When we first heard about the Bondi X we weren’t really sure what to expect from HOKA. The addition of a carbon plate to what is traditionally their highest cushion, most comfortable, and slow shoe? If it works, then why not but it was curious When it arrived, however, we were just shocked, to say the least. Not only at how comfortable the shoe is but also at how well they run. This IS NOT your everyday Bondi, it’s something a lot more fun.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- A plated version of their flagship high cushion shoe that is shockingly fun to run in.
- Weighs in at 10.6oz or 301g for a US Men’s 9, 9.2oz or 261g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 31mm of cushion and has a 5mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $200.00 USD and comes in 1 color for Men and Women.
The Bondi X was a surprise for the majority of us and totally unexpected. I don’t think any of us thought adding a carbon plate to their flagship max cushion shoe was in HOKA’s roadmap. Out of the box, these things look just massive but are also weirdly light. Nevertheless, from the time you lace these things up, it feels like you have just popped two fluffy and bouncy pillows to your feet. The thing is they perform really well and running in them is tremendously better and faster than you’ll expect given their appearance. The carbon plate turns this thing from a slow-moving mushy monster into a nimble, quick, and capable shoe.
As for what we don’t like, it really comes down to the tongue and honestly, only that. The EVA molded tongue sits very low in the shoe, almost too low. The bad news is if you like to do a heel lock and utilize the top eyelet, then the Bondi X is probably just not going to work for you. The problem is that the top eyelet is positioned higher than the tongue extends meaning you are lacing down against the top end of it and… well, your foot. If you don’t use the top eyelet, then you should be good.
The upper on the Bondi X is made of embroidered TPU yarn which is both highly structured and decently breathable. The tongue is the strangest area of the shoe and will be the big gotcha for lots of folks at is VERY minimal. It actually just peeks out from under the collar and if you use the top eyelets for a heel lock, then you will probably get a bit of lace bite just above the tongue. If you lace up normally, then it shouldn’t be an issue. It is 100% vegan in construction.
The Bondi X midsole features HOKA’s traditional compression-molded EVA midsole, but sandwiched between you will find a full-length carbon plate. The heel has been extended which provides for a greater overall rocker feeling and makes it even more successful for heel strikers. HOKA says the cushion is marshmallow-like which is a disingenuous connotation because while it is comfortable soft, that carbon gives it a really amazing level of acceleration.
They have kept the weight down by placing rubber only at key contact points so while you get a decent amount of grip and durability, the shoe still weighs in the mid 10oz range and runs fantastically well.
Style and Aesthetics
The Bondi X currently only comes in one color and while we are definitely hoping for more, given HOKA’s traditional X offerings, this will be the only option. They do look big and pillowy, but again it belies their actual weight and speed. Not bad by any means, but would love some darker tones.
While the creation of the Bondi X seems like a total conundrum, we are totally here for it. The shoe runs like a dream and weighs significantly less than you might expect. The tongue will be a deterrent for some as that stubby design can definitely create a bit of irritation, but if it does work for you then it’s just spectacular. The move to carbon for the Bondi was ambitious, genius, and crazy all at once but it worked out really well for HOKA.
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Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.