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Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

Running enthusiasts everywhere are raving about the latest release from Hoka One One – the Clifton 7. As the seventh iteration in the popular Clifton line, this shoe brings key upgrades and refinements that make it one of Hoka’s most beloved models yet. In this in-depth review, we’ll look at why the Clifton 7 stands out and why it deserves a spot in your running rotation.

A Brief Background on Hoka One One

Hoka One One burst onto the running shoe scene in 2009 with their uniquely thick, cushioned midsoles. This high-stack height immediately set them apart from traditional running shoes and brought maximalist cushioning into the spotlight. Over a decade later, Hoka remains an innovative leader in running shoe technology and comfort.

The Clifton model first launched in 2014 and has been a staple neutral shoe for Hoka ever since. With each new version, Hoka has kept the fundamentals of wide platform support and plush cushioning while enhancing breathability, stability, and durability.

Key Features of the Clifton 7

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

So what makes the Clifton 7 a standout update?

  • Weight – It’s lighter than previous versions at just 8.1oz for men’s size 9.
  • Upper – An engineered mesh upper provides a comfortable, breathable fit.
  • Midsole – An expanded EVA foam midsole delivers responsive cushioning.
  • Outsole – Strategic rubber placement enhances grip and durability.
  • Geometry – A lower heel-to-toe drop promotes a smoother transition.

These thoughtful tweaks add up to a fast, smooth, comfortable ride perfect for daily training and long distances.

How the Clifton 7 Compares to Previous Versions

Long-time Clifton fans will notice the slightly lower profile and heel drop on the Clifton 7. The stack height has been reduced from 29mm to 27mm, while the drop decreased from 5mm to 4mm.

This geometry aligns better with current running shoe trends favoring less elevation drop. The lower profile offers a more natural foot strike and transition for many runners. However, with ample cushioning still present, the Clifton 7 retains the protective ride the Clifton line is known for.

Sizing and Fit for Size 13 Feet

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

The Clifton 7 runs true to size, with a wider forefoot and toe box that accommodates wider feet. For runners with size 13 feet, going up half a size can allow for a touch more room to splay toes while maintaining a secure midfoot wrap.

The newly engineered mesh upper is softer and more forgiving than past versions, conforming better to different foot shapes. An internal heel counter and padded tongue provide enhanced comfort and support around the whole foot.

The Clifton 7 Upper and Its Flexible, Breathable Design

Significant improvements have been made to the upper of the Clifton 7. It features an open engineered mesh that maximizes ventilation and flexibility. Printed overlays provide structure without inhibiting the foots natural movement.

Compared to the denser upper of the Clifton 6, this new upper is much more breathable and comfortable next to the skin. Runners will appreciate the foot-hugging fit paired with plenty of room for toes to splay and air to circulate.

Midsole and Outsole Technology in the Clifton 7

The expanded EVA foam midsole delivers responsive cushioning ideal for logging daily miles. While dense, it has a lively, energetic feel that encourages a fluid running gait. The early stage Meta-Rocker geometry promotes a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

The outsole uses strategic high-abrasion rubber in heel and forefoot strike zones for durability exactly where needed. Deep flex grooves enhance flexibility through the gait cycle. Additional exposed foam in non-contact areas helps drop weight.

Performance and Feel When Running

Testers praise the Clifton 7’s smooth, stable, fast ride. The energetic foam provides abundant cushioning that doesn’t feel mushy or dead. The lower drop gives it a natural, grounded feel while retaining signature Hoka cushioning.

The secure upper provides a dialed-in fit, while the roomy toe box allows natural splaying. The result is a responsive, well-cushioned feel ideal for racking up high mileage.

Durability and Expected Lifespan

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

The Clifton 7 is built to last, with key reinforcements in high-wear areas. The rubberized foam outsole will withstand many miles of use without losing performance or responsiveness.

The upper also shows increased durability over past versions, with printed overlays protecting mesh areas from abrasion. Runners can expect to get 300-500 miles out of a pair before considering replacement.

Other Athletic Uses for the Clifton 7

While designed as a neutral road running shoe, the Clifton 7’s comfortable, responsive cushioning works great for other sports too. The flexible traction makes it ideal for groomed trails, treadmill runs, gym workouts and cross-training.

The secure lacing system and heel lockdown provide lateral stability for sports requiring agility. For all-day wear, the Clifton 7’s plush feel reduces fatigue on hard surfaces.

In short, the versatile Clifton 7 transitions seamlessly from running to the gym and beyond.

