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Road Running Shoes • April 7, 2020

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7 Performance Review

hoka clifton 7 - feature

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 8.7 oz. (247 g) for a US M9.0
  • Largely unchanged from the Clifton 6 (same midsole/outsole)
  • Minor updates to the engineered mesh upper
  • Still a great shoe with a perfect balance of light weight and max cushion

Like any shoe that’s been around awhile, the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton has seen its ups and downs. Version one, along with the first Bondi, was a shock to the old guard of running and a big middle finger to the minimalist movement. Haters hated, and now they’re eating humble pie for breakfast, lunch, and dessert.

Along the way, the Clifton went from great to meh and back again. They even re-released the original Clifton (probably because versions 3-5 were underwhelming). Last year was a return to greatness with the Clifton 6, and we’re happy to report that they didn’t f*ck things up.

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, here’s the deal: The HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7 is a lightweight, max-cushioned, daily trainer with full-compression EVA midsole, early stage Meta-Rocker, and an engineered mesh upper. Overall, it’s a pretty simple shoe built for long miles.

We had three reviewers on it this go-around: Thomas and Meaghan, who have run in every single version of the shoe, and Jeremy, who’s put in over 180 miles on the shoe in the last three weeks.

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7 - Women's

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7 – Women’s

The Good

MEAGHAN: The HOKA Clifton has been through a lot since V1, but I feel like we’re on the up and up with this shoe. The Clifton 7 kept all the great qualities of the Clifton 6, and added a little flair/flare. Literally.

Probably the most noticeable update is the heel collar, which now tapers around the Achilles tendon. The padded tongue remains the same, but HOKA added a mesh gusset to keep it from moving around mid-run. I never had much of an issue, but it’s a nice feature. The upper, in general, appears more streamlined–just a soft, stretchy mesh that’s light and breathable.

The midsole/outsole hasn’t changed. You get true HOKA cushioning, with an early stage meta-rocker design. It’s a smooth ride, great for easy days and long runs. Also worth noting: my W7.5 came in at 7.4 oz, just a hair lighter than the previous model. I’ll take it.

THOMAS: The Clifton line remains a favorite of mine. For a plush daily trainer, you can’t ask for much more. With 29 mm of the stack in the heel and 24 mm under the forefoot, your feet are well-protected with soft landings. The way the rocker works keeps the shoe from feeling too mushy. While it wouldn’t be my first choice for speed days, you can pick up the pace in the Clifton 7 if necessary.

With all that cush you probably think the Clifton would weigh a ton, it doesn’t. My size 10.5 weighs 9.4 oz./269 grams. You won’t find many shoes with this much cushioning that are as light as the Clifton 7.

The upper is the update for the 7. HOKA ONE ONE does a very clean job on with the engineered mesh. Not only is the upper sleek and clear of too many overlays, it breathes well. For a secure foot, I love a gusseted tongue. HOKA gives us one in the Clifton 7 and adds just the right amount of padding as well.


hoka clifton 7 - heel

JEREMY: To start things off, I’m going to declare my bias. The HOKA Clifton has been one of my favorite shoes for a while now, and the newest iteration further reinforces my love for this cushioned daily trainer. While I would consider the updates in the Clifton 7 to be minor, they do a great job of making improvements and not messing with the winning formula.

The first thing I noticed is that this is a good-looking shoe; the Moonlit Ocean/Anthracite colorway is a pleasant blue/green combo that’s easy on the eyes. Beyond just notes on the appearance, the functionality of this shoe was improved in several ways.

As Meaghan noted, this shoe continues to get lighter (the Clifton 6 was already a half-ounce lighter than the Clifton 5) while retaining the same level of cushion that made it popular. The upper is a soft engineered mesh that feels comfortable and is breathable.

The heel loop pull tab from the Clifton 6 is gone in this version and instead there is a vertical pull tab that goes up high against the Achilles. Not only did this function well to help you take your shoes CliftON and CliftOFF (that sounded better in my head) [EDITOR’S NOTE: this guy isn’t even a dad], it actually provided some support against the heel which feels quite comfortable.

The ride is essentially the same as the Clifton 6, with a nice and cushioned strike, yet retains enough firmness in the EVA midsole to get into a nice rhythm and pick up the pace.

Shop HOKA Clifton 7 – men’s Shop HOKA Clifton 7 – women’s

hoka clifton 7 - women top

The Bad

MEAGHAN: Where is that white on white fire!? I enjoy the Black Iris/Blue Haze colorway I received, but I really want to see HOKA bring back that white on white colorway they had for the Clifton 6. Outside of that, I don’t actually have much to complain about.

THOMAS: We lost a pull tab and gained an elf curl off the heel. The padding in the heel counter also seems a little sloppy. Let’s tighten that up on the Clifton 8, team.

