HOKA ONE ONE CLIFTON 5 – SHOE REVIEW
by MELANIE MITCHELL | JUNE 25TH, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What's New with Hoka Clifton 5?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Hoka Clifton 5
- About the Author
The Hoka Clifton 5 is the latest relase in the family of award-winning Clifton running shoes. The new Clifton is light, cushy and contrary to those who critique, very fast!
The fifth version of the Hoka Clifton gets a significant upgrade to the upper, making it more breathable and more sleek looking than its predecessor. Read on to learn what our Hoka gear tester thinks of the new version of her favorite running shoes.
This run tester has already drunk the Cool-Aid when it comes to the Hoka Clifton, wearing them loyally through versions 3 through 5. Already sold on the concept of the Hoka One One brand of light, cushy shoe, the arrival of a new pair of Cliftons is the best summer can offer for this runner.
The designers at Hoka One One take any changes to their shoes seriously. There's a reason the Clifton has won numerous awards in the past including ‘Best of Tri Gear’ from Active.com in 2018 and ‘Best Update' from Runner’s World in 2017. The fifth version of the Clifton is all about the upper – and that’s a good package for 2018.
WHAT'S NEW WITH HOKA CLIFTON 5?
The upper is the biggest change for this version of the Clifton. With brand new engineered mesh, there are fewer overlays than previous versions. This allows for the new Clifton to have a tighter lacing system, meaning you can dial in the shoe for a more supported run. There is less padding on the tongue, which suited this run tester, again helping to add more cool to summer running and feeling more light as a result.
The midsole on the Clifton 5 remains unchanged in materials or firmness from the previous version. It still has the Hoka’s EVA and Early Stage Meta-Rocker geometry for the classic Hoka ride.
The sole of the Clifton has strategically placed hi-abrasion rubber zones to reduce weight and add durability to the key areas of the sole where it takes the most abuse.
FIT: With the new style upper, the Hoka Clifton 5 feels ‘lighter’ from a temperature point of view. Removing the overlay was a bonus for this runner who has a ‘wider’ normal foot. Note, the Clifton is also available in a wide version.
FEEL: The lacing system on the new upper means the foot is better locked in and the pliable upper is more comfortable and for this run tester the area around the achilles felt more comfortable.
RIDE: With no changes to the midsole, the Clifton is like you’ve come back home and you’re running with your best friend – albeit a brand new version. There is nothing like a new pair of running shoes, and the Clifton 5 is no exception. With the new upper (and I am testing it in the summer), my legs just got an upgrade, and my feet feel five years faster!
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
Good for daily training runs where you need a maximal shoe for impact absorption on hard surfaces, which the Clifton 5 provides in spades.
Although some say the Clifton is suited to moderate paced miles and recovery runs, I agree and disagree. The Clifton 5 works best for this triathlete at tempo paces and long runs when I am already running on tired legs. If you’re a high-mileage runner, or looking to bulk up your distance as the season progresses, both will benefit from adding the Clifton to your shoe rotation.
PROS AND CONS OF THE HOKA CLIFTON 5
More breathability thanks to the mesh upper and more comfort. No changes to the midsole or sole, which is perfect given the accolades garnered from the last upgrades in the fourth version. If it’s not broken….. don’t fix it!
If you’re looking for a con, the question to ask yourself is whether a max-cushioned shoe is right for you. If you’re a runner used to a less cushioned shoe, the Clifton will feel different, and change is scary to many of us! However, go for a few runs and we think you’ll drink the Clifton Cool-Aid with us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MELANIE MITCHELL
Melanie Mitchell is a triathlete with a gear problem. Having raced for more years than she cares to mention, she’s run in most shoe types at some point or another. Originally from England, she started running in the rain and now runs in the Colorado sun and appreciates her luck every day.
As JackRabbit’s resident tri-geek, her goal is to keep racing long enough to qualify for Ironman World Championships in her 70s through sheer determination over talent. As a freckled ginger, she’s also holding out for sponsorship from a sunscreen brand at any moment.