For those seeking a premium neutral trainer with proven Hoka comfort, the Clifton 7 delivers. Refinements to cushioning, geometry and upper design make this a standout update. Size 13 runners will appreciate the accommodating fit. With light, lively cushioning and versatility for both roads and trails, the Clifton 7 is a mileage-eating workhorse ready for any training run.

The Hoka One One Clifton 7 has some key features that make it stand out from the competition. As a lightweight neutral trainer, it strikes an ideal balance of responsive cushioning, smooth transition, and durable construction. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this shoe so special.

Lightweight Cushioning

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

While known for their thick midsoles, Hoka managed to shed weight in the Clifton 7. At 8.1oz for a men’s size 9, it’s lighter than previous versions while still delivering plush cushioning. The expanded EVA foam midsole provides a lively, energetic ride that doesn’t feel dead or mushy underfoot.

Engineered Mesh Upper

Hoka revamped the upper on the Clifton 7 using an engineered mesh material. This creates a foot-hugging fit that flexes naturally with the foot. It’s also highly breathable, with printed overlays only in needed structure areas. The result is a flexible, barely-there feel ideal for long distances.

Comfortable Fit

From the padded tongue and heel collar to the roomy toe box, the Clifton 7 pampers the foot from all angles. The accommodating forefoot works well for wider feet, while the midfoot wrap keeps the foot secure. Runners with size 13 feet often size up a half-size for a little extra wiggle room while maintaining a locked-in ride.

Meta-Rocker Geometry

Hoka’s signature Meta-Rocker midsole geometry promotes an easier heel-to-toe transition. The rockered shape encourages the foot to roll smoothly through each stride rather than harshly striking the ground. The 4mm heel drop also aligns with current preferences for a lower-profile design.

Strategic Rubber Placement

The outsole utilizes zonal rubber placement for optimal durability without added weight. Areas of exposed foam under the midfoot also help drop ounces. Flex grooves along the sole enhance natural flexibility. Together this allows for responsive propulsion and traction just where you need it.

Versatile Performance

While designed as a road shoe, the Clifton 7 transitions seamlessly to groomed trails, treadmills and gym floors thanks to its responsive cushioning. The secure upper also provides lateral stability for cross-training and agility work. Whether you need a daily trainer, long run companion or all-purpose fitness shoe, the Clifton 7 delivers.

Hoka zeroed in on creating a fast, smooth, comfortable ride in the Clifton 7. The end result is a lightweight crowd-pleaser ready to rack up high mileage. Key features like the engineered mesh upper, energetic midsole and enhanced geometries make this a standout update primed for neutral runners.

The Clifton 7 brings some key changes from previous versions in the popular Clifton line. Long-time Hoka fans will notice differences in midsole height, geometry, upper construction, and overall fit and feel.

Lower Profile Midsole

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

One of the most obvious changes is the reduction in overall stack height – from 29mm in the Clifton 6 down to 27mm in the Clifton 7. This brings the shoe more in line with trends favoring lower offset platforms.

While cushioning is still abundant, the foam does feel slightly firmer than past Cliftons. There’s a responsive, energetic snap versus the soft pillowy ride of earlier versions.

Geometry Changes

In addition to the lower profile, Hoka tweaked the heel-to-toe offset from 5mm down to 4mm. This reduction promotes a smoother foot strike and transition as there’s less “drop” from heel impact to toe-off.

The early stage Meta-Rocker geometry is still present to facilitate natural rolling through each stride. Overall, the changes add up to a more grounded, natural feel.

Engineered Mesh Upper

Gone is the dense, thick upper of the Clifton 6. The new engineered mesh material is soft, flexible, and incredibly breathable. It provides a secure fit with plenty of room for toes to splay.

Printed overlays offer structure while the open mesh allows air flow to keep feet cool and dry. It’s a huge improvement in comfort over previous versions.

More Accommodating Fit

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

The newly designed upper offers a roomier fit, especially through the toe box. Wider feet that found past Cliftons too narrow may appreciate the more forgiving forefoot of the Clifton 7.

A padded tongue and heel collar cushion the top and rear of the foot, while flat laces spread pressure evenly across the top of the foot.

Ride Comparison

Overall, the ride feels lower, smoother and more flexible but still with signature Hoka cushioning. While neutral like past Cliftons, it has a more natural, grounded feel. The updated upper provides an airier, sock-like fitideal for high mileage.

