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Hoka Mach 6 Review
By Matthew Klein & David Salas

The Mach series has taken over Clifton's spot as Hoka's main shoe with a cult following. An extremely popular model for the combination of lightness and cushioning, it changed from its original few confusing models to something consistently good in Versions 4 and 5. The Mach 6 makes some drastic changes, dropping some weight, adding a solid amount of responsiveness, revamping the geometry and completely changing the upper. It is always a bit scary to dedicated consumers of a popular shoe when it is changed. While its overall function has remained, whose feet it will fit may be a different story. 

Hoka Mach 6
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 7.4 oz, 210 g (men's size 9), 6.7 oz, 190 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 37 mm / 32 mm
Drop: 5 mm
Shoe Purpose: Performance / Lightweight Trainer

Pros: Light, Responsive Cushioning, Good Cushioning for Longer and Faster Runs
Cons: Narrow fit, Tapered/Low Volume Forefoot


The Hoka Mach 6 is a versatile lightweight performance trainer that doubles as a workout/race shoe for those who want a bouncy, light shoe for everything from easy to fast paces. A complete redo from prior versions, the newest version features a snug/narrow fit, a lighter weight, a stiffer and snappier ride and a new bouncier EVA midsole. Best for those who want a snug fit and a shoe that has a smooth, stable neutral geometry for everything from long runs to speed workouts, the Mach 6 maintains its versatility while still being different from the Mach 5. 

: Saucony Kinvara 14, Brooks Hyperion 
PAST MODEL: Hoka Mach 5

(To learn how a shoe should fit, check out our full podcast on fit by Matt Klein.)

Matt: The Hoka Mach 6 fits me slightly short in my Men's US size 10.  The fit is snug to narrow throughout most of the shoe. The forefoot features a tapered and low-toe box. This made the shoe feel short and required me to wear thin socks, although this has broken in slightly over my 40 miles in the shoe. For those in between sizes, I would highly suggest a half size up for at least a little more room. The midfoot is also snug with a thin, gusseted tongue. I did not have to tighten the laces at all to get a secure fit. The heel fits slightly snug with mild heel collar padding. There is a stiff heel counter but there is a surprising amount of padding between the heel and the counter. The inner liner a the forefoot is a bit scratchy, so at least thin socks are highly recommended. 

Typical Size: Men's US Size 10
Shoes that have fit Matt well: Saucony Guide 17, ASICS Kayano 30, Hoka Gaviota 5, Saucony Endorphin Elite, Nike Ultrafly
Shoes that have fit snug: Hoka Arahi 7, Saucony Kinvara 14
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2, Altra Timp 5

David: The Hoka Mach 6 fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The length of the shoe is solid, though the shoe does have a relatively snug fit throughout. The width in the heel and forefoot is normal to slightly narrow with a normal width midfoot. The tongue and lacing system do a good job of locking the upper down, but can come off as a tad tight in combination with the low volume. The shoe fits pretty similar to a track spike in that regard. The engineered mesh upper has decent comfort throughout while still maintaining a light profile for performance running. There is a mild-to-moderately padded heel counter that does not provide any irritation. The fit around the foot is definitely secure, though it may be a little too tight for some. Though it is on the tighter side, it still seems to work okay for me and I can run on the track or road in this without issue. Upper security with turning is also good, as there is not too much stretch to the material itself. I will say with longer efforts the lacing can feel a bit tight on the foot as swelling begins to happen as the run progresses into later stages. 

David's Typical Size: Men's US Size 9.5
Shoes that have fit David well: Nike Vomero 17, Saucony Ride 16, Puma Velocity Nitro 3

Shoes that have fit snug: HOKA Arahi 7
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon Aero Glide

Doctors of Running Checklist

Is This a Good Shoe for Walking: Average
Is This a Good Shoe for Standing: Just okay
Is the Forefoot Flexible: No
How Flexible is the Shoe: Not Flexible
Is This a Good Heel Bevel: Yes
Recommended for Haglunds: No
Recommended for Sockless: No
Durability Expectation: Average


Matt: The Hoka Mach 6 is a lightweight performance trainer for those who like light shoes, want a non-plated, non-super racing shoe or a solid workout shoe. The shoe is noticeably light coming at 7.4 oz for men's size 9. There is plenty of midsole foam underfoot with 37 mm of heel stack height and 32 mm in the forefoot. Despite the higher stack height, the lighter weight makes this shoe feel nimble and quick. The EVA foam is not the traditional EVA you know, being moderately bouncy and well-cushioned. The rearfoot features a great posterior lateral bevel that provides really smooth heel landings. This transitions into a stable midfoot and a snappy forefoot. The forefoot is stiff with little, if any flexibility. However, the forefoot transition is smooth at a variety of speeds thanks to an early forefoot rocker.

