Hoka One One continues to step up their game by offering an expansive range of signature light-weight yet heavily-cushioned ‘maximalist’ running shoes.
The newest edition to Hoka’s already popular line-up is the Clayton, a light-weight trainer designed for longer, faster running and racing, both on and off the roads.
Whether you’re looking for a cushioned shoe to go long or even race in, or want to pick up the pace out on the trails, the Clayton is a versatile option that suits all types of training.
Release date: Spring 2016
Type of shoe: Neutral/”Maximalist”
Heel-to-toe Drop: 4 mm (24mm; 20mm)
Weight: 7.3 oz. (men’s size 9), 6.3 oz. (women’s size 9)
Technology: Pro2Lite, RMAT
Price (MSRP): $190
Terrain tested: Roads and trails
Kilometres tested (so far): 230
First impressions matter. It might look big and a tad clunky, but on the foot, the Clayton is super light, sleek-looking and extremely comfortable.
Like other models from Hoka, the Clayton is wide in the forefoot and features a soft and supportive ride that provides maximal cushioning. The stack height is 24mm in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot, making for a 4mm heel-to-toe drop, which aims to produce a more natural, midfoot strike pattern. Additional Meta-Rocker geometry helps runners feel a fast and smooth transition from landing to lift off.
Our testers were simply astonished with how light the shoe truly is, despite it’s rather large appearance. Although not intentionally, the oversized foot frame also provides a great deal of support and stability which was particularly useful when taking the Clayton off road and hitting up some trails.
One unique feature of the shoe is a two-part midsole that is softer in the heel to help absorb the impact of footstrike, but firmer in the forefoot to deliver a more responsive and efficient energy return. The Clayton also features Hoka’s newest Pro2Lite (which stands for protection and propulsion) technology which offers maximum cushioning at the lightest possible weight. Add to this Hoka’s signature RMAT foam outsole and meta-rocker geometry, and the result is a smooth and responsive ride that also feels firm and fast.
One thing our testers noted was the position and degree of arch support which one tester felt put too much pressure and friction on his right arch. This could however be a sizing issue given the amount of width in the forefoot (our tester has narrow feet). It was also the first time he wore the shoe. Subsequent runs did not seem to produce the same issue so it may have just taken some time to “break” the shoe in.
All in all, the Clayton is a truly unique and exceptionally designed shoe that bring together many elements of a great running shoe. It is cushioned yet light. Supportive yet responsive. Durable, fast and versatile for multiple types of training.