Hoka One One Clifton 5

Founded in France in 2009, Hoka One One prides itself on the design shoe design known as "maximalist." While other brands try to perfect that close-to-the-ground platform that some runners look for, Hoka dedicates its time to perfecting the oversized sole unit. Those who enjoy greater cushioning, flexible wear, and a low heel-to-toe drop will find a plethora of Hoka options to choose from.

One of its more dependable lines, Clifton, consistently provides runners with this signature cushioning while still being lightweight and pliable.

 As with the previous models, it performs for both the casual or advanced runner. It does have some unfortunate downsides, however, so be sure to read our full review below to understand the ins and outs of the Hoka One One Clifton 5.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
Pros

-Available in several eye-catching color schemes

-Made from high-quality materials

-Various width options available

-Soft underfoot cushioning

-Lightweight and breathable wear

Cons

-Fits narrower than average

-Midsole lacks responsiveness

-Upper is too stiff

Key Features
Outsole
Added durability is given to the Hoka One One Clifton 5 outsole unit in the form of High-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber.

Placed on key areas of the outsole, it performs the dual task of safeguarding the shoe from early wear and tear and providing the runner with better traction across rough surfaces and wet environments. Flex grooves are also carved into this feature to allow a more natural and pliable wear.
Midsole
The Clifton 5’s maximalist design is thanks entirely to its plush EVA foam midsole. Aside from providing plush cushioning, which reviewers say is noticeably softer than its predecessor, it also absorbs the impact of each step.

The inclusion of a Molded Ortholite Sockliner adds to this cushiony feel by giving the runner arch support and moisture control. Finally, an Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry enables an easier and much smoother gait cycle.

One unfortunate downside of this extra-large platform is its lack of responsiveness, as reviewers say that they don’t feel that extra spring in their step that they would with other running shoes.
Upper
Engineered mesh constructs the upper of the Hoka One One Clifton 5, complete with cloth-like lining and specially placed breathing holes for targeted breathability all along the forefoot. Instead of traditional overlays, this shoe features a 3D Puff Print Frame that’s much more discreet than its predecessor yet still works to stabilize that foot and maintain the shoe’s structure.

The traditional lacing system, padded tongue, and collar also ensure that the foot stays properly in place throughout the day.

Though runners enjoy the breathability that it offers, they were unhappy with how stiff the upper unit felt. Some even noted that its lack of give left them with irritations.
Weight
Despite its substantial platform, the Hoka One One Clifton 5 still manages to give runners a fairly lightweight wear. Men’s sizes typically weigh in at 9.4 oz while women’s are at 7.6 oz, both of which are on the low side of average.

The careful engineering of all its materials, including the EVA foam midsole and High-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber, ensures that runners receive plenty of cushiony comfort without the burden of added weight. This also makes this shoe more than ideal for all-day use.
Breathability
One of the best-received qualities of the Hoka One One Clifton 5 is its breathable wear, as reviewers say that they feel cooler and drier all day long. This shoe’s engineered mesh upper features multiple rows of breathing pores all along the forefoot and at the sides, which allows for even better targeting of hotspots.

The shoe’s molded Ortholite Sockliner enhances this feature by drawing away sweat and keeping germs at bay. This reduces the likelihood of any infections that would be caused by heat and sweat.
Comfort
Reviews are definitely mixed when it comes to how comfortable the Clifton 5 actually is. The level of cushioning offered by its underfoot platform has been very well received, as has the support and moisture control offered by its Molded Ortholite Sockliner.

Those who are more heavyset are especially happy with how comfortable they feel throughout the day. And its breathable wear ensures that they are kept cool and dry no matter what. On the other hand, some say that this model fits quite narrow even with the various width options.

Even more claim that the stiffness of its upper unit makes for a very uncomfortable run, with several runners experiencing skin irritations.
Style
The look of the Hoka One One Clifton 5 is yet another quality that's received very high praise. Though it kept the same silhouette and midsole design as the Clifton 4, it did away with the overlays in favor of a simpler look. Though some designs still remain around the toes, collar, and heel, a 3D Puff Print Frame now gives the shoe its structure.

The same traditional lacing system, featuring flat laces and discreet eyelets, is still in place along with a pull tab at the heel. Those who enjoyed the fourth versions highly appealing color schemes are pleased to know that this newer model follows suit when it comes to eye-catching hues.

Shades of blue, green, yellow, and purple are available to those who enjoy vibrant athletic wear. There's even a grey/pink option for those who wear women's sizes. Of course, a simple yet still-appealing black and white design is also on sale for those who like to keep things basic.
Durability
Most reviewers are extremely impressed with how well the Clifton 5 holds up to regular wear. Though the EVA foam material of its midsole is normally prone to quicker degradation than more modern materials, this particular version never seems to lose its cushioning.

And its outsole stays in working shape thanks to the High Abrasion Lightweight Rubber that's outfitted along its forefoot and heel. The upper is now reinforced with a 3D Puff Print Frame that's more subtle yet does an even better job at helping the shoe maintain its shape than standard printed-on overlays.
Protection
The High Abrasion Lightweight Rubber placed on the outsole's forefoot and heel protect these key areas against early damage caused by road surfaces. Along with its comfortable cushioning, the EVA foam midsole also provides the runner with a surprising amount of impact absorption.

