The Bondi series, a paragon of comfort and innovation, has consistently captivated the running community with each new iteration. As we’re waiting for the Hoka Bondi 9 release date, having experienced both the Bondi 8 and Bondi X, I’m eagerly anticipating the Bondi 9 with a sense of excitement and anticipation.
The Hoka Bondi 9 was supposed to drop in November 2023, but it’s nowhere to be found. It seems Hoka is pushing the release date of the Bondi 9 to March 2024. Keep an eye out for updates as we wait for more details.
Hungry for more details, keep reading…
While the previous iterations offered exceptional comfort and performance, there’s a palpable eagerness for improvements. The Bondi 9 presents a thrilling opportunity for Hoka to address any nuances from its predecessors, further refining the series and undoubtedly setting a new standard for premium running shoes.
The anticipated improvements in the Bondi 9 raise the intriguing question of whether it could dethrone the New Balance More as the premier max cushion running shoe.
That would definitely delight us as we would have a broader array of exceptional options for easy days and recovery days, ultimately enhancing the overall experience for enthusiasts of plush and supportive running footwear.
Hoka Bondi 9 Release Date + Expectations
Be sure to stay updated by regularly checking our running shoe release date calendar for the latest announcements on upcoming releases.
Hoka Bondi 9 – My Wish List
In my ideal Hoka Bondi 9, I think blending the Bondi X’s upper and the Bondi 8’s midsole would create an impressive combo, especially given the superior fit of the Bondi X.
While Hoka successfully merged the Bondi 7 and Bondi X into the Bondi 8, I believe their pinnacle effort should involve combining the Bondi X and the Bondi 8 to birth the ultimate Bondi 9.
For the Bondi 9, I hope Hoka makes it more breathable and nimble underfoot by tweaking the early-stage meta rocker. Using a fresh foam setup instead of the usual compression molded EVA would be a good move.
In terms of padding, I hope Hoka steers away from the puffiness through the ankle collar, taking a cue from the less padded approach of the Saucony Triumph.
I also wish for more toebox room, a bit more plushness, and a lighter feel overall. That way, you get a Bondi 9 that’s not just part of Hoka’s legacy but takes it a step further.
Now let me give you my experience in the Hoka Bondi 8 and Bondi X…
Hoka Bondi 8
I believe Hoka played a pioneering role in defining the maximal cushion genre, and their flagship model, the thickly cushioned Bondi, stands as a testament to that innovation. With the release of the 8th version, Hoka took a bold step by introducing a new foam and reshaping the shoe’s footprint.
But the burning question remains: Have these changes been substantial enough to keep pace with the evolving standards of the running shoe market?
Let me start with some specs and tell you how I’ve been using the Bondi 8…
The Bondi 8 is your go-to max cushion shoe for that plush and comfy run. You’ve got memory foam in the heel, Ortholite, and an extra-padded, puffy tongue – it’s basically a comfort symphony.
In the midsole, Hoka went for a fresh EVA blend, different from the Bondi 7, but trust me, it’s softer, adding that extra squish to your stride.
So, we’re getting more foam, but guess what? It’s lighter overall. The scale says 10.8 ounces for men’s size 9 – just a smidge heavier than the Bondi 7, but, we’re getting more cushion, so no complaints there.
There’s a little pinch in the middle, but fear not – the wide forefoot and that generous crash pad in the heel keep you stable. And speaking of that crash pad, it’s like a magic landing pad for your heel.
Whether you’re a heel striker or hitting the ground tired later in your run, it compresses, absorbs the impact, and propels you forward for that next stride. The Bondi 8 – not just a shoe, but your partner in a smooth, cushioned run.
Now, let me talk about what it was like to run in the Bondi 8…
How I’ve Been Using the Hoka Bondi 8
I mainly stick to longer runs, easy jogs, or recovery sessions – you know, that low and slow pace, and I believe that’s precisely where the Bondi shines. It provides all the comfort your tired and beat-up feet need.
On days when the goal is stacking up miles or working on that aerobic base, or even just getting the blood flowing after yesterday’s workout, the Bondi 8 has got you covered. It’s a comfy, squishy shoe that absorbs impact, ensuring a smooth run without worrying about wear and tear on your body.
The Bondi 8 isn’t exactly a speed shoe. I took it on the track, and while doing 200-meter repeats wasn’t a major issue, it wouldn’t be my go-to for chasing specific times. During a set of 8 strides, focusing more on mechanical work than pace, the Bondi 8 surprisingly held its own, but it’s not the speediest shoe in the lineup.
