Hoka Clifton 9 Review: Is It Worth Your Money?

Hoka Clifton 9 has some tweaks to its design as the brand attempted to make this latest model lighter and snappier. Major changes have been made to the upper and sole units. The breathable upper mesh on the top has a reflective heel panel with a medial gusseted tongue. And it’ll completely feel different underfoot with its responsive EVA foam. 

Who Should Buy? 

Someone who prioritizes comfort and support over everything should buy this shoe. It’s also a great choice for long-distance running. I usually struggle with blisters and hot spots. So, I bought this shoe and am happy it solved my problem with its wide-toe box. Additionally, the cushioned sole unit is a game-changer for runners who want to reduce the impact on their joints.

Who Should Not Buy? 

If you prefer minimalist running shoes or firmer sole units, there may be a better shoe for you than the Hoka Clifton 9. Additionally, runners with a history of ankle or knee pain may need to consult a medical professional before investing in this shoe. 

Hoka clifton 9 previews

First Impression

When I first tried on the Hoka Clifton 9, I was immediately struck by how comfortable they felt. The upper mesh material was soft and breathable, keeping my feet cool and dry even in hot weather. I appreciated the shoe’s wide toe box with plenty of room for my toes to move around, preventing blisters and hot spots. Finding the right size was also a blessing, as the shoe fit true to size. 

After the first couple of hours of running, Clifton 9 offered more energy-saving transitions, thanks to its meta rocker midsole. And I get a more cushioned ride compared to its previous version. But the downside that I noticed about the shoe is it would not be ideal for those who seek a more ground feel with wider feet. The reason is Clifton 9’s regular size is much narrower, and the sole unit has plenty of cushioning, making its stack height slightly higher. 

Upper Mesh

I have to say, the Clifton 9’s upper mesh did not disappoint at all. The engineered mesh material is lightweight and breathable, which helps keep my feet cool and dry even during my most intense runs. I was especially impressed by how well the mesh conformed to the shape of my foot, providing a snug yet comfortable fit that felt secure without being too tight.

What’s more, the durability of the Clifton 9’s upper mesh is truly remarkable. Several reviewers noted that the material held up well over time, and I agree. Even after many miles of running, my Clifton 9 still feels like new.

This shoe’s reinforced eyestays and external heel counter also deserve a mention, as they provide additional support and stability for the foot. I found that these features helped keep my foot in place while running, even on uneven terrain. The padded tongue and heel collar added to the shoe’s overall comfort, providing a plush feel that helped prevent any rubbing or irritation.

The upper mesh section is undoubtedly one of the standout features of the Clifton 9, providing all of these benefits and more. Whether you’re a seasoned runner, just starting, or a professional one, the Clifton 9 is a reliable and comfortable choice you can make.  

Hoka Clifton 9 Review

Sole Unit

I remember the first time I tried the Clifton 9s. As soon as I slipped them on and started running, I felt like I was running on clouds. The full-compression EVA midsole provided the perfect balance of cushioning and support, and my joints were instantly protected from impact.

But it wasn’t just the cushioned sole unit that impressed me. The rocker design was a revelation for me, as I was struggling with heel-to-toe transitions in the past. Running felt effortless like I was gliding along the ground with each stride. The early-stage Meta-Rocker technology also added to the smoothness of my runs, and I can now run for longer periods without feeling any discomfort. 

The Clifton 9s have also helped me feel more confident and in control when running. The wider base of the shoe provides a more stable platform for my feet, which allows for better balance and control. I remember one particularly challenging run on a trail with uneven terrain. I was worried about tripping or rolling my ankle, but the wider base of the Clifton 9s kept me stable and in control the entire time. It was a small victory, but it made me appreciate the shoe even more. 


After trying out the Hoka Clifton 9, I can confidently say that they live up to the hype. They provide unparalleled cushioning, support, and stability without weighing me down. And with their smooth stride and added joint protection, they’ve become my go-to running shoes. If you’re looking for a reliable, everyday running shoe, the Hoka Clifton 9 is definitely worth a try. 

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