All Hoka shoes utilize a J-Shape design. This design supports the foot
and provides a level of stability to the runner that isn’t inflexible and keeps the overall weight of the shoe down. The Clayton 2 has been updated with more traction and grip along the underfoot, making it more suitable for varied terrains than its predecessor. The Full Ground Contact design makes it a good choice for wet or dry conditions. The RMAT injected rubber that is used along the entire outsole is highly responsive and provides excellent energy return to runners. This material is also environmentally friendly.
One of the key features that helps keep the overall weight of the shoe down is the Pro2Lite + 10 midsole foam. This midsole foam provides maximum cushioning with minimum weight. The dual density distributes cushioning and firmness in the right places to support the foot. The heel of the shoe has a higher level of plush cushioning with the front of the shoe and the midfoot have a firmer feel. This helps to support a natural gait cycle and propel the runner forward. The midsole of this shoe also features the Hoka One One’s patented Early Stage Meta Rocker that promotes a speedy heel to toe transition, making this a great choice for speed work as well as distance running.
The most prominent updates to the Clayton 2 from its first iteration can be found on the upper of the shoe. The engineers shed some of the weight of the original by streamlining the upper and adding more breathability. The upper is made from an air mesh material. This material promotes circulation and creates an open design that supports air as it enters, circulates, and exits the shoe, creating a cool and comfortable fit and feel. The upper has also been redesigned with a seamless construction to eliminate irritation that can lead to blisters. For added support, the upper includes midfoot overlays that are reinforced with a microfiber material. This creates a supportive fit that is still flexible. Additionally, the front half of the shoe is layered with a TPU lattice that provides additional support.
One of the most surprising elements of this shoe is its weight. Although the shoe is layered with protective rubber along the outsole and dual density midsole foam, Hoka was able to keep the weight very low, 9 ounces for the men's size 9 and a mere 7 ounces for the women’s size nine. The lightweight nature of this shoe makes it a good choice for speed
drills and tempo runs.
One of the key improvements that Hoka made to the second iteration of the Clayton is made it even more breathable by lightening up the upper material and removing some of the more cumbersome overlays. The upper is made with a material called air mesh that promotes air circulation into and around the foot. By allowing air to enter the shoe and circulate to remove the hot air, this keeps the runner cool and comfortable regardless of the weather conditions.
This shoe receives great reviews in the comfort department. This can be attributed to the lightweight Pro2Lite + 10 midsole foam. This midsole foam offers dual density with a more plush feel in the heel, to absorb shock and a firm foam through the front. Plus, this shoe comes with an added sock liner that provides runners with an extra layer of subtle cushioning. In addition to the midsole, the upper of this shoe is lightweight and breathable and provides the runner with a seamless fit that won’t cause blisters. The overlays along the midfoot help to lock the foot into place, reducing the risk of friction. The overall design of the Hoka brand relies on a J Frame outsole that keeps the foot stable.
This is not a shoe that is designed for the timid. The Clayton 2 comes in a variety of bright colors and vivid design patterns. Hoka’s already have a unique look that stands out from other running shoe, and when combined with the vivid colors offered in this model, runners will be sure to get noticed as they cross the finish line. The overall external design can be off-putting to some runners since it has a wider, thicker look to it. This shoe has a specific athletic look and isn't suggested as a fashionable accessory.
In the redesign of the Clayton, Hoka made sure to include additional durability features. One of the updates was to include a more resilient, durable upper material. Although this material is lightweight, runners reported that it is virtually tear-proof and maintains a new look even after excessive use. In terms of the outsole, the RMAT injected rubber material holds up against high mileage.
In terms of protection, runners can expect to find the majority of the protection through the engineering that protects runners from injury and pain. The updated Clayton 2 has a seamless construction, protecting the runner from friction that can lead to painful blisters
and hot spots. Additionally, the Air Mesh upper promotes circulation to protect the foot and the runner from overheating. The microfiber reinforcements and midfoot overlays keep the foot in place, ensuring that the heel won’t rub against the shoe. The geometric Meta Rocker design of the midsole promotes forward propulsion and keeps the runner protected from injury and pain to the joints.
