Our verdict

The 8th iteration of the Hoka Bondi remains our beloved plush and cushy daily trainer that excels on easy days and recovery sessions. With its humongous foam, our feet found themselves in a very comfy position all throughout the run! On top of this, the shoe kept us surefooted thanks to its highly stable ride.

Pros

  • Oozing with comfort
  • Gliding ride
  • A touch springy
  • Feels stable
  • Breathable
  • Upper is soft as hell
  • Highly durable

Cons

  • Tight midfoot
  • Narrow toebox
  • It's still heavy

Audience verdict

84
Good!
  • Top 1% most popular running shoes

Who should buy

We are convinced that the Bondi 8 from Hoka is a daily running shoe that's great for those who want a very cushioned ride. It is a Godsend for recovery runs.

And if you want a shoe that can also double for walking, this version of the Hoka Bondi won't let you down.

Hoka-Bondi-8-review

Who should NOT buy

The Hoka Bondi 8 is a pass if you want a running shoe that gives a lightweight ride. If this is the case, you can opt for the Hoka Clifton 9 instead. It weighs about 2 oz less than the Bondi 8.

If you have wider feet, you might find the shoe's midfoot too tight. We think that the Saucony Triumph 21 would be a better fit in your case.

Hoka-Bondi-8-lab-test-review

Breathability

With all the in-shoe padding on the Bondi 8, breathability is still not compromised. It may not be the best choice for warm weather but it definitely has enough airflow for moderate climates.On a 1-5 scale, we rated its breathability as 3.

The most breathable areas can be seen in our transparency test below.

Test results
Bondi 8 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 226 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Outsole hardness

The fact that the Bondi 8 has softer rubber and lots of exposed foam made us a little concerned.

Using our durometer, we measured the shoe's outsole hardness at 74.0 HC. That's 8% softer than the average of road shoes.

Hoka Bondi 8 outsole hardness

But on the actual run test, we were quite relieved to find that the rubber held up pretty well! In fact, its soft nature really helped to soften the landings.

Test results
Bondi 8 74.0 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 277 running shoes
Number of shoes
54.9 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole thickness

Despite not having a full-length outsole, we found the Hoka Bondi 8 to be fairly durable. It is not as wear-resistant as most road shoes due to its exposed foam but we believe that it will hold up for at least 300 miles.

Hoka-Bondi-8-outsole

The good news is that the rubber pieces at the bottom of the shoe are 3 mm thick. This is the same amount of rubber as road running shoes have on average.

Hoka-Bondi-8-outsole-thickness

Test results
Bondi 8 3.0 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 296 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

The Hoka Bondi 8 gets a weight penalty because, at 11 oz (311g), it is way heavier than most daily running shoes by almost an ounce.

But on a lighter note, it doesn't feel like the shoe drags the foot down.

Hoka-Bondi-8-heavy-weight

Test results
Bondi 8 10.97 oz (311g)
Average 9.35 oz (265g)
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The added cushioning foam on the Bondi 8 makes it look unscrupulously comfortable!

And how does this feel on the run? Ooooh la! Meaning to say, it's 11/10 comfortable. There’s no disguising that this shoe is incredibly cushioned.

While stack height does not 1-1 correspond to more cushioning, there's usually a connection between the two. Based on our calliper measurements, the Bondi 8 has a massive stack height of 36.2 mm (3 mm thicker than the average).

Hoka-Bondi-8-heel-stack

That's a significant departure from the previous Bondi 7 which came in at 33 mm in the heel.

Test results
Bondi 8 36.2 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 296 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

Things get even beefier in the forefoot as our calliper shows 30 mm of stack.

Wow! That's 4.5 mm thicker than road shoes on average! Only 10% of shoes in our lab exceeded the 30 mm mark in the forefoot. 

Hoka-Bondi-8-forefoot-stack

Test results
Bondi 8 30.0 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 296 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

However, we were disappointed to find a discrepancy between the shoe's actual heel-to-toe drop and the ones stated by the brand.

Hoka-Bondi-8-in-shoe-padding

Based on our own stack measurements, the drop comes at 6.2 mm. That's 2.2 mm taller than what Hoka claims - 4 mm.

This may not be a big deal to the majority of runners but those who specifically look for low drop should be warned.

Test results
Bondi 8 6.2 mm
Average 8.6 mm
Compared to 296 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

Measuring the shoe's insole thickness, we got 4.9 mm. This is a little more generously padded than the average, adding up to the Bondi 8's heavenly underfoot feel.

Hoka-Bondi-8-insole

Test results
Bondi 8 4.9 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The Hoka Bondi 8 has more life now!

