Hoka One One Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Review

Hoka One One Bondi 5

The Hoka One One Bondi 5 is finally here! For the past few months I have wanted to try the latest version of this shoe. I was unable to try the Bondi 4 and have heard so many great things about the Bondi shoe model.

This shoe has been known by many to help so many people get back to running due to the maximum over-sized sole. This provides incredible cushion and support which helps runners of all sizes make their way back either in to or back to running.

This award winning over-sized shoe has a few updates that will be sure to make you excited for this version.

Having worn Hoka’s for years, I noticed that their shoes continued to get narrower and narrower. During my first few runs in these, the width didn’t bother me, only the tongue. For some reason it seemed too long and the tongue had a piece of soft plastic that dug into the front of my ankle. Before I cut it out, I wanted to get a few runs in them just to make sure it wasn’t a matter of breaking them in. After my 4th run, I cut the tongue so that it it didn’t touch the front of my ankle. Once I did that, things felt much better.

Below is my review of about the Hoka One One Bondi 5 and my experience with them. Please note, I will continue to update this review in case anything changes with my experience with these shoes. Thanks to the great people at JackRabbit.com, I was able to get this shoe early and provide feedback on my running experience with the Bondi 5 running shoe.

The Hoka One One Bondi 5 men’s and women’s model each have four colors to choose from. I definitely think the color I received for this review is the best of the 4 men’s colors.

Here are the Men’s Colors:

Hoka One One Bondi 5

Here are the Women’s Colors:

Hoka One One Bondi 5

Pictures courtesy of JackRabbit.com

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Verdict

If you want to experience the Hoka One One maximum running shoe, you need to try the Hoka One One Bondi 5.

The redesigned upper is definitely comfortable along with the plush over-sized cushioned sole. The meta rocker keeps you rolling with each and every stride, something that I appreciated with the Hoka Clifton.

The updated sole is advertised to improve durability and support. The one thing that I would change is the tongue. It was longer than I would like and ended up digging in to the front of my ankle, which was annoying. Once I cut the tongue down, the shoe felt much better.

Even though the shoe is over-sized, the Meta-Rocker technology helped provide a smooth transition on each step. The wider toe box allowed my toes plenty of room for comfort.

If you want an maximum neutral running shoe, you should definitely try the Hoka Bondi 5. I would have given them a higher rating if it wasn’t for the tongue. The other thing that I would change is how big the sole is as sometimes it feels unstable on uneven surfaces.

Where to Buy the Bondi 5 »
Pros Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Maximum Cushion
  • Responsive Feel
  • True Sizing
  • Durability
  • Expensive ($150)
  • Tongue

Here are a few pictures of the Hoka One One Bondi 5 that I wore for this review.

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Initial Thoughts

I have been a big fan of Hoka’s for a number of years. Up until a year or two ago, that changed when the Hoka Clifton 2 and Hoka Clifton 3 were updated to be way more narrow then I could tolerate.

Last year I tried ordering the Bondi 4’s because of the positive feedback of so many local runners. I ordered a 1/2 size up and the shoe ended up being way too big so I just sent them back and ended up not getting a pair. Prior to returning, I tried the shoes on and thought the Bondi 4 felt clunky and just way too big. Having never worn a true over-sized shoe, I thought it felt a little unstable while walking around the house in them.

Fast forward to the Bondi 5. When I received the Bondi 5, I knew they would be over-sized, but this updated version looked sleek and felt comfortable. The shoes were supportive, comfortable, and wider than I expected from recent Hoka shoe models. Please note, the shoe worn in this review was normal (D) width.

As I mentioned earlier, the tongue was longer than I liked and was unsure how it would feel when I started to run in them.

If you are a big fan of the Bondi 4, then I have a feeling you will really like the updated Bondi 5.

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Shoe Details

  • Weight : 10.7 Ounces (Men’s size 9), 9.5 ounces (Women’s size 9)
  • Shoe Category: Neutral
  • How It Fits: True to Size (based on normal D width)
  • Offset: 4mm heel to toe offset
  • Forefoot Height: 33mm forefoot height
  • Forefoot Width: Medium
  • Heel Height: 37mm heel height
  • Previous Model: Bondi 4

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Overview

If you want to experience the Hoka One One maximum running shoe, than the Hoka One One Bondi 5 is for you.