JEREMY: No complaints whatsoever with this shoe, V7 is a solid shoe and a slightly improved iteration of the already great V6.

Shop HOKA Clifton 7 – men’s Shop HOKA Clifton 7 – women’s

SHOE outsole

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7 Conclusion

MEAGHAN: The HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7 hasn’t strayed far from V6, and that is exactly how I like it. If you’re a Clifton fan, you won’t be disappointed. I will say, however, I tried the HOKA Rincon for the first time this year and I might prefer that model. I know, it feels wrong even typing that out, but the slightly firmer cushioning and lighter build has me catching feels.

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either HOKA model. I will continue to get plenty of miles out of Clifton and the Rincon 2.

THOMAS: The Clifton reigns supreme as my favorite HOKA, just edging out the Rincon. I am confident recommending the Clifton 7 to almost any runner at any ability. Comparable cruisers like the Saucony Endorphin Shift, adidas Ultraboot PB, and the ASICS Glideride all weigh ounces more. My top competitors for this shoe at a lighter weight would be the New Balance 1080v10, ASICS GEL-Nimbus Lite, and the Nike React Infinity.

JEREMY: HOKA took the classic saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to heart with this shoe, making only minor improvements. I know that I’ve been loving it for easy days, long runs, and just about every other non-workout day. This should be a good companion to HOKA’s faster shoes: the HOKA Rincon 2 and the HOKA Carbon X for workout and race days (until the Rocket X is finally released, anyway).

As of now, the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7 will be available August 1 for $130. You can pick it up (or grab the Clifton 6 now) at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and returns) by using the link below.

Shop HOKA Clifton 7 – men’s

Shop HOKA Clifton 7 – women’s hoka clifton 7 - medial




Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. jose espinoza rodriguez says:

    I have been Hoka fan since long time, I used the V5 in Chicago marathon and ended with 2 bloody nails, when I try the V6 I just loved, no the hard upper from V5 that did the bloody nails blow out, I try the Rincon v1 and love the lightweight, what I noticed on V6 is loose heel cup, if I make a turn I can feel my heel loose direction out of the shoe, are this fixed on V7? did you feel the elf design on the heel cup fix the issue? it’s worthy? Can’t wait for the Rincon V2 to try as well.

  2. Lawrence Wyatt says:

    What is the Clifton edge? Perhaps a road/light trail version of the Clifton? When does it come out? Thinking of trying Hoka for the first time and like the clifton6/7 but would love some info on the edge.

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      Not allowed to talk about it yet, more info coming in the next couple weeks.

  3. Stan Makowski says:

    Good review. Question about the width, have they made any improvements in that department? Version 5 just didn’t work and I haven’t tried version 6 due to fear that it will still be to narrow. I did try the wide width version and no luck, however the wide in the Arahi 4 (wide) is spot on and fits like a dream.
    Just wondering if the clifton 6 or 7 has similar width in the toe box.
    Thanks for your channel and reviews, keep up the great work.

  4. Jackson says:

    Pulltab gone. Why? 🙁

  5. George says:

    How would you compare the Clifton 7 vs Skechers GoRun Ride 8 Hyper?
    Specifically in comparison for long runs (10 – 20 miles).
    I find that the GRR8 Hyper is friendly to my flat feet with no hot spots or blistering, so curious if the Clifton 7 would be friendly to flat feet as well.

    1. bushrunner says:

      I have flat feet and have been running in the Clifton 6’s since last summer with no problems. No arch blisters (never have had those as I use the Currex RunPro Low inserts-really great arch support and they don’t effect the shoe’s drop). I do get a beat up toe on longer runs on my right third toe, but that might just be the way my foot splays. I love the 6’s and will get a pair of 7’s as well as a pair of Rincon2’s (another fantastic shoe!) when they are available.

  6. Abby says:

    What other colorways are available for women?

  7. Michael Rosales says:

    Which trail shoe would you reccomend that has a similar feel as the clifton?

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      Speedgoat 4

  8. Benjamin Aberson says:

    Is there an update on the release date of the 7s? I’m in need of new cliftons, but I want to wait to try the 7s if I can

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      August 1!

  9. Daniel Ebright says:

    I bought a pair of Clifton 6 in March and ran about 325 miles in them. The the ball of my foot behind the pinky toe started to hurt at about that point. Bought a new pair hoping it was just worn out shoes causing the problem. I noticed the foot bed of the shoe actually has a slight ridge along the outside. Still irritating on the new pair. Wondered if the foot bed is flatter in the front on the Clifton 7.

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      Will likely feel the same.

  10. Jason Day says:

    I’ve put a little over 300 miles on the Clifton 6’s, and the midsole feels dead. I’m not getting the response I was in the beginning with this shoe. I’m reluctant to try the 7, if the foam and mechanics haven’t changed.

    Hell, my old Bondi 4s have more response than the 6’s do now.

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