Hoka Bondi X Shoe Review

I’ve been waiting for the Hoka Bondi X for what feels like whenever. When I first found out Hoka was making a carbon plated Bondi, I was like…why? What is the point? But after thinking about it, it makes sense. The Bondi is one of the stiffest and most rigid shoes out there. But some people need or want more rigidness than even the regular Bondi.

The carbon plate in the Hoka Bondi X provides that. I think we will see a wide variety of people liking this shoe. We will see people who obviously want to run fast with a carbon plate but also people who want “the stiffest shoe out there” because they are on their feet for so long.

In case it wasn’t obvious, Hoka is also keeping the regular Bondi 7. So now people will have the option of the Hoka Bondi X or the Hoka Bondi 7.

Hoka Bondi X Shoe Review

Hoka Bondi X Quick Facts:

Weight: 9.1 oz

Drop 5 mm

Cost: $200

Hoka Bondi X Fit:

The Bondi X uses a lightweight mesh upper with “3D hotmelt yarns”. These yarns allow breathability and durability. I actually think it feels and fits better than the mesh of the Bondi 7.

Hoka Bondi X Shoe review

In my opinion, the best running shoe uppers are those that disappear. You don’t want a shoe upper that you feel or notice. I wanted to love the Hoka Bondi X upper, but I found the thin tongue cutting through my ankle like a razerblade. It took a lot of adjusting the tongue, but it finally got to a point it stopped. I like Hoka shoes a lot but I have never loved the thin tongue. It’s the same tongue they use in the Hoka Clifton Edge .

I do hope they resort back to their padded tongues. Other than that, the upper feels good and the heel is padded and has plenty of cushion.

Many people opt to go down in Hoka running shoes. For the Hoka Bondi X, I would stay at your usual running shoe size. Hoka is known for their wide toe boxes and while the Bondi X is wider than many brands, it’s not as wide as most other Hoka models. The midfoot feels fine and I don’t feel as though my feet are cramped.

Typically in running shoes I wear between a 10-11 wide and I’ve found the 10.5 to fit perfectly.

Hoka Bondi X Shoe Review

Hoka Bondi X Ride:

I had no idea what to expect with the Hoka Bondi X. I mean, did anyone? How do you run fast in a shoe that bulky? To be clear, I love the Bondi. I think it’s a great easy run shoe with plenty of cushion. When I run in the Bondi, my feet don’t feel “as beat up,” but running fast and racing, I wasn’t sure how I would feel.

The Bondi X uses compression-molded EVA midsole foam. This means it feels like a cloud under feet and has a smooth transition. Your foot sits fairly far down in the Hoka Bondi X so while it might “look like a lot of shoe”, you don’t have all of that cushion underneath you. Your foot is a lot lower than you think!

Hoka Bondi X Shoe review

Between the midsole foam is where you’ll find the carbon plate. This is what differientes the Hoka Bondi X and the Hoka Bondi 7. Picking up the pace, you’ll feel the Bondi X is much more responsive than the regular Bondi. You feel the carbon plate and you feel it’s a different shoe. It is easy to pick up the pace and run faster.

Durability and Traction: The Hoka Bondi has always been a shoe that gets a “lot of miles” and the Hoka Bondi X is no different. The Bondi X has rubber placed in both the heel and forefoot which is where most people wear and tear. 

Hoka Bondi X Shoe review

.I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I started running in the Hoka Bondi X. Originally, I took it out for a short easy run. I decided I liked it and decided to try it for a variety of runs, including long runs, easy runs, and a few workouts. For me, it’s become an ideal long-run day. It’s easier to pick up the pace, but your body doesn’t feel as beat up.

Why get the Hoka Bondi X over the Hoka Carbon X or Hoka Carbon Rocket?

Hoka Bondi X versus Hoka Carbon X: The Bondi X has more cushion and is more durable. Due to the lack of rubber, it’s hard for me to want to take the Carbon X in any inclement weather or on anything but smooth paths. While the Carbon X is much lighter, the Bondi X is more durable.

Hoka Bondi X versus Hoka Carbon Rocket: This is hard because I feel as though these two shoes are made for completely differently people. If you like a low to the ground and low profile racing shoe, the Carbon Rocket is the way to go. If you prefer more cushion and to feel the carbon plate, the Bondi X is the way to go.

Hoka Bondi X Conclusion:

I like the Bondi X a lot more than I was anticipating. I do think we will see a wide range of people using the Hoka Bondi X not limited to runners. If you are on your feet all day and looking for an extremely stiff and supportive shoe, you won’t find stiffer than the Bondi X. I’ve found it great to pick up the pace and have my body less beat up after runs.

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Brooks Aurora, Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo, New Balance 1080 v11Hoka Bondi 7, Brooks Levitate 5

Speed Work: 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, New Balance Fuelcell TC Shoe ReviewReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro,

Long Runs: Hoka Clifton Edge,  Under Armour Sonic HOVR 3

Trail Running/Hiking: Hoka Torrent 2, Saucony Peregrine 11, North Face Flight VECTIV

Races: Asics Metaspeed Sky,Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro,New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Saucony Endorphin ProNew Balance fuelcell TCReebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Hoka Bondi X?

What is your current favorite running shoe?