Hoka Mach 4 VS Hoka Rincon 3: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for your next pair of daily trainers, the Hoka Mach 4 and Rincon 3 should be on your shortlist. Both of these lightweight, cushioned shoes from Hoka One One offer a responsive and comfortable ride.

But with differences in cushioning, stability, and pricing, which model is better for you? Read on as we compare the key features and performance of the Mach 4 vs Rincon 3.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Mach 4 and Rincon 3:

FeaturesMach 4Rincon 3
Launched In20212021
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateFlexible
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight8 oz.7.8 oz.
CushionPROFLY foamLightweight foam
OutSoleRubberized foamRubberized foam
Mid SolePROFLY foamLightweight foam
Upper SoleEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$353$125

Features Comparison

Materials

The Mach 4 and Rincon 3 have several similarities when it comes to materials. Both shoes use an engineered mesh upper sole for a breathable and flexible feel. Rubberized foam is utilized for the responsive cushioning in the outsole. However, the midsoles differ. The Mach 4 incorporates Hoka’s PROFLY foam in the midsole. This provides a soft and energetic ride.

Hoka Mach 4
MACH 4

rincon 3
RINCON 3

The Rincon 3 uses a more generic lightweight foam in its midsole. While also responsive, it isn’t quite as cushioned as the PROFLY foam. The Mach 4’s PROFLY foam and well-balanced use of materials overall give it a slight edge when comparing constructions.

Durability

When it comes to durability, the Mach 4 does seem to have a leg up on the Rincon 3. The high-quality PROFLY foam in the Mach 4’s midsole retains its cushioning and bounce for longer compared to the Rincon 3’s lightweight midsole foam.

The outsole rubber of the Mach 4 also appears to be more hardy and long-lasting than the Rincon 3’s outsole. Several user reviews mention the Mach 4 outsole showing barely any wear after over 200 miles, while the Rincon 3 tends to exhibit quicker degradation.

Both shoes have breathable engineered mesh uppers that should deliver reasonable durability. However, the more robust PROFLY foam and rubberized outsole of the Mach 4 give it the advantage of longevity over the lifespan of the shoe.

Fit

The Mach 4 and Rincon 3 have very similar true-to-size fit in both the heel and midfoot. For sizing, both models are available in the standard D medium width for men and B medium width for women.

Since neither model comes in wide sizes, they may not be suitable for runners with wider feet. When it comes to the toe box, the Mach 4 seems to fit slightly more generously and allow a little more wiggle room and toe splay. Its supple mesh upper molds comfortably around the foot.

HOKA MACH 4 TOP VIEW
MACH 4 TOP VIEW

rincon 3 top view
RINCON 3 TOP VIEW

The Rincon 3’s engineered mesh upper is also quite comfortable but fits a little more snugly, especially in the toe box. When comparing fit overall, the Mach 4’s extra room in the toe box gives it a small advantage for accommodating wider feet. But both shoes should fit most runners’ feet well with their secure midfoot wrap and standard width offerings.

Stability

Stability is very similar in the Mach 4 and Rincon 3. Both are neutral running shoes best suited for runners with medium to high arches and an efficient stride. The midsoles of the two shoes provide a good balance of responsive cushioning without too much compression or instability.

The engineered mesh uppers also deliver a dialed-in midfoot wrap to secure the foot over the shoe platform. One subtle difference is the 10mm drop in the Mach 4 compared to the lower 5mm drop in the Rincon 3.

Typically a lower drop shoe like the Rincon 3 enhances natural stability, while a higher drop platform like the Mach 4 tends to be a bit less stable. However, the overall shoe constructions and neutral classifications make both suitable choices for neutral runners without the need for pronation control.

Cushioning

Cushioning is a key area where these shoes differ. The Mach 4’s PROFLY foam midsole provides plush, lightweight cushioning from heel to toe. The energetic foam bounces back quickly and delivers long-lasting comfort over miles.

