Best Cushioned Running Shoes: HOKA Bondi 7 vs. Bondi 8 Review

It’s no secret that I am a big Hoka One One running shoe fan. When I deviated from my Hokas was when I got injured. Now, I’m a dedicated Hoka wearer, no more wavering. So, this year I just had to try the best cushioned running shoes on the market, the Hoka Bondi 7, and then the Hoka Bondi 8 which came out in August.

Related: Do PRP Injections Work? My Experience with a Plantar Fascia Tear

While most everyone agrees that Hoka’s Bondi is one of the best cushioned running shoes out there—not everyone loves them (me included). I will explain why!

In this article, I’m going to:

  • Answer general questions about the Hoka Bondi
  • My experience wearing the Hoka Bondi 7 and 8
  • Compare the Hoka Bondi 7 and 8
  • Share specs and cost
  • Offer Bondi reviews from other runners I polled, and
  • Give you the Hoka Bondi bottom line

Hoka Bondi Basics

 About the Hoka Bondi Shoe

   

Hoka Bondi 7 and 8
Both the Hoka Bondi 7 and Bondi 8 are max cushioned running shoes. The Bondi 8 has more cushion for more money.

If you are an injury-prone runner in need of a cushiony, roomy shoe, then the Hoka Bondi 8 is your shoe! Released in August of 2022, the Bondi 8 took the already infamously lush Bondi 7 up another notch to be one of the best cushioned running shoes on the market.

In fact, the Hoka Bondi 8 is Hoka’s softest running shoe. The Hoka Bondi 8 packs more foam underfoot in the hard-hitting areas plus extra rubber for durability than its predecessor, the Bondi 7, for unmatched cushion and improved durability.

The Bondi 8 even has a wider base than the Bondi 7 for extra stability.

Either Bondi’s softness is great for a marathoner’s recovery runs and base-building runs, as well as a person’s long work shifts or walks. Due to its weight and bulkiness, it’s not a good shoe for speedwork, racing, track work, or long runs.

Related: 9 Running Hacks that Will Make You Run Faster

Bondis are Best for:

  • base mileage runs
  • recovery runs
  • walking
  • long periods of standing
  • injury-prone runners
  • moderate pronators, and
  • heel strikers.

Hoka Bondi Pros

bondi-7
You won’t find a more cushioned running shoe than the Bondi 7 and Bondi 8. But it is clunky!
  • Maximum cushion
  • Great support for a neutral shoe
  • Enhanced metarocker for optimal propulsion
  • Wide toe box
  • Memory foam collar
  • Ventilated and fitted upper
  • Durable
  • Added width options
  • Wide base for stability
  • Heel counter cradles foot

Hoka Bondi Cons

  • Heavy and clunky
  • Not versatile
  • Narrow midfoot
  • Tongue of Hoka Bondi 7 slips
  • Low energy return

Are HOKA Bondi worth it?

The Hoka Bondi 8’s are 5 dollars more than the original listing price of the Hoka Bondi 7, coming in at $165. You can nab the Bondi 7 for about $127 now.

The Bondi 8 is a lot of shoe, offering a maximum cushioned ride with better durability than the Bondi 7, making it worth the price of $165—which is more expensive than other brand’s cushioned running shoes.

Related: How Many Miles Should I Run a Day?

How long will Hoka Bondi last?

Some of my Instagram followers said the Hoka Bondi 7 wore out before 400 miles while the Bondi 8 lasted up to 500 miles.

Related: How to Get Faster as a Master’s Runner

What are Bondi 8 GOOD FOR?

bondi review
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The Hoka Bondi 8 and Hoka Bondi 7 are good for injury-prone runners, marathon runners logging lots of miles, or those wanting ultimate cushion, space, and stability. Even though it is a neutral shoe, the Hoka Bondi 8 offers great support and stability for those who moderately pronate.

If you suffer from foot pain such as metatarsalgia, tendonitis or inflammation, neuropathy, or plantar fasciitis, then the Hoka Bondi 8 is your shoe with its ultimate cushion in high strike zones such as the heel. The meta rocker which helps the shoe move with your heel-to-toe propulsion, rather than against it, helps reduce pounding and stress on your feet and body.

The upper fit is somewhat snug, so wide feet may not like the fit. Narrow feet will not like the width. Users also say it lacks arch support.

Related: Do PRP Injections Work? My Experience with a Plantar Fascia Tear

Are Bondi 8 good for Plantar Fasciitis?

Yes, the Hoka Bondi 8 is a perfect shoe for those with plantar fasciitis thanks to its maximum cushion along the entire sole and impact-reducing metarocker. Indeed, I suffered from a plantar fascia tear and plantar fasciitis and chose this shoe to wear on daily walks.

