Hoka One One Bondi 5 ReviewFebruary 6, 2017
- Exceptionally comfortable
- Newly designed upper
- Increased midsole/outsole durability
- Slow and unresponsive
Often referred to as the Godfather of maximum cushioning shoes, the Hoka One Bondi 5 provides more protection from the hard pavement than any other comfort shoe tested. The Bondi 5 is immensely comfortable and extremely durable, yet bulky and slow.
The Hoka One One Bondi 5 is the original maximum cushioning shoe to get market traction. Designed for a neutral runner, the Bondi 5 boasts the most cushioning of any Hoka road specific shoe. Updates to the 5th iteration include a newly designed upper for increased comfort and ventilation and a slight change to the midsole resulting in better durability and cushioning.
The Bondi 5 is for those who prioritize comfort. The newly updated mesh upper is amazing. It’s one of the most comfortable and form-fitting uppers we’ve tested. Underfoot is the notoriously plush Hoka One cushioning.
A newly designed upper contributes to the Bondi 5 to be one of the best fitting Hoka One shoes tested. A slight tug on the laces perfectly cinches and secures the foot. Hoka added more room to the toe box, however, one tester still noted the toe box to feel tight.
The Bondi 5 offered very little in the way of ground sensitivity, which contributed to a below average responsiveness ranking. The EVA midsole, which felt firmer than other Hoka shoes, absorbed the hardest impact flawlessly, but lacked that “pop” and “snappiness” characteristic of responsive shoes. Heavier runners will find the Bondi 5 to be more responsive than lighter runners.
Despite being one of the lightest shoes in the comfort category, our testers found the Bondi 5 to be the slowest. Our testers continually referred to the Bondi 5 as bulky, which contributed to the below average speed ranking. They found it rather difficult to get a quick turnover.
Hoka One’s design team does an excellent job assuring what would normally be an awkward and clunky ride due to size in a smooth and fun-riding shoe. Little flexibility in the midsole would normally lead to a flat running shoe, however, Hoka’s Early-Stage Meta-Rocker design guides your foot through a smooth transition.
Cory is a Santa Barbara, CA based athlete, online running coach and freelance journalist specializing in running and climbing related content and gear review.