Hoka Bondi X Review
Hoka’s new Bondi X is the ‘X’ version or ‘carbon plate’ version of their popular long-distance, mega-cushioned trainer…the Bondi X, I hope you enjoy this review.
For those of you who are short on time, let’s quickly get to the point with a summary review of the Hoka Bondi X, selected details follow afterwards. It’s worth highlighting now that you can buy directly from Hoka and try them for free for a month, if you don’t like them you can return them for a refund!
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Bondi X Verdict: Nice trainers but over-engineered and over-priced for the intended purpose
Price - 50%50%
Build Quality & Design - 90%90%
Comfort - 80%80%
Hoka Bondi X Review
I used the Hoka Rincon as my everyday shoe for a few years but I always felt that I would benefit from an even more cushioned shoe for my long runs over 10 miles.
Hoka is widely rated as the company for super cushioning and Bondi is the most cushioned of all. The novelty of the addition of carbon sole technology meant I just had to try these to see if they were a credible alternative to my Rincons but I was underwhelmed.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with Bondi X, I like them. Sure I’d like something a bit lighter than 300g but that’s not so bad considering the massive sole and its pillow-like cushioning.
No, what disappointed me was that my Nike and adidas carbon racers are better-cushioned, more springy, lighter and much faster. OK, Nike Vaporfly/Airfly and adidas Pro 2/Prime X are even more expensive race shoes but, hey ho, that’s the price of racing shoes these days. Bizarrely, my Vaporflys are a better everyday shoe for me, at least if they are as durable as I hope.
And, talking of price, a price tag in the region of £180/$210 is just too much for an everyday pair of shoes. I don’t especially need to go faster on my Sunday run. I just need to avoid unnecessary damage and get the miles in.
To make matters worse I’m not at all convinced that Hoka’s carbon tech in these shoes makes me faster in the real world.
- Mega cushioned
- Carbon sole tech
- Increased width options
- Better options exist for me
Hoka Bondi X – First impressions just lacing up
I felt like my head was going to hit the door frames in my house, these shoes are well stacked and any previous inhibitions I had about might height (or lack of it) were expunged by the Hoka. I contemplated entering my local ‘stilts’ race (no-one would have noticed I was wearing shoes rather than stilts) but settled on a 5K parkrun instead 😉
It’s a nice, snug lace-up and my heels feel nicely locked into the rear cup. Nice enough for the speeds I intend to run at with these shoes at any rate.
I liked the heel loops that seem ever-more common these days and I’ve always liked the Hoka aesthetic and Bondi X is no exception.
Hoka Bondi X – How do they run?
Bondi X is soft and comfortable and I’m certainly going to use this pair for some of my longer runs. I’m not especially heavy (70kg) but tend to slap my foot down a bit too hard sometimes and these were fine at absorbing my attempts to smash the road surface, I suspect that runners who are heavier than me will be fine with these too, especially because of the wide heal that must make the surface area of the impact bigger and hence less impactful on your body.
I didn’t notice any extra spring from either the foam or the carbon plate on my longer runs and, indeed, when I ventured off-road and onto some bumpy, wet grass surfaces it felt like the shoes were heavier than they really were.
What I did notice was that the extra-wide sole at the rear/heel seemed to want to guide my footstrike in a way that I didn’t want it to be guided.
Hoka Bondi X Specifications
|Run type||Long training run|
|Pronation Type||Neutral, will take orthotics|
|Spring/Curvature||35mm front and 30mm rear|
|Sole Tech||Foam with carbon inserts|
Price and Availability
These are available on hoka.com and elsewhere. I suspect that they will be discounted soon enough.
You should be able to get these for at most £180/$210/Eu210
Why not take advantage of Hoka.com’s offer of a free try before you buy? You get a month’s free usage and can then return them for a refund if you don’t like them.
Perfectly fine neutral running shoes which anyone can use for any kind of run.
Well, anyone who can afford the price tag
Mr Hoka needs to innovate on the foam. I need more bounce not just more cushioning. But Mr Hoka also realises that people pay a premium for carbon because, well, it’s carbon isn’t it?
Simply put: They’re too expensive and too over-engineered for the intended purpose.
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