Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Product Review: Hoka Clayton 2

High Fiving a mini-lobster guy.

I've been wearing Hokas for just over one year.  I bought my first pair of Challenger 2 ATRs last spring from a local running store here in Myrtle Beach.

Did I do a review on those? ACK, I didn't. No link for you.

Anyway, after tweaking the lacing system, I ran those things into the ground. Typically 500 miles is the maximum distance you should get out of a running shoe, pretty sure I doubled that.
But, all good sneakers must come to an end, so I did chuck them and instead got the Bondi 5 for my road miles and two pair of Stinson 3 for my trail miles.

Now, I love both of these shoes. I used to be a major heel striker, and the plush cushioning in these shoes are very, very forgiving if your running form is less than ideal. After at least 500 to 600 miles, I still have all three pair and run in them regularly with no issues.

So you can tell I'm a Hoka fan, ya?

A little more about me here...I'm working on my running form. I'm trying, trying, trying to forefoot/midfoot strike regularly, and it's starting to work out.

To increase my mileage AND continue my journey to forefoot striking, I thought I'd try a new shoe. And ta-da! I got this:
The Clayton 2.

Even after 10k, these shoes are cleaner than our community pool

That's a pretty cool looking sneaker. I'm sorry if you don't like it. You probably don't like sushi either.

Let me look at how many miles I've got in this thing...Garmin says 52. That feels about right. I think that's pretty decent mileage to judge and review a sneaker. You?

This is what Hoka says aboot the Clayton 2: "Redefining what's possible with a fast shoe, this lightweight marvel boasts a PRO2Lite dual density midsole, which makes for a forgiving landing and responsive toe off. The CLAYTON 2's responsiveness is further enhanced by the RMAT outsole which eliminates the excess weight of traditional rubber. This is a truly premium offering for those looking for a lightweight and responsive shoe. A refined midfoot fit and wide base makes this an uber comfortable and stable ride. The Clayton 2 is ready to compete when you are"

Blah, blah, blah. Nobody knows what the hell PRO2Lite or RMAT is except the geeks that designed the shoe. (Thank you geeks!)
In normal-people terms this means you get a light weight comfy shoe that's gonna give you some bang for your buck rebound with every step.

I'll continue and add: This is a comfortable and fast shoe. Is it a racing flat? No, duh.  It's road running shoe. 

Kinda grungy picture of the bottom

It's light! I said that. But it is. You'd probably think it weighs a ton, but a size 9 only weighs in a 8.3oz. The weight in the upper is kept down with a pretty breathable mesh-type fabric with some cool looking overlays. I have yet to determine if that overlay is reflective. You tell me.

It's comfortable! I said that. But it is. We've got a pretty good amount of cushion here. 28mm of cush in the heel, dropping to 24mm into the forefoot. That gives us a 4 millimeter drop. That small amount of drop makes this a great shoe for the forefoot/midfoot strikers out there. But I've found if I do need to heel strike for some reason, the shoe is forgiving on my foot.

They don't even stink!

I found the fit to be spot on. I'm currently sporting size 11's in most of the shoes at the shop. The Clayton 2 does not have an Altra shaped toe box, but there is plenty of room up front for my toes to do their toe thing. My heel stays nice and secure in the back of this kick without having to Runner Knot it.

I have had ZERO blistering issues. It's freeking hot and muggy running in Myrtle Beach right now. After even just 3miles any shoe I wear is soaked with sweat. Havent blistered in these, even after 12miles. Wear quality socks people, it helps. If you do get blistering, I'd bet dollars to donuts a little body glide, or something similar, on your feet would help prevent that. Maybe.

I put my shoes in the washing machine. Ya, I do. I'm not using bleach or fabric softner or any of that. But I have to wash my shoes after every summer run here, and the Claytons are no exception. After 4 or 5 washes, there has been no visible damage to the shoe, and it runs as comfortably as day one. (Advice: Do NOT put any of  your shoes in the dryer or put in direct sunlight. THEY WILL SHRINK AND DISTORT.) We have the air conditioning cranked and my Claytons typically dry 100% in less than 36hrs. Simply loosen the laces a bunch, remove the insert and let 'em sit.

Oh hey, another great thing, these have heel loops on the back!! 2 reasons that's great: A) Makes it easier to get the shoe on if you're too lazy to unlace it properly. C) You can 'biner them to your bag after your run.

Can we get a picture of what I'm talking about here?


All shoes should have heel loops. I dont want to put my nasty shoes in my bag.

I'm getting hungry. Probably gonna make a fake bacon and lettuce sandwich or two. Have a coke. Maybe watch some WWII doco on the telly.

If you happen to be Hoka-curious, I would highly recommend this shoe, or maybe the Challenger. I gotta try the 3 though.

Anyway, thanks for reading!


  1. Love my Clayton 1's. Got in about 275 miles on them. Good to know the Clayton 2's is much more of the same greatness.

    1. Nice!! I might know a place to get them if you need em ;)

  2. My issues with the Clayton 1 were the insanely soft heel and its weird rocker transition and the narrow (though wider than other hokas) forefoot. Other than that I loved the forefoot cushioning and overall fit and finish.
    You alluded to the forefoot being roomier. Is the heel still super squish or have they made it closer to the forefoot level of firmness in the 2? If they have, I would definitely take a second look at this one.

    1. I've not felt a soft heel in this guy at all. There's definitely no distinct rocker (see Clifton 4 or Arahi). The whole shoe feels, although cushioned, pretty firm underfoot.
      I never ran in the Clayton 1, but I can say this toebox is roomier than the Clifton 3.