Thomas: This is a Clifton. We will call it by its name HOKA Napali for the sake of the review, but know that we are talking about the Clifton 3.5 or what the Clifton 4 should have been. The Napali has the same midsole and outsole as the Clifton 3, but the upper is improved with a simplified design using a highly breathable mesh. The Napali at 9 oz. is 1.8 ounces lighter than the Clifton 4. Smack me sideways! Seriously, almost 2 oz. lighter! So let me sum it up so far, the Napali has the same midsole as the Clifton 3 with a better upper than the 4, and it is lighter. OH WAIT! It is $30 cheaper. The Napali retails for $99.95 while the Clifton 4 is$129.95.
If you haven’t run in the Clifton/Napali before, the characteristics are loads of cushion in a lightweight package that you can run fast in. It is a fantastic shoe at any distance. This March Meg and I will be running a 50k in the trail version the Napali ATR. The shoe has a meta rocker design, in laymen’s terms, it is designed to land then roll off the toe for a super smooth stride. They were in a class of their own for a long time; now a couple of shoes have come along with some similarities including the Skechers Ride 7 and the Nike Vaporfly 4%. Did I just say the Nike Vaporfly 4% has some similarities to the HOKA?! I did. Feel free to ask me or argue about that in the comments.
Meaghan: YOU GUYS! The Clifton 3 is back and better than ever! Don’t be fooled by the Napali title (…wtf, HOKA?). This is a better looking, barely-but-slightly updated Clifton 3. It’s your daily trainer that lives up to HOKA cushioning expectations. A soft, bouncy ride with a rocker midsole feels great underfoot from mile 1 to mile 20. The upper is the only real differentiator to the Clifton. Placement of the overlays changed, but it’s still designed with a breathable mesh. I didn’t notice a difference in the toebox width. They fit my wide feet well. The best part of this shoe? It’s lighter than the Clifton 3. My W7.5 came in a 7.25 oz (Clifton 3 = 7.8oz). WHOOP.
Thomas: Because the Napali shares the Clifton 3 foundation, the width and toe box remains the same. If you don’t like the way the vamp of the Clifton fits, skip the Napaili and try that Skechers Ride 7.
Thomas: If you are as big a fan of the Clifton as I am, and you were disappointed by the Clifton 4, GET THE NAPALI. The Napali is a step in the right direction, even if it is a step backward and then it makes HOKA feel funny, so they change the name. Get your feet into these.
Meaghan: This is a prettier, skinnier Clifton 3 (sorry not sorry). I love them and I’m constantly lacing these guys up. They look good. They feel good. You should probably buy a pair right now… and I highly recommend the Bluebird/Black colorway.