Summary

We spent 7.8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The forefoot section of the Hoka One One Clifton 6 was wide enough to welcome the natural splaying capacity of the toes, some consumers noted.
  • According to several testers, the midsole unit was reactive enough to accommodate speedy transitions through the gait cycle.
  • The lightweight structure of this running shoe was lauded by many consumers.
  • Most people considered the sizing scheme to be adherent to their expectations.
  • The upper unit offered breathability and a non-irritating wrap, testers noted.
  • Based on a handful of reviews, the color schemes were plenty and eye-catching.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of consumers claimed that they needed a break-in period because the façade was initially too tight.

Bottom line

The overall reaction towards the Clifton 6 was positive. People embraced this Hoka One One running shoe as a worthy successor to the products in the Clifton family. The aesthetics were deemed as appealing while the fabrics of the upper were considered as non-irritating. The reactive midsole, correct sizing scheme, and the lightweight structure were also highlighted as elements that turned this product into a powerhouse in comfort.

Neutral runners who like to take to the roads are the ones who are most likely to enjoy the Hoka One One Clifton 6.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
Top 1% most popular running shoes

Expert Reviews

88 / 100 based on 38 expert reviews

  • 84 / 100 |

    Hoke One One Clifton 6 - The shoe that works with you instead of against you

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    I’ve heard great things about the Hoka Clifton series, but me and Hoka shoes haven’t always gotten along great. But since everyone kept raving about the Cliftons, especially the first version, I decided to give the brand another go.

    Overall consensus was that the first version of the Clifton was great, but the opinions on the last few versions varied a bit. So, let’s see what the Clifton 6 has to offer. 

     

    First impressions

    When I first put them on, I was wondering if I had made a mistake and ordered a stability shoe, instead of a neutral shoe. When I Googled it, it clearly said it is a neutral shoe.

    But it feels like something is pushing underneath the arch of your foot, like the more traditional stability shoes from a few years back. At first, I thought it might be the sockliner, I had that happen before with a pair of Brooks and in that case, managed to resolve the issue by switching the sockliner.

     

     

    But when I put the Clifton 6 on without the sockliner, I still had the same issue. It’s the midsole that comes up underneath the arch.

    I don’t know if that is just because the midfoot area of the sole is wider than on your average running shoe, or maybe it’s just that I notice it more since I have a pretty flat arch.

    The Hoka One One Clifton 6 is, as already mentioned, a neutral running shoe with a 5 mm drop. The women’s model weighs 216 grams, which isn’t a lot for a pretty cushioned shoe. It has a 30 mm heel stack and a 25 mm forefoot stack. 

    Upper

    The upper is made out of a pretty seamless engineered mesh. There is stitching in the midfoot area to provide a better midfoot lockdown and an internal heel counter for stability. The shoe is reasonably breathable. 

     

     

    There is medium padding in the detached tongue and a bit more padding in the heel for a secure fit. And there is a pull tab, and there are extra eyelets so you can tie your laces the way you want to. The upper isn’t super exciting, but it does what it has to. 

    Midsole

    Hoke One One describes this shoe as balanced, and that is the right description. They are pretty cushioned, but there is also a definite bounce to the midsole. No weird dual-density things going on here, just a solid EVA midsole. 

     

     

    This shoe also has the Hoka Active Foot Frame, which means your foot partially sits within the midsole, rather than just on top of it. It has the characteristic meta-rocker shape, which helps with the heel to toe transition.

    The Hoka One One Clifton 6 has the early meta-rocker shape, which is a more gradual taper compared to the late meta-rocker shape of some of the other Hoka shoes. 

    Outsole

    For such a light shoe, there is a decent amount of rubber on the outsole. There are some rubber pieces underneath the forefoot and heel of the shoe.

    They do provide just about enough traction. The shoe does well on roads and okay on easy trails.

     

    Performance

    The shoe does surprisingly well when you pick up the pace. And it’s surprisingly bouncy. The midsole is pretty soft, so it’s a good shoe for some longer distances, and due to the wider platform, it’s also a stable shoe.

    At the same time, it’s also bouncy enough to help you pick up the pace a little during interval training. It’s not a super fast shoe, but it doesn’t slow you down either. 

     

    Conclusion

    This is the first Hoka shoe that actually seems to work with me instead of against me. I can see why the Clifton series is so popular.

