Verdict from 20 experts and 100+ user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Most runners liked the lightweight no-sew construction of the Clifton 2, which enabled a next-to-foot wearing experience
  • The Structural Overlays supports the mid-foot area without compromising the look and the weight of the shoe itself.
  • The Clifton 2 has a new padded tongue for added comfort.
  • The HIP CMEVA midsole protects the foot from impact while adding stability.
  • The Early Stage Meta-Rocker design allows better transitioning from the heel to the toe area.
  • This running shoe comes in many color schemes, which makes it visually endearing to many athletes.
  • It feels light and fast, as noted in some reviews.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners noticed that the 2nd version of the Clifton was a bit stiffer and not as comfortable as the original version.
  • Its forefoot area was narrow to some runners.
  • The Clifton 2 wears out quickly after a few months of use.
  • A few didn’t like the bulky look of the sole unit.

Bottom line

The Hoka One One Clifton 2 is a road running shoe that offers plenty of cushioning. It received mixed reviews from the users but the positive ones weigh more than the negative. It is very lightweight, durable and more comfortable than the original version. This shoe is a great partner for your daily training.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Our reviews

/100 by , posted on .

running shoes to what I am normally running in.

First impression of the Clifton I had was that they were an overly cushioned sloppy running shoe that doing a PR in is almost impossible but they proved me wrong.

I do have to admit that this shoe is not for everyone and for people who prefer to have a bit more ground feel it may take some time to get used to them.


Overall Comfort & Performance 

The Clifton 2 is very comfortable especially during long runs due to the excessive amount of cushioning it has.

One major problem I have had with the shoe though would be hotspots. To stop this problem I have been forced to wear thicker socks that have caused the fit to become quite tight.

Nevertheless, I have to commend the breathability of the upper on the Clifton 2. This shoe has done an excellent job at keeping my feet feeling fresh on my long runs on insanely hot days even on thick socks.

While the upper on the Clifton 2 is not the most breathable. It is, however, still breathable enough for use in a humid climate.

I feel that anyone who wants to buy a pair of trainers, the Cliftons should be a shoe that he or she should have in mind.

Also, they have been able to double down as a pair of shoes that I have been able to use for tempo runs and speed workouts such as intervals as they are so fast.

Running in the Cliftons have definitely made me rethink how I judge a shoe. In the past, my impression of a quick shoe would be something that had a lower stack height, unlike this pair.

Although having a very high stack height, the design of the shoe gives the Cliftons one of the smoothest heel to toe transition.

It gives the shoe a very smooth ride and makes running in them an absolute joy.

The Fit

The fit the Hoka has is one of the things that has bugged me.

The forefoot area is too narrow. I have abnormally wide feet that have led to my toes being very cramped at the front. There are welded overlays that restrict the upper from stretching.

To add fuel to the fire as stated above, I have been forced to wear thicker socks which have caused the forefoot area to be even more cramped.


One way the Cliftons have surprised me is how stable they are.

Looking at how tall the stack height of the Cliftons are, it was surprising that my feet haven't rolled over more.

The Cliftons have a very wide base which is highly appreciated. They are one of the most stable shoes I have ever run in despite the unusually high stack height.



the Nike Lunartempo.

Being someone who uses racers and lightweight trainers it took quite some time to get used to the shoe. Once I got used to the amount of cushioning on the shoe though, it was an absolute joy to run in.

After breaking into the shoe, I was using it for every type of workout from 400m intervals to 15km long runs as they were just very comfortable.


With so much of the outsole being exposed, I feel that the outsole has held up pretty well.

Parts of the sole that has patches of rubber on it has managed to hold up to wear very well even after 9 months constant use. Areas that do not have rubber protecting it started experiencing wear after around a month but it was not something that should trouble people who wish to buy this shoe.

The upper on the other hand has been very resistant to wear with only minimal signs of it falling apart. The only visible wear is in the forefoot area where my toe rubs the upper.

In my opinion, the welded overlays are like a double edge sword. On one hand, they make the fit very cramped but on the other, they help to hold the upper together but help the Cliftons resist wear very well.


The Hoka One One Clifton 2 should be a shoe that one should consider if he or she wants a trainer that can handle high mileage and double down as a shoe that can be used in races.

The ride the Clifton has is one of the smoothest I have ever run in and the shoe is simply a performer that flies.

| Level 3 expert Verified
Hi I'm Ancheng! I'm from Singapore and an avid runner. I'm currently part of my school’s cross country team and run roughly 30km a week. Besides being an avid runner I am also a shoe geek, for the most part a running shoe geek.

Good to know

  • Hoka found a way to do the near-impossible job of making even better the shoe that was considered by many experts as the shoe of the year in 2015 by enhancing its stability and raising its comfort level.
  • The enhanced stability of the 2nd version of the Clifton has mainly to do with an improved construction as it removes previous issues of a slightly less supportive upper, particularly during descents. Hoka uses more overlays that are better placed to create a shoe that runs extremely well with the foot in practically all conditions and terrains. As a direct result, runners also experience a new level of comfort with this kind of fit and support. Neutral pronators may find the Brooks Levitate 2 comparable with the Clifton 2.
  • Speaking of comfort, a seemingly minor alteration creates a major impact for a shoe that is designed for ultra-long runs. By using a slightly beefier tongue, any pressure from the laces is eliminated. Runners can pile on the miles in maximum comfort in the Clifton 2.
  • Upper durability is also improved in the new version of the Clifton. Upon first glance, runners will notice the more streamlined, but slightly thicker materials in the upper. While the upper materials are a bit thicker and a more cushioned tongue adds a little weight, the shoe remains very light and nimble.

When it comes to fit, Hoka wisely brought back one of the best features of the original Clifton. The new version, like its predecessor, is built for runners with an average heel to toe measurements. It has a snug heel and midfoot with just enough real estate in the toes to wiggle. Medium, or D for the men’s and B for the women’s, is the available width of the Clifton 2. Sizing is standard in the shoe as well.

The full-contact outsole is a mix of exposed compression-molded EVA or CMEVA and Hi-Abrasion Lightweight rubber in high-impact areas to limit the wear and tear to the exposed CMEVA. It is a combination that gives the right amount of cushioning, traction, and durability for the runner.

Hoka is known for its rockered geometry and it is very evident in the smoothness of the Hoka One One Clifton 2. The Early Stage Meta-Rocker delivers a buttery smooth rolling from the heel to the toes for efficient and quick strides from start to finish. Providing cushioning and enhancing the transition is a full-length CMEVA. It gives the shoe near maximal cushioning despite being very light and helps slow down midsole breakdown.

The no-sew construction of the upper begins with an Air Mesh that offers optimal breathability. Hoka, as mentioned, adds a number of overlays to help add structure and support to the shoe for better stability. The seamless construction gives an irritation-free ride. A more cushioned tongue enhances comfort as it prevents the laces from putting pressure on top of the foot. Regular laces lock up the comfort and security in the shoe.


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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.