Blast from the past || Review: Clifton 1 Reissue

Winter arrived early on the Colorado Front Range, pushing me out to the gravel multi-use trails and quiet county roads about a month earlier than usual. I wasn’t prepared for it: my inventory of road-worthy shoes consisted of just one pair of Hoka One One Clifton 5 (my review) with nearly 600 miles on them.

Before reaching out to my media contacts, I quickly scanned the online discount aisles for anything irresistible. I found the reissued Hoka One One Clifton 1 at Sierra, which I thought was reasonable for $80 with free shipping.

The Clifton 1 reissue is exactly like the original. It’s a featherweight road-running shoe with plush cushioning.

Review: Hoka One One Clifton 1 Reissue

The Clifton 1 was temporarily reissued last year, essentially in recognition that the modern Clifton is a fundamentally different shoe. The original was featherweight (7.7 oz) and had plush cushioning, making it ideal for long runs and tempos.

But with each successive iteration, the Clifton became heavier and firmer, making it more suitable for pure LSD outings (“long slow distance,” in the school of Coach Frank Mooney). When I reviewed the Clifton 4 and Clifton 5, they came off as reliable but ordinary road trainers.

Stock of the reissued Clifton 1 is dwindling. For men and women, try direct from Hoka. They’re currently marked at $100. Currently, Sierra is sold out in men’s, and has only size 6 in women’s.

In size men’s 11.5, the Clifton 1 weighs a lovely 9.3 ounces. In sample same 9, it’s 7.7 oz.
The outsole consists of rubber in high-wear areas, and foam in low-wear. It was unique at the time, and generally works well. My sole complaint is the lack of rubber under the big toe, where the foam is being visibly worn.

Clifton 1 vs Clifton 2

When the Clifton was initially released in 2014, they didn’t make it on my radar. I did get the Clifton 2, however (my long-term review), and loved them. My hope was that the Clifton 1 would be similar.

Cruising country roads in Boulder County in the Clifton 2, with views of the Flatirons and snow-capped Indian Peaks.

The optimal application of the Clifton 1 and Clifton 2 is nearly identical. Today, for example, I wore them on an 18-miler, averaging 6:30 pace for the last six miles (versus a more cruiser 7:00-7:30 pace). They felt light and snappy.

The fit is different, though. The Clifton 1 is wider in the toebox and midfoot, which relegates them to straight-line running for my narrow feet. If you like the fit of the Clifton 4, 5, or 6, the original Clifton would probably serve you well.

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Posted in , on November 15, 2019

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