Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet My Ugly New Running Shoes - The Hoka Cliftons!

 
To channel Chandler Bing, could these soles BE any thicker??

I know.  When it comes to running shoes, it doesn't get much uglier than these clumpy-looking, orthopedic-ish boats.  And the color - geez.  Apparently 2014 is the year of coral running shoes for me - first with my Brooks Transcends, and now with these Hoka Cliftons.  Not my favorite color by a long shot, but this goes to show you that I don't choose my running shoes for looks.  Comfort and fit are the most important things for me.

I have to say, these boats...er shoes, are extremely comfortable.  They are super lightweight, and that's coming from someone who was already wearing fairly lightweight running shoes:
The official, out-of-the-box weight is 6.8 oz - I guess I've already sweated enough in them to change that!
The official, out-of-the-box weight is 10.4 oz, but I've been wearing these since February, so I'm sure there's a lot of accumulated sweat and dirt weighing them down.

I liked my Brooks Transcends, but knew I needed another pair to alternate with since I'm running four days a week now.  Nothing will break down your shoes faster than never giving them a chance to dry out, and while I had purchased these before I heard Mike Rouse speak, I was even more glad I did, because he recommended switching up your shoes every time you run.  

I have some feet issues - I suspect I've got a nice little case of plantar fasciitis happening in my left heel, and I've also had some Achilles pain in that same foot for about nine months now.  I want to run, so I need to do everything I can to make sure I CAN run.  That includes a lot of stretching specific to those issues, rolling my foot on a nubby ball (Foot Rubz - it's awesome), ice, Motrin, and never walking barefoot - I have a pair of Orthaheel flip flops parked by my bed and I put them on as soon as I get up.  My next option was getting a pair of shoes that made me feel like I was walking on marshmallows...and these Hoka Cliftons do exactly that.

I've had the Hokas for about a month now, and can honestly say that I love them.  I've been forcing myself to alternate them with my Transcends, because it's supposed to be better for the shoes and my feet/legs...but if I could, I'd wear them for every run.  I can actually feel the sole cushioning my feet as I land my steps, and I might be imagining things, but it also feels like they make me spring upward as I lift my feet from the pavement.  Plus, they provide a great cushion against rocks and uneven concrete - I was running before dawn, and at one point realized that I was going to land on a bumpy part of sidewalk that was torn up and it was too late to change my landing direction.  I was pleasantly surprised to feel the shoe absorb the chunk of concrete and yet I didn't get a jarring pain in my heel.  That was a happy discovery!

As with most running shoes, Hokas aren't cheap, but the Cliftons run about $30-$40 less than most other Hoka styles.  Mine cost $130, but I had a 20% discount, so they rang up at $104, woohoo!  Yep, you know I'm deep into running when I celebrate *only* paying $104 for a pair of shoes.

33 comments:

  1. Hmmm, how many miles are on the Transcends? I've been rotating shoes for about a year now (I even log miles for each pair to make sure I am switching for each run), and a new pair pretty much always feels a little springy. Also, be careful with that Achilles! Mine tightened up just reading that, a strain there can be so painful.

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    1. I've got about 200 miles on the Transcends - thanks for asking, because that's more than I realized. Not a ton, but I'm glad I've bought the new shoes because the Transcends also wouldn't have lasted to my races in Dec/Jan.

      And yes, the Achilles pain (which has been better, I think ::knock wood::) feels like a ticking time bomb. :(

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  2. One of the best pieces of vacation advice I ever got was to alternate pairs of shoes each day. What a difference that made when we went to Disney World. My feet never got tired after a week.

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    1. EXCELLENT advice! A small thing, but I bet it paid off big time.

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  3. They are not really pretty but that's not important. Alternating with your running shoes is something I learned at the very beginning of my running "career". I always have 3 pairs of running shoes. I also do this with my walking shoes, have 2 pairs of those too.

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    1. Three pairs? I'm jealous. I guess I need to loosen the purse strings a little more and make sure I always have a couple pairs of running shoes at the same time.

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  4. I will have to give this some thought.....if I ever begin running consistently again! No...not if ever...WHEN! (starting in about 5 minutes...I'd say sooner but maybe,must maybe I should actually get dressed before I head out, for some reason a night shirt isn't probably appropriate running gear)

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  5. Oh, I hope you don't have PF! Did you see that stat in Runner's World about how long it REALLY takes to get rid of that? They always say 6 weeks but I've found it to be more like 5-6 months. You should consider doing the frozen water bottle to roll under that foot when you're sitting and knitting. It really does help.

