Hoka One One Bondi B Review

Over the past couple years, few shoes brands have made such waves… or have been so noticeable as Hoka One One. With their super-sized midsoles and stand out performances on the feet of Karl Meltzer, Dave Mackey, and Diana Finkel, it’s easy to see why they’ve received so much attention. While the looks of the shoes are what grab your attention, the Hokas perform well enough that they’ve converted skeptics and sponsored runners alike. Although they take some getting used to, the cushioning and what it allows a runner to do is remarkable. In the following video review, find out what Travis Liles thinks about the Hoka One One Bondi B ($170), Hoka’s first road shoe offering that’s worn by many runners on the trail.

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Hoka One One Bondi B Review Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the video review section of iRunFar. My name is Travis Liles and in this review we’re going to take a look at the Hoka One One Bondi B. The running shoe industry has definitely favored its investments in minimal, low-profile, natural, low-to-the-ground feel in the last few years. And we’ve specifically seen that trend in the trail running world except for in the Hoka One One. This is the Bondi B edition. It weighs in at 11 ounces and has a 4.5mm drop. The stack height is rated at 35mm in the heel and 29mm at the toe. So what we’re going to do is get up close and personal. We’ll look at the shoe, look at its midsole, look at the traction, and talk about how it performed on various types of terrain including trail, nice easy rolling single track, technical trail, as well as road. Then we’ll come wrap things up at the end.

We’ll start off by talking about our outsole. The outsole is definitely road specific, and this shoe by Hoka One One is listed as a road shoe. However, I felt it did admirably across pretty much anything I threw at it. It felt fine on the road as you would expect. On technical rocky trail that was dry, there were no issues in terms of grip or being able to catch onto something or climbing. I did have some issues when they were wet coming out of a creek crossing with very slick ground on the other side. They really didn’t do much at all, though most shoes aren’t going to help you out a ton in that situation. But these definitely with such a low profile outsole did not provide anything at all in terms of traction. You have two different types of tread patterns on here. These orange ones look like a little paw, I guess would be a good way to put it; these are slightly harder than these white ones. These white ones are sort of larger, stop-sign shapes and are a softer compound. So, it’s a little harder on the toe and the heel, which in most cases would be your highest areas of wear, to a softer foam or rubber here with the white, and then none on the inside of the shoe. So if you are a neutral runner, this tread pattern is pretty much set up for that. As you can see, it does have some scuffs and some scrapes from trails, but overall with the type of stuff I ran on being sharp limestone, these things came away really well without having a whole lot of wear being shown.

I’ll transition now to the heel, because if you look at the way this shoe works, it sort of rounds itself back. Hoka talks about on their website that this shoe has this sort of rocker type motion to it. This heel adds to that. Actually the whole midsole in general adds to that.

So let’s talk about the midsole. The midsole has 2.5 times more of the normal cushioning of your regular running shoe. So this has 2.5 times more cushion. So think about that in terms of how much cushion does it actually have. It uses 30% softer foam. And that’s the one thing you’ll notice as soon as you step down in this shoe. You can go stand on top of a root, a rock, some sort of obstacle (throw your keys on the floor and stand on them) and you’ll notice you don’t feel much of them because the obstacles or the items sort of sink into this shoe, which is a really interesting feeling. As time goes on, it really adds a lot of confidence and you’ll find yourself bombing down hills and such in these. So if you look around the whole body of the midsole you’ll notice there isn’t anything like a pronation control, there’s no cage, there’s no post or anything along those lines, just foam. That’s the point of it. You’ll think, “This ride height is really high, I’m going to feel unstable.” There is a bit of that; however, the outsole of the shoe, this part here, is 25% wider than most shoes; so you have a very large piece of surface area. Again, if you’re thinking in the traditional sense of the shoe that might scare you away from the shoe because a wider shoe might not fit in such areas. However, because this midsole reacts and sort of sucks up the ground around it, you hardly notice that it is wide. It’s just surprising how well this shoe rides despite visually what it’s going to look like.

Upper and Insole
Now, when we move to the upper, this shoe, again, is a road running shoe, but I felt this thing fit very nice and tight. It fit to my foot really well in terms of how it fit versus a lot of road running shoes. A lot of road running shoes have a lot of mesh so when you’re doing downhills or you’re braking or you’re doing side-to-side movements, your foot moves around a lot in it. This shoe has these white overlays all over it which sort of wrap the foot all the way around so you wrap the foot and you get a nice feel. Then in the black parts of the shoe, mesh, so it breathes well, it drains well. As you can see, that mesh goes all the way to the midsole, so water has a path to go out. So I felt like this shoe breathed well; it fit my foot well. Then you’ve got lacing options up top if you need a tighter close on the heel or a looser close around the heel to wrap in. In the back, you have a full heel counter; so that is in there. It’s not hard, hard plastic; it is somewhat pliable, but it’s there. Then you have a slightly padded collar.

