HOKA ONE ONE Clifton Edge – Am I edgy enough?
Three very different athletes give us their take on the new released HOKA ONE ONE Clifton Edge. We asked Triathlon Australia president Michelle Cooper, Australian 100km World Champion representative Dion Finocchiaro and professional duathlete Matt ‘Smithie’ Smith for their impressions on the striking new release.
Triathlon coach, motivational speaker and Australia’s first female Triathlon Australia president Michelle Cooper describes herself as conservative and someone who thrives on routine, familiarity and structure.
Normally she trains in the HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 4, a best-selling road running shoe with HOKA ONE ONE’s J-Frame sole offering comfort and stability.
“When I opened a box with a pair of shoes [Clifton Edge] that clearly are more ‘square peg / round hole’ types, I definitely felt the surge of a rapid heart rate taking over,” Michelle says.
“But if I have learned anything lately it is to trust more, question less. Trust myself, trust others, trust the process. I looked at them for a few days, circling the box in the living room, checking them out from every angle before putting them on my feet and just walking out the door.”
For her first test run, Michelle traced a familiar flat 9km loop around Brisbane, immediately noticing how light the shoes are compared to her usual Arahi 4. The Clifton Edge women’s weigh 204g compared to the Arahi 4, which weigh 228g.
“There was a strange combination of making my feet work harder inside the shoe from the extra space and lack of stability, yet remarkably stable under foot as I ran completely messing with my head’s expectations,” she recalls.
Two days later she tried another similar distance finding comfort and no complaints and by the end of the week she was confident enough to run 20km and didn’t give the shoes a second thought.
“They’re just the way I like my shoes actually. The wider platform and extended heel were helpful as my legs started to tire heading into almost 70km of running over a few days, kept me stable over a few garden beds (long story!), and yet were light and quiet on completely empty streets around West End,” she sayd.
“My curiosity is piqued for sure and they have a place in my shoe stable as a result. As usual, change is a good thing, just don’t push me totally over the edge.”
Melbourne-based Level 2 running coach and remedial massage therapist Dion Finocchiaro, who despite working up to 80 hours a week these days, has found solace in running during the coronavirus restrictions and sets himself a weekly distance running goal of 150km.
He had heard the Clifton Edge were meant to a more roomy shoe than the sold out Clifton 6 but with more stability and says “from the moment I laid eyes on them they would deliver in style”.
“I really noticed how Clifton Edge provided me with a great level of comfort and a smooth ride from the first moment I put them on,” Dion says.
“The extra traction on the Clifton Edge are awesome for wet weather running. Even though these shoes are stylish for casual wear, I’ve taken mine for a few runs in the mud.”
On the other side of the country, Matt ‘Smithie’ Smith has been working on nothing but speed in the past four months, setting a new 10km personal best of 30mins29secs in May for the HOKA ONE ONE Iso Running Festival and finished second in the Keep on Running 5000m invitational at the WA Athletics Stadium at the end of June. He came agonizingly close to a new personal best, running 14mins 18sec, missing the time by 1second.
A regular vlogger of HOKA ONE ONE shoes, Smithie has found the Clifton Edge to be light, fast but also extremely versatile.
“The sole which uses two different foams, gives you the famous HOKA cushion feel, but also more than enough pop and responsiveness to really pick up the pace in. I feel like I can use this shoe for my easy runs all the way through to my track workouts,” he says.
Standouts for him was the big, streamlined, pull tab at the rear for getting the shoe on and the elongated heel platform, which provides extra stability when impacting with the ground.
“I found I felt super stable on the road as well as when running on light trails. I felt like I could put my foot down with confidence, whatever the terrain,” he says.
“This shoe is incredibly futuristic looking. It catches your eye. From the bold, bubbly colours, to the heel platform, to that big pulltab. When you walk into a shop looking at a dozen shoes, this one is the one guaranteed to catch your eye every time.”