The heel has a height of 37mm while the forefoot height is 34mm, providing a 4mm drop. This over-sized sole provides maximum cushion and support for runners of all sizes.

The shoe is fairly light considering how big the sole is. I definitely didn’t notice the weight slowing me down during my runs in the Bondi 5. The redesigned upper and improved sole are expected to increase durability, something all runners want.

This shoe is intended for runners who have a higher arch and does not pronate excessively (neutral shoe category).

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Hoka One One Bondi 5 Sole

The Hoka One One Bondi 5 sole was updated with this latest version. The updated sole is made up of a soft EVA sole that is 30% softer than the average running shoe, which is something you will notice when walking or running in the Bondi 5.

Similar to the Hoka Clifton line, this shoe has Early Stage Meta-Rocker technology encourages a natural running motion and will provide a smoother feel with each stride.

The updated sole has an updated design which improves traction and the high abrasion rubber will improve durability.

If you are unfamiliar with the Early Stage Meta-Rocker technology, Hoka One One describes it as being “specifically engineered with a low heel-toe differential and a sculpted outsole radius in the heel and toe, creates a unique fulcrum effect and encourages a guided foot gait cycle.

The Hoka One One Bondi 5 shoe has a slightly wider sole than Hoka Clifton 3, providing more room for toes and foot.

Below are a few pictures of the Bondi 5 sole.

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Upper

The Hoka One One Bondi 5 upper one of the main things that changed with the latest version of this popular running shoe.

The mesh upper is seamless, comfortable, and lightweight. With a shoe that has an over-sized sole, you need to make up for the weight someplace. The upper breathes well due to its lightweight construction.

The ComfortFrame provides support and stability while a seamless upper provides a secure fit. Similar to other popular shoes, the seamless upper provides a sock-like fit.

As I mentioned the padded tongue was way too long and bothered me with each step.

The Bondi 5 seemed to have a little wider forefoot and sole, which was refreshing to feel when I ran in these.

Where to Buy the Hoka One One Bondi 5

JackRabbit.com » | JackRabbit.com (Womens)theActiveGuy.com Shoe Finder

Let me know what you think of the Hoka One One Bondi 5 running shoe!

If you need help finding deals on this shoe, contact me.

Please note: These shoes were provided by the great people at JackRabbit.com for this review. Any purchases on this site help support theActiveGuy.com.

If you prefer the Hoka One One Bondi 4, I suggest ordering from Amazon.

40 comments

  • So happy to read this review! I got the Bondi 4 after the Clifton 2 did a number on my left foot. The Bondi 4 was one of the very few shoes I could wear without pain, however I did not enjoy running in the 4’s. They felt stiff, clunky and heavy for running. I got them in the same size as my beloved original Cliftons and they were a little big. I probably should have returned for a half size smaller, but chose to keep them and wear heavier socks. I still use them for walking. I’m very excited to try the Bondi 5, haven’t found a shoe that I really love since the original Clifton!

    • Judie, I am right there with you about the Cliftons. Don’t get me wrong, these are still over-sized shoes, but looked and felt more sleek than the 4’s. Let me know what you think of running in these. Always interested in getting other feedback from other runners! Enjoy.

      • I see they come come in a wide width as did the 4s. In the 4s I got the wide since I couldn’t tolerate any pressure on my foot after the Clifton 2. Did you try the regular width? I don’t think I need the wide anymore and could be why my 4s feel so big now. And thanks for all your reviews, really enjoy your feedback!

        • Thanks Judie! Some of the feedback I have heard from a few runners is that even though they are wider than the 4’s, that if you think you need wides, order both and figure out which ones feel best. The shoes I reviewed were normal (D width). I haven’t ran in them over 8 miles or so, but could noticed that these were wider than the Clifton 3’s. Knowing I had problems with the Clifton 3, I would personally start with the wide model. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Jim O'Donnell

    I bought the Bondi 5 and have the same problem with the tongue. Where and how did you cut it without ruining the shoe? Hard to believe Deckers overlooked this, but they are wider. FINALLY.

    • Jim, thanks for the comment. All I did was take a knife and cut the plastic part on the tongue that was digging in to my the front of my ankle. It only bothered me on my right foot so that was the only shoe I did surgery on. 🙂 Hope this helps!

      And yes, it was nice to see that they finally made a wider model running shoe!