This shoe does have a removable insole. So I guess if you wanted to wear orthotics with these, you could fit them in, though I would say that would be a lot of support and stability in that. But you could do something along those lines if you’re someone that likes orthotics.

You have a relatively good toe bumper, again, for being a road shoe. This shoe rides higher, so you’re going to catch more of that grit, or rocks, or roots, or whatever you might kick with the toe of the shoe. But if you do go past that, you do have some of this hard nylon or fake leather up here in the front that’s going to break some of that. So over all what you get is, yes, a road shoe, but definitely something capable of trail that you can wear pretty much anywhere.

So to wrap things up, this shoe is way better than I thought it was going to be. When I looked at this shoe, I thought, “It’s big. It’s bulky. I’m not going to like the feel of this.” I just didn’t want to, I guess, believe in it. I would say after throwing everything at it that I could, I am in fact a believer in this shoe. This shoe could handle really anything I threw at it.

There are some caveats. It’s higher off the ground, so to me it felt less stable. I didn’t have that ground feel that I normally like, not that I’m a minimalist person, but I do like riding a little lower. It doesn’t transition as great as something you might find in a road shoe. But overall, for the things it doesn’t do well, it does one thing really well. It adds cushion, and I felt aided in recovery or at least aided in the amount of impact that my body felt over the long haul. I really noticed not feeling as beat up. I threw these on at the end of very big volume weeks for me and wore these as my last run of the week to really get a feel for it. Over and over again, I felt better than I did wearing my normal shoes that I would have worn for that. So I do think there is definitely something to this amount of cushioning.

Call for Comments
So with that, any questions or comments, place those below the video. Thanks for watching. We’ll catch you next time.

Travis Liles

resides in Portland, Oregon where he is a husband, father, and a technical specialist for a software company. In his spare time, he is exploring his new home in the Pacific Northwest, getting more vertical but still not living in the thin air, while producing "Trail Trials with Travis Liles" video gear reviews for iRunFar.

There are 79 comments

  1. Nick

    Anybody out there have suggestion on getting Hokas to fit narrow low volume feet?

    I'm throwing this out there because of how many people will see it.

    I have tried every Hoka model…everytime I run a down a super steep mount side in Hokas my quads will get trashed, however when I go back run the same run in normal trail shoes I'm just fine.

    I have been trying to figure this out for two years because I really think there is a place in my quiver for this shoe.

    Am I the only one??

  2. Zac

    Nick, you should definitely consider the Stinson Evo. It runs a little more narrow and comes with an extra insole that's flat. You can set the insole under the original one to decrease volume in the shoe. Also the foam on the Evo is slightly less dense resulting in a softer ride which may help with the quad problem.

    Good luck!

  3. chris

    I'm wondering about the width of the toebox. Normal, wide, narrow? I've become used to fairly wide toeboxes so my feet/toes can splay on landing. If these are normal or narrow they won't work for me. Thoughts?

    1. Jay

      I've had the Mafate and Bondi B. The Mafate toe box is bigger and too wide for me – I would characterize as wide. The Bondi B feel like a road shoe in the forefoot and would say it is normal. I, like many other folks, used Bondi B on trail.

      I will say I have rolled my ankle in these things on technical stuff – the ankle was already weak so less stable to start.

      I still wear these on the road now and then and my legs don't take the pounding. Really makes a huge difference in recovery, too.

  4. Amy

    I had really high hopes for these shoes but unfortunately, they absolutely trashed my feet. On my first test at Pikes Peak, for the first few miles of climbing, my feet went numb and I was experiencing the feeling of "hot spots" on the balls of my feet – my feet were on fire! They settled down after a couple of hours, but I still wasn't sold.

    I tried them again in Leadville and wound up with some of the worst blisters I've ever experienced, plus the numbing, plus the hot spots. My feet were destroyed.

    I bought these with the hope of being able to run more aggressively downhill without rolling my ankle – I actually felt more clumsy and did roll my ankle a couple of times (I'm sure once I got used to them, this would stop). But when you do roll your ankle in these shoes, it is much more dramatic due to the size of the sole.

    EXPENSIVE experiment. If anyone wants a barely used pair of Bondi B's, size 6.5, let me know…

      1. Amy

        Nope, I had never experienced blisters like these before in any other shoe. I was so bummed they didn't work out for me… Glad to hear they do work for others though.

        1. Aaron Sorensen

          I found the problem to be that the forward half of the shoe has no flex to it so your feet end up doing the flexing inside the shoe.

