HOKA CLIFTON 9 | Analysis and opinion


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Ninth version of the Hoka Clifton 9a shoe that, even if you don't know it, is one of the best sellers in the market. It is the brand's daily training shoe and, in only 9 editions, it has become a reference not only for runners but also for those who are simply looking for a (flashy) walking shoe.

Believe it or not, it is one of the shoes that caused the popularization of maximalist shoes. But looking at it now, looking at its data (about 34mm heel height) and comparing it with the rest of the market, it even looks like a traditional shoe! And the fact is that all the competition has increased their height much more.

This ninth edition comes with some changes. More mm of foam in the midsole which is now made of an evolved material and a new upper.

A good upper for mid-range shoes

Hoka has maintained a tendency over the years to have a narrow last, but that's not a problem in the Clifton 9, as even on one of my feet with a bunion, the width is not uncomfortable. They offer good support without being too tight or making the foot feel trapped.

Considering that this is a mid-range shoe, the upper of the Clifton 9 is quite good. It is constructed with a single-layer mono-mesh construction that aesthetically may appear to be composed of two layers. This construction simulates a double mesh and provides moderate cooling. Even during the summer months, no temperature issues are experienced.

Hoka Clifton 9 - Upper

The upper uses no inventions to give it structure, as it stays in place by itself. There are only two reflective elements in the front, which although they don't add much in terms of structure, they give additional visibility when there is little light outside.

Hoka Clifton 9 - Reflectors

As for the tongue, it is attached to the midsole, but only on one side, which is unusual. Normally it is attached on both sides or not at all.

Hoka Clifton 9 - Lengueta


This decision 1TP7Could be due to cost and weight savings, trusting that attaching it to the side and the support provided by the laces will be sufficient. Despite appearing strange, the tongue stays in place and does not cause any problems.

The tongue is bulky, cushioned and comfortable, although it may reduce the ventilation of the shoe a bit compared to the rest of the upper.

If there is one thing that stands out in the Clifton, at least since the sixth version, it is the Achilles area, which is very bulky.

Hoka Clifton 9 - Heel

This area has grown over the years, and even in the Clifton 9, it is larger than in the previous version. Its main function is to help the fit of the shoe, as it offers a large surface that can act as a puller. It is not bothersome, as it folds outwards and does not rub against the Achilles.

Although 1TP7You might think the shoe would be the same without this bulky area, it has practically become a hallmark of the Clifton.

New foam and more of it on the Clifton 9

The Hoka Clifton 9 increases the midsole height. While Hoka used to be known for their maximalist approach, considering the current direction of the market, they now seem to be more moderate in size in comparison.

The heel has increased 3 mm in height, reaching a 34 mm stack. The Clifton's characteristic drop is maintained at 5 mm, resulting in a forefoot height of 29 mm.

Personally, I like the sensations offered by this 5 mm drop.

The foam used in the midsole continues to be EVA, although Hoka claims to employ a new formulation called CMEVA, which further compresses the foam. Despite this, the shoe remains lightweight, as the Cliftons are not heavy at all. For example, in size 46 2/3, its weight is 300 grams, which is a reasonable figure for a daily training shoe.

Hoka Clifton 9 - Weight

However, because it is still an EVA at its core, while comfortable, it does not offer significant energy return.

The Hoka Clifton 9 stands out for its good stability, thanks in part to the width of the last and also to the lateral flare that extends from the midfoot to the rearfoot.

Sole without surprises

As for the outsole of the Hoka Clifton 9, there are no big surprises. It is composed of several pieces of rubber strategically arranged and joined together, but leaving a good amount of foam exposed.

Hoka Clifton 9 - Outsole

In the part of the sole where the foam is visible, it is possible to appreciate the wear with use, as is common in this type of shoe. In the end we are treading with a soft material against asphalt or other terrains.

However, the rubber area of the outsole shows greater resistance to wear, which contributes to greater durability in that area.

Do not be afraid if you are going to run on trails or roads in good condition, because despite having so much foam in sight, it will not be a problem.

Feelings with the Hoka Clifton 9

If you expect the Hoka Clifton 9 to be an extremely soft, cushioned-feeling shoe, you'd be wrong.

Despite their volume, they are moderately firm but well cushioned. They filter impacts very well, but do not have a soft feel in the tread.

This makes them perfect for daily training, both for recovery days and longer runs at a certain pace. Although the foam is still EVA, Hoka has worked a lot on the geometry of the midsole.

If we look at the midsole from the profile, we can see that the upper is designed to offer a soft and smooth first impact. Its shape facilitates its compression, allowing for a soft landing. Following that, the rest of the foam has a firmer feel to give that extra cushioning.

Hoka Clifton 9 - Side profile

However, when we reach the end of the cushioning and enter the toe-off phase, there is hardly any noticeable taxation. This is something that is present in more modern PEBA-based compounds, but is not found in these Hoka shoes.

Despite this, the Clifton 9 still provides effective cushioning suitable for a variety of workouts, offering comfort and protection throughout the workout. And with a certain amount of versatility as well, as they provide a bit of ease when it comes to upping the pace.


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I hope this full review has helped you decide if these shoes will fit your wear. All the work I do is without any cost to you, but if you want to support the page and by doing so the work I do, the best way to do that is to buy these shoes through the links that I provide .

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Review Hoka Clifton 9

The Hoka Clifton 9 is a very well built shoe, with things well thought out. However, one of the things to note is that, despite being an evolution, it still uses EVA foam.

But we should consider whether we really need a state-of-the-art foam in this case. We should not forget that this is a mid-range daily training shoe. Even though there may be less technology compared to models such as the Asics Cumulus 25The shoe is still a very comfortable shoe, especially with the differential detail of the 5 mm drop.

But despite having less technology, the Clifton 9 upper offers better ventilation compared to the Asics model. Asics' uppers tend to be tighter, so if you're prone to hot feet, you'll notice the difference in this regard.

All in all, the Clifton 9 is a comfortable and well-designed shoe that does its job as a reliable and enjoyable option for daily training and allowing for some variation in pace. While it doesn't have the latest technologies in terms of foam, it does have an adequate balance between performance and comfort for its mid-range category.

And with that... thanks for reading!

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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