The well-rockered sole and great cushioning make this shoe quite versatile. I have used the Mach 6 on a 14 mile long run, 30 second sprints, longer fartleks and a tempo run. It has done great at all paces, able to keep moving over longer distances and snappy enough for faster things. Many people who do not want a super shoe but still want something fast and light will find this works great for workouts and racing (personally I will still use a super shoe). It has even done well for easier efforts thanks to the great rockered geometry, which is how I have been able to get 40 miles on my pair so quickly.

While most of the shoe is holding up well, I am seeing accelerated wear in my normal spot at the posterior lateral heel and at the lateral midfoot. I am wearing through both the exposed EVA and outsole rubber at a decent rate, which makes me suspect that this shoe will last for an average number of miles for a performance trainer. Surface-wise this shoe is best for roads. There is plenty of outsole coverage and the EVA is tough enough to handle mild trails. However, the traction is best on roads and not anything technical, so I would stick to less aggressive surfaces

 The Hoka Mach 6 is a lightweight performance trainer that can do a little bit of everything. Being under 8 ounces in men's size 9 makes this a very competitive weight for that category. The midsole is still a compress molded EVA, but this blend does seem to give a good bounce through it. The foam itself is on the firmer end, but the rebound off of it is certainly noticeable. The heel-to-toe transition is smooth and feels like a nice combination of rocker and flatter profile. The heel bevel is done well and you transition forward onto the midfoot and forefoot relatively easily. The forefoot has a gradual bevel to it, but does still allow for you to really push into the ground if you want to. This is why I have found it to work pretty well on the track for me.

Despite the firm comment, the 37mm stack height is still plenty of foam to hammer long runs and long workouts in as well. I feel Hoka did a great job creating that "jack of all trades" shoe. I feel that I can go both slow and fast in this model. The shoe also has good underfoot traction. This combined with the upper security makes this shoe feel well even if the footing isn't exactly the smoothest. The forefoot has moderate flexibility to it. There is no plate in the Mach 6, though the natural rigidity and responsiveness of the foam gives you some good rebound from the ground. Even though there is a rolling sensation from the shoe in the heel, the forefoot still has a very natural push off feeling to it. I do feel that this shoe leans towards going a little quicker, but it fits the bill for the lightweight performance trainer. 


Matt: The Hoka Mach 6 is stable neutral shoe. The heel features a posterior lateral bevel that provides mild guidance at heel strike. There are large sidewalls throughout the length of the shoe. The heel and midfoot feature decent-sized medial sidewalls that also run slightly into the forefoot. The lateral aspect features a small sidewall in the heel and larger sidewall in the midfoot/forefoot transition. There is some mild sole flare that is well-integrated into the shoe. The heel features a little more medial than lateral sole flare, which works well with the posterior lateral bevel. The midfoot does not narrow, creating a wider and more inherently stable base. The lateral aspect of the midfoot is missing a small chunk, which creates some mild lateral bias for those that need it. The forefoot is quite stiff, so those that need a stiff forefoot will do well here. Overall, the Hoka Mach 6 is a solid stable neutral shoe that will work well for those who want a faster shoe with mild stability. 

David:  The Hoka Mach 6 is definitely not a stability shoe, but doesn't do too bad for having 37mm of foam under the heel. The foam is naturally a little firmer and the shoe has a decently wide base for a performance shoe. There is a mid-line groove that may or may not do anything, though I do feel relatively centered in this shoe. The outsole traction is really good for how light the shoe is underfoot. The upper lockdown does also give some confidence with running on/off road and track. There are some good sidewalls integrated throughout the medial and lateral midfoot as well. With all that said, the elements are minor and this still feels like a very neutral offering. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Different Fits for Different Feet
By Matthew Klein

Although Hoka has been stereotyped for years as having a narrow fit, many of their recent shoes have moved toward normal to wider fits. It was therefore surprising that the Hoka Mach 6 has fit so snug based on current trends. This is not necessarily a bad thing as different people have different shaped feet and different fit preferences. While natural "purists" will argue that everyone should be in a wide shoe with a wide toe box, an "anatomic fit" varies depending on the shape and volume of each person's unique foot (they are even different side to side in the same person). People that have relatively narrow feet often prefer a normal to narrow fit while those with wide feet while often prefer a normal to wider fit. 