          This heats up the balls of your feet from the friction it gets sliding back and forth.

          I have the Mafate's and was also wondering if the other modles are the same?

          1. Mike B.

            I had the same problem with the Mafate shoe. They also started to really hurt the inside of my ankle because of the collar of the shoe. Decided to wait a few years for them to improve the fit of the shoes.

    1. JimM

      Worst blisters I have ever had until I accepted the fact that for me these shoes are a last 25 miles of any 100 shoe. That is short enough that even if I do blister it is not the end of the world but at a point I care more about the cushion than anything else. It has certainly been a love hate relationship.

    2. William

      I also had this problem. I was actually a Hoka fan (bought two pairs of Mafetes and Bondi B). My favorite thing about the shoes is being able to fly down steep descents….it sounds like a cliche, but for me, running at 3:30-4:00K pace downhill was easy in these shoes, whereas in others it would be nearly impossible without wrecking my legs for a few days.

      With that said, I found that my feet often ached after running in Hokas, whereas they wouldn't in Montrails or Brooks. I also developed hip pain, and my theory is that the Hokas allowed me to absorb more shock (in my hips) than I would normally have if running in normal shoes (although this was probably just an over-use injury, and it may be unfair to blame the shoe. Still).

      Nonetheless, I still had enough great runs in Hokas that I'd still recommend them, with the caveat that people tend to either love them or hate them.

  5. Chris Price

    I love the Bondi-B's. My favorite shoe ever. Definitely able to run faster easier downhill in them.

    Nick, regarding the thrashing of your quads, it might be from running harder and faster downhill than you do in other shoes and this places more load on your muscles? I felt the same thing at first and think that might be it.

    Don't have issues with rolling my ankles in the Bondi's, kind of do in the Stinsons on super technical stuff.

  6. Rob Digga

    I want these shoes. but to fork over $170 it just can't do it. Nothing on the web is less than $168.99. i have not run on the road for over two years and am looking to get back to it and these are the shoes I want to get but like I said i'm not paying $170. guess i'll be sticking to trails….

    hope no one feels sorry for me ;)

    1. Anonymous

      Although $170 is a lot to pay for a pair of shoes, you should consider the fact that these shoes can be used for much more mileage than most of the other road shoes. My first pair of Bondi B's from Feb 2011 had more than 800 miles (95% of the miles were on road or concrete) in them before I bought a new pair.


      1. David

        If I knew these would work for me, I would buy this argument and $170 wouldn't be so bad. But as an experimental shoe that may or may not work for the newcomer, it is a little cost-prohibitive.

    2. Pete

      I have currently gotten 300 miles out of my first pair of the Stinson Evo's They still look brand new and have a ton of spring left in them. So while $170 is a lot a better way might be to break down the price per mile. At that point you will come to find that the Hoka's will be more cost effective as you simply don't need to buy more. Also on a side note the hokas have helped make me eliminate plantars foot which had bothered me for some. The shoes and a lot of stretching helped fix them. Anyways my 2 cents as a loyal supporter of Hoka's.

      1. Rob Digga

        I might go for it but I had to rant about the price ….. my bday is coming up …. maybe I can treat myself …. thanks for the input …

        1. Hone

          I bought a few pairs of NB 101s at Sports Chalet recently for 49 bucks. I get around a 1000 miles per pair. A couple of years ago Zach ran BW in a pair of Nike Frees with over 3000 miles on them. I think people replace shoes way sooner than needed. $170 bucks for 800 miles is a rip!

          (I have had 2 hip surgeries in the last year so my opinion is probably dog crap)

    3. Matt Fecteau

      One option is to find them on The Clymb. I've seen them a few times on their site, but the models and sizing can be hit or miss as are the sales (4-5 days every 2-3 months). If my memory serves me right, they've been about 40% off when listed.


  7. MonkeyBoy

    Nick, go with the Unisex pairs instead of the Men's versions. They seem to fit low volume feet much better than the Men's versions do. This current season, that means the Citrus and Silver colorway.

  8. Joe

    I've been using the Bondi B for two years. I'm sure I've put 600-800 miles on each pair. They are all I use for all ultras. I've used them for everything from a road 50 miler to Hellgate 100K which has quite technical areas. These are my "secret weapon". The cushioning somehow keeps my legs fresher and helps avoid that "pounding" feeling I get running downhills after 3 or 4 hours. I find my legs are less fatigued. Maybe my age has something to do with it (53) and I need the more cushioning?

    I've tried to convince my friends about them but have given up. Now when I see another person using Hokas, we just sort of nod to each other, like we are in on the same secret.