For dedicated speed workouts, I wouldn’t reach for the Bondi. However, if the majority of your run is easy-paced, with just a bit for some quick strides, the Bondi 8 handles that just fine. I believe it’s a clear improvement over the Bondi 7, especially when sizing up by that half size for a bit more toe room.
In terms of breathability, I’d say the Bondi 8 tends to be a bit warm, especially in the summertime. The memory foam is a nice touch for casual wear or if you’re on your feet a lot for work, offering comfort. However, for summer runs, all that padding feels like a heat trap and a sweat sponge.
Personally, I’m hoping the Hoka Bondi 9 takes a cue from Saucony’s Triumph and opts for a less padded design. While I’m not a huge fan of heavily cushioned plush shoes, I must admit, if ultimate comfort is your priority, the Bondi 8 delivers.
When it comes to sizing, I opted for a half size up with the Bondi 8. Why? Well, in my experience, the Bondi tends to fit a bit snugger than expected. So, my hope is that the Bondi 9 addresses this.
Just to clarify, this is more of an easy-day shoe, but going that half size up didn’t make it feel clunky at all. If you’re eyeing the Bondi 8 for those recovery or long runs, I’d recommend going up half a size. I believe you’ll appreciate that extra bit of comfort in this shoe designed for ultimate comfort.
In 2022, Hoka underwent a convergence phase, merging the Speedgoat 4 and Evo Speedgoat into the Speedgoat 5, and combining the Bondi 7 with the Bondi X to create the Bondi 8.
I believe the Bondi 8 manages to blend the best elements of both Bondis, offering a well-rounded experience. However, despite these improvements, I’m still inclined to consider the New Balance Fresh Foam X More as the reigning king of the max cushion category.
In 2022, Hoka underwent a convergence phase, merging the Speedgoat 4 and Evo Speedgoat into the Speedgoat 5, and combining the Bondi 7 with the Bondi X to create the Bondi 8. I believe the Bondi 8 manages to blend the best elements of both Bondis, offering a well-rounded experience. However, despite these improvements, I’m still inclined to consider the New Balance Fresh Foam X as the reigning king of the max cushion category.
For enthusiasts of the Bondi line, though, the Bondi 8 is a reason to rejoice. Hoka’s treatment of this franchise showcases notable improvements that cater to both loyal Bondi fans and newcomers seeking all-day comfort for standing around or going on long runs.
While the Bondi 8 might not claim the crown for the ultimate max cushion shoe, it undoubtedly brings enhancements that contribute to the satisfaction of Bondi devotees and those venturing into the series for the first time.
Since we touched upon the Hoka Bondi X, let me share my experience using it over 100 miles…
How I’ve Been Using the Hoka Bondi X
The Bondi X comes with a max cushion setup and a plate, but for many, myself included, the combination might seem a bit perplexing, especially considering its $200 price tag. After spending a few months with the Bondi X, I believe I’ve unraveled its essence.
Initially, I questioned why a Bondi, already renowned for its comfort, needed a carbon fiber plate. Typically, we associate carbon plates with speed day, workout, or race-day shoes. It’s a feature that suggests a focus on performance and pace rather than the laid-back comfort usually associated with the Bondi series.
Hoka’s use of compression-molded EVA, similar to the regular Bondi 7 or 8, feels slightly distinct in the Bondi X. It seems softer and less dense, contributing to a different running experience.
Taking the Bondi X out for faster runs, I found it performed reasonably well, but it didn’t exactly win me over. While it held its ground, I didn’t feel the urge to pay a premium or think, “Wow, Hoka has really set a new standard that everyone will follow.”
Using it as a speed-day shoe didn’t quite click for me, and beyond the 10-mile mark, I started experiencing a hot spot in one foot, suggesting it might not be the ideal choice for picking up the pace.
Over time, my relationship with the Bondi X evolved, and I’ve found myself reaching for it less on speed days and more on recovery and easy running days.
The shoe’s setup, with a high stack height of 33 millimeters in the back and a 5mm drop, steered me towards a different use.
Early Stage Meta Rocker
I’ve noticed a slight tweak in the geometry of the Bondi X. Many Hoka shoes boast a sharp early-stage meta rocker, creating a sensation where your toe dips down, and your ankle lifts as you tip over the edge.
In the Bondi X, this rocker feels a bit less pronounced, a touch more flattened out. I believe this adjustment serves two purposes: to complement the less dense compression molded EVA and to work harmoniously with the carbon fiber plate integrated into the shoe.
These elements seem to come together seamlessly, providing an excellent recovery run experience with max cushioning.
Overall, I find myself reaching for the Bondi X specifically on recovery days when I want to pamper my feet and still log in my regular miles.
