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Welcome to Retail Therapy by Prevention! In this series, our editors provide thoughtful, honest reviews of what we’ve been testing lately that we want you to know about—because we refuse to keep these game-changing finds all to ourselves. Whether you’re on a mission to find something specific or simply need a little retail therapy in the form of an impulse purchase, consider this your insider’s shopping guide to everything our team thinks is worth the buy.
As a regular runner who covers and tests out all kinds of workout gear for work, I have some pretty strong opinions about what makes a good athletic sneaker. So long as a shoe hits the basics of durable construction, a cushioned sole, and a breathable upper, the rest is really subjective, which is perhaps why it’s taken me a few years to finally hop on the Hoka train. My introduction to the absurdly chunky kicks? The Hoka Bondi 8 (which made our list of the best Hoka shoes for walking).
I run long distances, so I’m no stranger to a highly cushioned running shoe. But even I was skeptical of the Hoka Bondi 8’s high bed of plush cushioning. I envisioned rolled ankles and tripping over toes. But before I could even take the highly rated kicks out for a jog, I suffered a tailbone injury that kept me from running my usual miles. That’s how the sneakers quickly became my go-to walking shoes for serious support as I recovered from my injury. Now that I’m all healed up, I still reach for the trendy lace-ups when I know I’ll be walking or standing for long periods of time.
If you’re considering adding the Hoka Bondi 8s to your collection, here’s my honest review.
I usually wear a size 9.5 in athletic shoes and found the Hoka Bondi 8s fit pretty true to size, leaving just a little more extra room in the toe box than I typically prefer but not enough to make me want to size down. The cushioned collar and pull tab on the heel make the sneakers easy to slip on, and the laces are a solid length, offering plenty material for a double knot.
Like most of Hoka’s shoes, these are available in regular and wide sizes. Some reviewers complain that the toe box is too narrow, so if your feet are on the wider side, consider ordering the wide version to save yourself from painful bisters (or check out more of the best shoes for wide feet).
I put these shoes to the test by walking miles around New York City, and I am happy to report that they kept my feet comfortable and helped me ease back into physical activity after bruising my tailbone. The highly cushioned rubber outsole and extended rear crash pad on the heel added a little spring to every step, propelling me forward and holding my heels securely in place.
The upper mesh is breathable thanks to tiny perforations in the fabric, which is made with 50% recycled polyester. I also enjoyed the added softness from the memory foam collar and thick, partially gusseted tongue.
For such a chunky shoe, the Hoka Bondi 8 is still relatively lightweight at 8.9 ounces. It offers neutral stability that’s ideal for those who don’t overpronate.
For everyday walking, Hoka’s Bondi 8 sneakers are a great option. They are supportive and plush with a rocker that makes every step feel a tad easier. The shoes are also great for people who stand for long periods at a time. While I didn’t run the New York marathon this year, I did spectate for hours on the sidelines with my feet comfortably laced up in my trusty Hokas.
I’ve gone for a few jogs in the shoes as well, and they hold up on outdoor trails, absorbing the impact of every heel strike. However, I don’t recommend putting on the Hoka Bondi 8s for a speed workout. Their chunky construction makes it just a little too easy to trip over my own feet when I’m moving quickly, especially on a treadmill.
One Last Thing
With a Seal of Acceptance from The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), the shoes have proven their ability to promote foot health to a group of APMA podiatrists. They also have thousands of fans, with a large majority of reviewers on the Hoka website, Nordstrom, and Zappos awarding them a five-star rating. People with plantar fasciitis, arthritic knees, and jobs that require being on their feet all day have left the shoes glowing reviews.
If you’re looking for a pair of walking shoes that can also see you through casual runs and long periods of standing time, order a pair of the Hoka Bondi 8 sneakers in your favorite color combination now.
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