HOKA Bondi 7 VS Clifton 8: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka Bondi 7 and Hoka Clifton 8 are two of the most popular max-cushioned running shoes from Hoka One One. With ample cushioning and smooth rides, both shoes excel at logging high mileage without fatiguing your feet.

But with slight differences in weight, flexibility, and purpose, is one model better than the other? This in-depth comparison breaks down the key features and performance of the Bondi 7 and Clifton 8 to help you decide which Hoka is right for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Bondi 7 and Clifton 8:

FeatureHoka Bondi 7Hoka Clifton 8
Launched In 2020 2021
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-17, Women’s 5-12Men’s 7-17, Women’s 5-12
Weight10.9 oz (Men’s), 9.5 oz (Women’s)8.8 oz (Men’s), 7.2 oz (Women’s)
CushionFull-length EVA foamFull-length CMEVA foam
OutsoleHigh-abrasion rubberHigh-abrasion rubber
MidsoleFull-length EVA foamFull-length CMEVA foam
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$170$180

Features Comparison: Hoka Bondi 7 vs Clifton 8

Here we will compare features of Clifton 8 and Bondi 7 to see which is actually better.

Materials

The outsoles on both the Bondi 7 and Clifton 8 are made of high-abrasion rubber placed in strategic zones for durability and traction. The Clifton 8 has exposed EVA foam in some areas of the outsole which helps reduce weight but may compromise durability.

The midsoles use different types of EVA foam – the Bondi 7 has regular EVA while the Clifton 8 uses lighter CMEVA foam.

Bondi 7
BONDI 7

Hoka Clifton 8
CLIFTON 8

This gives the Clifton 8 a softer, bouncier ride. For the upper, both models use an engineered mesh material that is breathable and flexible.

The uppers provide a secure foot lockdown with ample padding around the collar and tongue. The Bondi 7 upper may be a bit more substantial and durable than the Clifton 8’s more minimal upper.

Durability

Overall, the Bondi 7 has the edge when it comes to durability thanks to its robust EVA foam midsole and thicker engineered mesh upper.

There have been very few complaints of the Bondi 7 wearing out prematurely, even after several hundred miles of use. The high-abrasion rubber outsole also appears to be quite hardy and resistant to excessive wear and tear.

In contrast, some runners have reported signs of early wear and tear in the Clifton 8, particularly in the exposed EVA sections of the outsole.

The CMEVA foam in the midsole, while soft and responsive, seems to compress and lose its bounce faster than the EVA in the Bondi 7. The upper may also not be quite as sturdy as the one used on the Bondi 7. So for maximum longevity, the Bondi 7 appears to have the advantage.

Fit

The Bondi 7 runs quite true to size for most runners and offers a relaxed, high-volume fit. It works well for runners with wide feet who need a more spacious toe box.

The engineering mesh upper has a decent amount of give to accommodate swelling or splaying of the feet during runs. The overall fit leans towards the looser and more comfortable end of the spectrum.

Bondi 7 Top View
BONDI 7 TOP VIEW

Hoka Clifton 8 Top view
CLIFTON 8 Top View

The Clifton 8 has a more dialed-in, performance-oriented fit. It runs slightly long so some runners recommend sizing down half a size. The upper conforms closely to the foot without excess room in the toe box.

Those with narrow or medium-width feet may appreciate the secure midfoot lockdown of the Clifton 8. But it may feel too snug for wide-footers, especially when feet expand over long distances.

Stability

Since both models are categorized as neutral cushioned trainers, they offer comparable stability during training and mileage runs.

The Bondi 7 has a wide, stabilizing platform thanks to its full ground contact design and a beveled heel. This helps guide the foot through the gait cycle in a relatively straight line.

The ample cushioning also dampens hard foot strikes to prevent rolling of the ankles or knees. Despite its lower profile, the Clifton 8 still provides decent stability due to its Meta-Rocker geometry and balanced foam midsole. Mild overpronators can safely run in both shoes without their feet caving in excessively.

However, severe overpronators may still need additional medial support and motion control from a dedicated stability shoe. For straight-line tracking and shock absorption, both deliver sufficient stability for neutral gaits.

Cushioning

When it comes to cushioning, the Bondi 7 is the clear winner as Hoka’s most cushioned road shoe with its high-volume EVA foam midsole.

The soft, pillowy foam absorbs harsh impacts and keeps feet comfortable even during ultra-distance. The full-ground contact outsole further enhances the plush, protective ride.

