A Search For Cushion

After racing in the Vermont 50K, I was craving a cushiony shoe for easy runs. I’ve owned Speedgoats in the past, but didn’t fall in love with them. I found the toe box to be too narrow, and the heel stack to be too high. The level of cushion was great, but I couldn’t get on board with the feeling of running in platform dance shoes. So, determined to find my Hoka soul mate, I purchased a pair of Clifton 5’s. Here’s what I think…

The Specs:

Best for: Road

Weight (US size 7): 7.60 oz

Heel-toe drop: 5.00 mm

Stability: Neutral

Cushion: Balanced

Rocker: Early stage meta-rocker

The Good:

The new mesh upper of the Clifton 5 is a dream. The breathable mesh lays closer to the foot than previous models, creating a sleeker aesthetic.

The shoe fits true to size, so there’s no need to buy two pairs and deal with the hassle of return shipments. I tend to gravitate toward shoes with average toe boxes, and average to narrow heels. I find that these shoes fit comfortably, with minimal hot spots and slippage.

The heel stack is a nice height. If a Hoka model feels too much like a platform shoe, I’m not interested. I want some cushion without feeling like I’m headed to a disco.

The flat laces, low profile tongue, and reduced (from the Clifton 4) overlays allow the upper to hug the foot with minimal rubbing.

The Bad:

I find the arches to be a little too high or firm or something…I haven’t quite put my finger on it. Has anyone else had this experience?

The Clifton 5 is advertised as being “marshmallow soft”, but I wouldn’t agree. I don’t think the shoe is uncomfortably firm by any means, but I would like it to have a tad more cushion.

This shoe feels a little heavy. And that’s because the weight has in fact increased an ounce or two from the previous model. You’re still able to enjoy a soft, smooth ride, but hopefully the Clifton 6 will be a bit lighter.

The Ugly:

Hehe, just kidding, these shoes are actually pretty sleek for Hoka’s.

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