I’ve been looking forward to try out the Clifton since reading about the [surprisingly] lightweight shoe on the Running Warehouse Blog earlier in the year. Although I’ve logged many miles in both the Stinson Evo and Bondi 3 over the past 12 to 18 months, I have to admit Hokas are not typically the first shoe I reach for when heading out for a run. I love the cushioned ride, but usually find myself selecting one of the many lighter options in the closet.


Quite possibly the smoothest-riding shoe on the market, the CLIFTON offers incredible cushioning at an almost impossibly light weight.

Sounds intriguing, but would the CLIFTON live up to all the hype? Only one way to find out – head to the local speciality running store, Running Etc., and give them a whirl. Out of the box, and based on weight alone, the CLIFTON don’t feel like a typical HOKA. For a shoe with so much cushion, they’re deceptively light – 8.1 ounces for the size 10 I purchased to be precise.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I’ve almost logged 50 miles in the CLIFTON, which should be enough for me to jot down a few initial thoughts:


  1. Price – at $130.00, it’s great to see a HOKA with a retail price lower than $170.00.
  2. Weight – can’t beat an 8 ounce shoe which so much cushion.
  3. Ride – surprisingly stable, and the rockered profile encourages a smooth, fluid gait.
  4. Offset – 4mm heel-to-toe offset is right where I like it.
  5. Colors – blue/black/lime is an eye-catching combo.


  1. The included inserts are wafer thin and held in place by a few small squares of double-sided tape. Just a few miles into my first run and the left insert started to bunch up at the front of the shoe – a little bit annoying but thankfully not blister forming. I’ve since switched out the thicker inserts from my Bondi 3s, and for the sake of an extra 0.2 ounces per shoe, the bunching issue has been eliminated.
  2. As mentioned above, I wish there were a set of extra top-row eyelets in the CLIFTON so I can tie the shoes just like in the video below.


From the HOKA ONE ONE website:

Earlystage Meta-Rocker sculpting geometry provides a fluid, efficient ride and the stripped down SpeedFrame upper leaves no extra weight for you to lug around. If you want to take the feeling of running on grass with you to the concrete jungle, look no further than the Clifton.

Anyone else tried the CLIFTON? Like ‘em? Hate ‘em? How about the Huaka – another HOKA on my wishlist. Feel free to leave a comment below, and, as always, thanks for reading!

The HOKA ONE ONE CLIFTON are available for purchase at Road Runner Sports and OnlineShoes.com – current price $129.95 [8/12/14].





In my Demo run I ran 5 miles in them and the size up issue was the same feelings I had. I wanted to go 11.5, but it felt just a bit too tight around the pinky toes. So went with a 12 and the heel was sloppy. I enjoyed running downhill in them. I may add this or wait until the new models hit, mainly to see if they tweak the shoe any. The Hauka is also a nice looking shoe and looks like a great hybrid shoe for road and easy trails. Wish the demo run would have had those to try.

[…] Three shoe reviews: Steve Speirs on the Hoka Clifton, Derek Oxley on the Hoka Huaka, and Gordon Harvey takes on the Skora Fit (pictured at […]

Thanks for the review Steve. I had some similar findings with the Clifton. I agree with you that it would be very easy to go faster than you should on a recovery day with such a lightweight shoe like this. The heel did feel slightly off, but the cushioning more than makes up for it. The price point is quite nice too. In light of the weight, I think Hoka has to continually keep good price points in mind so potential buyers aren’t turned off by high price points.

I’d be curious to see what your thoughts are on what I found in the Clifton review. http://www.running-write.com/blog/hoka-clifton

Steve – thanks for the review! They influenced me to take a shot on the Clifton, and your remarks were right on the money. I’ve posted a few additional thoughts in a blog entry, here.

I just purchased some of the cliftons in size 10 also….OMG great shoe..i have been a recreational runner for several years. Running several half’s and local 5-10k’s…until recentely had ACL repair and graft. With these shoes on i have NO post run pain and have ran faster and longer than before my injury. I will be getting more for when these wear out..

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