Hoka Bondi 8 - Our Thoughts
Hi, my name is Nathan Cremin, I've been training and competing in the sport of track and field for nearly a decade now, mainly racing the 800 metres and 1500 metres and on average I run around 40 - 50 miles per week. Throughout my time as an athlete I have run thousands of miles in countless pairs of running shoes, giving myself a great knowledge on running shoes and their many different uses and abilities. In my post today I'll be giving you the reader my personal opinion and experience with the Hoka Bondi 8s, what I found to be the shoes pros and cons, and what type of runs I would use the Bondi 8s for.
When taking the Bondi 8’s out of the box, the sheer enormity of the shoe was surprising and it was by far the biggest running shoe I’ve ever run in. Compressing the midsole with my fingers, I noticed that the foam felt much firmer than the foam of the Clifton and the Rincon's, however they still felt extremely soft when compared to other shoes on the market.
The First Steps:
When putting on the Bondi 8 for the first time, I could feel the bucket seat arch against my midfoot and the wide base. This is a sensation that I also felt in the Clifton 8s which is something I eventually got used to. At first glance I expected the Bondi 8s to be relatively clunky on my feet however once I started to walk around in them I noticed how light and stable they made me feel. I have always had problems with shoes with little stability so the secureness I felt in the Bondi 8s was a big positive.
Up And Running:
After walking around for a while, I then decided to test them on the treadmill. Starting at a slow pace, I straight away noticed that the foam in the Bondi 8s is a lot softer than the foam in the Bondi 7s, however they still maintained a firmer feel when compared to the Clifton 8s, creating the perfect balance between firm and soft, allowing the possibility for the shoe to be used for various types of runs. When the pace picked up is when I really noticed the benefits of the firm, rocker midsole. I was comfortable running at a relatively quick pace and I liked how the foam made my legs feel like I could run at that pace for a couple of miles, with the bouncy and responsive foam really pushing me forward.
How do they compare?
This is a sensation I also got in the Hoka Rincon 3s and Mach 5s, however the Bondi 8s are certainly not as fast. Another positive I took from testing the Bondi 8s is how locked down and comfortable my foot felt in the shoe. The silky mesh and memory foam upper made me feel fully secured while running and I had no problems with heel slipping.
In conclusion, while the Bondi 8 isn’t as soft as other max-cushioned shoes on the market, it does set itself apart by offering wearers a more stable and dynamic experience.
What it's for:
The Bondi 8 is an incredibly versatile shoe with a range of possible uses. This isn’t just a shoe for the long or recovery day run. It’s a shoe for daily, walking around use. There’s a reason the Bondi model is so popular outside the running and walking community. It’s a supportive shoe that’s fit for a variety of circumstances. Personally if I was going to use this shoe in my rotation it would probably be used for more of my slower, recovery runs after hard sessions, however that's not to say the shoe can’t be used for faster runs, they could be, but there are certainly faster Hoka shoes available, such as the Rincon's for example.
Overall the Bondi 8 is highly cushioned, inherently stable and if you were looking for one shoe from Hoka that really represents the brand and has that ultimate Hoka experience, the Bondi 8 is the perfect option to get.