    It’s a nicely cushioned shoe that also allows you to pick up the pace once in a while. There is nothing spectacular about the shoe, no weird new technology or material.

    It’s just a good shoe with good cushioning, and some bounce for those longer (interval) runs, or some recovery runs where you would like to pick up the pace a little from time to time.

     

  • 95 / 100 |

    Hoka One One Clifton 6: The king of cushioning

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    Clifton 6 is my first pair of Hokas, and boy, have I been missing out. The Clifton 1 was one of the highest-rated shoes ever amongst the running community.

     

     

    The next four versions of the shoe were not as widely acclaimed as the first version. I was excited last year with news that the Clifton 1 would be re-released. However, all the reviewers said that it didn’t feel the same as the original, so I skipped it again.

    Buying a new running shoe from a brand you haven’t used before is a scary thing. Shoes are expensive, and I have a very particular taste in running shoes.

    One might even call me fussy when it comes to running shoes because I have run in some of the greats (Vomero 3, Adidas Glide 7).

    This year, everyone said that the Clifton 6 is the best version of the Clifton since the original version, so I finally decided to take the plunge.

    Upper and materials

    The upper construction is simple. It consists of breathable soft engineered air mesh in the forefoot and midfoot. There are fused overlays around the toe box and embroidered reinforcement for support and midfoot lockdown. It’s a very comfortable, plush upper.

     

    The air mesh is thick but breathable.

     

    The tongue is thick and padded. I experienced no tongue slide. The heel collar, which is lined with soft material, is generously filled with foam for a secure heel lockdown.

     

    The built-up heel counter does its job and provides a comfortable, secure heel lockdown.

     

    The ungusseted tongue is thick and short.

     

    I bought my pair in a wide version and a half size too big by mistake. I ordered a US 9, which is usually a UK 8, but Hoka uses half-size conversions. I got a UK 8.5 instead of an 8.

    I use thick socks, and I haven’t had any issues. This demonstrates how narrow the Clifton 6 is because I have really narrow feet.

     

    The toe box is nice and spacious in the 2E wide version. Hokas are known to be narrow-fitting.

    Midsole and ride

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the most cushioned midsole in the world. I get a sense of deep, bottomless cushioning, which keeps my legs feeling energised and fresh during runs longer than 15 miles.


    I was surprised at how light and bouncy the foam is. The first run in them felt magical. The combination of bounce, lightweight and high cushioning make it a very well-balanced shoe.

    The ride is incredibly smooth because the midsole is one solid block of EVA foam. There are angular grooves cut into the sides of the midsole. During loading, these grooves or gaps compress, and the midsole acts as a crash pad.

     

    These gaps in the yellow part of the midsole contract when pressure is applied, acting as a crash pad.

     

    The midsole rocker promotes rearfoot strike instead of heel strike and the stiff forefoot helps roll me forward, making my stride feel efficient.

     

    The midsole curves upward, promoting a rocker effect.

    Stability

    The midsole flares under the foot and there is plenty of ground contact, so the Clifton 6 feels extremely stable for a neutral shoe. I have flat feet, and I pronate, but this shoe provided adequate arch support.

    I was worried about the bucket seat arch when I first tried on the shoe because it poked into my arch. However, when I started running in the shoe, the poking sensation disappeared, and I forgot about it.

    The walls around the heel shoot up around the foot resulting in a cradling sensation, adding stability to the shoe’s already stable base. These walls ensure that it feels like you are running inside a shoe instead of on top of a shoe, a la Ultra Boost ST.

     

    The heel sits inside the midsole. The blue part of the midsole is where the wall shoots up and cups the foot.

    Insole

    The Ortholite insole is removable and of medium thickness. It adds a perfect layer of extra cushioning without being so thick that it mutes the feedback from the EVA midsole.

    It sits on a lining of holey strobel. I prefer strobel lining with holes because it increases the softness of the midsole.

     

    Ortholite insoles are anti-bacterial and odour-fighting, according to the company.

    Outsole and wear

    The outsole has a generous amount of high abrasion rubber for such a light shoe. All the strike areas are covered with rubber and signs of wear are minimal unlike the little brother, the Rincon.

    Overall, I estimate I will get 800km of use out of the Clifton 6 before the midsole cushioning is shot or the outsole rubber has worn out.

    Traction is great on dry road and pavement, and on wet surfaces.