The midsole of the shoe is designed to absorb the harmful shock of each footfall.
This is a highly responsive shoe, making it a good choice for runners who are looking for a shoe that can handle both distance running and speed work. The Pro2Lite + 10 midsole foam is highly responsive, and although it is plush in certain areas, runners reported feeling very connected to the ground below them.
Runners will be pleased to see added support features on the newer Clayton 2. Along the upper, midfoot overlays provide support and help the shoe keep its shape. The shoe also utilizes microfiber reinforcement and a TPU lattice material midfoot cage to help the shoe bounce back to its original shape and reduce unwanted side to side movement during the gait cycle.
This shoe has the ability to take runners through their workouts on a variety of terrains in wet or dry conditions. The added grip and traction make this a good option for the runner that regularly transitions between different terrains. A responsive outsole is a good option for track work and the dual density material of the midsole provides a cushioned base for long runs on the pavement
. Since the RMAT injected rubber has a higher level of grip, this shoe can even be used for running and hiking on groomed trails.
This shoe is not the best option for the runner on a strict budget. This shoe is on the higher end of the price spectrum when it comes to quality running shoes on today’s market. This shoe features some of the best technology for runners who are prone to injury, and the highly durable features provide runners with a shoe that will maintain a new look and feel even after excessive mileage, making it a good bargain, but for the runner on a very tight budget, there are more affordable shoes available.
The outsole of this shoe makes it a good choice for a variety of different surfaces. The responsive RMAT outsole material is made from an injected molded rubber. This rubber adds extra grip and traction to the shoe, making it good for wet or dry surfaces. The ‘t’ design along the underfoot allows space for water to run in-between instead of pooling on the surface and slipping up the runner.
This shoe is certainly not the most flexible option. For runners who are looking for a flexible, natural fit, there are better options on the market. However, as far as stability running shoes go, the Clayton 2 isn’t bad. The outsole design uses J Frame engineering that supports the foot using a flexible material. This outsole creates a smooth heel to toe transition, providing guidance.
The base of this shoe is built upon Hoka’s patented J Frame design. The J Frame technology provides runners with a stable base that is also flexible and lightweight. The low drop also helps runners feel more connected to the ground and stable through their gait cycle. This is one of those rare shoes that provides runners with both stability and flexibility. Hoka’s are a number one podiatrist recommended brand because of their supportive base and cushioned midsole.
The stand out feature of the Hoka brand is its ability to provide a high level of cushioning with a surprisingly low drop. The majority of low drop shoes won’t provide the level of cushioning and stability that the Clayton 2 will provide to runners. The heel height of this shoe is 28 millimeters, while the forefoot height is 24 millimeters, offering runners a drop of 4 millimeters. This will require some getting used to for runners who are accustomed to working out or running in a traditional drop shoe.
- 4 mm drop
- RMAT injected rubber outsole
- Environmentally friendly material
- No-sew construction
- Air Mesh upper material
- Inner sock liner
- TPU lattice around midfoot
- J Frame outsole design for support that is flexible
- Early stage meta rocker
- Pro2lite + 10 midsole foam is extra lightweight
- Internal sock liner for added comfort
Hoka One One’s have the unique ability to provide added cushioning, a low drop, and in the Clayton 2, an extremely lightweight and versatile ride. This shoe is ideal for the runner who is looking for a speed work partner as well as a shoe that can handle the long training runs of marathon racing. The upper of the shoe is where runners will find the most updates from the original Clayton. Hoka added in more breathable support and reduced the overall weight which makes this shoe a great option for shorter races and PRs. The 4 mm drop of this shoe may take some getting used to if runners are used to a traditional drop running shoe, but the flatter profile offers more stability to runners. The midsole utilizes two different cushioning, both firm and plush, in the perfect places to propel the runner forward and support a natural gait cycle. The color
options offered for this shoe are bright and bold. This is a shoe for the runner who likes to get noticed. Although the Clayton 2 features some of the newest technology, the price is reasonable and runs on average compared to other running shoes on the market.