      • Jim O'Donnell

        Hi, Thanks for the info, but I ended returning both pairs. I have owned all many Hokas and all 5 Bondi models and I only enjoyed the Bondi B and the Bondi 2 the most. This is slightly wider and the upper is better, but the rocker is all but gone. I found the tongue problem was magnified by the lack of rocker that has been on Hokas since 2009. This puts way to much pressure on my foot to move the shoe forward. I do have high arches and so do many other people who wear these shoes. Since Deckers bought Hoka in 2013 the shoes have become more firm when all the midsoles were replaced, much NARROWER and wear out quickly, and now this big problem. Maybe they should ask Nico how he made such an awesome Hoka from 2009-2012!

        • Hey Jim. I may end up returning mine as well. I couldn’t agree with you more about the changes that happened after 2013. I didn’t realize the history of the Deckers purchase, but it is starting to make sense. After the first pair of Clifton’s was available, I didn’t think I would need another shoe. I really hope they can get back to their roots and make some quality shoes in the near future. Sorry that these didn’t work out for you. Either way, appreciate the feedback and comments. Happy running!

        • Jim, thanks for the hoka lesson. Couldn’t figure out why absolutely none of their shoes compared to the original Clifton. Think I’m going to skip trying the new Bondi. Wish Nico would come up with a new shoe line, although the sale of hoka probably prohibits him from from using certain technology, etc for a certain period of time. Wonder if he knows just how much his shoes are missed. Now to try to find a shoe that I love as much as my cliftons, they helped so much with my foot and hip problems. Having a very hard time trying to replace them

          • Jim O'Donnell

            Hi Judie. The first 3 Hokas made were the Mafate, Bondi B and then the Stinson Combo XT all had the nice soft rockered midsoles that were a joy to run on. They had some proplems with the small toeboxes and could have been wider, but the trade off was the midsoles. The original 2 midsoles were the first things to go when they were bought by Deckers and then they discontinued the first Hoka too, the Mafate? Unlikely to ever see a new shoe line by Nico, but it would be nice! I am friends with Nico on Facebook and I should send this to him

          • Jim, you definitely should pass this along to them. Hopefully they can make decisions based on feedback. Thanks to both of you for all of the information you have shared. I have certainly learned a few things. Happy Holidays!

  • Jim O'Donnell

    Done and Happy Holidays to you.

  • Yes please pass this along. I’ve read so many reviews of people asking hoka to bring back original shoes! I really don’t think I would have been able to resume running if it weren’t for the Clifton & I loved the thin tongue. He helped so many people become active again!

  • I am very disappointed with the Bondi 5. The shoe has lost the cushy mid foot section that made it a go to shoe for many long distance runners. The new shoe is stiff with a much harder forefoot. The original sole is far superior. I have thousands of miles in Bondi’s and I can’t run long distances in this shoe. RIP HOKA. I am looking for a new shoe after going through 20 pairs of HOKA’s. The Decker Company has ruined a great shoe.

    • Thanks for the comment John. I was just talking to my buddy about the Decker company impact. We both picked up the Arahi (which I’ll be doing a review next week after I run in them) and have been disappointed over the past few years. The original Clifton was my favorite and want to like Hoka so bad, but the shoes just don’t perform like I want them to. What shoes are you going to look at next? Sorry these didn’t work out for you!

      • I am going to try the Altra Paradigm as a possible replacement shoe for marathons. I hope HOKA listens to their customers and brings back the features that got many people running in their shoes. The Bondi 5 looks like a HOKA, but its lost the cushy sole that made it different and better for many long distance runners.

        • Totally agree John. Hoka has certainly changed over the last couple years. I was a big fan of Altra’s, but ended up going away from them. Let me know about your experience wiht the Paradigm. Good luck and thanks for the comment!

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  • I am a long distance walker with a very short, WIDE foot. So I’m very limited in what I can wear. Bondi 4 was my first pair of Hokas and I absolutely loved this shoe ! ! ! I have worn several brands and with each one I found that I needed more support because at the end of a half marathon, with other shoes, my feet literally felt like I had been walking barefooted and they hurt like HELL ! ! ! When I found Bondi 4, I was in LOVE ! ! ! And when I heard that the Bondi 5 would be coming out in Jan. 2017, I couldn’t wait. I have had my Bondi 5’s for almost a week and I am saving to buy another pair very soon. I have only 2 complaints. First, the tongue of the shoe is a bit too long and I agree that I digs into the front of my ankles (left in particular). Second, I am sooo very disappointed that my beloved Bondi 5 aren’t available in WIDE in ALL COLORS. I really hope that Hoka continues to make Bondi’s and offer them in wide in more that just two colors. I would purchase this shoe in every color if they did ! ! ! I am now a FOREVER Hoka girl ! ! !