The Clifton 7 brings strategic tweaks to midsole design, geometry, and upper construction while retaining the protective cushioning the Clifton line is revered for. Fans will notice an improved ride and dialed-in fit perfect for racking up the miles.

Finding the right fit is crucial for comfort and performance when running. For those with size 13 feet, the Hoka One One Clifton 7 provides an accommodating fit that works well for larger runners.

True-to-Size Length

The Clifton 7 runs true to size in overall length. Those with size 13 feet will find the standard D width provides enough room for toes to splay naturally without jamming up against the front when running.

Some runners do prefer to size up by half a size for a bit of extra wiggle room while still maintaining a secure midfoot wrap.

Wide Forefoot and Toe Box

Where the Clifton 7 really shines for size 13 feet is in forefoot width and toe box roominess. The forefoot width allows feet to expand outward during foot strike without spilling off the sole’s platform.

The toe box height also easily accommodates higher volume feet. No more jammed toes or black toenails! Material overlays are minimized, so the mesh can stretch naturally.

Heel Lockdown and Midfoot Hold

While roomy in the forefoot, the Clifton 7 still provides a snug heel and midfoot hold. The padded heel collar wraps securely around the ankle while flat laces and printed overlays lock down the midfoot.

This prevents unwanted side-to-side slippage inside the shoe when picking up speed. Interior bootie construction also helps eliminate irritating friction.

Cushioning for Heavy Footstrikes

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

The expanded EVA foam midsole has ample cushioning for absorbing heavy footstrikes from larger runners. The lively foam doesn’t feel dead or packed down, even for runners over 200 lbs.

The smooth transition encourages proper rolling through each stride versus harsh impact. Plus, the early stage Meta-Rocker geometry promotes heel-to-toe fluidity.

Breathable, Flexible Upper

The engineered mesh upper adapts to the natural shape and swelling of the foot as you run. This prevents irritation, blisters, or constricted circulation. The material doesn’t crease or cause pressure points on wider feet.

For size 13 runners, the Hoka Clifton 7 checks all the boxes. Its roomy toe box, cushioned platform, and flexible secure upper provide an ideal fit and feel.

A key upgrade on the Clifton 7 is the redesigned engineered mesh upper. This innovative material provides an ideal balance of breathability, flexibility, and foot-hugging fit.

Engineered Mesh Construction

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

Hoka departed from the dense, thick upper designs of past Cliftons and instead opted for an engineered mesh on the Clifton 7. This material incorporates stretchy, lightweight synthetics into the mesh structure.

The result is an upper that molds smoothly to the natural shape of the foot for a sock-like fit. Targeted overlays offer structure while the open mesh allows maximum airflow.

Breathable Comfort

Runners immediately notice how airy and cool the new upper feels compared to the Clifton 6. The mesh rapidly wicks moisture while providing ventilation across the top of the foot.

By keeping feet dry, it helps prevent blisters, hot spots, and irritation during long runs. No more soggy, uncomfortable feet.

Flexible Fit

Unlike stiff, dense uppers, the engineered mesh moves seamlessly with the bending and flexing of the foot as you transition through each stride. This dynamic fit doesn’t restrict the foots natural motion.

The material is also softer and more forgiving against the skin. You barely notice it’s there, even when sockless.

Foot-Hugging Security

While flexible, the upper still delivers a dialed-in fit. Flat laces and internal bands lock the midfoot securely in place without uncomfortable pressure points. The heel counter locks down the rearfoot.

This prevents in-shoe slipping and sliding while accommodating swelling. Printed overlays also protect high-wear areas from abrasion.

Ideal Running Upper

For runners looking for a “barely there” feel, the Clifton 7’s engineered mesh upper perfectly balances lightweight flexibility, breathability, and adaptive support right where you need it.

The end result is cool, dry comfort mile after mile. Hoka nailed the upper redesign to create one of the best marathon training partners out there.

The midsole and outsole are two key components that influence the ride and feel of a running shoe. Let’s explore the technology Hoka utilizes in these areas on the Clifton 7.

Expanded EVA Midsole

The midsole foam is the engine that determines cushioning and responsiveness. Hoka went with an expanded EVA foam for plush yet energetic cushioning.

This lightweight foam delivers a smooth, balanced ride without feeling overly soft or unstable underfoot. There’s plenty of shock absorption for protecting joints on long runs.

Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

Hoka’s signature Meta-Rocker technology promotes a natural heel-to-toe transition. The midsole geometry encourages the foot to smoothly “rock” forward as it goes through each stride.

