Hoka Clifton 8 vs. Hoka Bondi 7/X (2022)

Hoka Clifton vs Bondi road shoes

The American brand Hoka (formerly Hoka One One) is famous for its comfortable, cushioned, low-drop shoes. The Clifton and Bondi are among the most popular Hoka running shoes for the road, so it’s interesting to look at their differences and find out which one is the best for you. Let’s see!

Weight

The Hoka Clifton 8 is much lighter than the Bondi 7, with a difference of over 70 g/2.5 oz. The Bondi gets lighter with the X version (2021), but the weight difference is still significant (50 g/1.8 oz).

Cushioning and ride

While both models are among the most cushi

oned shoes, the Bondi offers more generous cushioning with a 33 mm heel stack height for men and 31 mm for women (versus 29 mm for the Clifton). However, the cushioning to weight ratio is clearly in favor of the Clifton.

Next, the cushioning of the Clifton 8 is more responsive, which gives a smoother ride and allows for uptempo sessions. However, the new Bondi X now offers a carbon plate to improve the energy return. The result is convincing but not enough to surpass the Clifton 8 because of the heavy build of the Bondi X and its massive heel.

The two shoes have a low heel-to-toe drop of 5 mm.

These Hoka shoes use compression-molded EVA midsole foam (CMEVA) in terms of technology. It’s an older generation technology that we expect will disappear in the future to be replaced by supercritical foam. Nonetheless, the shock absorption is there for a cushioned ride, but i’s not especially bouncy.

Last but not least, these models are certainly not stability shoes and it shows. They may not be the best pick if you need more support for a stable ride.

Foot lockdown and sizing

Both shoes come with an engineered mesh upper that provides a good lockdown while running. The new comfortable memory foam collar on the Hoka Bondi X is a clear upgrade.

The Clifton and the Bondi fit true to size. However, these shoes tend to be relatively roomy (also in the toe box), which may not be suitable for runners with narrow feet.

Hoka Bondi vs Clifton: which one to choose?

The Hoka Clifton 8 is the best choice in our opinion for its greater versatility, making for a fun ride regardless of your pace. Also, despite the lower stack, it’s still quite a cushioned shoe.

Nevertheless, the Bondi remains an exciting choice if you want very soft cushioning for your long runs or recovery sessions.

Side-by-side comparison

Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
A very good lightweight running shoe with high-stack soft cushioning.
+ Great comfort
+ Soft, high-stack cushioning, which is responsive enough for daily runs
+ Bigger upper suitable for runners with wider feet
+ Breathable (and vegan!) engineered mesh upper
+ Lightweight shoe
Lack of stability, according to some testers
The looser fit of the upper can be tricky to adjust for athletes with thin feet
A good maximally cushioned running shoe for comfortable long-distance running.
+ Soft and very comfortable cushioning
+ Great comfort for long runs
+ More responsive and smoother ride than before thanks to the plate
+ Effective and comfortable foot lockdown overall
+ A wide shoe that will suit wide feet
The large, wide, and soft heel is not for everyone
Heavy shoe
Steep price increase from version 7

Hoka Clifton 8

Hoka Bondi X

TerrainRoadRoad
Pronation typeNeutralNeutral
Heel drop5 mm5 mm
Heel stack height29 mm33 mm
Forefoot stack height24 mm28 mm
Weight (men)250 g/8.8 oz300 g/10.6 oz
Weight (women)215 g/7.6 oz257 g/9.1 oz
Release year20212021

Technologies

OutsoleZonal rubber, flex groovesRubber, Full Ground Contact
MidsoleCMEVA (EVA Compression Midsole), Early Stage Meta-Rocker GeometryCMEVA, Early Meta-Rocker Geometry, Carbon-fiber plate
UpperEngineered mesh (100% vegan)Engineered Mesh

Cushioning

Softness (1-5)4 – Soft 5 – Very Soft
Bounce (1-5) 3 – Moderate3 – Moderate

Use

SpeedModerateSlow, moderate
Distance10K, half marathon, mid-distance, marathon, long-distanceMid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon
Workout Daily running, recovery runDaily running, recovery