We spent 10.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

10 reasons to buy

  • Many runners mentioned that the Hoka One One Clifton 1 is the best Hoka shoe they have ever worn.
  • A lot of runners admired the shoe’s lightweight design.
  • Many users appreciated the breathable coverage of the Hoka Clifton 1.
  • Runners with wide forefoot admired the shoe’s wide toe box; they said it gives enough room for toe splay.
  • A significant number of runners remarked that the cushioning of this road running shoe is very comfortable.
  • According to some satisfied runners, the Clifton 1 has a very responsive cushioning.
  • Several testers highlighted the shoe’s responsive cushioning.
  • The shoe runs true-to-size, said some wearers.
  • Some users mentioned that the running shoe is great for half and full marathons.
  • A few who got the shoe agreed that buying it is getting value out of their money.

3 reasons not to buy

  • A few narrow-footed runners were disappointed because of the shoe’s sloppy forefoot fit.
  • Some runners were unhappy with the shoe’s flimsy tongue unit.
  • The insole of the Hoka One One Clifton 1 is too thin and keeps on sliding around, according to some purchasers.

Bottom line

The Hoka One One Clifton 1 managed to get high marks from runners. Many users positively accepted the shocking come back of the first ever Clifton running shoe. It received few criticisms, but the users believe there is still room for improvement for the Clifton 1. Overall, as a lot of people considered the Hoka One One Clifton 1 as the best Hoka running shoe of all time.



A top 5% best Road running shoe
A popular pick

Expert Reviews

90 / 100 based on 15 expert reviews

  • 94 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 5 expert

    What makes it so special is it is light, it's cushioned, it's stable, the toe box is nice.

  • 92 / 100 | Running Warehouse | | Level 4 expert

    It did offer a a nice balance of softness and responsiveness, which I actually prefer a little bit more.

  • 95 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 5 expert

    I remember the first time I saw a pair of HOKAS… I thought they looked ridiculous. Not much has changed there, other than my love for them. I know a lot of people hate on HOKAS and the max shoe movement in general. I get it. I was raving about minimal shoes not too long ago.

  • 89 / 100 | Solereview | Level 5 expert

    All that hype comes backed with solid substance. The Clifton rides incredibly well cushioned without feeling mushy, and very lightweight for a shoe which looks like a flotation device. Upper execution is a mismatch with its better half, with plenty of areas for improvement .

  • 89 / 100 | TF XC Running Shoe Reviews | Level 3 expert

    The upper is reminiscent of a racing flat. It's very thin and light and just has some heat-applied overlays on it. So, this makes it extremely breathable and also a bit more flexible. Like the original, it does have some durability concerns though. Since it is so thin, it is pretty easy to rip through.

  • 89 / 100 | Ultrarunner Podcast | | Level 3 expert

    Well, overall I like the shoe with the inserts. They’re nice to run in, and I’ll put them second in my current arsenal for shoes behind my Adidas, but that’s with the adaptations (inserts) I’ve made to them. Unfortunately, I was left underwhelmed by the hype and expectations, and still feel that the sizing issue and quality are areas that should be addressed by the company.

Become an expert
  • The Clifton 1, tagged as one of the most popular shoes from Hoka One One, has returned in its original form. This road running shoe designed for neutral runners offers plenty of cushioning and light design for long runs and fast-paced trainings.
  • The Hoka One One Clifton 1 uses a full-length HIP CMEVA midsole. It aims to give runners high performance cushioning with great level of comfort and stability. Embedded also in the midsole is the Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry, which is designed for a more efficient gait cycle.
  • With a full-ground contact outsole design, the Clifton 1 aims to provides a smooth heel-to-toe transition without compromising traction and durability.
  • Another aspect of the Hoka Clifton 1 that makes it well-liked by most runners is the light, no-sew upper. It provides the foot a comfortable, irritation-free environment.

