Hoka Clifton: Our Complete Shoe Review

Support Type: Neutral Purpose: Everyday Trainer

The Hoka Clifton is one of the most popular models in the Hoka lineup. And for good reason. It’s impossible to ignore the Clifton when looking for a comfortable, highly cushioned daily trainer for everyday running. Year after year, version after version, this model has continued to be a staple for runners since 2014.

While semi narrow-fitting, the Hoka Clifton is built with a Meta-Rocker in the midsole for smooth transitions while running. In more recent versions, runners will notice a bit more cushion in the midsole which provides a softer ride than earlier versions.

While primarily a running shoe, we often recommend the Clifton for walkers or individuals who are simply on their feet all day. With ample cushioning sometimes you just need a quality shoe to carry you through the day. The only downside is, if you have really wide feet, Clifton may not be the best choice as they tend to have a more narrow fit compared to other daily trainers. Also, if you prefer a shoe with more ground feel, the high stack height will likely eliminate this model as an option.

What is the difference between the Hoka Clifton and the Hoka Bondi?

The purpose of these two shoes, the Hoka Clifton and Hoka Bondi tend to get mixed up quite often. To keep things simple just remember, the Hoka Clifton is the lightweight, cushioned daily trainer. The Hoka Bondi on the other hand is the MAX-cushioned, long-distance trainer.

While the Hoka Clifton can certainly be comfortable on those long distance runs throughout the week, if you’re heading out for ultra long distances, the Bondi will likely be your best bet. Bondi is Hoka’s softest, plushest trainer. However, that max-cushioned shoe does come at a cost…literally. Not only is it heavier, but it’s also a little more expensive.

How many miles will the Hoka Clifton last?

With the Hoka Clifton engineered to be a daily trainer, it’s meant to go the distance during your training. Most shoes usually last at least 300 plus miles before starting to break down. With the Hoka Clifton, depending on how well you take care of them and what terrain you’re using them on during your runs, you can expect around 300-500 miles (we’ve seen some clocking 400 miles easily before any reported serious physical damage). But remember, these shoes are not designed to last forever. Be sure to take note of your mileage. Once the cushion, structure, and tread start to break down, you’ll want to have a back up to start breaking in and integrating into your training.

Is the Hoka Clifton good for training?

Absolutely. The Hoka Clifton was designed specifically as a daily trainer. It provides plenty of cushion, is durable and great to take out when logging miles throughout the week. This is a very popular shoe for walkers and those who spend a lot of time on their feet throughout the day as well.

What are other shoe brands/models that are similar to the Hoka Clifton?

All brands have their standard neutral daily trainer. The other shoes most similar to the Hoka Clifton would be the Brooks Ghost, New Balance Fresh Foam 880 and Saucony Endorphin Speed. While these shoes may all be similar in purpose (all neutral trainers), they will also feel very different from one another to each individual.

It’s important to note that when it comes to shoe preference, it’s very much subjective. What feels good and works well for one runner/walker, may not be the case for another. For the most accurate review, we highly recommend coming into the running shop and having one of our staff walk you through the fitting process. This way you have an opportunity to try on multiple brands and models, including Hoka, and compare/contrast them against one another. If you’re unfamiliar with our fitting process, click here to learn more.