Hoka Bondi 8 VS Hoka Clifton 8: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka One One Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 are two of the most popular daily trainers from Hoka in 2022. Both shoes provide the signature Hoka cushioning and support, but they differ in their weight, purpose, and ideal user. This in-depth comparison of the Bondi 8 vs Clifton 8 looks at the key features and performance of each shoe to help you decide which is better for your needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Bondi 8 and Clifton 8:

FeatureHoka Bondi 8Hoka Clifton 8
Launched In20222021
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 5-12Men’s 7-15, Women’s 5-12
Weight11.7 oz (men’s), 10.1 oz (women’s)8.8 oz (men’s), 7.2 oz (women’s)
CushionCMEVA midsoleCMEVA midsole
OutsoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
MidsoleCMEVA with Meta-RockerCMEVA with Meta-Rocker
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$165$180

Features Comparison:

Materials

The outsoles on both the Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 are made of durable rubber to handle miles of road running. The midsoles use Hoka’s signature CMEVA foam with Meta-Rocker technology for a smooth heel-to-toe transition. This foam delivers a soft and responsive cushion.

Hoka Bondi 8
BONDI 8

Hoka Clifton 8
CLIFTON 8

The upper of each shoe uses an engineered mesh that is breathable and flexible. The main difference in materials is the midsole thickness – the Bondi 8 has a thicker layer of cushioning, making it more plush and shock-absorbing. The Clifton 8 has a lower profile and more responsive cushioning.

Durability

In terms of durability, both the Hoka Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 are designed to last for many miles, but the Bondi 8 may have a slight edge. The outsoles use thick rubber in high-wear areas for increased longevity, and testers report the Bondi 8 outsole holds up better over time.

The cushioning materials are also quite durable, though the Clifton 8’s thinner midsole may compress and lose some bounce before the Bondi 8’s thicker cushioning.

However, the mesh uppers on both shoes are not as durable as synthetics, so runners should expect some wear after 200+ miles. With proper rotation and care, both shoes can last over 300 miles. The Bondi 8’s extra midsole cushion gives it greater shock absorption over time.

Fit

The fit of the Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 is quite similar, as both models run true to size for most runners. They have a wider toe box to allow natural toe splay, which provides comfort for wide feet. The engineered mesh uppers are moderately flexible and hold the foot securely without irritation. The heels have padded collars and lock the heel in place well.

Bondi 8 Top View
BONDI 8

Hoka Clifton 8 Top view
CLIFTON 8

The midsole shapes provide a curved, cradling sensation that hugs the foot. One key difference is that the Bondi 8 fits slightly heavier runners better due to its thicker midsole and wider base. The Clifton 8 has a more nimble fit for medium to low-volume feet. Both models work for neutral runners, but the Bondi 8 has a very balanced fit.

Stability

In terms of stability, the Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 are quite evenly matched as they are neutral shoes. The wide platform and Meta-Rocker midsole shape encourage an even stride from heel strike to toe-off so the foot remains stable and aligned. The upper wraps the midfoot securely to support the foot during transitions.

While they do not have medial or lateral posting, the cushioned midsoles absorb shock in a way that naturally stabilizes foot motions. The Bondi 8 may have a slight stability advantage due to its wider platform and higher stack height – this gives it a very balanced feel.

However, the Clifton 8 provides stability through its responsive cushioning by preventing uneven compression. Both work for neutral runners, with the Bondi 8 favored for heavier runners wanting more balance.

Cushioning

For cushioning, the Bondi 8 clearly exceeds the Clifton 8 due to its thicker midsole design. With a stack height of 33mm in the heel, the Bondi 8 has one of the thickest, plushiest midsoles available from any brand. This gives it extremely soft cushioning that absorbs shock gently on impact for comfortable miles.

The full-length CMEVA foam and Meta-Rocker shape also ensure the cushioning is smooth from heel to toe. In contrast, the Clifton 8 has a 24mm stack height, so while it is well-cushioned, it has less of a “marshmallowy” feel than the Bondi model.

