As the Podiatrist here at Southern Suburbs Physiotherapy Centre, and together with the highly credentialed running Physio team, welcome to the 2nd edition of our regular shoe review series.

Too often we see injuries and comfort issues arise from poor footwear selection, or rusted on positions to a brand.  There are a lot of brands out there, each with models that will probably work for you.  In these reviews, I hope to bring you a model review, a comparison to other brands, the key stats, and the key benefits.

Our biomechanical assessment room at East Bentleigh allows us to really study how the shoe interacts with your walking or running posture.  From a thorough history, hands on joint and clinical evaluation, we will then assess the suitability of your shoes for whatever your training, general exercise and sports requirements with a CLINICAL gait assessment.

hokaoneoneleftHOKA ONE ONE – Clifton.  RRP $189

This relatively new player in the market has it’s roots in ultra trail running in Europe – where running 100+ miles required a lot of protection, cushioning, but importantly – little weight.  The Hoka range look like oversized shoes, but slip them on and you will note the cushion component feels like no other shoe you have tried.  The Clifton in particular, hits the scales at the same weight as a racing shoe, yet has a ‘stack height’ (thickness of cushioned midsole) of a high end training shoe – the best of both worlds for some.

Podiatrically, the things I really like here is:

·         The ‘rocker’ component of the shoe.  Those of you with forefoot pain or bunions will really enjoy this, same for those of you with hip or knee pain – facilitating smooth motion via the shoe has clinically shown benefits for many of these patients.  It’s not for everyone of course, it is extreme cushion in a stable cradle.

·         the deep, NEUTRAL, cradle – the foot sits in the shoe, not on the shoe

·         it suits all demographics – elderly with forefoot pain through to the runners among you looking for high cushion and no weight.


WEIGHT |           217 GRAMS (Men)  185 GRAMS (Women)

OFFSET |           29mm heel – 24mm forefoot = 5mm drop


Brooks Launch               27mm/17mm = 10mm drop.  257 grams (M)

Saucony Ride                 28mm/20mm = 8mm drop.  263 grams (M)

Mizuno Rider                  30/18mm = 12mm drop.  243 grams (M)


Gait assessment shows a very smooth transition (similar to Pearl Izumi in edition 1) with no foot slap/noise with ground contact.  Being a stable neutral shoe, it will capture most feet, and will ultimately come down to fit and feel in the absence of an injury issue for which this shoe (and indeed others in the Hoka range) may be a really important component in assisting management.

Rick Osler