Both Bondi models, the Bondi 7 and Bondi 8, offer:

  • maximum cushion with a thick sole that absorbs impact
  • stability, impact absorption, and cushion for injury prevention
  • neutral yet firm and wide sole that offers supports
  • 4mm heel drop that limits stress on your plantar fascia
  • heel counter that cradles your foot, further limiting stress to the plantar fascia
  • Hoka’s signature metarocker that helps with heel-to-toe propulsion, and
  • a roomy wide base for natural foot placement

Related: Lessons Learned from My Running Injury

Is the Hoka Bondi a stability shoe?

Even though the Hoka Bondi is technically a neutral shoe, it offers enough support to be a stability shoe helping those with moderate pronation.

Who should wear the Hoka Bondi?

Runners, including marathoners, wanting supreme cushion who are battling foot-injuries or are injury prone or heel strike will love the Hoka Bondi.

Who should not wear the Hoka Bondi?

Runners with narrow or wide feet wanting a light, responsive shoe will not like the Hoka Bondi 7 or 8. People with high arches will not like the Hoka Bondi either. 

Hoka Bondi 7 vs. Hoka Bondi 8

My road test of the Hoka Bondi 7 and Bondi 8

Okay, so now we know a bit about the Hoka Bondi. But how do these two models compare on the road? I tested them out for you.

I tried the Hoka Bondi 7 in July of 2022, just before the Bondi 8 was released.

Hoka Bondi 7 experience:

My first impression of the Hoka Bondi 7 was that it was the most cushioned running shoe I have ever worn. Indeed, it felt like I was slipping my feet into pillows. I loved the memory foam collar and the plushness underfoot.

The Bondi 7 provided cushion throughout the duration of my run, even delaying chronic metatarsal pain that begins to haunt me around mile 10.

The heels felt especially supported and I felt very high off the ground as if my foot was never really striking the ground. (Some people may not like this feeling).

bondi-7
I use my Hoka Bondi shoes for recovery runs or as recovery shoes due to the bulkiness.

While I felt like my feet were bulletproof to impact, I also felt like I was wearing boats on my feet. Even though the shoes aren’t incredibly heavy, they felt clunky and hard to lift up. Indeed, my easy pace was as much as 20 seconds slower per mile wearing the Bondi 7s! Therefore I deemed these a recovery run shoe after hard workouts or long runs.

Bondi 8 experience:

A month after running with the Bondi 7s, I tried the newly released Bondi 8. And if I thought the Bondi 7s were like wearing pillows for my feet, the Bondi 8s were like wearing big (really BIG) fluffy clouds.

The Bondi 8s are a marathoner’s dream as far as cushion goes. After a long hard run, you may make an audible “ahhh” when you slip them on. There’s more foam in the sole, particularly high-strike zones and a lux padded collar. Chances are, you’ll like the sleek design which makes it look less like you’re wearing boats for shoes.

Still, running in the Bondi 8s are extremely clunky (even more so than the Bondi 7s, in my opinion—but not by much) so these shoes are best for recovery runs or base mileage.

I wear mine as recovery shoes for walking after hard runs.

Related: The Scientific Benefits of a Long Run

Hoka Bondi 8 vs. Bondi 7 Specs

  • Brand: Hoka
  • Model: Bondi 8 vs. Bondi 7
  • Type: everyday trainer, good for easy runs, recovery runs, walking and standing
  • Terrain: road
  • Stability: neutral
  • Weight:
    • Bondi 8: 8.9 oz for women size 9, 10.8 oz for men;
    • Bondi 7: 8.9 oz for women size 9, 10.7 oz for men
  • Heel Drop/Stack offset: Hoka standard 4 mm
  • Stack height:
    • Bondi 8: 33/29 mm (heel to toe)
    • Bondi 7: 36/32 mm (heel to toe)
  • Width: Regular, Wide (2E), Extra Wide (4E). 
  • Price:
    • Hoka Bondi 8 $165
    • Hoka Bondi 7 $127.95;

Related: How I Stopped Being an Injury Prone Runner

 Which is better Bondi 7 or Bondi 8?

Hoka Bondi 7 vs. Hoka Bondi 8
Hoka Bondi 7 vs. Hoka Bondi 8

The Bondi 8 is a better shoe than the Bondi 7—but not $40 better (which is the price differential).

Both the Hoka Bondi 7 and Bondi 8 are soft, plush shoes that make it feel like you are walking on a cloud. The Bondi 8 is a softer ride with a revamped midsole using resilient EVA-based foam that enhances cushion and durability.

What changed in the new model of the Hoka Bondi 8?

