Shoe Review: HOKA Bondi 6

The HOKA Bondi 6 is in a class of its own.

Filled to the brim with a monstrous helping of marshmallowy midsole foam, HOKA designed the Bondi for maximum cushion. But even for a brand that pedals in pillowy foam, the Bondi stands out.

The Bondi 6 is HOKA’s most cushioned road running shoe. Designers gave the Bondi a huge stack height but managed to keep the weight down for a soft and light ride.

Here’s what you need to know about the HOKA Bondi 6:

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 8.6 oz., women’s; 10.9 oz., men’s
  • Category: Neutral, road
  • MSRP: $150

HOKA Bondi 6 Fit

The Bondi prioritizes comfort—on top and bottom.

HOKA gave the Bondi an engineered mesh upper that’s smooth and accommodating. A Fleet Feet tester with wider feet didn’t feel any pinching in the midfoot where the shoe flexes, which is sometimes where he finds running shoes uncomfortable.

The mesh also gives the shoe a smooth feel inside. None of our testers noticed any chafing or hot spots after running in the shoes.

“I liked how the shoe’s upper felt around my feet,” says one tester. “It was snug without being too tight. Getting them on was a breeze because of the pull loop on the heel, and they never felt heavy despite all that foam.”

Another tester with average-width feet says the toe box was spacious, giving her foot enough room to expand with her stride.

“I’m usually on the fence between a 7.5 and an 8 in most running shoes, and I always go with the smaller size in any HOKA shoe because they have enough room,” she says. “The Bondi is no different in that regard.”

HOKA Bondi 6 Ride

The foam has a definite squish when your foot lands, which feels comfortable and protective for long distances or for people who work in professions that require lots of time on their feet. In fact, one of our testers praised the shoe for daily stand-up desk wear.

“This is a great shoe for people who need a lot of cushion, like anyone who is running long miles or is standing and walking all day and need extra support and comfort,” she says.

In the women’s shoe, the EVA foam measures a whopping 31 mm tall in the heel and 27 mm tall in the forefoot; the men’s packs 33 mm in the heel and 29 mm in the forefoot.

HOKA Bondi 5 vs. HOKA Bondi 6

HOKA didn’t change much from the Bondi 5 to the Bondi 6, although it did get a few key updates.

The Bondi 6 is still every bit the max-cushioned running shoe that the Bondi 5 was, but HOKA tweaked its look slightly. The engineered mesh upper received an overhaul; HOKA moved the vents around and changed the design of printed overlays, though the overlays still follow roughly the same pattern from the toe through the midfoot. We don’t think the redesigned overlays changed how the shoe fits or feels.

The most noticeable change, though, is to the outsole. The bottom of the Bondi 5 featured deep grooves that cordoned off the chunks of grippy outsole rubber, but the Bondi 6 offers shallower channels to give the shoe fuller ground contact and a smoother ride.

Both shoes use a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop, so the stance remains the same between models. The Bondi 6 is slightly heavier than the 5, ticking up from 10.0 oz to 10.9 oz. for the men’s shoe and from 8.5 oz to 8.6 oz. for the women’s.

Conclusion

The HOKA Bondi 6 is a light and cushy training shoe that’s built for long days on your feet.

While the beefy midsole takes some getting use to, runners who consistently do long runs on pavement or people who are on their feet all day long (like nurses who log miles around hospitals) will find the HOKA Bondi 6 to be soft and forgiving.


Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

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