hoka clifton vs brooks glycerin: Check 8 factors Before Buying

Finding the ideal running shoes is always a challenge. When it comes to cushioned shoes, the two brand names that come in the highlights are Hoka and Brooks. Both these brands have a variety of running shoes specifically the ones with cushioning and support. Hoka being a new and fast-growing brand has its Clifton 8 as the best running shoe with cushioning whereas the Brooks is the oldest brand and well-known for producing cushioned shoes has its master runner the Glycerin 20.

Both of these have their own features, highs, and lows that we will be discussing in the coming sections. 

After seeing the side-by-side comparison of the Hoka Clifton 8 and Brook Glycerin 20, you will be able to choose which pair suits you best

Main features of Hoka Clifton

Hoka is a newly established and fast-growing shoe brand that was first founded in 2009 in France and was later acquired by Decker Brands in 2013. It came to fame as a sportswear running shoe company.

Hoka launched many shoes that are known for their lightweight and cushioning. One of these is the Cifton 8s which weigh 8.9 oz. It has cushioned midsoles that provide protection while keeping the toe-off much more responsive in case you want to run faster. The symmetrical bed of cushion embedded in the midsole provides only enough stability to your feet and is not aided with any other technology to avoid any unnecessary restrictive stabilization.

hoka clifton 8

Some of its unique features include an EVA sole that makes the shoe weight 15% less as well as increases the flexibility of the sole. The early-stage meta-rocker helps you to walk and run smoothly. It has a breathable engineered mesh upper that keeps your feet dry by allowing ventilation.

While running or jogging, you always need to be careful about the ground reaction forces. But this is not a problem when wearing the Clifton 8 shoes because it has an extended heel crash pad that provides a smooth landing.

Donning the shoes is made easy with the extended Achilles pull tab which is a characteristic feature of the Clifton 8 shoes.

With all the above-mentioned features that ensure breathability, cushioning, safe landing, smooth transition from step to step, easy wearing, and making the shoes lighter than other running shoes, you can call the Hoka Clifton 8s your ideal running shoes.

Main features of Brooks Glycerin

Brooks started as a brand for bath and ballet shoes in 1914 which later started focusing on running shoes when the world was more captivated by running due to the Olympics fame. With the start of the 21st century, Brooks solely focused on running shoes with the belief that being focused on one thing can make the product even better.

the Brook Glycerin 20 weighs about 10.1 oz with a midsole drop of 10mm and is made with the DNA LOFT v3 cushioning to give a neutral level of support and make it the softest shoe you will ever wear.

Brooks Glycerin 20 uses the nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT technology which is an innovation in cushioned shoes. This feature gives the runners an ultimately softer experience underfoot while running.

brooks glycerin 20

The DNA LOFT v3 technology makes the sole super soft, and responsive. It also enhances the durability of the shoes by making them lightweight.

The plush and breathable engineered air mesh upper, not only prevents moisture but also holds your foot in place and provides a perfectly secure fit.

Wearing the Glycerin 20, you run in a flow because of the redesigned midsole and outer sole which enables a smooth transition from swing to stance.

With all these features, the Brooks Glycerin 20 provides a neutral level of support, the highest level of softness, and extreme cushioning to runners. It makes the shoes perfect for walking and road running.

Hoka Clifton vs. Brooks Glycerin differences 

1. Cushioning and Ride Comparison Differences

Hoka Clifton 8 provides a medium or balanced amount of cushioning that is enough to protect your feet against any ground reaction forces but does not overdo its purpose. On the other hand, Brooks Glycerin 20 is extremely cushioned. You can call it the most cushioned shoes you will ever have. Glycerin 20s has plush cushioning that makes the sole more responsive and gives your feet the softest shoe experience ever. It also has a medial arch support that makes these shoes perfect for people with very high arches or those who need inserts for arch supports. The medial arch support makes running smooth for people with fallen or high arches.

So clearly, Brooks Glycerin 20 is more cushioned and highly responsive compared to Hoka Clifton 8.

