Hoka Clifton 3

For the last month, I’ve been using the Hoka Clifton 3 to run in.  After my ankle fracture, I wanted to find shoes with more cushion.  Even though I was training in the high cushion Saucony Triumph, I opted for something softer and with more cushion.  Lucky for me (eh), the Hoka Clifton 3 was released around the same time I began running more than a quarter of a mile.  Interestingly enough, the Hoka Clifton was one of the first shoes I reviewed on LOLZ blog nearly 2 years ago.

Hoka Clifton 3 Shoe Review

Keep in mind, there is no “best” running shoe.  What works for me, might not work for you.  (See: Why Running Shoe Reviews are Mostly Worthless). Hoka isn’t paying me to promote their shoe.


The biggest change for the Hoka Clifton 3 came to the fit. As many people realized, the Hoka Clifton 2 sized both narrow and short.  For a shoe that was supposedly a wide toe box, it wasn’t. That was a big reason I chose never to run in the Hoka Clifton 2. My toenails are important to me and I need a wider shoe.

The Clifton 3 has a similar to fit as the original Clifton and is much wider. I normally wear a size 9.5 wide or size 10. The size 10 fits well.


The Hoka Clifton is an extremely soft, marshmallow cushioned shoe. That’s a huge reason I chose to run in the shoe after my ankle fracture. I already prefer a high cushioned shoe, but I also wanted a shoe that was soft and felt as if I was running on pillows. The Hoka Clifton feels that way.

The Hoka Clifton is not a heavy shoe, but the third model feels as if it’s heavier in the forefront.  I like that feeling because it means more metatarsal cushioning.


  • Wider than the Hoka Clifton 2 (a common complaint).
  • Inexpensive for the amount of cushion ($130)
  • Lightweight


  • Could use extra width or a wide model.
  • The cushion does not last the traditional 400 miles. If you are training in them, you will be replacing them sooner than 400 miles.

Hoka Clifton 3 Shoe Review

Overall thoughts:

I like the Hoka Clifton 3.  I’ll continue to run in the shoe until the cushion is gone.  I can appreciate the shoe is much wider. However, it is still not as wide as the original model.  I do hope they either continue to widen it or release a wide version as well.

Similar models: Saucony Triumph, Asics Nimbus, Altra Paradigm and Brooks Glycerin

Questions for you:

Have you ever run in Hokas? 

What is your current favorite running shoe?

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  1. I have a narrow foot and didn’t notice that much of a difference from the 2 to the 3. I do like the colors of the 3 much better.

    1. I remember you saying that Steff! We had a lot of issues in store since they were so narrow. After Hoka was bought out by Ugg, I think their design increased significantly 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness I love my Hokas so much.
    I’m a walker – – I’ve only done half marathons so far but have a full coming up in April – – and they are perfection.

  3. I’m so glad to hear your take on these. I am currently rotating through three brands/models right now and one of them is the Clifton 2. I love them, but wish they were as wide as my Pearl Izumis. I’m an Injini sock wearer too, so I need the space. Can’t wait to snag the Clifton 3!

  4. I tried the Cliftons when I was recovering from tibial stress fractures – I really liked the cushioning but found that they changed my stride/gait too much to be a long term option. The 3’s look a little more streamlined though. Maybe I’ll give them another shot! (Also, “my toenails are important to me” –> YES)

  5. I have not made it into the Clifton 3’s yet. I am usually one model behind. The Cliftons and the Bondis are in my rotation along with the Saucony Triumph, which I have just been trying. Hokas have become my go to running shoes! Alas, my favorite minimal shoes, Newton Gravity’s and Brooks Pure Flows have been giving me heel issues, so they are on the disabled list for now.

  6. I have up hoka after the conquest, it’s to narrow. I’d suggest looking at altra. The torin is plenty soft, but it lasts. I got 800km in the original torin, and 1200km (I love saying 1.2 megameters) with the torin 1.5 . Sadly shoes are super expensive in Canada ($170 for altra) so I’ve been waiting for a sale to try the torin 2 even thought the 2.5 is coming our out soon.

    1. You know I’ve run in Altra and don’t care for the at all. They work for a lot of people but sadly I’m not one of them.

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