  9. ajax

    Another option to consider is using Hoka's (I have a pair of Bondi B's) for treadmill training. I'm a firefighter who has access to a heavy duty treadmill at the station which I usually find super stiff and hard on my feet. Past year or so I kept my Hoka's at work and run anywhere from 4-6 miles a shift and feet feel great.

    Just saw a whole bunch of Hoka's go on sale at Left Lane sports for about half off. Sold out quickly so keep your eye on their site as they usually pre- announce what their sales will be.

    Also just heard that Hoka got a big influx of cash so should be interesting to see what's coming along. Maybe more cash will mean cheaper retail?

  10. Sniffer

    I've had the Bondi B's for some time and love them for longer distance and like Travis said end of the week runs when I feel a little sore.

    Used them in a race during July in the Midwest when it was hot and humid. I wish they would breath a little bit better but isn't that big of an issue. I did feel like the soft foam almost soaks up water/sweat(I am a heavy sweater) and after a long time I could hear the squish, more of a annoying pet peeve than anything else.

    Thanks for the review.

  11. Jared Thorley

    Wish you would have reviewed the Stinson for a trail specific option. I'm looking at them as a long race option versus my altra lone peaks.

    1. Pete

      The stinsons are great. I have used them on several runs over 30 miles on technical mountainous terrain. I get no blisters and my quads seem to hold up much longer so I am fresher on downhills even after 5 plus hours of running.

  12. Ed Poppiti

    I got a pair of Bondi B's in October of 2011 and put over 1,000 miles in them. I am usually a size 11 but needed a size 12. In all those miles I didn't get one blister, not one. My furthest race was 50k in them. Then right before the Bull Run Run I got a new pair, on line. Apparently the company had resized the entire line and I was told to drop down to 11.5. The Bull Run Run went o.k. but then I toed the line at Kettle Moraine. My feet were toast by mile 31, I just didn't realize it because I never get blisters! I ignored the hot spots that were developing. What a sufferfest the next 70 were. Perhaps correct sizing is elusive in this brand, or maybe there were more changes to the shoe than were unadvertised. Bottom line, I love the old shoes and now have over 1,300 miles on the original ones and will continue to wear them until the uppers fall apart.

  13. David

    Nice review. I think the last 30 seconds sums up my experience with the Bondi's & Evo's – you just feel less beat-up after a high volume week. Going forward, I'll always have a pair of Hoka's in my shoe quiver for long runs and recovery runs.

  14. olga

    I have a torn feeling about Hoka's. Agree with those who mention how feet (up front, on the bottom) simply hurt (somebody pointed out it could be due to inflexibility of the shoe – never thought of it, but makes sense). My feet certainly were no fire, especially first many, many times, in as little as 3-4M runs and walks. I guess I got used to the feeling eventually, and did run a marathon, a 50M and a 100M in them. While they do help with downhill push off and landing, I haven't noticed any special extra-fast recovery from DOMS (though I don't get it much anyway), or being able to feel jumpy and energetic any sooner than usual (6 days of slogging through thick air). Also, after last 100 (which was pretty rocky) my feet were swollen like never before (and I've done Hardrock) and the skin came off from all around feet 2 weeks later (still peeling). Overall, I don't have complains, but I prefer to feel the trail with every curve, so I gave Hoka's up and returned back to Sportiva Crosslights. I do know a dozen folks locally who swear by them. It's an experiment of one, and yes, plenty expensive. My take? If you have a shoe that's working, don't look for a better one.

    1. Bryon Powell

      No sure what exactly you mean by "midsole conforming sensation," but the Montrail FluidFlex isn't at all like any of the Hoka models. There's just not enough midsole there to absorb significant obstacles. The Sportiva MorphoDynamic shoes does similar absorb terrain, even if not to the same degree… something these shoes have been doing since their release last year.

  15. David

    Thanks for the review Travis! I've been keeping my eye on these. I tried some on locally and loved the feel of the cushion, but they just didn't seem to fit my foot properly. I'll keep watching out as they play with the design.

    On another note, please straighten your artwork – I'd hate for something so silly to throw your Chi all out of wack! ;-)

  16. Joe

    Travis, as a finisher of the Leadville Trail 100, do you think this shoe would be good for this race? I keep hearing that trail shoes are better for LV, primarily for their traction and long distance support. Im also told that the hill coming down Hope Pass is incredibly steep and good traction is need. So, do you think the Bondi B would be a good LV100 shoe?

  17. pat

    Aside from the pro's/con's listed above, I'd like to add the following info:

    The sole of the Bondi B breaks down faster than any shoe I've ever used (road shoe or trail). I think that if you run mostly roads or mulched/buffed-out trail AND you think that you need a lot more cushion for your legs…then these shoes MIGHT be worth the price tag. Otherwise, I'd skip them.* Too much money for shoes that don't last. I also experienced hotspots in this shoe like crazy and found it difficult to adequately tighten the laces without also pinching the tops of my feet. I've put over 2,000 miles on a pair of Nike lunaracer 2's and over 1500 miles on a pair of Montrail Mountain Masochists. …you can buy both of those shoes together for the same price as one pair of Bondi's and get a lot more bang for your buck.

