Hoka Mach 5 VS Mach X: 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 One One Mach 5 and the Mach X. Both shoes offer responsive cushioning and a breathable upper in a lightweight package.

Keep reading to see how these two popular Hoka models stack up across critical performance factors like fit, stability, durability, and more. This in-depth comparison will help you determine which shoe is the better choice for your unique running needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Mach 5 and Hoka Mach X:

FeatureHoka Mach 5Hoka Mach X
Launched In20222023
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingRuns true to sizeRuns 0.5 size small
Weight8.2 oz (M), 7.0 oz (W)7.8 oz (M), 6.6 oz (W)
CushionProFly+ProFly+
OutsoleDurabrasion rubberDurabrasion rubber
MidsoleProFly+ProFly+
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$140$180

Features Comparison

Materials

The upper on both the Mach 5 and Mach X is made of a lightweight engineered mesh that offers breathability. However, the Mach X’s upper may be slightly more durable than the Mach 5’s.

Hoka Mach 5
MACH 5

MACH X
MACH X

In terms of midsole cushioning, both shoes use Hoka’s responsive ProFly+ foam. This provides a good balance of softness and energy return. The Mach X has a slightly thicker midsole stack height for extra cushioning.

On the outsole, both models utilize Hoka’s durable Durabrasion rubber in a waffle pattern. This provides grip and traction on various surfaces. The Mach X’s outsole rubber may be a bit more hardy than the Mach 5’s.

Overall, the materials used on the two shoes are quite similar, with the Mach X having a potential edge in durability from the upper material and outsole rubber. But both shoes use high-quality components.

Durability

Regarding durability, the Mach X seems to have a slight advantage over the Mach 5. The Mach X’s engineered mesh upper holds up well over time, with few reports of tearing or breakdown. The outsole rubber also remains hardy even after considerable mileage.

The Mach 5 is not quite as durable, particularly in the outsole. The waffle rubber on Mach 5 tends to show significant wear and tear after as little as 100 miles for some runners. The upper is decently durable but can develop small tears.

So while both shoes are well constructed using quality materials, the Mach X seems to win out in the durability category by a bit thanks to its sturdier upper material and more resilient outsole rubber. Runners looking for a shoe to stand up to heavy mileage will likely get more miles out of the Mach X.

Fit

In terms of fit and sizing, there are some key differences between the two models. The Mach 5 runs true to size for most runners, with a medium width through the toe box and midfoot. It accommodates narrow to medium-width feet well.

Mach 5 Top View
MACH 5 TOP VIEW

MACH X TOP VIEW
MACH X TOP VIEW

The Mach X, on the other hand, fits about a half size small. So runners will likely need to size up half a size from their normal shoe size in the Mach X. The Mach X also has a slightly wider toe box than the Mach 5, so it can better accommodate wider feet.

Both shoes have a moderate heel counter and padded ankle collar for a comfortable, locked-in fit at the heel. The Mach X may have a bit more volume and room for those needing a wider shoe. The Mach 5 offers a more precise fit for narrower feet. Trying both models to assess the fit and sizing is recommended.

Stability

In terms of stability, the Mach 5 and Mach X are fairly evenly matched. They are both neutral shoes so they will work for runners with neutral pronation or mild overpronation.

The midsole foam in both shoes does not compress excessively, providing a stable platform without too much softness. The 5mm heel drop also promotes a more natural foot strike.

Additionally, both shoes have an external TPU heel counter that locks the heel in place, along with moderate arch support for stability. The engineered mesh upper supplies structure without rigidity as well.

When comparing the two, the Mach X may have a slight stability edge thanks to its slightly wider platform and thicker midsole foam that resists compression a bit better. But overall, both models offer decent stability for neutral runners without an excessive or sloppy feel underfoot.

Cushioning

For cushioning, Mach 5 and Mach X again have a lot of similarities thanks to their ProFly+ foam midsoles. This lightweight, responsive foam provides a good balance of softness for impact protection and firmness for energy return.

