Hoka Clifton 9 VS Saucony Kinvara 14: What Should I Buy?

The Clifton 9 and Kinvara 14 represent two different philosophies in running shoe design.

The Clifton 9 offers a soft, well-cushioned ride that prioritizes comfort. It uses Hoka’s signature thick midsole and a rockered sole to provide a smooth, stable ride.

The Kinvara 14 takes a pared-down approach, with a lightweight, flexible construction designed for speed. Its lower profile gives a close-to-the-ground feel while still offering cushioning.

Both are neutral shoes suitable for runners with an efficient stride, but they differ significantly in cushioning, weight, and intended use. Keep reading to see how they compare across the key performance factors.

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

FeatureHoka Clifton 9Saucony Kinvara 14
Launched In2023 2023
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateHigh
SizingAverage widthNarrower fit
Weight7.7 oz (M), 6.8 oz (W)7.3 oz (M), 6.3 oz (W)
CushioningMaximum cushioningModerate cushioning
OutsoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
MidsoleCMEVA foam with Meta-Rocker geometryPWRRUN PB foam
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$145$120

Features Comparison:

I will now compare the features on Kinvara 14 against the Hoka Clifton 9 to see which is better.

Materials

The Clifton 9 uses a CMEVA foam midsole, which is soft and responsive. The upper combines engineered mesh with minimal overlays for a flexible, breathable fit. The outsole uses durable rubber in a segmented configuration to allow the shoe to flex.

Clifton 9
CLIFTON 9

Saucony Kinvara 14
KINVARA 14

The Kinvara 14 has a PWRRUN PB foam midsole, which is lighter and firmer than the Clifton’s. The engineered mesh upper provides a secure fit, while the full-coverage rubber outsole enhances durability.

Durability

The Clifton 9 offers moderate durability, with some wearers getting 300-500 miles out of a pair. The softer foam may compress over time.

The Kinvara 14’s firmer foam and full rubber outsole give it better-than-average durability for a lightweight shoe, although the upper mesh may show signs of wear. Most runners can expect around 500 miles.

Fit

The Clifton 9 has an average width through the midfoot and toe box. Most runners find it accommodates various foot shapes.

Clifton 9 Top View
CLIFTON 9 TOP VIEW

Saucony Kinvara 14 Top view
KINVARA 14 TOP VIEW

The Kinvara 14 runs slightly narrower, especially in the toe box, so it suits runners with narrow to average-width feet best. The snugger fit provides a responsive feel.

Stability

With its wide platform and rockered geometry, the Clifton 9 provides excellent stability for a neutral shoe. It helps guide foot motion in a forward direction.

The Kinvara 14 isn’t quite as stable due to its lower-profile single-density midsole. However, it will still support neutral runners well through the gait cycle.

Cushioning

The thick CMEVA midsole of the Clifton 9 gives it a soft, pillow-like feel underfoot. Its rockered shape enhances the smooth heel-to-toe transition.

The Kinvara 14 has a firmer ride with moderate cushioning. The PWRRUN PB foam provides a responsive experience, with enough protection for longer miles.

Value

The Clifton 9 is moderately priced given its abundant cushioning and advanced midsole design. Similarly equipped shoes cost much more.

As a lightweight performance shoe with quality construction, the Kinvara 14 is competitively priced. Durability issues drop its value score slightly.

Performance Comparison:

I will now compare performance of both shoes to see which can be your best bet and why.

Walking

The plush Clifton 9 is better suited to walking than the lower-profile Kinvara 14. It provides superior cushioning and support for lower-impact walking, keeping feet comfortable.

The Kinvara 14 offers enough cushioning for short fitness walks, but its minimalist design isn’t ideal for long periods of walking. The lower drop also requires a somewhat adjusted gait.

Running

For easy and moderate-pace running, the Clifton 9 is again the better choice. Its rockered profile encourages smooth foot motion and the bounce from the CMEVA foam keeps energy high on longer runs.

The Kinvara 14 shines when you pick up the pace. The snug upper and responsive cushioning provide a highly nimble feel. Quick turnover is enhanced by the flexibility through the forefoot.

Plantar Fasciitis

The Clifton 9 wins out for runners with plantar fasciitis thanks to its plush cushioning and stability. The curved last and rocker provide good motion control, important for reducing symptoms.

The Kinvara 14 may not provide enough shock attenuation or arch support for managing plantar fasciitis. Its minimalist design puts more strain on the plantar fascia.

Standing All Day

Cushioning is paramount for standing comfort, making the Clifton 9 a good option for jobs that require being on your feet. The wide base and support also help combat fatigue.

The Kinvara 14 lacks the plushness and stability needed for all-day standing. The moderate cushioning starts to feel thin after prolonged periods, and the narrower fit can pinch.

Final Verdict:

The right choice between the Clifton 9 and Kinvara 14 depends largely on your running needs and preferences.

The Clifton 9 is the better option if you:

  • Prioritize soft, pillow-like cushioning
  • Need support for overpronation or plantar fasciitis
  • Plan to use the shoe for walking or easy running
  • Prefer a wider, more accommodating fit

The Kinvara 14 is ideal if you:

  • Want a lightweight shoe for faster-paced running
  • Seek a lower, more natural feel
  • Need flexibility for quicker foot transitions
  • Have a narrow to average width of foot

Both are high-quality neutral running shoes, but the Clifton 9 suits more foot types and running needs. The Kinvara 14 appeals to efficient runners who like to go fast and don’t mind less cushioning.

Let your individual requirements guide you toward the better choice between these standout models from Hoka One One and Saucony. With the in-depth information provided, you can make an informed decision to get the ideal shoe.

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