This further limits the amount of pain that they will feel by the end of the day. The height of the platform also serves as a barrier against potential road hazards. And the breathable nature of its upper and sockliner prevent infections the would be caused by excessive sweat.
Responsiveness
Where the Clifton 5 really lost points with most reviewers was its obvious lack of responsiveness. Though reviewers enjoyed the EVA foam midsoles cushioning and amount of shock absorption, they couldn't help but notice its poor energy return.

Runners believe that it's the extra softness of this feature that's causing this unfortunate drawback, along with the very slight raise in its platform height. Though the one-millimeter difference may not seem like much to some, runners feel it as they move and feel this contributes to the unresponsive nature.
Support
Along with great comfort comes great support, and the Hoka One One Clifton 5 gives runners plenty of it. The cushioning and shock absorption offered by its EVA foam midsole ensures that the foot and joints remain stable throughout the run.

This especially comes into play when running across rough or uneven surfaces. Greater support is offered by the shoe's padded tongue and collar, which perform the dual task of supporting the ankle and ensuring that the foot is kept in place.
Terrain
According to other online reviews, the Clifton 5 performs best when used on most types of dry road. Runners are very satisfied with how well its outsole unit performs on concrete and asphalt and say that its high platform especially comes in handy when they move across uneven surfaces. Along with added durability, the High-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber also enhances the shoe's traction.

There is still some debate over how well this shoe can perform in wet environments. Though some feel secure when walking through slick conditions, others notice that they start to slip. Either way, its upper's obvious lack of water repellency is clear proof that it's not an all-weather model.
Price
The Clifton 5 is available at $130 across all online platforms, including Zappos and Running Warehouse. This is considered on the higher end of average when it comes to the prices of high-quality running shoes.

Though it seems pricey, those who value a long-lasting, cushiony wear and lots of airflow would consider this shoe to be a very smart investment. This is especially the case for those who live with chronic muscle or joint pain. However, due to reports of a narrow wear and uncomfortably stiff upper, it would be wise of any buyer to try this model on in-store first before making a purchase.
Traction
Reviewers agree that the Hoke One One Clifton 5 works best on dry surfaces. Its blocky tread pattern is more than ideal for runs across all types of roads, and the High-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber placed on its forefoot and heel ensures that runners will be able to keep going safely on asphalt and concrete for much longer.

Though it could still carry them fairly well on wet surfaces, some reviewers did notice that things became a little more slippery as they ran through rain or on slick surfaces.
Flexibility
A plus side of the cushiony wear of the Hoka One One Clifton 5 is its level of flexibility. Aside from providing comfortable cushioning and shock absorption, the EVA foam in its midsole also permits surprisingly pliable wear. This quality is especially surprising when considering the height and size of its platform.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for other parts of the shoe as the construction of these models upper renders it uncomfortably stiff to many reviewers. What's worse is that its lack of give has left some runners with blisters and skin irritations after prolonged use.
Stability
Fixed into the Clifton 5's plush midsole is an Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry. Available in other models within this line, it smooths and stabilizes the runner's heel-to-toe cycle and ensures them better control over their movements.

Its Ortholite Sockliner it molded to better support the arches and keep the foot from wobbling. The upper's 3D Puff Print Frame takes the place of old printed overlays and works just as well at keeping the foot in place and maintaining the shoe's structure. This is aided even further by the shoe's padded collar and tongue.
Drop
Part of what makes this shoe's platform so substantial is its low heel-to-toe drop of just 5mm. On both men's and women's sizes, the heel height measures in at 30mm while its toe height comes in at 25mm. Though this eliminates that close-to-the-ground feeling that a number of runners look for in their footwear, it does have plenty of its own benefits of extra cushioning along with a more natural gait cycle.
Key Features
-High-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber on its outsole
-Ultra-plush EVA foam midsole for cushioning
-Moisture-wicking Molded Ortholite Sockliner
-Breathable engineered mesh upper
-3D Puff Print Frame gives structure
-Available in multiple color options
-Heel-to-toe drop of 5mm
Bottom Line
Those who prefer that close-to-the-ground profile in their running shoes would definitely not be satisfied with what Hoka One One Clifton 5 has to offer. On the other hand, those who seek out more cushioning in their footwear will have a lot to choose from within this brand. And for those who are having a particularly hard time deciding on what to purchase, anything from the Clifton line is always an excellent option.

The fifth version successfully maintains its reputation of high-quality shoes with incredible cushioning, a lightweight, and very flexible wear. Consumers can easily wear this model out in casual settings, during a gym session, or even while running a light trail. And its vibrant color options make it especially appealing to those who look for eye-catching athletic wear. However, this model does have some unfortunate drawbacks.

The updates made on its midsole give it less responsiveness than its predecessors, and the construction of its upper unit has rendered it stiffer than usual. For these reasons, it would be very wise for buyers to try this model on in a store before making a purchase. Still, those who were able to find their perfect fit and wear are more than happy to make the Hoka One One Clifton 5 an extremely comfortable addition to their shoe collection
Where to Buy
By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
Pablo Hernandez
Where to buy
Best offer on: Aug. 02. 2021

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