After running in the Bondi 4, I wasn’t convinced that Hoka One One would have a place in my shoe rotation. The Bondi 4 was comfortable, but it didn’t feel fast. I’m training for 5K speed these days, and I need something light and responsive. I asked my Hoka One One rep what shoe would be best for racing, and she suggested the Clifton.
The Hoka One One Clifton is an impossibly lightweight shoe given the amount of cushioning it has. It almost floated out of the shoebox. The midsole is made of foam and there are some strategic rubber placements on the outsole where the tread is most likely to wear. The SpeedFrame upper has a sturdy padded heel area and is well ventilated.
The bottom of the shoe has a distinct rocker shape to it. The geometry of the Meta-Rocker creates a unique fulcrum effect that guides a smooth heel-to-toe transition as part of the runner’s gait cycle. The heel-to-toe drop is just 5mm, and the total weight of the shoe is breezy 7.7 ounces.
The Hoka One One Clifton has 2.5 times the cushioning volume of standard running shoes. The extra cushioning provides runners with excellent shock absorption and a stable ride. It may look a little odd to the veteran runner, but the design and performance of Hoka One One running shoes has given rise to legions of loyal fans.
Can you run fast wearing the Hoka One One Clifton? Well, Ben Bruce ran a 14:15 5K at the Carlsbad 5000 wearing his Cliftons a few days ago, so yeah…
Hoka One One Clifton Road Test
I took my new pair of Hoka One One Clifton’s out for a 7-mile cruise today. Yesterday I ran an easy 11, and tomorrow I have hill repeats, so this was meant to be a regular run effort at 7:20 -7:40 pace. I was pleased to find out I ran about 7:15 pace when I checked my watch afterwards.
I could credit the shoes for running a bit faster, but I think it’s more likely a result of my training efforts. However, I will credit the shoes for making my feet feel loved. The cushioning really took away the pounding and, if I closed my eyes, I felt like I was running on wood chips or grass.
The downside was that I actually lost the feel of the road surface and floated a bit. I guess this is one of those good/bad things. What’s wrong with floating, anyway?
The rocker shape made it feel as if I was falling forward a bit with each stride. I think this is a great shoe for a quick tempo stride and a long distance run. It may take a mile or two before you hit your groove, but once you do it feels easy.
Time will tell if the Hoka One One Clifton ends up in high rotation. But, there is definitely a place for the Hoka One One in my shoe rack. If you need a minimal drop, high cushioned, lightweight shoe, this one will not disappoint you.
This pair of shoes was sent to me for review. This post has affiliate links.