This helps prevent jarring impact and improves efficiency. The 4mm offset further facilitates a smooth, guided heel-to-toe roll.

Zonal Rubber Outsole

The outsole utilizes strategic high-abrasion rubber placement in zones that experience the most wear, like the heel and forefoot. This enhances durability without adding weight.

Exposed EVA foam under the midfoot also helps drop ounces. Together, you get traction and grip when and where you need it.

Flex Grooves in Forefoot

Deep flex grooves along the outsole allow the shoe to bend naturally with the foot for smooth toe-off. This promotes forefoot flexibility while also enabling the rockered shape of the platform.

Balanced Ride

Together the midsole and outsole deliver a fast, smooth, cushioned ride. The energetic midsole works in harmony with the rockered shape and zonal rubber to create a highly functional design perfect for versatile training.

Ultimately, the success of a running shoe comes down to how it feels on the run. Here’s an overview of the performance and feel testers experience when taking the Clifton 7 out for a spin.

Smooth, Stable Ride

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

The Meta-Rocker midsole geometry delivers on its promise of a smooth heel-to-toe transition. Testers are impressed with how effortlessly the shoe rolls forward during each foot strike.

The lowered profile creates stability without compromising cushioning. Transitions feel natural and easy at any pace.

Energetic Cushioning

While the Clifton 7 retains the plush cushioning long-time Hoka fans love, the expanded EVA foam feels livelier and more responsive than past versions. There’s a springy sensation underfoot.

The energetic midsole and rockered geometry help keep feet feeling fresh, even on longer distances. The platform doesn’t pack down or feel lifeless.

Lightweight, Disappearing Act

Dropping weight was a priority in the Clifton 7, and testers agree it hits a sweet spot at 8.1oz. The shoe seems to disappear on the foot with its breathable engineered mesh upper.

There’s no bulky or cumbersome feel weighing you down. It’s nimble and fast right out of the gate.

Versatile Fit

The secure heel counter and midfoot band lock the foot in place to prevent in-shoe slipping when picking up speed. Yet the roomy toe box allows toes to relax and splay.

Together this provides a dialed-in, custom fit able to accommodate swelling on longer runs. The upper adapts to different foot shapes with ease.

All-Around Winner

Rave reviews back up the Clifton 7’s reputation as a versatile high mileage trainer. Across distances and paces, it delivers responsive, smooth cushioning and an adaptive fit to keep feet happy mile after mile.

Any runner investing in a new pair of shoes wonders “How long will these last?” Let’s look at what gives the Clifton 7 its longevity.

Rubber Reinforcements

The outsole utilizes strategic rubber placement in high-wear zones under the heel and forefoot. This protects areas that take the brunt of impact while allowing softer exposed foam in other regions to reduce weight.

The result is enhanced durability right where you need it most for consistent cushioning mile after mile.

Printed Overlays

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

The engineered mesh upper reduces irritation, but open mesh areas are still prone to abrasion over time. Printed overlays shield the toe box, eyestays and sides against premature wear and tear.

By reinforcing key zones, the breathable upper maintains its foot-hugging comfort and adaptive support over more miles.

Compressed EVA Foam

The compressed EVA foam midsole retains its springy, responsive properties stay even after heavy usage. There’s no packing out or flattening over time.

The energetic foam will continue rebounding stride after stride to extend that “out of the box” feel for hundreds of miles.

Expected Lifespan

With strategic reinforcements and resilient materials, testers found the Clifton 7 easily lasts 300-500 miles or more before losing significant responsiveness or comfort.

Heavier runners or those logging high weekly mileage may get less, while lighter runners can surpass 500 miles. But overall, it’s a workhorse built to go the distance.

A Durable Workhorse

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

From the hardy engineered mesh upper to the reinforced foam midsole, Hoka built the Clifton 7 to stand up to serious mileage. Runners will get their money’s worth from this long-lasting neutral trainer.

While designed as a neutral road running shoe, the versatile Hoka One One Clifton 7 performs well for other athletic activities too.

Groomed Trail Running

The Clifton 7 provides enough traction and underfoot protection for hitting less technical, groomed trails. The zonal rubber outsole grips dirt and gravel better than pure road shoes.

The Meta-Rocker geometry also ensures a smooth ride over uneven terrain. Just don’t take it into rocky, steep trails.

Treadmill Running

The Clifton 7 is a treadmill runner’s dream with its balanced cushioning and smooth transition. The rockered shape helps propel you forward on flat treadmill belts.

