Hoka Bondi 5’s, probably one of the closest shoes I have in my rotation that is a recently released running shoe. It is also one of the toughest reviews I have done in a long time as you can probably tell just from the amount of time is has taken for me to get around to finishing this review.
Which I originally started back in December 2017.
I bought them up in Bangor at Triathlete Sports back in October 2017, when my right hip was whining and complaining about doing anything. At the time I believed that the great cushioning and inherent stability of the Bondi 5’s might be a part of the answer.
Unfortunately since that day and for a lot of reasons they have gone in and out of my running shoe rotation several times. I thought for a while I had solved some of the issues that I have with them, but after trying a bunch of different things my 50 or well in this case 75 mile review will also be my end of use review as well.
The problem is that I really love the way I run in the Bondi 5’s, but at the same time HATED how much discomfort my feet had to endure to run in them.
The big problem with the Bondi 5’s is once I get to 2-3 miles (walking or running), the bottoms of both my feet feel like they are getting rubbed raw and on fire, but there is no blistering or skin being rubbed off and it happens no matter what style of sock I wear or what insole I am attempting to use.
Then the discomfort stops immediately when I stop moving.
However, I recently figured out that more than likely I am plagued with something called metatarsalgia, not it is nothing all that serious, but definitely puts a crimp in your running when a pair of running shoes cause it to flare up.
My gut kept telling me that the Bondi 5’s are a GREAT pair of running shoes, but the bottoms of my feet keep telling me they suck, so the old noggin couldn’t figure what to make of them.
Okay enough whine arsing about the shoes, after all that I get to do a 75 mile review instead of 50 miles.
Bear with me on this part.
The Bondi 5’s fit great, but are a bit narrow in the forefoot and stiff. While my foot is well held, it feels a little too well held and may be gently squeezing the Mets too much, which becomes an issue after a few miles.
So I took them out of my rotation and put them in the back of the garage after Christmas and told myself that I would bring them out in the spring. Then me being me, I brought them out again in February, it was time to learn whether they would work or not.
Then if this makes sense at all…It is like the Bondi 5’s never broke in, even after 75 miles the upper and sole were stiff and inflexible and the late stage rocker was not helping me at all.
However, I still thought my problems were with the thick insoles, so I swapped them out with a pair from some shoes that I had worn comfortably in the past and changed the stock laces to elastic ones.
Unfortunately, even with those changes, the Bondi 5’s are not the most comfortable shoe I have run in and they do press a bit more than I like on my right foot’s Tailor’s Bunionette, but with that change I could run in them for a few miles. However, they were still not what I would call all that comfortable and my metatarsals still bothered too much. I had better options though and put them back in the back of the garage for another attempt in the Spring.
When I brought them out again in early May, I ran a mile in them and put them directly on the table to go away. They just did not feel comfortable for me, while I can run in them, I have other shoes that do a much better job for how I run and fit my feet better/more comfortably.
The reality is that
The Bondi 5’s are a shoe that I really wanted to work for me, but in a D-width – after all I paid a lot of money for them and chose them over some other pretty nice running shoes. I have a feeling that I was blinded by the great colorway and chose the bright/colorful ones over the dull/boring EE-width.
Unfortunately, I have yet to find a pair of Hoka’s that have a wide enough toe box for my right foot even in their EE sizing. This time getting the D-width was a mistake on my part, which is not the shoe’s fault, it is my fault for not getting the wider width when I had a chance. Even though the EE’s didn’t really feel any wider than the shoes that I now have – I know because I had them both on my feet, to see what the differences were.
As much as I wanted the Bondi 5’s to work for me they did not and really it is like that with just about all Brands they have some shoes that will work for you and others that will not. Unfortunately, as much as I like the initial step-in of most Hoka running shoes, when I get to running more miles in them the narrower toe box and the meta stage rocker does not seem to work with my feet.
So with that being said it is time to let someone else have a pair of Bondi 5’s and I hope they are that person’s magical Unicorn shoe, since they were definitely not mine. There have been a lot of issues that made me want to just let them go on down the road.
Sometimes that is how it works out, even when you do not want it work out that way.