Fit/Feel/Ride: In 2014, the debut of this performance-oriented, high-mileage trainer changed how runners thought about lightweight cushioning for the road. It’s still unbelievably light and supremely cushioned, but the Clifton has evolved to be more stable and to provide a more accommodating shape in the forefoot. Although it’s a small update, it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to fit. (It’s why we gave it a Best Update award in the Fall Road Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide.) The subtle key to this shoe is the rockered shape from heel to toe, a curve that allows very efficient gait turnover. Our testers loved the cushioning and energy of this shoe on all sorts of moderate to longer runs, but most thought it had too much cushioning underfoot to be agile enough for shorter speed sessions. (It should be clear that the proprioceptive feel for the ground is understandably lacking in this shoe.) Still, several testers said they’d choose it for their next road marathon or half marathon. Also, the flat laces worked great at providing a snug but comfortable fit.
Weights: 8.6 oz. (men’s), 7.7 oz. (women’s)
Heel-to-Toe Offset: 5mm; 29mm (heel), 24mm (forefoot)
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