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Hoka’s Bondi 7 Is the Most Cushioned Shoe We’ve Tested

It’s so soft, said a tester, “it makes other shoes feel like running on granite.”

The RW Takeaway: The Bondi 7 is an incredibly soft shoe that provides a cloud-like feel on your run.

  • Full-length EVA foam that provides maximum cushioning
  • Lower stack height and offset than past models
  • New memory foam heel collar

Price: $259.95
Type:
 Road
Drop:
 4mm
Weight:
303g (M), 252g (W)

 

 

Hoka One One’s lightweight shoes, like the Rincon, have challenged our perception of the brand. But its maximalist reputation is preserved with models like the Bondi 7, a shoe that doesn’t disappoint with its generously cushioned midsole. The thick slab of full-length EVA foam creates the sensation of “running on clouds,” one tester said.

Bondi 7
Hoka One One

$259.95

PROS:

  • New memory foam collar for a secure, comfortable fit
  • Hoka’s most cushioned running shoe

CONS:

  • Wide for narrower feet
  • Thick upper causes overheating

For many of our testers and myself, the Bondi is the ideal shoe for all-around comfort on the run. It’s not for speedwork—the shoe is even heavier than its predecessor—but it’s the perfect excuse for runners to pull back and run at recovery pace. For those who gravitate toward highly cushioned trainers, the 7 is a dependable maximally cushioned shoe for long runs and marathon base building.

“This is a really great training shoe for anyone who likes a lot of cushion,” said a tester. “I am currently training for my next marathon so testing these shoes was a dream while building up my mileage.”

Lower Stack Heights and Offset

The Bondi 7 has a low offset compared to past models, which ranged between 7mm to 10mm. Despite the shoe featuring Hoka’s meta-rocker technology (curved geometry for smoother heel-to-toe transitions), I felt toe-off required more effort due to the 4mm drop.

Overlays lend structural support on the engineered mesh upper.

The 27mm forefoot stack height (29mm, men’s) is high compared to the average trainer, which is between 21mm to 23mm. Testers commented on the stack height, noting how it slightly affects stability.

“The height of the shoe is still pretty intimidating,” said one. “I did turn my ankle a few times. Nothing serious, but a little concerning.”

Surrounding Comfort

Besides the maximum cushioning underfoot, the shoe provides surrounding plushness with an updated heel collar. The new memory foam collar helps secure the foot and surrounds the Achilles with pillow-soft padding.

The Bondi 7 is updated with a new memory foam heel collar.

The shoe’s engineered mesh upper also provided comfort but caused overheating. “The walls of the Bondi are soft and thick—great for additional cushioning but not great at letting heat escape,” said a tester.

More Tester Feedback


Melinda L. | Tester since 2017
Arch: Flat | Gait: Overpronator | Footstrike: Forefoot
I am not going to lie, I was skeptical. I was a Hoka virgin. The first run out, with the weather getting warm, I had some hot spots in the toe box. About two miles into the run, I pulled off and re-laced the shoe, leaving more room in the toes and tighter around the ankle. I have to say, I have grown really fond of the Hokas! Prior to this trial, I was wearing the Saucony Hurricane. The Hurricane has a marshmallowy cushion system. I feel the Hoka cushioning was similar in nature. The Bondi has less posting and support than the Hurricane.”


Laura P. | Tester since 2017
Gait: Neutral | Footstrike: Heel
“My feet literally smooshed into the soles like they were clouds. These are the most cushiony shoes I’ve ever run in, but they provide the perfect balance of cushion and support for long-distance training on roads. I don’t consider myself a fast runner by any means, but the shoes were responsive when I wanted to pick up the pace a little bit or do some post-run strides. However, after one track session in the Bondi 7s, I opted for a lighter weight shoe that wasn’t so bulky because I prefer a little less cushion when I want to go short and fast. The cushioning was even throughout the entire shoe; I didn’t feel a difference between toe and heel cushion.”

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