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What the Hell Is Going on with This Weird New Running Shoe?

Hoka One One just revealed the Clifton Edge, a new road running shoe with a unique construction that includes an oversized base.

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Given all that was happening in the news in early March, you may have missed the year’s most interesting running shoe release to date. The TenNine by Hoka One One is a trail running shoe with an overgrown heel and an explicit warning: “Using this product for anything other than running may impair balance and dexterity.” By dramatically expanding the TenNine’s sole around the heel, Hoka One One increased its contact area to create a smoother, more stable feel on rugged ground. Now the company is bringing that same concept to its new pavement-friendly Clifton Edge.

Like its big brother, the Clifton Edge comes with an enlarged outsole, only this time, Hoka didn’t take the idea quite as far. The heel smooshes out beyond the footprint of most running shoes, but doesn’t call for a disclaimer; you can walk around in the Clifton Edge casually without risk of tripping. While the similarities between the two shoes are apparent, you might also line them up against the alien-like outsole Nike built onto its fastest shoe.

All this begs the question, how does the Clifton Edge actually feel on a run? Pretty much how Hoka claims it does. Despite its pumped-up form, the Clifton Edge is lightweight at under nine ounces and doesn’t feel bulky. On the contrary, its upper is minimal but still provides plenty of support and a locked-in heel hold, and the oversized base is responsive and springy while providing all the stability it promises.

The Clifton Edge is currently available for preorder, shipping on July 1.

Preorder Now: $160

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