Hoka Clifton 9 VS Speedgoat 5: What Should I Buy?

With over 10 models and counting, Hoka One One has cemented itself as one of the top athletic shoe brands for runners. Two of Hoka’s most popular shoes are the Clifton and the Speedgoat.

Now in their 9th and 5th iterations, the Clifton 9 and Speedgoat 5 represent Hoka’s trademark ultra-cushioned ride in daily trainer and trail runner forms.

If you’re trying to decide between Hoka’s plush daily trainer and their comfortable trail runner, read on for a detailed comparison of the key features, performance, and ideal use cases for the Clifton 9 and Speedgoat 5.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Clifton 9 And Speedgoat 5:

ModelClifton 9Speedgoat 5
Launched In20232022
StabilityVery stableNeutral
FlexibilityFlexibleFlexible
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight8.7 oz10.7 oz
CushionPlushPlush
OutsoleRubberVibram Megagrip
MidsoleCMEVA FoamCMEVA Foam
UpperEngineered knit meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$145$155

Features Comparison

Materials

The Clifton 9 uses a breathable engineered knit mesh material for the upper, which provides a flexible and comfortable fit. The midsole is made from Hoka’s signature CMEVA foam, which gives it a soft and plush ride. The outsole utilizes strategic rubber placement in high-wear areas for durability.

Clifton 9
CLIFTON 9

SPEEDGOAT 5
SPEEDGOAT 5

The Speedgoat 5 also utilizes an engineered mesh upper for breathability on the trails. Its midsole is composed of CMEVA foam like the Clifton 9. However, its outsole uses Vibram’s Megagrip rubber compound, which provides excellent traction on a wide variety of terrain.

Durability

The Clifton 9 has decent durability thanks to the rubber coverage in high-wear areas of the outsole. The engineered knit upper is also designed to withstand daily mileage. However, some runners reported the foam cushioning lost some plushness after 200-300 miles.

The Speedgoat 5 has excellent longevity, with the Vibram Megagrip outsole showing minimal signs of wear even after 500+ miles of use. The mesh upper has proven a bit more fragile than Clifton’s knit material though.

Fit

The Clifton 9 fits true to size for most runners, with a comfortable, flexible upper that accommodates various foot shapes. One complaint is that the toe box runs slightly narrow.

Clifton 9 Top View
CLIFTON 9 TOP VIEW

SPEEDGOAT 5 TOP VIEW
SPEEDGOAT 5 TOP VIEW

The Speedgoat 5 has a roomier toe box while still maintaining a secure midfoot lockdown. The upper material doesn’t stretch or flex as much as Clifton’s knit but provides a precise fit.

Stability

With its lower drop (5mm vs. 4mm) and dual-density midsole, the Clifton 9 provides excellent stability for overpronators. The curved shape also encourages a rockered foot strike.

The Speedgoat 5 has a neutral platform that works well for neutral runners. The multi-directional lugs provide traction on uneven terrain to prevent slipping.

Cushioning

Offering a plush ride from heel to toe, the Clifton 9 keeps runs comfortable mile after mile. The soft CMEVA foam absorbs impact while providing responsive bounce-back.

Similarly, the Speedgoat 5 delivers ultra-cushioned comfort over trail terrain. The foam manages hard impacts from rocks and roots while allowing natural foot articulation.

Value

With a $145 price tag, the Clifton 9 sits on the higher end for a daily trainer. However, runners found the all-around comfortable ride made it worthwhile for long mileage.

At $155, the Speedgoat 5 commands a premium price, but testers felt the excellent traction and cushioning justified the cost for regular trail runners.

Performance Comparison

For Walking

The Clifton 9’s flexible upper and plush foam midsole provide all-day walking comfort. The rockered design helps roll your foot smoothly through the walking gait cycle. However, when walking on trails or uneven ground, the lack of outsole traction is noticeable.

With its protective upper and Megagrip outsole, the Speedgoat 5 is right at home on dirt paths and uneven terrain. The midsole cushion also dampens impacts from rocks or roots, keeping your feet comfortable over long distances.

For Running

Ideal for easy miles and long runs, the Clifton 9’s soft ride absorbs shock while the rockered shape encourages an efficient toe-off. The integrated stability features also prevent overpronation during moderate to fast paces.

As a trail runner, the Speedgoat 5 allows you to run fast over technical terrain thanks to the stabilizing upper, flexible cushioning, traction, and natural foot positioning. The responsive foam provides energy return mile after mile.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The plush CMEVA foam of the Clifton 9 helps reduce pain and inflammation from plantar fasciitis during daily use. The arched compression midsole also supports the entire foot structure.

For trail running with plantar fasciitis, the Speedgoat 5 cushioning softens impacts while the low-profile stability features prevent overpronation that can aggravate the plantar fascia ligament.

For Standing All Day

The Clifton 9’s soft foam and padded knit upper minimize foot fatigue when worn for extended periods of standing or walking. The arch support also reduces strain on the plantar fascia ligament and joints.

With its plush cushioning that doesn’t flatten over time, the Speedgoat 5 maintains comfortable arch support even after hours on your feet. The roomy toe box also prevents painful toe scrunching.

Final Verdict

The Hoka Clifton 9 and Speedgoat 5 are both excellent cushioned trainers designed for comfort. The Clifton 9 focuses on providing a soft, flexible ride for road and paved trail running. With its plush feel and stabilizing platform, it works well for daily mileage and recovery runs.


The Speedgoat 5 is made for off-road adventure. Its lugged outsole and durable upper provide traction and protection in rugged environments. If you primarily run technical trails, the Speedgoat 5 is built to handle uneven terrain and give you a cushy experience over long distances.

Consider your main training terrain and types of running when choosing between these two shoes. The Clifton 9 caters to road and casual trail runners who want maximum cushioning during their daily miles.

The Speedgoat 5 is the clear choice for hardcore off-road enthusiasts looking for comfort over rugged miles. With their ultra-cushioned rides and running-specific designs, you can’t go wrong giving either of these Hokas a run.

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