    • Thanks for the comment Angie! Totally agree about the tongue and also agree about the width color options. I recently tried the Hoka Arahi and the only wide option was the ugliest color they offer. I so wish they would realize that they need to make wider shoes. So glad you found something that works for you!

    • Angie — I have a wide foot that is long. I totally agree about the women’s wide Hokas! They seem to only make the ugly colors in wide and not the bright “girly” colors. It’s a shame, too. I love the Hoka Bondi 5 men’s I bought (they’re the red and black ones) but they’re so… well… black. I like the orange men’s except I actually hate the color orange and have nothing to wear that would go with it.

      When will they start making the wides in prettier colors for us girls? Also… I’d really like to know how the women’s sizes compare to the men’s in the Bondi 5. In the Bondi 4 the women’s wide fit almost exactly like the regular men’s. In the Bondi 5, the regular men’s is just slightly too wide (except the end of the toe box where it tapers) so maybe a regular women’s would fit? I don’t know but I don’t have time to mess with trying on shoes right now — maybe later, though!

  • My first pair of hoka where bondi b 2s. Phenomenal, I have never experienced anything like that midsole since, the b 4 s where terrible narrow both in Upper and footprint causing my suplination, as the midsole degraded to extentuate and therefore became highly unstable. Because of the restriction in the toebox my footstrike and Wear pattern changed considerably, they where in short a dreadful shoe. My next pair the former legendary stinson tarmac atr. Having used an older pair of stinsons previously to my Horror the new Dickers version “intentional spelling”, where vial reminiscent of a early pair of Nike ldv1000 I had in the seventies, heavy, plastic like midsole and all the flexibility of Italian marble.
    In short by a mile the best running shoe manufacturer in three short years is becoming in my opinion one of the worst. I am now on my fifth pair of altras and counting. Come on Hoka you know what to do.

    • Thanks for the comment Tim. I agree in that Deckers needs to make some changes as the shoes that keep coming out from Hoka just aren’t great. The Arahi was a little better than I expected, but overall they need some help. Should we write to their CEO???? Which Altras are you running in?

  • Hi,

    I really liked the cushion of the Bondi 5 compared to the Claytons. It helps with my tendonitis. I also think the regular width is wider than the Clifton, which made it more comfy. But I had a bad bruised from the rigid tongue. You mentioned you cut the plastic part off the tongue, how far down did you cut? Did you remove the whole plastic portion from the tongue? I m hoping a little surgery would help.

    • Hey Jo, thanks for the comment. I originally just cut the top of the plastic piece straight down so that when I tried the shoe, it folded more naturally to each side of my foot. Try that first and see if it feels better. It’s a little tricky so take your time. Let me know how it goes!

      • Ended up using a sharp razor and sliced off the whole HOKA symbol. It feels so much better! Did a 6 mile run in them, and the weight of the Bondi is definitely more noticeable than the Claytons and the Clifton 3. I was hoping for more of a rocker propelling effect, but didn’t feel like it was there that much. It might take some break in time, but I think it will work well for those “recovery” runs that aren’t all that easy at times.

        • Jo, glad to hear you were able to successfully modify the tongue. I’m sure you won’t be the first person to do this so I’m glad to hear it wasn’t too bad! Let me know how things continue to feel. Thanks again for the comment!

  • I’ve run in Bondis and Cliftons for years. Sometimes they’ve worked, sometimes they’ve been too narrow. I ordered the Bondi 5 in 2E width. I don’t like them. Although they’re wide enough across widest part of the foot, the top box is pointy, and every time I run in them I get big blisters on the outside of my big toe. They are also much less cushy than before and don’t have the nice roll-off of previous versions. This will probably be my last pair of Hokas. Too bad.

    • I agree Greg. I had a pair of wides and thought they felt clunky. I may give Hoka one more chance, just need to find a shoe worth trying. What shoe are you going to try next? Thanks for the comment.

