Hoka Mach X review: An everyday running shoe you’d actually wear on race day

Thanks to their soft, cushioned pad, distinctive shape, and fun colors, Hokas have become an increasingly popular shoe among celebrities, healthcare providers, and aging millennials who want to look stylish but also take care of their knees.

But let’s not forget they’re more than just cool and comfortable: the brand’s carbon-lined race shoes have been on the feet of winning athletes at events like the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials and the USATF 10K Road Championships. Still, with all the talk about Hokas being the next wear-anywhere shoe, their performance chops seem to get lost in the talk. So when the Hoka Mach X with flex plates launched earlier this month, he was intrigued: Could there be a shoe that ticks both boxes? Hoka sent me a sample so he could find out for myself.

for whom it is

The Mach X is a training shoe for runners, specifically for those looking for a shoe that provides more power, bounce and forward propulsion than everyday running shoes, but perhaps not as much added oomph as a stiffer super shoe with carbon plates you’d wear on race day.

Outside the Box

While aesthetics aren’t the most important quality when it comes to running shoes, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say it: the Mach X is a In fact nice shoe, and that’s the first thing i noticed when opening it. The pair I tried on was a light seafoam green and white with hints of lime, and the understated look was a welcome change from the in-your-face neons many other shoes wear.

christa sgobba

fit and feel

I tried the Mach X in my normal running shoe size, which is half the size of my normal street shoe. (Usually it helps to go up a half or full size, as feet move around a lot and swell a bit with activity.) At first, I thought it was a little big on me. I had a little more room than the recommended half inch at the top of the shoe, and I had to really tighten the (very springy) laces to get a secure fit. However, I loved the padded tongue on the shoe, which kept them from feeling too tight or digging into the top of my foot.

When I first stepped into the pair, I immediately noticed Hoka’s famous cushioning. Thanks to that flex plate for propulsion, though, it wasn’t cloudy or as soft as some of his everyday shoes—it had a firmer feel, to help propel you off the road. Still, he felt nicewhich made me excited to take them for a ride.

hoka mach x

Sizes: 5-11 (including half sizes); Widths: one; Weight: 8 ounce; Drop from heel to toe: 5 millimeters; Stability: neutral; Cushion: sensitive; color combinations: sunlit lime/ocean shimmer; white/blue glass

In the race

The Mach X markets itself as a “pace-boosting trainer,” so I decided to go for a run with some speed challenges: a 40-minute session, with half of that at a pace slightly faster than my 10K pace.

5/5 - (1 vote)

Leave a Comment