Hoka Mach 6: An Everyday Trainer Where Comfort Meets Performance

If you run daily, it can be hard to find a shoe that balances cushioning, weight, and stability. After testing the Hoka Mach 6 for review on a handful of long runs, I can confirm this shoe hits that sweet spot. 

A former collegiate runner, I have been running recreationally for the last eight years, completing two full marathons (2:37 personal best) and six half marathons (personal best 1:09). I’ve tested dozens of brands and running shoe models throughout my career.

During my three to four runs a week, I like to cycle through different shoes. For tempo runs and faster training runs to improve my half marathon time, I need a durable shoe that feels fast but isn’t necessarily a race-ready “super shoe.”

Writer Brady Holmer wearing the Hoka Mach 6 for a test run, pictured against a brick wall.
Brady Holmer

The Hoka Mach 6 are meant for everyday casual running, so I tested them by doing just that. I laced these up for three different runs to evaluate their responsiveness, stability, and more. Read on to learn more about why these shoes are great for daily runs and low-key races as well as an excellent upgrade to one of my previous go-to shoes, the Hoka Mach 5s.

How I Tested The Hoka Mach 6

I tested the shoes on three uptempo distance runs, increasing the mileage each session. Building my way up from 4 to 10 miles in the shoes, I ran exclusively on pavement, testing out both wet and dry surfaces.


An infographic of the Hoka Mach 6 Review's fit and performance ratings after running 20 miles in the shoe.
  • Fit: These shoes feel almost 100% true to size, offering a much more snug sock-like feel than the Mach 5s.
  • Comfort: The shoes are extremely comfortable, particularly in the tongue and laces.
  • Traction: The traction was great until I hit wet pavement and the shoes lost some of their grippy-ness.
  • Cushioning: The low-profile cushioning was extremely responsive and felt quite springy.
  • Weight: At just 8.2 ounces for the men’s and 6.7 ounces for the women’s, the shoes are light and fast.
  • Midsole Stability: The super-critical foam midsole gives the shoe its neutral stability.
  • Innovation: The addition of the rubber outsole is a major upgrade from the Mach 5 and increases traction and bounce.

Design and Aesthetics 

A pair of well-worn Hoka Mach 6 running shoes sitting on pavement, with a view from the side.
Brady Holmer

The Hoka Mach 6 have a creel jacquard upper which maximizes breathability and gives the shoe a textured look. The chunky rubber outsole has a ribbed almost wave-like design, mimicking the shoe’s lightweight feel. 

These Hokas are available in neutral black and off-white in both men’s and women’s, in addition to some brightly colored options that Hoka is known for. I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Mach 6 color options, but that’s one of my only complaints about an otherwise-fantastic shoe.

How the Hoka Mach 6 Performed During Testing 

Writer Brady Holmer wearing the Hoka Mach 6 against a brick wall.
Brady Holmer

I’ll caveat with: I already really like Hokas for half marathon training runs. My go-to trainer is this shoe’s predecessor, the Hoka Mach 5 — so I had high hopes for the Mach 6.

Out of the box, I found the Mach 6 to be true to size, if not a little snug. The tongue and laces are very comfortable, providing a fit more like a sock than a shoe.

While testing the Mach 6 on a series of distance runs, the shoe’s new rubber outsole — an upgrade from the Mach 5 — proved to have great traction overall. However, the shoes became significantly less grippy on wet pavement. That being said, the rubber outsole really holds up, which is one of the biggest differences from the quick-to-wear-down Mach 5.

Hoka says that the Mach 6 have responsive cushioning; I agree, as I found the shoes to be extremely responsive and springy. I slightly overpronate, so I appreciated the shoe’s neutral stability during runs.

After having logged several runs in these shoes, I haven’t noticed much wear and tear, even though all of my running was on pavement. The shoes kept their pop even after several miles. I noticed zero tears or problems with the laces fraying up, and found the shoe material to be very durable, holding up in all conditions. Dirt also washed off easily, which is a huge bonus as I like to keep my shoes in pristine condition for as long as possible.

Pros and Cons of the Hoka Mach 6 Shoe

I found that the Hoka Mach 6 largely improved upon its predecessor the Mach 5 in stability, traction, and bounce with just a couple of notable downsides.

  • Decently affordable at $140
  • Comfortable cushioning 
  • Fast and springy
  • Offers regular and wide sizes


  • I didn’t love the color options (the women’s are particularly limited)
  • Shoes did not have as much traction on wet pavement

How the Hoka Mach 6 Stacks Up 

Close-up of the Hoka logo on a pair of well-worn Hoka Mach 6s.
Brady Holmer

The Hoka Mach 6 is obviously very similar to the previous model, the Mach 5, which is our top pick for the best long-distance running shoes with lightweight cushioning. The Mach 6 have a new and improved outsole, which makes the shoe sit higher and feel more snug. Hoka also improved the shape of the tongue, upper, and heel collar for easy slip on and a better fit. 

I’ve now run in both and the Mach 6 is leaps and bounds better. It feels more stable and the addition of a rubber outsole to the shoe is a major upgrade. In turn, the traction and bounce are both top notch. 

The Mach 6 have also drawn comparisons to the lightweight New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 ($140) and the plush Hoka Clifton 9 running shoes ($145). Both offer similar price points but different levels of cushioning and stability.

What Other Runners Think

Many customers believe that the Mach 6 are an excellent upgrade from the Mach 5s in terms of bounce and cushioning. 

Others, particularly those with wide feet, noted that these shoes feel more tight than other Hokas and are not true to size. Reddit users confirmed that the Mach 6 have a narrower toe box and ran into the same traction issues I had while testing on wet terrain.

Price and Value 

The bottom tread of Hoka Mach 6 running shoes after they've been worn.
Brady Holmer

Priced at $140, the Mach 6 are one of Hoka’s more affordable running shoes. They’re the same price as the Mach 5 and the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4, a comparable competitor. 

I think the $140 price point for the Mach 6 is slightly below what some other shoes in this category are going for, like the New Balance Fuel Cell SuperComp Trainer V2 ($170). I’ve run in both and would be more than willing to pay full price for the Mach 6 because the shoes feel close to a super trainer without the super trainer price point. 

Are the Hoka Mach 6 Worth Buying? 

A top-down view of well-worn Hoka Mach 6 running shoes after testing.
Brady Holmer

I would recommend the Hoka Mach 6 running shoe (and I have multiple times already on social media). It’s a fast, everyday race trainer that’s suited for runners looking for comfort and also peak performance. 

However, if you need more wiggle room in the toe box, the fit of the Mach 5s might better suit you. Additionally, the Mach 6 have great traction until they encounter wet pavement, so I wouldn’t recommend them for rainy runs. 

Since testing, the Mach 6 have become a staple in my weekly running routine. I use them once or twice per week for a medium-distance run and they’re light enough for faster running. 

These have quickly become one of my favorite daily trainers and if it were the only shoe I had, I could use it for any and all types of runs.

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