Hoka Clifton 8 Review

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Hoka Clifton 8 Review

Hoka Clifton 8 Shoe Review

The Hoka Clifton is a work horse.  It has been a very popular shoe from athletes who are running long miles, to an excellent shoe for nurses and other professionals who are on their feet all day. We often fit this neutral trainer for newbie runners to those battling foot injuries.  It is very versatile. The Hoka Clifton 7 was a phenomenal shoe because of the wide variety of people it fits. Any time a brand makes updates we get nervous, wondering if they are going to change an aspect that we love. Continue reading to see what we think of the Clifton 8 update.

Let’s Get Started

Men's Hoka Clifton 8 Kansas City

I am a neutral plus runner. I love a neutral plush shoe, “neutral plush” is one that is S-O-F-T, one that makes your legs and feet feel pampered after a long day at work.  Traditionally you will find me in the Women’s Saucony Triumph, the Women’s Hoka Clifton and the Women’s Brooks Caldera.  I am not a fast runner.  I run because I love being active and outside, so you will catch me in the “middle of the pack”.  Additionally, I like a shoe with not a lot of flexibility in the forefoot.  This is because I had to have a bunion removed and bending my metatarsals while I run just aggravates them.  This shoe was perfect for me to test out knowing it hits on all my selling points.


To demo the shoe, I wore it around the store as I was stocking shelves, took it for a five mile run and walked my dog.  I wanted variety to see if it measured up to the Clifton 7.


The Updates

Hoka Clifton 8 Shoe Review
  • Hoka updated the midsole making it 15% lighter than the Clifton 7.
  • The Clifton 8 starts to scratch the surface in sustainability with a newly improved vegan upper. 
  • Updated rubber outsole for better flexibility. 


Now, for my opinion

Hoka doesn’t talk much about what they did to make the midsole 15% lighter, other than saying its “compressed EVA foam”.  And, since I am a girl who loves a plush ride, I was nervous for this update.  The new vegan friendly upper is a very nice update and my feet settled right into the shoe.  This upper is secure, while comfortable and breathable.  It was a great update. I haven’t seen much from Hoka regarding their goals on sustainability, so I feel this vegan upper is a very small step in the right direction.  When I was walking around The Running Well Store and stocking shoes the Clifton 8 didn’t feel as soft as the Clifton 7, however that experience completely changed for me when I went for my run.  The shoe was a great ride and felt soft and responsive!  I was only going to go three miles but extended it to five because of how awesome everything felt.  While they updated the midsole, I do think some of the props need to be given to the update on the outsole. As you can see they updated the outsole.  Hoka states that this outsole update was for flexibility, and I would not call this a flexible shoe, however I do think this update really enhances the transition as you toe off.

I will certainly be grabbing the Clifton 8 as a frequent shoe in my rotation.  I think that the updated upper, the midsole and the fun toe off make it a  luxurious, soft shoe for those who are happily in the middle of the pack like me!

Who Is This Shoe Good For?

This is a neutral plush shoe that is a great every day trainer.  I would pull this shoe for a wide variety of people.  It is great for someone who is just getting into running (Newbie Runners we see you!).  Because of the plush feel and the meta-rocker that takes you through your stride, I would also pull this shoe for our clients who are training for longer runs.  We do carry the Clifton 8 in Men’s Wide and Women’s Wide, making it a fantastic option for those who need a little bit more space in their shoe.


Who Is This Shoe NOT Good For?

The runners who like a quicker, more responsive shoe should look more towards a Mach or Carbon X.  If you are an individual who is tough on their shoes, you may want to step up to the Bondi.  While this shoe doesn’t have a ton of forefoot flexibility, our clients with  foot pain like a bunion or metatarsalgia may want to explore the Bondi as it may have less flexibility in the toes.

If you have tried a previous model of the Clifton and thought that the arch was not fitting you properly, there has been a minor update but I believe it still may not fit you properly.  As TRWS Guru Joseph puts it, ” My one complaint is still the arch. The Clifton 7 had a very prominent arch and the 8 slightly addressed that issue as it wasn’t as overbearing as I ran.  However, I could still feel it and it would bother me if I ran further than a couple of miles.  Individuals with higher arches probably do not notice this in the Clifton 7 or 8.”


The Specifics

  • Price: $129.95
  • Weight: 7.4 oz
  • Drop: 5mm
  • Use: Run/Walk/Work
  • Category: Neutral
  • Surface: Road


About TRWS GURU Kathy

Kathy started running in 2005 after getting her first corporate job after college and gaining weight.  Her admin at the time suggested she run her first 5k, of which Kathy trained for 10 months in preparation.  Having a career in advertising and traveling frequently, Kathy discovered that running was a great way to stay fit and see all the cities she was visiting.  Kathy loves destination races having traveled as far as Australia for a marathon, and locally Chicago, New Jersey, Arizona and pictured here at her half Ironman in Indiana.



Wide Variety Of Hoka Clifton 8 Colors in Kansas City

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Not certain if this shoe is right for you?

We understand!  There are a lot of options of footwear on the market and deciding what model is the right model for your needs is not easy.  We are here for you! You can come into one of our three locations (Lee’s Summit, Northland and Mission, KS) for a free stride analysis. No appointment is necessary, but if you would like to schedule an appointment, click here.  We take in-person and virtual fittings.  Want to do research online?  We have a find my fit tool that will help you narrow down footwear options.  We hope to hear from you soon!