Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8

Last Updated: Feburary 09, 2024 | Author: Jake Thompson

Amid the growing popularity of Hoka, the Mach 5 and the Clifton 8 emerge as two giants in the running shoe arena, each battling for supremacy with their innovative features and comfort-driven designs. As I've rigorously tested both models, I've gathered valuable insights into their distinct characteristics and how they cater to different runner preferences.

Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8 - hero

The Mach 5 stands out as a beacon shoe for speedwork, boasting a lightweight structure that doesn't skimp on performance, whereas the Clifton 8 offers a ride akin to a reliable workhorse, with its generous cushioning ensuring lasting endurance. Delving into the intricacies of their design and technological advancements, I'll provide an expert analysis of their performance, comfort, and longevity.

For those undecided on which pair to don for your upcoming runs, join me as we explore the subtle differences that might sway your choice

Table of Contents:

  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Table: Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8
  3. Pros & Cons
  4. Design and Technology
  5. Upper Construction
  6. Midsole Innovations
  7. Outsole Durability and Traction
  8. Performance
  9. Fit and Stability
  10. Comfort
  11. Cushioning & Responsiveness
  12. Durability
  13. Final Verdict
  14. Frequently Asked Questions

Key Takeaways

  • - Hoka Mach 5 is a more lightweight and breathable option compared to the Clifton 8.
  • - The Clifton 8 offers exceptional comfort and cushioning, making it ideal for long runs.
  • - The Mach 5 lacks durability on rugged terrains, while the Clifton 8 is more durable overall.
  • - Both shoes provide excellent cushioning, with the Mach 5 being softer and more responsive, and the Clifton 8 offering ample cushioning without being overly plush.

Table: Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8

Hoka Mach 5 Hoka Clifton 8
Feature Hoka Mach 5 Hoka Clifton 8
Terrain Road Road
Pace Speed training Daily running
Toebox Medium Wide
Pronation Underpronation, Supination, Neutral Pronation Underpronation, Supination, Neutral Pronation
Cushioning Balanced Plush
All-day wear
For beginners
Treadmill -
Arch support Neutral Neutral
Heel-to-toe drop 5mm 5mm
Weight 232g 250g
Widths available Narrow, Normal, Wide Normal, Wide
Orthotic friendly
Removable insole
Sustainable -
Lightweight -
Distance Long-distance, Marathon Long-distance, Marathon
Strike Pattern Forefoot/Midfoot strike Heel strike
Flexibility Moderate Moderate
Arch Type High arch High arch
Material Mesh Vegan
Forefoot height 24mm 24mm
Heel height 29mm 29mm

Pros & Cons

Hoka Mach 5

  • - Lightweight; enhances speed.
  • - Breathable; keeps feet cool.
  • - Responsive cushioning; good for performance.
  • - Durable outsole.
  • - Less cushioning.
  • - Narrow fit.

Hoka Clifton 8

  • - Maximum cushioning; comfortable for long runs.
  • - Versatile for daily training.
  • - Durable and supportive.
  • - Slightly heavier.
  • - Less responsive.

Design and Technology

In comparing the Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8, I'm struck by the distinct approach each takes in upper construction. The Mach 5's engineered mesh promises breathability and a featherlight feel. On the other hand, the Clifton 8 opts for a sturdier double-layer mesh, suggesting a trade-off between weight and durability.

The midsole innovations also present a study in contrasts. The Mach 5's latest PROFLY+ technology offers a responsive ride, prioritizing energy return. In contrast, the Clifton 8 relies on the tried-and-true CMEVA foam for consistent cushioning, focusing on cushioned comfort.

Finally, the outsole's durability and traction are pivotal points to consider. The Mach 5 seems to compromise on rugged terrain endurance for comfort, which may be a drawback for those who prefer off-road running. In contrast, the Clifton 8's comprehensive rubber coverage is designed for superior grip across a multitude of surfaces, making it a versatile choice.

