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Shoe Review: HOKA Bondi 7

A view of the lateral side of the HOKA Bondi 7

The HOKA Bondi 7 has a simple promise: provide cushion without compromise.

HOKA delivered on that promise with one of the best-cushioned running shoes of all time.

HOKA designed the Bondi to be the most cushioned road running shoe in its impressively plush lineup, and the latest edition maintains its place atop that list. The HOKA Bondi 7 packs an enormous amount of foam underfoot for an unrivaled softness that carries you through long runs, recovery days or long shifts on your feet.

Fleet Feet runners tested the HOKA Bondi 7 to get a feel for the foam and see how it compares to the previous generations. Here’s what they thought of the newest Bondi 7.

Tech specs

HOKA Bondi 7

Weight

8.9 oz (W), 10.7 oz (M)

Drop

4 mm

Stack height (heel/toe)

31/27 mm (W), 33/29 mm (M)

Meta-Rocker

Early stage

Category

Neutral

Use

Everyday training

HOKA Bondi 7 Fit and Materials

The mesh upper on the HOKA Bondi 7 running shoe

The Bondi 7 doesn’t just give you cushioning underfoot; it uses extra padding and cushion all around for the plushest feel.

HOKA gave the Bondi a padded heel collar to boost the shoe’s step-in comfort. The padding has a dense, memory foam feeling that conforms well to the shape of your heel. One tester says he felt like the memory foam hugged his heel and distributed pressure evenly, even when the laces were cinched tight.

The cushy feel continues with a padded tongue that helps reduce the pressure of the laces across the top of your foot. Otherwise, the mesh upper feels thin and lightweight, allowing your foot to breathe better when the weather heats up.

An internal heel cup creates good structure that locks your foot into the shoe. None of our testers had trouble with their heels slipping. Again, the memory foam heel padding creates a naturally secure feeling.

The standard lacing system gives the shoe a straightforward fit. There are seven eyelets on each side of the shoe—the top eyelet is empty to give you options to lace the shoes differently—and the familiar criss-cross pattern doesn’t require any guesswork to get the fit right.

The Bondi fits true to length: Testers felt like they had enough room in the toes in their normal sizes. But the shoe runs slightly narrow through the midfoot and forefoot, so runners with wider feet should try on the shoe first or consider sizing up to a wide width.

HOKA Bondi 7 Ride and Performance

A view of the heel on the HOKA Bondi 7 running shoe

Runners, walkers and workers who desire softness above all else will love the cushiness of Bondi 7.

The big stack of foam beneath the shoe is not only the biggest in a HOKA shoe, it’s one of the biggest in the running industry, and it delivers one of the softest rides around. Testers say the Bondi 7 is unlike any other shoe on the market.

“It’s so soft,” one tester says. “I really feel the foam compressing under my feet when I land, but it rebounds quickly enough that it doesn’t feel mushy.”

Make no mistake, though: The Bondi is a soft running shoe. The foam in the Bondi isn't like the foams used in the HOKA Rincon or new HOKA Clifton Edge, which are lighter and firmer.

Few, if any, running shoes match the amount of cushion and the softness of the Bondi.

Because of the impressive stack height, the Bondi also feels like you’re riding higher than in other shoes. It adds noticeable height, which might take a few strides to get used to for runners who have never run in the Bondi before.

HOKA also gave the shoe a slightly beveled heel. If you set the shoe on a table in front of you, you’ll see a little bit of space between the edge of the heel and the table. That bevel is meant to create a smoother transition. Fleet Feet testers couldn’t attribute any sensation directly to the heel bevel, but they say it does roll smoothly through the entire transition.

The Bondi is a big shoe, but it doesn’t feel like a burden given its considerable midsole; there are heavier shoes on the market that give you less cushioning than the Bondi 7. HOKA says the new Bondi weighs 8.9 oz for women and 10.7 oz for men—only slightly different than the Bondi 6, which weighed 8.6 oz for women and 10.9 oz for men.

HOKA Bondi 6 vs. HOKA Bondi 7

When you compare the HOKA Bondi 6 and the HOKA Bondi 7, you'll see many similarities and only a few noticeable differences.

The HOKA Bondi 6 and Bondi 7 are very similar in their appearance and feel, meaning fans of the previous version will get a very familiar experience in the new model.

The biggest change to the Bondi 7 is the pattern of the mesh upper. The Bondi 7 has a larger vent of perforations situated over the toe box, and a couple smaller vents over the midfoot and one at the arch. HOKA also switched up the printed overlays that wrap around the shoe, changing from a horizontal orientation to a vertical one.

Beneath the shoe, HOKA kept the same outsole. The rubber patterns are identical between the two models, with more rubber positioned in high-wear areas, like the heel and forefoot.

Both versions use the same compression molded EVA midsole, which is supremely soft. There’s only one noticeable difference in the midsole when you compare the Bondi 6 and Bondi 7 side by side: The slight ridge pattern on the sidewall near the heel has been smoothed out. Otherwise, there are no obvious differences.

There are slight differences between the Bondi 6 and the Bondi 7. Nearly all of the changes to the Bondi, though, are purely aesthetic and don’t affect how the shoe fits or rides. So, if you were a fan of the Bondi 6, you’ll almost certainly like the Bondi 7.

Tech comparison

HOKA Bondi 6

HOKA Bondi 7

Weight

8.6 oz (W), 10.9 oz (M)

8.9 oz (W), 10.7 oz (M)

Drop

4 mm

4 mm

Stack height (heel/toe)

31/27 mm (W), 33/29 mm (M)

31/27 mm (W), 33/29 mm (M)

Meta-Rocker

Early stage

Early stage

Upper

Engineered mesh

Engineered mesh

Category

Neutral

Neutral

Conclusion

Looking for cushion? Look no further.

The HOKA Bondi 7 is one of the most cushioned running shoes you’ll find. It’s great for easy runs, long runs or jobs that require lots of standing or walking, like nurses and doctors in the hospital. One Fleet Feet tester even praised the shoe for its comfort at her standing desk.

The Bondi isn’t meant for speedwork or uptempo runs, but it excels at keeping you comfortable over many miles. So if you crave cushion over everything else, lace up the HOKA Bondi 7 for unlimited comfort.


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 shipping on orders over $99 and free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.

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