The Hoka One One Mach 4 is a wonderfully lightweight and adaptable multitasker

Kerry McCarthy
·2-min read

From Runner's World

  • Weight 232g (M) 192g (W)

  • Heel-To-Toe-Drop: 5mm

  • Type: road/performance

  • Price: £125

Buy now - men's

Buy now - women's

RW summary

A wonderfully lightweight and adaptable multi-tasker.

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General comments

Hoka is on a hot streak recently and this shoe was a contender for an award in our Spring Summer ‘21 Shoe Buyer’s Guide. We’ve marked it above as a performance shoe but lighter and more experienced runners will find it’s also great for everyday runs. The Mach has quickly become a very popular model thanks to its mix of low weight, responsiveness, and cushioning which is soft without being soggy.

New upper

Ths Mach is very different from the previous version, and one of the biggest areas of change is in the upper. There’s a new pull tab on the heel which, rather than simply being a small material hook which may or may not slip through your fingers (sometimes the case with these things), is actually an extension of the heel section, which curves upwards to a point. A few testers wondered if this would rub against the Achilles but happily – it does not. And it does make getting the shoe on a lot easier. Not a critical factor but one of these small gains that adds up when you consider the number of times you pull a running shoe on and off. Elsewhere the mesh has been made from a heat-pressed TPU, which means it’s still lightweight and flexible but just a little tougher and will hold its shape better without bagging. And the heel section has been re-shaped for a better fit.

Softer feel

Hoka claims that number four offers a softer ride than number 3. We find this to be true but not hugely so. It’s bouncier, thanks to the use of two different types of midsole foam: a softer layer sitting atop a firmer rubberised layer underneath. The combination gives a lovely blend of energy return and zip while offering the ‘give’ that means you won’t have sore calves after a longer run.

Slim fit

Despite the overall chunky look of most Hoka shoes, the Mach is actually quite a slim fit which, along with the low heel drop, adds to the overall sensation of controlled speed.

Conclusion

Most people will find the sweet spot for this one is 10K to half marathon but on the right feet it can do much more than that.

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