The Mach X does have 2mm more cushioning thickness in the heel compared to the Mach 5, giving it a plusher feel for heel strikers. But both shoes have ample cushioning for long miles without being mushy or unstable.

The low 5mm drop promotes softer landings while still allowing for natural foot motion. The profly+ foam maintains its cushioning properties and bounces even over many miles.

Overall, most runners should find the cushioning comfortable and responsive in both models. The Mach X takes a slight lead with its extra 2mm of heel cushioning, providing a plusher feel for recovery days or long, easy runs. But the Mach 5 still delivers a well-balanced cushioned ride.

Value

When considering value, the Mach 5 has a leg up as the more affordable option at a $140 retail price. This makes it a great option for runners who want Hoka’s quality without the premium price tag.

The Mach X costs $180, with a $40 difference per pair. While the Mach X may be slightly more durable and well-cushioned, the Mach 5 still delivers responsive cushioning and a breathable fit for $40 less.

The Mach 5 can often be found on sale for under $100, making it even more budget-friendly. It provides great value by delivering core Hoka technologies like the ProFly+ foam and engineered mesh upper at an accessible price point.

For runners on a tighter budget or not looking to spend over $150 on a trainer, the Mach 5 provides greater overall value. But the Mach X is also reasonably priced for the performance it delivers for runners willing to spend more for maximized durability and plush cushioning.

Performance Comparison:

Walking

For walking, both the Mach 5 and Mach X perform well thanks to their responsive cushioning. The profly+ foam provides shock absorption and energy return to put a spring in your step.

The Mach X may have a slight edge for walking thanks to its extra midsole cushioning. Its plush heel adds comfort for long walks, and the stable build prevents excess foot fatigue. But the Mach 5 also supplies ample cushioning for all-day wear, making walking in both shoes an enjoyable experience.

Running

For running, experienced testers give the advantage to Mach X for its highly responsive ProFly+ foam and smooth transition. The Mach X offers an energetic toe-off while still attenuating impact forces.

The Mach 5 is also a solid choice for running, providing a lightweight and breathable option. But the Mach X seems to excel for varied running paces and distances thanks to its blend of softness and bounce. The extra midsole cushioning also helps reduce fatigue on long runs.

Plantar Fasciitis

For runners dealing with plantar fasciitis, both models provide good arch support from their molded EVA footbeds. However, the Mach X seems better equipped to handle this issue.

The Mach X’s extra heel and midsole cushioning help absorb shock that can aggravate the plantar fascia. Its wider fit also accommodates orthotics well. While the Mach 5 is decent, the Mach X is likely the better choice for combatting plantar fasciitis pain.

Standing All Day

For standing all day, the Mach X again seems preferable thanks to its plush heel cushioning and support. The Mach 5’s thinner midsole begins to pack out a bit with extended standing, while the Mach X maintains its cushy feel hour after hour.

Both models have the stability required to keep your feet comfortable when spending long hours on your feet. But the Mach X’s additional foam under the heel wins out for shock absorption when standing for extended periods.

Final Verdict

Overall, while both shoes have a lot of similarities, the Hoka Mach X emerges as the better option for runners willing to spend more for maximized durability, cushioning, and performance.

Its thicker ProFly+ midsole, durable upper, and resilient outsole rubber allow it to stand up to more miles while providing a plush, energetic ride. Though it runs small, ordering a half size up resolves the fit issue.


For runners on a tighter budget or with narrower feet, the Mach 5 is still a solid choice at $40 less. It delivers responsive cushioning in a lightweight, breathable package. Though not as plush or durable as the Mach X, the Mach 5 offers great value for daily training.

So consider your budget, fit needs, and mileage expectations as you choose between these two shoes. The Mach X is the high performer, while the Mach 5 gives you accessible quality. Try them on and test the fit to decide if the premium features of the Mach X are worth the extra investment for your running needs.

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