Are you looking for the highest cushioned running shoe the world has to offer?
This model matches the cushion of its predecessors while adding some new and improved designs, features, and colorways.
While the look may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as far as aesthetics, as soon as you put this shoe on and feel its comfort, you will quickly disregard the high stack height and bulky look.
It truly feels like walking on clouds yet maintains a smooth and efficient ride.
But, let’s not spoil all the details . . .
Continue reading to see all the Bondi’s features and why you will not want to miss out on the Hoka Bondi 7.
|Many Widths and Colors
Hoka Meta-Rocker Technology and Specs
Hoka is one of a kind with its meta-rocker technology and the Hoka Bondi 7 is the most pronounced when it comes to noticing the meta-rocker in the shoe.
Hoka introduced the world to the meta-rocker platform in their original Clifton model and changed the way runners view propelling forward.
Their goal was to mimic a natural stride of ‘heel to toe‘ and take the pressure off the bottom, essentially making the shoe work with the stride.
Since then, the meta-rocker sole has become Hoka’s trademark design and continues to help runners of all kinds.
This rocker design has not only gained popularity amongst runners, but also among professionals on their feet all day and those suffering from, or prone to, injuries such plantar fasciitis foot pain, ankle pain or neuropathy.
Well, the rocker bottom does not allow for a traditional toe-break at the forefoot (right under the big toe) and thus does not put nearly as much strain or force through the plantar region.
Additionally, if there is any joint pain, without the toe breaking under the big toe as prominently this immobilizes the area and allows for decreased pain and discomfort.
Related article: Hoka Rincon 3 Review
Hoka created a monster marathon shoe and a way to help heal injuries! Two in one.
The Bondi 7 features the heaviest use of the meta-rocker platform and the highest stack height giving it max cushion.
For runners, this helps decrease the pounding and force placed on the body and is designed as a recovery shoe for long easy miles.
Related Article: Hoka One One ORA Recovery Slide Review
For working professionals, the same principle is true, designed to allow people on their feet all day to fatigue a little less quickly.
Other Hoka One One Bondi 7 Specs:
The Hoka Bondi 7 is classified as a neutral, max-cushion road running shoe according to Hoka.
It weighs about 8.9oz (~252g) for Women and 10.7 oz (~284g) for Men, which is a little on the heavier side for a trainer.
But, compared to other high cushion models like the Brooks Glycerin 19, it is relatively lightweight for the substantial cush.
With that, the drop height is standard for Hoka at 4mm but the stack height is a whopping 36mm in the heel and 32mm in the forefoot.
That is a lot of cushioning and no doubt why the Bondi 7 feels like walking and running on pillows.
Related article: Hoka One One Bondi 8 Review
This season of Hoka Bondi’s offered a plethora of color options in regular and wide widths
Hoka really made an improvement to their color scheme which makes this shoe look a little sleeker despite its high profile.
It also comes in an additional all-black leather option and slip-resistant options to meet the needs of working professionals rather than only runners.
See also: Hoka vs On Cloud Shoes
The Hoka Bondi 7 is a standout for inclusivity when it comes to widths.
Because this shoe is marketed towards not only runners but members of the workforce who spend much time on their feet and those with potentially significant injuries, there are width options up to 4E (Extra Wide).
And even in the wide and extra-wide options, there are still at least two colors to choose from.
These width options are really important for anyone struggling with a neuropathy or inflammation injury to their feet.
Other Important Features:
This year’s Bondi also made a few updates like adding a memory foam collar around the ankle, an internal heel-counter to help stabilize, and a beveled heel design, designed to help with a smooth ride and increase durability.
The Road Test: Hoka Bondi 7 Ride and Comfort
The ride on the Bondi is truly out-of-this-world comfortable.
While many shoes claim to have a plush, cloud-like feel, the Bondi outdoes every other shoe and actually feels like a pillow under the foot.
There may be some skeptics that say this would not be comfortable or energy efficient for running, however, because of the combined meta-rocker the Bondi still offers a smooth ride.
Albeit not as efficient as a shoe with a carbon fiber plate, the Bondi still offers a ride that will easily carry you through all the long miles of a marathon build-up.
And, thanks to the improved heel cup and memory foam collar, the Bondi feels exceptionally secure and stable through the stride.
In previous years, this shoe would not have been recommended to someone who had issues with balance, but because of Hoka’s improvements, this shoe has no problems with instability.
In fact, despite being neutral, many people who have mild stability needs from over-pronation can still wear this model.
This shoe has a smoother toe-off just than any other Hoka (except for the Carbon-X) and feels stable when landing.
