Hoka Clifton 3

9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0)] = (TheGearHunt) score (9.0)/10

Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Hoka Clifton 3 Review Facts

For those starting out running one of the most important aspects of starting out is owning a good set of runners. Though this is important for runners of all levels, it is especially important to consider when starting out and may be overlooked. Often times we as beginners may think that we'll start out with less expensive equipment because we aren't sure if we'll enjoy the sport. Though a $500 pair of runners may not be necessary, it is important to invest a little in order to make the sport less tiresome. Especially in the beginning when muscles will be the sorest and when our technique will be the most off, it is important that proper runners are used in order to decrease sore muscles, avoid strains and to keep those pesky shin splints at bay.

Our website focuses on product reviews for the purpose of helping buyers find the perfect product for them. We look through endless products and reviews in order to form real opinions on popular products. We also look at how the products are constructed as well as take a look at the brand to help determine the reliability and quality of a product in order to compare it to the price. This review focuses on the Hoka Clifton 3, a running shoe offered by the popular running shoe brand Hoka. We looked at what consumers thought of this pair of shoes in order to help you with your next running shoe purchase. We hope that this article is helpful and that it helps with the overall buying process. Please enjoy!

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Offers superior support
  • Quite comfortable to wear 
  • Lightweight design 
  • Provides great impact reduction too
  • Works great for both indoor and outdoor runs
  • Some durability concerns
  • Sizing may be difficult to peg down


The Hoka Clifton 3 is a high impact runner designed for both indoor and outdoor runs. It offers protection in high-abrasion zones to offer more durability in those areas as well as provide protection to the foot after numerous wears. The outsole is also built to be quite lightweight in order to avoid early fatigue to the foot and legs. The design of the outsole also offers better fluidity when running which equates to better performance overall.

Those who bought this shoe found that though it does offer a thick outsole that the high abrasion areas weren't necessarily effective but rather they found that the outsoles wore down quite easily and required replacement faster than alternative on the market which is negative.


The midsoles of these runners are full-length Hoka CMEVA which is a feature unique to Hoka. The full-length CMEVA offers better impact reduction as well as superior stability to the bottom of the foot. The benefit of a full-length midsole is the impact protection offered to the entirety of the foot including the ball and the heel. Depending on the surface being run on, the impact will differ and, therefore, offering a full-length midsole is great for those on various surfaces.

Those who bought this shoe were very happy with the level of impact reduction it provides and found that the pain they often felt through the ankle and shins were not present after wearing these runners even after longer runs which is positive.


The upper is made of a combination of synthetic material and mesh. This helps with the ventilation of the shoe and therefore makes the shoe a lot more breathable. Those who bought this product were very happy with the ventilation of the shoe and confirmed that when running their feet felt cool and dry which is very positive. Breathability is also important because this will keep the sweat levels down, in turn, providing a more comfortable but also protected run. Sweat can cause slips which could in turn cause injury. This is why having a breathable shoe is very important.

Another benefit of the uppers associated with this running shoe is that the upper offers a no-sew SpeedFrame which makes the shoe a lot more comfortable. It offers 3 welded layers in order to offer better stability and also helps protect the foot from obstacles on the runner's path. The welded layers also offer durability which is discussed in more detail below.


As mentioned earlier, the upper offers both synthetic and mesh material and it also mentioned the Hoka CMEVA outsole which is listed as being a lightweight material. The outsoles are usually the area that offers the most weight to the shoe and so if the outsole is weighted, the entire shoe is weighted. Luckily with this runner, reviewers were very happy with the lightweight nature of it. They found that even after long runs or even long shifts, their feet didn't feel fatigued which is really positive. Overall, this shoe is quite lightweight in nature and work really well for marathons or long shifts.


This was addressed a little earlier in the upper section. The mesh material allows cool air to enter the shoe and hot air to exit the shoe. This means that the shoe will stay ventilated even when feet are getting hot from both fitness and weather. Those who purchased these shoes were very happy with the breathability of these shoes and felt that they provided superior ventilation to competitive products which is really positive.


The Hoka Clifton 3 offers support and impact reduction through the midsole and outsole of the shoe. It also offers a seamless tongue which is a nice feature because it allows the runner to wear the shoes tightly without causing those painful seam lines often experienced in alternative products. The seamless design has been praised online due to the level of comfort those who wore this type of shoe experienced but is also for those who would prefer to run barefoot.


