With the sixth generation of the Hoka Bondi, Hoka has redesigned the outsole, upper, and tweaked the midsole since the Bondi 5. With a slightly softer foam, new engineered mesh upper, and reconfigured outsole rubber and overall design, the Bondi 6 is SOFT! Overall, Bondi fans should like the update and it will continue to attract new runners and walkers who want the softest feel possible in a neutral shoe.
The Bondi 6 follows the same formula as the Bondis that have come before it – a very soft EVA foam molded to provide Hoka’s rocker feel, which is intended to create a super smooth transition and the softest overall feel possible. Even softer than the Bondi 5 ,the 6 has become the softest shoe on the wall by an even wider margin.
Hoka Bondi 6 vs Bondi 5:
The revision of the Bondi does change the fit slightly – runners and walkers with really wide feet might might need to bump up to the wide version (unlike the 5 which was pretty wide in standard width). Length is pretty standard, no need to go up or down from your regular running shoe size. Overall, though, it remains on the wider end of the spectrum – especially in the midfoot and heel. Sitting as far down in the midsole as you do, even runners/walkers who have a medium or narrow foot can use the Bondi without feeling like they’re in a boat.
Soft, Soft, Soft. The Bondi 6 continue to have the typical Hoka ONE ONE rocker feel and maximal, soft cushioning. Softer than any other shoe on the wall, the Bondi 6 is deceptively light as well. It’s clearly not a racing flat, but the chunky midsole is constructed with a very lightweight foam that allows Hoka to keep the overall weight down. It does feel big – both height and width, which is something that non-HOKA wearers will need to adjust to. Overall, the Bondi 6 feels as much like a trampoline shoe as it does a traditional running shoe, with you foot really sinking down into the shoe with each step and then popping back up as you lift off. Due to how soft the Bondi 6 is, you don’t feel the rocker quite as much (a result of your foot sinking into the shoe quite a bit).
The Bondi 6 continues to provide a good deal of inherent stability due to how low you sit in the shoe and with its wide, supportive base. It’s not enough support for runners or walkers who have the need for high amounts of pronation, but for those needing a moderate amount of support they are deceptively supportive for a neutral shoe.
Hoka Clifton vs Hoka Bondi:
Both the Hoka Clifton and Bondi have the typical Hoka One-One rocker feel and exceptionally soft ride, with the Bondi being dialed up way higher than the Clifton. The Bondi also has slightly more inherent stability. You feel much lower and lighter in the Clifton, with the Clifton being about an ounce lighter on the scale and feeling a little lighter on-foot. Width is about the same, but you have more room in the toebox with the Bondi.
Hoka Bondi vs ASICS Fortitude
The Fortitude is designed to have many similar characteristics as the Bondi – wide platform, soft feel, higher base. While it doesn’t quite take each of those aspects to the extreme as much as the Bondi does, it comes surprisingly close in many ways. The inherent stability that the Bondi provides is replicated by the wide base of the Fortitude – and while you don’t sit quite as low as you do in the Bondi, the Fortitude still gives you a pretty stable base. The Fortitude also continues to get a little softer, but it’s still not up to the level of the Bondi. Both shoes provide a wide platform that works for runners and walkers with wider feet. Both also work for a wide variety of flexibility in the foot, accommodating those with a lateral bias, a “pure” neutral foot strike, as well as some inward roll.
Hoka Bondi vs Nike Vomero
The Vomero is designed as Nike’s premiere cushioned shoe, but even the most recent version which has been softened up a little, isn’t as soft as the Bondi. The feeling on each shoe is quite different, with the Vomero having a traditional feel while the Bondi has Hoka’s rocker feel which is much higher and creates a unique transition. The Vomero is a little lighter than the Bondi, but the rocker transition of the Hoka makes them feel very similar when you’re actually running. Each run pretty true-to-size, with the Bondi providing much more width throughout the shoe. While both are designed as neutral trainers, the Bondi has a good deal of inherent support for pronation which the Vomero lacks.
Hoka Bondi vs Brooks Dyad
Like the ASICS Fortitude, the Dyad is Brooks’ attempt to create a wide platformed, cushioned trainer for a wider variety of runners and walkers. Its a space that HOKA also operates (although doesn’t necessarily target). The Dyad is much lower and performance-biased than the Bondi. It’s a considerably different feel despite the design similarities. With the most recent update to the Dyad (in the Dyad 10), Brooks has slimmed down the shoe a bit. It makes the 4E width more comparable to the Bondi or Fortitude’s standard width. The base of the Dyad still provides a similar amount of inherent stability as the Bondi, and both are good options for runners with a “combination stride” (with each foot having a different amount of pronation).
Hoka Bondi vs ASICS Nimbus
Despite being ASICS’ most cushioned mainstream offering, the Nimbus really doesn’t come close to the softness of the Bondi. Compared to the Bondi, the Nimbus feels incredibly low and responsive. The weights of each shoe are similar, but they wear the weight in very different ways. The rocker transition of the Bondi gets you onto your forefoot quickly, while the Nimbus’ comparatively low nature gets you on and off the ground quicker. The Nimbus lacks the inherent stability that the Clifton provides, so the Clifton is going to be suitable for a little broader audience of runners and walkers
Hoka Bondi vs Mizuno Wave Sky
Mizuno has really dialed up the softness of cushion in the Wave Sky 2, but it’s still not to the same degree as the Bondi. The Sky is much lower than the Bondi, and the Bondi’s rocker design creates an additional unique element that makes comparison difficult. The Bondi is much wider, with both running pretty true-to-size. Weights are similar, with no real difference on-foot between the two.