The energy efficiency of this model is slightly less than shoes that use a TPU or Pebax foam. This is not due to the amount of cushioning per se but rather from the specific EVA materials used in the Bondi.
EVA foams are more durable, however, this does sacrifice some energy return compared to other modern foam options.
For Hoka, why fix it if it ain’t broke? EVA foam is traditional and runners around the world can testify to how well it performs, so Hoka has continued to use this option in their models.
The good thing about the Bondi 7 is that the EVA foam extends all the way through the mid-foot meaning you will not lose cushioning in the forefoot.
Overall the Hoka Bondi 7 is a top-of-the-line cushioned shoe and truly feels great while running, walking, or standing.
Hoka Bondi 7 Outsole Performance:
Without question, Hoka has improved the outsole on the Bondi 7 compared to previous Bondi models.
A major complaint that Hoka has received as a whole is their use of exposed EVA in their outsole.
This was a major problem in the past for the Bondi and left customers unhappy with the durability of a relatively expensive shoe.
So, in this year’s model, Hoka added an additional rubber to high-wear areas.
Like using classic EVA foam, Hoka uses a traditional blown rubber on their soles.
This provides great grip and connection to the ground while also maintaining durability in the shoe.
One improvement that could still be made is adding the rubber to all areas of the outsole as there is still one spot that is exposed.
The purpose was to decrease the weight of the shoe, but in reality, it decreases the durability slightly.
A final note on the outsole, it performed well in all conditions and on various surfaces. There were minimal issues with wet to dry or pavement to gravel.
It felt connected and secure regardless of the terrain.
Hoka Bondi 7 Upper Unit Performance:
The upper on the Bondi 7 is just as comfortable as its midsole and outsole.
Like the other areas of this shoe, Hoka did not get too fancy with materials.
They stuck with a traditional engineered mesh-upper but they did add a TPU overlay which added a secure feel to the shoe.
Unfortunately, the TPU upper also made the shoe fit slightly more narrow than previous models.
It is still wide enough in the regular width for most feet but is definitely snugger than in previous years.
One special feature Hoka added to this year’s Bondi is their new memory foam collar.
This added security and luxury to their best-selling model.
It also made the heel have a locked-in feel and added a stabilizing feature despite being a neutral shoe.
The Bondi is also considered a high-volume shoe, meaning the height from the liner to the laces is roomy.
This makes it great for anyone with a higher arch or thicker foot and will decrease the amount of compression to the top of the foot which can lead to foot numbness (not the same as neuropathy).
A final note on the upper is the tongue, unlike other current models, this tongue is not gusetted or sown in, but it luckily does not slide around thanks to some mesh webbing that holds it in place.
The upper on the Hoka Bondi 7 is nothing fancy or special and is really quite average overall.
Nonetheless, it gets the job done and this shoe remains comfortable in all regards.
The Review: Our Runner’s opinion
The Hoka Bondi 7 was an intimidating shoe for me.
While I appreciate cushioning, I really prefer to feel the ground underneath me and like a stiffer shoe.
However, slipping this shoe on for the first time rocked my world, no pun intended.
It really lived up to the hype of being a high cushion, plush model of a shoe and I could immediately see why busy medical personnel who spend all day on their feet have been raving about these for so many years.
My first few miles in the shoe took some adjustment because I am so used to a firmer feel and the rocker was noticeable, but it still felt good.
This would not be my pick for anything fast or tempo-based, however.
I definitely consider this shoe to be a recovery-only shoe and designated it for easy runs only.
As far as the fit, I actually found it fit my foot fairly well overall.
The size was consistent with other brands, but just a tad long (nothing like the size discrepancy of the Clifton 8) and was voluminous enough for my high arch.
The main negative I have with this model is that it does run slightly more narrow than previous years, which could be an issue for those trying to find a super roomy shoe.
Overall, I would give this shoe a 7/10 (although a 9/10 for recovery!) and would recommend it for the right runner or working professional. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for a pace or multi-use running shoe, those who prefer minimalist shoes, or those who want a more durable, responsive shoe.
Hoka Bondi 7 Conclusion
There is no doubt the Hoka Bondi 7 reigns supreme in the max cushion shoe realm and for the price this is a super comfortable shoe.
It is not as luxurious as some other shoes in the same category or as aesthetically appealing as some others on the market…
But, it does offer an extraordinary amount of comfort which makes it ideal for high mileage runners and people who have to work on their feet all day.
To wrap it up, the Hoka Bondi 7 is a plush, neutral daily training shoe that has some special features giving it a stable and comfortable ride.
If you would like to check out the Hoka Bondi 7 click here.