HOKA ONE ONE CLIFTON 4
Men’s 265 g (9.3 oz.); Women’s 213 g (7.5 oz.); Drop ratio: 5 mm; $170
The Clifton is one of the core shoes that made the Hoka name what it is today. So when word went around that the fourth version was going to be drastically different, our devoted Hoka testers got nervous. Thankfully, the brand hasn’t messed with that sweet marshmallowy ride that has made this shoe truly revolutionary.
The changes to the upper are immediately noticeable and, quite frankly, for the better. The Clifton 4 looks, dare we say, sophisticated and the design lines mitigate the big chunk of foam that still dominates the look of the shoe. The other major change was the most worrying: Hoka altered the cut and material properties of the midsole/ outsole in order to make it more durable (a quality that was lacking with previous models). Thankfully, they didn’t break that maximalist “running on a cloud” sensation that has triggered a cult-like following around these big, lovely everyday trainers. The Clifton 4 is indeed the best version yet.