HOKA Bondi 3 Review

HOKA Bondi 3

HOKA Bondi 3

This is the first pair of HOKAs I’ve ever tried – and it was an interesting experience!

The HOKA Bondi 3 has a 35mm heel and a 30mm forefoot – a 5mm drop.

The size 10 registered at 12.6 oz on my scale. This is a bit more than the 10.8 oz that HOKA advertises and the 11.1 oz that Running Warehouse lists (although RW claims the 11.1 oz is for a size 9). I’m not suggesting that HOKA is being less than honest, I am simply mentioning it because it will affect you if you are looking for a lightweight trainer/racer.

HOKA Bondi 3

HOKA Bondi 3

My first thought, even before I put them on, was that these shoes were well-made. They are better quality than the average running shoe. I like the material that the upper is made out of because it feels quite durable. Also, I love the lacing system (it’s similar to the Salomon system – but maybe even better because it’s easier to “store” the laces). The fit was still a little snug for me in the forefoot – I probably could make them work, but I’m guessing it would take a little adjusting.

HOKA Bondi 3

HOKA Bondi 3

Now, let’s talk about the sole since that is what makes HOKAs unique. It’s definitely different than anything else I’ve ever worn. HOKA claims that their soles provide “great shock attenuation, a sense of weightlessness and an inherently stable ride, which is designed to reduce the fatigue in your feet, legs and core.” To be completely honest, I’m not convinced. Maybe it’s because I didn’t run far enough or fast enough, but I didn’t get that feeling of weightlessness or running on clouds that I’ve heard so much about. It really just felt like a running shoe with a much thicker sole. I’m not saying this as a negative – but I’m not saying it as a positive either.

HOKA Bondi 3

HOKA Bondi 3

This shoe is designed for the roads. Like I mentioned above, they feel well-made and I suspect they would hold up to a significant number of miles. I probably wouldn’t use them for racing – especially not at 12.6 oz – but HOKA does have other models available on their site at http://www.hokaoneone.com/

Pros:
– a well-made shoe
– an up and coming brand that now sponsors elites such as Sage Canaday, Karl Meltzer, Darcy Africa, Jen Benna, Dave Mackey and Jon Olsen (the guy who ran 100 miles in under 12 hours – on an indoor track)
– a brand that has believers – just because I wasn’t convinced doesn’t mean these aren’t the next big thing!

Cons:
– the price! – these retail for $150
– the weight – like I pointed out above, there is some conflict about how much they weigh – this isn’t a big deal if you plan to use them for training but it may be an issue if you plan to race in them
– the design is new and still relatively untested
– the company was founded by ultra runners but is now owned by Deckers Corporation (which also owns Ugg, Teva, etc.). It is no longer a niche company, but instead, it is one part of a multinational corporation. This isn’t a dealbreaker, just something to keep in mind when you’re dropping $150.

These shoes are currently backordered on HOKA’s website but they are available for purchase at Running Warehouse: http://www.runningwarehouse.com/HOKA_Bondi_3/descpageMRS-HOB2M1.html

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17 Responses to HOKA Bondi 3 Review

  1. Hi Jason! I like the top of the shoe, but the sole looks a bit funny to me. I personally would probably go for a lighter shoe ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, I know you’re a guy and probably not into this stuff, but I really like your blog and thus nominated you for a Liebster Award ๐Ÿ™‚ You can check it out here: http://candiesandcrunches.com/2014/02/10/what-exactly-a-tempo-run-is-liebster-award/ In all honesty though, I’d love to see your answers haha! Congrats!

    xoxo
    Olena

  2. emmelineruns says:

    It’s so odd to me because I prefer a 4mm drop so these are close but the cushioning and sheer size just seem excessive. I’m a tiny person so I imagine they would feel so clunky on me but I probably wouldn’t try them anyway, I’m light with no joint issues so my more minimalist shoes still provide enough cushion for me.

  3. Andrew says:

    I have run in the Stinson Trail Evo for close to a year now and feel that the shoes have allowed me to push further and harder with better recovery than other shoes…they hold up well over 500 miles (have done to date) and value is where you find it. I ran 300 miles in Asics gel lyte 33 (a great shoe…happy feet!), but it was shot at that mileage, for $100…so consider not only the cost but the value…besides, running is my hobby and the cost of the shoes come down to cents on the mile,

  4. have heard a lot about hokas, but this is the first review i’ve actually read. it sounds like they have quite a few great things about them… but ehhh. I think you either “are” or “aren’t” a hoka person. aka: definitely sticking with shoes that keep me closer to the ground. i fall enough on my own as it is. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. steve ptasznik says:

    They do take some time getting use to (at least for me). And now I love them.

  6. Epi Ren says:

    For someone in the “Clydesdale” division like myself, these are perfect. Enough cushioning so that I don’t ruin my knees by 40 and don’t feel move like a robot after a long run. I even had my best 2 mile time in a long time in these, so I’ll continue to use them and see where it goes. Thanks for your review, and, if you don’t mind, I’ll link to it from my review, which will go up in my blog in about two weeks, after a month of running with them.

  7. Pingback: Hoka One One Bondi 3 running shoes review – EpidemioLogical

  8. Pingback: Altra The Paradigm Review | Must Love Jogs

  9. As an older guy with sketchy knees, I like the idea of the Hoka’s. So many have extended their running life because of them. However, they just aren’t for me I’m afraid. I put 300 miles on the Mafate’s before giving up. I’ve never had foot issues, but with the Mafate’s I had blisters, blackened toenails, etc. The toebox seemed tight. So then I thought I would try the Bondi 3. I ran a mere 3 miles in them and I got a large blister on my toe. And I did have them professionally fitted, so that wasn’t it. The size was right, but the “fit” just doesn’t work with my foot. I ended up with, would you believe?, a pair of Brooks Glycerin 12’s. A cushioned neutral road shoe. Not as cushioned as the Hoka of course, but I have put about 100 miles on them so far and my feet are thanking me daily. I LOVE this shoe! Not good for technical or wet trails, but oh well. One size does not fit all. Many have had great success with the Hoka, but they aren’t for me. For now. They are coming out with many other styles, so who knows what the future holds!

    • Jason says:

      I definitely like the idea of them too – just haven’t been able to make it click yet! Good luck with the Glycerin 12s – I hope they keep treating you well!

  10. Pingback: Hoka One One Bondi 3 running shoes review | Epidemiological

  11. Pingback: Hoka One One Bondi 3 running shoes review – See Ren Run!

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