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 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.
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.