My name is Steve Moore, and I am the owner of this brick-and-mortar shop Run Moore in Westminster, Maryland. Today, we will be talking about the new Hoka Clifton 8 that comes out in June of 2021. We have been open since 2014, and we have been a Hoka dealer since 2014. It has been enjoyable seeing this brand grow.
Basic Overview of the Clifton 8
WEIGHT: 8.81 oz | 7.5 oz
HEEL TO TOE DROP: 5 mm
History of Hoka
We have carried a bunch of brands through over the years. I always say there’s only so much room on our wall. If you guys have been a long-time runner, you’ve seen things come and go, and trends come and go, but nothing has been like the growth of the Hoka. When we first opened, Hoka was a tough sell, and we would have to convince people to try these shoes because it was so different from everything else on the wall. This is not just like how it shaped, but how it looked and how it felt. It was just a very different shoe, and it’s been fun throughout the years as we’ve seen brands come and do sort of their Hoka-like shoe. Now it is at the point where other brands that will come in and say this is our Cliftonesque shoe – and to be honest, I’d rather carry the Hoka Clifton than carry whatever their version of a Hoka Clifton is.
We’ve seen many different iterations of this shoe throughout the years, and some have been good, and others… not so much. There were a couple where this shoe was getting firmer and firmer. But now I feel like it has gotten a little bit better each time.
What is the Purpose of the Hoka Clifton?
I want to sort of start with what the Clifton is. The Clifton is Hoka’s mid-cushion neutral shoe. It is an everyday training shoe. It’s very light -it doesn’t look like it would be, but it’s a very lightweight shoe. Recently, we’ve been seeing some advertising stuff coming out from Hoka, saying that it is a lot lighter than previous generations, but weighing it is virtually the same weight. If anything on the women’s side, it’s a pinch heavier, but you really can’t feel that difference; we’re talking minuscule amounts here. It is about nine ounces on the men’s and about seven and a half on the women’s. So, it’s not like it’s a heavy shoe. You can put the Clifton 8 on your foot and run, we say, from anywhere from like mile to a marathon. You can do a little bit of everything in this shoe.
The Clifton as a Stepping Stone
At the shop, we use the Clifton as our starting point for runners. So, if you want to run faster miles, we’ll step down to a Mach or a Rincon. If you need more arch support, we can step up and try the Arahi. But the Clifton comes to mind for so many people as it is an excellent introduction to the brand.
Still, even as this brand has grown over the years and Hoka have extended their line out to a million different models, the Clifton remains their most popular, solid shoe. While this is a mid-cushion neutral shoe, there are versions of the shoe that are heavier. Some are more cushioned. If somebody comes into our shop and asks what our max cushion Hoka shoe is, we recommend the Bondi, as it is the big sibling to the Clifton. But what is interesting is that I believe the Clifton is the softest Hoka shoe. So, if people say, I want the most cushioned shoe to put under my foot? Technically, there are more cushioned shoes out there, but if you’re looking for a soft cushion, this is it; this is where you want to be.
Walking on Fluffy Clouds
When people try the Clifton, they say it feels like I am walking on Clouds or feel like a marshmallow under my foot. If you’ve been around with Hoka for some time back in version 5, they pushed this message through their marketing. But then, it was all over, little marshmallows and things to give runners that idea of comfort.
It is fun when you put somebody in this shoe for the first time. There is an immediate change when somebody comes in with stiff, traditional running shoes or something that they have been running for a long time, and they put this on. It’s just so different, and it’s so fun, and it feels so nice underfoot.
What Makes Hokas Feel so Different?
What contributes to this feeling is how Hoka shoes are built on a meta rocker platform. So, the idea is that as you step down, it sort of moves with you. So typically, what we see when people try this shoe is that it feels like the shoe is working with you as you walk and run.
What kind of injuries do Hokas help with?
This helps for all sorts of different injuries, and it is fun. It feels great on your foot when you’re just trying to go for some longer miles as it is gliding along with you.
PTs have always recommended run specialty shops like ours, but now we are seeing them specifically recommend the Hoka brand. It is especially true for those dealing with plantar fasciitis because they have a nice arch, and that rolling sensation when you’re walking/running helps to stretch out your foot when you are moving. PTs also recommend Hokas if their clients have stiff joints or toes, as the brand allows you not to feel stiff underfoot and has a lower heel-to-toe drop.