I feel it aligns with my usage just like a regular Bondi, but it stands out as the best Bondi Hoka has ever made in my book.
Upper and Fit:
The upper is incredibly comfortable, featuring an EVA mesh tongue that’s minimally padded—likely the lightest padding you’ve ever seen in a Bondi. There’s also some padding along the heel cup.
Overall, the upper and padding sit comfortably on the foot, providing a pleasant experience. They stay out of my way in a way that adds to the overall comfort.
The toe box offers ample room and width, ensuring plenty of space. In terms of fit, the Bondi X is better than any other Bondi I’ve encountered.
Checking out the outsole, I’ve noticed a bit of wear and tear, particularly in the usual spots on the fringe of the outside foot and the heel, especially on that lateral side. There’s also a hint of wear in the forefoot – not major, but it’s not that day one fresh feel.
Now, when it comes to the exposed midsole foam, I must say it’s holding up remarkably well. The strategic placement of rubber on the shoe seems effective in keeping the weight down because none of the midsole foam looks especially chewed up.
All Hoka X shoes, including the Bondi X, feature this X pattern through the outsole, showing the carbon fiber plate. However, I’ve noticed that the X pattern on the Bondi X tends to collect a fair share of rocks.
In terms of durability, I’d rate the Bondi X above average, performing better than expected at this 100-mile mark.
Regarding the midsole foam, I’ve observed a bit of compression, which is expected over time with all EVA foams. The change I’ve noticed is a slight reduction in that initial extra softness the shoe had out of the box.
Right now, it feels a bit more squishy, which might be why I find myself gravitating towards using it for comfort-focused days rather than speed workouts.
This compression isn’t unusual or happening at an accelerated pace. For me, it’s been a pleasant breaking-in process, and I don’t believe you have to wait for a certain mileage threshold to start enjoying the shoe.
In conclusion, as someone who hasn’t always been the biggest Bondi fan but has tried various iterations, I genuinely believe the combination of the midsole foam, geometry, and upper makes the Bondi X the most comfortable Bondi I’ve ever experienced.
For devoted Bondi enthusiasts, keep an eye out for this shoe after the Bondi 9 release. However, if you’re new to the Bondi series and intrigued by max cushioning, especially if you’ve enjoyed other Hoka shoes like the Clifton or the Mach, the current full retail price of the Bondi X might not be the best option.
I strongly recommend waiting for the upcoming Hoka Bondi 9, anticipating that Hoka will blend the best features of the regular Bondi and the Bondi X to deliver the ultimate Bondi experience.
History of Hoka
Hoka One One is a running shoe company that was founded in 2009 by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard in Annecy, France. Here’s a brief timeline of key events in the company’s history:
2009: Hoka One One is founded in Annecy, France, with the goal of creating innovative and performance-oriented running shoes.
2010: The first Hoka shoe, the Bondi B, is introduced, featuring the brand’s signature maximal cushioning design.
2012: The company expands its product line with the introduction of the Hoka Bondi 2, further establishing its reputation for cushioned and comfortable running shoes.
2015: Hoka gains attention in the trail running community with the release of the Speedgoat, a trail running shoe developed in collaboration with ultramarathon runner Karl Meltzer.
2015: Deckers Brands, the parent company of UGG, acquires Hoka One One, providing the brand with increased resources and global reach.
2016: Hoka continues to expand its lineup with a range of models catering to different running preferences, including road running, trail running, and racing.
2019: Hoka released the Bondi 5.
2020: The Hoka Carbon X, featuring carbon fiber technology for enhanced performance, gains popularity among long-distance runners.
2021: Hoka introduces the Bondi X, a special edition of the Bondi series designed for a more responsive and fast-paced running experience.
This timeline provides a snapshot of Hoka One One’s journey from its founding to becoming a recognized player in the running shoe industry, known for its maximal cushioning and innovative designs.
In conclusion, the anticipation for the release of the Hoka Bondi 9 is fueled by the hope for a culmination of the best features from the Bondi X and Bondi.
With a wish list that includes enhanced breathability, improved nimbleness underfoot through adjustments in the early stage meta rocker, and a transition to a new foam setup, the ideal Bondi 9 seems poised to elevate the Hoka running experience.
The desire for a more spacious toebox, increased plushness, and a lighter overall feel further emphasizes the aspiration for a Bondi 9 that not only lives up to Hoka’s legacy but also sets a new standard in comfort and performance.
Now, as we eagerly await the release date, the collective hope is for Hoka to deliver a Bondi 9 that surpasses expectations and captures the essence of the ultimate long-distance running companion.