First thing’s first: I have been running in Hoka ONE ONE
– the Clifton and Clifton 2
– for a couple of years. Hoka
sparked my curiosity with their maximum cushioning and meta rocker technology, so I gave them a shot. It took me some time to become accustomed to the lower drop; at 4.5 mm it was lower than my typical neutral running shoe. Once I got used to the fit and feel though, I was hooked.
I loved the Clifton but still wanted something a bit more responsive. At the time, the Clifton was the lightest shoe Hoka had on the market, but I craved something with a little more pop. I tried other shoes that offered a more traditional running shoe experience, but kept going back to my Cliftons. I promise this is a review of the Clayton, we’re getting there!
Sales Rep, Tony, came down to the Yarmouth
store to host a Run Club
nights at 6:15
!) and we all had a chance to test out the Clayton
and the Vanquish 2
(also a new favorite of mine but that review is for another day).
The first thing you notice when you put on the Clayton is the weight: at 6.3 oz. they are an ounce lighter than the already super light Clifton!
The second thing you notice is the wide toe box, I found the second edition of the Clifton to be a bit on the narrow side, so extra room to wiggle my toes was a welcome change.
Off we went on our usual route, and from the first step these kicks felt blazing fast! I couldn’t help but push the pace right out of the gate, they were responsive and down right zippy feeling. My run club buddies agreed – the Clayton felt like a Hoka, but no Hoka we had tried before. By the time we hit the turn around I was sold.
Other noteworthy details: Hoka nailed the fit in the tongue – a thin tongue with just enough padding to keep it in place. A comfortable hug in the arch and a wonderfully wide toe box allowing the user to really feel some power through the push off.
I have taken the Clayton
through a range of workouts since then, easy runs, tempo, trails and a 10 miler. I’ve been really happy with the fit and feel and will test their racing powers this weekend at the notoriously fast and flat YPD 5k
. Can’t wait!
Here’s the lightning round review:
Hoka lists this shoe for lightweight training but I say if you’re already training in something equally light, like the Saucony
Kinvara or the New Balance
Zante, you can use the Clayton for a variety of distances and workouts.
Category: Neutral, Road
Weight: Women’s (size 9) 6.3 oz. Men’s (size 9) 7.3 oz.
Feel: Soft heel+Firm Forefoot=explosive propulsion