My first impression of the Clifton 9 when I put it on was how secure my foot felt in it. Having worn the Clifton 8 for running and work, I felt like my foot was not always snug and secured in the shoe and at times felt loose. The new soft padding they added to the gusseted tongue helps secure your foot into the shoe and locks your heel and Achilles into place against the padding they added to the heel collar.
The first Clifton I ever wore was the Clifton 6. It was a very reliable shoe and got me through a lot of runs while I was living in Eugene, Oregon. I could get some longer runs in the shoe but would start to get a little bit of knee pain on those longer runs due to there not being a whole lot of added support/stability for an overpronating runner like myself. So far on my runs with the Clifton 9, I have thrown my Curex insert into the shoe for some added support and it’s worked pretty well for me. The Clifton 9 is a neutral shoe, but for someone who doesn’t overpronate too much, I think you could get away with adding an insert for a tad bit more support and feel great in this shoe.
The new midsole on the Clifton 9 is far different from its predecessors. Even though they’re made of the same EVA (ETHYL VINYL ACETATE) material, the EVA foam in the Clifton 9 is much more revamped. It still has that soft cushioning feel that Hoka’s are known for, but the responsiveness of it, is what separates it from the previous models. When I was running in the Clifton 8, I would at times feel like I had to exert more energy because the midsole didn’t have much responsiveness to it and would make it feel like you were sinking into the shoe. In the Clifton 9, I did not have that issue. The Meta Rocker technology that all the Hoka shoes have, combined with the updated responsiveness of the midsole, makes the Clifton 9 a versatile shoe for long runs and uptempo runs as well. Hoka did a great job with getting more energy return out of the new midsole and keeping it at a light weight of 7.3 oz for women and 8.7 oz for men.
Who This Shoe Is Good For:
The Clifton 9 would be good for someone who is looking for an everyday shoe that you can run or walk in. The soft lightweight cushioning can get you through those long days at work standing on your feet for several hours. The softness and responsiveness of the new midsole makes it versatile for long runs and for the days that you’re looking to push the pace.
Who This Shoe Is NOT Good For:
I would not recommend the Clifton 9 for someone who is dealing with calf or Achilles injuries. The Clifton 9 only has a 5mm offset, which is on the lower end compared to most running shoes. The offset is where your heel sits in a shoe compared to where your toes sit. The lower the offset, the more work you’re putting on those muscles and tendons in your lower legs. I would recommend slowly easing your way into the shoe if you’re not accustomed to a lower offset shoe.
Now for the SPECS:
- Price: $144.95
- Weight: 7.3 oz (Women’s) 8.7 oz (Men’s)
- Drop: 5 mm
- Category: Neutral
- Use: Run/Walk/Work
Shop Hoka Clifton 9
About TRWS GURU Ben
Started running freshman year of high school in Roseburg, Oregon. Ran at a Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. Ran my first half marathon in November of 2022, and am currently training for the Eugene half marathon. Would eventually like to train and qualify for the Boston full marathon one day. Ben started working at The Running Well Store, Barry Road location in October 2022.
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