For many years, a runner had two choices when the weather forecasted rain: Get your feet soaked or wear really heavy waterproof shoes. Luckily, there are better options now, like the HOKA Clifton 9 GTX, which is HOKA’s very first weatherproof shoe.
I am IN LOVE!!
Currently, the HOKA website only shows the Clifton 9 GTX in the color black, but the pair that showed up at my door came in a gorgeous peacock blue/purple with some dark pink flare to them. Not only that, but the 360-degree reflectivity of these make running in the dark so much better than a typical shoe on a dark day.
The HOKA logo as well as many other areas on the sides, top, and back of the shoe will show up loud and proud on the early morning/late night winter streets under a car’s headlights.
These shoes are meant to be an everyday runner, and this is the perfect time of year for them. I will be coaching the Foot Traffic Women’s Academy throughout the winter season for the Holiday Half that takes place in December, and I need something to put on the miles through November and beyond.
Not only are these waterproof and reflective, they are formulated to withstand any road condition easily and with lots of bounce and comfort.
These weatherproof shoes are ready for all the things with GORE-TEX Invisible Fit and weather-ready traction pods. The Clifton 9 also features a closed mesh construction for added protection against the wet cold of the elements.
I assumed that the heavy duty GORE-TEX material would make these shoes feel tough on the outside and heavy on the inside, really weighing down that stride and foot strike. This couldn’t be further from the truth with the Clifton 9 GTX, as they somehow don’t make you feel like you’re wearing blocks of concrete as the miles creep on.
These are as light as any other pair of shoes I currently own, but the extra bonus is the protection they offer. The shoes are soft and pliable but sturdy and structured like you’d expect a good HOKA to be, and this is what makes it possible to get a double digit run in on a rainy day without making your feet wet or tired.
If you’re a fan of HOKA shoes already, you won’t be disappointed here. You’ll get significant energy return and a cushy ride.
Lastly, it’s maybe worth mentioning that I sometimes find HOKA shoes a little bigger on me than other brands, but these feel like a perfect fit for what I like.
Overall/For Your Consideration
HOKA shoes are often recommended to runners, walkers, health care workers, teachers, and anyone else on their feet all day. Now they have yet another option for everyone for those cold wet winter days ahead and if I know the PNW weather scene, the HOKA Clifton GTX will be on my feet well into March.