Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8: Which Shoe To Choose As A Professional Runner

As a professional runner, I have had several running shoes over the years. Hoka Much 5 and Clifton 8 are one of those shoes that I tried and tested.

What I’ve learned using these amazing shoes is, Mach  5 is more like a performance trainer, while Clifton 8 is prominent for its plush cushioning and lightweight structure. 

Here, I’ll share my personal experience and provide an in-depth comparison of Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8 based on different parameters. 

With these two stunning footwear, you’ll see many similarities in their features. But I’ll try to find their differences and drawbacks to tell you which one you should buy. 

Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8

Sole Unit

I find both shoes feature durable and reliable sole units that are designed to provide excellent traction and support. 

The Mach 5 has a sole unit that is made from a combination of materials, including rubber and EVA foam. It has a high-abrasion rubber with excellent traction on a variety of surfaces. The midsole is made from Hoka’s signature PROFLY cushioning material, which provides me with a responsive and comfortable ride. The Mach 5 also features a rockered sole design, enhancing the shoe’s natural stride and providing a smooth heel-to-toe transition. 

The Clifton 8, on the other hand, features a sole unit that is also made from a combination of rubber and EVA foam. A durable rubber in its outsole provides excellent traction. I get Hoka’s signature EVA foam in the midsole, which gives me a plush and comfortable ride. The Clifton 8 also features a Meta-Rocker design, which helps to promote a natural and efficient stride.

Overall, both the Mach 5 and Clifton 8 offer excellent sole units that seem responsive and comfortable to me. But I feel the Mach 5’s PROFLY cushioning material provides a slightly more responsive ride than the Clifton 8’s EVA foam. 

Upper Unit

Moving on to the upper unit, the Mach 5 has a breathable technical mesh upper with a snug and supportive fit. It also features a padded tongue and collar that adds to the shoe’s overall comfort. This upper is much comfier for me as it’s lightweight. 

The Clifton 8, on the other hand, has a similar mesh upper with a more structured design that provides a secure and comfortable fit. However, the Clifton 8 feels slightly heavier to me compared to the Mach 5 due to additional overlays on the upper unit. 

As I like to have lightweight shoes, I would take Mach 5 as the winner of this section too. 


When it comes to durability, both Mach 5 and Clifton 8 are well-built shoes that can withstand daily wear and tear. However, the Mach 5 has a sturdier outsole with a more extensive lug pattern that may help it last longer. In fact, I find it more tolerable as it withstands my impactful running daily on rough terrains. Also, the Mach 5 has a reinforced toe cap that adds to the durability of the shoe. 


Stability is an essential factor for running shoes, and both the Mach 5 and Clifton 8 offer good support and stability. The Mach 5 has a balanced design that delivers a comfortable and stable ride, while the Clifton 8 has a slightly wider midsole that provides a more stable base. Additionally, both shoes feature an early-stage Meta-Rocker that propels the foot forward, enhancing the shoe’s stability.


The Hoka Mach 5 and Clifton 8 have a similar cushioning system that uses PROFLY technology to deliver a plush and comfortable ride. However, the Mach 5 has a slightly softer midsole compared to the Clifton 8, making it an ideal shoe for me. On the other hand, the Clifton 8 has a firmer midsole that I found very responsive and energy return. 

Overall Opinion

So, which shoe is better? In my opinion, it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and running style. If you prefer a more cushioned and durable shoe, the Hoka Mach 5 is the way to go. However, if you want a more responsive and versatile shoe, the Clifton 8 is the right choice. Overall, both shoes are worthy investments to help you achieve your running goals. 

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