Hoka Clayton Reviewed

Despite the bulky look of this shoe, the Hoka Clayton is a really lightweight shoe. These shoes have a good level of cushioning and responsiveness that make them lightweight and fast. For more stable and comfortable rides, these shoes feature the unique Oversize Active Foot Frame. That component manages to offer durable and efficient support. The shoes are considered a great hybrid between racing and training shoes, but most athletes prefer them for racing. Runners that have taken them for marathon running were pleased with the level of comfort these shoes provide during long runs. As the design of the shoe has shown to be great for some and terrible for others, we recommend you to try them first if you have the chance.

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Backcountry Link
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Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Remarkable cushioning
  • High energy return
  • Very durable
  • Remarkable traction
  • Good shock absorption
  • Enhanced support
  • Cons
    • It has generated blisters in the arch area.
    • Toes feel cramped.
    • Lack of stability in the heel area
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the Hoka Clayton is one of the most remarkable features of it. Instead of using a rubber compound, it uses a RMAT compound designed by Hoka Clayton. The RMAT outsole is a lightweight foam compound that provides good bounciness and traction, making the Hoka Clayton more responsive. The change from rubber to foam allows the Hoka Clayton to be extra light without sacrificing their durability or overall performance. The lug pattern helps provide more traction and responsiveness when running on roads, tracks and other flat and even surfaces. Reviewers stated that the shoe is very quiet when running on pavement.
      Featuring a double-layered midsole, the Hoka Clayton is able to provide a softer and more cushioned support in the heel area and a firmer support in the forefoot area. This allows for softer and more protected landings and more efficient take offs. The midsole is also unique due to its size. The oversized marshmallow midsole comes with an Active Foot Frame that accommodates your foot deeper in the midsole rather than on top of it. The brand claims that the unique midsole technology provides more stability for all types of athletes. The midsole adapts to a wide range of running styles and foot shapes.
      The upper of these Hoka Clayton shoes are mostly made of a mesh material that allows good ventilation from and to the interior of the shoe, keeping your foot cool and dry. The welded TPU overlays provide structure to the upper while also providing a good fit. However, reviewers have stated that the inner lining causes blisters in the forefoot area. The high arch support is also known to generate unnecessary friction that ends up causing blisters. The heel area locks your heel into the midsole for enhanced support. Reviewers have said that the heel area is too wide while the toe box is too narrow.
      Despite the way they look, the Hoka Clayton is remarkably lightweight. The average weight of the men’s Hoka Clayton is only 235 grams (8.3 oz.). For the women’s Hoka Clayton, the average weight is even less, only 198 grams (7 oz.). The reduction of weight of the Hoka Clayton comes mostly from the unique RMAT outsole technology that uses foam instead of rubber. Amazing lightweight design for amazing racing performance.
      The mesh upper from the shoe allows for optimal breathability, providing a cool and dry environment for your feet when running. The rearfoot area is a bit less breathable due to the incorporation of more padded walls in the midsole design. The inner lining of the shoe has been known to be a bit harsh with the skin. We do not recommend using the Hoka Clayton without socks. The breathability of the Hoka Clayton gets compromised when running under wet conditions. The excess of water tends to accumulate inside the shoes a making them heavier and uncomfortable.
      The Hoka Clayton has been designed to provide the very best support and comfort to their users. However, opinions regarding comfort are divided. The PRO2LITE technology in the midsole provides a softer surface in the heel area and firmer surface in the forefoot area for enhanced efficiency and comfort. No doubts the landings feel softer with the Hoka Clayton. The early stage Meta-Rocker technology promotes also a smooth ride. The outsole and midsole provide great full length cushioning. However, reviewers have suffered from blisters caused in the arch and forefoot area.
      There is no doubt the style of these shoes is unique. The very chunky midsole makes them look very bulky and heavy. However, when you realize that they are lighter than many other similar shoes, you will look at them differently. The overlays design in the mesh upper makes them look fast and sleek. The Hoka Clayton comes in many combinations of colors, from very classic combinations of blue and white, to different pattern designs that make them look custom made. A large Hoka Clayton colorful logo is featured in the heel area of the shoe. Two small but powerful reflective units in the toe cap and the heel counter promote better visibility when you are running in darker conditions.
      Reviewers have stated that these shoes are very durable. When they were first released, some rubbers thought the non-rubber outsole might not hold up. They were wrong. The RMAT performs just as good and in some cases better than shoes with rubber outsoles. After running over 250 miles on them, many runners have noticed very little wear in the outsole and the exterior of the upper. Some have experienced a decrease in the cushioning after a couple of hundred miles. The replaced the insole to fix the problem. Every component has been designed to last, and that is exactly what they do.
      The shock absorption properties of these shoes have been praised by many runners. The PRO2LITE technology in the midsole and the early stage Meta-Rocker geometry of the shoe provide softer landings and more powerful takeoffs. The energy from the impact gets distributed along the full length of the midsole, protecting and preventing knees and hips injuries. The Active Foot Frame protects the edges of the shoe from any debris you find on the road and provide better stability. However, they are known for causing blisters in the arch area to some runners. A toe cap is featured in the front of the Hoka Clayton for protection against any debris in the road that may harm you. The heel counter locks your foot securely into the shoes for better stability and protection on your ankles.
      These shoes were designed for responsiveness. The outsole, midsole and upper components of the shoe work together to take you faster during your races. The early stage Meta-Rocker geometry of the shoe works like a rocking chair that promotes your natural gait while propelling you forward for faster runs. The construction of the Hoka Clayton makes possible for the forefoot area to be harder than the rear foot area in order to provide more efficient propulsion. Those features, combined with the low drop but high stack from the outsole, allows the shoe to promote a midfoot strike for faster and more natural gait cycles. Experienced athletes think that these shoes are among the most responsive ones they've tried.
      The oversized marshmallow midsole provides great full length cushioning and comfort for your feet. The Active Foot Frame provides great stability and adaptability to the whole Hoka Clayton. Both, combined with the RMAT outsole and the mesh upper, make these shoes one of the most supportive shoes you can have. They do not need supportive insoles to support different feet shapes as the midsole adapts to a wide range of running styles and foot shapes. However, some reviewers state that the arch is too high, so we recommend you try them on first.
      These shoes are designed to run on flat and even surfaces such as asphalt. The traction that the RMAT foam outsole is as good as the rubber components from other shoes. The lug pattern provides good traction and responsiveness on the road. The Hoka Clayton should be considered for long runs. Experienced runners have taken them to marathons and half marathons, while others have used them for triathlons. When used on trail roads and other uneven surfaces, the traction and responsiveness decrease.
      These shoes are within a normal price range for their category. They have been on the market since spring 2016, so you may even get a good discount if you’re lucky. The average price of the Hoka Clayton is $150 USD. Remember the price may vary depending on the size of the shoe. If you think of the combination of great and unique technologies in the shoe, the price is reasonable.
      With a foam outsole, the traction is surprisingly good. The non-rubber RMAT outsole is one feature that makes this shoe stand out. The very lightweight components used in it makes other shoes jealous of its efficiency. The good traction is capable to provide good responsiveness to the Hoka Clayton adapting to the moves and decisions you make while running. For better performance, running over asphalt and other flat and even surfaces is recommended. Reviewers have not commented on the performance of these shoes when running on wet surfaces.
      The RMAT outsole bends enough to allow them to adapt to your movements. It uses an early stage Meta-Rocker geometry, one that allows a smoother heel to toe transitions thanks to the rocking chair movement. That means that the Hoka Clayton will promote more natural runs without being super flexible. The upper is very flexible, it bends and adapts to the shape and movements of your feet with ease and comfort. The combination of a “just flexible enough” outsole and a very flexible upper, makes the shoes very comfortable and responsive. The Hoka Clayton do need a break in period before you can enjoy the full comfort and flexibility they provide.
      Thanks to the innovative and unique midsole unit, the shoe provides good stability when you are running. The Active Foot Frame technology in the upper makes your feet to sit deep in the midsole rather than on top of it. It is as if the midsole is hugging your feet from below. That feature provides extra stability to your foot by placing your feet in a frame. The brand claims that it is able to adapt to any kind of foot shape, as well as running styles. The oversized marshmallow midsole makes your runs more stable and comfortable for longer.

