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An Honest Hoka Bondi 8 Review Before You Buy

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Known for their unrivaled midsoles and rocker shape (and yes, maybe a little ~dramatic~), Hoka is *the* sneaker brand you want if you're a serious walker or long-distance runner. Ultra-lightweight, breathable and highly cushioned, Hoka running shoes are designed to provide the best comfort, the best response and give you the bounce you need, above all if you are looking for recovery shoes.

The foamiest of all the Hoka styles is the best-selling Bondi, which runners and walkers (and celebrities like Britney Spears and Cameron Diaz) swear by for its dreamy fit and performance. It's so good it's earned the American Podiatric Medical Association's Seal of Acceptance. And so it's no surprise that the brand is on its eighth iteration: The Bondi 8 ($165).

What's new

The Bondi 8, which went on sale July 17, features some exciting new upgrades, including an elongated heel for added stability, even lighter foam than the Bondi 7 (but firmer, which runners will appreciate), and a pillow, non-moving the tongue.

My experience with the Bondi 8

Over the past five months, my favorite walking shoe has been the Bondi 7 ($160). I really don't run outside of my OrangeTheory classes (and even that's a new development), so I can't speak to running performance. However, I do a plot to walk - about three miles a day with my dogs, mostly on sidewalks, but occasionally through grassy parks and dirt trails (never hiking, though - and I'll explain a bit). v7 has changed lives. I have never worn such a bouncy, shock absorbing and yet simultaneously stabilizing shoe. When you have two powerful 90-pound breeds that just want to GO, you need a shoe that, quite honestly, has got you covered.

@ginavaynshteyn♬ The island in the sun - Weezer

At first glance, I was surprised by how thick the cartoonish foam is - it's even more intense than the Bondi 7. But a minute into my power/hot girl/dog ride, and I was totally about it. I completed my standard 3 mile loop around the neighborhood and was pleased with how comfortable they were. The memory foam collar is a huge selling point on its own - so many sneakers leave my Achilles rough from too much friction, but the material is so soft and plush I felt like carry marshmallows.

The cushioned EVA midsoles and outsoles are obviously the stars of the show, giving me incredible support, rebound and protection. The energy return is significantly higher, which is ideal for my needs (a comfortable shoe that allows me to do at least five kilometers of non-stop walking, sometimes on volatile surfaces). The Bondi 8 has the highest stack height, which may not be ideal for sprinting (and certainly not for strength training or hiking - you'll probably lose your balance, a lot of the time ). As I said before, I walk in grass and dirt, but never on a steep slope.

Hoka Bondi 8

The shoe also fits perfectly. The memory foam collar hugs my ankles and the tongue doesn't slide to one side or the other (maybe it's just me, but tongues that can't stay put are really annoying). The mesh upper is really airy, so when I get home after about 45 minutes in 80-degree heat, my feet aren't coarse and boggy. These required no break-in time, and my feet actually feel less painful after wearing them.

If you have wide feet...

You'll probably want to choose the wide or extra-wide fit - the Bondi 8 is a little narrower than its predecessor. This is a note I have seen regularly when researching the shoe. "As a woman with wide, troubled feet, a men's 84E is not easy to find in any brand. Hoka delivered the perfect shoe for my foot shape in the Bondi v7. When I seeing v8 for the first time, I thought they did it again. But that's an optical illusion. The knit upper (bad in terms of sneakers) is actually (or payingIt's like) slightly narrower in the forefoot. The base/knit is narrower at the midsole. It's a slightly straighter fit, although the foam underneath seems to offer a wider base/even width on top," one customer wrote.

For what it's worth, I'd say I have "average" feet (not too narrow, not too wide), and the regular fit was perfect for me.

Hoka Bondi 8

What activities is the Bondi 8 best suited for?

Hoka's website recommends the Bondi 8 for "running, walking, and everyday comfort." Although I've only tested them while walking, I've read countless reviews stating that they really are a dream for post-workout recovery walks and runs, especially if you're in pain. .

Final Thoughts

It's going to take me a long time to switch to another sneaker brand for all my walking endeavors, let alone choose between v7s and v8s. But the harder those decisions get, the more likely you've just made yourself a really solid line of shoes. Good walk !

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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