Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$130
Weight
Men: 8.6oz
Women: 7.4oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 8.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • Testers wrote that the inner sleeve didn’t rub against their skin, thus giving them irritation-free running experiences.
  • The breathable upper was lauded by many because it allowed air to easily keep their feet ventilated.
  • The thick mid-sole unit of the Clifton 3 was a hit for runners because it was able to deliver maximum underfoot comfort.
  • Users also felt that the robust mid-sole was able to attenuate the landing impacts easily, which was helpful.
  • The curved arch was able to keep the mid-foot area well-supported, and it gave many of the testers the incentive to run farther with sureness and ease.
  • One of the ‘pros’ listed for this running shoe was that it delivered good traction on the surfaces.
  • The majority of those who tried the Hoka One One Clifton 3 appreciated its lightweight nature.

2 reasons not to buy

  • An issue was raised about its sizing scheme, which some thought was ½ size smaller than what they were used to.
  • A few testers noted that the outsole unit’s rubber layer wore out quickly.

Bottom line

The Clifton 3 from Hoka One One gained positive feedback from a lot of runners who thought that it was a comfortable option for the roads. The cushioning system was particularly popular because it was thick yet surprisingly comfortable. Neutral runners were also happy that it was lightweight. Inversely, there were those who felt that it was ½ size small; others noted that the outsole wasn’t very durable.


Rankings

Best rated Hoka One One running shoes:

Ratings

4.5 / 5 based on 555 ratings

5 star
71%
4 star
13%
3 star
7%
2 star
4%
1 star
3%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

86 / 100 based on 29 expert reviews

  • 97 / 100 by RunRepeat • Josef Schuster • Level 3 expert

    The incredible comfort due to the high amount of cushioning while still providing a lightweight and responsive trainer are just a few of the perks of these bad boys!

  • 90 / 100 by RunRepeat • Samuel Chua • Level 3 expert

    The Hoka Clifton 3 is a lightweight trainer for runners who want a plush ride without sacrificing speed. It also features an Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry. This means that the forefoot and heel are curved upwards, and allows a quicker transition from impact to toe-off.

  • 85 / 100 by Believe in the Run • Thomas • Level 5 expert

    It's still light for how much cushioning you get. It goes through the stride well. This is one of the shoes wherein if you're feeling beat up, if you're feeling tired from your miles and you want something a little easier on the legs, I think this is a great shoe.

  • 80 / 100 by TheGingerRunner • Ethan Newberry • Level 5 expert

    Yes, the Clifton 3 is an improvement over the Clifton 2, but with reservations.

  • 90 / 100 by Motion Control Running Shoes • Motion Control Running Shoes • Level 5 expert

    According to running shoe lab tests, the Hoka One One Clifton 3 provides a maximum amount of cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot to both men and women.

  • 88 / 100 by Fellrnr • Fellrnr • Level 5 expert

    The Clifton 3 is a remarkable achievement for Hoka, giving an amazing level of cushioning for its light weight. If you want a Maximalist shoe, this best seller is the place to start. The Clifton 3 has the most forefoot cushioning of any shoe I've tested, as well as rear cushioning that's in the top tier.

  • 83 / 100 by Running Competitor • Brian Metzler • Level 5 expert

    Hoka made a few small but significant tweaks to the award-winning Clifton for 2016, most notably making it a few millimeters wider in the forefoot and replacing the overlays on the upper with a sleeker, seamless TPU-reinforced mesh.

  • 80 / 100 by Road Trail Run • Sam Winebaum • Level 5 expert

    Built on a new last it is 2mm wider in the forefoot so more accommodating of different foot shapes.

  • 100 / 100 by Running Shoes Guru • Sean Felty • Level 4 expert

    It combines ultra soft cushioning and comfort into a lightweight package delivering a ride as smooth as they come.

  • 89 / 100 by The Active Guy • The Active Guy • Level 4 expert

    Lightweight, supportive, and felt incredibly fast.

  • 81 / 100 by Running Warehouse • Jonathan • Level 4 expert

    Even though the Clifton 3 is light enough to be a performance shoe, many runners are using it as a daily trainer.

  • 80 / 100 by iRunFar • Bryon Powell • Level 4 expert

    For this version, Hoka improved the outsole durability with more outsole material around the perimeter of the forefoot. 

  • 90 / 100 by John Daniels • John Daniels • Level 3 expert

    Lightweight. Still has all the cushion just like the original one… you have a winner here, Hoka. This is it. This is what we’ve wanted, and (you) did an awesome job. I'm really happy with this shoe.

  • 85 / 100 by Believe in the Run • Thomas/Meaghan • Level 3 expert

    Good news! There are no crazy changes to the Clifton 3. 

  • 84 / 100 by Gear Institute • Cory Smith • Level 3 expert

    No other shoe tested boasted more cushioning than the Clifton 3 while offering a class-leading lowest overall weight.  

  • 84 / 100 by Lenny Sunday • Lenny • Level 3 expert

    It's a good update. I like it a lot. No issues.

  • 82 / 100 by Below The Knee Shoes • Mike • Level 3 expert

    When cushioning and light weight are your top priorities, look no further.

