Hoka Arahi 5 vs Clifton 7: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner looking for your next pair of shoes, you may be trying to decide between the Hoka Arahi 5 stability shoe and the Hoka Clifton 7 neutral cushioned shoe.

Both are popular models from Hoka One One known for their lightweight, responsive feel. But there are some key differences between the two that may make one a better choice depending on your running needs.

In this comparison article, we’ll break down the specs, features, and performance of the Arahi 5 and Clifton 7. We’ll compare the shoes across factors like stability, cushioning, fit, and comfort so you can determine which Hoka is the right pick for you.

FeatureHoka Arahi 5Hoka Clifton 7
Launch Date20212020
StabilityMild StabilityNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight9.6 oz7.8 oz
CushioningDual Density Foam, J-FrameCMEVA Foam
OutsoleDurable RubberDurable Rubber
MidsoleDual Density Foam, J-FrameCMEVA Foam
UpperBreathable MeshEngineered Mesh
Retail Price$295$200

Features Comparison

Materials

The Arahi 5 uses a dual-density midsole foam with a firmer foam on the medial side to provide stability. This is combined with a J-Frame in the midsole to guide the foot through the gait cycle. The outsole is made of durable rubber in high-wear areas. The upper features an open-engineered mesh for breathability.

HOKA ARAHI 5
ARAHI 5

Hoka Clifton 7
CLIFTON 7

The Clifton 7 utilizes a full-length CMEVA foam midsole which is softer and provides more cushioning. The outsole is also durable rubber and the upper is an engineered mesh material.

Durability

Both the Arahi 5 and Clifton 7 are durable shoes that can withstand daily mileage, though the Arahi 5 may have a slight edge. The Arahi’s stability features like the dual-density foam help it maintain its structure for longer.

The Clifton 7’s softer foam may compress and lose responsiveness more quickly. However, both are well-made shoes that can hold up to regular running training.

Fit

The Arahi 5 runs true to size for most runners and offers a secure midfoot lockdown thanks to its padded tongue and laces. The engineered mesh upper is also breathable.

HOKA ARAHI 5 TOP VIEW
ARAHI 5 TOP VIEW

Clifton 7 Top View
CLIFTON 7 TOP VIEW

The Clifton 7 has a roomier fit, especially in the toe box area. This allows more freedom of movement but can cause some sliding in the shoe if you have a narrower foot. The upper is soft and flexible though.

Stability

The Arahi 5 offers mild stability making it a good choice for runners who need some pronation control. The dual-density midsole and J-Frame provide guidance without being overly controlling.

The Clifton 7 has a neutral platform so it does not provide any inherent stability or motion control features. It allows the foot to move more naturally through the gait cycle.

Cushioning

The Arahi 5 has plush cushioning though it is on the firmer end to support the mild stability features. There is ample shock absorption provided in the heel and forefoot.

The Clifton 7 prioritizes soft, flexible cushioning for a comfortable ride. The full-length CMEVA midsole absorbs impact nicely and provides a smooth foot strike.

Value/Price

The Arahi 5 retails for $295 which is on the pricier end for stability running shoes. However, the dual-density foam midsole and stability features justify the higher price for runners who need that extra support.

The Clifton 7 retails for $200 which is a moderate price point for well-cushioned neutral running shoes. The generous CMEVA foam and smooth ride make it a good value at this price.

At $95 more, the Arahi 5 is the more expensive option. The extra stability elements add cost but also provide needed support for certain runners. The Clifton 7 gives you Hoka’s lightweight cushioning at a more affordable price point.

Performance Comparison

For Walking

For walking, the Clifton 7 may be the better choice for most people. The soft CMEVA foam provides plenty of cushioning for low-impact walking, while still offering support.

The roomier toe box allows feet to splay naturally when walking. The Arahi 5 is not unstable by any means but its stability features are less necessary for walking.

For Running

For straight-ahead road running, both shoes work well and it comes down to preference. The Arahi 5 offers a more supportive platform for runners who need some pronation control when fatigue sets in later in runs. The Clifton 7 offers a softer, more flexible ride that some runners prefer for high-mileage training.

For trails or uneven terrain, the Arahi 5 is the safer bet. Its stability features help feet stay aligned on uneven ground. The Clifton 7 lacks those support elements so feet may roll more on trails.

For Plantar Fasciitis

Runners with plantar fasciitis may appreciate the stability and arch support of the Arahi 5. The mild pronation control can help reduce strain and irritation on the plantar fascia ligament. However, the plush cushioning of the Clifton 7 absorbs shock well which may also ease pain from inflammation.

For Standing All Day

For jobs that require standing for long periods, the Arahi 5 is the best option. The stability keeps feet aligned in a neutral position for hours on end. The cushioning also maintains comfort to reduce fatigue. The Clifton 7 lacks the pronation control needed for extended standing.

Final Verdict

In the battle of the Hoka Arahi 5 vs Clifton 7, there is no universally “better” shoe. The right choice comes down to your specific running needs and preferences.

The Arahi 5 is the way to go if you need mild stability for pronation, plantar fasciitis relief, or standing all day. It still maintains the signature lightweight Hoka feel.


The Clifton 7 is ideal for neutral runners focused on soft, flexible cushioning. It provides a plush feel for walking and high-mileage road running.

Analyze your gait, the types of running you do, and any specific foot issues first. Then pick the Hoka model that matches your needs and running style best. Either way, you’ll be getting a high-quality, comfortable shoe known for its dynamic responsiveness on the road.

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