Hoka One One Clifton 9 Introduction
When Operating Warehouse introduced their finest promoting sneakers of 2022, The Clifton was the #1 promoting working shoe in each the boys’s and ladies’s classes. That is spectacular contemplating there have solely been 8 variations of the Clifton thus far and it goes up in opposition to stalwarts just like the Pegasus and Wave Rider which have been round for over 25 years.
There are a pair the reason why the Clifton sells so effectively however the primary cause is its thick, chunky midsole which supplies deep cushioning. Whereas they aren’t the softest sneakers in the marketplace by any means, they “look” very protecting and really fashionable. Lately, Hokas have additionally been seen on the ft of celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Britney Spears.
I’ve run within the final 3 variations of the Clifton and the shoe has slowly developed over time. It was a extremely mushy, plush driving day by day coach, good for under sluggish runs however over time it turned firmer and extra versatile- a real day by day coach.
I discovered the earlier model, the Clifton 8 to be a superb day by day workhorse with no main weaknesses. I loved the stiffer forefoot which made it extra able to faster-paced day by day runs but it surely had the outstanding bucket seat which poked into my arch (a trademark character of the Clifton franchise).
There was no Clifton replace final 12 months and the Clifton 8 was a whole revamp (higher, midsole and outsole) so it’s shocking that this 12 months’s Clifton 9 can be a whole revamp. Notable updates embody 3 mm of additional midsole stack top, a tweaked CMEVA midsole and a retooled outsole.
It now weighs 8.7 oz (247 g) for a males’s US 9 which is 0.2 oz (6 g) lighter than its predecessor. It has gone as much as $145 which makes it one of the vital costly mid-range, impartial day by day trainers in the marketplace.
Hoka One One Clifton 9 First Impressions
I attempted on 2 variations within the retailer: the vast and the common width model. The vast model felt comfy however I didn’t like how clunky it regarded. The common width model felt comfy a half measurement up from my common measurement and it regarded sleeker- extra streamlined so I bought the common width.
My first run within the Clifton 9 was a extremely sluggish restoration run. I wore medium-thick socks and the higher felt method too tight, particularly within the forefoot and toe field. I needed to cease to loosen the laces 3 instances throughout that run to attempt to create extra space within the shoe. I regretted not shopping for the vast model. After that run, I solely wore skinny socks and the match was significantly better but it surely was nonetheless not vast sufficient.
The final two sneakers I examined had been the Invincible Run 3 and the Nimbus 25, two very mushy max-cushioned sneakers so the Clifton 9 felt considerably firmer however I anticipated this. It felt similar to how I bear in mind the Clifton 8: very cushioned, easy with a delicate Meta-Rocker midsole however the Clifton 9 felt softer.
The opposite noticeable factor for me on that first run was that there wasn’t the outstanding bucket seat sensation poking into my arch. This was one thing that I’d all the time really feel in earlier Cliftons.
Hoka One One Clifton 9 Higher
I’m unsure why however Hoka has an obsession with tremendous slender toe packing containers. Even in a half measurement greater than my regular measurement, the Clifton 9 (within the common width) was so slender that it gave me a black pinky toenail throughout my future in it.
I like to recommend the vast model if in case you have regular width ft as a result of the conventional width model was even too slender for my extraordinarily slender ft. It suits true to measurement within the vast model.
The tongue has been modified from a semi-gusseted tongue, hooked up on each side to 1 which is hooked up on just one facet. I didn’t discover any tongue slide so I feel it’s a great change as a result of it permits for a extra relaxed midfoot.
Heel lockdown within the Clifton 9 is superb, with or with out a runner’s knot. The ankle space and heel tab are very effectively padded so consolation across the rear of the shoe is top-notch. There’s nonetheless an elf heel tab which may be very 2020.
The higher is fabricated from an engineered knit mesh which doesn’t really feel like a knit at all- there is no such thing as a stretchability so it’s of the utmost significance that you just order the appropriate measurement. Breathability is healthier than the Clifton 8 as a result of knit mesh being thinner.
