Friday, October 16, 2015

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 2

*DISCLAIMER: I look at running shoes a lot like ski boots. Because we all have different foot types, running forms and terrain choices, we all seek different comfortfeatures and performance from our footwear. Like choosing a ski boot, it is important to visit a retailer who will take the time to analyze your foot and running style to allow you to select a shoe that might be the right choice. But, only after running a few times in the selected shoe can you determine if it is the right one.

*I love getting new shoes. I love opening the box, the smell, how clean they are and their seemingly perfect fit when you first slip them on. And, more often than not, the first run (or even first few runs) in a new pair of shoes your mind is in a state of euphoria, which is why I wait until I have at least 25 miles run in pair of shoes before determining how right they are for me and then reviewing for others.


MSRP: $130

"For 2015, the award-winning Clifton receives an updated upper with a focus on lightweight comfort in the CLIFTON 2. A softer, lightly padded tongue provides increased protection across the foot, and structural overlays improve midfoot support. The industry-leading ride remains unchanged, and the road-focused outsole includes strategically placed rubber pods to improve durability. When all is said and done, one of our favorite shoes just got better."

I've still been been in search for the perfect replacement to the, rumored, to be discontinued Hoka One One Huaka that I love so much. I have suspended the search recently as I went to the Running Warehouse and scooped up a couple pairs of Huakas for a ridiculously low price.

The Clifton 2 shoe is an excellent option as a replacement, but still not the same. While the ride is not as low to the ground as the Huaka, it is still super smooth, flexible and super light.

This shoe is extremely comfortable from first run to many miles. Where I've experienced the most improvement from Hoka is in eliminating uncomfortable elements like the seams in the toebox, the thin tongue and fishline-like laces. The upper is much more comfortable, padded and has less seam pressure points. Finally, Hoka has done away with the goofy cinch laces that cut into the tongue and top of the foot.

REGULAR LACES!!! The regular laces are a huge improvement, as is the new padded tongue. The tongue takes up some of the volume in the forefoot and mid-foot area so it feels like a bit tighter fit, but not too cramped. 

These shoes perform similarly to the Huaka. I don't feel as fast and connected to the ground in these but it is not too far off. What is very noticeable is how light these are. When you first pull out of box to running, these babies are feather light for a maximalist shoe.

I'm a fan of these as a longer mileage shoe with a bit more under foot girth. I still don't feel as nimble and quick in these as the Huaka, but it is very close. The real laces, padded tongue and durability are a major plus with this shoe.

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