  • 90 / 100 by Triathlon Taren • Taren • Level 2 expert

    You're gonna like these for the long runs, the tempo runs, recovery runs, days when you don't want your body being beat up and you need that little bit of cushioning, there's probably nothing better than a Hoka.

  • 90 / 100 by Jerod Killick • Jerod Killick • Level 2 expert

    Go out and buy it. You will love this shoe, especially for short distances. It's gonna be my go-to shoe for 10K and half-marathon races.

  • 83 / 100 by Jerod Killick • Jerod Killick • Level 2 expert

    Hoka did an amazing job keeping what worked, and updating where improvements were needed.  

  • 82 / 100 by Midpack Gear • Webman • Level 2 expert

    Hopefully the overlays will stay in place and I won't experience the iffy quality I've seen in past Hokas.  As of now: If you are a fan, go for it.

  • 82 / 100 by Amber Nixon • Amber Nixon • Level 2 expert

    Overall, I am very happy with this shoe and I'm more than willing to sacrifice my feet getting a little warmer for the stability and comfort of this shoe.

  • 80 / 100 by Epic-Run • Jeremy • Level 2 expert

    Light and responsive but also super cushioned–a great combo for a training shoe.

  • 80 / 100 by Rory Campbell • Rory Campbell • Level 2 expert

    I would recommend this if you're looking for a marathon training shoe or just something to do more long distance runs.

  • 79 / 100 by Midpack Gear • Webman • Level 2 expert

    The only spot where there are some wear issues are on the rubber part of the outsole on the outer heel of my left shoe (the bottom right of the next photo), a spot where I do get some excessive wear normally.

  • 88 / 100 by Jack Rabbit Running • Brady and Amber • Level 1 expert

    It has a little bit firmer feel. Great cushioning compared to the old one. It still has a Hoka feel to it. So, awesome cushioning system there, for sure." (Brady) "It felt a little bit lighter, but it had a lot more stiffness to it, so this might give a little bit more longevity and durability than the Clifton 2.

  • 87 / 100 by FitDadChris • FitDadChris • Level 1 expert

    All I can say is the Clifton 3 is the first pair of sneakers I ever put on that felt perfect instantly!! 

  • 86 / 100 by Marathon Sports • Aaron Monier • Level 1 expert

    The shoe runs amazingly smooth for the amount of protection it provides.

  • 85 / 100 by Mile Split • Mile Split • Level 1 expert

    It's not as bulky as it was in the previous two, so I think this is gonna fit better out of the box for a lot of people and not cause any irritation issues on high mileage runs.

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Updates to Hoka One One Clifton 3

  • The Hoka One One Clifton 3 uses high quality materials in order to provide a reliable running experience for runners. A seamless upper design allows the wearer to remain free from skin irritation brought by traditional seams and stitched-on sections. An open construction allows the foot to experience air circulation, thus letting the runner use the shoe for long periods of time without succumbing to sweat and that stifling feeling when wearing shoes.
  • The mid-sole unit utilizes a full-length foam unit that looks thick on the outside. Made from Compression Molded Ethylene vinyl acetate, this foam is able to deliver sure cushioning and support to the foot without breaking down easily. Its thickness brings in the trademark look of the Hoka One One brand, while also ensuring a comfortable underfoot experience that lasts long.
  • The external sole unit is in full contact with the ground. This design ensures a smoother transition from the heel to the toe when running. It also maximizes the traction capabilities of the outsole. A lightweight layer of rubber is used in the outsole. It’s highly resistant to wear and tear, so runners are able to trust it to remain efficient even after many uses.

Hoka One One Clifton 3 size and fit

The Hoka One One Clifton 3 uses regular measurements for length. Men and women are able to enjoy a more relaxed fit when they try out this shoe before purchasing it. The available width is medium, thus enabling it to accommodate those with medium sized feet. Its semi-curved shape mimics the natural curve of the human foot.


Outsole

A lightweight rubber material is used for the outsole unit of the Hoka One One Clifton 3. It is highly resistant to abrasion, so it is capable of shielding the rest of the sole unit from wear and tear with ease.

The Full Ground Contact design of the outsole maximizes its surface area so that the rubber material would be able to work more efficiently in delivering traction. It also assists the foot in achieving a smoother and more natural transition through the gait cycle.


Midsole

The Compression Molded Ethylene vinyl acetate foam or CMEVA is used for the entire length of the Hoka One One Clifton 3’s platform. It’s a durable material that delivers sure cushioning that’s responsive and springy. Its thickness brings reliable impact protection and long-lasting performance.

The Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry is a rocker design that’s made to assist the foot in achieving a faster and more effective performance. It is likened to the actual mechanics of the foot when taking each step, rocking from the heel to the toe in a single, fluid motion.


Upper

The Air Mesh is a material that has an open construction. Visible pores in the fabric act as portals for air to easily enter the shoe in order to maintain a cool and dry environment for the wearer’s foot.

The Structural Overlays aren’t stitched onto the fabric of the Clifton 3. They’re fused directly to the mesh, thus reducing its weight and preventing stiffness in the upper.

A No-Sew Construction allows the runner to feel comfortable when wearing the shoe without socks. It reduces risk of blistering and skin irritation.