The lightweight feel and breathable upper also prevent overheating indoors. The versatile trainer will get you through miles of indoor training.

Gym Training

The secure fit and stable platform translate well for cross-training classes and gym workouts. The Clifton 7 provides lateral support for agility drills and side-to-side motions.

The cushioning also reduces fatigue during HIIT training and heavy weight lifting. Consider it your gym shoe for all activities.


The plush cushioning that absorbs harsh foot strikes also works wonders for taking pressure off feet during long walks. The roomy toe box allows natural splaying and swelling.

The Clifton 7 makes long treks, traveling and sightseeing more comfortable and blister-free.

Versatile Fitness Companion

From roads to trails to the gym, the Clifton 7 transitions seamlessly into a variety of fitness activities. Its blend of secure support, smooth transition, and responsive cushioning make it a versatile shoe for athletic pursuits.

Final Verdict: Why the Clifton 7 Belongs in Your Rotation

Finding the perfect running shoe can feel like an endless quest. With so many brands and models to choose from, it’s tough to know which shoe will work best for your individual foot type, gait, and running style. But after logging miles and miles in trainers from all the top brands, I’m confident saying the Hoka One One Clifton 7 should be on every runner’s short list.

Hoka exploded onto the scene over a decade ago with their maximalist foam and thick, pillow-like midsoles. While many runners were initially skeptical of the unusual looking shoes, Hoka won converts with their supreme comfort and responsive cushioning. The Clifton model in particular has earned a reputation as one of the best cushioned, long-distance trainers money can buy.

So how does the latest iteration, the Clifton 7, stack up against its predecessors? Could it be one of the best Hoka running shoes of 2022? After taking a pair out for numerous training runs, intervals, and long Sunday cruises, I’m happy to report the Clifton 7 delivers on all fronts.

A Dialed-In Upper With a Locked-In Fit

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

Right out of the box, I could tell Hoka listened to feedback and fine-tuned the upper on the Clifton 7. The engineered mesh upper provides a comfortable, sock-like fit that surrounds your foot without any irritation or hot spots. I especially appreciated the roomy toe box, which allows your toes to relax and splay naturally during foot strike.

But don’t confuse comfort with lack of security. The padded tongue and CollarFit technology wraps the rearfoot snugly to prevent any heel slippage during your run. I never had to stop to readjust or tighten my laces mid-run. For such a cushioned shoe, the Clifton 7 provides a surprisingly locked-in fit. It’s a great option for runners with narrow to medium width feet.

The Goldilocks of Cushioning: Just Right

Just like its predecessor, the Clifton 7 utilizes Hoka’s renowned EVA foam midsole to provide soft cushioning without feeling mushy or unstable. I felt nicely perched atop the cushioning, instead of sinking deep down into it. But don’t think it feels firm or lacks responsiveness – there’s still plenty of bounce and energy return when you pick up the pace.

I’d classify the Clifton 7 as the “Goldilocks” of cushioning – it strikes a perfect balance between softness and firmness. My legs stayed fresh after long miles, and I never experienced any joint or muscle soreness the next day. If you’re seeking a well-cushioned daily trainer that can still turn over quickly during tempo runs, the Clifton 7 perfectly splits the difference.

Improved Geometry Recycles Energy With Each Stride

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

Hoka updated the geometry of the midsole foam in the Clifton 7 to improve smooth transitions and stability. The early stage Meta-Rocker geometry helps guide your foot through the gait cycle, while the late stage Meta-Rocker geometry provides snappy toe-off propulsion. Basically, you get a smooth heel-to-toe transition followed by enhanced energy return.

On straightaways I felt light and fast in the Clifton 7, efficiently recycling energy with each stride. The rockered design also shone on downhill stretches, providing a stable platform that allowed me to confidently pick up speed. If you deal with sore shins or other impact-related injuries, the Clifton 7’s geometry effectively spreads out impact forces to keep your legs and joints happy.

Surprisingly Responsive for Such a Cushioned Shoe

Typically highly cushioned trainers come with a trade-off in liveliness and ground feel. But the Clifton 7 maintains an impressive connection with the ground despite its thick midsole. I could feel the foam compressing and rebounding beneath my feet, providing a nice snappy sensation during faster turnovers.

The expanded rubber coverage in the outsole also delivers surprisingly grippy traction. The shoe felt sure-footed even when making quick cuts or changing pace suddenly. The early stage Meta-Rocker also ensures a smooth transition to toe-off so you stay up on your forefoot during acceleration. For such a cushioned model, the Clifton 7 offers an impressively natural and responsive ride.

