Who should buy
Get this all-around Hoka workhorse in the event you:
- Are in search of a cushioned street runner that may comfortably gobble miles.
- Desire a Clifton that may simply deal with simple days, restoration runs, and a few speedwork.
- Want wonderful worth for cash. As a premium day by day coach, the Clifton 9 is extra inexpensive than its competitors, i.e. Saucony Triumph 20 ($160).
Who should NOT buy
Whereas the Clifton 9 comes up wider than any of its predecessors, it nonetheless has that narrow-leaning Hoka match. In case you have large ft and are anxious even the large sizes aren’t sufficient, try the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run 3.
For an additional day by day coach that’s comfortable, comfortable, and good to go from day one, have a look at the Saucony Triumph 20. It is usually way more breathable.
Regardless that the Clifton 9’s higher felt actually gentle and comfy in opposition to the foot, we discovered that breathability was not that good.
Sadly, we needed to fee the shoe a 3 out of 5 on our breathability check, which is beneath the typical for street trainers. As well as, you possibly can see from our transparency check beneath, how the shoe’s air flow holes are constructed into a extremely thick higher materials.
This rating aligns with our microscopic examination, the place we noticed a dense mesh layer mixed with small openings and thinner sections to advertise airflow.
Sporting reasonable breathability, it may not be the best choice for sweltering summer time lengthy runs. Nonetheless, these little holes guarantee adequate airflow for almost day-after-day of the yr.
From our expertise, softer rubbers are likely to fall behind more durable compounds by way of put on resistance. Sadly, our durometer measurement confirmed that this Hoka shoe’s outsole is somewhat softer than common at 76.0 HC.
However after a collection of check runs, it wasn’t as unhealthy as we had anticipated!
The Clifton’s sturdiness is saved by its thicker-than-usual outsole layer! With a caliper measurement of three.7 mm, the rubber on this shoe is barely thicker than common.
This strategy is nice, as it could have been simpler to make use of much less, more durable rubber, saving weight whereas sustaining sturdiness. In return, the shoe’s softer rubber helps to maintain landings much less harsh.
Regardless of having a thicker stack than the v8, the Hoka Clifton 9 nonetheless is available in at a surprisingly lighter weight general.
At simply 8.8 oz (249g), the Clifton 9 weighs 0.7 oz (20g) lighter than your common street operating shoe!
Again to the Clifton 7 stack top.
Seeing 32.7 mm on our caliper, we had been actually blissful about Hoka’s selection so as to add an additional 3 millimeters to the stack top. Those self same 3 mm had been there within the Clifton 7 however disappeared within the Clifton 8.
That method, this Hoka shoe sits on the common of street footwear by way of cushioning thickness.
The corporate states that the shoe’s stack top is 32/27 mm, that includes a 5 mm heel-to-toe drop. Our measurements got here in at 32.7 mm and 26.6 mm leading to a 6.1 mm drop, which is pretty near their declare. Bravo!
Hoka opted for a reasonably normal, padded insole for the Clifton 9. Measuring its thickness within the heel, we received 4.2 mm. Similar as the typical, truly.
Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it’s firm.
The most important headline within the Clifton 9 is its “new” ProFly+ midsole foam—it is a comparable foam to the Clifton 8 however with a barely completely different formulation. We had been blown away by its outstanding softness!
Our lab measurements confirmed our emotions: with a durometer studying of 20.4 HA, this shoe is eighteen% softer than the typical.
Difference in midsole softness in cold
We perceive that lots of you additionally practice throughout harsh winters and are curious in regards to the results of chilly in trainers. Let’s have a look at what occurs!
Nicely… we have got nice information for anybody planning to rock the Clifton 9 in chilly climate! The ProFly foam barely will get agency in any respect!
After letting this Hoka shoe chill within the freezer for 20 minutes, we repeated the measurement and received 24.0 HA as an alternative of the preliminary 20.4 HA. That is a extremely small distinction! And the shoe nonetheless stays a lot softer than the remainder of the “frozen” footwear.
The distinction in firmness seems to be solely 17.6% for the Clifton 9 whereas the typical of street footwear hovers round 28%.
That mixed with the shoe’s much less breathable higher is the inexperienced gentle for utilizing this Hoka shoe on a cold day!
Whereas the Clifton 9 is not as closely rockered because the New Steadiness SC Coach featured within the video beneath, its curved design will support you in each heel-to-toe transition. That is notably noteworthy for heel strikers, contemplating the comparatively low drop.
