I’ve reviewed several Hoka One One running shoes before and since All4Running gave me the chance to try the Clifton 7 and the Elevon 2, I decided to do a comparison between the Clifton and the Elevon series.
The Clifton series was popular from the start. Especially the first version, so much so that Hoka recently brought back the first version for a short period of time. The Clifton 3, 4 and 5 didn’t seem to be that popular, but with the Clifton 6 Hoka did seem to be back on the right track.
The Elevon series doesn’t have such a long track record. I tried the first version last year and got to try the second version this year. I also got to try the Clifton 6 last year and the Clifton 7 this year.
|Clifton 6||Clifton 7||Elevon||Elevon 2|
|Drop||5 mm||5 mm||5 mm||5 mm|
|Heel stack||30 mm||27 mm||33 mm||32 mm|
|Forefoot stack||25 mm||24 mm||28 mm||27 mm|
|Weight||216 g||201 g||244 g||241 g|
Both series have the same drop. There does seem to be a bit of difference between stack heights, but then I also found different numbers for those and I don’t think that’s the most important difference anyway. A thing that is noticeable, is the weight. The Clifton series is lighter and especially the Clifton 7. For a shoe with a lot of midsole it’s quite light.
I wasn’t particularly impressed with the first version of the Elevon. It wasn’t the smoothest ride and it was also a bit unstable. The outsole also wasn’t the most durable. Another problem with the outsole was that it easily picked up small objects between the flex grooves.
Hoka One One clearly tried to fix some of these issues in the second version of the Elevon. With a different lacing system it tried to fix some of the stability issues of the first version. And they gave it a more durable outsole in the second edition. However, they also made the outsole more tapered than in the first version, which makes the heel to toe transition more difficult at lower speeds. And unfortunately it still picks up small twigs or stones in the flex grooves.
Compared to the Elevon the Clifton series has an easier heel to toe transition since the outsole is less tapered than that of the Elevon and it’s a bit softer. Especially the Clifton 7, which they’ve made a bit softer than the 6. They have also changed the upper of the 7 and it now looks a bit more modern and it’s a bit more breathable. It now also has the elf-ear heel counter, which generally creates less friction between the shoe and your achilles. Less blisters is always a plus. The Clifton series is also a more stable shoe than the Elevon. The platform is quite wide and it can therefore also be used on easy trails.
In conclusion, out of the two I prefer the Clifton series and especially the Clifton 7. I think the Clifton series is more suitable for a wider range of runners. It’s a stable ride for when your feet get a little tired. Hence why I ran some (half) marathons with them. The Elevon is stiffer, a bit less stable and the heel to toe transition is more difficult unless you pick up some speed. But the Clifton is not the most speedy shoe or the one with the most energy return either. There are enough other shoes ont the market if you are looking for a fast shoe (including some of the Hoka Carbon series). And also the heel to toe transition of the Clifton could also be improved, since you sometimes just rock back unto your heel with it due to the midsole being a bit softer.