HOKA Rincon 3 VS Clifton 8: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka Rincon 3 and Hoka Clifton 8 are two of Hoka One One’s most popular neutral trainers. Both shoes provide responsive cushioning and smooth rides, but they differ in weight, overall feel, and ideal uses.

This in-depth comparison looks at the key specs, features, and performance of the Rincon 3 and Clifton 8 to help you decide which Hoka shoe is the better choice for your needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Rincon 3 and Clifton 8:

ModelRincon 3Clifton 8
Launched In 20212021
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 5-12Men’s 7-15, Women’s 5-12
Weight7.3 oz (M), 6.1 oz (W)8.8 oz (M), 7.2 oz (W)
OutsoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
MidsoleCMEVA foamCMEVA foam
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$125$180

Features Comparison: Rincon 3 vs Clifton 8

We will now compare the features of Rincon and Bondi 8 to see who outperforms the other.


The Rincon 3 uses a lightweight engineered mesh in the upper, providing breathability and flexibility. The shoe has a CMEVA midsole to deliver responsive cushioning and a durable rubber outsole.

rincon 3

Hoka Clifton 8

The Clifton 8 also utilizes an engineered mesh upper for breathability, along with a CMEVA foam midsole that offers soft, pillowy cushioning. The outsole uses high-abrasion rubber in high-wear areas for durability.


The Rincon 3 has decent durability but some runners report signs of wear after 150-200 miles. The rubber outsole helps enhance durability in high-impact zones.

The Clifton 8 is a bit more durable than the Rincon 3, with many runners getting 300+ miles out of their shoes. The rubberized foam outsole and strategic rubber placement provide good longevity.


The Rincon 3 runs true to size for most runners. The engineered mesh upper provides a secure midfoot wrap and breathable forefoot fit. The toe box has a medium volume.

rincon 3 top view

Hoka Clifton 8 Top view

The Clifton 8 also fits true to size for many runners. The Stretch Comfort Fit system in the upper creates a relaxed yet secure fit. The toe box volume is medium to wide.


The Rincon 3 has a stack height of 24mm in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot. The CMEVA foam midsole provides responsive, moderate cushioning best for faster paces.

The Clifton 8 has extra cushioning with 29mm of foam in the heel and 24mm in the forefoot. The soft CMEVA midsole gives it a pillowy yet stable feel ideal for longer distances.


With a $125 retail price, the Rincon 3 sits at the lower end of the premium running shoe price range, delivering great responsive cushioning for daily training at a reasonable price.

The Clifton 8 costs $180, reflecting its abundance of pillowy soft cushioning. While pricier, it remains competitively priced for the generous comfort it provides.

Performance Comparison:

You now have a clear idea on which shoe is better in terms of feature. Let’s make it more easier by comparing the performance of both shoes.


The Rincon 3 performs well for walking, providing a smooth and responsive feel thanks to its moderate cushioning. The engineered mesh upper remains comfortable during long walks.

The Clifton 8 is exceptional for walking due to its highly cushioned midsole that keeps feet comfortable mile after mile. The roomy toe box allows toes to splay naturally when walking.


The Rincon 3 truly shines for faster-paced running when you want a responsive, lightweight feel. The Meta-Rocker geometry ensures a smooth transition through each stride.

While the Clifton 8 can still pick up the pace, it feels most at home during easy to moderate-pace training runs. The plush CMEVA cushioning provides excellent impact absorption over long distances.

Plantar Fasciitis

The Rincon 3 provides a good amount of soft cushioning to help relieve plantar fasciitis pain, but not as much as the Clifton 8. The low heel-to-toe drop fosters a natural foot strike.

With its extra-plush cushioning, the Clifton 8 performs exceptionally well in alleviating pressure on the plantar fascia. It provides soft heel impact absorption and arch support for plantar fasciitis.

Standing All Day

The Rincon 3 can handle all-day standing with its responsive cushioning, but some may find it lacks the plushness needed for extended time on your feet. The mesh upper helps keep feet ventilated.

Due to its maximal cushioning, the Clifton 8 shines when you have to be on your feet for prolonged periods. The soft foam helps prevent foot fatigue and discomfort from long hours of standing.

Final Verdict:

Choose the Rincon 3 if:

  • You want a lightweight, faster feel for tempos and uptempo training
  • You prefer low-profile, responsive cushioning
  • You need an affordable but dynamic neutral trainer

Choose the Clifton 8 if:

  • You want maximum cushioning for daily training and recovery
  • You need enhanced impact absorption for longer distances
  • You have plantar fasciitis and need plush cushioning underfoot

So which shoe is better? For runners seeking lightweight responsiveness, the Rincon 3 takes the lead. But the Clifton 8 is ideal for those who prioritize pillow-soft cushioning for comfort over many miles.

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