Running ShoesShoe Reviews

#1 Review On Hoka Clifton 9


If you’re on the hunt for a pair of running shoes that promise top-tier comfort, ample cushioning, and reliable stability, you might want to consider exploring the Hoka Clifton 9. This model represents the latest iteration in the much-loved Clifton series by Hoka One One, a brand well-regarded for its inventive and maximalist approach to crafting running footwear.

The Clifton 9 serves as a lightweight daily training shoe, boasting a substantial and plush midsole, a curved rocker-style profile, and a well-ventilated mesh upper. Its primary objective is to provide a smooth and responsive running experience suitable for runners of all skill levels, particularly those who favor a luxurious, cushioned sensation beneath their feet.

Within this article, we aim to furnish you with an extensive evaluation of the Hoka Clifton 9, delving into its characteristics, advantages, on-field performance, strengths, weaknesses, and comparisons with other offerings in the market. We’ll also address commonly posed questions about this footwear, empowering you to determine whether it aligns with your particular needs and preferences.

Feature Table of Hoka Clifton 9

Feature Rating (out of 5 stars) Explanation
Cushioning ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Clifton 9 has a thick and soft midsole that provides a high level of cushioning and shock absorption.
Responsiveness ⭐⭐⭐ The Clifton 9 has a rockered profile and an Early Stage Meta-Rocker that enhance the toe-off and propulsion. However, the shoe is not very flexible or bouncy, as it has a high stack height and minimal ground feel.
Stability ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Clifton 9 has a wide and flat base that provides stability and support for the foot. The shoe also has a moderate arch that can accommodate different foot shapes and arch types.
Breathability ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Clifton 9 has a lightweight and breathable upper that wraps around the foot snugly. The upper is made of jacquard knit mesh, which is soft and stretchy.
Durability ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Clifton 9 has a durable and grippy outsole that can handle various terrains and conditions. The outsole is made of rubber, which is abrasion-resistant and traction-enhancing.
Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Clifton 9 has a simple and sleek design that gives it a modern and stylish look. The upper comes in various color options, such as black, white, blue, green, red, pink, purple, orange, yellow, gray, etc.

What is the Hoka Clifton 9?

The Hoka Clifton 9 marks the ninth installment in the Clifton line, originally introduced in 2014 as one of Hoka One One’s pioneering models. This series has consistently been a top seller for the brand, renowned for its blend of lightweight design and ample cushioning.

In comparison to its predecessor, the Clifton 8, released in 2022, the Clifton 9 brings forth several key enhancements:

  • The Clifton 9 boasts a beefier midsole with an added 3 mm of stack height, resulting in a more plush and softer feel compared to the Clifton 8.
  • It incorporates a novel compression-molded EVA foam within the midsole, designed for improved durability and resilience when contrasted with the previous foam.
  • The Clifton 9 showcases a fresh jacquard knit mesh upper that’s lighter and better ventilated than the engineered mesh upper found on the Clifton 8. This update also exhibits fewer overlays, lending the shoe a sleeker appearance.
  • In terms of weight, the Clifton 9 marginally trims down about 4 grams for both the men’s and women’s versions in comparison to the Clifton 8.

The Clifton 9 maintains key features that have contributed to the Clifton series’ popularity, including:

  • Meta-Rocker geometry, a curved midsole shape that fosters a seamless transition from heel to toe.
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker, a gentle upward curvature near the forefoot, enhancing toe-off and propulsion.
  • Flat-waisted geometry, a broad midsole base that provides stability and equilibrium.
  • Reinforced eyestays, robust loops securing the laces firmly in place.
  • A convenient pull tab situated at the heel, simplifying the process of slipping the shoe on and off.

Who is it for?

The Hoka Clifton 9 caters to the preferences of runners who:

  1. Seek a daily trainer with substantial cushioning, adaptable for a range of distances and speeds.
  2. Find comfort in a plush and gentle underfoot experience.
  3. Require a shoe that offers stability and support, accommodating diverse foot shapes and arch types.
  4. Favor a ride with a rockered design, enabling seamless transitions.
  5. Value a lightweight and well-ventilated shoe that doesn’t compromise on comfort.

