The verdict from 15 experts and 100+ user reviews
The majority of experts agree this is a really comfortable cushioned shoe. They’ve described this experience as “it takes comfort to the next level,” “a day spa for your feet,” “like running on clouds.”
Based on different reported experiences about the level of midsole softness/stiffness, we concluded that the plushy feel depends on the climate (midsole foam firms with cold weather, softens with heat and humidity).
Who should buy Bondi 7
This is a maximalist shoe made for runners looking for a soft ride. It’s made specifically for long runs and recovery runs, as well as building up the mileage. Heel strikers benefit from Bondi 7 the most. It’s made for roads, but also works on well-maintained trails.
Who should NOT buy Bondi 7
Look away if you’re looking for a light shoe to accompany you on your speedwork and uptempo runs. This shoe is about comfort, not speed.
If speed is your cup of tea, check out Hoka Rincon 2 or the race-ready Hoka’s Carbon X.
Bondi 7 vs. Bondi 6: pricey minor improvement
If your feet weren’t locked in or had hotspots, Bondi 7 is a good update. Other than that, stick to your Bondi 6, especially if you find a great deal.
2 major improvements of Bondi 7 are heel lock and breathability. Other than that, it’s about nuances or, as experts explained, “Bondi 7 isn’t that different from the Bondi 6,” “nearly all of the changes are purely aesthetic.”
Here’s an experts’ overview of Bondi 7:
Bondi 7 vs. Bondi 6
What got better
- Perfect heel lock
- Great foot lock
- More breathable
- 3mm lower stack height
- Extra-wide option
What got worse
- Midsole softness depends on the climate
Comments that are neither pros nor cons:
- Most agree this is a highly cushioned and very comfortable shoe.
- Experts who commented on the weight found Bondi 7 to be heavy.
- Snug forefoot, but wide and extra-wide options available.
Midsole mood swings no one expected
If you live in a colder climate, the midsole will not be as soft as advertised or as most experts claim. This is because the performance of midsole foam depends on the weather and gets softer in warmer climates.
This explains why experts had completely opposite experiences. On one side there is a “plush pillowy feel” and a photo of a Bondi 7 bent at the midfoot. On the other side, there are comments like “stiff and inflexible” and “rigid and firm.”
It rarely happens that all experts agree on one thing, but here it is: memory foam collar around the heel is the winner.
It got nothing but praise: it molds to your foot, adds more security and personalized feel, feels like the memory foam hugs the heel. An expert described it as “incredibly nice for the area around the heel.”
With Bondi 7 it’s not just about heel lock. Experts agree it offers a stunning lock for the whole foot, thanks to the new upper and overall design. Secure foot in a maximalist shoe = Bondi 7.
Cushioned for comfort and it worked
This is a maximalist shoe with, as an expert described it, “more than generous cushioning.” This is the Hoka shoe to get if you’re into maximal comfort, maximal cushioning, and soft rides.
If you have medium-volume feet, you might find the forefoot of this shoe to be snug. Experts described it as “toebox a little snug but good snug” and “runs slightly narrow through the forefoot.” If this worries you, consider the wide or extra wide option.
Wide feet, catch a break
This is the first Hoka shoe that comes in 3 widths for men: regular, wide, and extra-wide. For women, there are 2 options. Note that not all colors are available in all width options.
Feels big and heavy
The experts described it as “one of the heaviest high-mileage trainers on the market” and “the biggest running shoe I’ve ever bought.”
Look at the comparison that justifies experts’ reviews:
|Type of running shoes
||Average weight [oz] men
||Average weight [g] men
|Hoka running shoes
|Maximalist running shoes
Ride is improved!
Hoka’s signature Meta-Rocker supports the heel-to-toe movement and in Bondi 7 it literally rolls you through transitions. In other common shoes, this rolling is replaced with a distinctive flexing movement.
The durability was most frequently described as average or acceptable. The exposed midsole on the midfoot with no rubber elements was reported to show wear early on. Midsole changes the softness level with the climate and blown rubber isn’t expected to last long (400-500 miles). But it’s a compromise: it does offer a soft ride.
Upper upped the ante
The new engineered mesh upper got a lot of praise for its new structure and rigidity. It enhances the fit, feels thin, and doesn’t collapse in on itself. Thin overlay strips give the midfoot and toe box extra structure.
This new technology made Hoka’s Bondi 7 more breathable than Bondi 6.
This shoe is heavy and high-stacked. Although the cushioning is consistent throughout the entire shoe, when landing on the forefoot you get to feel all the weight. Running becomes difficult. As one expert described it, “you are dragging this massive heel for every stride.”
As stable as a maximalist shoe can get
Hoka’s Bondi 7 has a wide base that even widens top-down which adds stability. And it feels stable, especially when the stack height is taken into account.
Pricey shoe for recovery runs
Given that you can’t do fartlek or speed workouts in this shoe, its price tag is definitely high. It might make sense if you’re only into easy/long runs.
Also worth knowing
- There are thin reflective strips so you’ll be more visible during night runs.
- High-stacked running shoes may require an adaptation period which was noted for Bondi 7 as well.
- One expert mentioned the ankle being turned due to stack height.