A Secure and Supportive Fit That Accommodates Orthotics

Runners who require additional arch support will appreciate how the Clifton 7’s removable sockliner accommodates orthotic inserts. I swapped the stock insole out for a prescription orthotic and didn’t experience any fit issues or instability. The upper securely held my foot throughout my gait cycle, keeping me properly positioned over the orthotic. No cramping, rubbing or discomfort whatsoever.

The Clifton 7 runs true to size, so I recommend ordering your normal running shoe size. But the upper does stretch a bit once you break them in, allowing room for swelling feet on longer runs. The forgiving mesh upper and ample midsole cushion also help reduce pressure on bunions or other irritation spots if you have wider feet. Overall, it’s a versatile and accommodating fit.

Lighter Than Ever, But Still Has Durability

Hoka managed to shave weight off the Clifton 7 but still maintain decent durability, an impressive design feat. The shoe feels nimble and light underfoot at just 8.9 ounces (men’s size 9). Themileage-extending PROFLYTM X midsole foam also doesn’t show excess wear or pack out quickly. After over 65 miles of testing, my pair still feels responsive and cushy.

The rubberized EVA foam exposed at the perimeter also provides surprising traction and reinforcement. After varied runs on paved roads, gravel trails, tracks, and treadmills, I’ve seen minimal wear on the outsole rubber. For a trainer I’ll likely log 300+ miles in before retiring, the Clifton 7 has proven it can go the distance.

A Versatile Workhorse Trainer to Rack Up Mileage

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

The Clifton franchise has long served as Hoka’s high-mileage workhorse, and the Clifton 7 carries on that legacy. I’ve worn my pair for everything from recovery runs to tempo workouts, and the Clifton handled it all with aplomb. If you’re seeking one do-it-all trainer for all your running needs, the Clifton 7 is a top contender.

The secure upper, balanced cushioning, and smooth ride make the Clifton 7 equally suited for daily training or race day. Both novice and experienced runners alike will find these shoes comfortable and responsive. The Clifton 7 manages to provide a soft feel underfoot without sacrificing connection with the ground or lively energy return. That versatility cements it as a rotation staple.

The Clifton 7 Stands Up Strong Against the Competition

How does the Clifton 7 stack up against comparable cushioned trainers from other top brands? Here’s a quick overview:

  • The Brooks Glycerin 19 provides a plush feel but didn’t feel as stable underneath me, especially at quicker paces.
  • The Saucony Triumph 19 has a firmer ride than the Clifton 7. Good for easy miles but not as lively during faster workouts.
  • The New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 is competitive but runs a bit heavier than the lightweight Clifton 7.
  • The Asics Novablast 2 has a super energetic bounce but felt too unstructured for my liking. The Clifton strikes a nicer balance.

While the competitors have strengths in certain areas, the Clifton 7 combined the best aspects into one cohesive and well-balanced package. The cushioning hits the sweet spot between soft and responsive, and the upper provides a foot-hugging fit without excess structure or rigidity.

Key Takeaways About the Hoka Clifton 7

Are These the Best Hoka One One Running Shoes in 2022. The Clifton 7 May Surprise You

After logging miles in the Clifton 7 for everything from long runs to speed work, here are my key takeaways:

  • The dialed-in upper provides a secure midfoot wrap and comfortable toe box.
  • The Goldilocks EVA foam cushioning softens impact but doesn’t feel mushy or dead.
  • Meta-Rocker geometry provides smooth transitions and snappy toe-off.
  • Surprising ground-feel and responsiveness for such a cushioned shoe.
  • Accommodates orthotics and runners who need extra support.
  • Lightweight but still durable enough for high mileage.
  • Balanced versatility makes it ideal for everyday training.

The Clifton 7 Is a Consistent Crowd-Pleaser

The Clifton franchise has built a stellar reputation over the past decade, pleasing runners across the spectrum. The Clifton 7 continues that trend with across-the-board improvements dialed in based on user feedback. The shoe provides an adaptable fit, balanced cushioning and lively ride. It’s a consistent crowd-pleaser tailor-made for racking up the miles.

So could the Clifton 7 be one of the best Hoka running shoes of 2022? I’d emphatically say yes. Both new runners and mileage-hungry veterans will love the plush, smooth feel of these shoes. The Clifton 7 will quickly become your new daily driver and favorite companion for everything from marathon training to recovery runs.