Hoka Bondi 6 vs Bondi 7

This is our comparison of the Hoka Bondi 6 vs the Bondi 7

The Bondi is Hoka’s maximum cushioned shoe, and they designed it for medium to long recovery or easy miles.

The Bondi have helped plenty of runners recover from injuries and get back to training and is the first choice for people that need to spend the entire day on their feet, such as nurses and doctors.

In this comparison of the Bondi 6 vs Bondi 7, we have considered all the differences and similarities of the two versions. We also analyzed the pros and cons of each one breaking down the benefits and drawbacks of the changes.

The Bondi 6 had some major issues, though. It was very narrow, not very durable, and the upper was really warm. Hoka has addressed them all in the Bondi 7, but have they done enough? Keep reading for all the details.

Hoka One One Bondi – Maximum Cushioning

There is still much debate over whether maximum cushion shoes are the best option for injuries. It all gets a bit confusing when you listen to the zero drop (minimalist shoe) enthusiast and the maximum cushion shoe devotees. Everyone seems to have an opinion, but really, you just want to run without pain.

Sometimes you just need a bit of help to get going again, whether you’re recovering from an injury or struggling with one right now. That’s why we did this detailed Hoka Bondi review for you, because opinions are great but they don’t have to deal with your feet every day.

Using maximum cushioned shoes as a temporary way to get going again is okay, but science is not on the cushioned shoe’s side. Studies have shown that maximum cushioned shoes might do more harm than good if used long term.

Quick ViewBondi 6 vs Bondi 7

Bondi 6Bondi 7
Features100% Vegan
Open-engineered mesh upper
Lycra comfort frame heel section
Internal heel counter
Early stage Meta-Rocker
Full-length compression molded EVA midsole
Rubber outsole
Beveled heel
100% Vegan
Open-engineered mesh upper
Memory foam heel collar
Internal heel counter
Early stage Meta-Rocker
Full-length compression molded EVA midsole
Rubber outsole
Beveled heel
TPU overlays offer additional mid-foot structure and support
ProsComfortable Upper
Soft Ride
Ideal for cooler weather
True to size
Very comfortable
Supportive
Dries well
Ultra plush comfort
Good lockdown
Snug fit
Outstanding for heel strikers
Excellent traction on asphalt and trails with shorter grass
True to size
Available in different widths
Wide and stable midsole
Memory foam collar is extremely comfortable
Good arch support
ConsTongue not gusseted
Less breathable mesh material
Some durability concerns
Blisters for wide feet due to toe box
Stiff midsole
Tongue not gusseted
Forefoot strikers find them clunky
A bit warm
Only mildly responsive
Midsole is more flexible than Bondi 6 but still stiff
Slightly wider than 6
Weight10.9oz. (309 g.) for a men’s standard size
8.4 oz. (244 g.) for a women’s standard size
10.7 oz. (303 g) for a men’s standard size
 8.9oz. (252 g) for a women’s standard size
Stack height
(This is a measurement of the amount of midsole cushioning)
Men
Heel:     36mm
Toe:       32mm
Men
Heel:     33mm
Toe:       29mm
Women
Heel:     31mm
Toe:       27mm
Drop4mm4mm
StabilityNeutralNeutral
CushionPlushPlush

So the very first thing that struck me, comparing the Bondi 6 and 7’s stats, is that somehow Hoka made the men’s shoe 6 grams lighter, and the women’s shoe 8 grams heavier. I don’t know how they did that and frankly, I find it a little annoying, as the shoe was not that light to begin with.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what sets the Bondi 6 and the Bondi 7 apart and whether it’s worth it to consider an upgrade or if it’s even an upgrade at all.

Hoka Bondi 6 vs Bondi 7 In-depth Comparison

Upper

Bondi 6

The Bondi 6 got a completely redesigned mesh upper that was supposed to increase both breathability and durability. In reality, while there were some runners who continued to love the Bondi, most Bondi enthusiasts felt like the Bondi 6 was a bit of a disaster.

The Bondi 6 ended up being warmer than the Bondi 5, the thicker mesh felt like an inferior quality compared to the smooth feel of the 5 and it soaked up moisture, which meant hot weather equaled wet feet.

They used Lycra in the new heel design of the Bondi 6 and that was one thing that worked really well. The luxurious heel counter stood in complete contrast to the cheaper feel of the new upper mesh.

The fit of the Bondi 6 was like previous versions on the narrow side. Runners with very narrow feet appreciated the snug fit, but the shoe was an absolute no for anyone with wide feet, as it doesn’t have enough width for the average foot to relax and no room for toes to splay in the toe box.

With durability, there were mixed reports. Some runners felt the shoe held up fine while others had the upper completely tear away from the sole on the outside edge within weeks of average use. That’s just unacceptable for a shoe in this price class.

Bondi 7

It seems those horizontal splits that runners experienced on the Bondi 6 were one of the first things that Hoka addressed and fixed. On the Bondi 6 you can see the synthetic overlays running horizontally along the outside of the upper. On the redesigned Bondi 7, they’ve changed it to run vertically, which solved those nasty tears.

Hoka increased the size of the toe box slightly, but while they’ve added some height, the width remained the same. They added additional wide models for the shoe at least this time round. Unfortunately, the wide models are still not quite wide enough for those of us with very wide feet.

There is an improvement in the upper’s breathability, but it’s still warmer than what you would want for a long run on a hot day.

In the heel, Hoka added a new memory foam collar which is super comfortable and cradles your heel securely without applying unnecessary pressure. It was designed for a narrower heel and it is an addition that most runners really enjoy.

