Hoka One One Bondi 8 - Women's Review
Cons: Less responsive, maximal design won't suit everyone, uncomfortable upper, narrower than past iterations
Manufacturer: Hoka One One
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Hoka One One Bondi 8 - Women's
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$140.00 at REI
|Pros||Super plush, durable build, stable||Comfortable, responsive, many size options available, durable, traditional fit||Well-cushioned, protective, available in multiple width options, stable and supportive||Lightweight, comfortable, affordable, responsive||Lightweight, well-cushioned, stable, comfortable|
|Cons||Less responsive, maximal design won't suit everyone, uncomfortable upper, narrower than past iterations||Heavier than some, somewhat pricy||Heavier than some, support structures might feel too rigid for some runners||Less laterally stable, somewhat narrow fit||Wide footprint, 5mm takes some getting used to|
|Bottom Line||If you are looking for an ultra-cushioned road running shoe to help protect your joints over long distances or throughout long days on your feet, the underfoot stack of this shoe will serve you well||This smooth-riding, highly responsive, and traditionally shaped running shoe is your one-hit wonder when it comes to running shoes, from speed days to long efforts||This all-around fantastic shoe will support your musculature and provide comfort no matter the distance of your endeavors||This lightweight and responsive shoe is our go-to for faster-paced runs where we crave the sensation of flying||This well-cushioned and comfortable running shoe provides lightweight comfort and protection for your joints as you pound pavement|
|Rating Categories||Hoka One One Bondi 8||Brooks Glycerin 20...||Brooks Adrenaline G...||Saucony Kinvara 13...||Hoka One One Mach 5...|
|Landing Comfort/Cushioning (25%)|
|Upper Comfort (15%)|
|Specs||Hoka One One Bondi 8||Brooks Glycerin 20...||Brooks Adrenaline G...||Saucony Kinvara 13...||Hoka One One Mach 5...|
|Weight (per shoe, size 7)||9.52 oz||8.61 oz||8.11 oz||5.86 oz||6.42 oz|
|Heel to Toe Drop||4 mm||10 mm||12 mm||4 mm||5 mm|
|Width Options||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular, Narrow, Wide, Extra Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular|
|Upper Material||Engineered Mesh||Synthetic mesh||Mesh||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh|
|Midsole Material||Foam||EVA foam||EVA||EVA||PROFLY foam|
|Sole Rubber||Durabrasion Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubberized EVA|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The latest version of the Bondi by Hoka left our testers disappointed. The underfoot cushion and epic stack height feels the same as it has for the last few years, but the upper comfort really took a hit this time around. If you have a semi-narrow foot and are looking for a plush cushion to run upon, you might like the updated Bondi.
As a trend, maximalist shoes tend to score poorly in this metric and the Bondi 8 falls in line. This shoe is built for comfort, not fast turnover and speed, so it is no surprise that it is not the most responsive.
When it comes to a maximally cushioned shoe’s responsiveness, the Bondi isn’t the actual worst though. Because Hoka thoughtfully designed the midsole with rear crash pads and ultralight foam, the Bondi does offer some bounce. The weight of the shoe is well-distributed, which aids in its responsiveness by preventing the Bondi from feeling clunky underfoot.
Unsurprisingly, this metric is where the Bondi 8 earned a near-perfect score. With a stacked landing pad and plenty of cushion, the joint protection offered by the Bondi is top-notch. The Bondi 8 has a 4-millimeter drop, with the heel sitting at a lofty 33 millimeters and the toe sitting 29 millimeters above the ground. This means that there is a ton of foam to dampen the impact of each footfall. When it comes to joint preservation and underfoot comfort, the Bondi provides exactly what many runners seeking out a maximalist shoe will need.
The stability of the Bondi 8 is on par with that of the prior models. The engineered mesh overlays of the upper provide strong support, though not quite enough for runners who want support structures to help correct overpronation. This version of the Bondi feels like it is relying on the tight body structure to create stability. This is great for the stability of the shoe, but less so for the overall comfort. Because the Bondi 8 only has a 4 millimeters of heel-to-toe differential, your foot sits on a relatively stable plane. This contributes to the great stability of the updated Bondi.
The redesigned upper of the Bondi 8 is far less comfortable than it has been in the past. As a past award winner for well-rounded comfort, we were disappointed with the updates to the upper of the Bondi.
The overlays of the upper provide support, which is awesome, except that the engineered mesh isn’t quite as forgiving as it was in past versions. The mesh surrounding the toe box is quite rigid and doesn’t leave quite enough real estate for toes to splay. Even our tester with narrow-to-average feet found the narrow and stiff toe box to be uncomfortable. Even after 20+ miles in the Bondi 8, we still felt uncomfortable around the toes due to this updated shape. Since much of the upper comfort occurs around the toe box, loosening and tightening the laces doesn’t influence this. In fact, the tongue of the updated Bondi is quite plush and provides great comfort through the midfoot.
The Bondi 8 weighs 9.52 ounces per women’s size 7 shoe. Since the Bondi is a maximally cushioned running shoe, it is no surprise that it weighs in quite a bit heavier than many of the shoes in our roundup. As mentioned above, we love how well the weight is distributed in the Bondi. While much of the shoe’s structure exists beneath the platform, it doesn’t feel this way while running.
Should You Buy the Bondi 8?
If you want a durably built running shoe that boasts maximum underfoot cushion, the Bondi 8 might be a great choice for you. If you want a shoe that will be with you for long days on your feet, the Bondi can be just that. While not the least expensive running shoe around, it provides good value, especially when it comes to specifically-designed shoes. If the uncomfortable toe box doesn’t bother you and if all of the other elements come together in the right way, the Bondi might be a great choice for you.
What Other Road Running Shoes Should You Consider?
We didn’t test any other shoes quite like the Bondi 8. The Bondi is the shoe that takes a plush stack height to a whole new level. The Hoka Mach 5 beat out the Bondi this time around. Not only does the Mach provide better well-rounded comfort, but it also boasts a significantly lower weight with a responsive kick. If you want a maximally cushioned running shoe that is shaped more like a traditional shoe, check out instead the Asics Gel-Kayano 29.
— Ally Arcuri
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