Thomas: This is a Clifton. We will call it by its name HOKA Napali for the sake of the review, but know that we are talking about the Clifton 3.5 or what the Clifton 4 should have been. The Napali has the same midsole and outsole as the Clifton 3, but the upper is improved with a simplified design using a highly breathable mesh. The Napali at 9 oz. is 1.8 ounces lighter than the Clifton 4. Smack me sideways! Seriously, almost 2 oz. lighter! So let me sum it up so far, the Napali has the same midsole as the Clifton 3 with a better upper than the 4, and it is lighter. OH WAIT! It is $30 cheaper. The Napali retails for $99.95 while the Clifton 4 is$129.95.
If you haven’t run in the Clifton/Napali before, the characteristics are loads of cushion in a lightweight package that you can run fast in. It is a fantastic shoe at any distance. This March Meg and I will be running a 50k in the trail version the Napali ATR. The shoe has a meta rocker design, in laymen’s terms, it is designed to land then roll off the toe for a super smooth stride. They were in a class of their own for a long time; now a couple of shoes have come along with some similarities including the Skechers Ride 7 and the Nike Vaporfly 4%. Did I just say the Nike Vaporfly 4% has some similarities to the HOKA?! I did. Feel free to ask me or argue about that in the comments.
Meaghan: YOU GUYS! The Clifton 3 is back and better than ever! Don’t be fooled by the Napali title (…wtf, HOKA?). This is a better looking, barely-but-slightly updated Clifton 3. It’s your daily trainer that lives up to HOKA cushioning expectations. A soft, bouncy ride with a rocker midsole feels great underfoot from mile 1 to mile 20. The upper is the only real differentiator to the Clifton. Placement of the overlays changed, but it’s still designed with a breathable mesh. I didn’t notice a difference in the toebox width. They fit my wide feet well. The best part of this shoe? It’s lighter than the Clifton 3. My W7.5 came in a 7.25 oz (Clifton 3 = 7.8oz). WHOOP.
Thomas: Because the Napali shares the Clifton 3 foundation, the width and toe box remains the same. If you don’t like the way the vamp of the Clifton fits, skip the Napaili and try that Skechers Ride 7.
The Hoka Napali Conclusion
Thomas: If you are as big a fan of the Clifton as I am, and you were disappointed by the Clifton 4, GET THE NAPALI. The Napali is a step in the right direction, even if it is a step backward and then it makes HOKA feel funny, so they change the name. Get your feet into these.
Meaghan: This is a prettier, skinnier Clifton 3 (sorry not sorry). I love them and I’m constantly lacing these guys up. They look good. They feel good. You should probably buy a pair right now… and I highly recommend the Bluebird/Black colorway.