These Shoes Were Made for Running: Review Hoka One One Bondi Speed
After my bike spill last year and the multiple injuries that accompanied it I knew that it was going to be a while before I ran. My first run was the Santa Shuffle in December, a nice little 5K to help raise money for the Salvation Army. As the run began I felt pretty good but it did not take long before I started to feel some pain. The first place I experienced pain was in my left knee which took a good beating in the bike spill and I was more or less expecting this to happen. The area I was not expecting any pain was in my wrist. How does ones wrist start to hurt while running. I guess it must have been the old foot bone connected to wrist bone thing.
Running causes a lot of impact on the body, so if I wanted to get back to running sooner than later, I knew that I would have to find a shoe that had more cushioning than the ones I was currently wearing. When I did the Rideau Lakes Tour, I talked to a guy in Kingston about the different shoes he was wearing. He told me about how good they were and all the cushioning it provided. It took me a while to remember the unusual name but once I did, it was to the internet to find out more information.
The shoes I am talking about is the Hoka One One Bondi Speed. The first thing I will say about the Bondi Speed is that they are not the lightest shoe on the market, weigh in at 12.4 oz for size 10.5, but if you want that extra cushioning that is one sacrifice you will need to make. These shoes are the poplar opposite to the minimalist shoes that have been all the rage for the fast few years. Though they are slightly heavier than most shoes, you would certainly not notice it on a long run. From the Hoka website here is their techniqal info:
COMFORT AND CUSHIONING: The midsole foam is 30% softer than the material used in traditional running shoes, and there is 2.5 times more volume than in most running shoes. The extra cushioning dissipates up to 80% of the shock associated with heel striking when running and allows for as much as 20mm of compression in the heel, plus extra protection allowing you to soar over asphalt surfaces.
ROCKERED MIDSOLE GEOMETRY & LOW HEEL-TOE DIFFERENTIAL: A 4.5mm heel to toe drop and rockered profile creates a unique rolling motion that encourages proper form by allowing a runner to easily strike the ground near the midfoot.
CONTROL: The unique, patented bucket seat is recessed up to 20mm within the midsole unit so as to best position your foot for optimum precision. This high degree of control also ensures you maintain responsive contact with the ground at all times.
STABILITY: The 25% wider outsole platform is designed to counterbalance the excess height of the oversized midsole. This large surface area ensures that you will maintain a stable footing, no matter how hard you run.
SUPERIOR TRACTION: The outsole is specially designed for use on the road, the high surface volume of the lug pattern as well as the shallow treads ensure good grip on even wet surfaces and high levels of abrasion resistance even when you push your shoes to the limit.
FEATHERLIGHT WEIGHT: Relative to its size, lighter than most road running shoes at less than 10 ounces, they make running uphill as much fun as they make running downhill and with less body fatigue.
BENEFITS: Engineered for maximum cushioning, comfort, protection and energy return, while still offering lightweight, nimble performance and uninhibited movement. Run more efficiently with less injury and quicker recovery.
When you look at the shoes you would think that with the thick sole that it would take a little time to adjust to them. For me, there was no adjustment at all. I really liked the cushioning but the cushioning just did not cushion the impact but also made the foot spring back. The foam does not give that squishy feeling but a controlled responsive feeling.
The one thing I did notice though is that the shoes’ upper was not overly breathable. Having run in them on a couple of hot days now, my feet got very hot and I ended up with a blister on one foot after a long run. Thinking it might be the socks, I changed those with some relief but still at the end of the run my feet were very hot.
The shoes fit like any other running shoe though you will find that your foot sits lower in the shoe. It is a mid to wide shoe and the toe box feels just right to me. The shoe comes with two sets of laces, traditional and speed. I put in the speed laces as that is what I will wear during triathlons. There is also a very strong pull tab at the back for ease of entry. This pull tab has last longer than any other on other shoes I have had. There is no doubt people will see you coming in the daytime with the shoe being bright orange but at night, there is more than enough reflectors for people to see you.
Over all a very good, especially for those with knee or joint issues. I would certainly buy another pair and they would become my long distance running shoes. When I got these shoes, I could only get them from the U.S, I am happy to say that there are a number of Canadian stores selling the Hoka line of running shoes, that will give runners another option to the main stream running shoes.
Until next time…..Keep on running