  18. Michael

    The Clymb is awesome…I just got the Bondi B's for 62 bucks. Love em so far. Will run the VT 50 in Sept, and give a full review then :)

  19. Nick

    Love the Hoka's! Have transformed my long runs. I still get sore etc. but a 20-25 mile run feels much more like a 10 miler. Plus I can double up again next day.

    Huge issue with sizing though. I've got the Bondi B's and the Stinson Evo's and both feel really snug in the toe box. I wear a US 11.5 (same size I wear in Salomon, Brooks, New Balance etc) and the length is fine. I tried a US 12 and the width is better but I'm literally swimming in too much toe room and length. Anyone else found this? The 12 is probably a better size – any suggestions on best ways to reduce volume? Or should I be patient and let the miles stretch the shoes out a bit?

    Thanks guys!

  20. trailrunner76

    Hoka's are said to last up to 3 times as long as normal shoes, so actually its a larger initial investment, but you will come out ahead in the long run (pun)


  21. trailrunner76

    not the case! im 36 and feel more energetic and recover fresher. I wear the Mafate 2's, but want to add the Bondi B's. :)

  22. Mike B.

    Sorry, here's the rest of the story: I became a minimalist a year ago and was pretty much loving the mt 110's for all of my running. Even did 2 road marathons and a trail 50k in them. Good results. While training for the Tahoe Rim Trail 50

    miler I was up to about 72 mpw and started to get some of the metatarsal pain that people mention about minmalist shoes. I got scared of getting a stress fracture and I started reading about Hokas. I got a pair of stinson B and put about 350 miles on them and did my back to back long runs in them. I had some fun running in them then all of a sudden I developed hip pain and laidoff 3 weeks right up to the start. So I start the race with a fresh pair of Hoka mafate 2 shoes. They were good for most of the course but when your flying down super steep slopes for 3-4 miles dodging rocks, roots etc. they seemed a bit bulky. I hit the toe of the shoe about 5 times and darn near face planted! My ankle was sore from the collar digging in when my ankle would roll slightly over. I believe a shoe like the mt 110 would be much better fotr all the above except the overall strike force is lessened by the Hokas. To sum up for me, I think the key is to spend more years perfecting minimalist running technique and use the mt110's for the best of all worlds!

  23. Coach Weber

    I have nearly the same situation … 11.5 in most shoes, but needed a 12.0 in the Evos's to get the needed width (12.5 in the Mafate 2's but too clunky of a shoe for me … Bondi B's no fit felt right). I run with no insole what-so-ever to give added volume and thin socks to add some more room (no more Drymax Max Trail).

  24. Jeff

    I own both the Mafate and the Bondi B, and I think the Bondi B is a much more refined shoe. I had problems with the fit of the Mafate, especially in the forefoot. I, too, had blister issues on the ball of the foot, blisters on the toes, pain from collars on the outside of the shoe that impinged on the ankle, and toenail bruising issues related to a low and unforgiving toe guard. I solved some of these issues with strategically placed Engo anti-friction tape, but the toenail and ankle bruising made the Mafate almost unusable for me after around 18 miles.

    Th Bondi B is much better, in my opinion. The outside collars seem to be cut lower and are built out of soft fabric (rather than reinforced with leather), so they don't cause me any problems. And the thick reinforced toe guard of the Mafate, which limited upward toe movement, is not featured in the BB. The result is a shoe with all the benefits of the Mafate without the downsides. The BB would not be suitable for technical trails, due to the less aggressive outsole

  25. Jeff

    . . . oops, got cut off. The BB has a less aggressive outsole, but it is very suitable for less technical trail running. I feel as comfortable in the Bondis as I do in my other go-to shoes, the Brooks Pure Grit. I would encourage people who have had problems with the Mafate or Stinson to give the Bondis a try. I love them.

  26. Chelsy

    I would like to try these shoes out. No stores around me sell these shoes, so I must order on-line. Any suggestions on sizing? I typically wear a women's 9.5 in my running shoes (saucony & asics). Also, can anyone explain the difference between Bondi B, Speed, and Stinson Evo Tarmac?

  27. Chris

    hey there – very late to the party here and didnt want to sift through all of the comments. Travis/anybody: do you think this is a good shoe for someone who is looking for pronation control?? recent knee inury and I want to make sure I get into the right shoe for my comeback. thank you.

