Hoka Clifton 9 VS New Balance 1080 v12: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka One One Clifton 9 and the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 are two of the most popular neutral cushioned trainers on the market today.

With their plush, comfortable rides and versatility to handle both slow jogs and long runs, these shoes have become go-to options for runners looking for a daily trainer.

But with so many similarities, which of these maximalist shoes performs better? In this in-depth comparison review, we break down the key features and performance of the Clifton 9 and 1080 v12 to help you decide which is the better shoe for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Clifton 9 And New Balance F 1080 v12:

FeaturesHoka Clifton 9New Balance 1080 v12
Launched In20232022
Weight8.8 oz (M), 7.8 oz (W)10.2 oz (M), 8.8 oz (W)
OutsoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
MidsoleCMEVA FoamFresh Foam X
Upper SoleMeshMesh
Retail Price$145$160

Features Comparison:

In this section we have compared some of the top-notch features of both models to see who outperforms the other.


The Clifton 9 uses a breathable engineered mesh upper with minimal overlays, providing a flexible and ventilated fit.

The midsole uses a full-length CMEVA foam which is soft and responsive. The outsole comprises high-abrasion rubber in the heel and softer foam in the forefoot to aid smooth transitions.

Clifton 9

New Balance FF 1080 v12
NB FF 1080 v12

The Fresh Foam 1080 v12 also utilizes a flexible engineered mesh upper for breathability. The bouncy Fresh Foam X midsole provides soft landings without the sinking feel. The full rubber outsole enhances durability.

Overall, both shoes offer high-quality materials for a comfortable ride. The Fresh Foam X midsole technology gives the 1080 v12 a responsive advantage.


Testers found the Clifton 9’s redesigned outsole offered better durability than previous versions, lasting over 300 miles before signs of wear. The CMEVA foam midsole also retains its cushioning for longer than EVA foam.

The Fresh Foam 1080 v12 delivers improved durability versus prior models. The full rubber outsole provides excellent traction and protection from abrasion. Most runners can expect over 500 miles from the shoe.

For longevity, the 1080 v12 wins with its durable Fresh Foam X midsole and full ground contact rubber outsole. The Clifton still provides a decent lifespan for a lightweight shoe.


The Clifton 9 runs short and has a snugger fit than its predecessor. Most runners found sizing up half a size improved the fit. The upper accommodates narrower feet best.

Clifton 9 Top View

New Balance FF 1080 v12 TOP VIEW
NB FF 1080 v12 TOP VIEW

In contrast, the 1080 v12 fits true to size for most runners. The engineered mesh upper provides a comfortable, spacious fit in the forefoot and toe box for wider feet.

If you have a narrow foot, the dialed-in fit of the Clifton 9 may work better. But the 1080 v12 will accommodate wider feet more comfortably.


Despite their plush cushions, both shoes are surprisingly stable. The Clifton 9’s lower drop (5mm vs 8mm in the 1080) enhances the ground feel for better control. The 1080 v12’s wider base improves stability for overpronators.

During runs, testers found both shoes maintained straight and steady strides without leaning or wobbling. The 1080 v12 may have a slight stability edge for overpronators. But both are evenly matched for neutral runners.


The Clifton 9 provides exceptional soft cushioning that makes runs feel effortless. The expanded midsole foam delivers plush landings without feeling mushy. Testers found the cushioning consistent, even over long distances.

The 1080 v12 also delivers ultra-plush cushioning in the heel and forefoot. The Fresh Foam X midsole ensures buoyant landings without losing responsiveness. Most testers felt well-protected, even on harsh surfaces.

For pillow-like cushioning, the Clifton 9 and 1080 v12 are equally impressive. Both offer responsive, marshmallowy soft landings ideal for easy miles.


At $145, the Clifton 9 comes in at a lower price than previous versions. Testers felt the improvements in durability and cushioning made this workhorse trainer well worth the price.

The 1080 v12 has a higher $160 price tag. But the advanced Fresh Foam X midsole and abundance of features like the wide fit and stability justify the cost for neutral runners.

For enthusiasts on a budget, the Clifton 9 delivers better value. But the 1080 v12 is a worthy splurge for serious runners looking to invest in their daily training.

Performance Comparison:

Here we are going to see how the performance of Clifton 9 differs from the NB 1080 V12. This will give you a clear idea on which model you should buy.


The highly cushioned Clifton 9 provides comfortable walking shoes that absorb impact shock with each step. The rockered sole facilitates smooth heel-to-toe transitions while walking.

The 1080 v12 also makes an excellent walking shoe with its plush Fresh Foam X cushioning. The wide forefoot gives toes plenty of room to splay naturally when walking.

For all-day wear, both shoes evenly cushion and support your feet during walking. Their flexible uppers and smooth soles help reduce muscle fatigue.


During runs, the Clifton 9 offers a soft, lively ride. Testers found the responsive foam kept their feet feeling fresh, even after long miles. The rockered profile encourages faster turnover.

The 1080 v12 provides a well-cushioned, natural ride. The Fresh Foam X midsole provides a springy sensation underfoot. The 8mm drop facilitates smooth transitions.

For easy to moderate-pace runs, both shoes provide plenty of cushioning and flexibility to keep you moving comfortably over the miles. The Clifton 9 offers slightly more responsiveness if you want to pick up the pace.

Plantar Fasciitis

The highly cushioned Clifton 9 effectively minimizes pressure on the feet, making it a good choice for runners with plantar fasciitis. The soft midsole absorbs shock evenly across the foot.

The 1080 v12’s thick, responsive foam midsole also does an excellent job of reducing pressure on the plantar fascia and joints. This makes it a great option for runners with plantar fasciitis.

For painful feet, both shoes provide plenty of plush cushioning and support recommended by podiatrists.

All Day Wear

The Clifton 9 offers lightweight comfort for all-day wear. Testers wore the shoes for hours with no foot pain or fatigue thanks to the cushioned construction.

With its spacious, stable fit and plush midsole, the 1080 v12 also makes an excellent all-day shoe for work or travel. The ample forefoot room and arch support reduce foot soreness.

If you’re on your feet all day, both shoes provide the cloud-like cushioning and support needed to stay comfortable. The 1080 v12’s wider fit gives it an edge for extended wear.

Final Verdict:

For runners seeking a well-cushioned daily trainer, both the Hoka Clifton 9 and New Balance 1080 v12 are excellent options. The Clifton 9 shines if you prefer a more responsive ride and dialed-in fit.

But the 1080 v12 is the winner if you want maximum cushioning, a wider fit, and the highest longevity.

With their comfortable rides and versatile performance, you can’t go wrong with either of these maximalist trainers as your new go-to shoe.

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