Hoka Clifton 9 VS Brooks Ghost 16: What Should I Buy?

Choosing the right running shoe can make a world of difference in your performance, comfort, and overall running experience. Two popular options that often come up in discussions are the Hoka One One Clifton 9 and the Brooks Ghost 16.

Both shoes boast impressive cushioning and support, but they have distinct features that cater to different types of runners. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll dive deep into the details, weighing the pros and cons of each shoe to help you determine which one is the better choice for your specific needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Clifton 9 And Brooks Ghost 16:

FeatureHoka Clifton 9Brooks Ghost 16
Launched In20222024
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityGoodGood
SizingRuns narrowTrue to size
Weight9.5 oz (men’s size 9), 8.8 oz (women’s size 7)9.5 oz / 269.3g
CushionHighMax
OutSoleRubberRubber
Mid SoleCMEVA foamDNA Loft v3
Upper SoleEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price (on official site)$140$140

Features Comparision:

1) Materials: outsole, insole, upper sole

The Hoka One One Clifton 9 features a rubber outsole that provides excellent traction and durability, ensuring a stable and confident stride on various surfaces. The midsole is constructed with CMEVA foam, which offers a plush, responsive cushioning experience. The upper is made of engineered mesh, allowing for breathability and a comfortable, flexible fit.

Clifton 9
CLIFTON 9

BROOKS GHOST 16
GHOST 16

On the other hand, the Brooks Ghost 16 also boasts a rubber outsole for traction and durability. Its midsole utilizes the brand’s proprietary DNA Loft v3 cushioning technology, which aims to deliver a soft, responsive ride. The upper is also crafted from engineered mesh, promoting airflow and a secure, comfortable fit.

2) Durability:

Both shoes are designed with durability in mind, featuring high-quality materials and construction techniques. The Hoka One One Clifton 9 is known for its long-lasting cushioning and outsole, making it a reliable choice for high-mileage runners. The Brooks Ghost 16 also boasts impressive durability, with its robust outsole and cushioning system built to withstand the rigors of regular training.

3) Fit:

Achieving the perfect fit is crucial, and Brooks excels in this area with both the Ghost 15 and Ghost 16. The breathable mesh uppers conform to the shape of your feet, providing a secure yet flexible fit. The lacing systems allow for customized tightness, while the toe boxes offer ample wiggle room.

The heel counters lock your feet in place, preventing unwanted slippage during runs. Additionally, the cushioned insoles and plush midsoles mold to your unique foot shape, delivering a personalized fit that feels like the shoes were made just for you.

4) Stability:

Both the Hoka One One Clifton 9 and the Brooks Ghost 16 are classified as neutral running shoes, meaning they provide a balanced ride without excessive motion control.

They are suitable for runners with a neutral gait pattern or mild overpronation. However, those with severe overpronation or underpronation may require a more specialized shoe.

5) Cushioning:

The Hoka One One Clifton 9 is renowned for its high level of cushioning, thanks to the thick CMEVA foam midsole. This makes it an excellent choice for runners seeking maximum impact protection and a plush, comfortable ride. The Brooks Ghost 16 also features a highly cushioned midsole with the DNA Loft v3 technology, providing a soft, responsive feel underfoot.

6) Value For Money:

Both the Hoka One One Clifton 9 and the Brooks Ghost 16 are priced at $140 on their respective official sites, which is considered a mid-range price point for high-quality running shoes.

Given their features, cushioning, and durability, both shoes offer good value for money, particularly for runners who log significant mileage and prioritize comfort and protection.

Performance Comparision:

1) For Walking:

For walking, both the Hoka One One Clifton 9 and the Brooks Ghost 16 can provide a comfortable and cushioned experience. The Clifton 9’s generous midsole cushioning and rocker design promote a smooth, easy stride, making it an excellent choice for long walks or standing for extended periods.

The Ghost 16’s DNA Loft v3 cushioning and GlideRoll Rocker technology also contribute to a comfortable walking experience, although the Clifton 9 may have a slight edge in overall cushioning.

2) For Running:

When it comes to running, the choice between the two shoes may depend on your personal preferences and running style. The Hoka One One Clifton 9 excels in providing a highly cushioned and protective ride, making it an ideal option for runners seeking maximum impact protection, especially for longer distances. However, some runners may find the Clifton 9 lacking in energy return and responsiveness.

On the other hand, the Brooks Ghost 16 offers a well-balanced combination of cushioning and responsiveness. Its DNA Loft v3 midsole provides a soft, smooth ride, while the GlideRoll Rocker technology enhances transitions and promotes a more efficient stride. This versatility makes the Ghost 16 a solid choice for runners who value cushioning but still prefer a more responsive and energetic feel.

3) For Plantar Fasciitis:

Both shoes can be suitable options for runners dealing with plantar fasciitis, as their cushioned midsoles can help alleviate the strain and discomfort associated with this condition.

However, the Hoka One One Clifton 9 may have a slight advantage due to its thicker and more plush midsole cushioning, which can provide superior impact protection and shock absorption for the heel and arch area.

4) For Standing All Day:

If you spend a significant amount of time on your feet, either shoe can be a comfortable choice. The Hoka One One Clifton 9 is designed with a thick, cushioned midsole that can provide excellent shock absorption and comfort when standing for extended periods. The Brooks Ghost 16 also offers ample cushioning and a smooth ride, making it a viable option for those who need to be on their feet all day.

Final Verdict:

Choosing between the Hoka One One Clifton 9 and the Brooks Ghost 16 ultimately comes down to personal preferences and specific needs. The Clifton 9 shines with its unparalleled cushioning and plush ride, making it an excellent choice for runners seeking maximum impact protection and comfort, especially for longer distances or those with plantar fasciitis.


On the other hand, the Ghost 16 offers a well-balanced combination of cushioning and responsiveness, catering to runners who prefer a more energetic and versatile ride.

Both shoes are high-quality options, but the Clifton 9 may be better suited for those prioritizing cushioning, while the Ghost 16 appeals to those seeking a more well-rounded performance.

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