2. Upper and Fit Comparison

Clifton 8 and Glycerin 20 are both flexible shoes with a breathable upper. The upper in both brands is made of breathable mesh that keeps the feet dry and makes these shoes best for running but the Brooks Glycerin 20 is slightly more flexible than the Clifton 8.

Brooks Glycerin 20 molds the feet perfectly because of the upper and plush inside, but it lags sufficient toe boxing as experienced by many runners. On the other hand, Hoka’s Clifton 8 has more room for toe boxing which makes the sizing more accurate and comfortable for long runs.

As a conclusion, although the Brooks win at flexibility and foot-holding, it can’t defeat Hoka’s toe box roominess. Breathability is the same for both pairs.

3. Weight and Responsiveness Comparison

Hoka Clifton 8 is the lighter one among the two pairs. Due to extra cushioning, you should expect Brooks Glycerin 20 to be a bit heavier as it weighs 10.2 oz compared to the Clifton 8 which weighs only 8.9 oz.

The added cushioning makes the Glycerin 20s sole more responsive however, the Clifton 8s have an early-stage metarocker and heel crash pads for smooth landing and step transition.

Although durable, you can not use the Glycerin 20s for long runs due to the heavyweight, so it’s better to choose it when you are walking or running on roads for a short run. For hard terrains and long trail running Clifton 8 is better because of the lightweight, heel crash pad, and early-stage metarocker.

4. Durability Comparison

Since the durability of shoes depends on the structure and material of the shoes as well as the weight, gair pattern, and usage of the person wearing these shoes, comparing the two pairs is somewhat difficult.

Both pairs lasts from 300 to 500 miles or say 4 to 6 month depending on which type of surface you run, your weight, and how much you care for your shoes.

Some people might find that Hoka’s Clifton 8 runs much more than the Brooks Glycerin 20 but again that’s all relative to who is using the pair and how is it getting used.

hoka gaviota 4

5. Price Comparison

The Hoka Clifton 8 costs $140 which is lesser than the Brooks Glycerin 20 pricing at $160. A comparison of the features reveals that Cliftons are good value for money since they provide the necessary cushioning and support while being lightweight at the same time. $160 for the features that Gleycerine 20 provides is also not exorbitant given that it has maximal cushioning and arch support.

In conclusion, if you don’t require maximal cushioning and medial arch support, Clifton 8 is the best choice and value for the money.

6. Sizing and Fit Tips

Hoka Clifton Sizing and Fit

These shoes are true to size and have enough toe-boxing space that someone would hardly get the wrong fit.

People having wider feet should not worry because the shoes are available in “Normal” and “Wider” size ranges. So if your feel is wider in the front you can get a pair in the wider category.

Brooks Glycerin Sizing and Fit

These shoes usually run smaller in size because of the narrow toeboxing. The brand also recommends you buy a half size larger than your usual shoe size for a perfect fit.

You can also go for “Narrow”, “Normal”, and “Wider” options because the brand offers three categories for all foot types and sizes.

7. Ideal Uses Comparison

The Brooks Glycerin 20 is ideal for walking and running on roads and for short to medium-distance runs. It can be a bit unstable on uneven surfaces which means you should not use it for long trail runs.

The Hoka Clifton 8 is ideal for running on roads, walking tracks, and long trail runs, and even good for wearing at home. These are lightweight and good for casual as well as trail uses. 

8. Stability Comparison

Both Clifton 8 and Glycerin 20 have neutral stability. They provide enough stabilization to the foot as required and do not over-restrict the movements by adding enhanced stabilization components. However, the medial arch support in the Brooks Glycerin 20 somehow enhances foot stability for people with fallen or raised medial plantar arch.

hoka rincon

When Should I Choose Hoka Clifton

If you are fond of trail running and frequently go for long and hard terrains then you should use the Clifton 8 shoes because they are lightweight, make them easy to carry for a longer time, and are flexible enough to adapt to different structures of the terrain surfaces.

These shoes are provided with heel crash pads that protect your feet against the pressure exerted by the hard terrains on your heels.

When Should I Choose Brooks Glycerin?

If you regularly go for a walk or running on walking tracks and fine roads then you should go for Brooks Glycerin 20 because it has maximum cushioning that makes it best for regular use.

