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The HOKA Clifton has come a long way since it first came out more than six years ago, now a staple at finish lines. This year's model intends to keep it that way. A mainly "upper update", the Clifton 8 has the same midsole as the previous model but with an improved out of the box feel.
The main update is new material covering the upper to provide more mobility for the foot as it expands throughout a run. Previous models felt a little restrictive.
Similar to the Brooks Ghost and Mizuno Wave Rider, the Clifton is a tried and true daily trainer that provides a comfortable mix of cushion and performance. It is the classic "jack of all trades" shoe for HOKA - perfect for neighborhood and grocery store runs alike.
HEEL TO TOE OFFSET: 5mm
WEIGHT: 7.2oz/204g women's, 8.9oz/252g men's
USE: Everyday trainer, road running
SURFACE: Road, track, urban
Geoff: The fit of these shoes is amazing. The toebox seems slightly smaller than some other brands (such as Topo), but the toebox feels very similar to Brooks. The midfoot fit seems adequate. There is a defined arch feel to the shoes but nothing that provides too much discomfort. The heel cup feel was also great. It provided enough comfort without being too tight or allow slipping. The length was fine. I felt the shoes looked proportionate and not too slim or boxy. The tongue was comfortable and thin. The upper was awesome. Not only flexible to move with you but the look was great too.
The cushioning of the Hoka Cliftons was awesome. I am a Brooks lover and the cushioning felt slightly cushier than Brooks but not a cushy as the New Balance 1080's. The cushion provided enough support for both long and short runs and felt adequate and great on both treadmill and road terrains.
Sara: The toebox of the Clifton 8 was very roomy, midfoot feels loose and I needed to tie the laces tight to feel supported. The heel cup fits OK but is slightly loose on the right heel. The length seemed larger than my other shoes with lots of space and wiggle room for the toes. The tongue lays nicely and easily, doesn’t need adjustment.
I would say this is the cushiest shoe I’ve ever worn. They are like clouds and don’t feel heavy. They respond well to forefoot push-off.
Geoff: Is this shoe stable? Absolutely! Since the cushioning is less "soft" than some shoes, it feels very stable while wearing and running. I was never worried about stability in the Hoka Clifton 8.
Sara: It does feel stable, but I need to make sure that I tie them tight otherwise they feel loose and unstable.
Geoff: The Hoka Clifton 8 was great on every distance. I ran upwards of 8 miles on long runs and 2 miles on shorter runs. The shoe held up great on all distances and provided no discomfort at all. The shoe was excellent on the treadmill. I would highly recommend these shoes for any type of run. The shoes are very lightweight as well.
Sara: The Clifton 8 was an amazing shoe for a recovery run. After my 70 mile ultramarathon, I was able to run comfortably in these even with swollen tired feet!
Geoff: Had I known how great these shoes were, I would have invested in a pair a long time ago. I've been a long time Brooks lover and they've worked great for me. The Hoka Cliftons felt similar to the Brooks Ghost shoes that I swear by. The cushioning felt slightly softer but for recovery runs and shorter runs, I almost preferred that feel.
Sara: I have to say, in all my years of running & buying quality shoes, I don’t think I’ve had anything similar to these.
Geoff: This is the first Hoka shoe that I've worn - and won't be the last (hopefully).
Sara: Have never tried Hoka’s before.
Different flex groves and contact spots were added to the midsole of the Clifton 7, the same midsole used in the Clifton 8. The main difference between the Clifton 7 and the Clifton 8 can be found in the upper, fabric part of the shoe. Not quite flexible per say, the upper is much more malleable giving it a lighter feel. Simple things such as making the heel cup liner softer make it just that much more comfortable.
Geoff: My first impression was that I loved the look of the shoe. The colors were unique, the shape was more desirable than the shape in a typical Topo shoe, and they were very lightweight. The first time I ran in the shoes, I fell in love with them. Because they were so comfortable, I actually looked forward to running in them more than I have in a long time. I started running in them on the treadmill. I started with shorter runs (2-3 miles). I transitioned to road running - again starting with shorter runs. I flip-flopped between road running and treadmill with varying distances and with a variety of runs (tempo runs, etc.). The shoe felt great on the road. Many times after running, my legs feel sore for the day. With these shoes, that sore feeling was fairly reduced. This was a very welcomed feeling!
I think this shoe is for anyone looking for a "stiffer" feeling shoe but with plenty of cushioning. The cushiony feel was noticeable but not too much whereas you felt unstable or that your body was overcompensating for too much cushion. I would highly recommend this shoe. If I had known how great they were, I would have tried them sooner.
Sara: I would describe this shoe as a high cushion shoe, nice for recovery runs but they also respond well. They feel light despite the amount cushioning. I would recommend these for the everyday run. I would say this shoe would work for most runners but I wouldn’t use them if the person needs extra stability.
39 year old
Wears men's size 10
I am a casual runner who tries to put in 3-7 miles per day. I didn't grow up loving to run but found a love for it 5 years ago. I enjoy the occasional 5k and 10k races to stay motivated and compete. I enjoy running around Harsens Island while at our family cottage in the summer months. I am an accounting manager by day working for an charter school management company in Brighton. The thing I love most about running is the ability to meet tons of fun new people that share a common interest and of course "The Lab". I give huge kudos to the store and staff for their awesome contributions to the community.
47 year old
Wears women's size 9.5
I’ve been running for 13 years. I started casually for fitness and then entered races so I would have a goal for training. Ran roads until 2018 and switched to trail running. Now I do both trail and road and enjoy both very much. I love running 5k’s all the way up to ultras. I don’t work in the industry, but I enjoy doing healthy activities and spreading the joy of being outdoors! My favorite thing about running is the comradery with fellow runners.