Posted on 2 Comments

I cut my expensive Hoka Clifton 2 running shoes – yes I did!

Before I say any more, this isn’t sponsored.  I bought and paid for my Hoka’s, and yes, I cut them……

I know, nuts right?  Especially considering they cost me £100.  To see the slit when I’m wearing them, you have to know it’s there.  If you look closely in this pic, you can see it on the right shoe.

Hoka Clifton 2

It’s hardly noticeable at all really.  But makes a huge difference to wearing them.

Hoka Clifton 2 (e)

They’re like pillows on my feet, and running with fibro isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  I get pain, and it’s not nice pain in most shoes I’ve tried so far, and when I saw Hoka running shoes, they reminded me of my well worn Fitflop clogs for the soles.  Anything that reminds me of Fitflop soles has to be good.  Well, that’s the plan.  I wanted to hate these, so that I could find something that didn’t look so much like clown shoes, but sadly, I’ve had to become a fan, and the colours are mostly just eye wateringly offending.  These aren’t too bad, but still bright.

So, with my credit card out, I scratched my chin, and duly bought a size to match the Saucony ones I already had.  This finding the right shoe can be expensive.  After my first run in the Clifton 2, I got a blister at the ankle behind my heel with the cuff, but that sorted itself out after a couple of more sensible short runs to break them in.

Then the problem started.

My right foot felt incredibly cramped, and after a little run, my little toe was squished against the side.  My toes would start to go numb and I had to stop every five minutes to stretch my foot and ease off the numbness.  I couldn’t return them as I’d worn them outside, and I didn’t want to either, as I struggle with forefoot cushioning in my right foot, which is the foot I have the biggest problem with.

A quick search online, brought up other squished toe runners with the same issue, as Hoka shoes seem to run quite narrow for women, even many men too.  Some online people mentioned cutting a slit at the side, to give that extra couple of millimeters needed for comfort.  Specifically, I came across Stephanie, a Hoka Cutter, who’s an awesome ultra marathon runner, and her blog is quite funny too.

Who’d have thought it – me – taking a blade – as a destructive force on an item that cost over a ton…..  I’m am established Hoka cutter now too..

Slightly glowing with the thought of completely destroying something that cost so much of my hard earned dough, I tried to poke a hole with a normal kitchen paring knife.  Not to be recommended.  Almost sliced my finger off.

I duly gave up and sent the hub for his stanley knife.  Needless to say, he huffed and puffed, but finally gave in and slit around an inch, which seemed to help, then I tried a run, and found I needed another half inch at least.  I decided to widen the slit myself, but this time, lady luck wasn’t on my side, although I did manage to avoid my fingers.  The errant slit went slightly upwards into the plastic, and I spent a few minutes in frantic regret, but it’s totally relieved the pressure, although it’s a very untidy cut.  After another 30k on the shoes, the slit hasn’t widened or torn any either.

Hoka Clifton 2 (c)

Forgive the wonky slit, I’m a novice at mutilating my shoes!!!

Hoka Clifton 2 (d)

That’s if you don’t count the elasticated ballerinas that I cut the elastic on, and made them fit my feet perfectly.

The Result

  • I don’t have to spend more money on a bigger pair of Cliftons in a size that would swamp my left foot, as the Cliftons are long enough for both feet.  I will however, order men’s next time round, as women’s are a B width, and men’s are a D.  Newbie Hoka running shoe buyer mistake.
  • The toes on my right foot are doing a happy dance now they have freedom and no pressure, with no numbness.
  • I’m convincing myself that it’s impossible to spot the slit in the shoe unless you know it’s there.  Humour me on this!
  • It’s like finding the holy grail of comfort.  I don’t want to run in anything else, really, everything I try now, feels like I’ve got blocks of cement on my feet.  But.  I have a perfectly good pair of Sauconys to wear out.  They might become my walking trainers, as they’re also plush, but harder under foot than the Cliftons.
  • The bouncy pillows might slow some people down, but I’m a slow runner anyway, so comfort wins out over speed for me.  I’m a plodder.
  • I’m wearing shoes that mean people expect me to be a better runner than I am.  Laugh at me, go on, it’s ok.
  • Don’t buy shoes with the express intent of butchering them….really…..unless you’re me, and you’d do it again.

Hoka Clifton 2 (b)

When these babies wear out, I’d love to try another different pair with even more cush.  I wish Hoka would make their shoes more foot size friendly with softer uppers, but hey ho.  I’ve worked around it.  Will I always be a Hoka cutter?  Who knows, but I wish their uppers were as good as their soles…

My absolute dream shoe would be Saucony Triumph ISO2 Upper, with the Hoka Clifton 2 sole.  Wishful thinking. 🙂