Hoka One One Clifton 2 Review

Brand: Hoka One One

Model: Clifton 2

Weight: 8.3 oz (235 grams)

Fit: Medium

Surface: Road

Category: Neutral


  • Ultra-Lightweight No Sew SpeedFrame Construction
  • New Padded Tongue for Additional Comfort
  • New 3mm Ortholite® Insole for Improved Fit
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
  • Flat-Waisted Geometry Provides Inherent StabilitFull-Length Compression Molded EVA Midsoley
  • Full Ground Contact Design
  • Strategic Rubber Placement Provides Durability

I will today give you an honest and open account of my time spent running with the  trainer Hoka One One Clifton 2.

I’ve had some positive experiences with other trainers, but in my collection, I was looking for a lighter pair that I could rely on for shorter distances. There have been masses of discussions in our Facebook community in RTD about the Hoka One One range, and I was very excited to take the plunge and try them out.

So the package arrived and I immediately unboxed the trainers much like a child at Christmas! I opened them up and heres what I found:

The trainers look amazing both in colour and design, here is a video account of my experience of the unboxing:

When examining the trainer the first thing I wanted to find out was how they were so light compared to others, when on the face of it they look really heavy. Lets be honest 235 grams for a running trainer is incredibly light. Straight away it’s clear where the weight is lost, the sole is made pretty much out of soft foam, as opposed to the hard rubber and plastic found on other brands. There are small parts of rubber which are the black parts at the front and bottom of the sole. I was concerned how this foam would hold me up on a run, but was excited to find out if it could.

The trainer itself is made up of a rubbery mesh type of material, which felt extremely durable, particularly around the toe area which was a more solid rubber. In my opinion this would offer great added protection to a runners toes.


So I slipped the trainers on, and immediately I felt tightness both in width and height. My foot didn’t feel comfortable at all which was a cause for concern. I took the trainers off loosened the laces completely so they were nice and loose. Tried them on again and they still felt tight but in a more secure way and not painful.

I tried sliding the trainers on and off a few times to better understand how they worked, and there was a vacuum like attachment from the trainer to the feet. That’s the best way I can explain it, I could get my foot in and out of the trainer with the laces still tied without problem, so I was hoping to rule out it being a sizing issue.

It was time to take them on a test drive, I was feeling really under the weather with a heavy cold and was struggling to breathe out of my nose. So I decided on a short 5km run around my usual route. I set off casually just to get a feel of the shoe, with most brands their weight can be around the 300 gram mark, and you can more often than not feel a pull and a weight from them. The Clifton 2 had no pull and it was almost like I wasn’t touching the road due to the foam sole.

I started to build some pace and got to the 3km mark and really started to feel the trainers helping me kick on, which was great because I was really struggling to breathe in the cold air with just my mouth in use. During the last 2 km’s I felt incredibly fresh with plenty of energy in the legs. So I was genuinely feeling a personal best may be on the cards, my 5km record has been standing since 19th October 2015 and is 22:20 secs.

During the closing stages the trainers felt great and my pace was kept throughout the run. I ended up with a time of 21:59 which I was over the moon with. Not only that, I secured personal bests in every other category 1k, 1 mile, 2 miles and the overall 5k. Now if this wasn’t something to be excited about considering my health then I don’t know what is!!

So the short run was a massive success, I thought it was now time to plan a longer run and see how the trainer would fair over a larger distance like 10km.

The following day I would normally wake up to some minor discomfort in the calfs and knees, but there was no sign of anything, it was almost as if I hadn’t run the night before.

I was more accustomed to the trainers when slipping them on the 2nd time round. I felt an instant improvement and they felt more comfortable. Tip for anyone purchasing these trainers is to loosen the laces when trying them on in a store or when receiving them from an online store. I would also recommend that if you like your trainers roomy, then go up at least a half size from your usual trainer for a more comfortable ride. I have compared the trainer to another leading brand, and you will see that there is a small but noticeable difference in length, but the width is pretty much the same. The toe area for me does not differ at all to other brands and is pretty much industry standard. I hope anyone reading this review will find this part particularly useful:

So the sun was shining, the weather was perfect for running, off I embarked on a 10k. I took time out as I always do to record some videos from my run. They can be seen here:

The 10k was completed, I wasn’t aiming for a personal best it was a steady training run to get a better feel and understanding of the workings of the Hoka One One Clifton 2. Throughout the run the cushioning felt great and it was a pleasure having them attached to my feet, I looked forward to a longstanding relationship with them in the future. The recovery after running is also great, and in answer to a question about overheating, there were no issues of that nature my feet felt cool throughout both runs.

To summarise the whole experience, I can find no fault in the trainer other than what I mentioned before about the width and height. In my opinion, provided you work the lace properly and go half a size up to your normal size, once the trainers are broken in after a few short runs, you will reap the benefit of them. I received the trainers on Monday and have worn them all day everyday since, I have so far covered a distance of 15km’s over a period of 2 runs. The Hoka One One Clifton 2, will now be the first pair of trainers I pull out to go running for sure. I would recommend using them for shorter distances, however I wouldn’t rule out running a half or full marathon in them, I intend to do so in the future.

The trainers can be bought from most web based retailers and in stores, they also come in a wide range of colours, which I couldn’t resist posting pictures of. Prices range from £79.95– £135.44. I would highly recommend a pair!




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