Hoka One One Clifton 6 Intro
The Clifton has officially worked its way onto the feet of all types of runners from those just starting out to the seasoned veterans.
It is known for lightweight cushioning and was one of the very first shoes to bring an overly cushioned yet lightweight style of shoe to market.
It has seen plenty of changes since its inception which have been perceived as both positive and negative.
The 6th version of the shoe comes with a few new features. An updated upper made of softer materials promises a more adaptable fit along with a roomier toe box.
The Clifton 6 also has had its rockered geometry slightly redesigned. This along with a slightly softer updated midsole foam makes this one of the bigger Clifton updates we have seen.
The shoe weighs in at 9.1 ounces and has a 5mm heel to toe drop.
Hoka One One Clifton 6 First Impressions
Right out of the box the Clifton 6 sets itself apart from previous versions. The new engineered mesh is the highest quality that I have seen in the Clifton line.
Another thing I noticed was a more plush heel collar. When I put them on for the first time they feel very familiar. There’s a nice squish to the foam while walking around.
Hoka One One Clifton 6 Sole Unit
The midsole of the Clifton 6 is made up of a slightly softer full compression EVA foam compared to last year.
The shoe maintains a rockered geometry as in previous years to promote efficiency in your transition from foot strike to toe off.
Hi-abrasion lightweight rubber is strategically placed on the outsole for points of contact and the remainder of the outsole is comprised of the same foam material used in the midsole.
This is done in an effort to save some weight by using less rubber.
The Clifton maintains a soft, smooth and somewhat responsive ride. The EVA foam is noticeably softer than last years version.
There is absolutely no road feel when running in the shoe but the foam does provide adequate bounce so it doesn’t feel like you’re running in quicksand either.
The Clifton strike a nice balance between cushion and responsiveness. What really stands out to me and what I believe makes the Clifton have such a smooth and enjoyable ride is the rockered geometry.
The shape of the shoe promotes forward momentum. A soft midsole and rockered profile make this a shoe that’s easy and comfortable to log miles in.
In terms of durability, the outsole of the Clifton 6 holds up well. It’s got a little bit less rubber than some other shoes in its class but I have seen no abnormal signs of wear & tear.
As usual you will notice that some of the exposed EVA foam will start to breakdown first. I have not ever found this to be a problem aside from aesthetics.
I expect the midsole and outsole to hold up for 350+ miles similarly to last year.
Hoka One One Clifton 6 Upper Unit
The upper of the Clifton 6 features an all new engineered mesh material that uses an open design in an effort to improve air flow through the shoe. The design also uses embroidery reinforcement to offer support in the mid foot.
Reinforced eye stays have been added for increased durability. In addition to these features Hoka One One also lists an expanded toe box as a feature of this new upper.
The engineered mesh is soft, durable and breathes well. It is also a more high quality material than I am used to seeing in the Clifton.
A recurring theme as the Clifton get updated is a more refined mesh material. Over the past few years each new version has added a higher quality mesh.
This year is no different. One area I noticed a major difference compared to last year is in the heel. The material here is softer and more plush than the previous version.
The embroidery reinforcement does its job in reinforcing the medial and lateral sides of the upper. This stitching removes the need for overlays or in last years case “3D puff print” along the sides of the upper.
Another common theme with the Clifton has been an expanded toe box. This typically gets mentioned as a feature of the shoe but I rarely notice a large difference in this area compared to previous versions.
Usually the wider toe box claim is backed up by a toe box that’s been expanded by just a few millimeters. This is the first time that I took major notice and found it could really be boasted as a feature.
As always I feel the need to say that this is not a wide toe box, so don’t go purchasing this shoe expecting such.
In general I don’t require a wide toe box myself. I mention it only to say that In the Clifton 6 I noticed the extra room and found it to add to the shoes overall comfort.
Overall the upper of the Clifton 6 is very comfortable. The mesh is soft and breathable. The fit and feel compared to the previous version is similar aside from the extra room in the toe area.
This means you get a soft and secure midfoot feel that opens up nicely in the toe area. It also means that you don’t get that “sock like” fit if that’s what you’re into. The shoe fits true to size.
Hoka One One Clifton 6 Conclusion
Once again the Clifton delivers a silky smooth ride with a nice amount of soft cushion. I was most impressed with the updates to the upper.
Right out of the box you can see the attention to detail in the design and the quality of the mesh material. The slightly larger toe box is also a nice and finally noticeable feature.
If you are coming from a previous version of the Clifton I think you will be happy with this update. If you have never run in the shoe before it is definitely worth checking out.
It makes a great daily trainer and is an excellent option for anyone looking for a lightweight yet highly cushioned option.
We purchased a pair of Hoka One One Clifton 6 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.