  • Hello,

    I’m confused with your review. you seem to really like the Bondi 5 but by reading your comments it seems like you are debating about returning it as its not as cushioned as previous models. I have the original clifton’s which are beat up so I’m looking for the most cushioned Hoka shoe. to be honest I don’t run too much. maybe a 5k a couple times a year. I mostly use these for walking and just as a general work out shoe at the gym.

    • John, sorry for the confusion. I think the Bondi is a solid maximum cushion neutral shoe, but am not a huge fan of the tongue and the oversized sole. If you are looking for a cushioned shoe similar to the Clifton, I would check out the Hoka One One Arahi. I am in the process of working on a Hoka One One Gaviota review, but I haven’t had enough runs in the shoes to have a strong opinion yet. Let me know if that helps or if you want any other shoe suggestions. I loved the original Clifton and have been disappointed with each successor. Appreciate the comment!

      • Hello,

        Thanks for your reply. so the Clifton was the first time I ever tried any type of maximalist shoe and I instantly fell in love. I was skeptical at first but I did decide to buy it. One review referred to as the Gateway Shoe to Hoka’s which ultimately convinced me. I love how it feels like i’m walking on clouds. With that said since I am looking for the most cushioned shoe currently for sale, that is why I was thinking the Bondi 5’s would be the best option but I deffer to you 🙂 . I would definitely be upset if the Bondi 5’s were less cushioned then the original Clifton’s which is why I am getting confused on some reviews on this site and even Hoka’s own site as well. let me know what you think.

        • Sorry to hear you are a little confused about any of the reviews on the site. If you like the Cliftons, I really think the Bondi 5’s will feel like too much shoe as the sole is much larger in height. Do you have the ability to try these on at a local store? The last thing I would want is for you to order a pair of shoes you don’t like. As I mentioned, I loved the original Cliftons and while the Bondi 5 were very supportive, it was just a little too much support for me. I think the Cliftons are between max support and a performance shoe. I agree that the Cliftons feel like walking on clouds and think the Arahi maybe an option for you to try. Hope this helps!

  • I got Bondi 5 and feel great and comfortable. That’s my first time. Toe box is little wide foe my feet. What is tongue? Where is that? Behind like where Achille is? Or on the side of ankle? I don’t have problem with whatever tongue is. I’ll run in those shoes for 5k tomorrow and see the result.

    • Monika, I had some issues with the upper part of the tongue. I used scissors to make a few modifications and had no problems after that. Thanks for the comment!

  • Hi,
    Last week I bought from hoka online shop my first Hoka one one shoes.
    I am a portuguese running shoe reviewer and I normally test running shoes for 60 to 100 kms before I write a review.

    I’m testing Bondi5 vs nike lunarepic low 2 flyknit vs Asics Kayano 23, ON MAN OVER 40 Years Old and OVER 80 Kilos 😉

    I already run 30 kms and I still have the same problem with this Bondi5.
    After 5 kms my feet starts to get burned and very hot. It seems that the insole produces too much friction on my feet . The mesh that cover de upper of the insole is very hard. Well for me it is.

    Did anyone had the some issue?
    How did you solved it?
    What changes can I aplly to solve the problem?

    Best regards,
    Alex

  • Richard Lally

    I couldn’t agree more with most of these posts. I’ve been a long time loyalist to the Bondi B having run in the 2, 2 pairs of the 3 and 2 pairs of the 4. They were a revelation for me when I started to get into longer distance running and one of the reason why I finally attempted a marathon.

    The Bondi 5 is probably the worst shoe I’ve ever run it. It’s like wearing a concrete block on my foot. Totally unresponsive, stiff, heavy with no rocker to speak of. I’m a bigger guy 6’4″/225lbs and I’ve run multiple marathons and 1 ultra marathon in them. I was really trying to love these shoes but after 150 miles I just can’t. It’s work trying to make them run any faster than a light jog. I would have sent them back but I’m past the 30 days.

    I will say that compared to my other FIVE pairs they sole is holding up considerably better than some of the older models so they have that going for them. However I’ve been averaging about 400 to 450 miles a pair.

    • Hey Richard, thanks for the comment! Where did you get the shoes? You could always send back to Hoka. They are a great company and usually will work with runners who have trouble with their shoes. What shoes are you going to run in next?

Please leave a comment, questions, or feedback!