I raced in the Mastercard Mini 10K this weekend and, honestly, it was hell—but ultimately in a good way, since now I feel like a svelte running queen. Everything about it was tough AF: the elevation on the course, the heat, the humidity, the pre-race anxiety, and (of course) joint and muscle pain. (I’ll definitely be snagging a Theragun ASAP.)
It’s all worth it in the end, when you have that dazzling medal around your neck, but the one thing I have zero tolerance for when it comes to racing is the foot pain that comes with wearing shitty running shoes. Oh, and blisters? Absolutely out of the question—I would have legit just dropped out if I felt one coming on. Thankfully, I didn’t have to, since I have the best running shoes in the game: the Hoka Bondi 7s. I’ve seen the cultish online fan base for Hoka’s colorful running shoes growing for a couple of years now, and when my curiosity finally got the better of me and I snagged a pair myself, I came to understand why they’re so ridiculously popular.
For most people, finding a good running shoe that conforms to your individual foot structure is no walk in the park. Personally, I’ve gone through various cycles of buying shoes, running with them on my treadmill at home to test them out, and then returning them as if they’ve never been worn for a full refund. Naughty, I know—but the pain in the ass that comes with trying to scam the DICK’S Sporting Goods people is nothing compared to the IRL pain that comes from running in an ill-fitting pair of sneaks. However, when I got my hands (or, feet?) on the Hoka Bondi 7s, it was a match made in heaven. Since the Bondi 8 has been recently released, they’re no longer available on Hoka’s website. However, you can snag them from other retailers.
I’ve seen so many TikTokers rave about the Bondi 7s. I almost went with the Clifton model, which has a much lighter midsole, but figured, what the hell, I’ll give the chunky Bondi 7s a shot, especially since I’d heard so many good things about them. I also love that Hokas come in both men’s and women’s versions, and in wide widths—I have some bunion issues, so I need a pair of shoes that won’t get up close and personal with the sides of my feet.
When it comes to Hokas, the Bondi 7s are god’s gift to the running world. The curvy-soled shoe is the most cushioned among the brand’s lineup, and with a compression-molded midsole and breathable mesh exterior, the sneaker forms to your feet while also letting air flow through. The plush collar design accommodates all ankle structures to minimize the impact from running, which helps you comfortably and confidently soar through the streets. I’m not the only one that digs the Bondi 7s, either—they have a 4.5-star average rating from almost 6,000 reviews on the REI site. “Feels like walking on air,” one reviewer writes. “So much support and cushioning.” The shoes have received a Seal of Acceptance (oh-so-prestigious) from the American Podiatric Medical Association, which recognizes products beneficial to foot health.
I’ve been wearing the Hoka Bondi 7 shoes for almost a year now for my running ventures, and they’re still going strong after around 200 miles. These bois are thicc and still have tons of life in them, too, hence why I chose to race in them. The sole is still as chunky as ever and feels like I’m walking on bubble wrap, in a good way. They definitely still give me a nice pep in my steps and strides, and the hefty sole is also fabulous when it comes to stomping away during a particularly intense run. I barely feel the impact on my knees, which is extremely important in long-distance running. I have no time for injuries, man.
My TL;DR is thus: My feet never hurt, even after a six-mile run (or more) when the Hoka Bondi 7s are strapped on my feet, and that says a lot. The cushion comfortably conforms to my unfortunately cursed feet, while providing the space they need to not suffocate them. They are a top-tier choice, especially if you don’t know what kind of shoe is best for your foot structure. My legs don’t cramp much and I have the worst post-run habits known to mankind (think: never stretching and drinking, like, two sips of water afterwards)—that’s how I know they’re the real deal. The diverse color palette also lets you match a pair to any slick fit, while not sacrificing your comfort.
Whether you’re ready to race, run casually, or just romp and stomp around the streets for miles on end, the Hoka Bondi 7s are worth giving a go—it’s high time you gave your feet the cool, clean comfort they deserve.
Hoka Bondi 7 shoes are available for purchase on REI, Urban Outfitters, and Zappos.
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