Hoka Cielo X1 VS Mach 6: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for your next pair of trainers, you may be trying to decide between the Hoka Cielo X1 and the Hoka Mach 6. Both are premium running shoes from Hoka One One’s lightweight performance line.

In this in-depth comparison, we’ll look at the key features of each model to help you determine which is the better choice for your running needs. Read on for a breakdown of cushioning, stability, weight, price, and more.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Mach 6 And Cielo X1:

SpecsHoka Cielo X1Hoka Mach 6
Launched In20242024
StabilityMedium stability features like a wider base and foam wallsNeutral shoe with no major stability features
FlexibilityFlexible rockered foam midsoleFlexible mesh upper and Profly+ foam midsole
SizingRuns small, size up 0.5 from usualTrue to size
Weight9.3 oz for men’s size 10Lightweight, exact weight not published
CushioningHigh stack of foam midsole for responsive cushioningProfly+ foam midsole provides resilient cushioning
OutsoleExposed lightweight foam with grooves for flexibilityRubber outsole with carbon rubber heel pad
MidsoleCurved carbon fiber plate and rockered foamProfly+ foam, lower profile than Cielo
UpperBreathable mesh with integrated tongueEngineered mesh upper for ventilation
Retail Price$275$140

Feature Comparison:

Materials:

The Hoka Cielo X1 uses a high stack of lightweight foam for the midsole along with a rockered shape for smooth transitions. The outsole utilizes exposed foam with grooves cut into it to promote flexibility. The upper is an engineered mesh for breathability.

Hoka Cielo X1
CIELO X1

MACH 6
MACH 6

The Mach 6 also has a foam midsole but uses Hoka’s Profly+ material which is softer and more resilient. Its outsole combines exposed foam with a rubber heel pad for durability.

The upper on the Mach 6 is a seamless engineered mesh for ventilation during runs. The Mach 6 has an overall simpler construction with fewer structural elements like the carbon plate in the Cielo X1. This helps reduce weight but may sacrifice some responsiveness.

Durability:

Both the Cielo X1 and Mach 6 are built with lightweight performance in mind, so they may not be as durable as a heavier daily trainer. However, the Mach 6 does have some advantages that suggest better durability. The rubber heel pad helps protect the rear of the shoe from wear and adds traction.

The Profly+ foam midsole is designed to maintain its bounce for longer than standard EVA foams. Testers noted the outsole rubber wore quickly on the Cielo X1, likely due to the exposed foam.

The Cielo X1’s upper fits very snugly and some experienced tears around the seams. The Mach 6’s seamless upper has greater structure to withstand miles. For runners prioritizing durability, the Mach 6 is likely the safer bet to go the distance.

Fit:

The Hoka Cielo X1 runs quite small and has a narrow fit, especially in the toe box. Most testers recommend sizing up at least half a size from your usual. The midfoot wrap and integrated tongue create a very snug fit overall, almost to the point of constriction for some with wider feet.

Hoka Cielo X1 TOP VIEW
CIELO X1 TOP VIEW

MACH 6 TOP VIEW
MACH 6 TOP VIEW

The ankle opening is also on the narrow side. In contrast, the Mach 6 runs true to size for most runners. It offers a little more room through the forefoot and midfoot for a comfortable secure hold. The engineered mesh upper has just enough stretch to adapt to different foot shapes.

Both models have minimal heel slippage thanks to the padded collars locking the heel in place. For those with wider feet or who prefer more wiggle room, the Hoka Mach 6 will likely provide a better fit and comfort.

Stability:

The Cielo X1 provides some subtle stability elements, like its wide base, foam sidewalls, and curved bottom shape to help guide foot motion. However, this is still considered a neutral shoe.

Runners who need pronation support may want an additional orthotic insole. The Mach 6 offers no pronation correction features, giving it a very natural and free sensation underfoot. The meta-rocker curved outsole encourages smoother transitions through the gait cycle.

Neither shoe offers much torsional stability or arch support for overpronators. The Cielo X1 would be the better pick for runners requiring just a touch more stability in a speed shoe, while the Mach 6 gives an utterly unrestrained ride.

