Brooks Glycerin 20 VS Hoka Bondi 8: Which Is Better?

Finding the perfect running shoe can be a challenging task. With so many options on the market, how do you know which one is right for you and your specific needs?

In this article, we will compare two of the top maximum cushion running shoes – the Brooks Glycerin 20 and the Hoka Bondi 8.

Both shoes provide soft, pillowy cushioning but have key differences that may make one a better choice than the other depending on your foot type, running style, and preferences. Read on to find out which of these well-cushioned shoes is the better pick for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Brooks Glycerin 20 and Hoka Bondi 8:

FeatureBrooks Glycerin 20Hoka Bondi 8
Launched In2022 2022
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateRigid
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 7-13Men’s 7-15, Women’s 7-13
Weight10.2 oz (M), 8.8 oz (W)10.8 oz (M), 9.4 oz (W)
CushioningHighHigh
OutsoleBlown rubberBlown rubber
MidsoleDNA Loft V3 (nitrogen-infused foam)Compression molded EVA foam
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$160$165

Features Comparison:

Now we are going to compare the features of the Bondi 8 and Glycerin 20 against each other to see which can be a better option.

Materials:

The Glycerin 20 uses a blown rubber outsole which provides durability and traction. The midsole utilizes DNA Loft V3 technology, which is a nitrogen-infused foam that delivers soft cushioning and energy return. The upper is made of engineered mesh for a breathable and flexible fit.

brooks Glycerin 20
Glycerin 20

Hoka Bondi 8
Bondi 8

The Bondi 8 features a blown rubber outsole for durability and traction. The midsole is compression molded EVA foam, which provides pillowy soft cushioning. The upper consists of an engineered mesh material for a secure and breathable fit.

Durability:

The Glycerin 20 is known for its durable construction that can withstand many miles of wear and tear. The outsole rubber is thicker and more rugged than previous versions. The DNA Loft foam also maintains its cushioning properties well over time without flattening.

The Bondi 8 has improved durability over past versions with a redesigned outsole that better resists wear. The EVA foam midsole is also long-lasting in terms of cushioning. However, some testers have reported the upper mesh showing signs of wear more quickly.

Fit:

The Glycerin 20 fits true to size for most runners. The upper is moderately wide with a curved shape to accommodate various foot types. The heel counter provides a secure lockdown while the engineered mesh upper material adapts to the shape of the foot for a personalized fit.

brooks G20 top view
Glycerin 20 Top view

Bondi 8 Top View
Bondi 8 Top View

The Bondi 8 runs slightly short and narrow. The upper mesh material is not very stretchy or flexible. The midfoot and toe box are especially snugger-fitting. Trying this shoe on in person is recommended to find the ideal size.

Stability:

As a neutral shoe, the Glycerin 20 is best for runners who do not overpronate. It provides a good amount of midfoot support through its firmer midsole but does not control excessive inward rolling of the foot.

Similarly, the Bondi 8 is also a neutral cushioned shoe. It offers some midfoot stability through its wide base but lacks technology to correct overpronation. Runners requiring pronation control may need to look for options with medial posts.

Cushioning:

The Glycerin 20 provides exceptionally soft, pillowy cushioning that makes it feel like “running on clouds” according to wearers. The DNA Loft foam compresses nicely to absorb impact while providing responsive energy return during toe-off.

The Bondi 8 features full-length compression molded EVA foam which delivers ultra-plush cushioning from heel to toe. It has a thick midsole height for maximum shock absorption. However, the cushioning lacks bounce or responsiveness compared to DNA Loft foam.

Value:

With a $160 price tag, the Glycerin 20 delivers excellent value for max-cushion shoe seekers. The durable construction, comfortable fit, and responsive DNA Loft cushioning make this shoe pack a lot of performance for the price.

The Bondi 8 has a higher $165 retail price. The plush cushioning provides a luxurious ride but the fit and stability are not ideal for some. While still a solid option, the value is not quite on par with the well-rounded Glycerin 20.

Performance Testing:

So far we have seen an in-depth features comparison of both runners. Let’s now see how both of them compare when it comes to performance.

Walking:

The Glycerin 20 makes an excellent walking shoe thanks to its DNA Loft cushioning that absorbs shock effectively.

The flexible forefoot allows a natural walking stride and smooth heel-to-toe transition. The breathable upper keeps feet comfortable when walking for extended periods.

The Bondi 8 also performs well for walking. The generous midsole cushioning helps reduce foot fatigue and joint pain when worn for all-day wear. However, the stiff sole feels somewhat inflexible during walking compared to the Glycerin.

Running:

For running, the Glycerin 20 provides a responsive, well-cushioned ride over any distance. The DNA Loft foam balances softness with energetic bounce. The shoe also transitions smoothly through the gait cycle to keep turns and pace changes feeling natural.

The Bondi 8 offers an ultra-cushioned feel while running. The plush EVA foam softens hard impacts from heel to toe.

However, the lack of responsiveness can make the ride feel somewhat deadened compared to the lively Glycerin. The shoe is ideal for recovery runs but may feel heavy for speed sessions.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The Glycerin 20’s DNA Loft cushioning does an excellent job of absorbing shock in the heel and reducing pain from plantar fasciitis.

The OrthoLite sockliner also provides breathable, antimicrobial cushioning underfoot. While effective, it may feel slightly firmer than ideal for those with severe pain.

The Bondi 8 is a top choice for plantar fasciitis due to its ultra-soft cushioning. Both the midsole and insole help minimize pressure on the heels and arches to alleviate soreness. The high level of shock absorption in this shoe makes it well-suited to recovery from heel pain.

Standing All Day:

The Glycerin 20 offers suitable cushioning and support for extended standing or walking. The sole is firm enough to prevent foot fatigue yet still comfortable.

The mesh upper also maintains breathability during all-day wear. One downside is the shoe may feel slightly heavy after prolonged use.

With its plush cushioning, the Bondi 8 helps absorb shock effectively when standing for long hours.

Testers also report good energy return to reduce leg muscle tiredness. However, some find the narrow fit uncomfortable when feet swell during the day. The shoe may also lack versatility for active jobs.

Final Verdict:

In the end, choosing between the Brooks Glycerin 20 and Hoka Bondi 8 depends on your needs and preferences as a runner.

The Glycerin 20 provides better versatility with its responsive cushioning, comfortable fit, and smooth transition. It can comfortably handle running, walking, or standing all day.


The Bondi 8 offers superior plushness to maximize shock absorption, ideal for recovery runs, plantar fasciitis, or long days on your feet.

Consider your foot type, comfort needs, and intended uses before deciding between these well-cushioned shoes. Either way, your feet are sure to be happy in these pillow-like models!

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