In comparison with model 8, this ninth version felt extra alive to us. The brand new midsole gave the shoe a extra energetic trip, and the meta-rocker was balanced and straightforward to get in sync with.
Whereas its updates allowed the shoe to choose up some exercise paces, we nonetheless suppose that this Hoka shoe merely would not have sufficient bounce to maintain quick paces effectively.
The Clifton 9 is healthier fitted to clocking up the miles and forgetting all about velocity. It may not be the only option for faster-tempo runs and extra intense actions.
Lateral stability test
Regardless of having no movement management options or particular help within the higher, we expect that the Clifton 9 may work for runners with gentle overpronation. It is usually a lifesaver for impartial pronators who love a contact of help as they get in direction of the tip of the run.
Initially, the shoe is stiff sufficient to supply a steady platform to land on and push off from.
In our hands-on analysis, we rated the shoe on a 1-5 stiffness scale, with 5 being the stiffest. It scored 4 out of 5 for torsional stiffness.
This degree of rigidity prevents the shoe’s platform from rolling sideways simply.
Heel counter stiffness
Hoka is famously acknowledged for its sturdy and inflexible heel counters, and this shoe is simply one other instance.
The Clifton 9’s heel counter is among the many stiffest we have ever rated! We awarded it with the very best rating 5 out of 5!
However the place this shoe actually excels is in offering help for the Achilles area. In the event you’re susceptible to tendinopathies or have a delicate Achilles space, the curved heel cup design is ideal for you.
In contrast to many different footwear that press in opposition to your tendon, this one strikes away from it, avoiding any pointless stress. This might be a game-changer for a lot of runners.
Midsole width in the heel
Within the widest a part of the heel, our caliper confirmed a putting 96.0 mm! That is a superb 6 mm wider than common and is definitely among the many widest we have seen in our lab.
We turned to our pressure gauge to measure how a lot pressure it could take to bend the Hoka Clifton 9 to a 90-degree angle. Because it seems, somewhat than than it takes on common!
Because the gauge confirmed 26.9N, we discovered that the Clifton 9 is 13% extra versatile than street footwear on common.
It appears clear that it is on par with a lot of the comparatively high-stack day by day trainers on the market. So as to add some context, the Ninth version of the favored Clifton is:
Difference in stiffness in cold
Sadly, the Hoka Clifton 9 turns into disappointingly stiffer when uncovered to chilly temperatures!
After sitting for 20 minutes within the freezer, this Hoka shoe requested for as a lot as 48.9N of pressure to bend it! That is method above the typical!
Getting 81.8% stiffer in freezing temperatures in comparison with the typical 43.6% is an excessive amount of!
Grip / Traction
Primarily based on our put on assessments, the shoe’s traction underfoot is fairly good for a street shoe. We have had no issues on gentle trails and even grass.
Toebox width at the widest part
Following our caliper measurements, the toebox match of the Clifton 9 will be categorized as a strong medium. We measured each the widest half and the massive toe space of the toebox to be sure that it did not taper.
For our medium-width ft, the Clifton 9 matches precisely proper. However we expect that wide-footers might find yourself wishing for extra space, particularly on longer distances. Fortunately, this Hoka shoe gives large choices.
Tongue: gusset type
The shoe’s padded and semi-gusseted tongue supplies a extremely cosy but comfy match.
We discovered the tongue to be 6.6 mm thick, which is 38% much less padding in comparison with the earlier mannequin, but 17% greater than the typical operating shoe.
From afar, this higher seems fairly just like the 8. However upon nearer inspection, we noticed the shoe’s knitted textured higher to be extra sturdy, and accommodating.
This thicker materials additionally supplied a safe lockdown that felt particularly good when turning.
What’s extra, Hoka is a highly-regarded model on the planet of triathlon which interprets to the Clifton 9’s extremely gentle and buttery inside. We discovered that its higher permits for an excellent comfy sockless expertise throughout your day by day runs. Simply keep in mind to restrict these ones to below an hour to keep away from any blisters or hotspots.
The flat laces is likely to be a bit lengthy for some runners, however this further size is definitely helpful in the event you plan on utilizing a runner’s knot.
Where’d those numbers go?
One other attention-grabbing tidbit in regards to the Ninth-generation Clifton: the midsole now not has its ‘specs’ printed on the aspect; no must ask Reddit for assist in deciphering what they imply.