Brooks was founded in Philadelphia in 1914, and is one of the oldest brands in running. While Hoka is one of the newest and fastest growing brands in running. And today we’ll be comparing two of the brand’s most popular shoes. Breaking down the Brooks Glycerin vs Hoka Clifton.
One is the brand’s most cushioned running shoe they make. While the other is from the brand that has built a reputation on cushioned runners. So when looking for something with padding it’s easy to understand why you would look at both of these shoes. Below is a breakdown of the quick differences, specs, images and more.
Brooks Glycerin vs Hoka Clifton
- The Brooks Glycerin is the heavier of the two shoes, weighing 10.2oz. Compared to the Cliftons at 8.9oz.
- Brooks lists the Glycerin as “most cushioned”. The most cushioned shoe in their running shoe lineup.
- Hoka lists the Cliftons as “balanced”. The mid level of cushioning in their running shoes.
- The Hoka Clifton has a smaller 5mm drop. Compared to the 10mm drop on the Brooks Glycerin.
- Both are neutral running shoes. Making them a great choice for most runners.
- The Glycerin tends to run small and have a smaller toe box. While the Cliftons tend to run true to size.
- Both shoes are available in “wide”. But you may want to go a full size up on the Glycerin.
Two of the most well known brands in running. Brooks has been around for over 100 years. Specializing in traditional running shoes. Typically with an 8mm+ drop and moderate cushion on their base models. And a few heavier cushioned runners like the Glycerin. Hoka on the other hand is known for their very mild drop (typically 5mm and under) and a ton of cushion no matter the model.
Below is a more in depth breakdown of Brooks Glycerin vs Hoka Clifton. How they performed, images, and the model I’d choose between the two.
If you have ever run in Brooks before. One of the first things that will stand out about the Glycerin is the amount of cushioning they have. Before you even put them on, you can see those thick soles. And once you put them on, they have every bit of the cushion you are looking for. And while that does come at the cost of some added weight. They are heavy, but nothing out of line for a “max cushion” running shoe.
The problem with the Glycerin though is that the shoe runs really narrow with a smaller toe box. And before running in them I knew I had to go a half size up. So after getting a new pair I was ready to hit the road. But note, make sure you size up. A half size standard and a full size if you like a lot of room.
On the road the Brooks Glycerin feels quick for such a heavy cushioned shoe. That probably has to do with the 10mm drop. They have plenty of arch support for my medium arch. And I’m guessing that even if you have a high arch these will be a good fit. Overall the material of the shoe felt good. With the typical build quality you can expect from Brooks. I’d expect you will get 300+ miles out of these with proper form.
The Clifton is everything you’ve come to expect from a Hoka running shoe. With lots of cushioning with a light breathable mesh upper top. One thing I really like about the Clifton is that it runs true to size. With moderate support and plenty of room in the toe box. Some people still like to size up if they experience swelling when running long distances.
Running in the Clifton, or any Hoka can take getting used to. They feature a spring/rocking that propels you forward. If you’re coming from another brand this can be especially noticeable. And can even cause some minor stabilizer muscle tignes for your first couple of runs. But once you get used to it, you will miss running without it.
On the road the Cliftons are one of my favorite shoes to run in. The cushion can take a few runs to break in and soften up. And they don’t necessarily feel “fast” because of the moderate drop. Compared to the Glycerin, the Cliftons feel a lot lighter. This is really noticeable deep into a long run. Overall I’ve always been a big fan of the Clifton’s.
Below are images showing the Brooks Glycerin and the Hoka Clifton. I feel the profile photo below really shows the inner shadowing on the narrow arch area of the Glycerin.
Brooks Glycerin 19
Hoka Clifton 8
The overall shape of the two shoes look very similar. But you can notice the how narrow the Levitate is in the mid and heal sections of the shoe.
Brooks Glycerin 19
Hoka Clifton Top View
Here it’s even more clear how narrow the Levitate is compared to the Adrenaline in the center of the shoe.
Brooks Glycerin 19
Clifton 8 Soles
Conclusion – Brooks Glycerin vs Hoka Clifton
If you’re looking for a cushioned road runner then it’s easy to understand why you would be looking at the Brooks Glycerin vs Hoka Clifton. The Glycerin is Brooks’ most cushioned road runner. Combining a lot of extra padding with the brooks build quality and a medium drop. They have been making them a long time. While the Clifton is Hoka’s medium cushioned model. Offering a lighter weight with a low drop. It’s consistently been one of the top selling road runners on the market since being released.
But which one is the right choice for you?
Which road running shoe to buy?
While I enjoyed the Brooks Glycerin, the fact that they don’t run true to size will be an issue for a lot of runners. Then there is the weight combined with the larger drop. This was ok for short distances but for longer runs I’m looking for something lighter, with a lower drop.
Enter the Hoka Clifton. Fitting true to size, they are the lighter of the two shoes. And it’s that comfortable fit and light weight that makes them a pure joy to run in. In fact the Clifton have been my daily runners for training for the last few years. And with the amount of shoes I’ve tested, that says a lot.
So for my money I’m going with Clifton. Especial until they update the sizing on the Glycerin.