Hoka seems to be receiving very positive reviews from runners across the board when it comes to their running shoes. When it comes to fit, weight and use, it appears that Hoka is making their mark with the One Bondi 3 and the Clifton. Since both are receiving much praise from runners, this comparison should help those that are trying to make a decision between the two.
The Hoka Bondi 3
This model works for runners with injuries. These shoes, as others in the Hoka line, are light weight and provide a thicker cushioned sole which absorbs more of the impact when running. This is valuable to runners who have previous foot injuries. They’re provided with better support and protection. It is for both trail and road running.
The light weight nature of these shoes gives the runner the feel as if they are running barefoot without the risk of actually doing so. While the thick cushioning catches some people by surprise it doesn’t add to the weight of the shoe by much and provides a good level of support.
Impact absorption is the one thing that all those who have these shoes can agree upon. This along with the weight of the shoe is the best features especially for those that have past injuries. Which, impact can be an issue for anyone who doesn’t have an injury also so it is a win for an injured or non-injured runner when it comes to comfort.
Taking a look at the cons of the Bondi 3 these things can be a concern for anyone looking for a good running shoe. When looking for a comfortable shoe these are things that can make or break a shoe. Who really wants to wear a shoe that is going to hurt their feet while running a 2k?
Tongue placement seems to be corrected by switching from the quick release laces to the standard laces, giving the runner more room to align how tight or lose they need the laces to be to change the placement of the tongue on the top of the foot. The toe box on the other hand is still considered small. Most have seemed to correct this problem by cutting the toe box. That can correct the problem but for price point of these shoes having to do so seems like a bit of a waste. Overall the Bondi 3 has received high marks.
Full review of the Hoka Bondi
The Hoka Clifton
It comes in different colors and is popular for it’s boat-like appearance. The sole is thick that it gives a reliable shock absorption.
While the Clifton is mainly for road/pavement running there are those that decided to take them to trails and found that they are true to what they are made for, the road. Shock absorption was good and the width of the sole allowed for a smoother run on flat surfaces. These also give the runner the feeling of being barefoot due to the weight and given that the Clifton is actually lighter than the Bondi 3 might give the runner a better run with less muscle fatigue. Runner with injuries also found that the Clifton also provided the same amount of support and comfort.
The look of these shoes seems to be something that puts the runner off. They appear to be a larger, chunkier shoe but once worn the look is no longer a concern.
These are built for running on the road/pavement. When taken off road and onto the trails they actually maybe too soft, giving the runner cushioning but no side support. There was also mention of slippage but that seems to be from those that actually ordered a half size bigger due to previous experience with a smaller toe box.
Full review of the Hoka Clifton
Comparison of price and weight
Just like the Bondi 3 the Clifton has also gotten high marks with customers. They are also light weight and offer a thick cushioned insole. The actual difference with the Clifton is it is actually lighter by a few ounces which can make a difference when looking for a running shoe. Overall the reviews and specs are virtually the same. The variation in the weight of the shoe is the main difference between the two and it also seems that the toe box is not as much of an issue with the Clifton.
Both have a similar price point so when it comes to the Hoka Clifton and the Bondi 3, roughly $130 MSRP, it actually comes down to a few cents in terms of price. The Clifton is also more popular with runners, this could be a marketing issue or some sticking with the shoe that they know and not wanting to branch out to others in the Hoka line.
Overall the Clifton seems to be the winner when it comes to running shoes in the Hoka line. Customers love the weight, cushioning, bigger toe box and while the look of them still seems to throw some customers off once they have tried them on and tested the Clifton out it becomes their shoe of choice.
The look may not be everyone’s cup of tea but overall once over that the Clifton has provided a smooth run, cushioning, shock absorption and kept muscle fatigue and injury to a minimum.