Hoka One One Clifton 4 Reviewed & Tested for Performance Review Facts
The Hoka One One Clifton has remained fairly consistent over the years; despite a few minor changes in the design of the Upper and the materials that are used, Hoka has done their best to keep the she fairly comfortable and relatively lightweight. The shoe has gained a bit of weight due to the cushioning that they’ve added to the shoes’ sole. On top of that, they’ve also introduced a new material to the upper of the shoe which enhances the shoes’ overall breathability and aesthetics.
The outsole, despite first impressions with it, is actually pretty well made. Previous models of the shoe had complaints about a plush outsole that didn’t provide much in the way of durability; that isn’t the case for the newest version of this shoe. The outsole is made from a responsive, relatively thick rubber that has blends of textured material embedded in a variety of different patterns within it. On top of these things the sole of the shoe is also patterned into a textured style that also aids the shoe in providing a decent ride
. Also, the thick outsole on the Clifton is rounded off which for reasons explained later in this post, is also a plus for this shoe.
The midsole, much like the outsole on the shoe, is a solid piece of foam. The unique thing about the sole is that, instead of being made of EVA foam like the majority of other shoes of the Hoka’s variety, the Clifton sports a midsole fashioned out of CMEVA foam. The CMEVA foam promotes the shoes already decent rebounding abilities, which in turn allows the shoe to provide a stellar ride quality.
The upper on the Hoka One One Clifton 4, is another thing about the shoe that Hoka has decided to change a bit. The Clifton sports an upper made entirely of mesh with a few plastic overlays splashed here and there that really appear to serve no purpose other than for general aesthetics. Aside from the mesh make and the plastic overlays, the inside of the upper have a decent amount of cushioning
within; a major reason why the shoe is known for its comfort giving abilities.
Due to the Clifton’s extra padding and cushioning that is present in both the sole and the upper of the shoe, it’s a bit on the heavier side. Over the years, as Hoka has added more and more to the shoe to improve the overall ride quality of the shoe, it has gotten progressively heavier; this has led to this model of the Clifton weighing 2 ounces more than the original model. With that considered, the Clifton is still not the heaviest shoe on the market considering that it weighs in at 9.3 oz. for a size 9
; which when thought about, and coupled with the benefits that the shoe gives to the wearer, makes the gain in weight rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
The Hoka One One’s upper is made from a synthetic mesh, which is known for its porous nature. The mesh make of the upper, coupled with the porous qualities that are associated with the material allow the feet to breath
while the shoes are in use; a plus, especially for the long distance runner. It’s also important to mention how fine of a layer of mesh that they placed n the shoe; this thinness is another thing that adds to the shoes overall breath-ability.
The lack of guards on this version of the Clifton also aids the shoe in its ability to promote air circulation; it can be seen just by looking at the shoe that it doesn’t have many things on it that would trap air inside of the shoe.
Something that Hoka’s line of shoes has always been known for is the comfort that they provide; on this shoe, nothing has really changed. For starters, the mesh upper that the Clifton 4 sports promote breathability, a function that a shoe must-have for it to be comfortable nowadays. Really, the sole of the Clifton 4 is what takes the cake in this category. The layers of both the midsole and outsole are fashioned in such a way as to promote neutrality and to conform to the shape of the user's foot; partly because of the foam material that is used and because of the rounded bottom that Hoka placed on the shoe. The CMEVA foam that shoe sports is a big reason why the sole is so comfortable. It is in many ways like the foam that is used in other shoes, but it gives the shoe an air of plushness that simply isn’t found in other shoes.
This is definitely a running shoe, especially if the only thing that could be used to make this judgement was pure aesthetics. It has the rounded bottom and the lightweight, minimalist upper
that has become more and more prevalent in shoes of this category as time has gone by. The fact that the Clifton 4 comes off as a running shoe isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it can be worn with a variety of different clothing that don’t necessarily pertain to the area that the shoe was created for. Judging from a pure aesthetics stand-point, the shoe isn’t ugly at all, and the simple nature and thick sole of the shoe allows it to blend in with the style of shoes nowadays; meaning that it can be
worn in both the running environment and as just a plain relaxation shoe, it’s totally up to the owner.
