(c) Runner’s Tribe, 2020
Another year, another Hoka Clifton, perhaps Hoka’s most popular shoe. A highly cushioned, neutral high mileage trainer. A workhorse for endless miles. Hoka call it their ‘Ultra comfortable go to daily runner’ – it’s hard to argue with that.
Not designed for speed, but for long distances or easy runs.
The Clifton 7 is very similar to the Clifton 6 – a nice, soft, lightweight, cushioned ride. The only significant changes are a new upper (mesh) and various minor changes to it’s last/upper/heel counter. The differences between the 6 and 7 are pretty much negligible, some minor tweaks, but hardly noticeable.
Runner’s Tribe took these shoes through 110km of mostly road and light trail running, and below is our analysis.
- Km’s run during testing process: 110
- Testers: Two road/track runners.
- Surface: Road or very light trails.
- Purpose: Everyday high mileage trainer. Good for warm-ups and warm downs. Good for easy runs or long runs. Not a super fast racing shoe.
- Pronation: Neutral.
- Stack Height: 29mm heel. 24mm forefoot. These stack heights were verified by Hoka Australia. See the table below for brand comparisons.
- Heel-to-toe-drop/pitch: 5mm
- Weight: Very light (see the below table for brand comparisons)
- Men: 9 US: 258g (Nike Pegasus is 266 grams).
- Women: 8 US: 224g.
- Men: 11 US: 286 grams (Nike Vomero is 312 grams).
- Midsole: Soft lightweight EVA foam.
- Upper: A new upgraded 2-layered mesh. Numerous ventilation holes provide for good breathability.
- Outsole: Exposed EVA foam and strategic rubber under high impact areas. The exposed midsole foam as well as the outsole rubber are both soft to the touch, providing for a much softer landing than is found with traditional high mileage trainers such as the Nike Pegasus or Asics Kayano.
- Flexibility: Moderate. Quite easy to flex.
Toe Box: Standard Hoka, a tightish fit, not a lot of room for those with peculiar feet idiosyncrasies.
Durability: Average to good. The outsole rubber and exposed outsole EVA are soft and therefore wear quick than shoes with hard outsoles. It’s all a compromise; Hoka’s soft ride is why people love their shoes, but the trade off is that the outsoles do show wear quicker than say an Adidas Ultraboost.
- Density of midsole: Soft to moderate.
- Heel cushioning: Soft.
- Forefoot cushioning: Soft.
- Heel counter: Hard/rigid, doesn’t collapse easily. The Clifton &’s heel counter is more flared than the 6. There is also no pull tab on the 7.
- Fits: Runs true to size.
- Marketing Hype: Low.
- Does it live up to the hype: Yes.
- Price: $239.95 AUD at Hoka Australia.
- Buy from
Against some rivals
|Shoe (all size US 9 Men||Weight (grams)||Drop(MM)||Stack Heights (heel/forefoot cushioning)|
|Hoka Clifton 7||258grams||5mm||29mm/24mm|
|Adidas Solar Boost||301grams||10mm||28mm/18mm|
|New Balance 1080||283 grams||8mm||30mm/22mm|
|Mizuno Wave Rider||289 grams||12mm||32mm/20mm|
|Brooks Glycerin||309 grams||10mm||32mm/22mm|
|Nike Epic React||224grams||10mm||28mm/18mm|
What sets a Hoka Clifton apart from most of its rivals, is the extra forefoot cushioning. There is substantially more support under the forefoot than other shoes.
Cool things about this shoe
- Weight: The shoe is incredibly light, crazy light for a high mileage trainer. The midsole EVA that Hoka use is incredibly light foam, it’s how they get away with having so much of it.
- Soft midsole: If you enjoy a soft midsole then you will love this shoe. It’s maybe slightly firmer and more responsive than the Clifton 6, but that may just be in my head.
- High-end upper: The upper is soft, comfortable and breathable.
- Perfect for easy runs: The shoe isn’t fast, but it is a soft cruisy ride that is easy on your legs. For those casual warm-ups and warm-downs, or for easy runs or long runs, the shoes provide a soft ride that feels great.
- Durability of outsole: As mentioned above, the outsole is soft and therefore wears down a lot faster than the rock hard full-length outsoles found in most Asics, Nike or Adidas high mileage trainers. The compromise; the Clifton’s ride is softer. It’s all a trade-off.
To buy or not to buy?
The Hoka Clifton 7 is an awesome shoe for long runs, easy runs, warm-ups and warm downs. It is suited for the road or for very safe and easy trails. It’s a soft, light ride; softer and lighter than nearly any other rides out there. For those who loved the 6, the 7 has remained true to the Clifton lineage, and won’t let you down.
Disclaimer: Runner’s Tribe were given a pair of Clifton 7 for free.
Written and tested by Sam Burke for Runner’s Tribe.