Hoka Cavu 2 Shoe Review

Hoka Cavu 2 Shoe Review

The original Hoka Cavu was one of my favorite shoes of 2018. It was simple, light, and relatively inexpensive. If you’re subscribed to the newsletter, then you know I firmly believe the Hoka Cavu 2 is even better and one of the most underrated shoes out there.

It’s simple and a solid trainer.  As you can see from photos, I’ve gotten plenty of mileage out of the shoe. I’m well over 100 miles and the shoe feels great.

Like the Mach, the Hoka Cavu uses the “Profly” sole.  The significant difference between the Mach and the Cavu is the Cavu is lighter. It’s a little better for racing, workouts, and faster runs. The Mach is better for easy runs.  The Mach is less pounding on your body, but you trade a slightly more substantial shoe.

Hoka cavu 2 shoe review


The fit and upper of the Cavu 2 has been redesigned. It’s simple which works for it. It’s seamless with a wide toe box which gives the toes plenty of room.  Like the Mach 2, it fits larger but not large enough I would go down a half size. Typically I wear a women’s 10-11 wide and a 10.5 is perfect. The Cavu isn’t made in wide, but even if it was, I think I would stick with a regular width.

Hoka cavu 2 shoe review


In my opinion, the Cavu is the least “Hoka shoe” out there. When you think of Hoka, you think of maximum cushion and a soft pillowy mattress under your foot. For some people, all of that cushion is intimidating! The Hoka Cavu is much lighter and lower to the ground.  If you’re new to wearing Hokas, the Cavu is a good start because of how many characteristics it shares with a traditional brand. If you ever wore the Clayton, Tracer, or the original Clifton, you’ll appreciate the ride of the Cavu as well.

The shoe performs well in weather too. If it’s rainy or icy, I would use the Cavu over many other lighter shoes. I don’t feel as though Hoka sacrificed tread and grip to reduce the weight.

Hoka cavu 2 shoe review

It reminds me of shoes such as the Saucony Kinvara, New Balance 1400, or even Brooks Launch. It has the ability to run fast and be responsible. It’s a shoe, Hoka was missing from their line until recently.

The Cavu 2 is nearly an ounce lighter than the original Cavu. There is no telling; you’ll feel fast in this shoe. I’ve run longer tempo runs as well as easy days. For me, I find it’s the best place to be with longer and faster runs. It’s my go-to long run shoe.



I think the Hoka Cavuis one of the most underrated shoe out there. If you’re already running in Hoka and want a lighter shoe, it’s a great option. If you’ve never tried Hoka but are thinking of trying, it’s also a great option.

Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin, Hoka Mach 2, New Balance 1080, 

Long Runs/Tempos: Hoka Cavu 2

Speed Work/Racing: Nike Fly, Nike LT Streak

If you want more running and industry news, subscribe to the newsletter. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite long run shoe?  What is your current favorite shoe? 

Hoka Clifton 5 Shoe Review

Hoka 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? 

Hoka Clifton 4 Shoe Review

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.


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 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).


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


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?

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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