One caveat to this is that a tapered toe box is not the most natural thing. While many people's feet have adapted to this position and now look similar, this may not be an optimal position (although some people do have this and are fine). When your toes are adducted (pulled inward toward the middle of your foot), the abductor hallucis (big toe abductor) and abductor digiti minimi (small toe abductor) are put in a lengthened state. The adductor hallucis and to a degree some of the toe flexors are put in a shortened position. Muscles tend to work best and produce the most force in the middle of their range of motion. Putting them in an excessively lengthened or shortened position can decrease force output and chronically MAY lead to weakness and decreased force output capabilities. This may be challenging as all the muscles listed not only are important for joint alignment of the first and fifth toes but also for control of the medial and lateral arches of the foot. While not all toe boxes need to be massive, having them be a little more rounded and trying to keep the toes as neutral as possible is usually better than extremes. 


Conroy, V. M., Murray Jr, B. N., Alexopulos, Q. T., & McCreary, J. (2022). Kendall's muscles: testing and function with posture and pain. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Neumann, D. A. (2016). Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System-E-Book: Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.



Matt: The Mach 6 is an awesome update. The sole is responsive, smooth and provides a unique ride that reminds me of a higher stack, smoother and more stable Saucony Fastwitch. This is probably one of the best geometries I've seen in a Hoka shoe and I hope to see more like this. My only issues come from the upper. I understand the snugness in the heel and midfoot but the forefoot/toebox is too low volume and tapered. Hoka is/was known for having narrow shoes but many of their models have been doing better. This is a bit of a step back unless you are someone who likes narrow shoes. For the purpose of basic anatomy, I would encourage Hoka to widen this up a bit. The heel and midfoot are already secure enough that some volume could be added to the upper to provide more wiggle room. Outside of that, this is a fantastic update. 

David: Even though the shoe is geared towards performance, I do feel this shoe could use a little more volume and foot space. The lockdown feels good initially, but as the foot swells with longer runs I can feel the laces beginning to dig a little more with each few miles. 


Matt: The Hoka Mach 6 is a lightweight performance trainer for those who want a snug/narrow fitting, versatile, lighter, non-super shoe for everything from easy efforts to races. The midsole geometry is one of the best I have seen in a Hoka training shoe, providing an EVA midsole that FINALLY delivers on being moderately bouncy. Despite the higher stack height and stiffer sole, the ride is smooth and rolls nicely. The stiffness, lighter weight and snug fit do make it feel faster, yet the cushioning provides the protection to be used over longer efforts. The fit is quite snug with a tapered forefoot, so those with narrow feet will do best while others may want to consider a half size up. So while the Hoka Mach 6 maintains its place as the lightweight do-it-all shoe, its execution of this is different from the past. How people react to that remains to be seen. 

David: The Hoka Mach 6 is a lightweight performance training shoe for someone wanting a classic lightweight trainer feel with a little more bounce underfoot. The shoe has a combination of a rolling and natural feel. The heel is rounded well and the shoe has a forefoot that lets you toe off relatively naturally. The Mach 6 is a "jack of all trades" shoe that you can take to the track, easy days, long runs, and tempo runs. 


Fit: B/B- (Snug/narrow fit with tapered toe box. Secure, but many may want to consider a half size up)
A- (Responsive EVA midsole with excellent rockered geometry that works for everything from easy to faster paces)
Stability: A- [Stable Neutral] (Wider sole, strategic sidewalls and posterior lateral bevel make for a stable neutral shoe that will do well for those with mild stability and neutral needs).
Value: A (Outside of the narrow fit, $140 is a great deal for a shoe with this much performance and versatility)
Personal: A-/B+ (Love the ride but the fit is challenging for me although it is breaking in)
Overall Design: A-/B+ 

Fit: (Lockdown throughout is good, but low volume and narrow offering may come off too tight for a decent chunk of people)
Performance: A- 
(Lightweight, responsive, versatile. Materials a tad behind from a foam standpoint, but the shoe gets the job done.)
Stability: B+ (Still very neutral, but the bevel and geometry help facilitate forward movement pretty well)
Value: A ($140 is great value for what this shoe can do.)
Personal: A- (This will be on my foot for many workouts to come. It is solid training companion. Fit may impact long run choices)
Overall Design: A- 


Hoka Mach 6
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Hoka for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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