Hoka Clifton 5 Shoe Review

Hoka one one clifton 5 shoe review

I’ve run in most of the versions of the Hoka Clifton.   Since the Clifton 1, I’ve found the Clifton itself to become more and more durable.  One complaint I’ve heard over the years is the Hoka Clifton has gotten heavier.  That is accurate but with the few ounces in weight, has come a lot more rubber on the bottom as well as durability.  From a specialty standpoint, it’s definitely one of the most popular Hoka models.  For some runners it’s their racer, for others it’s their easy and recovery day.  For me, it’ a daily trainer and I prefer a heavier model such as the Bondi for recovery days.

Hoka one one clifton 5 shoe review


The upper of Hoka Clifton 4 saw the most significant change from the 3.  It became a seamless engineered mesh.  The Clifton 5 removes even more seams, and it also fits true to size.   I wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide, and in the Hoka Clifton 5, I wear a 10.5

The Clifton 5 uses fine engineered mesh in the upper which gives it more structure.  Your feet don’t feel as though they are “free floating” around like in some seamless uppers.

Hoka one one clifton 5 shoe review


If you have never worn Hoka before, know it feels very different from any other brand you’ve worn.  You either like Hoka, or you don’t, and there is no shame in either.  Your feet sit lower to the ground than you think.

Many people ask: “will I fall because I’m higher” and the answer is no.  What people don’t realize is most Hoka models are actually flatter, and it takes time to get used too.  A lot of cushioning, especially in the Clifton is more visual, and your feet sit much lower than you think. Most models are between a 4-5 mm drop versus 8-11 like many traditional brands.

Personally, I find the cushioning in the Hoka Clifton 5 is much better.  It’s a bit firmer.  I’ve heard from several people who got arch pain in the Hoka Clifton 4, just because of how soft the shoe was.  If you have ever imagined running on marshmallows, the Clifton 4 was the closest thing.

The Hoka Clifton 5 is much firmer (not as firm as the Mach or Bondi).  I prefer the Clifton 5 much more than the 4 regarding ride.

Hoka one one clifton 5 shoe review


In all, the Hoka Clifton 5 is a great update, and if you like the 4, you’re fairly certain to like the 5 too.  If you had issues with the arch of the 4, the 5 is worth your while to revisit because Hoka has firmed it up.

Like the Clintons before it, the ride I still very smooth and soft.  If you’re looking for a more responsive shoe, you’ll want to go with the Mach. It’s a great shoe in the rotation for both recovery or daily runs.

Other Shoes I’m Currently Running In:

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Hoka Clifton 5, Saucony Ride ISO, New Balance 1080

Workouts: Underarmour Sonic, New Balance 1400

Races: Nike LT Racer, Nike Zoom Fly

Questions for you:

Have you tried Hoka?

What is one shoe you’ve run in most model of? 


  1. I loved the Clifton 3s. I first got them for long runs to reduce the pounding and beating of my marathon training.

    They are surprisingly fast! I didn’t use them at the track, but I used them for 10 milers or halfs. You’re right about the durability too. Mine look old and beat up but are still rolling along at 450 miles and I don’t expect to throw them out any time soon.

  2. I have not tried the Clifton 5 yet. I am usually one model year behind, so I am still running in Clifton 4’s, which I love. I think you are right, you either love Hoka’s or you don’t. I have been wearing Cliftons since they were introduced and before that started with the Bondi’s. They certainly feel better and sure as heck look better. The old Bondi’s looked like clown shoes. My “go to” shoes remain Hokas and my Saucony Triumphs.

  3. In the store these felt great but wearing them around home definitely got arch pain so didn’t bother to run in them…which lead me to the return and finding the NB 1080v8’s which I love!

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