Specifications (per HOKA ONE ONE)
Weight: 7.6 oz (W) 8.8 oz (M)
Stack Height: (M) 29mm/24mm (W) 26mm/21mm
Drop: 5 mm
Category: Neutral/Everyday Trainer
Lighter EVA midsole: the brand claims a 15% weight reduction in the foam
Added rubber: contributes to durability and surefootedness
What You’ll Love:
Comfortable plush upper heel collar and tongue that keeps foot secured at any distance
Guided heel to toe strike transitions
The Clifton line from HOKA ONE ONE has been one of the most popular picks for an everyday trainer since it's launch in 2014. Known for their cushioned, high stack and lightweight materials, many runners reach for the Clifton to log their long summer training miles. If you loved the Clifton 7 then you’ll probably be ecstatic with how the 8 came out. For the most part, it seems the biggest change is that the shoe has gotten a tad softer and 15% lighter than last year. If you’ve been holding out all year for these to come out then the wait will have been worth it. The Six Minute Mile team was lucky enough to get our hands on a few pairs so we will break down our thoughts below.
Out of the box and in hand, you'll notice how light the shoe really is especially for all the added cushioning and larger stacked midsole. As usual with running shoes, I opted for a wider model and for a half size up. I personally like a little room to wiggle around in, especially while distance running so this was a perfect fit for me. Two things I especially love about the fit of the Clifton 8 were the extended heel collar and extra padded tongue. You'll notice the materials (all 100% vegan) feel extremely high quality which went a long way for maximizing comfort on my test runs.
It feels that HOKA has built a reputation as the leader when it comes to neutral and cushiony supportive shoes and to me the Clifton 8 will certainly help cement that legacy. Their updated EVA Foam midsole provides a perfect balance of cloud like cushion and trampoline-like bounce. The foot strike gets high marks for me as well thanks to their Meta-Rocker tech that guides you nicely from heel to toe. Durability comments will have to come later as I am only about 50 miles into these bad boys but so far there are only minimal signs of wear and tear. When I am not running, these stylish shoes are great for long dog walks or strolling around the park.
Overall, the Clifton 8 kept my feet and legs fresh after a few long-distance runs but also was versatile and light enough to keep up with my tempo runs. I really find it hard to be critical regarding anything about this shoe, it's just that good. Want to log your summer miles with your feet feeling like they're stepping on pillows? Definitely don't overlook the Clifton 8 when considering your options.