There’s definitely a bit of pace to the ride that makes speedier runs feel a bit more natural in them, but I quickly found my rhythm and discovered that they were versatile enough to wear for longer runs, too.
Don’t be put off buying these if you’re a slower runner: they can definitely be used for more gentle runs or races, and you’ll find them vital when it comes to powering your technical running, too. Comfort is still key with the Mach 5: but they also have enough propulsion to help you smash a PB or speed target.
Mach 5 vs Mach 4
The Mach 5 is a little pricier than the HOKA Mach 4 (£125), which might be a strike against it for some. It’s also a hair heavier, though I would argue that this isn’t noticeable: if anything, the Mach 5 somehow feels lighter than its previous iteration. There’s also more bounce and more energy return, turning this from a fast shoe into a potential race-day shoe.
Where can I buy this shoe?
You can find the Mach 5 on the HOKA website.