  28. Hiro

    I bought the Hoka since every trail running who wore them swore by them. After getting the Hoka Mafate and running my first 50k/50mi I would get massive blister in them even with moleskin attached. The down hill felt pretty good but getting the blister would make the rest of the race very uncomfortable.

    1. Kent Dozier

      I just ran my first 50-miler ever in my Hoka Mafates. I got the worst blisters I have ever had from running, and my first ever lost toenail. The blisters hit before mile 15 so I had to suffer for 35 more miles. I lost the second toenail in one foot, had "jelly belly" jellybean sized blisters between almost all of my toes, and major blisters on the balls of my feet which are the worst. This was only my third time running in them.

      In my Brooks Cascadia and Brooks Adrenaline, I would only get small toe blisters running a 50k. I loved the cushion and downhill fun wearing the Hokas, but there's no way I can wear these in my first 100-miler. I would never make it. Before the 50-miler, I was in love with my Hokas. Now I am afraid to run in them again. =(

  29. Hiro

    I always thought it was just me but seems like other people are having the same issues with the blisters. I have another 50mi coming in Dec and thinking about switching to the Mafates at mile 38 to finish the last stretch. I'm also afraid of running long distance in my Hoka's. It's been sitting inside my truck ever since my last 50 mile race…

  30. Lizzie G

    Would love to try them out Amy, if you still have them – am very interested in getting a pair, but don't have the money – let me know if they still need a new home ;-)

  31. Louis A Romero (wond

    I purchased theses shoes the day before the 2013 LA Marathon. They were on sale at the booth for 139.00. The wife of an ultra marathoner has been telling me about these shoes for months and months during club runs, so I decided squeek the cash out of my wallet. 2 people at the booth as well as 2 club members told me NOT to wear these shoes until broken in. I said NO WAY!, I'm wearing them! … I'm glad that I did… PR babeeee!!!

  32. rms

    Hope someone's still watching this thread :) I just wore a pair of the Bondi S2 for a 10mile trailrun, and I'm hooked.

    *However* I already see signs of the outsole lugs peeling off after this single run, and am exchanging for another pair. Are any of the other models, like the Stinson, more durable with regards to the outsole, or have noticeably more toe-room? I'm worried about tearing them to pieces in 50 miles.

    I got the Bondis on a whim because KMeltzer wears them, and though the slightly narrow toebox isn't bothering me, perhaps one of the other models would be more appropriate (185lbs, size 13). I've also noticed the weight claims for the different models appear to be highly variable if not outright false

  33. marcos


  34. Rudy

    Anybody else have knee problems from use of Hoka One Ones. I just purchased a pair of Stintons and started having knee problems right from the start. On my first run I felt a funny feeling in my knee and now after two weeks of running in them my knees hurt.

    I have been running hard all year and never had any knee problems prior to this so I am very confused.

    1. thewind

      YES! The Mafates ruined my knees in ONE RUN! Never had any knee problems in 30 years of running, bought these shoes with high hopes.

      I remember reading your comment and it was the only one like it, so I hunted it down today to find out if this is a problem many people are having with these shoes!

      I bought mine in Sept. I ran in them once and couldn’t run anymore, my knees are damaged bad, I am not sure if I will ever be able to run again the way I used to, I have a pair of Montrails now and ran only 5 times all winter and each time my knees swelled up……..something is wrong with these shoes for some people!

      If anyone has knee issues from these shoes please comment, I am curious if it is a big problem that no one is talking about!

    2. Amiee

      I don't know if it is a coincidence or what, but I started having terrible knee pain (both knees) after trying out both the Hoka Kailua and Altra Olympus. I have never had knee pain before so I am now skeptical of the max cushion shoes. My physical therapist says that the max cushion shoes may prevent some of the natural rolling (pronation) that should occur, which may overload the knees in some people. Regardless, I am going to be staying away from max cushion shoes from here on out so if anyone wants any women's size 6! I don't think we know enough about them yet.

  35. steve n

    Each has a different experience, i hesitated for a long time about these mainly through cost but the difference of the shoe. Since wearing these i have had no issues what so ever and have been doing all my running and doing double day runs on all surfaces without issue which surprised me given the grip. I have come from MT101, minimus etc and these are my favorite shoe for more than an hour. Sore knees may be you are striding it out and adjusting. Hope they work in the end!

  36. Chrissy

    I feel the same way! I love the concept, but the price scares me away, considering I haven't tried them out. If I am going to spend that kind of cash on a pair of shoes I NEED to know they will work for me!