What is Heel to Toe Drop in the Clifton 8?
The heel to drop in a shoe is the height of the heel is down to the toe -we talk about ramping. It is how much you are pitched forward. Compared to other shoes in the neutral category, the Clifton 8’s heel-to-to-drop is smack in the middle at five and a half millimeters. It is in that sort of sweet spot of like I can feel there is a little bit of pitch but not too much.
Changing that pitch sort of changes your trajectory when you are running and putting your heel placement. Some people might have some toe issues and some circulation issues, and some just general forefoot stuff. Lowering your heel does help slightly as we are not pushing all our momentum down towards the toe box. Just a couple of minor things on that, this being a neutral shoe, it is designed for somebody who’s sort of in the middle, or maybe somebody who under pronates a little bit.
Suggestions for People with Flatter Feet
If you are somebody who’s flatter footed looking for a Hoka shoe to try to check out down below, we will link to our review of the Arahi and the Gaviota, which is sort of their most stable versions come from the Clifton family. So if you are looking for a neutral shoe or someone who under pronates the Clifton 8 and squishy underfoot, this will be your friend. This will give you that nice all-day support, and some little things that we have added from previous generations are they have added how much of the rubberized protection they have on here they are your crash pad, and it will protect you when you are running.
What is New in the Hoka Clifton 8
There have been some adjustments to the placement of the rubber on the outside of the shoe. This is to provide a bit more durability and protection. There is a much looser, much airier upper. I feel good in the upper on this, and that is where I know they put a lot of their changes from the previous seven to version eight. It feels great underfoot. If you’re somebody who gets that sort of hot foot, think if you’re somebody who lives down in the warmer climate, and you’re getting ready for a nice hot summer as we are here in Maryland, it’s nice having a nice breathable upper, and this feels great underfoot.
Like the last Clifton 7, we still have that same heel counter to it that nice slip-in feel. It seems silly, but when we watch people put on put-on shoes, you’d be shocked how many people come in here, and they like to slam down on the heel. I’m like watching with my nice shoes like please stop ruining my shoes! With this slip-in feel, it makes it nice and easy for people to get on and off. It also feels good to put this shoe on because it is so nice and squishy soft. Especially that first step feels really good. The Clifton 8 has got a really plush heel cup and a plush tongue on it. Much like the last version of this shoe, they made sure that they upped that from previous versions on it. If you are somebody who works in a job or is on your feet all day, the Clifton 8 is an awesome shoe to try.
Can I use Hoka Clifton for Cross-Training/Gym Workouts?
If you are somebody who has some over pro under pronation great neutral shoe for it some of the things I do not love for this shoe if you are somebody with balance issues because of the way that it built on that meta rocker platform, it can feel a little bit off balance so I would stay away from Hokas. In my opinion, if you are somebody who is going to the gym, or if you are somebody who is just using this to do some cardio stuff from side-to-side stuff, I do not necessarily love the Hoka for that kind of work. The Clifton has a stack height that is a little high for gym work; it is just designed for that forward motion. If you are somebody who will be doing lateral movement, I will stay away from most Hoka’s in general as there are other shoes out there that can do a better job.
What are the Available Widths?
It is available wide. These two will be available in standard and wide, and these two are available in standard and wide on the men. Unfortunately, they only do a 2E. There is not a 4E version for this shoe yet. So, if you are looking for a 4E Hoka, you will have to go to the Bondi. The Bondi is the only version of any Hoka that has a 4E.
What Size do you Recommend?
We did increase our sizing run on this and say Hoka did increase their sizing run on this. This will go to a size 16 on the men’s now, and the women’s side will go up to a size 12. it is bigger than what it has been before, and we can go to a D width. We can go up to a 2E width on these.
Is the Clifton 8 Great for Runners?
If you are looking for a great everyday shoe, put it on, run some miles, walk around all day. It is a great shoe at 130 bucks. The price has not changed on it. It is going to be a great shoe for you to check out. If you like this shoe, feel free to get it from our shop use promo code RunMoore, and you will save 10%.
If you have any questions on the Hoka or any other shoot, feel free to leave it down below and like and subscribe to our channel. It does help us out. Thank you so much for the support, and happy running and go check out the new Clifton today thanks.
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