Shoe Review: Hoka One One Mach

Hoka's newest performance trainer is one of its best shoes yet

Hoka One One Mach

Price: $140

Specs: Men’s (size 9): 19mm (forefoot), 24mm (heel), 5mm heel-toe offset; Women’s (size 7): 17mm (forefoot), 22mm (heel), 5mm heel-toe offset.

Weight: Men’s (size 9): 8.2 oz. Women’s (size 7): 6.7

The Scoop: Since its inception less than a decade ago, Hoka’s aim has been largely focused around developing performance-oriented shoes with maximal cushioning—even and especially with its shoes geared for fast-paced running. Like the original Clayton speed shoe it replaced in the Hoka line, the Mach has a light-and-fast feel and an energetic ride. Also like the Clayton, the Mach is built on a very responsive dual-density midsole (that’s slightly softer in the heel and midfoot and slightly firmer in the forefoot), and a full-length blended rubber/EVA outsole layer that provides additional cushion, durability and a soft feeling at touch-down. A “rockered” (or slightly rounded) profile helps quicken and smooth out the heel-toe transition. It all adds up to a softened impact at the rearfoot/midfoot (depending on where the ground is contacted), followed by a jolt of responsive energy that kicks in as the foot rolls forward through the toe-off phase.

Who’s it best for? Runners who like a lightweight and responsive shoe will love the feel and performance-oriented ride of the Mach. It’s more fluid and slightly lighter than the Clayton, and the cushioning isn’t marshmallowy like some of Hoka’s other shoes. While the foam midsole/outsole package doesn’t feel quite as energetic as some of the new foams in the marketplace like Boost (Adidas) or React (Nike), it is lighter and that counts for a lot when it comes to fast-cadence running. Our wear-testers pegged this shoe as a great speed-oriented performance trainer (tempo runs, fartlek workouts, progression runs), but a few also suggested they’d like it as an everyday trainer, too, because it offers such a sublime combination of mildly soft cushion and lightweight sensation. (Consider that this shoe is about 1.5 oz. lighter than the Clifton 4 everyday trainer from Hoka.)

Plus: The upper is made from two types of durable knit mesh, a closed-knit pattern in the rear for structure and support and an open-knit pattern across the midfoot and forefoot for breathability.

Minus: The Mach is built on an oversized frame to offer more stability, which it does. But our wear-testers with narrower feet reported that the fit was a little bit sloppy unless the laces were tightened down maximally.

Brian Metzler

Brian Metzler is the Content Director of MotivRunning.com. He was the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, a senior editor for Running Times and the editor in chief of Competitor. He’s wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of running shoes, raced every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, has finished three Ironman triathlons and enjoys the quirky sport of pack burro racing.