by Rebecca Tadema-Wielandt, Marathon Sports Yarmouth store manager

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First thing’s first: I have been running in Hoka ONE ONE – the Clifton and Clifton 2 – for a couple of years. Hoka sparked my curiosity with their maximum cushioning and meta rocker technology, so I gave them a shot. It took me some time to become accustomed to the lower drop; at 4.5 mm it was lower than my typical neutral running shoe. Once I got used to the fit and feel though, I was hooked.

 

I loved the Clifton but still wanted something a bit more responsive. At the time, the Clifton was the lightest shoe Hoka had on the market, but I craved something with a little more pop. I tried other shoes that offered a more traditional running shoe experience, but kept going back to my Cliftons. I promise this is a review of the Clayton, we’re getting there!

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Our Hoka Sales Rep, Tony, came down to the Yarmouth store to host a Run Club (Thursday nights at 6:15!) and we all had a chance to test out the Clayton and the Vanquish 2 (also a new favorite of mine but that review is for another day).
The first thing you notice when you put on the Clayton is the weight: at 6.3 oz. they are an ounce lighter than the already super light Clifton!

 

The second thing you notice is the wide toe box, I found the second edition of the Clifton to be a bit on the narrow side, so extra room to wiggle my toes was a welcome change.

Off we went on our usual route, and from the first step these kicks felt blazing fast! I couldn’t help but push the pace right out of the gate, they were responsive and down right zippy feeling. My run club buddies agreed – the Clayton felt like a Hoka, but no Hoka we had tried before. By the time we hit the turn around I was sold.

Other noteworthy details: Hoka nailed the fit in the tongue – a thin tongue with just enough padding to keep it in place. A comfortable hug in the arch and a wonderfully wide toe box allowing the user to really feel some power through the push off.

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I have taken the Clayton through a range of workouts since then, easy runs, tempo, trails and a 10 miler. I’ve been really happy with the fit and feel and will test their racing powers this weekend at the notoriously fast and flat YPD 5k. Can’t wait!

 

Here’s the lightning round review:

Hoka lists this shoe for lightweight training but I say if you’re already training in something equally light, like the Saucony Kinvara or the New Balance Zante, you can use the Clayton for a variety of distances and workouts.
Category: Neutral, Road
Weight: Women’s (size 9) 6.3 oz. Men’s (size 9) 7.3 oz. 
Offset: 4mm
Feel: Soft heel+Firm Forefoot=explosive propulsion
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