This is one category that Hoka may have fallen back a bit on in this model of the Clifton. Previous models of the Clifton have been said to boast usage capabilities lasting for up to 500-600 miles, while this pair of the Clifton is only usable for up to 400 without needing replacement. All things considered this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Hoka was simply a bit ahead of the curve manufacturing wise when it came to their earlier models. What they’ve taken out in terms of durability, they’ve added to the shoe in terms of comfort; the reason that this model of the shoe isn’t as durable is because of the level of density that the foam make of the sole has. The sole is somewhat plusher on this model and tends to rub away a bit easily which, when though about, isn’t necessarily a bad thing
’ it simply means that the shoe may need to be replaced more frequently than the more durable models. The upper on the Clifton 4 is made form mesh as was stated earlier; it doesn’t have the tendency to break away or rip that easily even though it’s a bit thin, so wearers wouldn’t have to worry about that.
When it comes to protection the Clifton 4, does not fail to deliver. Even though the material that makes up the upper, the mesh is relatively thin, Hoka has done their best to bolster it’s protective capabilities by adding on plastic coverings that allow the shoe to attain a level of firmness
that would have been missing had they not done that. On top of the plastic layering’s, in the back of shoe, Hoka has placed extra cushioning to provide a bit more protection for the users’
heel. The sole of the shoe, as been stated several times, is relatively thick compared to other shoes of its class. The level of thickness protects the users foot from a variety of possible hazards of the terrain; even if the user is simply considering the protection of the foot muscles from the strains of feeling the ground.
Responsiveness is another thing that the Clifton 4 is known for providing. The CMEVA foam used in the midsole allows the sole to bounce back from the stress that it is placed under; it also gives the user a decent ride due to this nature of the foam. The outsole is also made in such a way as to have decent rebounding capabilities, which means that the user doesn’t have to worry about the shoe feeling awkward, or unnatural while in use. The sole takes care of all of this because of the materials that were used to make it.
The Clifton 4 is the shoe that should be sought after if support is what the user is searching for. The high amount of cushioning and the decent-sized sole allow the shoe to protect both the arches of the foot and the heel while the shoe is in use. The neutral design
of the sole also allows it to conform to the natural hills and valleys of the foot which in total aids in the shoes length of wearing time, benefiting the user.
The category of terrain is one that may have left the user of the Clifton 4 a bit stumped. The shoe itself can be used on a variety of different surfaces with little to no issues in terms of traction. The problem comes in when the use of the shoe on rough terrains starts to eat down at it’s materials. This can be an issue for those who are expecting it to last a bit longer than it’s designed to last for; not the worst problem, considering that it should still provide well over 300 miles, it’s just something to consider when a purchase decision is to be made.
Considering the length of time with which the shoe can be used and the comfort that it provides, the Clifton 4 can actually be considered inexpensive. The Clifton 4 can be considered a shoe that stays to the lower end of the spectrum; there are few more expensive models but, for the most part, they stay in a certain price range. The comfort that the shoe provides coupled with the lightweight feel of the shoe while it’s in use justifies the price tag that it comes with. All things considered, the shoe itself is worth a bit more than it’s priced for, this can be seen just from the quality of the sole.
The Clifton 4 delivers a decent amount of traction on a plethora of surfaces; this is mainly due to the redesigned outsole that is on this version of the shoe. Hoka, instead of placing the traditional one direction colored pattern on this shoe, have given the shoe an omni-directional pattern that allows it to grip the surfaces that it is used on with surprising ease. This is also something to consider when weighing the pros and cons of the price tag, the shoe provides a decent grip for both the price tag and compared to other shoes on the market.
Not many bad things can be said about the shoe in terms of the stability that it provides. The sole of the shoe isn’t necessarily very wide which, could partly take away form the shoe when it comes to the amount of space that it provides the wearer to land on; overall that wouldn’t be too big of an issue considering how sturdy the upper is due to the rubber layering’s that it has.
The drop on the Clifton 4 is about 5mm which is surprisingly low for a running shoe. This doesn’t hurt the shoe at all because of the rocker-like form of the sole. The sole allows for a smooth transition while in use which means that despite having a low heel-to-toe ratio it can still provide the wearer with a smooth ride.
• CMEVA midsole
• Textured outsole
• Mesh upper
The Clifton 4 is an inexpensive shoe whose benefits outweigh the costs of purchase; it’s lightweight, comfortable, and the transitions that it provides are amazing. Overall it is definitely not a bad shoe despite the wearing of the sole which, since the shoe is so inexpensive can be replaced easily.