The tongue is adequately padded but still has no gussets. Instead, it has wider wings to prevent sliding, and it’s quite effective. You’d think that at this price point they can just add the gusset.

There’s some reflective strips on the heel for visibility during night runs.

The upper of the Bondi 7 seems to continue sending mixed signals. While providing a good lockdown, it doesn’t provide that plush and luxurious comfort you’d expect from a maxed cushioned shoe.

Midsole

Bondi 6

The Bondi 6 features a full EVA midsole and an early stage meta rocker for smooth transition. The beveled heel helps reduce impact for heel strikers.

According to Hoka, the Bondi 6 was made softer than previous models and while it might be slightly softer than the 5, longtime users of the Bondi series still find it harder than the original models.

The shoe is stable thanks to the wider base, and it’s a comfortable ride, though we haven’t found too many runners that have made this there go to shoe for logging long slow runs. It’s comfortable, but not quite comfortable enough.

It has some bounce to it, which is nice but not necessarily the intrinsic quality you’re looking for in your recovery or easy day training shoe. Forefoot strikers across the board are not crazy about the Bondi.

Bondi 7

The Bondi 7’s midsole is a medium-firm density EVA foam that still feels a bit more like an everyday trainer than a recovery shoe. Some runners describe it as pillowy soft, which had me a little confused. Closer investigation made me realize the midsole foam reacts differently to hot and cold weather.

Runners in hot weather found the cushioning to be soft and plush, while runners in cold weather found the midsole to be firm and unyielding. This also has a tremendous influence on the early stage Meta-rocker. In cold weather, the stiffness of the midsole works really well to make your gait more efficient, but in hot weather, the softness of the midsole means that the Meta-rocker’s functionality is mostly lost.

In the end, whether you are going to use this shoe in hot or cold weather is going to determine what it’s suitable for. In cold weather, you are unlikely going to get any joy out of this shoe on longer distances because it’s too firm and might want to stick to 5-15K runs. It’s also unlikely to be your recovery shoe.

In really warm areas, this might be the ideal shoe for long recovery runs and to get you going again post injury.

Its medium-firm density midsole makes it more versatile and makes the Bondi 7 feel more like a daily trainer than a max-cushioned one.

The Bondi 7 is extremely stable, with its wide, flat base despite its high stack height, and it makes this neutral shoe feel more like a stability shoe.

The raised edge of the midsole fits the same as on the Bondi 6 and forms a guidance rail keeping your feet centered, but this is also the cause of major blistering for anybody with wide or flat feet.

Outsole

Bondi 6

The outsole has had an update from the previous model with added rubber on high abrasion areas to increase durability, but it just doesn’t stand up to the test.

The Bondi 6 outsole provides good grip, but it took a beating really quickly and the durability simply doesn’t justify the price point of this shoe for a high mileage trainer. According to one user, the exposed foam looked like his dog chewed on it after 100 miles.

Bondi 7

The outsole of the Bondi 7 has the same rubber pattern as the Bondi 6 but Hoka has improved the durability. It still doesn’t measure up to the durability on the Clifton, for instance, but you will get considerably more mileage out of the Bondi 7 than the Bondi 6.

It has great traction on most surfaces and the exposed foam didn’t get chewed up nearly as much as we expected.

Weight

There is very little difference between the Hoka Bondi 6 and Bondi 7 in weight, and for a max cushioned shoe the Bondi 7 compares very well to competitors like the Brooks Glycerin and the Saucony Triumph.

FAQ on the Hoka Bondi

Why do other reviews say the midsole is soft but mine is very firm?

The Hoka Bondi midsole reacts vastly different under varying temperatures. It is very firm in cold weather and much softer in hot weather. Runners have reported this consistently and you have to keep this in mind in your purchasing decision. It doesn’t seem to get any softer over time when you’re running in cold weather, either.

Is this shoe suitable for running with Metatarsalgia?

Once again, this will depend on whether you are living in a place with a very warm or cold climate. If you are living in a place with a very cold climate, we strongly suggest you refer to our article on the best shoes for Metatarsalgia and avoid the Hoka Bondi.

If you live in a really warm area, and are a heel striker, this shoe will probably work really well for you. Forefoot strikers find the shoe clunky and feel like it’s holding them back.

Does it fit true to size?

Most users have reported the Hoka Bondi as true to size length wise, with some users saying they had to go a half-size bigger than with other running shoes. It runs very narrow though and is not suitable for those with very wide feet. You can read more on picking the right size here.

Is the inner sole removable?

Yes, the inner soles are removable and you can replace them with your own custom orthotics, but beware. Some runners have reported the raised edge of the midsole doesn’t allow all custom orthotics to fit well. You might have to test your own to feel if it sits right or not.

Final Thoughts on the Bondi 6 vs Bondi 7

We feel Hoka has addressed all the issues the Bondi 6 had, to some extent in the Bondi 7 but they still have some room for improvement.

The redesign of the upper stands out as the major upgrade, and the changes in the midsole may be a game changer in warm weather conditions. Also, the update of the outsole increases durability.

The Bondi has been a game changer for people with jobs that keep them on their feet all day and it’s been extremely popular with some runners. Our research has shown that it’s mostly those with narrow feet and medium arches living in warmer areas looking for a recovery shoe for slow miles. If this is you, you have probably found the perfect shoe.

People with wide or flat feet are still waiting for Hoka to accommodate them.

We would like to add that while the Bondi can address your immediate needs effectively, for the long-term health of your feet, knees and hips, you might have to look at strengthening these individual areas.

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