On the flip side, the Hoka Clifton 9 may not be the ideal choice for runners who:

  1. Possess exceptionally wide feet, as the shoe tends to run narrow, even in the wide size option.
  2. Prefer a shoe that offers greater flexibility and responsiveness, with a more pronounced connection to the ground.
  3. Are in search of a cost-effective or budget-friendly shoe, as the Clifton 9 comes with a relatively high price tag.

What are the main features and benefits?

The Hoka Clifton 9 boasts a range of distinctive features and advantages that distinguish it from other running shoes. Here’s a closer look at some of them:

  1. Plush and Resilient Midsole: The Clifton 9 is equipped with a generously cushioned and soft midsole, ensuring exceptional shock absorption. Crafted from compression-molded EVA foam, this midsole combines durability and resilience. Its rockered profile facilitates a seamless heel-to-toe transition during each stride.
  2. Low Heel-to-Toe Drop: With a minimal 5 mm drop, the Clifton 9 positions the heel just slightly higher than the forefoot. This encourages a more natural and efficient running posture while reducing stress on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  3. Stable Base and Arch Support: The shoe provides a wide and flat base, offering stability and support to the foot. Featuring a moderate arch, it accommodates various foot shapes and arch types. The molded EVA sockliner within the footbed adds an extra layer of comfort and cushioning.
  4. Lightweight and Breathable Upper: The Clifton 9’s upper wraps snugly around the foot, ensuring a secure fit. Constructed from jacquard knit mesh, it offers a soft and flexible feel. Minimal overlays reduce the shoe’s weight and bulk. The padded tongue and collar further enhance comfort and fit.
  5. Durable and Versatile Outsole: The shoe’s outsole is engineered for durability and reliable traction across diverse terrains and conditions. Crafted from abrasion-resistant rubber, it delivers a sure grip. Its zonal design, featuring varying rubber patterns and thicknesses in different areas, strikes a balance between flexibility and long-lasting performance.

Performance Review

To give you a better idea of how the Hoka Clifton 9 performs on the road, we’ll break down its performance into different aspects: fit and comfort, cushioning and ride, stability and support, traction and durability, and breathability and style.

Fit and Comfort

The Hoka Clifton 9 delivers a snug and comfortable fit that molds itself well to the foot’s contours. It typically runs true to size, though it leans towards the narrow side, especially in the toe box. For individuals with wider feet or bunions, this might feel somewhat constricting and tight.

The option of a wider fit is available, but even in this variation, the Clifton 9 remains narrower than the majority of other shoes on the market. If your feet are exceptionally wide, you may find it necessary to explore alternative shoe models or consider going up half a size for a more accommodating fit.

The shoe’s upper features a seamless design that effectively guards against irritation and chafing. Moreover, the padded tongue and collar contribute to cushioning the foot and preventing any unwanted heel slippage. With reinforced eyestays ensuring a secure grip on the laces, a personalized fit is easily achievable.

To further enhance convenience, the shoe incorporates a heel pull tab, simplifying the process of slipping it on and off. The presence of a molded EVA sockliner within the footbed adds an extra layer of comfort and cushioning.

In summary, the Hoka Clifton 9 provides a comfortably tailored fit that suits a variety of foot shapes and sizes, provided they do not lean towards the wider end of the spectrum.

Cushioning and Ride

The Hoka Clifton 9 features a generously padded and pliant midsole, offering an impressive level of cushioning and shock absorption. This midsole is expertly crafted from compression-molded EVA foam, ensuring both durability and resilience.

Adding to its appeal, the midsole incorporates a rockered profile, facilitating a seamless rolling motion from heel to toe. Furthermore, the shoe boasts an Early Stage Meta-Rocker near the forefoot, which enhances the effectiveness of toe-off and propulsion during each stride.

With a modest 5 mm heel-to-toe drop, the Clifton 9 encourages a more natural and efficient running form while alleviating stress on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.

Underfoot, the Clifton 9 delivers a soft and plush sensation that adapts well to a variety of distances and paces. It shines particularly in easy runs, recovery runs, long-distance training, and marathon preparation.

However, it’s important to note that this shoe isn’t highly responsive or flexible, given its substantial stack height and minimal ground feel. For runners who prefer a firmer or more energetic ride, the Clifton 9 may feel overly soft and cushiony.

