Hoka Clifton 6 ReviewJanuary 26, 2020
- Appealing design and color combination
- Breathes well
- Excellent ride quality
- Too soft for some
- Heavy, even for Hoka
The Clifton fit true to size. Some reviewers said that the toe box was wide, but I personally felt like it was a pretty standard size (at least when comparing it to other shoes on the market). The toebox may have felt wide since the shoe fit a little narrow. This could be problematic for runners, and it is important to point out that this shoe does have a wide option for purchase. One reviewer mentioned that the midfoot lockdown was not as secure as he would like. The heel collar has some additional cushioning which prevented heel slip.
The Hoka Clifton was a really comfortable shoe that provided a lot of support throughout the entire run. One of the first things noticed about these shoes was the soft EVA cushion. When comparing it to the Clifton 5, one reviewer noted: “I think some people are going to love how soft the Clifton 6 is verses the Clifton 5 that was a little stiffer and more firm.” The redesign of the upper allowed more breathability and flexibility. Heel strikers received a little more foam to support the stride than in previous models of the Clifton.
The foam added some bounce to the step during daily runs. Reviewers did not always like how soft the shoe felt, claiming that the foam almost made it feel like they were sinking. As someone who is a big fan of softer rides, this was a major plus for me. The shoe does not feel sluggish and due to its lightweight feel and lots of cushioning I could see it being used by some runners come marathon race day.
This may not be the best shoe for those looking for speed. While it is lightweight (one component of speedy shoes) the shoe still felt like a more traditional, heavy mileage shoe. It felt a lot more comfortable in the middle to long-range distances than on any sort of interval or speed work.
The Clifton 6 had a soft, smooth ride thanks to the EVA cushioning Hoka used on this model. These were great for longer miles and recovery days. They held up well and kept the feet comfortable for hundreds of miles. The transition was smooth for Hoka but the shoe still did not lend itself to some speedier workouts. This was largely attributed to the structure of the shoe with the Meta-Rocker that Hoka used to help runners really push off when striking the ground.
Dr. Matthew Klein PT DPT OCS is a doctor of physical therapy and Kaiser SoCal Sport Fellow. He is a long time competitive runner over a variety of distances. He has a keen interest in running shoes and has been researching and reviewing them for almost a decade.