Hoka Mach 4 VS Hoka Mach 5: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka One One Mach series has become a popular choice for runners seeking a responsive yet cushioned feel. The Mach 4 and Mach 5 represent Hoka’s latest models aimed at providing a smooth, lively ride for everything from daily training to faster sessions. This in-depth comparison breaks down the key similarities and differences between these two lightweight trainers.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Mach 4 and Mach 5:

ModelMach 4Mach 5
Launched In20212022
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5.5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5.5-11
Weight8.2 oz (Men’s 9), 7.1 oz (Women’s 7)7.6 oz (Men’s 9), 6.5 oz (Women’s 7)
CushionPROFLYTM foamPROFLY+ foam
OutsoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
MidsolePROFLYTM foamPROFLY+ foam
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$353$140

Features Comparison:

Materials

The Mach 4 and Mach 5 share similar durable rubber outsoles. However, the Mach 5 uses an updated PROFLY+ foam in the midsole compared to the PROFLY foam in the Mach 4.

Hoka Mach 4
MACH 4

Hoka Mach 5
MACH 5

This new foam gives the Mach 5 a softer, livelier cushioning feel. Both models feature flexible, breathable engineered mesh uppers for comfort. The Mach 5’s upper has a slightly roomier toe box.

Durability

While both shoes offer good durability from the solid rubber outsoles, early feedback suggests the Mach 5’s outsole may show wear quicker than the Mach 4’s in high-impact areas. The PROFLY+ foam should maintain its lively feel longer than standard EVA foams. The mesh uppers are also constructed to be long-lasting.

Fit

The engineered mesh uppers provide a secure midfoot lockdown with a comfortable toe box in both models. However, the Mach 5 has a slightly wider forefoot and toe box for a little more wiggle room.

HOKA MACH 4 TOP VIEW
MACH 4 TOP VIEW

Mach 5 Top View
MACH 5 TOP VIEW

Those with wider feet may find the Mach 5 accommodates swelling or splaying better during longer runs. Both have a medium-volume fit.

Stability

As neutral shoes, neither the Mach 4 nor Mach 5 offer pronation support features. The minimal 5mm drop and early-stage Meta-Rocker help guide the foot through a natural gait cycle. The external heel counters and secure uppers also ensure stability at faster paces.

Cushioning

The Mach 4 provides soft, responsive PROFLY cushioning that maintains liveliness over miles. The Mach 5’s PROFLY+ foam takes the experience a step further with greater bounce and energy return without sacrificing softness. This makes the Mach 5 the more cushioned option for quicker sessions and races.

Value

With a $353 retail price, the Mach 4 comes at a significant premium over the Mach 5’s $140 price tag. The Mach 4 does offer responsive PROFLY cushioning and quality construction in a lightweight package.

However, the Mach 5’s improved upper fit and lively PROFLY+ foam deliver an exceptional run experience at a much lower cost. For shoppers looking to get the most value, the Mach 5 is likely the better investment for versatile training with premium features.

Performance Comparison:

Walking

The Mach 4 and Mach 5 both offer a smooth walking stride thanks to the rockered sole shape. The cushioned midsoles keep feet comfortable on longer walks, though the firm heel counters may irritate some wearers. The breathable uppers help reduce heat and sweat buildup. Either model works well for walking routines, but the Mach 5 may feel slightly softer.

Running

For running, the Mach 5’s bouncier PROFLY+ foam provides better energy return for an effortless, propulsive stride. The Mach 4 feels dense underfoot by comparison.

Fast runners and those wanting snappy turnover will likely prefer the Mach 5 over the Mach 4 for faster training and races. Both suit recovery jogs thanks to the cushioning.

Plantar Fasciitis

The soft cushioning and rocker sole shape in both Mach models help reduce strain on the plantar fascia. However, the Mach 4 may feel slightly firmer for those needing more targeted arch support. Swapping the removable sock liner for an orthotic may optimize comfort. The Mach 5’s softer foam conforms better out of the box.

Standing All Day

The cushioned midsoles offer comfort for long periods of standing and walking in both models. However, performance shoes like the Mach are less suitable for all-day wear than lifestyle designs with more midfoot support. The firm heel counters and narrower midfoot also reduce all-day comfort somewhat.

Final Verdict:

For versatile training, the Hoka Mach 5 edges out the Mach 4 with its energetic PROFLY+ foam and smooth transition. However, on tighter budgets, the Mach 4 still provides responsive cushioning in a lightweight build.


The Mach 5 suits runners seeking soft, bounce-filled running. Go with the Mach 4 if you prefer a dense, stable feel for higher mileage training. Ultimately, choose the model offering the ride dynamic and fit you enjoy most!

Leave a comment