Likewise, some individuals seeking speed and agility might find the shoe a tad heavy or less nimble. With weights of 8.7 oz for men’s size 9 and 7.5 oz for women’s size 8, the Clifton 9 is marginally lighter than its predecessor but still slightly bulkier than some other lightweight trainers on the market.

Stability and Support

The Hoka Clifton 9 boasts a broad, flat base that furnishes a stable and supportive foundation for the foot. Its design accommodates individuals with varying foot shapes and arch types, featuring a moderate arch for added versatility.

While the shoe doesn’t specifically target overpronators in need of extra stability or motion control features, it can serve the interests of those with mild to moderate overpronation tendencies. This is due to the combination of cushioning and the advantageous rockered profile it offers.

The Clifton 9 is equally well-suited for neutral runners seeking a dependable and supportive shoe capable of minimizing injury risks and enhancing their running form.

Within the shoe, a molded EVA sockliner not only contributes to enhanced comfort and cushioning but also plays a role in preventing unwanted slippage and movement within the shoe.

In summary, the Hoka Clifton 9 delivers a sense of stability and support that can accommodate a wide range of runners and their unique running styles.

Traction and Durability

The Hoka Clifton 9 showcases a robust and high-traction outsole capable of tackling an array of terrains and environmental conditions. This outsole is constructed from durable rubber, designed to withstand abrasion while delivering exceptional grip.

What sets this outsole apart is its zonal design, featuring distinct patterns and thicknesses of rubber in different areas. This strategic arrangement optimally balances durability and flexibility to ensure the longevity of the shoe.

Notably, the heel and forefoot regions of the outsole are fortified with more rubber, as these areas typically endure higher levels of wear and tear. In contrast, the midfoot area features less rubber, shedding weight and enhancing the shoe’s flexibility.

The outsole is further equipped with a multi-directional lug pattern, enhancing grip and traction across a range of surfaces, including roads, tracks, grass, dirt, gravel, and even light trails. This adaptability makes the Clifton 9 a versatile choice for varied running environments.

Additionally, the outsole incorporates a siping pattern, characterized by small cuts or grooves in the rubber. These grooves promote flexibility and adaptability in the outsole, enabling it to conform to the contours of the terrain and increase the contact area.

In sum, the Hoka Clifton 9 boasts an enduring and high-traction outsole that excels across diverse surfaces and conditions.

Breathability and Style

The Hoka Clifton 9 showcases an upper that is both lightweight and breathable, enveloping the foot snugly for a comfortable fit. This upper is crafted from jacquard knit mesh, which is not only soft but also possesses a stretchy quality.

Minimal overlays have been incorporated into the design of the upper, effectively reducing the shoe’s weight and bulk. Enhancing comfort and fit, the upper is equipped with a padded tongue and collar, ensuring a pleasant wear experience.

The upper features a seamless construction, effectively preventing any potential sources of irritation and chafing. For added convenience, a pull tab at the heel simplifies the process of slipping the shoe on and off.

Embracing a straightforward and sleek design, the upper lends the shoe a contemporary and stylish appearance. It’s available in a variety of color options, including black, white, blue, green, red, pink, purple, orange, yellow, gray, and more.

Additionally, the upper incorporates reflective elements, such as the Hoka logo on the sides and the heel counter. These elements improve the shoe’s visibility and safety in low-light conditions.

In summary, the Hoka Clifton 9’s upper is a lightweight and breathable component that combines comfort, fit, style, and safety.

Comparison with Other Shoes

For a comprehensive understanding of how the Hoka Clifton 9 stacks up against other available options, let’s compare it with its predecessor, the Hoka Clifton 8, and another popular lightweight trainer from a different brand.

Hoka Clifton 8 vs. 9:


  1. Enhanced Midsole Cushioning: The Clifton 9 distinguishes itself with a thicker midsole, elevating its stack height by 3 mm. This augmentation results in a more cushioned and softer ride in comparison to the Clifton 8.
  2. Upgraded Midsole Material: The Clifton 9 incorporates a fresh compression-molded EVA foam within the midsole, touted for its improved durability and resilience when contrasted with the prior foam.
  3. New Upper Design: The Clifton 9 introduces a jacquard knit mesh upper, which is not only lighter but also offers superior breathability in contrast to the engineered mesh upper found on the Clifton 8. Fewer overlays contribute to a more streamlined and modern appearance.
  4. Slight Weight Reduction: The Clifton 9 manages to shed approximately 4 grams in weight for both the men’s and women’s versions, albeit a modest reduction when compared to the Clifton 8.


