Shoe Reviews

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 6 Performance Review

What You Need to Know

  • After a decline in previous versions, the Clifton you love is back, baby
  • Half-ounce lighter than the Clifton 5
  • Our favorite upper to date in the Clifton line
  • Also–who doesn’t love a good heel pull tab? 

Our love affair with the HOKA Clifton goes back all the way to the original. There have been ups and downs in the Clifton editions (ahem, Clifton 4 and Clifton 5), but the good news is the Clifton 6 is back on track.

hoka clifton 6

The Good

Meaghan: I don’t know if HOKAs are getting better looking or I have beer goggles for these shoes, but I am digging the aesthetics of the Clifton 6. I received the Plein Air/Blue colorway and they are lovely.

Looks aside, the Clifton 6 has some solid updates to talk about. HOKA removed the printed overlays from the engineered mesh upper and stitched reinforcements around the midfoot. You get solid support, with an even lighter, softer feel.

The toe box is large and accommodates my wide feet well. For those that complained about the width of V5, you will be happy to know this has been adjusted and your flippers will fit just fine.

HOKA softened things up under the foot, too, but it didn’t lose any cushioning — the shoes come with a 30mm stack height in the heel and 25mm in the forefoot. This giant slab of foam has been slightly modified for a softer underfoot feel, but it isn’t too squishy.

On the outsole, the shoe remains somewhat exposed with rubber placements on the forefoot and heel. I’ve put over  70 miles on mine and they’re holding up well. 

After 5 years of gaining weight, I am happy to report the Clifton 6 is BACK ON TRACK! My W7.5 came in at 7.9oz, vs the 8.4 oz of the Clifton 5. Slow clap.

Thomas: Meg mentioned that the latest Clifton got wider than the previous model. For someone with narrow feet that can be a problem, but it isn’t. The shoe fits my high arched torpedoes well.

The upper on the Clifton 6 is the best upper on a Clifton yet. The mesh is cleanly designed and breathes well, adding structure where it is needed by tightening the weave. The stitched reinforcements on the lateral and medial side do their job and lock in the foot nicely. The tongue and ankle collar is padded but not puffy, and the flat laces make it easy to get your desired fit. There is nothing sloppy about the trainer.

With the wide base of the midsole, the Clifton 6 feels stable and the cushioning is enough to go any distance. Slap them on and you’ll be fine keeping up with Michael Wardian’s weekly mileage in comfort.

HOKA softened the EVA foam in the midsole, but don’t worry–it isn’t so soft that the shoe sucks energy from your stride. The stack (height of the midsole) is generous, but the wide shape of the ground contact platform helps to make every stride feel secure, while the heel-to-toe meta rocker makes the Clifton 6 glide through your stride.

If you know how HOKA rolls, you know there isn’t a ton of rubber on the outsole. The rubber is there for traction, not durability. But the Clifton has EVA for days, so you won’t be wearing through this shoe quickly.  My size 10.5 has a 5 mm drop and weigh in at 9.56 oz./271 grams.

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hoka one one clifton 6

The Bad

Meaghan: I don’t have much to complain about this go-around. V6 is the best thing to happen to the Clifton since its inception.

Thomas: I have to agree with Meaghan on this one, this is the best HOKA Clifton we have seen in at least three iterations. I might have pinged the C6 for a few items, but now there is a super light option in the Rincon and a plush racer in the Carbon X. The Clifton doesn’t have to be the HOKA savior anymore. It can rest easy in its role as a great daily cruiser.

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hoka clifton 6

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 6 Conclusion

Meaghan: HOKA is having a good year. The Carbon X was a big hit, the Rincon (although I didn’t test it myself) looks pretty sweet, and the Clifton 6 is an awesome update. I’ve been lacing up the Clifton 6 for my easy runs–short and long– and even threw in some faster miles.

I wouldn’t use the Clifton for race day or track work, but it’s great for just about anything else. If you like some extra cushioning underfoot, the Clifton 6 is a must-have.

Thomas: If you like any of the other Cliftons (especially the Clifton 1), you will love the Clifton 6. Cushioned without being squishy, the Clifton 6 is a banger for daily miles and is made for the long run. I might actually prefer the Clifton 6 over the Nike Pegasus 36 for everyday running. Please don’t tell anyone. 😬

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Meaghan is the co-founder of Big Run Media and Believe in the Run. She’s often found tearing up the promenade on Baltimore’s waterfront early in the morning.

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Hi I just received my Clifton 6. I loved the 1-3, returned both 4 and 5. Can’t wait to try.

    Question: what show would you recommend for track/ speed work?

    1. I am going to try out the Saucony A9 tomorrow. Might be a good option. I do love the Reebok RunFast too.

  2. Yes, love my clifton sixes. How many miles you think i can get out of them? From your history with the other versions. I suspect less then a stiffer sole, as the trade off of the large cushion is the quicker wear. Agree?

    1. They have a lot of wear on them. People get 500 miles out of Cliftons easy. Just depends on how “fresh” you want the midsole to feel.

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