Knoxy Reviews - Hoka Bondi 8 - A Runner's Dream Shoe

February 11, 2024

I'm not what you'd call a typical runner. I have struggled at times to even get the motivation to run, and I have managed to put enough training together to run a few marathons. Simply put, I'm not going to be winning races any time soon. Oddly, that is the reason I feel that reviewing shoes and gadgets from a runners perspective makes the review a bit more realistic, without the bullshit jargon that sales companies put on why they believe you should buy their latest shoe, tee, or watch. I'm not a brand snob, and honestly, sometimes your socks from Penny's are better than what you'll get from Puma or some big brand. 

I recently tried some Hoka shoes, having not really been attracted to them before, but found a pair on sale, so said why not! Having laced up my Hoka Bondi 8s for just over 100 kilometres. As an average runner, typically hitting the roads for 8 to 12 kilometres at a stretch, I found the Hoka's to be surprisingly comfortable, and a bit of a contender to the usual stable of running brands. I know Hoka have been on the scene for a while, but for whatever reason, I never took them seriously. Here are 3 quick things I found.

1. Aesthetic Appeal

First off, let's talk about looks. Yes, the performance of a running shoe is important, but we're all vein. We might not win races, and probably finish last, but we will wear loud colours while doing it! The Bondi 8 has a decent range of colours and designs available, but while they colours are nice, it takes a bit of getting used to for the oversized cushioning. To be fair, they look the part, and the cushioning does provide a lot of relief. Once you get used to the appearance, they are an attractive shoe

2. Unmatched Comfort

Once I slipped into these shoes and ran down the road, the real test began, and they didn't disappoint. The engineered upper mesh cradles the foot comfortably, providing both support and breathability. I was particularly impressed with the cushioned tongue and the perfect length of the laces, small details that make a big difference in the overall experience. The insole stability is another highlight, staying put through every stride. While I'm only 100 kilometers into these new shoes, I'm interested to see if the upper mesh will keep my big toe in, and not come apart like nearly all my Asics. 

3. Superior Cushioning

However, the true game-changer for me has been the cushioning. Labelled as a neutral stability shoe, the Hoka Bondi 8 offers plush cushioning that's in a league of its own. This isn't just about aesthetics or superficial comfort; it's about the tangible benefits to your running health. The impact on my knees, ankles, and hips has been significantly reduced, allowing me to run longer distances without discomfort. The way the shoe manages to balance neutral support with a cushioned landing is phenomenal, providing a stable yet forgiving base for every foot strike.

From the moment I set my sights on the Hoka Bondi 8, through every kilometer I've run in them, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. The fusion of comfort, and superior cushioning sets these shoes apart in the crowded running shoe landscape. If you're on the hunt for a shoe that marries form with function, offering a cushioned ride without compromising on style, then the Bondi 8 is worth your consideration. After 100 kilometres, I can confidently say that they've not only met but exceeded my expectations. Whether you're traversing roads, tracks, or trails, the Hoka Bondi 8 is a choice I highly recommend, a testament to what modern running shoes can and should be.

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