Runners report the Bondi 7 feeling like “running on clouds.” The Clifton 8 still offers excellent cushioning but in a slightly firmer and more responsive package. The CMEVA foam compresses easily to cushion foot strikes but also provides an energetic rebound for a lively ride.

While not as soft as the Bondi 7, the Clifton 8 encourages a faster toe-off while retaining enough cushion for high mileage. So the choice comes down to preference – the Bondi 7 for maximum softness or the Clifton 8 for cushioned responsiveness.

Value

At its retail price of $170, the Bondi 7 is a little cheaper and its superb comfort and durability make it worth the investment for high-mileage runners. Also, it can often be found on sale for under $140.

The Clifton 8 has a noticeably higher MSRP of $180 which is decent value for such a well-cushioned shoe. With wear and tear happening earlier than in the Bondi 7, runners may get slightly less mileage per dollar out of the Clifton 8.

However, its lively ride encourages pushing the pace which adds to its versatility.

Ultimately, the Bondi 7 comes out ahead for value given its long-lasting construction and cloud-like cushioning that protects feet even during ultra distances.

Performance Comparison:

Now we will analyze the performance of both Hoka models to see if one is better than the other.

Walking

The Bondi 7’s plush cushioning and stretchy upper make it the more comfortable option for walking shoes, especially all-day wear. The thick midsole keeps feet feeling fresh even after hours of being on your feet. The roomy toe box allows a natural walking stride.

In contrast, the Clifton 8 has a snugger fit and firmer ride that isn’t ideal for extended walking comfort. The thinner foam midsole doesn’t provide the same level of long-lasting cushion. While possible to walk in, the Clifton 8 is better optimized as a running-specific shoe.

For pure walking comfort, the Bondi 7 is the superior choice.

Running

For running performance, there is no clear winner between the Bondi 7 and Clifton 8 as each excels in different scenarios.

The Bondi’s soft, pillowy cushioning absorbs hard impacts making it ideal for ultramarathon distances and recovery runs when you want maximum shock protection. However, the spongy foam isn’t quite as energetic.

In contrast, the Clifton 8 provides a slightly firmer and more responsive ride that encourages a faster turnover. So for tempo runs, speedwork, and racing the Clifton 8 may provide a snappier, more efficient ride.

It comes down to personal preference but the Bondi leans recovery while the Clifton leans speed.

Plantar Fasciitis

The Bondi 7 gets the edge for runners with plantar fasciitis thanks to its superior cushioning and shock absorption. The soft EVA midsole and smooth heel-to-toe transition reduce pressure and strain on the plantar fascia ligament with each step.

Those with chronic heel and arch pain from plantar fasciitis report significantly less discomfort in the Bondi 7 compared to other running shoes.

While the Clifton 8 is also relatively well-cushioned, its firmer midsole doesn’t dampen impacts as effectively. So for specifically easing plantar fasciitis symptoms, the Bondi 7 is better equipped to provide pain relief while running.

Standing All Day

Similar to walking, the Bondi 7 is the preferred choice for jobs or situations that require standing all day like retail, waiting tables, trade shows, etc.

The plush foam takes the pressure off feet and joints during lengthy periods of standing in place. The roomy toe box allows feet to splay naturally when swollen after prolonged standing.

While the Clifton 8 can cushion feet, its snugger fit doesn’t accommodate swelling as well. Its thinner foam also loses some shock absorption over many hours of standing compared to the enduring softness of the Bondi 7.

For long-term cushion when on your feet, the Bondi 7 is constructed to go the distance.

Final Verdict:

In the battle of the premium Hokas, the Bondi 7 comes out on top for runners who prioritize soft, pillowy cushioning and lasting comfort over many miles. The durable materials and cloud-like midsole make the Bondi an excellent choice for recovery runs, long distances, and all-day wear.


On the other hand, the Clifton 8 offers a firmer yet still well-cushioned ride in a lighter package ideal for faster paces, but it loses some durability and comfort versus the Bondi.

The Clifton is better for neutral runners doing tempo workouts or racing. While the Clifton gives you responsive speed at a slightly high price point.

So choose the Bondi 7 if you want the pinnacle of plushness, or the Clifton 8 if you seek cushioned responsiveness when cranking up your mileage. Either way, your feet will stay happy in these max-cushioned Hokas.

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