The Hoka One One Clifton 1 runs true to size. This road running shoe offers a lightweight yet sturdy fit for the foot. It has medium measurement in the heel and forefoot area. The toe-box area is spacious enough for toe splay. The men’s and women’s versions of the Clifton 1 is available in medium width profile.

The original Hoka Clifton has a full-ground contact design. It encourages smooth heel-to-toe transition and stable ride. It also offers added traction on varied surfaces.

Part of the midsole material is exposed in the outsole of the Hoka One One Clifton 1, but durable rubber placements are found in the forefoot and heel areas of the outsole. This Hi-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber offers durability to high-wear areas. It also gives increased traction without adding a significant weight to the overall design.

The Hoka Clifton 1 is designed to help the foot move normally as possible. With a 5mm heel-to-toe drop, the shoe features a balanced level of cushioning, making it a suitable pair for long-distance and uptempo runs.

In the midsole is the HIP CMEVA that provides runners with a soft cushioning, making each step comfortable and well-protected. This midsole technology is designed for maximum shock absorption. Despite being lightweight, the shoe efficiently absorbs landing impact and provides high-energy return.

An Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry is also used in the midsole of the Hoka One One Clifton 1. It is engineered to promote efficient running movement. Functioning like a rocking chair, this technology promotes a guided gait cycle. The presence of this meta-rocker encourages runners to strike on the midfoot for a faster transition.

The upper of the Hoka One One Clifton 1 uses a durable mesh material. It has a closed design to prevent debris from entering the shoe, but it remains to be breathable. It still offers efficient ventilation to keep the foot cool and sweat-free. The durable mesh is also stretchable enough to wrap the foot comfortably.

The shoe has a no-sew upper design. It aims to provide the foot a seamless environment for a smooth, blister-free wrap. It goes along with the smooth interior of the shoe, which gives the foot a soft in-shoe feel.

The shoe has a very thin tongue. It is very noticeable and has received mixed comments from users; others like it while others are disappointed. The thin neoprene-like tongue aims to provide runners an anatomical fit without compromising comfort.

The Hoka One One Clifton 1 also features an External Heel Counter. It is designed to provide the foot a comfortable heel lockdown, holding the foot securely throughout the run. The heel counter is lightweight and does not affect the overall comfort of the shoe.

Easy on and removal of the shoe is not difficult because of the thin tongue and heel pull tab. Runners can also easily adjust the laces to achieve the perfect fit.

Lastly, the printed overlays on the upper of the shoe are designed to enhance the overall fit and to provide added durability to the shoe’s structure.

The original Hoka One One Clifton debuted back in 2014. It is one of the successful shoe releases from Hoka One One that made users extremely satisfied. The original Clifton was designed to be lightweight with soft, balanced cushioning. The return of the original version has made the Clifton fans very happy; they can now stock up with more pairs and enjoy the iconic running shoe again.

The brand has answered the request of the consumers - to bring back the original Hoka One One Clifton in its original form. People specifically love this model because it is fast, lightweight and comfortable. Though it is more expensive compared to other road running shoes, the Clifton 1 is still widely accepted.

This running shoe is available in limited edition colors for both men’s and women’s versions. If you are a fan since its first release, the Clifton 1 will surely take you back in time.

The Hoka Clifton 1 has truly made an impression in the running community. Those who tried the shoe have expressed their excitement and happiness over the re-release of this model. The Hoka One One Clifton 5 is not a total disappointment, but there is something with the Clifton 1 that is so special.

Performance-wise, this Hoka running shoe is comparable to other running shoes from big brands like Adidas, Nike, Brooks, and Asics. The shoe is as responsive as the Ultra Boost and Pegasus 35, and as comfortable as the Nike Odyssey React.

The Hoka One One Clifton 1 running shoe is not just for professional runners and Hoka fans; beginners should try purchasing a pair. Also, runners who found the Nimbus and Kayano models satisfying should also give this running shoe a chance.

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.