Hoka vs Ultra Boost

Shoes can have a major effect on running performance. As an athlete, I always remain careful about it. That’s why I’ve been using the Hoka Clifton 9 and the Adidas Ultraboost 23 for several months, to see how they stack up against each other. The reason why I chose these shoes is that they are from popular brands in the market.  

Everywhere I go, I see a conversational fight between runners of Hoka vs Ultra Boost. So today, I decided to compare these two shoes based on my personal experience. So let’s see if I can make a winner among them. 

Hoka vs Ultra Boost

Comparison Between Hoka Clifton 9 vs Adidas Ultraboost 23

In this article, I’m going to compare the two shoes in terms of their sole unit, upper unit, durability, performance, and overall opinion. 

Sole Unit

No matter the shoe I wear, I always take a close look at its sole unit because the sole is responsible for providing ultimate support and cushioning. 

Luckily, I saw Both the Hoka Clifton 9 and the Adidas Ultraboost 23 offer a comfortable ride. Especially, The Hoka Clifton 9 has a chunky sole that provides ample cushioning without sacrificing responsiveness. The EVA foam it has and the meta-rocker shape make it smooth, light, and durable in the long run. I can confidently run on any rough surface thanks to its suitable sole.

However, when I wear the Adidas Ultraboost 23, I feel its sole offers superior cushioning and energy return. This shoe has a Boost midsole of tiny pellets that compress and return energy with each stride. The shoe’s Continental rubber outsole provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces, making it ideal for running on slippery or wet surfaces. 

Overall, I think, The Ultraboost 23 offers a high level of comfort and is slightly more responsive than the Hoka Clifton 9.

Upper Unit

It’s hard to impress me with any shoe until it has superior cushioning. But these shoes have impressed me so far. 

The Hoka Clifton 9 features an engineered mesh upper known for its comfortable and breathable fit. Also, the padded tongue and the heel counter are sturdy, providing support to the foot. Clifton 9 is designed to fit true to size, with a snug fit around the midfoot and a roomy toe box. Though the upper of the Hoka Clifton 9 is not flashy but provides maximum functionality to my liking. 

If we look at the Adidas Ultraboost 23, it has a Primeknit upper that’s soft and stretchy, conforming to my foot for a comfortable fit. The tongue and heel counter are both padded, offering support and stability. The shoe also uses a laceless design that allows for an easy slip-on and snug fit. 

My overall impression is Ultra Boost 23’s upper is sleek and stylish but not as breathable as the Hoka Clifton 9, especially if for wider feet. 


Durability is a vital factor for athletes like me since they undergo lots of wear and tear during running. The Hoka Clifton 9 offers a durable build with a rubber outsole that’s made to last long. The shoe’s Meta-Rocker geometry is designed to prevent excessive wear, meaning that the shoe will remain usable for longer. In fact, I have been using this for a year now and still didn’t notice any sign of ripping. Its upper mesh is also resistant to wear and tear. In general, the Hoka Clifton 9 will last you several hundred miles of running. 

The Adidas Ultraboost 23 also offers a durable build through its Continental rubber outsole. The Primeknit upper is soft but robust and can withstand any wear and tear. But the downside I noticed in its midsole. The Boost midsole is prone to flattening over time, leading to a decrease in cushioning and support. 

Over time, the Ultraboost 23 will provide less cushioning compared to the Hoka Clifton 9. 


When it comes to cushioning, the Hoka Clifton 9 and the Adidas UltraBoost 23 are both incredibly cushioned. They both offer a plush and comfortable ride and are stable and flexible. If you are looking for a cushioned running shoe, either of these shoes is my recommendation.

However, I think the Clifton 9 is more stable than the UltraBoost 23. This is because the Clifton 9 has a thicker sole unit than the UltraBoost 23. The wider sole unit makes Clifton 9 slightly more stable than the UltraBoost 23. 


At the end of the day, the performance of a running shoe is all that matters to me. If I look closely at Hoka Clifton 9, it offers a comfortable, plush ride ideal for long-distance running. The shoe’s Meta-Rocker geometry promotes a smooth and efficient stride and reduces the impact on your joints. It’s also lightweight, which makes it responsive and fast, making it ideal for tempo runs or races. 

The thing I learned using Adidas Ultraboost 23, it’s designed for comfort and energy return. The Boost midsole of the shoe provides a high level of cushioning and bounces back with each stride. The Continental rubber outsole offers excellent traction that allows the shoe to perform firmly on slippery surfaces. 

To me, the Ultraboost 23 is best suited for recovery runs, easy runs, or anyone who values comfort over speed. 

Drop Size 

The Hoka Clifton 9 has a drop size of 4 mm, while the Adidas Ultra Boost 23 has a drop size of 10 mm. This means that the Adidas Ultra Boost 23 is significantly higher than the heel of the Hoka Clifton 9.

I personally avoid Ultra Boost 23 in impactful running for this stack height. Because the larger drop size of the Adidas Ultra Boost 23 can cause the shoes to feel less stable and more likely to cause ankle injuries. 

The Hoka Clifton 9 is a better choice for someone like me who is looking for a shoe with a stable feel. Yet, the Adidas Ultra Boost 23 is a better choice for runners looking for a more cushioned shoe. 

Overall Opinion

Overall, the Hoka Clifton 9 and the Adidas Ultraboost 23 are excellent running shoes with superior performance and comfort. Both shoes provide ample cushioning and support, and their respective designs are suited for different types of runs. The Hoka Clifton 9 is ideal for long-distance runs and races, while the Ultraboost 23 is best suited for recovery and easy runs.

However, if I specifically compare the two, the Hoka Clifton 9 has a slight edge over the Adidas Ultraboost 23 concerning overall performance. The Clifton 9 offers a more durable build that is likely to last longer than the Ultraboost 23. And lastly, it’s also more responsive and faster despite the Ultraboost 23’s stylish and comfortable. 

Share Your Love!