Related: Hoka vs. Brooks

Upper Construction

Examining the upper construction of the Hoka Mach 5 vs Hoka Clifton 8 reveals distinct differences in design and technology that cater to varied runners' needs.

The Mach 5 features an engineered mesh upper that's highly breathable, promoting air circulation and keeping my feet cool during runs. Its lightweight build doesn't compromise on durability, offering a balanced shoe designed for those seeking a responsive ride.

On the other hand, the Clifton 8 also sports an engineered mesh upper, but with a focus on plush comfort. It provides a more relaxed fit, suitable for a neutral runner looking for a shoe that combines breathability with a sturdy feel.

Both models use traditional laces, ensuring a secure fit that adapts to my foot's movement.

Midsole Innovations

While the upper construction sets the stage for breathability and fit, it's the midsole innovations in both Hoka shoes that truly enhance the running experience by marrying cushioning with performance. The Mach 5 uses ProFly foam, offering a responsive ride that caters to both energy return and soft landings. In contrast, the Clifton 8 employs CMEVA foam that prioritizes cushioning and support, slightly sacrificing responsiveness for comfort.

Feature Hoka Mach 5 Hoka Clifton 8
Midsole Material ProFly Foam CMEVA Foam
Cushioning Balanced Plush
Responsiveness High Moderate
Energy Return Enhanced Standard
Support Inherent Structure Maximal Cushioning

Analyzing these details, I'm struck by how each midsole caters to different runner preferences, with the Mach 5 focusing on a more responsive ride, while the Clifton 8 ensures ample cushioning for extended comfort.

Related: Hoka Bondi vs. Clifton

Outsole Durability and Traction

How do the outsoles of Hoka Clifton vs Mach hold up in terms of durability and traction, given their distinct design and technological features?

The Mach 5's rubber outsole is strategically placed to reduce weight, which slightly compromises its durability compared to the Clifton 8. This design choice, however, doesn't severely hinder its road-running capabilities.

The Clifton 8 boasts a more extensive rubber outsole coverage, enhancing its traction and durability, making it a more durable shoe for various surfaces.

Both running shoes provide reliable traction, but the Clifton 8 is the sturdier contender, likely to outlast the Mach 5 in longevity.

Analyzing their outsoles, it's clear that the Clifton 8 is engineered for sustained performance, ideal option for runners who want a durable running shoe.


The Mach 5's ProFly+ midsole lent a vivaciousness to my stride, contrasting with the Clifton 8's more laid-back CMEVA cushioning that seemed to prioritize comfort over responsiveness.

Stability-wise, neither shoe disappointed, but the Mach 5's snug fit provided a subtly more anchored feel, especially during sharp turns and quick transitions.

Aspects Hoka Mach 5 Hoka Clifton 8
Responsiveness High Moderate
Fit Snug Relaxed
Stability Excellent Excellent
Overall Comfort Good Superb

Fit and Stability

In comparing the fit and stability of the Hoka Clifton 8 vs Mach 5, one should consider how each shoe caters to different runner needs in terms of security and support during performance.

Hoka Mach 5
  • - Fit: Offers a snug fit that's ideal for runners seeking a secure feel around the midfoot during their stride, complemented by a breathable mesh upper.
  • - Stability: As a neutral shoe, it provides inherent stability suitable for a variety of running styles without additional support features.

Hoka Clifton 8
  • - Fit: Known for its relaxed fit, it's perfect for runners who prefer a little more room without sacrificing a secure foothold.
  • - Stability: The Clifton 8 maintains a stable base, making it a reliable choice for long runs and diverse strides.

Analyzing both, I notice the Mach 5's fit favors a locked-in sensation, while the Clifton 8 leans towards comfort without compromising stability.

Related: Hoka Arahi vs Clifton


When evaluating the Mach vs Clifton, the cushioning and responsiveness are central to their comfort profiles.

The Mach 5's PROFLY+ midsole offers a unique balance of soft landing and energetic toe-off, which I find both comforting and invigorating during longer runs.