     

    The exposed EVA midsole shows slight wear after 50 miles. The rubber looks unsullied.

     

    Verdict

    For long-distance runs, there is no other shoe I want on my feet. The Clifton 6 ticks all the long-distance boxes, being light, cushioned, stable and responsive.

    I now understand why the Clifton is such a popular line in the Hoka range, and I am a big fan.

    My only complaint is that it’s a very chunky shoe and makes me feel like I’m wearing moon boots. Hopefully, over time, I will learn to embrace the chunkiness. Now, all I have to do is go back in time and buy the Clifton 1.

    Likes

    1. High levels of cushioning from the thick EVA midsole
    2. Very comfortable upper
    3. Nice bounce and responsiveness
    4. Lightweight for such a high-volume midsole
    5. Higher levels of cushioning than other shoes in a similar price range

    Dislikes

    1. The shoe looks like the offspring of an orthopaedic medicinal shoe and a 90’s platform shoe.
    2. Sizing is tricky if ordering online and you have not tried the shoe on.
  • 80 / 100 | The Ginger Runner | | Level 5 expert

    Nice to see the Clifton start making strides again.

  • 90 / 100 | Run Moore | | Level 4 expert

    That's why not only is this one of our best shoes for runners, specifically people doing longer stuff, but people on their feet.

Become an expert
  • The Hoka One One Clifton 6 caters to those who enjoy daily running sessions and those who welcome a generous midsole unit that could deliver high-tier comfort for their activities. The foam that’s used for the cushioning system is touted to be softer in this iteration than the one used in the previous one, the Clifton 5. The raised arch and the heel bevel are designs that smoothen the gait cycle.
  • The façade has been updated to be secure and form-accommodating. Extra space has been added to the forefoot section to permit the natural spreading capacity of the toes. An engineered mesh that has improved softness and stretchiness graces the silhouette while a mix of printed overlays and embroidery help with the quality of the fit.

The Hoka One One Clifton 6 was constructed to be true to size. Runners are welcome to get a pair using their usual choices of size. When it comes to width, the available variants are D – Medium and 2E – Wide for men, and B – Medium and D – Wide for women.

It is worth noting that getting a pleasant in-shoe experience would be more approachable if one tries on the shoe first or get ideas on the size and fit via consumer reviews.

The outsole unit of the Hoka One One Clifton 6 uses Hi-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber. This layer has been fashioned on the contact points of the platform, ensuring traction and protection against wear-and-tear.

Flex grooves allow the sole to bend in conjunction with the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. The toe-off phase is the part of the movement that benefits the most from this feature.

The Full Ground Contact design involves the rubber pad and the base of the midsole foam being able to touch the ground with ease. Such a configuration could potentially heighten traction and overall balance over the ground.

The primary cushioning unit of the Hoka One One Clifton 6 is made of Full Compression EVA. This feature has a generous thickness which allows the foot to experience a plush yet reactive ride. Though its stack height is noticeable, the weight isn’t as hefty.

The Early Stage Meta-Rocker is a rocker shape that facilitates a smooth heel-to-toe transition. This structure is a staple in many of Hoka’s options, including the well-known Hoka One One Bondi line.

The Moderate Heel Bevel involves a slanted rear portion that allows the heel to rest and stay steady. It works with the upper unit to keep the foot in a locked-in position, thus staving off in-shoe wobbling.

The upper unit uses the engineered mesh. This textile has a soft and stretchy construction to wrap the foot in a sock-like manner. There are ventilation holes on its surface to welcome air into the foot-chamber.

Printed overlays grace the toe box, the instep, and the heel. These synthetic prints are meant to bolster the durability of the exterior fabrics while also helping with the security of the foot.

The sides of the silhouette have embroidery on them. These stitch-reinforcements buttress the structural integrity of the upper unit while also allowing for a well-defined in-shoe hug. They fundamentally act as overlays, but they weigh significantly less than prints or extra layers.

The padded collar and tongue are tasked with holding the foot in place and preventing it from quivering during the run. These parts of the upper also cushion the heel, the ankles, and the bridge of the foot from impact shock during the landing phase of the gait cycle.

A pull tab is stitched onto the back of the collar. This fabric loop is helpful when it comes to widening the opening of the inner compartment and facilitating the foot into the shoe. It can also be used as a strap for stowing the shoe on a hook.

Author
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.

jens@runrepeat.com