Hoka Clifton 9 vs Nike Infinity RN4: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka Clifton 9 and Nike Infinity RN4 are two of the most popular daily trainers on the market. Both shoes provide high levels of cushioning and comfort, making them ideal for easy runs and recovery days.

But with different specs and features, which max-cushioned trainer performs better? This in-depth comparison breaks down the key similarities and differences to help you decide which shoe is best for your needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Clifton 9 And Nike Infinity RN4:

FeatureHoka Clifton 9Nike Infinity RN4
Launched In20232023
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingNarrowWide
Weight9.2 oz (M), 7.8 oz (W)9.8 oz (M), 8.2 oz (W)
CushionHighHigh
OutsoleRubberRubber
MidsoleCMEVA foamReact foam
UpperMeshMesh
Retail Price$145$190

Features Comparison:

We have compared the features of Infinity RN4 and Clifton 9 to see which is better value for money.

Materials

The outsoles on both shoes use rubber for durability and traction. The Clifton 9 has a full-length rubber outsole while the Infinity RN4 uses rubber in high-abrasion areas. For the midsole, the Clifton 9 uses CMEVA foam which is soft and responsive.

Clifton 9
CLIFTON 9

Nike InfinityRN 4
INFINITY RN4

The Infinity RN4 uses Nike’s React Foam which aims to provide a smooth, stable ride.

In terms of uppers, both shoes utilize breathable mesh material for ventilation during runs. However, the Clifton 9’s upper is more minimal with fewer overlays compared to the Infinity RN4’s engineered mesh upper designed for structure and support.

Durability

When it comes to durability, both the Clifton 9 and Infinity RN4 are built to last.

The Clifton 9 has a durable rubber outsole and CMEVA midsole that maintains cushioning for hundreds of miles. The upper is also made to resist wear and tear.

Similarly, the Infinity RN4’s React midsole foam maintains its bounce over time and the rubber outsole provides protection.

The engineered mesh upper is also durable. However, some reviewers have reported durability issues with the Infinity RN4 outsole wearing down quicker than expected.

Overall, both shoes can handle high mileage but the Clifton 9 seems to have slightly better longevity according to user reviews.

Fit

The Clifton 9 runs narrow so it won’t work well for runners with wide feet. There is limited room in the toe box and it has a snug midfoot wrap.

Meanwhile, the Infinity RN4 has a wider fit through the midfoot and forefoot. It accommodates wider feet better. In terms of sizing, the Clifton 9 fits true to size for most.

Clifton 9 Top View
CLIFTON 9 TOP VIEW

Nike Infinity RN4 Top view
INFINITY RN4 TOP VIEW

The Infinity RN4 runs slightly long so sizing down half a size may provide a better fit. Both shoes have a medium volume but the Infinity RN4 has a higher instep.

For lockdown, the Clifton 9 offers a more secure midfoot hold while the Infinity RN4’s wider fit leads to some looseness. The Clifton 9 will work better for narrow feet while the Infinity RN4 is ideal for wide feet.

Stability

The Hoka Clifton 9 and Nike Infinity RN4 are both classified as neutral shoes so they don’t provide inherent stability features. However, the Clifton 9’s narrow build and snug midfoot wrap help keep the foot stable inside the shoe. The rockered sole also promotes forward motion and a smooth transition through the gait cycle.

While the Infinity RN4 has a wide fit that allows for some foot movement, the React foam midsole and full ground contact outsole offer decent midfoot support and stability for neutral runners. Both shoes are evenly matched when it comes to stability for neutral pronators.

Cushioning

In terms of cushioning, the Clifton 9 and Infinity RN4 are on par with each providing a very soft, cushioned ride.

The Clifton 9 uses a thick layer of CMEVA foam that absorbs impact and provides plush padding underfoot without feeling mushy. The rockered design also makes each step feel smooth and supported.

Similarly, the Infinity RN4 utilizes React foam that aims to deliver an optimal blend of softness and bounce. Testers found the cushioning comfortable yet responsive.

Overall, both shoes excel at providing high cushioning that attenuates impact during easy miles but the Clifton 9’s rockered profile gives it a unique soft, flowing ride.

Value

When considering value, the Hoka Clifton 9 has a retail price of $145 while the Nike Infinity RN4 costs $190.

Both provide premium cushioning and performance making them reasonably priced options in the daily trainer category. The extra $45 for the Infinity RN4 can be justified by Nike’s reputation and use of innovative React foam.

However, the Clifton 9 still represents a great value for runners looking for a comfortable workhorse shoe from a top brand. Its lower price point and proven cushioning technology make it a bit more wallet-friendly.

If budget is a concern, the Clifton 9 could be the better choice but the Infinity RN4 is also a solid option for runners willing to pay more for React foam and the Nike name.

Performance Comparison:

Here we will compare the performance of these iconic models from Hoka and Nike to see which isa better value for money.

Walking

For walking, the Clifton 9 and Infinity RN4 both provide plush cushioning to keep feet comfortable when worn all day. The rockered sole of the Clifton 9 gives it an advantage by promoting smooth heel-to-toe transitions during walking gait.

However, the Infinity RN4’s wide forefoot platform also allows natural walking motion. Overall, while both are cushioned and comfortable, the Clifton 9’s rockered profile gives it the edge for all-day walking use and casual wear.

Running

For running, the Clifton 9 focuses on providing a soft, smooth ride optimized for easy-paced miles. The rockered geometry encourages fluid toe-off motions. Meanwhile, the Infinity RN4 offers responsive React foam that works well for daily training runs across paces from easy to uptempo.

The Infinity RN4 has greater versatility making it the better choice for dynamic runs. However, slower runners who stick to mostly slower paces may appreciate the softer, more fluid cushioning of the Clifton 9. For those training at varied intensities, the Infinity RN4 is the more agile, responsive option.

Plantar Fasciitis

For plantar fasciitis, both models provide ample cushioning to soften impact and reduce pain caused by inflammation. The plush foam midsoles absorb shock evenly across the foot. However, the rockered shape of the Clifton 9 facilitates a more natural foot motion that may feel better for some runners with plantar fasciitis.

The smooth transition encouraging gait can help relieve tension and strain on the plantar fascia. For this reason, the Clifton 9 gets a slight edge over the Infinity RN4 for managing plantar fasciitis discomfort.

Standing All Day

Considering extended standing and wear, the Clifton 9 and Infinity RN4 deliver exceptional cushioning and support. The soft midsoles and mesh uppers make them some of the most comfortable options for jobs that require long hours on your feet like nurses, teachers, retail workers, etc.

However, the Infinity RN4’s wider forefoot platform may provide a more stable base for standing all day. The Clifton 9’s narrower fit has less support which could lead to fatigue over time. For standing comfort, the Infinity RN4 seems ideal.

Final Verdict:

In conclusion, the Hoka Clifton 9 and Nike Infinity RN4 are both excellent cushioned trainers that can serve as comfortable daily runners. The Clifton 9 best suits runners with narrow feet who want a soft, smooth ride for recovery days and slow easy miles. The rockered design makes it very plush and stable.


Meanwhile, the Infinity RN4 works well for neutral runners training at varied paces thanks to its responsive cushioning and versatility. It also fits wider feet better.

For walking, plantar fasciitis, and value, the Clifton 9 gets the nod while the Infinity RN4 is the optimal choice for neutral daily training and all-day standing comfort.

Choose the trainer that aligns with your foot type, comfort preferences, and running needs to get the ideal shoe.

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