Hoka Clifton 4 Shoe Review

I’ve run in a few Hoka One One Clifton.  I ran in the original Clifton as well as the Clifton 3.  I skipped the Clifton 2 because it was a bit too narrow for my foot.  The Clifton has continued to be one of Hoka One One’s more popular models.  It’s light but still, has the cushion people have come to love from Hoka.

Hoka claims the differences between the Clifton 3 and Clifton 4 are the most drastic.  In my opinion, I believe sizing was a drastic change between the 1-3, but the upper is much different in the 4.

Appearance:

I rarely talk about the appearance of shoes, but Hoka has made a solid effort to make their shoes look more friendly to the eyes.  When Hoka was first developing shoes, some of their earlier models I wouldn’t ever use as a “casual” shoe.  The Hoka Clifton 4 went through such a drastic change in appearance, that it’s now a shoe I bought myself a second pair to walk around in.

Fit: 

Fit wise, the Hoka Clifton 4 is similar to the Clifton 3.  It’s important, especially if you have wider feet (like myself!).  I wore a 10 in the Clifton 3 and continue in a 10 now.

The great news for the Clifton lovers is the Clifton now comes in wide!  That deserves 10 exclamation points by itself.

As Hoka claims, they did update the upper.  The new mesh is much more breathable than previous years and also has zero seams (which is trending in the industry right now).

Ride: 

The Clifton is known to be lightweight but very cushioned.  To me, it feels like a giant spongey marshmallow underneath your feet.  The Bondi feels much more firm and dense, while the Clifton is much more spongy.

Hoka claims this year the Clifton 4 will last much longer than previous models.  As someone who has run and works at a running store, I will say that the Clifton has been notorious for not lasting as long as many other similar brands.  They sacrifice durability with decreasing the weight of the shoe.  This year, is a different story and I’ve almost run 300 miles in the Clifton 4.  A shoe I was never able to put that much mileage on.

If you have run in the Clifton 3, the ride is very similar.  It’s like a giant marshmallow underneath your feet. If you are new to the Clifton or Hoka, it’s a lightweight but a well cushioned and soft ride.  You feel the roll as you move through your gait cycle.

Hoka Clifton 4 Shoe Review

Thoughts:

I like the Clifton 4 and it will continue to keep it in my rotation.  In fact, I bought a second pair to walk around in because I do believe it does look that good.

Current Rotation:
Saucony Freedom (long runs/easy runs)
Hoka Clifton 4 (long runs/easy runs)
Brooks Ghost 10 (daily runs)
Altra Escalante (speed workouts)
Saucony Type A/Endorphin (races)

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?

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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.

Fit: 

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.

Ride: 

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.

Pros:

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

Negative:

  • 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?