Ahhh the HOKA One One Clifton. This is the first HOKA model to win my heart over. When I saw the original Clifton they looked like moon boots. After running in them they transformed into beautiful chariots of cush. It was weird, they didn’t look funny to me anymore. Since the first version, the look of the Clifton has only gotten better, but is it only skin deep? Will the love affair continue with the HOKA Clifton 3?
Let’s get to it.
Thomas: Here is what’s new. The film like overlays have been reconfigured. It doesn’t change much in the feel of the structure of the upper, but I would guess the new cage helps let a little more freedom into the toe box. HOKA used a new mesh for the upper that is more porous (breathable) and at the same time more durable than the previous model. The Clifton 3’s upper remains extremely comfortable on the foot. The midsole is the magic of the Clifton. It is so gentle on the foot while still being able to propel you at a decent clip. Of the HOKA One One models, the Clifton is my favorite. You get the famous comfort and cushioning that HOKA is known for in a lightweight package. HOKA added a little more rubber on the outsole to help with toe-off and durability. The big news on this update is a little more room in the toebox, watch the video and you will see that the difference is noticeable.
Meaghan: Good news! There are no crazy changes to the Clifton 3. Its still got that super-cushioned bouncy ride that I love. The upper has been modified slightly, a wider toe box and a new mesh material. Let’s be clear about the wider toe box: I barely noticed it (probably because it’s a 2mm differential). But I also didn’t have a problem with the width of the Clifton 2… The upper feels durable, but breathable – it’s a solid update. HOKA added some rubber to the outsole for extra durability and traction. I’ve run all of my Clifton’s into the ground so it’s nice to have the added rubber and durable upper. I haven’t seen much wear on these after 50 miles. There are some minor adjustments to the heel counter/collar and shape around the ankle. More on that later.
Thomas: The HOKA Clifton 3 isn’t sticking to the diet plan. The original version was the lightest at 8.3 oz. for a size 10.5, the Clifton 2 weighs 9.15 oz., and the new Clifton 3 weighs 10 oz. for the size 10.5. That is nearly 2 ounces more than the original! I didn’t really notice the weight difference until I put them on the scale, but it is significant over the long haul.
Meaghan: As Thomas mentioned, the Clifton series continues to beef up. The Clifton 1 started at a mere 6.5 0z and now we’re up to 7.8oz (for a W7.5). All things considered (sooo much cushion!) it’s still a light shoe. As I noted earlier, HOKA changed the shape of the collar above the heel counter. It went from rounded to more of a V-shape. It hugs the ankle closer, which is fine when you’re wearing higher socks, but not-so-much when you’re not. I have blood stains on the collar from where it was rubbing.
Thomas: The updated HOKA Clifton 3 is still my favorite HOKA model, and that is something considering the great additions they added to the road line up this year including the Tracer and Clayton. The wider toe-box will make the shoe more accessible for various foot shapes. The Clifton 3 are great for days when your legs feel beat or you just need a little TLC. I recommend pairing the Clifton with the Tracer. Use the Tracer for more aggressive workouts and settle into long runs and recovery runs in the Clifton 3.
Meaghan: The HOKA Clifton is also my favorite shoe from the lineup (the Tracer being a VERY close second). I love that HOKA makes updates based on runner feedback. Everyone was complaining about the narrow toe box, so they widened it. If you are a Clifton fan, you will be happy with the latest model. Plus, the added durability means you’ll be wearing these guys for more miles, making the $130 price tag super reasonable.