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Hoka Clifton 8 Review

Maximum cushioning that is dense enough to offer great responsiveness with a wide upper that allows for natural, stable footing
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Hoka Clifton 8 Review
Credit: Hoka One One
Price:  $140 List
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Manufacturer:   Hoka One One
By Matthew Richardson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 6, 2022
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Responsiveness - 25% 6.0
  • Upper Comfort - 20% 6.0
  • Lateral Stability and Support - 15% 6.0
  • Weight - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Hoka Clifton 8 is a wide and stable shoe that provides maximum cushioning and great support. Coming in at 9.1 ounces in a men's size 9.5, this shoe still feels light and quick even with the thicker foam and high level of cushioning. Responsiveness left a bit to be desired, but with only a 5-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, the shoe still feels engaged and quick when you pick up the pace. When running, the arch support was a little uncomfortable at times, but the rest of the upper was well designed. We also experienced no durability issues during our testing, and we liked the rubber outsole.
Excellent cushioning
Comfortable upper design
Uncomfortable arch support out of the box
Cumbersome at times

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hoka Clifton 8 has maximum cushioning in a wide platform. We enjoyed using this shoe for our long runs where we could count on the cushioning to leave us feeling fresh towards the later miles. We found the cushioning to be a tad overkill on shorter runs and lessened the responsiveness. The upper was comfortable and did not give us any issues, and we appreciated the breathability and durability. There is ample arch support and stability without feeling overkill or constricting.

Providing these features in such a light package is also a plus, and there is durable outsole rubber which we think will last for quite a while. We believe this is a great pick if you are looking for a high cushioning model with a lower 5-millimeter heel-to-toe drop. This drop allows for all of your lower leg muscles to stay engaged while the cushioning reduces fatigue and long-term strain.

Performance Comparison

hoka clifton 8 - maximum cushion make the clifton 8 perfect for long runs.
Maximum cushion make the Clifton 8 perfect for long runs.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Cushioning and Landing Comfort

Maximum cushioning is the Clifton 8 design, which we loved on longer efforts. We were impressed with the ability to provide such ample cushioning in a model with such an overall low weight. There is a slight heel-to-toe rocker that helps roll your forefoot into a great take-off position, providing excellent landing comfort if you are a heel striker. The supportive heel did not feel too cushioned and still had enough compaction to provide stability while maintaining its comfort. If you are looking for the highest level of cushion, we think this is a great model to look into.

hoka clifton 8 - plush cushioning which hoka is well known for.
Plush cushioning which Hoka is well known for.
Credit: Matthew Richardson


Due to a high amount of luxurious cushioning, the responsiveness was not as instant as some other models. The 5-millimeter drop helps maintain some ground feel and allows for your lower legs to be more engaged, which is a design that we prefer. The responsiveness at the start of a run sometimes feels a bit bouncy, but we appreciated the level of cushion towards the end of a longer effort once fatigue sets in. We preferred the balance of cushioning and responsiveness in some other models, but this is probably the better route to take if you are interested in maximum comfort.

hoka clifton 8 - a plush platform can feel dull and less responsive at times.
A plush platform can feel dull and less responsive at times.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Upper Comfort

A plush upper helps round out an all-around comfortable trainer. This model has great ventilation, which breaths and dries pretty quickly. This fabric is a good mixture of thin and breathable but also has a bit of weight to it, so it'll last longer than some other models in this weight class. We found the toe-box to feel wide but snug with no signs of blisters or hotspots. The padded tongue helped lock down the midfoot, and the heel cup is well designed with no Achilles irritation. The arch support felt a little off at times but dulled down once we ran more miles in the shoe.

hoka clifton 8 - a great breathable that is comfortable and durable.
A great breathable that is comfortable and durable.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Lateral Stability and Support

This model feels surprisingly stable, even given the higher stack height. There is ample arch support that helps stabilize the heel and midfoot, and the width of the platform helps reduce some of the instability created by the high cushion. While we wouldn't recommend this to users that desire maximum stability and support, we are impressed with the support of this model. We would not recommend this model for uneven natural surfaces, but for well-maintained gravel paths or roads, we think this version is plenty stable to have a confident and surefooted stride.

hoka clifton 8 - a higher stack height makes these feel unstable at times on rougher...
A higher stack height makes these feel unstable at times on rougher surfaces.
Credit: Matthew Richardson


Coming in at 9.1 ounces in a men's size 9.5, we loved the lighter overall design, which continues to implement durable materials. There is a rubber outsole that should hold up better than some of the lighter competitors. Low weight improved the turnover experience and reduced the feeling of slow cushioning.

hoka clifton 8 - durable outsole rubber.
Durable outsole rubber.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Should You Buy the Hoka Clifton 8?

The combination of top-of-the-line cushioning and durability make this model a great value. You can use this shoe on various running adventures, from daily jogs on the beach to long weekend runs, and we think the solid construction provides durability as good as anything on the market. Hoka has done a great job of providing a well-rounded model for such a price, and we think this is one of the better all-around training models at this price point.

hoka clifton 8 - plush luxurious cushion helps provide maximum comfort for all types...
Plush luxurious cushion helps provide maximum comfort for all types and lengths of runs.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?

If you desire higher responsiveness, check out some other models we tested in our review of running shoes for men, such as the Saucony Kinvara 14. This quick and lightweight shoe received high marks for responsiveness. We also recommend the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 for a great blend of cushioning and responsiveness.

Matthew Richardson