My current marathon wheels.

After the knee scare before Chicago Marathon, I knew I needed a shoe with a little more cushion. I loved the Adidas Adizero Adios because they feel like running in socks, super lightweight. This was also part of the problem.

I had pounded out over 1000 miles in them, with undoubtedly poor technique. I needed a bit more response from the ride. I made what is commonly known as the cardinal sin in marathon training, and changed my shoes about a month out from the race, going for the Hoka One One Clifton 4.

Although they look bulky and aggressive, the Clifton is actually a neutral cushioned shoe, meaning their aim is not to guide your foot or support it to land in a certain way, like a stability shoe would. Having gotten used to heavier stability shoes over the years, a neutral shoe with some cushioning still feels quite light to me. Although the Clifton 4 is around 40g heavier than the Adizero (It makes a difference over 26.2 miles!), I feel the extra support is worth the weight, it is still a pretty light shoe!

I have to say they have worked a treat, they are just a solid all round shoe, I have even used them for a bit of trail running on sunnier days. Totted up well over 500 miles in them now and they still feel fresh and responsive when I lace them up. I imagine I’ll run most of this years road marathons in them. I’m also very tempted to pick up a few more pairs on the cheap if I see them, If it ain’t broke….

From the outside, it appears as if your foot sits on the white foam, but this is not where the actual sole starts inside the shoe, your feet sink down nicely below this line. Hoka definitely subscribe to a strong aesthetic, which, if it isn’t your thing, could be off-putting, but performance wise, I cannot fault their shoes.

I managed to pick mine up from Sportsshoes.com for around £65, as the Clifton 5 had just been released, (see ‘Thoughts on Shoes’ post).

In Queens, NYC a week after the Chicago Marathon.

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