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The Mach 4 Is Hoka One One’s Best Running Shoe

With catapult-like energy return and a design inspired by the brand’s competitive trainers, this Mach reigns supreme.

hoka mach 4
Lakota Gambill

The RW Takeaway: The Mach 4 brings that plush comfort we associate with Hoka, along with propulsive energy return for fast days—because who needs a carbon-fiber plate?

  • Dual-density Profly foam provides a soft, responsive platform
  • Early-stage Meta-Rocker for quick heel-to-toe transitions
  • Lightweight

    Price: $130
    8.2 oz. (M), 6.8 oz. (W)

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    After testing out his pair, Runner’s World runner-in-chief Jeff Dengate jotted in his notes that the 4 is “the best Mach yet, and perhaps the best current Hoka.” Take his word for it, and if that doesn’t persuade you, consider what our other testers had to say. One proclaimed the Mach 4 was second to none. Another declared it was her new favorite road shoe. And still another, a Hoka virgin no less, said she became impressed after just her first run.

    Lakota Gambill
    Mach 4

    • Slightly curved sole paired with Profly foam promotes propulsive ride
    • Incredibly lightweight and plush

    • Little traction in wet and wintry conditions

    We already loved Machs 1 through 3 for their lightness and explosive rebound. But Hoka went next-level, tinkering with the construction and applying what the brand learned when developing its competition shoes, the Carbon X and Rocket X. In this way, the Mach 4 is like Saucony’s Endorphin Speed or Brooks Hyperion Tempo; it’s the dynamic training shoe to its competitor equivalents.

    An Updated Silhouette

    The Mach 2 was a gateway Hoka shoe for me. It made me realize that not all Hokas are behemoths, nor does a bulky exterior translate to a clunky ride. The newest iteration didn’t disappoint, and its appearance is more streamlined for clocking fast miles on your usual route and a race course.

    hoka mach 4
    Lakota Gambill

    The upper is woven with heat-pressed TPU embroidered yarns and hugs your foot more securely than the Mach 3. A sportier-looking heel collar provides padding without any friction on the Achilles. Lastly, our testers also appreciated the new pull tab, proving that even the smallest upgrades still count.

    A Slightly Curved Sole Encourages Propulsion

    Don’t be shocked if you’re compelled to zoom while running in the Mach 4. It owes this giddyup to its responsive Profly midsole, a dual-density foam that’s softer in the heel and firmer in the forefoot, and early-stage Meta-Rocker (Hoka’s tech that slightly curves the sole for a rocking motion as you transition from heel to toe). It’s a shoe that’s generously cushioned without turning your run into a slog.

    hoka mach 4
    Lakota Gambill

    “I strongly believe this shoe is meant for long runs,” said our photographer Lakota Gambill. “The cushion has a gel-like—but bouncy—feel. Standing, you ease into the shoe, but while running, you don’t sink in or get stuck. Comfort is definitely its game.”

    More Wear-Tester Feedback

    Lindsay V., tester since 2018
    Arch: Medium | Gait: Neutral | Footstrike: Midfoot
    “The Mach 4 is my first pair of Hoka One Ones. They looked heavy in appearance but were actually extremely light compared to other running shoes I own. I put them on for the first time and was immediately impressed by the lush cushioning. I also observed that when I shifted my weight to my heel, I rocked back considerably due to the extended sole. I was reluctant at first that these shoes would work for me, and then quickly impressed with their performance on my first run. I completed my testing on a combination of road and trail surfaces.”

    Laura P., tester since 2012
    Footstrike: Midfoot
    “These sneakers were so comfortable that I actually looked forward to putting them on for my post-work run everyday. I’m on my feet a lot at work, so slipping out of my work shoes and into my Hokas was refreshing. This shoe was great for all types of runs (long runs, short fast runs, recovery runs, tempo runs, etc.). It provides enough cushion and support for the long stuff while also being light and reactive enough for the fast stuff.”

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