Preview: Hoka Clifton 6 || Mix of old & new generations

The new Clifton 6 is a mix of old and new: it’s lighter and softer than recent generations, but keeps the improved fit and durability.

The first three generations of the Hoka One One Clifton (my review of the Clifton 2) were wonderfully plush and lightweight. They were widely adored, to the degree that Hoka recently re-released the Clifton 1 for a limited time.

But v1, v2, and v3 were not flawless. Specifically, the fit was too narrow and low-volume for most; the uppers and outsole didn’t hold up; and the midsole foam lacked resiliency.

With the Clifton 4 (my review) and similar Clifton 5 (my review), Hoka went in a different direction. These versions worked for more runners, because of the wider last, higher-volume interior, and more accommodating upper; and the midsole was firmer and more durable. They’re less fun, but they’re more suitable for everyday use.

The upcoming Clifton 6 is a mix of the old and new generations. It’s lighter and softer than the Clifton 4 and 5, but better fitting and more durable than the Clifton 1, 2, and 3.

The Clifton 6 will be released in June 2019, with an unchanged MSRP of $130. It weighs 9 oz (255 g) for men’s size 9, and 7.4 oz (209 g) for women’s size 7, which is a reduction of 0.3 and 0.4 oz over the Clifton 4 and 5, respectively, but still more than an ounce heavier than the earliest iterations. At this price and weight, few other shoes match the Clifton 6’s cushioning and durability.

TPU overlays have been entirely removed from the upper. The engineered mesh locks down the foot in some areas, and accommodates it in others.

The upper is made exclusively of breathable tech mesh, which is deliberately knit to lock down some areas of the foot (like the arch) and to accommodate it in others (like across the crease). Hoka hopes it is the perfect combination of control and comfort. The TPU overlays have been removed entirely.

The outsole has been re-mapped, with more coverage for improved wear-resistance.

The Clifton 6 has more and more widespread outsole rubber.

The Clifton 6 rides 2 mm lower than earlier generations. Its stack height is 27 mm and 22 mm at the heel and forefoot, respectively, for a drop of 5 mm. The midsole is softer than the Clifton 4 and 5, although not as soft as the Clifton 1, 2, and 3. Resiliency should be more similar to the Clifton 4 and 5, preserving it for everyday use.

The last, midsole, and outsole have been widened under the arch by a few millimeters in order to improve stability and to fit more feet. I’m uncertain how this will affect those with narrower feet. Hoka says that the upper should provide sufficient lock down, but I wonder if some control will be lost.

Questions about the Clifton 6? Leave a comment.

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Posted in on November 13, 2018
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  1. Jean Lee on March 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Quick question! Is this gorgeous color match (blue & yellow) gonna come out for both men and women? I am a female runner who looooves and feel excited with this blue colored Hoka!!!

  2. Melanie Wilson Daniel on April 5, 2019 at 8:03 am

    will this be offered in black for women?

  3. ikkal on April 20, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Is it good for high arch foot?

  4. Sherri T on May 2, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Will there be a knit version? I really like the Clifton 5 Knit.

    • Andrew Skurka on May 3, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      Uncertain. I don’t remember them showing one, but that’s not to say it wasn’t there.

  5. Sarah on May 13, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Do you know when in June this will be released?

    • Andrew Skurka on May 16, 2019 at 8:39 am

      No, I do not.

    • Victoria on May 19, 2019 at 8:58 am

      June 1 according to the web site

  6. deb on May 18, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you for this review. The Clifton 3 was the perfect shoe, in my opinion. I hated the 4 and didn’t even bother with the 5, but this review has me VERY hopeful about the 6. As long as that huge lump in the midfoot is gone, I might buy these 🙂

  7. dougpound on May 19, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Ditto–Loved the 1, really liked the 3. 4 and 5 didn’t work for me at all in the heel and arch. I actually bought several pairs of the 1 when it was re-offered on the Hoka site (and have been happily running in them since. Hopefully this is the 1 or 3 vein.

  8. Veronica on May 28, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    How does the sizing compare to the Clifton 5?

  9. Denise on June 18, 2019 at 2:03 am

    I found the Clifton 5 a little too narrow in the midsole , have the Clifton 6 been made any wider ?

  10. Daniela on June 7, 2020 at 4:37 am

    Hi Andrew,

    Due to corona I ran a lot of miles on concrete the last few months and therefore bought the Clifton 6 yesterday. I wear insoles for my sagging transverse arch (do you say it like this in English?) and have a wider foot.

    Entering the shop I had 2 shoes on my list: Nimbus 22 and Brooks Glycerin. The Nimbus felt stiff and may I say boring? The Glycerin was really nice!

    To my surprise the shop owner suggested to try Hoka Clifton as well. I like cushioning. Up untill yesterday I always thought Hoka is too narrow for my feet. I didn’t know a wide version was on the market.
    First impression: super lightweight, nice fit and lots of cushioning.

    I bought them and tested them right away. A really plush ride but… I started to feel something pushing against my arches after a couple of miles and immediately knew this would mean blisters on my internal lateral arches. I have another pair of running shoes (that stay in the closet due to) causing similar blisters: NB Hierro v3.

    I started reading reviews today on runrepeat about the Clifton 6 (that’s why I am writing you) and one runner said: “The ride is excellent, but that’s totally undone for me by the blistering caused by the high midsole walls.”

    I checked all my running shoes to figure out what a “midsole wall” could be and I think I found out but when putting my insoles in, this (what I think) midsole wall seems to be covered.

    Could it be that the width of the mid section is still not wide enough (although it doesn’t feel too narrow) for my feet?
    Some say they need time to break in but I am not sure this will help if the mid section is not wide enough. Did you ever experience anything similar?

    When it comes to running shoes I became quite uncertain. I ran a long time with forefoot pain, wrong insoles… so I try to read* a lot before buying shoes but in the end the only way to find out is to run in them.


    *I discovered LaSportiva thanks to your reviews. 🙂

    PS. If I have to rank my shoes it would look like this (might give you a better insight)
    1. Brooks Caldera (road/trail)
    2. La Sportiva Akasha (trail)
    3. Salewa Ultra Trainer (hiking/trail)
    4. Brooks Defyance 9 (road) > this is the only shoe in this list bought in a shop and the first one I bought after experiencing forefoot pain. I started running about 5 years ago and the pain started with increasing mileage.

    I also have the Altra Lone Peak 4 but I’m still not sure if a zero drop is my thing.

  11. Joseph on February 14, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    I have 4 pair of these Clifton 6 sz11.5 new old stock I came across if anyone interested?

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