We ran in the new HOKA ONE ONE Mach 4 and this is what we thought
HOKA ONE ONE Mach 4 running shoe | £125
A quick look at the Mach 4 and, if you’re a bit of a trainer nerd (which we definitely are), then you’ll see its heritage immediately. Of course there’s that mega HOKA height, as you’d expect, but there are also clear relationships here with its siblings the Clifton 7, the Carbon X and the Rocket X.
But we’ll come to that later. First off, let’s figure out what this shoe is actually for. The Mach 4 has been designed for logging long miles – it’s your everyday workhorse running shoe, to keep you comfortable as you slowly up your mileage heading towards those race targets.
This fourth version of the much-loved shoe employs some of those design tweaks other shoes in the family have benefitted from, namely that new pull tab that you can see on the Clifton 7. We love this feature, as not only does it offer practical help, but that higher tab gives a lovely feeling of support around the Achilles.
And in terms of the sole, the Mach 4 has moved up a notch with its PROFLY midsole, paired with a rubberised EVA outsole – neither of which having much bearing on weight, as this is another light offering from the masters of maximalism. Plus, you also get that flared out heel, a learning that HOKA have taken from the Edge and moved into its mainstream range, giving ultimate impact protection as you pound down hill.
The upper has been given a makeover too, with engineered mesh for breathability and comfort, and stylish good looks to boot.
What’s it like to run in?
The Mach 4 is even softer and even bouncier than its previous iteration – which we thought wasn’t going to be possible, but HOKA have done it again. That incredible PROFLY midsole marries beautifully with the EVA outsole – as soon as we laced up, that signature bounce was palpable. And the fit is fantastic: there’s toe wriggle room, but there’s a good snug fit around the midfoot, which is just as I like it.
And setting off, you can feel the helpful addition of a Meta-Rocker within the sole, which guides your feet naturally forward and propels you onwards. Unexpectedly for a first run, there were absolutely no hot spots, and – in fact – no desire to run in a different pair the following day! Comfortable, energetic and motivation-boosting, the Mach 4 feels like it pretty much does it all!