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Hoka Bondi vs. Hoka Clifton: Which Shoe Pair Is For You?

The brand Hoka is a relatively new brand on the market and they gained popularity because of their bulky running shoes. The Hoka shoes are not only popular with pro athletes but are also loved by the everyday folk for day-to-day wear.

They come in different styles and designs, and today we are going to be comparing Hoka Bondi vs Clifton, more specifically the newest Bondi 8 and Clifton 8.

Key Takeaways


  • The Hoka brand is known for its big shoes.
  • Both the Hoka Clifton and the Hoka Bondi have a big and cushy sole.
  • They are both comfortable and shock-absorbent.
  • They have a very small and steady heel-to-toe drop.
  • They are not the best choice for professional marathon runners
  • Both can be worn as everyday shoes.

Hoka Bondi vs Clifton: The similarities

Both the Bondi and the Clifton shoes are running shoes with a lot of cushioning action going on.

Even though Clifton is marketed as medium cushioning, it still has a lot compared to other running shoes. They both have the signature bulky Hoka look with high arches and mesh knit all around.

General overview

If you are in a hurry to make a decision here’s a quick general overview that may help you decide between Hoka Bondi vs Clifton

Also Read: Hoka Arahi Vs. Hoka Bondi

Bondi 8

The Bondi has the iconic Hoka look with a max amount of cushioning and bulky style. But, contrary to what you may think at first glance, they are very lightweight for their size.

They are stable and neutral, meaning that your foot won’t lean one way or the other. They give more support because of their wider base and thicker heel feel.

Clifton

The Cliftons are by far the most popular Hoka shoes. They are everyday shoes with a mid-cushion. When we say mid cushion, don’t get us wrong there is still a lot of it, but the medium size for Hoka is different from other brands.

They are also very light and have a softer cushion that makes you feel like you’re walking on a cloud. These Clifton shoes are very easy to put on and take off thanks to their sleek design.

They are very spacious, meaning they are perfect for people with wide feet, or people that suffer from feet swelling.

In-depth comparison

Sole: Hoka Bondi & Clifton

Both models have a rubber sole with blown rubber for better stability and grip. Both are average looking similar to what you will find with other running shoes.

Outsole

The Cliftons have a strategically placed blown rubber from the arch to the heel that helps ease the pressure from the slight heel-to-toe drop.

The Bondis look basic and have a regularly blown rubber with a circular pattern

Midsole

The Hoka Cliftons have great cushioning action going on with a 29mm stack height, which is a signature feature of Hoka. They have an arch to them which makes running smooth.

The heel drop is steady and goes from a 29mm stack height in the heel to a 24mm stack height in the toes.

The sole is slightly curved in the front, which allows your foot to better bounce off the ground. Think about it when you’re running your toes are the last to leave the ground, so having a slightly upward curved arch like the Cliftons will help you with the needed agility.

The middle part of the sole has the tallest point of the midsole which in perspective allows the shoes to have a very minimal heel-to-toe drop. This relieves pressure from the ball of your foot and all the cushioning absorbs the impact and relieves pressure from your feet, knees, and joints.

The Bondi have what Hoka calls early-stage Meta-Rocker, which means that despite their extra cushioning action going on you won’t have a very big and uncontrolled toe-off bounce.

They have a heel-to-toe drop of 4mm which is perfect for runners and people with pain in the ball of the foot.

The midsole is very absorbent, so even though it has a bounce control mechanism, it will still ease the impact of running.

Probably the most notable feature of the Bondis is the flared-out heel that allows for a better and more stable landing while running or walking.

Runners report an interesting feature when it comes to these shoes. They say that the cushioning firmness can change depending on the climate. On a hot day, the sole tends to be spongier and cushier and on colder days the sole becomes more firm.

Upper: Hoka Bondi & Clifton

Both the Hoka Cliftons and the Bondis have a mesh fabric knit with multiple holes for allowing air to circulate inside the shoe. Also, both of them have a standard-looking lace system.

The Cliftons don’t have a lot of fabric overlay and have more holes which make them slightly more breathable. Also, the fabric is less dense which makes them stretchier, especially in the toe box area which is already wider and allows more space to spread your toes.

The fabric in the heel is flared out which allows more comfort on the Achilles and allows for an easy grip while putting it on.

The Bondis are made with thicker fabric which makes them have more structure and support. While this can be a plus for some if you tend to have sweaty feet, this might be an issue for you.

The ankle collar is low, but it still provides good stability and keeps your foot in place. It is also covered in thick fabric which makes it more comfortable and doesn’t rub the Achilles, like some running shoes with a low-heel collar do.

These are slightly narrower than the Cliftons, but still provide you with lots of toe space.

Flexibility: Hoka Bondi & Clifton

The Cliftons are more flexible because they have a shorter sole and thinner fabric.

Stability: Hoka Bondi & Clifton

These shoes are not meant to be stable. This doesn’t mean that your foot will wobble around in them, but it means that all the cushioning won’t make them great choices for activities that require a flat sturdy sole, like weightlifting.

Pros and cons

Hoka Bondi

Pros

  • Plush cushioning
  • Very shock absorbent
  • Easy to walk in

Cons

  • Not suitable for long runs
  • Too bulky for some
  • Pricey

Hoka Clifton

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Come in multiple colors

Cons

  • Tick tongue
  • Not great for sprints
  • Pricey

Conclusion

We can’t say for sure who won the Hoka Clifton Vs Bondi battle, that will be up to you to decide after you take into consideration your specific needs.

Both of these shoes are running shoes, but they are not meant for pro athletes. Professionals usually wear a flat sole shoe that improves their aped and agility. However, you don’t have to worry about this if you don’t make a living out of a sport that requires you to run very fast.

If you want an all-around good shoe that is lightweight and versatile go for the Cliftons, and if you suffer from back, feet, or knee pain, go for the cushier Bondis.

Both of them are very comfortable to wear and your feet will thank you for putting them in these top-notch kicks.