    I was in a car accident almost completely crushing my feet, so needless to say I have foot issues. These look amazing for overpronation (supnation) but without trying them on, its hard to make the purchase. :(

  37. Gabrielle

    Yes! I am having the same issue! I have never had knees issues in my whole life! I just got my Stinson Evos. Did a 4 miler the first night and a 10 miler the second day and my right knee is bothering me. Ok when I am just walking around, but if I run in the Evo's it hurts! Also, bad blisters on the second run.

  38. rms

    Two suggestions from a recent convert: I also experienced knee tweaks — in the form of slight pain at the top-of-knee/head-of-femur — and ball-of-foot blisters when first using Hokas (both BondiB2 & Evo)

    1) The knee pain is from over-striding. The extra cushion lets you get away with bad form *temporarily*. Keep your knees bent, feet well back, high cadence, and this will go away.

    2) Blisters are a sizing, lacing, and break-in issue for the most part. Remove the stock insole completely, it's unneeded (per KMeltzer); use drymax maxprot socks; use heel-lock lacing. The Bondis & Evo have very different upper volume profiles, but in both cases I crank down the lacing as tight as I can get it, and usually run out of adjustment room, with the two sides of the shoe meeting in the center. There are last-shape and upper-volume adjustments that need to be made in both models, hopefully Hoka will get better at this.

    1. thewind

      Sorry, it is NOT from over striding, my Hokas ruined my knees in ONE RUN! I did not lose my great form in that run, in fact I was careful to see if those shoes could live up to the hype of running midfoot. These shoes are simply dangerous for certain people, I think they move so much in the foot that the knees take all the movement! I hope more people post about this, I have a feeling there are alot of runners out there with bad knees from these shoes!

  39. Tom

    I'm trying to get back into running and I am a severe supinator. Hence, my body does not like (road)impact as much as a normal pronators' would. I was looking for something unconventional and happened upon the Hokas. I was wearing 9-1/2 EEEE Asics which seemed no better than the Walmart special in terms of impact protection. As a side note, according to my Fleetfeet dealer, Hoka will not be making wide widths till next year(2014).

    The Bondi Bs were all they had and it seemed narrow for my feet so I ordered a pair of the NEW Mafate 3s the following day after the Hoka reps told me over the phone that Mafate's run wider. I thought "great, wider and extra cushion, I'm all for it". Unfortunately, this did not prove true for me as the Mafate3 width seemed to be the same as the Bondis but the toe box in the Mafate was more shallow so it was a tighter fit. It was also a MUCH stiffer shoe and even though it had the thicker midsole, it was the Bondi that was plusher and more comfortable. Perhaps the Mafate used a denser foam that would prove it's worth on hard core trails. The outsoles were also much more aggressive as you would expect for an off road shoe. I do not recommend it unless you have a low volume foot and don't mind a stiff shoe. It seems to me that the Mafate is their slowest seller.

    As far as the manufacturer claimed weights, I'm dubious. I noticed they are priced according to weight, more or less, lightest costing the most, heaviest the least. Hoka seems to be beefing up the trail shoes with the thickest, stiffest construction. The road shoe Bondis seems to be the thinnest, most flexible, and Stinsons are somewhere in between. So from heaviest to lightest, it appears this way: Mafate, Stinson, Bondi. Hokas pricing scheme appears to make no sense and tries to make it appear that the lighter shoes generally cost more money. If anything, the heavier stiffer models appear to have more content(with exception of extra insoles,laces)and would cost more to manufacture. The technology seems to be pretty consistent throughout the line and the weight savings comes from putting in less material, not using more advanced materials. Even so, It looks like these shoes will allow me to run more than a few miles without taking a tremendous beating over the asphalt. So I ended up with a 10-1/2 Bondi B just the other day and am hoping I can cope with the limited toe room for my wide feet.

    By the way, Hoka has introduced two new models, the Kailua and the Rapa Nui Comp, although the later may not make it to the U.S. Happy trails.

  40. Blair

    Wow, I need some serious help. Just pushing into the ultra distances and loving it. Planning rim-to-rim-to-rim of the Grand Canyon in October. Been running distances of 40-50 miles/week for 35 years. Now I'm pushing upwards of 60-70 miles/week so, yes…you might say an aspiring ultra runner, but making progress. I recently purchased the Evo Stinson shoe and loved it, up to the first 100 miles.

    Here's the problem. I was born with a slight deformity (external tibia torsion. Okay, I'm "Duck Footed", shoot me. This causes some fairly significant overpronation. Seriously, I look like the goofiest S.O.B. you have ever seen when I run. I get cat calls from passer-buys and the more aggressive spectators have actually hurled objects from their vehicles at me as they speed by yelling "Freeeek!". If is a modern miracle that I can actually link two miles together for a neighborhood fun run. Despite this deformity, and three and one-half decades of moderate distance running, I have been spared injury. I guess I would attribute this to my deformity which may be a blessing in disguise.

