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Make way for the new Hoka Clifton 9. Coming back for a ninth iteration featuring a new responsive foam, increased stack height, all while eliminating weight from the previous version.
Check out what our reviewers, Kyle and Jacob have to say about their experience wearing the new Hoka Clifton 9.
STACK HEIGHT: 40mm (heel), 35mm (forefoot)
HEEL TO TOE OFFSET: 5 mm
WEIGHT: 7.7 oz (218 g) women's / 9 oz (255 g) men's
USE: Everyday, running, walking
SURFACE: Road, lifestyle
Jacob: The Clifton 9 was a great ride from start to finish. The cushion in the shoe was so soft with the compression molded EVA foam, especially in the mid foot. They were very light and responsive, and paired with the rocker platform built into the shoe, I was able to get some great runs in with them.
Kyle: The Clifton 9 has taken me through much of my winter training. It is ideal for those looking for a jack of all trades shoe. I have used this shoe on 14-16 mile runs, with very minimal pain. I raced a 25K in them and finished only about a minute slower than my 25K PR, which I previously used the Endorphin Pro +, which was snappy but ultimately left me with some significant pain in comparison. The best way to describe the Clifton 9 is a snappy, cushioned, and mid-weight trainer.
Jacob: The toebox on the shoes was a little snug at first, giving me a blister on my pinky toe after my first use. Once I was able to break into them more on my second and third runs, that problem was solved. The midfoot was so soft landing on it with each step I took. The heel cup was able to keep my heel snug and tight in the shoe. The length of the shoe felt fairly true to size, I stuck with my usual size, 10.5, and had no issues. The tongue was plush and soft on my foot and did not rub or feel uncomfortable. The upper was breathable and open while keeping my foot secure in the process.
Kyle: The Clifton 9 is a perfect shoe for those who have tried similar mid-cushion options that want a bit more support and appreciate a wider mid-foot base to accommodate their arches. The toebox is pretty standard, a bit slim on the pinky side of both feet. A bit wider than the Saucony Endorphin Shift. A bit narrow for HOKA standards. The midfoot, as described before, provides plenty of space. My right arch is longer than my left, so I notice the arch support a bit more in the right foot, but it never has been a significant issue. However, if using socks with targeted arch compression, be careful when building distance. I felt a bit of rubbing during my 25K effort around mile 13 due to the "double-down" support. A bit of a higher heel cup- not as high as most New Balance models, definitely higher than most Topo models. Definitely comfortable and I felt no pain upon takeoff. The length is fairly accurate, which is a first for HOKA. They tend to run a bit bigger than standard length, but this one, due to cushioning and tighter upper construction, fits pretty on point. I'd say it fits true to size. The tongue is extremely comfortable, and adjustable in terms of positioning on your instep. Due to my longer arches and the higher cut ankle support within the shoe, I occasionally felt rubbing that became irritable in longer miles. This can be resolved with either inserts or the appropriate sock type.
Jacob: The Clifton 9 has such a soft feel. From heel to toe I could feel the softness of the compression molded EVA foam underneath me with every step I took. I have been able to use these shoes for both running and as a work shoe and either way the cushion was able to keep me on my feet all day long.
Kyle: The cushioning is a bit of a unicorn here. It is among the best cushioning systems I have seen from this year's mid neutral model competitors [compared to NB 880, Saucony Ride, Brooks Ghost, etc]. It is simultaneously firm but gives a wide rolloff and snappy propulsion forward.
Jacob: The Clifton was a very stable feeling shoe. While being a neutral shoe, it has a nice sturdy base that kept me feeling secure in the shoe.
Kyle: Although the shoe is neutral, it has a great support system, largely due to the straight last. Stability was never really a concern for me in this shoe.
Jacob: I would recommend using the Cliftons for long runs that require a good amount of cushion while still being light on your feet. Even as a recovery shoe it would be an amazing option to get a nice soft ride out of it.
Kyle: Most folks will use this shoe as an everyday trainer. For me, it worked well as a long run shoe, while being a great backup for tempo runs and races.
Jacob: The Cliftons would be best compared to Brooks Ghost 15, Saucony Ride 16, New Balance 880v13, and On CloudGo.
Kyle: This shoe is a bit of a mutant. I am biased, but it has a similar [but wider] fit and function of the Saucony Endorphin Shift. Both shoes are very similar in their structure, but the Shift is a bit firmer and more restrictive. I used the Shift very similarly as a multi-purpose shoe during my last training cycle.
Jacob: Comparing to the Clifton 8, Hoka was able to add a few millimeters onto the stack height of the Clifton 9, making room for more cushion.
Kyle: I never ran in the Clifton 8, but from what I recall, the 9 has been modified a bit. The fit is a bit more secure than the 8, and there is a bit more spring in version 9.
Jacob: The Hoka Clifton 9 would be a shoe for the everyday runner looking for a smooth soft ride with good cushion.
Kyle: This shoe is for anyone who is willing to give a trainer with a wider last a try. Perhaps someone does not want to go to a zero drop or wider toe box shoe such as an Altra Torin or a Topo Magnifly, but are willing to try something that can work cross-functionally as a running trainer. I would recommend this shoe. I used the NB 880 V12 and Saucony Ride 15 last year, and I think this shoe has characteristics from both of those that I LOVE.
21 years old
Wears men's size 10.5 D
I ran at Howell and was a captain of the Track and Cross Country Teams, and I can’t imagine my life without running. I have been running since 8th grade, and I fell in love immediately. I work at The Running Lab in Brighton, which only enhances my love for running. Being able to learn some tricks about running that I didn’t know before had changed my view on the sport. My favorite thing about running is the feeling when you’re at your lowest during a race. Finding whatever you have left in the tank and giving it your all is a feeling that I can’t even put into words.
24 year old
Wears men's size 9 D
I dabble in all the weird running events. I work part-time at Running Lab, but most other days I'm racing roads and trails, anywhere between a mile and a 50K. I have been running for just over 12 years, since I started in middle school and became serious about it. I ran the 800 in high school, enjoyed some club cross-country and track with WMU's running club, and have since been trying my hand at every type of event you can imagine. I like trying all sorts of different shoes to see how they can work for my feet and for other people too. My favorite thing about running is the variety of events you can do and also the people are pretty neat too that you meet.