Hoka One One Clifton 9 Sole Unit
There are many runners who need Hoka to alter the Clifton’s midsole foam from EVA to TPU, a supercritical foam or one thing else which supplies extra vitality return however the cause Hoka makes use of compression moulded EVA is that it’s extremely light-weight and it permits them to cram a variety of foam into the Clifton’s midsole whereas maintaining it beneath 9 oz (255 g) for a males’s normal measurement.
The brand new formulation of CMEVA within the midsole of the Clifton 9 has been improved to be softer and lighter nevertheless it nonetheless doesn’t have a lot vitality return. The midsole has 3 mm of additional stack top but it surely’s lighter than the earlier model on the similar time.
The journey of the Clifton 9 is on the softer facet. You may anticipate a softer and squishier journey than different mid-range day by day trainers just like the Ghost 15, Pegasus 39, Trip 15 and Novablast 3 so in case you want a agency driving day by day coach, the Clifton 9 shouldn’t be for you.
I benefit from the Clifton 9 for simple paces slower than 5:30 per kilometre (8:52 per mile). I really feel that its mushy journey makes it much less suited to quick paces not like the Clifton 8 which might deal with sooner paces higher. The Clifton 9 has extra long-distance consolation so it’s higher for lengthy runs.
One of many Clifton’s major defining traits, aside from its jumbo midsole is its Meta-Rocker geometry. The shoe’s rounded toe and heel create a curved midsole for smoother and sooner transitions as a result of the runner doesn’t land flat-footed. The Meta-Rocker makes lengthy runs within the Clifton 9 really feel actually environment friendly and energy-saving, as if the shoe helps you alongside the way in which.
Stability within the Clifton 9 is superb. Not solely does it have a really vast base but it surely additionally has a midsole rim which cups your foot and guides it by the gait cycle. This impartial coach must be fantastic for even gentle overpronators attributable to its excessive stability degree.
The Clifton 8 had a redesigned outsole with diagonal flex grooves within the forefoot as a substitute of lateral flex grooves so the Clifton 8’s forefoot was stiffer than earlier Cliftons. The Clifton 9 additionally has diagonal flex grooves, just like the Clifton 8; the stiffer forefoot makes the forefoot extra snappy and it helps the rocker operate extra successfully.
The outsole has a good quantity of rubber safety and you may anticipate comparable sturdiness to the Clifton 9. I haven’t seen vital outsole put on throughout my testing of the shoe. Outsole grip is common on moist surfaces as a result of the outsole design is flat.
Hoka One One Clifton 9 Conclusions
The Clifton 8 was one of the vital well-liked trainers final 12 months and the Clifton 9 might be one of the vital well-liked this 12 months. Nearly all of runners desire a comfy working shoe which has a extremely cushioned journey and a good weight; the Clifton 9 delivers all 3 (if you buy the right measurement).
The principle distinction between the Clifton and different mid-range, impartial day by day trainers is that the Clifton seems to be prefer it’s a max-cushioned coach due to its gigantic midsole so it provides you the notion that it’s softer, plusher and extra protecting than its rivals.
Don’t anticipate a enjoyable, bouncy journey from the Clifton 9 although since you’ll be disappointed. This coach was designed to be a secure and predictable day by day coach in the identical vein because the Brooks Ghost and the Nike Pegasus.
The Clifton 9 is an enchancment over its predecessor and I like to recommend upgrading in case you want a softer journey with extra cushioning. The poking arch sensation has been dialled down and it isn’t as outstanding so it feels extra comfy for flat-footed runners.
The principle factor that you must watch out of is its sizing- the common width has an especially slender toe field so most runners might want to get the vast model.
The Clifton 9 can be overpriced. For $5 much less, you will get the Hoka Mach 5 (one other day by day coach).
Aside from sturdiness, the Mach 5 beats the Clifton 9 in each different facet: it’s lighter, sooner, extra energetic and it has a extra comfy match.