  1. Low Heel-to-Toe Drop: Both shoes maintain a low 5 mm drop, promoting a natural and efficient running posture.
  2. Meta-Rocker Geometry: The Clifton 9 and Clifton 8 share the Meta-Rocker geometry, a curved midsole shape that facilitates seamless transitions from heel to toe.
  3. Early Stage Meta-Rocker: Both shoes incorporate the Early Stage Meta-Rocker, a subtle upward curvature near the forefoot that enhances toe-off and propulsion.
  4. Flat-Waisted Geometry: Both models boast a flat-waisted geometry, providing a wide midsole base for stability and balance.
  5. Reinforced Eyestays: Durable eyestays secure the laces effectively in both the Clifton 9 and Clifton 8.
  6. Heel Pull Tab: Both shoes feature a convenient pull tab on the heel, simplifying the process of wearing and removing the shoe.


  • If you prioritize a softer and more cushioned running experience, the Clifton 9 might be your preferred choice over the Clifton 8.
  • If you’re seeking a lighter and more breathable shoe, the Clifton 9 also presents itself as a favorable option in comparison to the Clifton 8.
  • However, if cost-efficiency or heightened responsiveness is your primary focus, sticking with the Clifton 8 or exploring alternatives may be more suitable for your needs.

These insights should help you make an informed decision based on your specific preferences and priorities.

Hoka Clifton 9 vs Other Brands

The Hoka Clifton 9 certainly holds its place among the top lightweight trainers in the market, but it’s just one of the many options available. Several other shoes offer comparable features and benefits, including:

Brooks Ghost 14:

  • A lightweight daily trainer with a soft and smooth ride.
  • DNA Loft foam in the midsole for responsiveness and durability.
  • BioMoGo DNA foam in the forefoot for adaptability and flexibility.
  • Engineered mesh upper for breathability and comfort.
  • Weight: 10.1 oz (men’s size 9) and 8.8 oz (women’s size 8).

Nike Pegasus 39:

  • Another lightweight daily trainer with a cushioned and responsive ride.
  • React foam in the midsole for bounce and resilience.
  • Air Zoom unit in the forefoot for springiness and explosiveness.
  • Flyknit upper for stretchiness and support.
  • Weight: 9.6 oz (men’s size 9) and 8 oz (women’s size 8).

Saucony Kinvara 13:

  • Another lightweight daily trainer offering a flexible and snappy ride.
  • PWRRUN foam in the midsole for lightness and energy.
  • PWRRUN+ topsole for soft cushioning.
  • Engineered mesh upper for breathability and comfort.
  • Weight: 7.5 oz (men’s size 9) and 6.5 oz (women’s size 8).

The Verdict:

  • If you’re in search of a soft and smooth ride, both the Brooks Ghost 14 and the Hoka Clifton 9 could be to your liking.
  • For those seeking a cushioned and responsive ride, the Nike Pegasus 39 and the Hoka Clifton 9 are both solid options.
  • If you prefer a flexible and snappy ride, the Saucony Kinvara 13, or a shoe offering more ground feel and feedback, might be your best bet.

The choice ultimately depends on your specific running preferences and needs. Consider your desired running experience, terrain, and performance goals when making your selection.


The Hoka Clifton 9, a lightweight daily trainer, stands out with its thick and plush midsole, rockered profile, and breathable mesh upper. It caters to runners of all skill levels, particularly those who relish a cushioned underfoot sensation.

As an iteration from the Clifton 8 released in 2022, the Clifton 9 introduces notable enhancements: increased midsole foam, a fresh compression-molded EVA foam, a lightweight jacquard knit mesh upper, and a slight reduction in weight.

This shoe is well-suited for runners seeking:

  1. Ample cushioning in a daily trainer that adapts to various distances and paces.
  2. Stability and support accommodating diverse foot shapes and arch types.
  3. A smooth and responsive ride with a rockered design.
  4. A lightweight, breathable design that doesn’t compromise comfort.