      The drop of a shoe is the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe. The Hoka Clayton racing shoes have a 4 mm drop. For the men’s shoes, the heel height is 24 mm and the for foot height is 20 mm. For the women’s, the heel height is 23 mm and the forefoot height is 19 mm. The drop of these shoes promote a more natural midfoot strike and allows extra comfort for longer runs.
      Key Features
      • Lightweight
      • Marshmallow midsole
      • Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
      • Active Foot Frame
      • RMAT non-rubber outsole
      • PRO2LITE
      • Welded TPU overlays
      • Upper mesh
      Bottom Line
      The Hoka Clayton racing shoe is definitely a good example of great and unique technologies working together to provide lightweight comfort and responsiveness. They look like maximalist shoes because of the oversized marshmallow midsole, but they technically are not. They provide great cushioning and comfort for longer runs. The brand claims they can provide enough support for all kinds of runners. The downside of this shoe is the friction caused by the arch support in the midsole. Reviewers have stated that this generates blisters. We recommend, when possible, to give them a try before you buy the Hoka Clayton. Depending on the shape, width, and arch you have on your feet, they can be a blessing or become very uncomfortable.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
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      Holabird Sports Link
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      Road Runner Sports Link
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      By Brian Price
      Last updated:
      Brian Price
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 28. 2021

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