Hoka Bondi 8 Review (2022): The Most Cushioned Shoes?
Published on: 09/19/2022The Hoka Bondi 8 is a shoe with soft XL cushioning ideal for everyday running and recovery.
Good soft max cushioned shoes, ideal for recovery and comfortable long runs.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
After a carbon-plated X edition, Hoka pick things up where it left them off with the Bondi 7. Everything suggests that the series will evolve with two versions from now on.
The Hoka Bondi 8 takes the very comfortable design of version 7 while adding more foam: the stack increases to 39 mm in the heel and 34 mm in the front.
The result is a smooth and easy ride, ideal for daily training, long runs, and recovery. Testers note that the Bondi 8 shoe is not exceptionally responsive but still fluid.
The other significant change is the fit: the Bondi 8 has more room than in the past to accommodate more foot shapes, especially wide ones.
However, the main downside of the collection remains its weight. With more than 10.6 oz/300 g, we are dealing with a mastodon. Too bad!
Please read our full review of the Hoka Bondi 8 for more information.
- Very comfortable shoe
- Soft cushioning
- More space inside
- Precise lockdown
- Vegan and recycled materials
- Not comfortable for everyone
- Still heavy even if there’s an improvement
Hoka Bondi 8 Review Analysis
Hoka surprised its fans in 2021 with the launch of the Bondi X, an incredibly cushioned daily trainer equipped with a carbon plate. Many were disappointed to see their favorite shoes surpass the 200 euro mark, while others welcomed an ambitious model.
“Phew” of relief: with the release of the Hoka One One Bondi 8 in August 2022, Hoka says the Bondi will continue to exist in its classic form. Or almost. The cushioning takes another step forward by reaching 39 mm heel stack height! So what is this new model worth? That’s what we’ll see in this detailed analysis.
The stack height increases from 33 mm on the previous version to 39 mm on this new Bondi 8. The cushioning is soft and maximal for maximum shock absorption while running.
Hoka does not give much info on the midsole foam, but they assure that it is new and more resistant for long-lasting comfort. In practice, we find a rather classic EVA foam that offers excellent comfort but no particular responsiveness or energy return, even if the Meta-Rocker geometry (rocker shape) allows for a smooth ride. Indeed, despite the low heel-to-toe, it allows this neutral shoe to be suitable for heel strikers.
The testers highlight the soft, protective, and relatively stable cushioning but regret a lack some spring and flexibility with this shoe. We’ll explore this point in more detail below.
Foot lockdown (upper)
The Bondi 8 has an imposing build. As we’ve seen, its sole is thick, but that’s not the only padded part of these shoes!
The Bondi 8’s upper is also thick and cushioned to comfortably locks-in the foot into the shoe, especially around the heel collar.
The partial gusseted tongue helps prevent the laces from compressing the top of the foot unpleasantly.
Unlike other Hoka models, this one has a large toe box with enough room for wider feet. Many testers were enthusiastic about this important detail and found it to improve comfort significantly. Altra Running and its spacious shoes have to be careful!
However, runners note two negative points to consider:
- The weight: with 308 g for the men’s version, we wonder what the research and development team of the American brand is doing.
- The raised and flaring midsole can press hard against some people’s foot arch near the heel. This doesn’t affect everyone, so be careful when trying them on. On long runs, it can, unfortunately, cause blisters.
- The sidewalls can also get in the way.
Finally, note that these running shoes use partly recycled materials and that it is 100% vegan!
Grip and durability
Like the previous version, the outsole uses a combination of exposed EVA foam and rubber overlays to protect the platform and maximize traction on the road.
The result is convincing, with a good grip on wet pavement and easy dirt roads.
The Bondi 8 is pretty durable overall. Runners who have tried these running shoes note signs of wear after several long runs but nothing dramatic.
Let’s put it in context: the Bondi 8’s biggest selling point is its incredible comfort So it’s not a shoe for smashing a new segment on Strava but a model for long, comfortable runs.
Thus, athletes appreciate it, especially for everyday running and recovery runs where your feet and legs just want an easy and soft run.
In this regard, the Hoka Bondi 8 fulfills all of its objectives. However, it’s not a shoe for tempo runs or splits with no noticeable bounce or flexibility.
Regardless, testers still appreciated the smooth transitions the shoe offers. Clearly, without being a speeder, it’s not a brick underfoot either.
If the Hoka Bondi X and its carbon plate scare you, the new Hoka Bondi 8 goes back to the basics with a similar configuration to the previous models but more cushioning and lighter! It’s a step in the right direction even if there are still some problems.
Are you looking for the ultimate comfort shoe to handle most of your training miles in comfort? The Bondi 8 is for you. On the other hand, runners looking for responsiveness and ground feel will be out of luck.
|Heel height||39 mm|
|Forefoot height||35 mm|
|Weight (men)||307 g/10.8 oz|
|Weight (women)||252 g/8.9 oz|
|Features||Vegan, Wide feet, Heavy runner, Recycled materials|
|Midsole||EVA foam, Ortholite Hybrid|
|Distance||Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon|
|Workout||Daily running, Recovery|
Reference: Hoka's official site
Comparisons – Hoka Bondi 8 vs.:
Hoka Bondi 7
The new Bondi 8 is roomier with more cushioning (6mm more for a super thick midsole). The toe box is also larger with a shape that should suit more runners.
The 8 is also lighter, about 0.5 oz/15 grams less than the 7.
Hoka Bondi X
Both shoes are very similar, but the X has a carbon plate which gives a more responsive ride.
However, the X is less cushioned and much more expensive. The 8 seems a better option overall in terms of value for money.
Hoka Clifton 8
Hoka Rincon 3
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These shoes run true to size and are loose enough for wide feet.
Yes, the comfort is there, without a doubt. However, for the performance, you’ll have to come back later!
Indeed, they are known to be very comfortable beyond running. But be careful, no hiking: we are talking about classic walking in the city or on dirt roads.