It may look like we pulled these from the closet from what in the world was something thinking but what the Clifton Edge truly represents is Hoka’s commitment to pushing their limits and continually innovating. That crazy heel is throwing most people, but it really does have a purpose which we will get into later in the review. So the real question, is the Edge a novelty or actually something more and how do they perform?
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- From the HOKA department of “what on earth”, but then you run in them and go…
- Featuring an extended midsole for a larger, more cushioned landing.
- Weighs in at 8.9oz or 252g for a US Men’s 9.
- Has 29mm of cushion and features a 5mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $160.00 USD and comes in 2 colors for Men and Women.
So what can we say, I mean first impressions…the Clifton Edge is just bonkers looking. First, the upper feels like a super upgraded Clifton 6, but when your eyes hit that midsole… just wow. Many of us had seen the TenNine, which was the first Hoka to use this extended heel and in an even greater way but they were more of a statement than something that felt practical. The Clifton Edge changes all that.
On the foot, the upper feels like many other Cliftons but that updated yarn gives it a really premium look. First off, they run big so definitely consider going down a half size. You can run them in your normal size as the lace lock is solid and the heel and collar hold you in place really well. They do look monstrous on your feet regardless of your size and that it is all due to that extended midsole. That being said, the extended midsole feels REALLY good. It doesn’t necessarily feel normal for a running shoe, but it has a nice bounce and the landing pad is so big it is a little crazy.
Note that while leaving for first runs in these, we almost took a tumble down the stairs a few times because we totally spaced on the heel being there. We have seen other reviewers mention this and we thought, “never us”, but of course it happened and it’s easy to see why. So do be careful.
Out in the run, the general consensus was they feel like a slightly more cushioned Clifton, but other than that they don’t feel much different. The ride is really smooth and all that cushion really delivers a comfortable run experience. The Clifton Edge have now seen many many miles and we kind of didn’t want to like them, but they grew on us quite a bit. Sure they look a little funny, but at every distance, the run experience was quite pleasant. No lower leg pain, the knees were happy, and overall the shoe performed well. After all the runs we did question a bit if that extended heel was necessary at all though, most midfoot strikers will never even contact that area unless they are on a pretty steep decline but it didn’t hurt anything so… cool?
The upper is a fully upgraded version of past Cliftons using a new embossed TPU yarn. This makes them not only look great but given the excess stitching in the forefoot and lacing column, it provides you additional support as well. A new padded collar gives you more comfort around the ankle and then that pull tab just makes it easier to get them on and off. The tongue stays in place and doesn’t roam much and the laces do a great job of not backing off during the run.
The midsole might look a little weird, but in reality, it is all Hoka. It does use a newer more resilient foam, but still has its Meta-Rocker design which encourages a more natural foot transition. That crazy extended heel is there to deliver a softer landing area and provide a better transition from heel to toe. As always, there is still plenty of foam here as these deliver 29mm of cushion.
The outsole on the Clifton Edge is composed of a rubberized EVA that wraps around the entire standard midsole. This delivers additional durability, a decent amount of traction, and then inevitably better ground feel.
Style & Aesthetics
The midsole is obviously super weird looking, but Hoka did a great job with the color options on the Hoka. Even the white colorway looks pretty awesome especially given the use of the midsole contrast colors. If you can forgive the heel, then it really looks like what we would call the Clifton 6.5 more than anything.
The Hoka Clifton Edge is clearly more than just some sort of weird science project of a shoe that Hoka thought might be a fun attempt. The midsole is a really comfortable ride and while a good portion of runners will never land that far back making us question its utility outside of downhills, the rest of the shoe has such a solid feel that you can ignore it for the most part. If you have been running in a Clifton 6 for a while, then give these a try and if you are a really heavy heel striker then you are also a great candidate. Please just be careful going down any stairs, it is really easy to forget that heel is there.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.