HOKA ONE ONE Clifton shoe review

I got my first pair of HOKA ONE ONE shoes as a Christmas gift. What really spurred me to get them was a recommendation from a physical therapist. He told me that runners who try HOKA tend to not switch back to their old brand or a new brand, and I have to say, he might be right.

HOKA ONE ONE is a great high mileage shoe. As a maximist shoe, they have ample cushion and support, but they are minimal on the inside with very little restriction and a pretty low heel-to-toe drop ratio.

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Here are a few things I loved about my first pair of HOKAs, the Clifton:

1. Cushion and support. They make running on pavement feel like running on grass. At the same time, they are not restrictive or tight like other shoes I’ve run in.

2. Light as a feather. The Clifton is the lightest shoe in the HOKA ONE ONE lineup. You would not believe a shoe that big looking could be that light.

3. Rocker design. The shoe sits sort of like a rocking chair. The rocker design helps propel you forward and promotes more of a midsole strike and faster leg turnover.

4. Good wear. These shoes held up much better than I thought they would. I wore them up to 500 miles before pulling the plug. Honestly, I could have probably gotten another 100 miles out of them but with my first marathon of the year coming up in three weeks I wanted to make sure I had time to break in my new pair while also not risking injury. As you can see in the photo above, the 500 mile Clifton has pretty minimal wear. Most of the tread has not been worn down to the point that they are smoothed out and are still intact. No rubber from the sole of the shoe has been exposed either.

5. Easy on the pocketbook. The Clifton, in particular, is at the lower end of the price spectrum. They retail for $130 dollars, but that is still way cheaper than my previous shoe, the Asics Kayano. Higher end HOKA models can cost up to $175 dollars, which, in my opinion, is totally worth it when you consider that HOKA shoes tend to hold up better so you can get more mileage out of them.

If you would like to ask me a question about HOKA shoes, specifically the Clifton model, feel free to tweet me. For a list of other running products I use regularly, visit the endorsements page of this site.

Thanks for reading, and, as the saying on the HOKA insole goes, “keep running.”

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