These runners may not be the most stylish on the market, however, they do offer a fairly minimalist design considering. They are seamless which makes the shoes look more narrow and they come in different color styles for individual preference. Those who bought these shoes were happy with their appearance noting that they seem to be in line with today's trends and reviewers also appreciated the narrowness of the design even if the shoes fit a little small. This is discussed in more detail below.


These runners, for the most part, are fairly durable. One issue is that even though the outsole of these runners is supposed to offer some abrasion resistant in high impact areas, those who bought these shoes took issue with how easily the outsoles of these shoes wore out. They found that it took little time to breakdown the outsole which they were sad about when considering the price and replacement requirements of these runners.

As mentioned earlier, the upper of this shoe offers SpeedFrames with 3 welded layers. This helps with the stability of the shoe but also offers better durability to the top of it. This means the material is 3 times as secure and durable and also means that the top of the foot is protected from falling objects. Outside of the outsole issue, the rest of the shoe had little to no complaints in regards to the durability of the shoe which is positive.


This shoe offers a deep-foot frame which comes up the foot and ankle a little more in order to offer proper protection to the ankle. As mentioned in the intro of this article, beginners may find this appealing as when runners start out their ankles are weaker. It takes time to build those muscles over time to start protecting the ankle from rolls. By having that protection offered to the ankle rolls will be less common as well as general injury.


The Hoka Clifton 3 offers a fairly thick outsole which can often times take away from the responsiveness of a runner. Though this is typically the case, the outsoles of these shoes offer a more fluid ground contact which allows for a smoother transition. In addition to the outsoles features, the midsole also offers an early stage Meta-rocker design which offers a superior shaped transition zone for better responsiveness as well.

Those who bought these runners found that even for more advanced runners, these shoes offered really nice responsiveness when in performance mode which is really positive.


The midsoles of these runners offer a contoured design in order to support the foot around the heels, arch, and toe of the foot. The midsole is also full length which allows for better support all the way from the back of the heel to the toes. As mentioned, this allows for nice impact reduction but it also offers for better stability, support and protection as well which consumers appreciated.


These runners are intended for outdoor and indoor runs but probably not great for more aggressive runs like trails or mountains. The nice thing about these runners is that they offer a nice thick outsole which also offers decent traction for those running on different surfaces. Runners found that these runners do offer decent traction which helped with take-offs, however, may not work well in areas with lots of moisture. The Clifton 3 is best suited for those looking for a road shoe or a gym companion.


These running shoes, especially considering its features and high ratings, seem to be quite reasonably priced. Though this is the case it's important to remember that they don't necessarily offer the best durability meaning that they may require replacement faster. Unfortunately, the outsole is one of the worst places to have poor durability and these shoes are weakest in that area. They will probably last longer in a gym-only environment but for long distance or road running the consumer may find that it requires replacement sooner which may not end up justifying the price, sadly.


The traction of these runners was discussed earlier in this article. To recap, they offer decent traction but probably won't be best for those in really wet environments.


The outsoles, working with the midsoles, are quite flexible as well. This is surprising considering the thickness of both the outsole and the midsole. Those who bought these shoes were impressively flexible, noting that they offer decent responsiveness. This is important when considering the performance of a shoe as well.


The benefit of the deeper foot frame also helps with the overall stability of the shoe. The lacing system offers a support system to keep the foot tight to the midsole of the shoe and offering better stability all the way through. This, in turn, helps with the runner's stance as well as offers protection. This shoe is great because it has both the deep foot-frame and the full-length Hoka CMEVA, both of which help with the foot's stability and stance.


These runners offer a low drop and neutral arch support.


- Ultra light-weight design for less fatigue
- No-sew uppers for less hot spots and pressure due to seams
- Full-length Hoka CMEVA midsoles for better support and impact reduction
- Deep foot-frame for better stability and form
- Meta-rocker midsoles for a smoother transition
- Thick outsoles for better resistance
- Neutral arch support to suit different arches
- Mesh and synthetic upper for better breathability


Overall the Hoka Clifton 3 have been mostly well-received by current and former users. They hit pretty high in all categories except for durability and sizing. Reviewers primary issues are that the outsole of these runners wears out easily. The secondary concern is that they require sizing up. The highlights of these are their cushioning system that surprisingly works well with their flexibility and responsiveness systems. They also offer a seamless tongue which makes for a comfortable run, no matter the distance. The Hoka Clifton 3 are definitely worth considering, especially if you're a beginner looking for a pair of shoes that aren't going to break the bank.