In contrast, the Clifton 8's full-length EVA midsole provides a consistently plush feel, making it a go-to for recovery days when my feet crave extra cushioning.

Cushioning & Responsiveness

Hoka Mach 5 vs Clifton 8 - hero

Every runner's quest for the perfect balance between cushioning and responsiveness becomes a critical factor when comparing the Hoka shoes, as each shoe offers a distinct take on comfort that caters to different runner needs.

Here's my detailed breakdown:

Hoka Mach 5
  • - Midsole Foam: PROFLY+ technology that balances a plush underfoot feel with energetic return.
  • - Forefoot Cushioning: Sufficiently cushioned to provide a soft landing without losing the propulsive feel.

Hoka Clifton 8
  • - Midsole Foam: CMEVA foam offers a deeply cushioned ride, typifying the Hoka cushion experience.
  • - Forefoot Cushioning: Though plush, it tends to be less responsive, emphasizing comfort over speed.

While the Mach 5 delivers a blend of cushion and responsiveness that's hard to beat, the Clifton 8 provides a soft, indulgent cushioned landing that's ideal for long, easy miles.


Assessing the durability, it's clear that both models offer a reliable lifespan, with each capable of enduring approximately 300-500 miles of wear before significant degradation occurs.

When comparing the midsoles, the Hoka Mach's midsole is made with a new iteration of PROFLY+ foam, hinting at enhanced longevity over previous models. The Hoka Clifton, in contrast, uses a CMEVA foam that has a history of resilient performance in everyday training scenarios.

In a head-to-head comparison, the Clifton 8 may edge out slightly in durability due to its robust build. However, the final verdict on which shoe outlasts the other will depend on running style and the surfaces they frequent.

Final Verdict

Both the Hoka Mach 5 and Clifton 8 offer unique advantages tailored to different running needs, making it hard to single out a definitive winner. If speed and responsiveness are what you're after, the Mach 5 is your go-to with its lightweight build and PROFLY+ technology that boosts your pace and energy return.

On the other hand, the Clifton 8 excels in comfort and durability, offering a plush, cushioned ride that's perfect for long runs and recovery days. Its robust construction ensures it can withstand many miles, making it a reliable partner for your daily training. Ultimately, the choice between these two depends on your personal preferences and running goals.

For those interested in options for runners with specific needs, explore our guide on the 15 Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis, offering insights into footwear that combines performance with protective support.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is better for speedwork, Hoka Mach 5 or Clifton 8 running shoes?

The Mach 5 is a great option for speedwork due to its lightweight design and responsive midsole foam. It's built to keep your foot in place and offer quick transitions, making it a better choice for fast training sessions.

2. Can the Clifton 8 and Mach 5 fit runners with wide feet?

Both shoes are accommodating, but the Clifton 8 features a wider forefoot area, making it a good option for runners with wide feet. Both models come in versions that are true to size, catering to a wide range of foot shapes.

Check out our thorough guide on Hoka regular and wide sizes to help you choose your snug fit.

3. Which shoe is recommended for long-distance runs?

The Clifton 8 is a great option for long-distance runs, thanks to its plush foam midsole that provides extensive cushioning and comfort. It's designed for road running and is also a versatile shoe suitable for easy runs and being on your feet all day.

4. How do the prices compare between Hoka One One Mach 5 and Clifton 8?

Price points for both shoes vary decently, but generally, they are positioned similarly, offering good value considering their performance and durability. Both are considered premium options in Hoka One One's range of shoes.

5. Are both the Hoka Mach 5 and Clifton 8 suitable for races?

Yes, both shoes can handle races, but the Mach 5 is often the preferred choice among runners who want a shoe that balances speed and comfort. The Clifton 8, while also a good option, is favored for its cushioning and support over longer distances, making it versatile for training and races alike.

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Jake Thompson

Jake Thompson

I am Jake, a sports enthusiast, love everything about sports, particularly basketball and volleyball. I've played both sports at a local level. Here to share my passion for sports and sports gear experiences with you.