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I wore HOKA's 'best cushioned running shoes' for a year — here's my honest review

Shoppers say they're "worth every penny" if you suffer from foot pain.

Are the HOKA Bondi 8 shoes worth the $200 price tag? I put them to the test., purple, blue and green running hoka shoes,
Are the HOKA Bondi 8 shoes worth the $200 price tag? I put them to the test. (Photo via Hoka)

There's a myriad of benefits to wearing proper shoes: they help prevent injury, support your body and help ward off circulation issues. One brand that's been popping up everywhere lately is HOKA. Their sneakers have racked up hundreds of reviews —and they've been spotted on everyone from Pippa Middleton to Reese Witherspoon. Just over a year ago, I got a pair of HOKA running shoes after seeing them everywhere. Read on for my honest review of the HOKA Bondi 8 Running Shoes, as well as what other shoppers are saying.

Takeaways

🛍️ Product reviewed: HOKA Bondi 8 Running Shoes

⏰ Tested for: One year

💵 Price: $200

⭐ My rating: 5/5

⭐ HOKA shopper rating: 4.3/5

Hoka

Shop the HOKA Bondi 8 Running Shoes in 17 colourways.

Pros
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Can be worn with a variety of outfits
  • Very lightweight
  • Well suited for light runs/exercise
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Get dirty quickly
  • Chunkier than a traditional running shoe
  • Not for intense running
$200 at Hoka

HOKA Bondi 8 Running Shoes: The details

HOKA is known for its ultra-comfortable footwear, and the Bondi 8 style has been dubbed the “ultra-cushioned game-changer.” The Bondi line has been through a variety of iterations, and this newest version features an extended heel, new foam, and a pillowed tongue. It currently comes in more than a dozen colours.

These are best suited as lifestyle shoes for walking or a light/casual run. Some of the key features are the engineered mesh construction, Ortholite hybrid sock liner, lightweight foam, and rubber outsole.

These shoes also received the Seal of Approval from the Podiatric Medical Association​, which recognizes products that are beneficial to foot health and are reviewed by certified podiatrists.


HOKA Bondi 8: Review

I was apprehensive about such a chunky runner, but I fell in love with these almost instantly. I purchased my first pair a year ago, and then I proceeded to buy another pair this December to wear with less athletic looks.

HOKA shoes on grass with a YETI mug and weight.
Wearing my HOKA Bondi 8 Shoes at the gym (Photo via author)

When I say I have worn these for everything, I am not exaggerating. I've worn them for tennis lessons, days at the office and nights out — I even wore them to London Fashion Week as I was schlepping across the city from show to show. While they may not be the most stylish shoes, they're functional and go with just about everything.

Since having these shoes, I have also travelled quite a bit, and these have been the perfect shoes to bring with me. While they do take up space in your luggage, they are super light, so they won’t add a ton of weight compared to other shoes. I can virtually walk in these all day, touring around, and have zero pain or blisters, which is a must-have for days spent exploring new places.

HOKA running shoes with a plaid outfit
Wearing my HOKA Bondi 8 Running Shoes at London Fashion Week (Photo via author)

While these shoes do run true to size, it's worth noting that they look a bit bulkier than some other shoes on the market. I recommend sticking with your typical size, but you may want to try them on in-store if you're able to.


What other shoppers are saying

These HOKA shoes have a 4.3-star rating from more than 7,500 reviews — and more than 80 per cent of reviewers say they would recommend them to a friend. Nearly 70 per cent of reviewers gave them a perfect 5-star rating, mentioning that they're the "best cushioned running shoes" and cause "zero knee pain."

“These help me walk three miles a day, and I am 82," raved one shopper.

The Bondi 8 sneakers in white.

$200 at HOKA

The verdict | Are they worth it?

If you're looking for a pair of shoes for walking or lighter exercise, these definitely fit the bill. I love the HOKA Bondi 8s because they're functional, comfortable and lightweight.

While the sneakers are definitely pricier than some competitors, I've worn them a ton and have found that they're well worth the price — and many shoppers seem to agree with me.

However, some shoppers have said the Bondi 8s fit narrow — so if you have wide feet, you may want to size up or make sure you can try these on in store.

Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.