Unleashing Speed with the Hoka Mach X

I’ll start this review by letting you know that I’m not a shoe expert. If you want to learn about this shoe’s specs and what makes it tick, there’s plenty of other sites out there for you. This review is strictly based on feelings, impressions, and about 30 seconds of research.

I’ve had these shoes a little over two weeks ago and I’ve put 60 miles on them in different types of workouts. I’ll highlight a few of those runs and workouts below but, my overall impression – the HOKA Mach X are great. I’ve truly enjoyed every mile in them so far.

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These shoes showed up in the mail in early July. I was excited to try them on since I’m already a fan of the Mach 4’s and 5’s. When they arrived, I had no idea what the X meant in the name. I tried them on and my first impression was “wow, these are springy. They must have some sort of plate in them.”

My 30 seconds of research confirmed that they do have a plastic plate that Hoka refers to as Pebax. I went out the door and onto a 15 mile run. I never really tested the shoe’s speed on this run but my legs and feet felt great the whole time and I didn’t notice much fatigue after the run.

My next test for these shoes was to see how they held up to some speedwork. I figured if they have a plate, they must be able to go fast. I did two workouts in these shoes, a tempo workout on the roads and a repeat workout on the track. In both instances these shoes gave me everything I needed from them. My pace never dipped below 10K pace but I never felt like the shoes were holding anything back and they likely could have handled faster paces if the wear tester was in better shape.

I should also point out that this is only the 2nd pair of plated shoes that I’ve run in (the other being Vaporflys). The Mach X certainly isn’t as aggressive as the Vaporflys and I’ll likely use the Mach X for mostly training runs and continue to use the Vaporflys for racing.

The final run to highlight in these shoes was a 6 mile recovery run. I did this run following a 22 mile trail run the day before. I went into this recovery run dreading it and my only goal was to get through it. About a mile into the run, I realized that my legs felt better than they had any right to feel and I was running about 15 seconds per mile faster than I planned on. I contribute this to the shoes absorbing a lot of the impact.

So, if you’re in the market for a plated shoe that you can wear on training runs, I highly recommend that you look into the Mach X.

Hoka Mach X $180


  • Weight: 9.4 oz (Mens 9)
  • Drop: 5 mm


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Thank you to HOKA for providing us with test shoes. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.


About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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