I’ve been wearing Hoka One One Cliftons for about a year. I remember particularly going to the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo with the intent on buying the shoe. I tried them on. Sold. I had previously struggled with plantar fasciitis and had read that the Hoka One One shoes were great for that issue. After a solid training cycle in Cliftons, with very minimal foot pain, I like to think I’ve found my shoe.
The history of Hoka One One is rooted in the ultra running community. The original design, the Mafate, came about when ultra marathoners wanted a shoe that was light enough for ultra marathoning, but well-cushioned enough to pick up speed on descents without beating up on the quads. I can attest that the shoes are light. It’s funny when people pick them up, expecting some clunky heavy shoe only to discover they are very lightweight.
Now, I realize Hoka One One shoes are not from everyone. I mean, they are definitely not your standard shoe. Over four years ago, I remember seeing the shoes for the first time. I was in Paris and I was out running with a run club through the Bois de Boulonge. I spotted them on one of the club leaders and thought, what the heck? The guy wearing them was somewhat of an elite athlete and spoke very highly of them, but I had my doubts (as if I was in a position to doubt him!).
After multiple pairs of Cliftons and experiencing the benefits of the cushioned shoe first hand, I consider myself as more of a seasoned Hoka One One fan. With that in mind, this past weekend I decided to dabble in some of their MAX cushion models. I’ve been upping my mileage, so the extra cushion is welcomed. I also find that my Cliftons seem to wear out quicker than I’d like. Particularly, I found this during the winter when the roads were very salty.
I decided to go with the Bondi 3 model. There is a Bondi 4 available now, but unfortunately not yet in Canada. The Bondi is about 3.5 oz heavier than the Clifton, and makes up for that weight in plushness. I now consider my Clifton’s my racing flats, and shoe for speed work, and my Bondis my shoe for recovery and long-distance training runs.