Hoka Bondi X review
Hoka have been a prominent force in the high stack running shoe space over the last few years, but for me personally they’ve lacked innovation that has put them on a gradually decline compared to other footwear companies that have been prevalent in foam and structure innovation. However, the Hoka Bondi X, as well as the new(ish) Ricon 3 and Mach 4 have firmly established Hoka back at the top of the game.
Nothing new here, so if you like the Hoka upper then you’ll like this. For me an upper just needs a good lockdown and to be breathable. The major factors I look for in a shoe are in the midsole. I use the runners knot for this shoe to keep it secure as I would say I needed a bit more extra lockdown around my heel. Although the front part of the shoe was perfect.
Breathability wise I haven’t noticed any issues and with a running shoe, I’d so no news is good news. Meaning if there’s nothing noticeable then it’s a good thing because all the focus can be on your running and you’re confident the shoe is getting its job done. This shoe certainly does this.
It’s Hoka’s biggest shoe so what do you expect. It’s exactly how you’d imagine. A lot of foam meaning a lot of impact reduction. It makes running on road feel like you’re taking impact from running on grass. Also, the carbon plate does its job perfectly. Rather than making the shoe more aggressive, it allows you to not put the extra effort in like you normally would with heavy shoes. I run a lot of hills so it’s great having a shoe that can handle the impact of going down the hill whilst remaining efficient in not making running up the hill living hell.
I think the Hoka Bondi x should go the distance. There’s plenty of sturdy rubber on the outsole grip, which is something that has been an issue in previous Hoka shoes. I’m confident the grip will last longer in the Bondi X. There’s so much foam I also think the carbon plate will keep its integrity for as long as you need it to. I predict at least 600 miles before you need to start thinking about a replacement.
What I’d like to see
The Hoka profly foam within the Mach 4 contends with the Nike Zoomx and New balance Fuel cell foams. In an ideal World I’d love to see that foam used within the Bondi x, as well as other Hoka shoes. Although this shoe is still the best of the bunch for Hoka in terms of mileage, I think that addition would quite possibly put this shoe above any other.
For now, it still very much fits into my rotation, and I’d use it frequently for easy and steady runs on any surface. The one time I’d avoid using it is on very easy days where recovery is number one priority. My two top shoes for that are the New balance fresh foam v11 and the Nike Zoomx Invincible. But since owning the Bondi X it’s the shoe I pick up most days.
Who do I recommend it for?
If you’re already a fan of Hoka shoes this is a no brainer. Especially if you like the previous Bondi Models. This shoe is ideal for a variety of runners; new runners, it’s great for injury prevention due to the amount of foam underfoot which reduces impact and the same applies for seasoned runners cranking up high mileage.