Why? Because all along, the Bondi has been known as the ultra-cushioned, ultra-plush trainer from Hoka. That said, it didn't really target speed or responsiveness. But in the Bondi 8, we felt some really nice rebound which added a little pep in the step. 

To temper your expectations, it's not insanely springy that you can do tempos, no. But it has enough bounce to make the ride enjoyable, especially during slow days.

The foam on the Bondi 8 is rather plush. With a durometer measurement of 18.0 HA, we found it to be 34% softer than the average.

Hoka-Bondi-8-cushioning-softness-durometer

And if you're wondering, the Bondi 8 IS plusher than the Clifton 9. By a good 13%!

Test results
Bondi 8 18.0 HA
Average 21.5 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 224 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

We also checked how much firmer the Bondi 8 would get after spending 20 minutes in the freezer.

Hoka-Bondi-8-freezer-test

The foam got 49% harder but still ended up softer than most running shoes at room temperature. So, we are happy to say that this Hoka shoe won't be turning into an ice cube under the cold breath of winter.

Test results
Bondi 8 49.3%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 223 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Rocker

We found that the shoe's rocker geometry performs very effectively. It makes the strides feel effortless in the Bondi 8.

We think that its seamless and easy-rolling ride is the shoe's biggest selling point after cushioning.

Stability

Lateral stability test

What's great about the Bondi 8 is that it's soft, but it's not too soft. Despite its high-stack design, the shoe never made us feel tippy.

Torsional rigidity

There is a solid amount of torsional rigidity to prevent the Bondi 8 from twisting easily.

In our manual flexibility test, we rated this Hoka shoe's torsional stiffness as 4 out of 5. That's pretty high up on a 1-5 scale where 5 is the stiffest!

That lowers the risk of rolling the ankle considerably.

Test results
Bondi 8 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 275 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Contributing to a sense of stability is the Bondi 8's moderately stiff heel counter. In a manual assessment, we gave it 3 out of 5 (where 5 is the stiffest).

The shoe's generous collar padding also adds a great deal of ankle security to this Hoka shoe.

Test results
Bondi 8 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 259 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

If you thought that the Hoka Clifton was a monster, you've got to check out the Bondi!

Based on both the look of it and the measurements, the Bondi 8 makes one of the largest platforms in our lab! And probably in the history of running shoes too.

Hoka-Bondi-8-wide-sole

In the widest part of the forefoot, our calliper shows a whopping 126.5 mm. THat's over 13 mm wider than the average road shoe! Insane!

Test results
Bondi 8 126.5 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The shoe continues to impress us in its heel section too! Our calliper shows 100.9 mm in the widest part which, yet again, exceeds the average. This time by 11 mm.

Hoka Bondi 8 heel width

Having such a wide landing area, no wonder we felt so stable in the Hoka Bondi 8!

Test results
Bondi 8 100.9 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Bondi 8 has VERY little flex. And it is no surprise given how much foam is packed into the shoe's platform.

Based on our force gauge measurement, it takes as much as 49.3N to bend this shoe to a 90-degree angle. That is a good 40% more than it takes a road shoe on average! Stiff carbon-plated shoes included!

Test results
Bondi 8 49.3N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 279 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Imagine how much stiffer the Bondi 8 gets in the cold!

After 20 minutes in the freezer, it required as much as 70.2N of force! Even hiking boots don't get THAT stiff!

Test results
Bondi 8 42.3%
Average 36.2%
Compared to 279 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

While it's a hit for those with narrow feet, the Bondi 8 is a miss for the rest of the population. Our medium-width feet found the shoe's midfoot rather tight and constricting.

Hoka-Bondi-8-fit

We also felt a good deal of tightness pressing our toes in the forefoot.

Grabbing a pair of callipers, we found that the toebox was indeed unexpectedly narrow on paper! At the widest part of the forefoot, we measured it at 91.6 mm, which is 6.5(!) mm narrower than the average.

Hoka-Bondi-8-toebox-width

We think that this is going to be a problem even for medium-sized feet like ours! For that reason, we recommend going half a size up in this Hoka shoe or opting for the wide and extra-wide options available for it.

Test results
Bondi 8 91.6 mm
Average 98.3 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue behaves!

The shoe's tongue is partially attached to the sides a.k.a semi-gusseted. We experienced zero shifting and the tongue did its job of locking the foot down in place.

Hoka-Bondi-8-semi-gusseted-tongue

Test results
Bondi 8 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

Much like its midsole, the tongue also had to be extra thick on this Hoka Bondi shoe.

With a calliper reading of 9 mm, it is 3.2 mm thicker than the average! Lace bites are unheard of in this Hoka shoe.

Hoka-Bondi-8-tongue-thickness

Test results
Bondi 8 9.0 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 294 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm