When the Clifton 1 made its debut in 2014, it became so popular it is largely credited for putting Hoka One One on the map of cult-favourite running shoe names. Seven editions later, the Hoka Clifton 8 is the latest in this beloved fleet of footwear.
The Clifton 8 has kept much of what we loved in the 7 and improved from strength to strength. It’s an ideal choice for everyday training, and longer runs, and will even carry you through a marathon if you want it to.
So what makes the Clifton 8 an excellent running shoe choice, and who is this shoe for? Let’s take a look at what’s different about the Clifton 8, where this shoe shines, and where it falls short.
Hoka Clifton 8: The Details
The signature component of Hoka’s Clifton 8’s is the use of the brand’s trademarked meta-rocker platform. Positioned in the midsole, the meta-rocker acts to “roll” the runner from one stride to the next, in a smooth, propelled motion.
The Clifton 8 also features a bouncy stack of 33.7mm foam with a 5mm drop. It’s this extra-cushioned EVA foam that gives Hoka shoes the described “marshmallow softness” in so many of their shoes.
That said, the EVA foam featured in the newest Clifton, is by far the most responsive, and it runs the full length of the shoe, providing excellent cushion throughout while giving runners the bounce back they need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Hoka Clifton 8 Specs:
- Engineered mesh upper
- Lighter EVA foam midsole
- Abrasion-resistant rubber outsole
- Longer pull tab
- 5mm drop
- Weight: 215g
- Price: £124.00
- Best for: training runs, long runs, road-running
- Not for: speedwork
Hoka Clifton 8 Fit and Size
Hoka is often considered to be a good option for runners seeking a wider fit shoe. The toebox on the Clifton 8 is nice and roomy, but not so much so as to exclude those with narrower feet. These shoes run true to size, so opt for your usual.
While they’re officially a neutral shoe, many of the Clifton 8’s features such as the wide platform in the midsole, 5mm heel drop, high arch support and heel cup make it a viable option for those seeking more stability from their footwear.
Further, the Clifton 8 is an excellent option for those who overpronate or heel strike, as the stack is such that it encourages a neutral ride.
About the Clifton 8 Upper
The new Clifton sports a breathable upper made of engineered mesh and TPU. Eagle-eyed fans of Clifton 7’s will notice a slightly slimmer silhouette of the shoe as part of the update. While the shape may be a bit more slender, Hoka shoes generally do suit those with wide feet quite well, and the Clifton 8 is no exception.
The engineered mesh used in the newer model is much softer and slipper-like compared to its predecessor which feels dense and rigid by comparison. The Clifton 8 is flexible and breathable, meaning your foot is able to move and spring off the ground with each step.
The tongue is also made of the same plush mesh, and uses a gusseted design to ensure it stays securely in place while remaining incredibly comfortable against the top of the foot. Few things are worse than a shoe digging into you on a run!
Laces in the Clifton 8 are threaded through enforced eyelets, pairing well with the fitted tongue. The heel cup at the back is nicely padded, and comes up higher than previous iterations of Cliftons to secure the back of the foot. That said, it doesn’t really rub the Achilles, so you needn’t worry about pesky blisters forming from any rigid heels.
All these factors mean you’re in for one secure lockdown on the foot, leaving less room for slippage within the shoe, or potential ankle-rolling.
Clifton 8 Midsole and Outsole
While many of the brand's contemporaries are designing their midsoles with innovative new materials, Hoka has chosen to stick with the tried and tested method they have perfected over the years with the use of traditional compression-molded EVA foam. This foam gives the shoe its lightweight cushioned feel, while supporting the famed meta-rocker platform.
The EVA-foam has really paid off the Clifton 8. At a surprisingly lightweight 215g for such a visually substantial shoe, it isn’t at all cumbersome. In fact it provides just the right amount of bounce and softness to be an ideal running partner.
The outsole is perhaps the area of the shoe which as seen the greatest change between the Clifton 7 and Clifton 8. Hoka added more abrasion-resistant rubber to the outsole of the shoe, leaving less of the EVA foam exposed to the ground, and improving durability.
And that’s with good reason: the Clifton is widely considered the “workhorse” shoe of the Hoka family, carrying you through your long runs, and training plans, they’re a shoe that you can rely on mile after mile to work as hard as you do.
After spending even a few miles in these Hoka shoes, it becomes clear why the Cliftons are so renowned. And better still, Hoka continues to improve on an already solid design with the latest Clifton 8.
The Clifton 8 is an extremely versatile shoe that will carry most people through any type of run they choose to embark on. The immense EVA foam cushioning remains a highlight and true selling point of the shoe, with the added benefit of durability in the latest iteration of the range.
It’s a great choice for regular training runs, or long runs. Simply put, the Clifton 8 feels incredibly soft, but will last for many miles without deteriorating.
They fit true to size and can also be considered a decent option for those seeking specific support for overpronation and high arches. Overall, the Hoka Clifton 8 is a solid option for any runner whether they are just beginning or they are training for the upteenth race.