The Hoka One One Bondi 7 is large and in charge. The ample cushioning is great for runners that need a lot of cushioning to protect knees and joints, as well as runners recovering from an injury. It's super comfortable, but not very fast.
I am a lifelong runner, certified running coach, and 7x marathoner. My last marathon was a 2:56 in 2019 ran with a torn hamstring. Unfortunately, I have battled injuries ever since. My latest injury is a torn plantar fascia which is now healing. I am returning to running very cautiously. Shoes are more important now than ever with this injury, so I look for a lot of cushioning plus a heel counter that minimizes heel slipping.
Keep reading to see how these performed on my test run.
If you love max cushioning and aren't too concerned with the overall weight of the shoe, the Hoka One One Bondi 7 is worth checking out!
Even when I swapped in custom orthotics (due to a plantar tear), I still felt that these shoes were just a little too big on my feet.
Sure, they're comfortable, but they slowed my pace due to the weight. These shoes weigh in at just 8.9 ounces, which isn't the heaviest trainer out there on the market, but it just feels heavy and a little clunky. Due to the weight, my pace was a solid 20 seconds slower on many runs. The plus side is this forces an easy pace! They're great for recovery runs, walking, or runners that like to take it slow. For speedwork? Not so great.
This model is almost like the original Hokas—a lot of shoe, especially in the heels. The ample cushioning helps prevent injury or protect someone like me from aggravating a previous foot injury. However, this is not a shoe I would wear to do any speedwork or even long runs if it makes my legs feel heavy. It is not a responsive or nimble shoe.
The early-stage Meta-Rocker combined with the thick EVA midsole made my gait cycle feel incredibly smooth, almost like I was running on clouds. With a plantar fascia injury, the cushioning on these shoes felt terrific!
They were breathable, provided plenty of room in the toe box for natural toe splay, and were very breathable. There were no noted hot spots or rubbing on the heel collar, even on those first initial runs.
Sure, they may be a little bit more expensive than other trainers, but the heightened durability and comfortable ride are well worth every penny.
I would recommend this shoe for long runs and base building easy runs. For faster runs, I will likely grab my Rincons. For recovery runs- the Bondi will undoubtedly be added into the rotation!
These are definitely worth checking out if you aren't concerned too much about weight, or really don't incorporate much speed work into your training. In all, The Bondi 7 is a solid shoe with plenty of cushioning and support.