Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Review. Equally At Home as A High Mileage Trainer Or All Day On Your Feet Delivery Driver Shoe

by Jeff Valliere

Hoka One One Bondi 5
10.7 oz/ 303 g US M9 8.5 oz. 9.5 oz/269 g US W8
33mm Heel/29mm Forefoot, 4mm drop


OK, kind of an unusual title.  I am between jobs/careers and in the interim while I look for something more long term, I took a seasonal delivery driver position with a major Worldwide delivery service.  I'll not say the name, but let's just say the company is massive, known for utilizing the color brown and requires us to wear a black or brown leather boot/shoe.

Sam kindly contacted Hoka to see if I could review a pair of leather Bondis, which unfortunately were not available, but they were able to provide an all black pair of Bondi 5.  While not leather, because of the all black color, they essentially go unnoticed and in the end, I appreciate the breathability and lighter weight.

I have been working 6 days per week, most of those days being 9-10 hours of constant movement and according to my Garmin Fenix 5x (RTR comparison review article), I easily get in 12-14 miles per day on my feet on the job alone.  I knew a standard leather boot would not cut it for me, especially for moving fast.  We are not allowed to run and risk a trip, slip or fall, but let's just say that I am always moving pretty quickly and having a light and well cushioned shoe such as the Bondi 5 has been a huge benefit!


The Bondi 5 features a very lightweight, breathable yet supportive, high quality 3D Puff Print upper.  While spending entire days running (walking quickly) delivering packages off the truck, my feet are always sweat free and dry, despite unseasonably warm December temperatures.

The heel collar is moderately padded with excellent comfort and heel hold.

The tongue also has moderate padding and is perfect for comfort, security and protection.  The laces are flat and somewhat thin, but snug nicely and secure without ever having to re-adjust.

Fit is true to size, though has a bit of extra room in the toe box which allows for a bit of splay and swelling on those long days, without compromising foothold/security.


The full EVA midsole with 33mm in the heel and 29mm in the forefoot provides a deep, plush comfortable feel for full days on my feet.  The Bondi is Hoka's most cushioned road shoe. Having that extra cushion is a massive advantage when jumping on/off the truck, most always carrying a package or 3 (using 3 points of contact of course).  I easily make 150 stops on a route and exit/enter the truck more times than that, so having the maximal cushion that the Bondi provides, really relieves the impact on the knees and joints.  Though I am always tired at the end of the days and my skinny little runner arms are always worked, my legs, knees and joints never feel any stress.


Of course this is a road shoe, so the outsole is relatively smooth compared to the trail shoes I am used to, but the dry traction, durability, longevity and weight are all excellent.  After several weeks of rough use delivering and running on roads, cement paths and gravel paths, I can hardly detect any wear.


Of course the Bondi 5 is a running shoe and I have gotten in some quality miles chasing my 7 year old daughters on their bikes.  At ~11.5 oz. for my US size 10, the Bondi 5 feels much lighter and is surprisingly quick and responsive.  While not aimed at the high performance race demographic, I was quite pleased with the get up and go of the Bondi 5 and how well it performs when pushing hard.  The sweet spot however is long training days where you want to cruise long miles on hard surfaces without feeling beat up afterwards and the Bondi 5 does that better than just about any shoe out there.

Though not a trail shoe, the Bondi 5 also does quite well on moderate, dry trails.  While not the most secure and agile shoe while cornering or in technical terrain, it can hold it's own.  I have run the Pikes Peak Marathon in the Bondi 1 and the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim in the Bondi 2 and would not hesitate to use the Bondi 5 for such runs (though now with the Speedgoat 2 available, that would be my 1st choice (RTR review here)).

And, for an all day on your feet delivery driver shoe, this one is hard to beat with it's maximum cushion, stability, all day comfort, accommodating fit, breathability, light weight and stealth look in the all black.  I have already convinced a few drivers at work to convert and the all black Bondi 5 is quickly becoming the sought after good weather work shoe.

Score:  9.9/10
-.1 for weight

Hoka One One Bondi 5 vs. Hoka One One Arahi (RTR review here):  The Bondi 5 is a bit heavier, but I'll take that weight for the added cushion over the Arahi.  The Bondi 5 also feels a lot quicker and more responsive, also with a MUCH more breathable upper.

For Jeff's bio see our Reviewers Bio Page here
The Bondi 5 was provided at no cost.The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Jeff Valliere said...


Anonymous said...

Funny I came across this review as I also am looking for a max cushioned shoe for being on my feet all day. As the shipper/receiver for a large Toyota dealer I average 10-12 miles per day ( mostly on concrete) and I've seen up to 15. That's before I go home for trail running, road running (avoided if possible), or mountain biking. I get paid to exercise but it's taking its toll on the 60YO bod and I'm confident a max cushion shoe will help.
I've thought about this shoe, the Ahrai, Stinson, Skechers Go Run Ultra R2 etc. Need a generous toe box (current shoe is a Pearl Izumi N2V3 which has a wonderful toe box but should have been replaced months ago) tons of cushion, very good wearing sole, and even a good toe bumper would be nice. Not ruling out max trail running shoe either. Weight is not a concern and breath ability is not super important either. Comfy, high cushion, good durability, roomy toe box are tops on the list.
While not the normal requests for this site I will gladly accept all suggestions from anyone that has good input.

Off topic....would you guys please get your Hands (feet) on a pair of the Hoka Mafate Speed 2 trail runners? They are available on the Hoka USA website but literally no where else. Very very similar to the Speedgoat 2 but reviews suggest roomier toe box and a gusseted tongue BOTH of which the Speedgoat 2 needs. Same stack height, Megagrip and looks like a slightly better toe bumper. More $$ also which Hoka would not explain to me why.

Jeff Valliere said...

Thanks for reading Jeff. The Bondi 5 has a nice and accommodating toe box that is great for full days on the feet, at least for me. Can't comment on the Mafate Speed 2, but hope to review the upcoming Mafate Speed EVO if we can, stay tuned!

demian said...

Hey Guys,
Not sure if you're aware that the Bondi 5 review is not in the main index?


Sam Winebaum said...

Hi demian,
Thanks so much for the heads up!
Bondi 5 now included.
Sam, Editor