By Emil Føns Foldager
Hoka One One´s best-selling shoe , Clifton, is back in a new and improved version; Clifton 8. The shoes have become slightly tighter in the midsole and have a new upper. But Clifton 8 is still true to its heritage and is therefore a superb allround shoe.
Soft. Light. Comfortable. If these are three characteristics you are looking for in a running shoe, the new Clifton 8 from Hoka One One is just the shoe for you as it is light, really soft and incredibly comfortable! Clifton 8 is an obvious choice for most runs if you want your running shoes to feel plush and not weigh you down. If you already like the Clifton-collection, the 8th version will not be a disappointment in any way. And if you haven´t tried a Clifton yet, you should hurry up as it is really a great running shoe. I am yet to experience the same comfort in a light running shoe.
A balanced shoe
Hoka One One say that they have kept all the features you enjoyed and updated the one´s you weren´t keen on. Clifton 8 is still a high-mileage training shoe with a 5 mm drop. It weighs 260 gram in size 42 2/3 (men), which is a weight very hard to compete with as the shoe offers so much cushioning. I think it has a really good balance between being soft and responsive which makes it perfect for your daily training. As mile after mile disappears in the distance, I don´t really pay much attention to my feet. Its just really comfortable.
The mesh-upper has a snug fit without being too tight. Its padded but surprisingly breathable. Again comfort is the key word. There is plenty of room for my toes in the toe box and I don´t feel like I am sliding around inside the shoe. Like in the previous model, the tongue is gusseted in Clifton 8. This makes the shoe wrap itself firmly around your foot which provides a sense of security. The shoe is neither too narrow nor too wide and I never experienced it squeezing my foot anywhere.
Hoka One One didn´t try to make any revelations with the upper. Its mad of engineered mesh and the tongue is gusseted to make the shoe wrap itself comfortably around your foot. The heel cap has been extended to provide more support and its an extra plus that it is easy to get on and off. It feels light and almost like a natural extension of your foot.
As you perhaps already know, Hoka One One really excel though the midsole (the cushioning). It was the first brand to throw so much effort into the development of the midsole and they still benefit from that today. Large amounts of light EVA-foam and a pronounced ”early stage metarocker” (the Hoka technology which makes your foot roll forward when you lean in over the shoe) were the details that branded Hoka and in Clifton 8 they are still the most important qualities in the shoe. Compared to the previous model, Hoka have changed the midsole slightly to make it a little more responsive. On the other hand, they have also made the sole slightly lighter and wider. We´re not talking big changes. ”Never change a winning team” seems to be Hokas mantra, and the Clifton-series is a winning team. Some people might want to see the Clifton-collection more developed and certainly the latest edition doesn´t present huge changes but its still a very solid possible choice for a great high-mileage training shoe or allround shoe.
Across the outsole you will find a durable lightweight rubber compound in a new pattern which provides a great grip and and has great durability. A big part of the outsole is made in the same material as the midsole but as the rubber is strategically placed, the midsole material won´t be particularly worn.
Hoka One One Clifton 8 is a superb high-mileage training shoe. If you can settle for owning just one pair of running shoes, it is a solid possible choice as you can use it for all types of training. Clifton 8 is a very versatile model. The experienced and inexperienced runner will be able to use Clifton 8 for all kinds of runs - both easy runs and when you need to pick up the pace. The faster runner will find Clifton 8 perfect for the more easy-going runs.
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