hoka oneone - bondi b - product reviewHoka OneOne…..what is there to say?  These shoes have been a revelation for my feet, ankles, calves, hamstrings/quads, glutes and hips.  Let us not forget the mind because without these there would have been days that I would have contemplated not running at all because the body felt to beat up to lace up the shoes and hit the roads again. When I first started using the Hoka OneOne brand it was with the Stinson and Mafate, which I reviewed here, but then I realized that the miles would be piling up as I headed toward Lake Martin 100.  When I took out my handy-dandy Google Docs and sorted through the color-coding I realized that I would have close to 300 miles on the Stinson and at least 113 on the Mafate before the race.  Throw in another 300 or so miles and I was worried about how the shoes would feel by the time March 29th-30th rolled around.  I decided to go out and purchase the Hoka OneOne Bondi B as a compliment to the other two, but also because it was on sale and I had a discount code to the Running Warehouse. The Hoka OneOne Bondi B had a completely different feel than the Stinson or Mafate when I first put them on and it worried me.  Could these possibly have the same pillow feel that the other two shoes did?  What if I disliked this model and my Hoka OneOne love would be gone.  The first couple of runs with them and I was not as pleased as I had been with my experience with the Hoka OneOne brand.  The shoes just felt wrong.  They were very stiff but I kept putting them on in the hopes that all that was needed was a breaking in. After about 50 miles the shoes finally started to represent my previous experiences and I was getting happier and happier each time I put them on my feet.  While the feel of the shoe was not ideal at the beginning what I did notice was that they were still doing what they needed to do in terms of keeping my legs as fresh as they could possibly be considering I was coming off of Rocky Raccoon 50 and heading toward The Cowtown Ultra and an 86 mile week.  My recovery was not hampered one bit by the uncomfortable feel of the shoe. When the miles exceeded 50 the comfort returned and it dawned on me that the Hoka OneOne probably required a longer break in time due to the fact that while the shoe is light the platform is large and may take longer to break in.  When I laced up the Bondi B for The Cowtown Ultra I felt confident that they would take me from start to finish without any issues.  My belief was confirmed when I ran the first 25 miles while pacing Karen to a 10 minute marathon PR and then the last 10k at a pace nearly 1:30 less than the first 25 miles and my feet did not hurt and my legs felt as fresh as they could at that point. When Lake Martin 100 starts the Bondi B will have accumulated 221 miles which would make them ideal for that race.  The Stinson will have amassed 334 miles and the Mafate 160 to that point.  I will probably bring all three with me and make a determination based on the course and how technical it is.  Then again maybe I’ll just buy another pair of Hoka OneOne shoes, but I’ll be sure to get past 50 miles before I decide to bring them to the race. In conclusion, the Bondi B is a quality shoe and one that should be in your bag of tricks.  The Heel-Toe drop is different from the other two at 4.5mm versus Stinson (6mm) and Mafate (4mm).  The Bondi B also is the lightest at 10.8oz.  Having a set of varying drops and weights allows you to maximize your training by not stressing the same muscles while running.
Published in Product Reviews