Hoka Mach 5 VS Hoka Clifton 8: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka Mach 5 and Clifton 8 have a lot in common – both are neutral, cushioned trainers best suited for road running. However, the Mach 5 prioritizes speed and responsiveness, while the Clifton 8 focuses more on comfort for long mileage.

Looking at weight, cushioning, overall performance, and other vital factors will give you a better sense of which shoe aligns with your specific training goals and running style. Read on for a detailed comparison of two of Hoka One One’s popular neutral trainers!

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Mach 5 and Clifton 8:

FeatureHoka Mach 5Hoka Clifton 8
Launched In2022 2021
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityMediumMedium
SizingMen’s 7-14, Women’s 5.5-12Men’s 7-14, Women’s 5.5-12
Weight8.8 oz (men’s), 7.4 oz (women’s)9.1 oz (men’s), 7.9 oz (women’s)
CushionProFly+ midsoleCMEVA midsole
Out SoleRubberDurable rubber
Mid SoleProFly+CMEVA
Upper SoleEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$140$180

Features Comparison: Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8

Here we will compare some of the major features of Mach 5 and Clifton 8 to see which is worth investing in.

Materials

The Mach 5 uses a ProFly+ midsole foam which is softer and more responsive than the CMEVA foam in the Clifton 8. The engineered mesh upper provides a secure and breathable fit. The high-abrasion rubber outsole ensures durability.

Hoka Match 5
MACH 5

Hoka Clifton 8
CLIFTON 8

The Clifton 8 utilizes a CMEVA foam midsole which offers a soft feel but isn’t as lively as the ProFly+. The engineered mesh upper focuses on breathability and the rubber outsole is hard-wearing.

Durability

The Mach 5 offers good durability thanks to the high abrasion rubber on the outsole. Most runners can expect around 300-500 miles out of the shoe before signs of wear. The upper also remains structurally sound over time.

Similarly, the Clifton 8 is a fairly durable shoe, with the rubber outsole and well-constructed upper showing minimal wear for around 300-500 miles. The CMEVA foam may lose some responsiveness over time but otherwise holds up well.

Fit

The Mach 5 runs true to size for most runners, with a snug midfoot wrap and secure heel counter locking the foot in place. The engineered mesh upper is breathable and flexible. It works for narrow to medium-width feet.

Hoka Match 5 Top View
MACH 5 TOP VIEW

Hoka Clifton 8 Top view
CLIFTON 8 TOP VIEW

The Clifton 8 also fits true to size for many runners, with a comfortable midfoot hold and structured heel. The engineered mesh upper accommodates a variety of foot shapes, making it suitable for narrow, average, and slightly wide feet.

Stability

As neutral shoes, neither the Mach 5 nor the Clifton 8 offer any inherent stability mechanisms. However, the Mach 5’s snugger midfoot wrap provides a touch more support through the arch, while the Clifton 8 has a more relaxed fit. For severe overpronators, a stability shoe would be a better choice.

Cushioning

The Mach 5 offers responsive ProFly+ foam cushioning that provides a good balance of softness and energy return. The raised sidewalls add stability without extra weight. It provides enough cushioning for daily training but isn’t overly plush.

The Clifton 8 features maximum cushioning with its thick, soft CMEVA foam midsole. This gives it a very plush, comfortable ride but the foam isn’t as responsive as the Mach 5’s ProFly+. The Clifton excels at long, easy runs versus fast miles.

Value

With both shoes retailing at $140 and $180 the Mach 5 and Clifton 8 are evenly matched when it comes to value.

Testers found both shoes deliver impressive cushioning and comfort at their reasonable price points. These shoes provide great bang for your buck but aren’t cheaply made.

Performance Comparison:

As promised earlier we will now compare the performance of both shoes to see who excels at day to day tasks.

Walking

The Mach 5 performs decently for walking, with its flexible forefoot and secure lacing accommodating the shorter stride of walking. However, the Clifton 8 is the clear winner for walking comfort thanks to its ultra-plush CMEVA foam. The soft cushioning absorbs impact better, making it ideal for long walks.

Running

For running, the Mach 5 really shines. Testers loved the responsive ProFly+ foam for maintaining tempo paces, intervals, and faster training. The energetic cushioning gives excellent bounce for pushing your pace. The Clifton 8 is less adept at faster running but provides a super soft ride for easy miles.

Plantar Fasciitis

The Clifton 8 edged out the Mach 5 when it comes to providing relief from Plantar Fasciitis pain. The maximally cushioned midsole does the best job absorbing heel impact, which can alleviate pain from this condition. The Mach 5 is still cushioned but not quite as plush.

Standing All Day

For all-day wear, the Clifton 8 is again the winner. The generous cushioning helps reduce fatigue in the feet and legs during long hours of standing. The Mach 5 can’t quite match the same level of comfort for extended wear.

Final Verdict:

The right shoe for you depends on your running needs and preferences:

  • The Hoka Mach 5 is the clear pick for shorter, faster training and races. Its lively ProFly+ foam provides a responsive, energetic ride perfect for speedwork and race day.

  • For comfort on long, easy mileage, recovery runs and all-day wear, the Hoka Clifton 8 takes the lead. Its ultra-plush CMEVA cushioning absorbs impact for supreme comfort over many miles.
  • For walking, Plantar Fasciitis relief, or standing all day, the Clifton 8 is your best bet. Its soft cushioning best alleviates pain and fatigue.

So consider your training routine, foot type, and comfort needs. If you want a responsive, versatile trainer, go to Mach 5. Need supreme cushioning? Choose the Clifton 8.

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