HOKA’s Already Upgrading Its Latest & Greatest Runner

I’m currently fixated on all the semi-weird and wonderfully unassuming world of in-line running shoes, the world that brands like HOKA and Salomon were born into before becoming surprising streetwear smashes.

Both brands are still extremely good at this sort of thing: HOKA recently dished the Restore TC slip-on and Skyline Float-X trail shoe while Salomon tickled my fancy with the Elixir.

HOKA is keeping its orthopedic shoes pressed to the metal, with the debut of the GORE-TEX lined Clifton 9, a surprisingly swift update for a sneaker that only just released a few months ago. Only seven-ish months after HOKA debuted the Clifton 9, its GORE-TEX revision is dropping on September 1 at HOKA’s website and stores.

This isn’t the sort of thing typically of interest to sneakerheads and the requisite blogs but, frankly, I’ll take HOKA’s Clifton or really any untrendy in-line runner over the latest limited edition shoe reselling for thousands of bucks. I crave comfort, I care little for hype, at least in the context of my own wardrobe and footwear rotation.

Anyways, HOKA’s Clifton 9 GTX epitomizes that ethos as the latest iteration of one of the sportswear brand’s signature running shoe lines.

Nothing will top the Bondi 5 in terms of sheer aesthetic pleasure but the Clifton series has always balanced heft with streamlined uppers, making it one of Hoka’s slimmest mainline footwear offerings (though still plenty beefy).

That slimness has affected the width, according to some reviews, but the Clifton 9 makes up for with its deceivingly light weight.

HOKA’s Clifton 9 GORE-TEX is exactly what it says on the tin. We’re talking about a blacked-out iteration of the new shoe that’s lined with a breathable, waterproof membrane intended to allow the wearer to dash through puddles without getting the dreaded wet foot. Simple as.

Bonus points for highlighting the sneaker’s all-black colorway in the accompanying campaign — I’m of the opinion that HOKA, perhaps moreso than any other sportswear brand, makes the best-looking all-black shoes, probably because of their inherent visual weight.

HOKA has also debuted some solid collaborations as of late but its regular ol’ running shoes are so good that they’re really just the cherry on top, rather than the main event. More of this, please.

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