Time to get smooth with the new HOKA One One Clifton Edge
HOKA One One never ceases to surprise with bold shoe innovations and designs. Following the release of the wild-looking TenNine earlier this year (aimed at making running downhill easier featuring an extended heel), the French brand decided to reinvent their most popular road model, the Clifton, releasing the Clifton Edge with a brand-new foam and cutting-edge geometries.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”. If there’s something we emphasise at Run4It, it is to not judge shoes by their looks. Don’t be put off by the unique design of the Clifton Edge, as what strikes us as unusual is actually the redefinition of the running experience by HOKA. Smoother. Lighter. Game-changing.
From the Clifton to the Clifton Edge
The combination of maximum cushion and minimal weight is what put HOKA One One shoes on the map. The oversized midsole, providing marshmallow-like cushioning, along with the rocker geometry, became the brand’s signature. Initially popular with ultramarathon runners, HOKA soon enticed other categories of runners. And with the Clifton, HOKA became a road-favourite for a lot of people.
The traditional Clifton is designed to feel light and cushioned, but offers a fast feel. Personally, I find it great for runs with paces ranging from 6:25mn/mile (4mn/km) to easy jogging pace (<9-10mn/mile). For faster paces, one of their responsive or carbon-plated options would be more suitable.
The current Clifton 6 has a full EVA midsole to provide signature HOKA cushioning. The early stage meta-rocker delivers a smooth ride. This is coupled with a moderate heel bevel to help improve the transition from the heel to the rest of the foot.
Built on the success of the popular Clifton, the Clifton Edge was designed to take the smooth ride to the next level. They may bear the same name, but we’re about to show how different they are.
A smooth and snappy ride
The first question that may come to mind when you see the shoe is “what’s the chunky, exaggerated heel for?”.
HOKA have extended the heel geometry in the Clifton Edge to make landing smoother and softer, especially when landing on the heel. Combined with a meta-rocker geometry, it provides a smooth and quick heel-to-toe transition.
But the difference doesn’t end at the extended heel. The most exciting development compared to the traditional Clifton is the new foam. The cushion is a new lightweight, high-resiliency foam that HOKA claims to be its smoothest yet. Though designed to deliver a soft underfoot feeling, it actually gives a snappier, springier feel compared to the traditional Clifton. The snappy and smooth nature of the Clifton Edge, and its light weight, make it ideal for runners looking for great protection, but not at the cost of being able to do faster sessions.
If you’re wondering about the shoe stability, its wide base design (similar to their other models) provides great stability in the heel-to-toe transition. The increased surface of the sole will avoid wobbly side-to-side movements.
The upper also presents some nice features. The new high collar tab makes it easy to slip into the shoe. You should notice the small perforations on the toe box, enhancing ventilation in the shoe during a run. A denser mesh pattern on the toe gives the shoe structure and extra durability.
The HOKA One One Clifton Edge specs
Note that the women’s model features the same drop as the men’s (5mm) but a smaller stack height (21mm to 26mm against 24mm to 29mm).
Who’s the Clifton Edge for?
It’s a great all-rounder. The Clifton Edge boasts a snappy and smooth ride that’s versatile enough for long runs and tempo sessions.
The Clifton Edge will suit lots of different types of runners, but particularly:
Heel strikers: the increased landing zone under the heel will definitely suit heel strikers better than midfoot or forefoot strikers. They’ll get the benefit of the extended foam and get a smooth and stable roll forward.
Downhill running: a lot of force is associated with running downhill, and a lot of runners don’t feel confident running downhill at speed on roads. The extra foam and meta-rocker design will improve your confidence and downhill experience.
One pair that does all: runners wanting a pair for easy days and/or faster sessions.
Go ahead, live life on the edge.
With this new model, HOKA invites runners to “live life on the edge”. Will you choose to do so?