The Rincon 3’s more basic EVA foam midsole has a firmer feel that lacks the energetic softness of the PROFLY. While the Rincon 3 still provides decent responsive cushioning, the Mach 4 wins out in delivering an ultra-soft ride.

The additional midsole foam of Mach 4 also contributes to its higher 10mm drop versus the lower 5mm drop of the more minimally cushioned Rincon 3. For runners wanting maximum cushion and shock absorption without extra weight, the Mach 4 is the clear winner between the two.

Value for Money

At their current retail prices, the Mach 4 costs $353 while the Rincon 3 comes in at $125. This makes the Rincon 3 the clear winner when it comes to value. The Rincon 3 costs $228 less than the Mach 4 – a significant difference in price.

Even though the Mach 4 may have slightly more durable materials with its PROFLY foam midsole, it is difficult to justify paying over 2.5 times more for the Mach 4 compared to the Rincon 3.

Performance Comparison

For Walking

Both the Mach 4 and Rincon 3 perform well for walking, thanks to their flexible mesh uppers and cushioned midsoles. The Mach 4’s extra PROFLY foam provides a plusher feel underfoot that helps absorb impact with each step.

Its higher drop gives a smoother heel-to-toe transition during the walking gait cycle. The Rincon 3 is also comfortable for walking, though the firmer foam is noticed more compared to the Mach 4. For all-day wear, while running errands or traveling, the Mach 4 would be the pick for its superior cushioning.

For Running

As their model names imply, the Mach 4 and Rincon 3 are both designed as running shoes. The Mach 4’s PROFLY foam and rockered geometry make it a great choice for high-mileage training and tempo days. There’s plenty of energetic snap to turn over the miles.

The Rincon 3 is also a solid lightweight trainer, though better suited for shorter distances due to its minimalist foam. The Mach 4 has the edge for extended road running thanks to its durable materials and softer ride that won’t break down as quickly. The Rincon 3 works fine for shorter runs but doesn’t have the luxury cushion and pop for miles on miles.

For Plantar Fasciitis

For runners dealing with plantar fasciitis, the Mach 4 is the clear winner between these two models. Its PROFLY foam midsole does an excellent job absorbing shock and reducing pressure on the sensitive heel and arches. The plush cushioning softens every step.

Meanwhile, the Rincon 3’s thinner foam midsole doesn’t alleviate pressure as effectively. Its lower drop also puts more strain on the plantar fascia versus the Mach 4’s higher heel design.

While neither shoe is specifically engineered for plantar fasciitis like a motion control model, the superior cushioning of the Mach 4 makes it better for minimizing the common symptoms of heel and arch pain.

For Standing All Day

Similar to walking, the Mach 4 outperforms the Rincon 3 for standing all-day comfort. It has much more cushioning in the heel and forefoot to combat fatigue, along with a flexible mesh upper that allows the feet to relax.

The Rincon 3’s thinner and firmer midsole foam starts to feel hard and uncomfortable during extended periods of standing. Its snugger toe box also lends less wiggle room. For workers on their feet for long shifts, whether healthcare, retail or hospitality, the Mach 4 is clearly the better option of the two.

Final Verdict

In the battle of the Mach 4 versus Rincon 3, the Mach 4 comes out ahead in several key categories. Its PROFLY foam midsole provides a softer, bouncier ride with increased durability over the basic EVA foam in the Rincon 3. The Mach 4 also offers slightly more room in the toe box and all-around superior cushioning.


While it costs $10 more, the Mach 4 justifies it with greater longevity and underfoot comfort. The areas where the Rincon 3 prevails are its flexibility and lighter 7.8 oz weight (though only 0.2 oz less than the Mach 4). It can also save you $10 upfront.

Overall, for runners wanting maximized cushioning for longer distances and durability for hundreds of miles, the Mach 4 is the winner between the two. But the Rincon 3 still delivers a comfortable and smooth ride for lower mileage at an affordable price point.

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