    Same issue of RW gave the Cliftons a great review: Editor's Choice!

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    1. Firl, ME TOO on the PF. But signs are pretty strong for it. :(

      I saw that RW endorsement and was all "woohoo, I'm ahead of the game!" - LOL

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  6. I don't think they're bad looking. But what's with the name? That makes them sound like they are for an old man LOL. And they only make them in one color? Interesting. Not a bad choice. But I like a lot of color choices in my "running shoes." That's the most important aspect to me : )

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    1. Haha, old man. Lemme just get Clifton and his cane and we'll go for a stroll. ;)

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    2. Oh, they also came in a white pair, but egad, that was even worse than the salmon!

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  7. I just bought a pair of the Cliftons Saturday. I got the purple ones. I can't wait to take them for a "spin" this week. They do feel like walking on clouds!

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    1. Sweet! We should get a picture of all Hoka wearers on Saturday. :)

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  8. It makes all the difference to get good shoes - I finally used a $100 gift card I had and got my feet videotaped while I walked and ran to see what shoes would work for me. I still had to spend $20 of my own money, but so worth it!

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    1. I know that was a big deal for you to spend that kind of money on shoes, but I'm glad you did, and glad you see what a difference getting fitted can make! :)

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  9. They are not so bad, but they are just very clunky looking. But what works for you works for you! :)

    SlimIntoONEderland.blogspot.com

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    1. They are clunky looking, for sure. I was really surprised that they don't feel clunky, and that I haven't tripped over them. :)

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  10. YES, those soles COULD be thicker! Have you seen the Altra Olympus? They look like orthopedic shoes but I love them. So comfy. I want to wear them every day on my training run but I don't because I want to save them for my marathon and half. ( and apparently they are out of stock and have been for quite some time). I have heard the hokas are comfy too!

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  11. Thinking about them but not ready to spend the extra bucks.

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    1. Next time you need shoes, try them on - I'm curious what you think of them.

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  12. I have had PF on and off for the last 18 months. Fingers crossed that you have caught it early enough to treat effectively. Please could you tell me more about your orthoheel flip flops? The range here is the UK is terrible and I really love bare feet which is probably not helping me, if I could find something decent perhaps I could finally help myself. thanks

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    1. The Orthaheels are actually now called Vionic, but it's the same shoe. They have a firm arch and a molded footbed that gives great support, you really shouldn't be going barefoot if you have PF. Try a pair if you can.

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    2. Thanks Shelley, googling immediately :o)

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    3. Hi Shelley, I am now the proud owner of a pair of vionics and after only 3 days I can already feel the difference. Thank you

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    4. That is awesome! Glad to hear this. :)

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  13. I am ready to swear an oath that Orthaheel has cured my PF. I started with the 3/4 inserts and wore them constantly, then at the beginning of spring I bought 2 pair of flip flops and just the other day I noticed that I have ZERO heel pain. I can probably wear cheaper shoes now, but heck the Orthaheels are so comfy I don't know if I could go back!! Hate to tell you, but I think it took me a good 8 or 9 months to get rid of my PF. The stretching was a though - keep doing that. Good luck!

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    1. I've heard the timeframe for PF but am choosing to ignore it. Hoping the shoes and stretching will be enough to keep me running. If I needed to wear other shoes besides my running shoes, I'd get a pair of the Orthaheel/Vionic inserts. I'm with you - they are wonderful!

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  14. *a big help though. Not sure what happened to that part of my sentence!!

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  15. I'm new to running, in fact, I just joined a class that takes you from "couch potato" to "5k". I didn't join for the 5K or think that I could even do a 5K, I was the kid who brought a doctor's note to get out of running the mile or P.E. afterall. The one thing I was most concerned about in my running choice was foot or heel pain. I was told that the pain is actually from the calf; strengthen and massage the calf, and no more pain. It's been working for me, when I feel heel pain, I take a roller thingy I got from Target's fitness dept. and massage my calf and then I can walk normally. I hope one day I can just run and not have to massage, but I'm just starting out.

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  16. Man, I love those shoes -- I am loving all the garish colors that are so trendy right now especially since I have to live in sneakers these days. I'm going to check out this brand on Zappos -- as long as they have good stability and arch support, I am in.

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