Hoka One One Clifton 7 Intro
The Clifton is a shoe, since its release in 2014, that has seen its share of ups and downs. The first version was met with immediate success as it combined a super cushioned stack height with a weight just under 8 oz.
Making it light enough to race in and well cushioned for daily training and long runs.
Since that first version, the Clifton has gone through many changes that made the shoe heavier, stiffer, more durable, and stable but none quite found the favor like that of the first version and were just ok at best.
Finally, with the release of the Clifton 6 it seemed that designers were beginning to get things right. Building off the success of the 6 Hoka took what worked and went back to the drawing board to adjust what didn’t.
The Clifton 7 seems to take the shoe back to its roots that many fell in love with, but with some updates that have improved the fit and feel.
Hoka One One Clifton 7 First Impressions
Unboxing the shoe for the first time The changes to the upper were very noticeable but the midsole has almost the same look as the original.
The shoe was very lightweight in hand, and Once on the secure fit of the mid foot was immediately noticeable followed by a roomy toe box.
The shoe is plush with a smooth and well-balanced transition from heel to toe. It fit true to size with no feeling of discomfort or other issues when I placed them on out of the box.
Hoka One One Clifton 7 Sole Unit
The Midsole/ outsole hasn’t changed. Hoka uses the same full-compression EVA that gives the Clifton 7 its signature cushioning along with the identical stack height, 29 mm under the heel and 24 mm in the forefoot, of the first version.
The Clifton 7 also holds on to the Meta-Rocker technology just like the 6.
The lower drop and rounded sole complimented my natural footstrike and gives the shoe a smooth transition from heel to toe with little to no ground feel. I found the shoe to be soft with awesome shock abortion.
There is a subtle amount of bounce to the midsole as well that I particularly noticed at faster paces in the forefoot.
Unfortunately, the flexibility of the midsole keeps this pop from reaching its full potential but makes slower paces feel less labored.
That said depending on each runner’s preferences this could be interpreted as a plus or minus. I enjoyed the smooth light ride of the Clifton 7 and prefer it for longer runs or easy days.
Hoka One One Clifton 7 Upper Unit
The Clifton 7 employs and open engineered sandwich mesh for the assembly of the upper. This material produces an incredibly breathable and lightweight upper.
Many of the heavier overlays that were used in the 6 have been replaced by 3D bands which provide adaptive support but also let the engineered mesh do more of the work cutting back in their use.
Inside of the shoe Hoka has added a lightweight gusset that provides security and lock down in the mid foot and eliminates tongue migration, an annoying issue with the 6.
The lack of heavy overlays and pliability of the mesh have created a very secure but open toe box that accommodated my medium width foot nicely.
Finally, Hoka adds a new rear elf ear pull tab/ Achilles collar. Not only did this aid in getting the shoe on and off , it brought with it some support and stability to the rear of the shoe.
Hoka One One Clifton 7 Conclusion
I am always continually amazed at how Hoka can put together a maximal cushioned shoe that is lightweight and stable.
The Clifton 7 is really representative of this and is a great everyday shoe for someone looking to get into a maximum cushioned trainer.
While this seems to be an just an upper update I really think its much more improving the shoe as a whole. This update has increased the Clifton 7’s flexibility and stability thus expanding its utility.
The only thing that could make it better would be just a little more energy return.
Aside from that, the Clifton 7 is a great update to a maximally cushioned shoe that not only deserves a place at the top of its category but possibly some miles on your feet if you’re so inclined.
We purchased a pair of Hoka One One Clifton 7 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.
Hoka One One Clifton 7 Price Comparison
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