Some of the major changes in the Hoka Bondi 8 compared to the Bondi 7 are to the midsole, width, and durability:

  • More cushioned midsole that is softer and more responsive than the Hoka Bondi 7.
  • Increased durability due to more rubber outsole coverage.
  • Improved sustainability with more eco-friendly materials in the upper section.
  • Wider model for increased stability

Hoka Bondi 8 vs. Hoka 7 Pros

  • More eco-friendly
  • Smoother heel-to-toe roll
  • Roomier toe box
  • Softer yet more durable foam, adding only a bit of extra weight
  • Crash pad foam and rubber is intelligently placed in high-heel strike zones
  • More rubber for added durability
  • Beveled lines are attractive and add shock absorption and durability
  • Increase sole grip for better traction
  • Tongue is half-sewn so it doesn’t slip
  • Ventilated mesh in upper adds breathability and support for foot placement and arches
  • Heel is more tapered to reduce slipping and plantar fascia stress

Hoka Bondi 8 vs. Hoka 7 Cons

  • A bit heavier
  • Bulkier feeling
  • More expensive

Related: OOFOs Recovery Shoes Review 

Which Hoka Bondi is best?

Hoka-bondi-review
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  • The Hoka Bondi 8 is the most cushioned Hoka on the market and is more durable than the Bondi 7.
  • The Hoka Bondi 7 is not as cushioned but is still a super plush ride with a little less weight and size.
  • The Bondi X has a carbon fiber plate that gives your legs a pop of energy return. Like most carbon fiber shoes, it’s not as durable as the trainers, Bondi 7 or 8.

What shoes are comparable to the Hoka One One Bondi 8?

  • Hoka Clifton 8 A good shoe to swap out with for the Bondi is the Clifton 8 which is cushioned by not as heavy.
  • Hoka Mach 4 is slightly lighter than the Clifton and more responsive. It uses the same foam as the foam as Hoka’s Carbon X racing shoe.
  • Hoka Bondi X is the same model as the Bondi but features a carbon plate that gives you a pop on race day. The Bondi is a great racing shoe for injury-prone athletes needing extra cushion.

Related: Lessons Learned from My Running Injury

Hoka Bondi 7 & Bondi 8 Reviews from other runners

Everyone agrees that the Hoka Bondi has a lot of cushion—and is bulky. Below are some of the dozens of Bondi reviews I received from my Instagram followers.

  • “I love mine but they are clunky until you get used to them.”
  • “The rocker helps my big toe joint not hurt.”
  • “So much cushion. Like clouds but they are bulky.”
  • “I love them standing as a nurse. Heavy and thick, so I wouldn’t run in them.”
  • “The cushion wears out super fast!”
  • “Too much cushion. I felt like my feet were sinking into the shoe.”
  • “Good cushion but not a lot of arch support. I wear them for walking.”
  • “I have had several pairs. Very cushy and great for plantar fasciitis. That said they can feel clunky and heavy. I am currently looking for a replacement for my everyday run shoe.”

Related: 9 Steps to Return to Running After Injury

What colors does the Hoka One One Bondi 8 come in?

The Hoka Bondi 8 comes in nine color palette selections including from black, white, “bellweather blue,” and “shell coral.”

What size should I buy in the Hoka Bondi 8?

Hoka’s Bondi 8 runs true to size.  The sizes range from 5 to 12 and come in wide and extra wide. This makes up for the fact that the midsole runs narrow. The toebox is roomy though.

How much does the Hoka Bondi 8 cost?

The standard price of the Hoka Bondi 8 is $165.

Where can I buy the Hoka Bondi 8?

  • Get free shipping and returns even after wearing them for 30 days at Hoka. You get more options but shipping can take longer than a week.
  • Get free shipping and returns and after 90 days at Running Warehouse, plus fast delivery!
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods selection and Roadrunner Sports as reputable sellers with great customer service.

Hoka Bondi 7 and Bondi 8 Bottomline:

Both the Hoka Bondi 7 and Bondi 8 will make you feel like you slipped your feet into a heavenly cloud that also feels like you are running with boats on your feet. If you are injury prone, a marathoner logging lots of miles, a heel striker, a walker, or someone who stands a lot for work, the Bondi is your shoe.

The Bondi 8 is a better shoe than the Bondi 7, but not in equal ratio to the price. If you are wanting to a good deal on a max cushioned running shoe, get the Bondi 7. If you want ultimate comfort, no matter the cost, get the Bondi 8.

I do not recommend using the Bondi as your everyday trainer. Relegate the Bondi 7 or Bondi 8 for easy runs, recovery runs, or walks. They are too cumbersome to wear every day.

If you want guidance with your running goals or marathon training, check out my run coaching services. Also, be sure to check out my free training plans:

 

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