I picked up a pair of Clifton’s from an online retailer. With a discount they were only $110. This is a deal in my opinion as they are not priced in the same range as most other running shoes. My initial impressions are as follows:
- They are very light weight – 8.5 ounces for my size 10.5 shoes as compared to 12.8 ounces for my well worn Bondi B 3s.
- They are not as marshmellowy as the Bondis. In fact I think the more recent Bondis are not as marshmellowy as the originals I bought when the first came to the USA a few years back.
- The toe box is high. On all the older Hokas I have tried (except the Bondi 3) I had to take the insole out to keep my two smallest toes from rubbing on the top. The stock insole does just fine in this model. I have not yet tried the included Ortholite insoles. As a side note I have never had any issues with running even 100 miles without insoles in the shoes.
- They are more flexible than other Hokas I have tried.
- The uppers are very thin in the front 1/2 of the shoe. Not sure how well they will hold up over 500+ miles I normally put on a pair.
- They have no wrap around toe guard, thus not sure how they will do on the trail. Might try them out this weekend in the Mountains.
- They are true to Hoka size. I wear a 10.5 in every style I have tried. No difference here.
- The soles look to be similar in durability to the Bondis
The big take away is how light and how normally priced these shoes are. Even if they only last 300 – 400 miles the price allows much quicker replacements than traditional hokas. I have only wore them a few times so far and all on either treadmill or road. The first time I wore them my mind took a few miles to get used to them. I am not a barefoot runner except playing yard soccer with my family, so I am not really used to having this little amount of weight on my feet. After a few runs in these and then strapping the Bondi’s on I found myself missing the Cliftons. They may just become my goto shoe for all but the most technical trails.
In conclusion I love these shoes so far. I think they could be a big game changer in the shoe industry. If you are a Hoka fan or not they are worth a try. I will write more about them as I get some more miles on them.