People who need arch support due to a fallen medial plantar arch or a raised arch feel comfortable in these shoes specifically because of the medial wedge added in this pair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hoka owned by Brooks?

No, Hoka is not owned by Brooks, these are two separate shoe brands for running shoes. In April 2013, Hoka was purchased by Deckers Brands, also known as DECK, which also owns other similar shoe brands like Teva and UGG.

What is the Hoka equivalent to Brooks Glycerin?

Hoka Clifton and Hoka Bondi are the equivalent shoe models to the Brooks Glycerin because of the maximum cushioning these models are provided with. The Hoka Bondi 8 is specifically provided with Plush cushioning, just like Brooks Glycerin which makes it a tough competitor with a lighter weight.

Which shoe is better for heavy vs. lightweight runners?

For a lightweight runner, I prefer to wear the Hoka Clifton 8 which is light itself. For runners with heavyweight, I recommend the Brooks Glycerin because people with higher BMI often have pronated feet, flat feet, or plantar fasciitis, which are all pretty easy to handle with Brooks. Brooks can support the arches, can uplift the heavyweight because of the flexible and resilient outsole, as well as it makes sure your feet are at rest the most during walking or running.

Do the Hoka Clifton and Brooks Glycerin perform well on different types of surfaces?

Yes, both pairs demonstrate compatible performance on a variety of surfaces from hard terrains to smooth roads. Both pairs have a gripping outer sole that prevents falls on slippery surfaces like marble tiles. The outer sole of both models is resilient to wearing against concrete. Both models are flexible enough for molding to the ups and downs of off-track ground surfaces.

Which shoe is better for walking vs. running?

For walking I would recommend the Brooks Glycerin over Hoka because it has the cushioning and supportive structure that can aid your walks without making you too fatigued. You can obviously use the Brooks for running but due to the extra weight of the cushioning, it can make you tire faster. So I prefer the Hoka Clifton 8 for running because of the heel crash pads, early-stage meta rocker, and lightweight. During running, the early stage metarocker aids in propelling your foot forward in the toe-off stage of gait. The heel crash pads absorb the high-impact ground reaction forces during running.

hoka bondi 8

Which shoe lasts longer?

Hoka Clifton and Brook Glycerin both last somewhere between 300 to 500 miles. Some people consider Hoka as long-lasting while others have an opposite experience with both pairs. Durability depends on many individual factors as well like weight, running time, running surface, and type of gait while walking or running. For someone with a pronated foot, Brooks Glycerin might last longer because of the medial arch support.

Are the Hoka Clifton and Brooks Glycerin suitable for runners with different foot shapes?

The Hoka Clifton is good for people with a normal foot shape although someone with high arches can also wear it. For Flat feet and plantar fasciitis, Brooks Glycerin is the best option. Brooks Glycerin has medial arch support that makes running easier for people with a flat foot. Similarly, cushioning soothes the feet and is good at reducing pain for someone whose feet hurt during walking or running due to plantar fasciitis.

Which provides better stability?

Both pairs provide neutral stability. None of these shoes have any added technology for boosting stability. 

Which is best for marathon training?

Brooks is slightly better for marathon training because these are slightly hard to break in which makes the training sessions even more challenging. They are heavyweight and can increase the intensity of the training. Other than that it protects your arches because it has the medial arch support. These shoes also protect your feet against abrasions, bruises, and friction injuries as they have a breathable upper, plush cushioning, and grab your feet preventing any slipping.


Hoka Clifton 8 and Brooks Glycerin 20 are the two best running shoe models provided with cushioning and have a breathable mesh upper. Among the two, Brooks is more cushioned, Hoka’s are lightweight, and both are at the same level when it comes to stability.

The characteristic features of Hoka that are not there in Brooks include the pull tab for easy wearing, the heel crash pads, and the early-stage meta rocker. Characteristics of Brooks that are absent in Hoka are the medial arch support and maximal level of cushioning. Because of these features, it is clear that Hoka’s are best for long runners while Brooks is good for short walks and runs.

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