|Weight:||Men: 10.9oz | Women: 8.6oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 4mm | Women: 4mm|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Strike Pattern:||Forefoot strike|
|Distance:||Daily running | Long distance | Marathon|
|Heel height:||Men: 36mm | Women: 36mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 32mm | Women: 32mm|
|Brand:||Hoka One One|
|Type:||Heavy | Big guy | Low drop | Maximalist|
|Width:||Men: Narrow, Normal, Wide | Women: Narrow, Normal, Wide|
|Colorways:||Grey, Black, Blue, Pink, Red|
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92 / 100 based on 7 expert reviews
Clydesdales and Athena’s rejoice
I am tall - 6 foot 4 inches since birth. I’ve been fat - weighing 310 lbs this January. By many folk’s standards, I still am, with 237 pounds this month.
But whether I am a hefty 310 or by comparison a seemingly svelte 237 lbs, I know a thing or two about running shoes and the impact a heavy build on your legs.
The most demotivating aspect of a run is the all too familiar pain and pushing through it until those endorphins can take over. Running in the cold, in the heat, or the rain doesn’t matter when the sensation of a jackhammer runs from your heel to your hip with each step. That’s where the Hoka One One Bondi 6 came through for me.
I picked up a pair of the Bondi 6 after serious research into the most shock absorbing, energy returning, cushy ride shoes reviewed across the magical land of the internet.
By serious research I mean I googled “best cushioned running shoe” and Hoka hit in 6 of the top 10 searches. It was probably the algorithm after shopping for running shoes all week.
Well, it was the algorithm, but I want to say it was serendipity. So I went to our local shop and tried on a pair. From that moment slipping my “disposable store hose sock” covered foot into a pair of fresh from the box, I was a newly ordained acolyte of the Hoka religion.
Sure the aesthetics of the Midsole are reminiscent of the 90’s high tops meets “Athleisure” boots, but once you get past the idea that people will actually see you in public running in cartoon shoes you tend to embrace the ridiculousness and understand the level of comfort you are subscribing to for the next 400-500 miles of your life.
I have Rainbow striped compression socks and a Dragon Ball Z compression shirt I wear to races. I don’t concern myself with anything less than making my race day wardrobe a second spectator sport.
The Bondi come through with their color schemes if you buy your shoes based off of wardrobe coordination before you even consider functionality. Its ok, we all do it.
After logging a few 10 kilometers and a 13.1 on my new Bondi, here are my observations.
As with any new pair of shoes, the Bondi needed breaking in. I doubt I am even halfway into breaking these in and three runs with two Hydrocolloid bandages on my arches later.
I believe I have worked the insole into a position where it isn’t causing new blisters on the arches. I think the arch support is higher than most would comment on, what with a negligible 4mm heel to toe drop.
The shoes do fit well and are snug through the heel and midfoot giving that added sense of stability. The forefoot and toe box was roomy enough for me, which was a surprise after the snug midfoot feel. It is like the shoe wants you to know it is holding you, but just enough.
The Lycra heel in combination with the comfortable upper felt satisfying as much as it did when I slid them on before the run, as to when I slid them off after.
I substitute lock laces in all my shoes, and the Bondi took to the laces nicely whereas other shoes uppers were a bit rigid and noticeable when using locks. Even on a tight lace up, I didn’t feel constricted because of the cushy and wide tongue.
The breathable mesh upper kept my feet cool and dry through my recent 13.1. Some might complain all the extra padding weighs the shoe down, but for us larger folk, we aren’t noticing a few extra ounces. We are noticing a few less ibuprofen.
The outer sole wasn’t even slightly scuffed after significant pavement sessions in Massachusetts where unevenly paved roads are a town to town competition.
The ride was responsive without any sense of being jarring. My experience with my other long run shoes is the narrowness of the outsole/midsole combo.
The width of the two provides a steady run and aids in the shock absorption and displacement of heavy footfall on the pavement. I was skeptical of the Meta-Rocker geometry, but it does add to my stride with a slightly noticeable forward push.
This is essential to the big guy clientele. We want to run, but not feel like we are running. Doesn’t everyone? It is hard enough getting to mile 6 when your femur is on mutiny and trying to leave your body through your kneecaps.
The Look - I love the ridiculous size of this shoe, and the colors are appealing
The Feel - Super comfortable out of the box, but the arch for me was a little high
The Ride - Great, the blisters are a tiny bit concerning; I won’t penalize too hard for new shoes
The craftsmanship- High-quality materials and ingenuity
Does it work for big guys - Hands down
This shoe ticks all the boxes for me, but those blisters, in the beginning, had me thinking that the width of the provided insole could be a factor. But I won’t take too many points off considering I can get custom insoles.
All in all, The Bondi 6 rolled each step into a comfortable puff of my usual mile 9 misery. Does it feel like marshmallows under your feet? No. Is it significantly more comfortable than any other running shoe I have tried? Absolutely. Clydesdales and Athena’s, rejoice!
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Hoka One One Bondi 6: Just what my feet neededMore photos
I have been running 10K every single day for over a year now and had gone through several pairs and styles of Brooks, but couldn’t break free of the constant pain and pressure developing in the metatarsal areas. This is why I switched to Hoka One One Bondi 6 for the first time.
I desperately needed some additional support at the mid-front of the shoe and towards the toes.
I will admit that I was a little skeptical at first after our local running store told me that the Hoka does not hold up as well as the Brooks overtime. However, I needed to try something to help with the pain!
Structure & General Overview
I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with the durability, support, and cushion. I was (and still am) amazed at the support and cushioning I desperately needed in the metatarsal area.
I could tell an immediate difference after the first run and my feet were so happy. This support continued to impress me over time, and anytime going uphill or stairs. I felt the support throughout and knew this was what my body needed on a day to day basis.
