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Road Running Shoes • May 8, 2020

HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 Performance Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.7 oz. (303 g) for a US M9.0
  • New open-engineered mesh upper with memory foam collar
  • Midsole and outsole remain unchanged from the Bondi 6
  • In the beginning, God created the thiccest thicc boi, and he wast called the Bondi

“Big bottom, big bottom, talk about mud flaps, my gal’s got ‘em.” – Michael McKean, Spinal Tap

THOMAS: This is the big boy in the HOKA line up. The chunkiest of the monkeys. One of the softest, fattest, and comfiest running shoes on the market. It’s been said that the words ‘harsh’ and ‘firm’ don’t even exist in the Bondi 7 universe. Speaking of the universe, when I run in the Bondi, I imagine myself cavorting around the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (P.S. I’m a “we landed on the moon” believer. The round earth thing? Jury’s still out on that one.)

Okay, onto an actual shoe review. Just a quick rundown– not much has changed with the Bondi 7. For HOKA’s core models (Clifton, Rincon, Carbon X), it’s an in-between year– some updated uppers, new color schemes, but the midsole and outsole technologies are pretty much exactly the same.

All that to say, check out the Bondi 6 review if you have more in-depth questions that aren’t covered here.


The Good

MEAGHAN: The HOKA Bondi 7 puts the max in maximalist shoes. A giant slab of foam with a 33 mm stack height (with a 4 mm drop), this shoe screams HOKA with its oversized midsole construction. If you liked the Bondi 6, you will be happy to know it hasn’t changed drastically. In fact, the midsole is identical — designed with a full-length compression-molded EVA. It’s dense, but has a nice bounce to it. They’re comfortable and feel great when you’re running on tired legs.

The major update to this shoe is the memory foam collar which helps dial in the fit. It’s also just really comfortable. The upper is designed with an open-engineered mesh and a few TPU overlays for some extra support through the midfoot. The flat laces do a nice job of locking the foot down and I never had any issues with slippage or rubbing.

This shoe is my go-to for recovery days and easy long runs. I have to say, though, I did just claim some Strava CRs in them… turns out you can still pick up the pace in these thicc bois (if you really want to).

THOMAS: This shoe is meant for comfort, not for speed. Unlike the HOKA Clifton that can handle faster paces and be max cushion, the Bondi is strictly an easy mile shoe for me. Meg can pick up the pace in the Bondi, but that is cause she is super strong. The girl has scooped upped Strava segments while wearing the Bondi 7. Talk about insult to injury. Imagine getting an email telling you that you lost your CR, you go and check Strava, and it’s Meaghan wearing a Bondi?! Soul-crushing. But for me, it’s hard to find a better couch for your feet than the Bondi 7. Strap them on and cruise along.

Like most of the HOKA flagship models this year, the Bondi 7 is a minor update to the previous model. Meaghan has deftly covered the specs, so I won’t bore you (although the men’s stack height is slightly higher at 33/29). As far as feel goes, the upper fits great, it’s true to size, and follows the plush comfort theme of the shoe.

ERIN: I’m not entirely certain whether the Bondi was HOKA’s first model, but it’s the one that sticks in my mind as the first HOKA I ever saw. Anyone who remembers the first HOKAs will likely agree on one thing: the Bondi 7 is certainly a far cry, visually, from the OG (in a good way).

The Bondi 7 is a decent-looking shoe, especially when compared to the aforementioned clown-shoe aesthetics of the original. The overlays are toned down, the colors are toned down– it isn’t an assault on the eyes is what I’m saying.

The step-in feel of the Bondi 7 is nice. Real nice. The heel collar has some memory foam padding, the toebox is roomy enough to prevent the pinky toe falling-asleep issue that seems to be standard with the Clifton series of late, and the ride is plush. It just feels good on the foot. If you had to be on your feet all day, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable shoe to do it in.


The Bad

MEAGHAN: This is not a light shoe. My W7.5 came in at 9.5 oz (a hair heftier than the last version). YIKES.

THOMAS: At a point in time, HOKA had the lightest, most-cushioned shoes out there. While the Bondi used to be one of the lightest max cushioned shoes around, other brands are catching up. My size 10.5 weighs 12 oz./340 grams.

The colors available are “dad” shoe colors, lots of grey and black. I am a dad, but I like some saucy colors.

ERIN: OK so this might be weird, or maybe not, I don’t know. As much as I like walking in the Bondi (it is my go-to casual and walking around shoe now and I love it for that)… I just don’t like running in it. It took me a few runs to figure out why, because the fit is great, and the cushion is great. But I think it is just too heel-heavy.

I’m having (SPOILER ALERT) the exact same problem with the Stinson. Which is probably not that weird since as far as I can tell they’re the exact same shoe except the Stinson has a more aggressive outsole. I actually like running in the Stinson better than the Bondi, probably because I notice the braking action of that heel weight slightly less on the trails than on the roads.
Anyway, I have no real specific complaints about the Bondi 7 other than, if you’re a midfoot-type runner person, this might not be the best shoe choice. I found that the heaviness of the heel completely negated the meta-rocker in this shoe.


HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 Conclusion

MEAGHAN: I love the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 and its outlandishly thick midsole. I have no desire for “ground feel.” I’ll take the pillowy, bouncy feeling all day long. As I noted, my only complaint with this shoe is the weight, but honestly, on slow recovery runs it’s a non-issue. If you’re looking for the Clydesdale of running shoes, this is your guy. You’ll get plenty of miles out of them, and your tired legs will be pretty happy you did.

THOMAS: If you are looking for soft landings and aren’t too concerned about your pace, this is your beast. This could also work for those runners trying to rack up huge mileage while not destroying their legs. Just this week we talked to ultrarunner Mike Wardian, and this is his go-to shoe. Other shoes you could put in this category include the ASICS Glideride, adidas Ultraboost 20, and the Saucony Endorphin Shift.

ERIN: The Bondi 7 is comfortable AF, no doubt. It’s a fantastic easy day shoe and would be my recommendation for heel strikers. Or– hear me out– if you’re looking for a comfortable shoe for walking (yes, I know this is a running blog), I don’t think you can beat the Bondi.

The HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 releases on 8/1 for $150. You can pick it up at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.




Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Mike says:

    Do you know if it is any wider? I wear a 12.5 wide and the bondi6 could really use some extra width. It feels more narrow than other hoka wides.

  2. Brittney Cervin says:

    Can these be preordered?

  3. Sam says:

    Looks like Bondi SR is in the new release announcement – no Bondi 7
    Any idea when these will come out?

  4. Kat says:

    These look awesome and I’ve been waiting for August 1st to get them. Unfortunately the day has come and they don’t seem to be available yet! Anyone know when and where they’ll be available?

  5. Dana says:

    Excellent review tho my experience is a bit different. I was introduced to Hoka with the Bondi 5 and it has been my favorite since then. I just got a new pair of Bondi 6 and a new pair of Bondi 7 and I was surprised to find the Bondi 7 not as pillowy :(. The 6s are still phenomenal (my others finally wore out) and I’ll still keep the 7s as an alternate shoe to make the 6s last longer. I don’t know what changed to cause the firmer feel, but I hope whatever happened with 7 will be fixed in 8.

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