HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7 Review
Updates to the 7 as compared to previous versions make this style a little more responsive, which makes it perfect for when you need to pick up the pace a little bit. If you are anything like me and feel that there is no such thing as too much cushioning, you will want to give the Hoka One One Clifton 7 a try. Plus, if you have always wanted to try out a pair of Hokas, the Clifton 7 is the perfect entry point for new and experienced runners alike.
Below, I want to dive into all of the advanced features that will make the Clifton 7 your next favorite running shoe!
Insanely responsive midsole good for speed
Heightened durability that lasts for hundreds of miles
Gusseted tongue won’t shift around
Cushioned flared heel collar
Breathable mesh upper
Great for daily training as well as race days
A little clunky
Omits heel pull tab
What makes Hoka’s so special is the construction of the cushioned midsole. The Clifton 7 is made with a very thick layer of full-length EVA foam that runs from the tip of your toes to your heel. This cushioned midsole makes you feel like you are running on light and fluffy clouds and works to protect your joints from the impact of a hard sidewalk.
When compared to previous versions of the Clifton, the 7th iteration is slightly different. Many runners found that this midsole has a slight edge as far as speed is concerned. While previous Cliftons were made more for long distances and suffered a bit when it came time to pick up the pace, the Clifton 7 really shines. The EVA foam midsole is just slightly stiffer than other versions, which makes it ideal for picking up the pace quickly and effectively. This makes this shoe perfect not only for daily training but also race-day as well.
The outsole of this design is made to increase ground feel, and work to even out your gait to reduce the risk of injuries. I love that the beveled heel on the outsole allows you to make quick transitions through your gait cycle. This design may look a little clunky, but the overall outsole design is built for quick and nimble transitions.
Another thing worth mentioning is the addition of the Meta-Rocker. The lining of the rubber outsole hosts a curved plate that helps to gently guide your foot to a nice and even gait. This Meta-Rocker is great for heavy heel-strikers, or for those that even slightly overpronate. By guiding your foot to a nice and even gait, you reduce the risk of injuries when you place too much weight on one section of your foot.
While the midsole and outsole are packed with supportive features, the upper maintains lightweight breathability. It is composed of breathable mesh materials that lift hot air up and away from your feet to prevent hot and soggy socks! There are a few advanced features found in this upper that will help to make your long runs a little more comfortable.
The first thing I wanted to talk about is the construction of the tongue. This Clifton 7 is updated with a gusseted tongue he reduces the risk of the tongue shifting around as you start to put miles behind you. A simple strip of fabric holds the tongue in place to prevent rubber and chafing as well as really locking the upper down securely on your feet.
It also has an updated collar that provides an added layer of comfort and stability. Unlike the Clifton 6 that boasted a shallow padded heel collar with a pull tab, the Clifton 7 omits the pull tab completely and replaces it with a higher heel collar. Runners found that the higher collar won’t fold down into the heel like other versions, and greatly reduces the risk of chafing.
Across the board, Hokas are one of the most durable running shoes on the market. Whether you are rocking the Clifton 7, or the Bondi, the build of the outsole is made to hold up to hundreds of miles. Even after 100 miles wearing this shoe, I noticed that the rubber outsole barely flinches. You will notice slight instances of wear and tear on the outsole in high-impact areas, but nothing that will affect its performance.
It’s also important to note that the soft and squishy step-in feel isn’t just limited to those honeymoon miles. Even after the 100-mile mark, I noticed that the cushioning in the midsole is just as responsive and comfortable as mile 1. Often, when dealing with ultra-cushioned trainers, that initial squishy feel breaks down into a pancake as you put miles behind you, but the Clifton 7 holds strong even after hundreds of miles together.
There are few daily trainers out there on the market that are as comfortable as the Hoka One One Clifton 7. Many runners (myself included) find that these trainers feel like you are running on a cloud. It has a soft yet responsive midsole that cradles your foot from toes to heel that provides that wonderful squish as soon as you step down into the shoe. So, what is it exactly that makes these trainers so wonderfully cushioned?
Many trainers opt for a modest layer of EVA foam to absorb impact from the sidewalk while working to keep things light and nimble. The Clifton 7 turns up the foam midsole dial to an 11! This layer of EVA foam is much thicker than competitors, which is what provides you that lovely squish throughout your entire gait cycle. The thickness of the midsole is also perfect for those that overpronate, heel strikers, or running that are carrying a little bit of extra weight and need more cushioning to protect those knees and joints from the impact on sidewalks or treadmills.
The Clifton 7 is slightly more expensive than your average running shoe, but it is by no means the most expensive design out there on the market. In fact, when you consider the heightened durability of this trainer, it is an excellent value for a pair of running shoes built to last hundreds of miles of long-distance running.
If you find that the Clifton 7 is just right outside of your budget, the Clifton 6 is worth a look. While there have been some really nice quality-of-life changes to the 7, the previous version is very similar to this updated style. Overall performance between the 6 and 7 are virtually the same, and the Clifton 6 is most likely discounted to a more budget-friendly price point.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
The most obvious change is made to the heel collar. It drops the shallow heel with a nylon pull tab and replaces it with a higher heel. I personally love this change because it cuts down on the overall break-in period, and eliminates the chance of rubbing blisters into your heels. Others miss the classic pull tab, but overall this change isn’t a real deal-breaker.
Another thing that runners noticed is that the Clifton 7 is just a tad more responsive than previous versions. While you still get that classic Hoka squish in the midsole, a slightly stiffer material pushes up against your foot while you run and makes this shoe easier to pick up the pace when needed.
I also love that the Clifton 7 is incredibly versatile. It provides runners with excellent long-distance stability features that cradle and comfort your foot while working to cut down on injuries. The lightweight upper and slightly stiffer design to the midsole also makes it perfect for picking up the pace when needed as well. As I said before, if you are looking to give Hoka a try, the Clifton 7 is the perfect entry point to begin your love affair with this brand!