After about 150 miles, in them, the structure of the shoe started to suffer, but the cushioning that I want, remain firm (a huge positive)!
The best positive about the shoe is the forefront foot support. It certainly alleviated some of the pain that I had. I am very grateful to take some of that pressure off the front of my foot.
Another positive I like about the shoe is the loop on the back of the shoe to help you pull it snug and onto your feet. Typically, I don’t want to tie and re-tie shoes once I have a good knot that works well.
I typically slip on and slip off shoes, which can lead to the breakdown in the back of the shoe and cause discomfort. But having this loop to step into the shoe and a pullback on, fixes that problem.
While the shoe has certainly exceeded my mileage expectations, around that 150-mile marker, the shoe is starting to show signs of fatigue in its structure and durability on the top of the shoe.
The platform started to show some cracks, which I expected and not a big deal, but the issue was more so the stitching between the mesh material and the shoe itself which is starting to come apart. This provides a significant issue, especially road running in wet conditions.
A major negative of the shoe, are the blisters formed on the big toe and overtime around the inner foot midsole.
Fellow runners shared similar experiences with Hoka and said a specific type of sock could help with it, which turned me off since I do not want to incur additional costs to add to the already high $150+ price point.
My feet are pretty beat up and can handle the blisters, but nothing seemed to alleviate the pinch in the toe and inner mid-sole. Band-Aids help fight/contain blisters though.
I Tried different lacing techniques but still never got that perfect fit feel that I enjoyed so much in the previous Brooks versions used.
Another disadvantage would be the sole of the shoe, there was noticeable “wear and tear” after a few runs, but the rubber held up over time and didn’t become an issue.
Hoka is working towards improving their aesthetics and catering to a wider and different market. I do believe the shoe breaks the mold/stereotype as an “old man” shoe.
Personally, aesthetics are at the bottom of my priorities and devote my attention to support and how my body responds. I’m confident that Hoka will continue to make different models that are more popular across generations.
Overall the shoe certainly has exceeded all expectations as far as the support and comfort goes, and the size fits as it should. However, the big toe blister is a deal breaker for me.
I want to try a different make and model and see this problem addressed in the future. Price is a bit on the higher side, and as a 34-year-old 10k a day roadrunner, I don’t believe this is the best daily running shoe.
However, I would certainly recommend for daily walking and general use.
- Immediately addressed my metatarsal pain and provided support throughout the run and daily activities
- Breathable and deals well with copious amounts of sweat
- Dries well and little odor residue
- The heel loop on the outside of the shoe/around the heal collar/ Achilles heel notch helps put the shoe on- which is great especially for stubborn runners like me who hate tying and retying knots
- Enables you to get the shoe on without damaging the heel counter/area
- Blisters formed on big toe in the toe box
- Stitching between rubber sole and the fabric coming apart
Great shoe for daily use and those seeking to retain and regain support, especially in the Metatarsal area.
It's true to size but needs a little time to break in. Feels wonderful as a new shoe walking around. However, as a daily running shoe, this is not the answer due to the blisters formed and stiff midsole causing rubbing/irritation.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
So if somebody who's on their feet all day, great shoe for you especially now with a little more width to it and a little more breathable upper to it.
There again extremely lightweight, great in the toe box. By the way if you are the one that needs a wide shoe so I think theyve done a great job.
- Hoka One One is a brand that prides itself in its line of max-cushioned shoes. The Bondi series is touted to be at the top of that roster. The 6th iteration carries the stable forward, bringing with it some additional features and edits to breathe newness to the famous chain of road footwear.
- Compared to the Bondi 5, the Hoka One One Bondi 6 presents an upper unit that is redesigned to accommodate more air into the foot-chamber. The enhanced breathability is coupled with a sturdier weave and a helping of padding in the collar.
- A soft EVA foam serves as the platform of this running shoe. This material offers a spongy and responsive ride that’s also lightweight. Thin rubber placements shield the high-wear areas from the potentially debilitating effects of continued use.
The Hoka One One Bondi 6 was created to be true to size. So, when it comes to length, runners are encouraged to get the option that suits them the most. The available widths for men are D – Medium and 2E – Wide; for women, the variants are B – Medium and D – Wide. The semi-curved shape of this shoe’s platform accommodates the natural curve of the human foot.
The rubber compound that’s used for the outsole unit of the Hoka One One Bondi 6 is called Hi-Abrasion Lightweight Rubber. This material is placed sparingly in areas that are more susceptible to wear-and-tear. The thinness of the layer is intended to shave off weight from the overall product.
The external pad has a Full Ground Contact construction, which means that its contact points are continually touching the surfaces, particularly when standing idly. Such a mechanism heightens traction while also smoothening the transitions through the gait cycle.
A Soft EVA Midsole serves as the cushioning unit of the Bondi 6. This foam has a substantial thickness because it graces the most cushioned shoe in Hoka One One’s stable. It is created to be 30% softer than the standard EVA variant.
The Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry involves the midsole having a rocker shape. Such a configuration encourages the foot to move from the heel to the forefoot quickly and effortlessly.
The upper unit of the Hoka One One Bondi 6 makes use of engineered mesh. This cloth-like material has an open-weave design that accommodates air into the foot-chamber. The airflow potentially maintains a cool and dry in-shoe environment. The Speedgoat 3, another popular Hoka One One shoe, also uses engineered mesh.
A Lycra comfort frame is placed on the back section of the façade. This stretchy material conforms to the curve of the heel, contouring it and keeping it secure.
An internal heel counter helps the stretchy Lycra exterior when it comes to holding the back of the foot in place and preventing it from wobbling or exiting the foot-chamber unintentionally.