Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Kit review: Hoka One One Clifton road trainers

Written by Fiona

April 13 2015

Trainers come in all shapes and sizes these days and while minimalist is the trend for a moment or two, the next minute the in-style is fat and cushiony. Really, it doesn’t matter what you wear so long as you feel comfortable, run well and stay injury free.

Take Hoka One One’s. If you like super-cushioned trainers then they are an obvious choice. Personally, I have always thought they looked like clown shoes and have not been that keen to try them.

I also wondered why anyone would need so much of a cushioned sole. The profile of the heel and forefoot looks like the platform shoes I remember from my childhood (sadly, I am that old). Mostly, I prefer a trainer that allows my feet to feel more connected to the ground.

But I am willing to give new things a try and with an increasing number of ankle and knee joint niggles I thought the Hokas might serve as a nice pillow for a few weeks of running.

At first I really wasn’t sure about running in the Hoka One One Clifton road trainers. While they are very light it felt very odd running on top of a platform of cushioned sole.

On the first couple of runs the soles of my feet also seemed to over-heat.

But then I began to enjoy the trainers very much. They somehow forced me to run in a more relaxed way. No longer was I trying to run on my forefoot, instead the shape of the sole had me rolling my feet from mid/rear to forefoot without any requirement for me to think about what I was doing.

I liked, too, that every step felt quite bouncy although not too Zebedee. While the trainers look as if they will be all about marshmallow steps they are actually quite firm and give the right level of bounce rather than high spring or super-softness.

The uppers are nicely fitting and keep the feet secure. I normally need to tie laces super tight to keep my feet in the right place but not the Hokas as they fit really well.

A stranger test came when I was out for a run with the G-Force recently. He had been very keen to try Hokas but he wasn’t so sure he would like to run in the girly salmon-pink colour.

Halfway around the run and on quite trails I suggested he might like to swap trainers with me so he could try the Hokas without other people spotting his girlie shoes. (The G-Force shares the same size of feet with me.)

When I put my feet into his normal running trainers my feet felt sudden flat, laden down and non-cushioned. Meanwhile, the G-Force floated off at quite a pace shouting out to me that he felt great.

“They are so light. And airy. And easy to run in,” I heard him say as I tried to keep up. I didn’t get to wear the Hokas for the rest of the run and he even kept them on while me made a detour to the supermarket on the way home. He said he liked them so much that he didn’t care if anyone saw him in salmon-pink trainers.

Hoka One One Cliftons are meant for road running. There are many other styles for road and also for off-road.

Features include:

Weight: 6.9 oz

Profile (Heel): 31.6 mm

Profile (Forefoot): 26.2 mm

Drop from heel to forefoot: 5.4 mm

I have now taken to running in the Hoka Clifton’s every time I do a pavement run. I never imagined I would but I really like how they feel. The hot foot thing has also gone.

I feel like my foot stability and grounding is good and my running style is easy and natural. I also use the trainers for walking the dog.

I wonder if I might try a pair of off-road running Hokas next… (I also wonder how many times the G-Force is sneaking out for a run in my pink Hoka Cliftons! There are men’s colours that would be far more suitable for him.)

To buy see Hoka One One and sports shoes retailers.

More Like This


Ultra runner Ian Stewart completes Martin Moran Round PLUS 


New records in 2024 Montane Summer Spine Sprint and Challenger races


BAM products: Bid to make bamboo more sustainable


3 GB Ultras wins in a row for Scott Brown


Review: Rab MUON women’s ND 50 pack


Isle of arran Corbetts: Cir Mhòr and Beinn Tarsuinn