The cushioning is still quite soft but in a more responsive way for transitioning faster through the gait cycle. The Bondi 8 wins for sheer plushness and shock absorption, while the Clifton 8 favors runners wanting cushioning with bounce.

Value

At their retail prices, the value offered by the Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 is quite even. The Bondi 8 costs around $165, while the Clifton 8 costs around $180. Considering the high-quality materials, comfort, and longevity of both shoes, these prices are expected from Hoka.

Runners are paying for the proprietary midsole foams and Meta-Rocker technology with each pair. The Bondi 8 offers maximum cushion and support which is suited for heavy mileage, reflecting its higher price tag. The Clifton 8 hits a nice sweet spot of soft cushioning in a lightweight package for less cost.

However, both models frequently go on sale. When found at a discount, the Clifton 8 may be slightly better value for runners wanting daily training versatility without paying for the added midsole.

Performance Comparison:

Walking

For walking, the Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 both perform admirably thanks to their cushioned midsoles and smooth transitions. The meta-rocker soles encourage a natural gait from heel to toe when walking, with no stiffness or discomfort. The plush cushioning in both models helps absorb shock from each step to reduce walking fatigue and joint pains.

The wider toe boxes accommodate natural toe splaying when walking as well. While the Bondi 8’s extra midsole gives even more shock absorption for walking, the Clifton 8 is lighter weight and provides ample cushioning in a lower profile sole. Overall, both are excellent walking shoes.

Running

For running, the Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 differ more noticeably in their performance. The highly cushioned Bondi 8 shines as an easy, long-run shoe where fatigue resistance is important. The thick midsole softens impact to protect joints when running high mileage. The wide, balanced platform adds stability to prevent wobbling on longer runs.

In contrast, the Clifton 8 has cushioning better suited to uptempo runs and faster workouts. The lower profile gives it a “close-to-the-ground” feel while still retaining soft padding.

The foam provides a nice energy return for a responsive sensation at quicker paces. While the Bondi 8 could be used for some tempo runs, most runners will prefer the Clifton 8 for anything faster than easy miles due to its lighter weight and snappier sole.

Plantar Fasciitis

For plantar fasciitis sufferers, the Bondi 8 may provide slightly better relief due to its superior cushioning. Both shoes cushion heel strikes very well, which helps take tension off the plantar fascia upon landing. But the Bondi 8’s thicker midsole and softer foam do an excellent job conforming to the foot for gentle pressure relief, especially in the heel and arch areas.

The smooth Meta-Rocker transition also encourages rolling through the foot strike instead of harsh impacts. So the Bondi 8 gets the slight edge for reducing plantar fascia pain.

Standing All Day

For standing all day, such as for work, both models work quite well again thanks to their cushioned midsoles. That soft foam underfoot prevents fatigue and joint pains even when used for hours of standing stationary. The rockered soles also encourage better posture and weight distribution by mimicking a walking gait even when stationary.

The Bondi 8 probably has the advantage for all-day standing again, since its extra midsole thickness provides more relief and shock absorption. But the Clifton 8 still performs admirably as an “on your feet all day” shoe.

Final Verdict:

In conclusion, the main choice between the Hoka Bondi 8 and Clifton 8 comes down to the preferred cushioning level and intended use. For runners wanting the absolute maximum cushioning available in a daily trainer, the Bondi 8 is a clear choice. Its plush midsole offers unparalleled shock absorption and comfort for easy long runs, recovery days, and high-mileage training.


For those wanting a well-cushioned but more versatile and lightweight option for tempo runs or faster training, the Clifton 8 hits that sweet spot with its lower profile and snappier cushioning.

Since fit and stability are quite similar, runners should focus on the midsole design when choosing to get the right balance of comfort and responsiveness. Those with plantar fasciitis or who are on their feet all day may benefit most from the Bondi 8 as well.

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