Conversely, it may not be the best choice for:

  1. Individuals with very wide feet, as the shoe tends to run narrow even in its wide version.
  2. Those who favor a more flexible and responsive shoe with enhanced ground feel.
  3. Shoppers looking for budget-friendly options, as the Clifton 9 carries a relatively higher price tag.

Distinctive features and benefits of the Clifton 9 include:

  1. A generously cushioned and shock-absorbing midsole.
  2. A low 5 mm heel-to-toe drop promoting a natural running form.
  3. A wide and stable base offering support.
  4. A snug and breathable upper construction.
  5. A durable outsole adaptable to diverse terrains.

Nevertheless, it’s not without its drawbacks, such as:

  1. A potentially restrictive narrow fit for some runners.
  2. Reduced flexibility and responsiveness due to the high stack height.
  3. A relatively high price point.

In comparison to other market options like the Brooks Ghost 14, the Nike Pegasus 39, and the Saucony Kinvara 13, the Clifton 9 holds its own with its unique attributes, offering a competitive choice in the lightweight daily trainer category.

Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of the Hoka Clifton 9:


  • Highly cushioned and comfortable
  • Stable and supportive
  • Smooth and responsive
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Durable and grippy


  • Narrow and tight
  • Spongy and mushy
  • Heavy and slow
  • Expensive

Final Verdict

The Hoka Clifton 9 proves to be an excellent choice for runners seeking a plush and comfortable underfoot experience, a ride that seamlessly balances smoothness and responsiveness, as well as the reliability of a stable and supportive shoe. Its lightweight and breathable design make it suitable for a range of distances and training paces, from leisurely jogs to dedicated marathon preparation.

However, this shoe may not be the ideal selection for those desiring a more agile and responsive feel beneath their feet, or those in search of a firmer and livelier ride. If you require a roomier shoe with a lower price point, or if your intention is geared towards speedwork, racing, or if you have notably wide feet, the Clifton 9 may not align with your preferences.

Recognized as one of Hoka One One’s top-selling models, the Clifton 9 has garnered widespread acclaim for its ability to deliver on its core promises of comfort, cushioning, and stability. Many runners hold it in high regard, considering it an indispensable part of their running experience.

If your quest is for a lightweight daily trainer that can deliver the trifecta of comfort, cushioning, and stability, the Hoka Clifton 9 presents itself as a compelling option well worth your consideration.


Here are some frequently asked questions about the Hoka Clifton 9:

Q: How much does the Hoka Clifton 9 cost?

A: The Hoka Clifton 9 has a suggested retail price of $130 USD for both men’s and women’s versions. However, you may find it cheaper or more expensive depending on the retailer, the size, the color, or the availability.

Q: What are the differences between the men’s and women’s versions of the Hoka Clifton 9?

A: The main differences between the men’s and women’s versions of the Hoka Clifton 9 are:

  • The men’s version has a standard width of D, while the women’s version has a standard width of B.
  • The men’s version has a wide option of 2E, while the women’s version has a wide option of D.
  • The men’s version has a weight of 8.7 oz for size 9, while the women’s version has a weight of 7.5 oz for size 8.
  • The men’s version has a stack height of 32 mm in the heel and 27 mm in the forefoot, while the women’s version has a stack height of 31 mm in the heel and 26 mm in the forefoot.
  • The men’s version has more color options than the women’s version.

Q: How long does the Hoka Clifton 9 last?

A: The durability of the Hoka Clifton 9 depends on several factors, such as:

  • The frequency and intensity of your runs
  • The type and condition of the surfaces you run on
  • The weight and foot strike of the runner
  • The care and maintenance of the shoe

Generally speaking, most running shoes last for about 300 to 500 miles before they need to be replaced. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule, as some shoes may last longer or shorter depending on the factors mentioned above.

To extend the lifespan of your Hoka Clifton 9, you can do some things such as:

  • Rotate your shoes with other pairs to allow them to rest and recover
  • Avoid running on harsh or abrasive surfaces that can damage the outsole or upper
  • Clean your shoes regularly with mild soap and water to remove dirt and debris
  • Store your shoes in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources

Visit Hoka official website:
Checkout our ways to take care of your shoes: Shoes Care Guide

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