The Most Popular Running Shoe In The World Is The Hoka Clifton, According To Strava Data

Hoka Clifton 9 running shoe
The Hoka Clifton was the most popular running shoe worn by Strava users in 2023 (Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Strava has launched its annual Year In Sport report, which draws on data from the app’s 120 million-strong user base to highlight trends in fitness and sport. There are all kinds of interesting nuggets in the report, but as a running shoe obsessive, I immediately checked to see what the most popular running shoes worn by Strava users were.

Top of the charts globally was the Hoka Clifton—no data is given on the exact version of the shoe, with the latest being the Hoka Clifton 9—with the runner-up being the Nike Pegasus, with the Nike Pegasus 40 coming out in 2023.

Interestingly, the Hoka Clifton also topped the charts when just looking at US and UK users, with the Pegasus also being the runner-up in the UK, while the Brooks Ghost was runner-up in the US.

This data is from Strava users who log their shoes in the app, which is a minority of users in my experience, but the Year In Sport report is bolstered by a new survey of 6,990 active people from around the world in 2023.

I’d also say that the shoes that have come out on top are not huge surprises. The Clifton, Pegasus and Ghost are all well-established shoe lines that are good value and will work for a variety of runners. 

You can usually find these shoes in sales too, especially if you’re happy to opt for an older version. That’s wise with the Nike Pegasus 40 and Brooks Ghost 15 in particular, since the most recent versions aren’t substantial improvements, though I do much prefer the Clifton 9 to its predecessor.

It is a bit surprising that the Clifton has edged out the Pegasus and Ghost, since those are more established shoes from what are traditionally seen as bigger brands. 

The report also contains some interesting facts about which shoes have quickly grown in popularity, with the Asics Novablast and Saucony Endorphin Speed both standing out as shoes that have become much more popular in 2023 compared with 2022, along with the Clifton itself, which has surged all the way to the top of the charts. There is also a gender divide on shoe choice, with the Pegasus being the most popular pick with men globally, and the Clifton being number one for women.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.