Hoka One One Bondi 3 Review Facts
In contrast to the minimalist movement, Hoka One One responded to this waning trend in 2010 and gave birth to the maximalist running shoe. It successfully garnered many fans, especially in the triathlon community where optimal comfort is essential.
One of the spawns from Hoka One One is the Bondi 3. It carries a midsole cushion that’s twice as large as that of a typical running shoe. With its cloud-like cushioning, the Bondi 3 is a popular choice for ultra-marathoners and anyone who has been beaten down by standard running shoes, including minimalist shoes which have left many runners with pain and fatigue. The Bondi 3 responds to these challenges in a number of ways.
The outsole consists of a combination of light-weight
and abrasion resistant rubber. The tread pattern is designed for neutral runners in mind. Specific traction zones are included for grip and durability.
The midsole unit is a compression molded EVA midsole, or HIP CMEVA. Size excluded, it’s a pretty standard EVA midsole like in other running shoes. However, it’s twice the volume from a typical midsole, making it the heart and soul of the maximal running experience. It’s super thick size makes it possible to absorb shock impact while providing bundles of cushioning through a lightweight platform. The midsole region also features Hoka One One’s Meta Rocker technology which helps support running gait. A couple of additional add ons are the water drainage outlets, which function like rain gutters, and a removable insole.
The top portion of the shoe features a layered no sew construction for a snug and secure fit. Air mesh material ensures proper ventilation while the stretchy speed lacing system makes it possible to tie up a pair of Bond 3’s in record time. On the rear part of the shoe, you’ll find a full heel counter with a comfort collar while the interior includes a nice amount of padding. The front tip of the shoe features a toe bumper which will come especially handy if you decide to try these out on the trails.
A significant concept in the maximal running experience is the disproportion between volume and weight. In essence, what you get is a big shoe that’s light, extremely light when compared to its sheer size. The Bondi 3 weighs 10.8 ounces, making it lighter than a lot of other road shoes.
The air mesh material on the upper has tiny perforations that function as the shoe’s ventilation system. A runner will get nice amounts of air circulation in every direction in order to help the feet stay cool and dry.
Just like minimalist running was something that required getting used to, the same applies with the maximalist experience. And sometimes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We don’t have to convince you that the Bondi 3 is a soft well cushioned shoe. In general, runners who have purchased a pair of Bondi 3s commend it for its heavenly levels of cushion and comfort. For others, on the other hand, it can be overwhelming to wear such large profile shoes, and certainly no one is claiming that these shoes will be suitable for everyone. In terms of fit, some users report that they are too narrow, which is a bit ironic considering one would assume a “big” shoe to be roomy.
Hoka One One is not shy when it comes to using bright colors in their lineup but we don’t think they go overboard. The Bondi 3 comes in grays, blues, neon greens as well as bright orange and purple for the women’s versions. All their shoes have the “HOKA” lettering on the side. The bright color and large profile shoe combination could appeal to those who want to get noticed. For others, it might be a bit too much to wear big bright shoes.
Several users have reported that the shoe wears out quickly, especially the treading on the outsole. And to reaffirm this opinion, the company doesn’t mention much in the way of implementing any material in particular to enhance durability, other than anti-abrasion rubber on the outsole. Therefore, as a shoe that’s regarded as a contender for triathletes and ultra-marathoners, and athletes who depend on a shoe that will last them all the way from training through race day, the Bondi 3’s shorter lifespan could put its reputation into question.
While you’re not quite on stilts, the Bondi 3 does keep you high enough off the ground that your feet will be further away from any ground hazards
, making it unnecessary to implement any specific protection features that you’d find on a standard shoe. Additionally, the plush cushioning will do wonders in terms of keeping your joints pain-free ( a big reason why a lot of runners switch over to maximal shoes). Many users of the Bondi 3 report not feeling beat up after running in them for a while. The upper does include a wide toe cap in order to protect against small fragments and objects that could interfere, considering that being higher off ground means the toe region will be frequently more exposed to such calamities.
Despite being lightweight, the Bondi 3 does not have the response that one would expect. A compression molded midsole does not respond in the same way from one made through injection process, which creates lighter and bouncier foam. To confirm, reviewers have also taken note from the lack of responsiveness in comparison to a standard running shoe.
In a maximal shoe there’s no need to add any pronation support or much of anything else for that matter. However, the Bondi 3 does include Meta Rocker technology which functions like a rocking chair. The sculpted outsole propels you forward to encourage a natural running gait. As a result, you’ll be less likely to suffer any injuries sustained from ineffective running form.
The Bondi 3 is intended for road use, however, many users utilize it for the trails. It has enough traction to be able to tackle some technical terrain. Unfortunately, some users report that it doesn’t tackle wet surfaces with the same vigor; therefore, it will be best to stick with dry surfaces with this shoe.
The Bondi 3 is priced in the mid $100s, however, supply is very limited as the latest version, the Bondi 4 is now available. There’s very little price fluctuation so competition is limited.
Traction is respectable on this shoe, especially considering that while it’s meant for road use, it does perform adequately over rugged terrain. But as we’ve said before, this is not the best shoe to use on wet surfaces. Consequently, expect to get good enough traction but not exceptional enough to where you can take on the most extreme conditions.
A large volume midsole makes it harder to have flexibility simply because of so much volume being taken up by one component in the shoe. However, Hoka One One’s Meta Rocker technology does compensate from some of the weaknesses in this category in that the rocking chair motion produces a more natural running form. Also, flexibility, or the lack thereof, has not been much of a topic of discussion from other users. So it’s safe to expect reasonable range of motion from the Bondi 3.
This one is a bit of a head scratcher because one would think that a tall shoe would equal a high stability platform. Yet, the heel to toe offset is lower, or as low, as some minimalist running shoes. The reason is very simple: the high midsole foam is evenly distributed. One can expect a natural inclination to land on your midfoot or forefoot with this shoe. However, this can make it a bit awkward at first, considering that a midfoot to forefoot land with a high profile shoe is not going to feel natural at first. But after some acclimation, it could be the best thing since sliced bread.
Coming in at 4.5 mm, the heel to toe offset is very low, making this shoe ideal for mid-foot and forefoot strikers, despite the its high profile. The Bondi 3’s low drop and high cushion is worth much consideration for anyone who is looking to protect their joints from injury and encourage better running mechanics.
• HIP CMEVA Midsole, Exceptionally large midsole cushion
• No Sew Construction
• Low heel to toe offset
• Breathable air mesh upper
• Traction zones ideal for road use & trails
• Meta Rocker technology helps support running gait
• Strategic Hi-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber Traction Zones on Outsole
The Bondi 3, and the maximal running movement for that matter, is a niche area in the running market. So undoubtedly, it’s not going to fit with everyone. It’s very likely that you’ll either fall in love or dislike a maximal shoe for some obvious reasons. Many runners have embraced this movement for keeping their joints going long and strong, especially after having tried minimalist shoes that subject the joints to so much pressure.
Users of the Bondi 3 seem to be very grateful for not feeling worn down after training in them. It’s extremely hard to argue against a shoe that keeps your limbs and joints fresh after running a vast amount of miles. So with that in mind, if you happen to be the individual on the verge of giving up running due to injury or just simple discomfort, the Bondi 3 could be the best and only prescription you’ll ever need.