Hoka Clifton Review

Hoka Clifton Review

I have to admit, I was a reluctant Hoka convert. Referring to the Hokas, I was one of those people that said, “Hey, you see those new clown shoes?” or “What’s up with that dude in moon boots?”,  or “Those things look like an ankle sprain waiting to happen on the trails!”

Then, sure enough, I myself seemed to acquire a niggle …well I guess you could call it a knee injury. All of a sudden, Hokas started to look more and more appealing.

I took the first step and purchased the Hoka Cliftons. Initially, I only wore them on my secret solo long runs and no one would ever see me secretly joining the dark side. The Clifton model is Hoka’s shoe for those runners who are more performance oriented.  It weighs in at a super light 7.9 ounces and has a stack height of 29 mm in the heel and 25 mm in the forefoot, giving it a 5 mm drop.

There is no doubt they look a bit goofy when held up beside something sleek like a Nike Lunar Tempo or New Balance 1400 v3, but after slipping them on my feet I was immediately impressed with the initial feel. I did a little goose gallop around Kintec and was sold.

Although probably not the best idea, my first run with them was a Saturday morning 30km. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. The Clifton’s ended up performing pretty well. They are a definitely a cushioned shoe, but not super pillowy.  I did notice after my run, they did pack out a bit and also did get a bit more squishy.  I found the drop to be a sweet spot within the 5mm realm but also the almost rocker feel of the sole did tend to put a mild strain on the hamstrings over long runs. A few months later and I still have the moon shoes in my rotation for long runs. The Cliftons are defiantly a great recovery shoe and a long distance shoe, but probably not my first choice for speed work. I would recommend the Hoka Clifton to any runner as an essential piece of their running shoe

Jesse Booi, Kintec Race Team

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