Cushioning:

With its high-stack curved rocker midsole and responsive carbon plate, the Cielo X1 delivers soft landings without feeling mushy or slow. Testers found the energetic return made this shoe shine on fast runs or long distances at steady paces.

The Mach 6’s Profly+ foam has slightly more bounce to it according to wearers. The sculpted shape of the foam midsole creates a smooth rolling sensation underfoot.

The lower profile puts you closer to the ground for stability though with less plushness than the Cielo X1. Cushion-seeking runners found the Mach 6 has enough shock absorption for marathons and fast-paced training without excessive softness. Both perform well cushioning-wise, so choosing likely comes down to personal preferences for a higher stack (Cielo X1) or closer road feel (Mach 6).

Value:

The Cielo X1 has a retail price of $275, while the Mach 6 costs $140. Given the Mach 6’s versatility, durability, and smooth cushioned ride, it provides better value for the price compared to the Cielo X1.

Though the Cielo X1 delivers energetic responsiveness, its high price tag along with potential fit and durability issues make the Mach 6 the more sensible value buy for most runners. At nearly half the price, the Mach 6 gives you excellent performance without breaking the bank.

Performance Comparision:

Walking:

The Mach 6 would be the better choice for walking use. Its comfortable seamless upper and flexible low-profile midsole allow natural foot motion for full-day wear.

The exposed foam outsole provides grip even when walking slowly. The Cielo X1’s plate and rocker midsole make it too stiff for regular walking use, and the snug fit could become uncomfortable over long distances.

The Mach 6 has enough cushioning for walking on hard surfaces like concrete though less plushness than a dedicated walking shoe. Overall, the Mach 6 can pull daily walking duty while the Cielo X1 is solely optimized for running.

Running:

As high-performing trainers, both models excel at faster road running workouts and races from 5K to the marathon distance. The Cielo X1 invites you to turn up the pace with its responsive carbon plate and energetic midsole.

Meanwhile, the Mach 6 offers a smooth, steady ride that can comfortably go the distance or pick up speed. Most testers found the Mach 6 slightly lighter and cooler on the foot, while the Cielo X1 felt slightly bouncier underfoot.

For neutral runners prioritizing speed and energy return, either shoe would make an excellent racing choice over traditional daily trainers.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The Cielo X1’s soft and rockered midsole helps take pressure off the plantar fascia and reduce pain from the condition. However, the snug fit could potentially irritate the plantar fascia over time.

The Mach 6 offers a roomier and more flexible fit that better accommodates orthotics or medical devices like night splints. The ample Profly+ cushioning also protects feet from shock without being overly soft or unstable. For runners specifically needing a shoe for plantar fasciitis, the Hoka Mach 6 seems preferable over the Cielo X1.

Standing All Day:

Similar to walking, the Mach 6 is the better option if you’ll be on your feet all day without much activity like running. The breathable upper keeps feet cool and comfortable without constricting as the Cielo X1 might.

The modest midsole cushioning balances shock absorption with ground stability for extended wear. The outsole rubber also provides traction and durability while standing in place or walking around frequently.

Nurses, retail employees, or anyone else needing a supportive shoe for standing should consider the versatile Mach 6 over the performance-focused Cielo X1.

Final Verdict:

In the end, choosing between these two great Hoka shoes comes down to your intended uses and preferences. The Cielo X1 is ideal for runners who want high-speed cushioning and an incredibly

responsive ride for racing or fast training. Its sleek look and integrated design match the fast feel. However, the snug fit and potential durability issues are drawbacks to consider.


The Mach 6 offers a more versatile fast shoe in a simpler package. It provides a smooth run across different paces and distances, though with less bounce than the Cielo X1.

The cushioning and secure fit make it a better choice for activities like walking and standing all day. And the Mach 6 costs considerably less than the premium-priced Cielo X1.

For most runners shopping for a lightweight trainer in Hoka’s performance lineup, the Mach 6 makes the most sense combining speed, comfort, durability, and value. But if you prioritize the most energetic responsive ride above all else, the Cielo X1 delivers an unbeatable fast sensation underfoot to propel your next PR.

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