    I run mostly trails, and trails I would consider tough. Central Oregon Cascades, Sierra Nevada, anything steep and rocky. A lot of elevation, typically logging cumulative gain/loss of 6,000 to 8,000 feet on my weekend long run. I run much quicker than my peers, but am a bit of a big fish in a small pond.

    So that's the backstory. The problem is that after no more than 100 miles on my Hokas they're trashed. The inside soul of the shoe is completely compressed and rocks my foot significantly inward. A running partner following me on a morning trail run asked if my ankles didn't hurt like hell as they looked like they were going to snap in two from the stress. The toe pad area of the Hoka sole (concentrated around big toe and second toe) looks like someone has been banging on it with a hammer (totally concaved in). Oh, and yeah, I can qualify for the Clydesdale Division when I enter marathons (6'1", 185 lbs.)

    I love the cushion and feel of the Hoka, but at $170/pop I can't afford to replace them every 100 miles, I'd go broke quick. The one shoe that has never failed me is the Nike Pegasus, but I love the recovery on the Hoka.

    What is the consensus…give up on the Hoka, stick with the Pegasus, go to orthotic inserts, take up biking? Oh, and no need to mention an orthopedic surgeon. My high school coach thought I had promise if he could fix my stride. After several frustrating months of training and "special" exercises he sent me to the surgeon. Apparently the fix is sawing the tibia in half, rotating the bone to its normal orientation, pinning it back together, casting, rehab. One leg, then the other. That isn't in the cards.


    1. Tom

      That's a tough scenario Blair. Obviously you can't replace the shoes every 100 miles. I'd recommend seeing a foot doctor for some orthotics. I've heard Hokas take them well. Good health to you.

  41. Mike D

    Hone, Sorry about your 2 hip surgeries. I that is a pretty good reason to switch your shoes out more frequently, though. Don't you? There may just be a method to the madness. Besides, $170 is way cheaper than having to replace both hips. Not to mention down time.

  42. Brian

    So I now I have 1200 miles on my pair. What I've done with them is only to swap out the insole and change the laces . I did have to reglue the soles twice.

    There has been no shift in the center of the shoe and there's been no uneven wearing.

    Most of my Trailrun's are on rugged terrain being either the long trail or the Appalachian Trail in Vermont.

    My only real disappointment and issue has been their lack of distribution and customer service. I have been trying to obtain a new pair of the comps for sometime now. I know that they're starting to bring in the women's style in the country and I may actually start running in that they're that good.

  43. joey

    I went to the hokas after my NB 1010's fell apart…..loved those shoes, but they didn't last. I did replace the speed laces with regular ones, and do get some numb toes from time to time, but nothing too serious. My down hills are way faster but have had some ankle rolls. The only thing is I have been getting a bad stitch in my side during the down hills! never had this problem in the past and is really frustrating. I hate to pass runners going down , only to have them pass me as I struggle on stretching out my side. Never seen anyone else posting this problem, just wanted to see if its just me

  44. Bill

    I picked up new Bondis this spring as i was working to increase mileage for a fall/winter string of ultras. I am 6' 2", ~200 lbs, mild overpronator (have custom orthotics), and while in "training" peak in the mid-40 miles/wk range on asphalt (not enough viable trails where I live :-( ). For me, ultra means 50K now.

    I used the Bondis almost exclusively for my long runs this spring/summer (Brooks stability shoes for the rest), got in multiple 20+ mile runs and one training marathon.

    I loved the Bondi ride at the start, even got in PB half marathon distance (in training!) at the start. Over time, in less than 100 miles (on the shoes), I noticed significant mid-sole wear – the softer mid-sole material gets completely chewed up on asphalt), but thought nothing of it as the ride still remained comparatively soft. After ~200 miles, i noticed that my ankles seemed to torque more as i was running, but blew it off. Then at around 250 miles, I had significant problems with my right IT band, hamstring, and ankle all at once that made me drop a race. When I got home, I checked the shoes and it was obvious that the right shoe was completely overpronated with the mid-sole significantly more chewed up than the left shoe.

    So much for these shoes lasting 700 miles.

    I switched back to my Brooks and was able to resume training after a few weeks off.

    The softness of this shoe's ride can mask other issues, like lack of stability control. Just be careful if you overpronate.

    After a couple months without the Bondis, I bought another pair to see whether I could use them on an upcoming marathon. Ran twice with them and my form did not feel right, so I'm taking no chances and sticking with the Brooks.

    That said, I will continue to experiment, including with Stinsons I bought to get me through the summer ultra and planned for next HAT.

    Love/hate the Hokas for now.

    Bought old-school Poron sheets and cut inserts for my shoes as a poor man's (heavy) approximation.

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