Hoka Bondi 8 VS Saucony Triumph 21: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for a comfortable, responsive daily training shoe, the Hoka Bondi 8 and Saucony Triumph 21 are two of the most popular options on the market right now.

Both deliver a smooth, cushioned ride but use different technologies and materials to achieve their signature feel. This comparison review dives into the key specs and real-world performance of each shoe to help you decide which is the better choice for your needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Bondi 8 And Saucony Triumph 21:

FeatureHoka Bondi 8Saucony Triumph 21
Launched In20222023
StabilityVery StableNeutral
FlexibilityRigidFlexible
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-15, Women’s 5-12
Weight10.8 oz10 oz
CushionHighly CushionedHighly Cushioned
OutsoleRubberXT-900 Carbon Rubber
MidsoleCompression-Molded EVAPWRRUN+
UpperEngineered MeshSoft Knit Mesh
Retail Price$165$160

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Bondi 8 uses a compression-molded EVA midsole to provide soft, resilient cushioning underfoot. The midsole is paired with a thick rubber outsole for durability. The upper uses an engineered mesh material that is thicker and more structured than traditional mesh. This gives the Bondi 8 a more rigid, supportive feel.

Hoka Bondi 8
BONDI 8

Saucony Triumph 21
TRIUMPH 21

The Triumph 21 relies on Saucony’s PWRRUN+ midsole foam which delivers a plush, lively ride. The outsole uses XT-900 carbon rubber for traction and high abrasion resistance.

The upper is a soft, breathable knit mesh that conforms closely to the foot for a flexible, sock-like fit. The Triumph 21 has a more flexible, malleable construction overall compared to the firmer, more stable Bondi 8.

Durability:

Testers found that the Bondi 8’s thick rubber outsole and compression-molded midsole foam held up well over hundreds of miles of use without excessive wear or breakdown. The structured upper also maintained its shape and support over time.

The Triumph 21’s exposed midsole foam will likely compress and lose some bounce before the outsole shows significant wear. The softer upper knit may stretch out a bit with heavy use as well.

However, the XT-900 carbon rubber outsole provides great durability in high-wear areas. Overall, the Bondi 8 seems more likely to maintain its structural integrity and cushioning for longer thanks to its more robust construction while the Triumph 21 may soften up over time.

Fit:

The Bondi 8 runs quite short and narrow through the toe box. Wide-footed runners may find the upper uncomfortably snug and constricting. The structured mesh doesn’t stretch much either. The overall rigid shape of the shoe also reduces adaptability for different foot shapes.

Bondi 8 Top View
BONDI 8 TOP VIEW

Saucony Triumph 21 TOP VIEW
TRIUMPH 21 TOP VIEW

In contrast, the Triumph 21 has a roomy, high-volume fit. The soft knit upper contours to a variety of foot shapes while providing a spacious toe box for natural toe splay. The heel collar and tongue are plush for added comfort.

The midsole and platform are also curved to match the anatomy of the foot. The Triumph 21 will accommodate more foot types comfortably right out of the box while the Bondi 8 has a more restrictive fit.

Stability:

With its wide platform, beveled heel, and substantial structure, the Bondi 8 provides excellent inherent stability for neutral runners. The broad footprint, compression-molded midsole, and firm EVA rim resist overpronation well. The upper’s secure, foot-hugging wrap also locks down the foot to prevent sliding around inside the shoe.

In comparison, the Triumph 21 has a more relaxed fit in the upper and softer foam construction overall. The midsole and outsole platforms are narrower as well. Without reinforced stability elements, the Triumph 21 is less stable for severe overpronators, especially at faster paces.

However, it still provides decent midfoot support for neutral runners during everyday training. The Bondi 8 takes the lead in keeping the foot firmly centered during the entire gait cycle.

Cushioning:

With its tall, compression-molded midsole and smooth rocker geometry, the Bondi 8 delivers an ultra-soft, pillowy ride. Every step feels like walking on clouds.

The cushioning dampens impact shock effectively while providing fluid transitions through the gait cycle. The sculpted midsole also provides higher heel-toe offsets for a rolling sensation.

The Triumph 21’s PWRRUN+ midsole generates a lively, energetic stride with a good balance of responsiveness and shock absorption. The front and rear Zon PWRN+ inserts provide added bounce and impact protection.

However, the overall cushioning profile feels lower and firmer than the Bondi 8. Runners who prioritize softness and foot relief will likely prefer the Bondi 8’s indulgent, cushioned experience compared to the mildly firmer Triumph 21.

Value for Money:

At MSRPs of $160 and $165 respectively, the Triumph 21 and Bondi 8 are competitively and appropriately priced for premium daily trainers with abundant cushioning.

The Bondi 8 costs slightly more upfront which is reasonable given the full compression-molded midsole compared to the Triumph 21’s combination of foam and inserts.

However, testers found the Triumph 21’s foam softened and lost responsiveness earlier than expected for a $160 shoe. The Bondi 8 maintained its cushioning and structure for significantly longer.

So although the Triumph 21 is cheaper, runners may get more miles per dollar from the durable Bondi 8 before the cushioning breaks down. The value proposition depends on your mileage.

Moderate runners may get their money’s worth from the Triumph 21 while higher mileage runners are likely to get enhanced value from the long-lasting Bondi 8.

Performance Comparision:

Walking:

The Triumph 21’s flexible upper and smooth PWRRUN+ midsole provide a very comfortable walking shoe. Testers loved the plush, slipper-like feel underfoot and the roomy toe box that allowed natural foot motion. However, some noticed the soft foam compressed easily, resulting in lower underfoot support on longer walks.

In contrast, the Bondi 8 remained supportive mile after mile thanks to the structured midsole and upper that locked the foot in place. The rockered profile also encouraged a natural gait from heel to toe when walking for fitness or running errands around town. Overall, the Bondi 8 provided a more stable and supported walking platform.

Running:

The Triumph 21 delivers a smooth, well-cushioned run that testers described as “pillowy yet energetic.” The PWRRUN+ foam provides a good balance of softness and bounce while the rockered shape encourages an easy toe-off. The mesh upper is very breathable during faster-paced runs.

For recovery days and long distances, most testers preferred the Bondi 8. The excessive stack height and broad platform delivered ultrasoft landings ideal for easy miles.

The rocker profile almost makes running effortless with its exaggerated heel-to-toe transition. The solid upper stabilizes the foot over the squishy midsole as well. The Bondi 8’s cloud-like ride far surpassed the Triumph 21 for pure cushioning comfort.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The Bondi 8 is often recommended for runners with plantar fasciitis thanks to its smooth, supportive ride. The firm EVA rim and structured upper provide stability to resist overpronation that can aggravate inflammation.

The soft, thick cushioning absorbs shock gently to relieve pressure on the plantar fascia. The molded shape also encourages a biomechanically sound gait cycle.

Conversely, the Triumph 21 provides plush cushioning but its soft foam compressed more underfoot over long distances, losing some shock absorption. The knit upper also didn’t support or stabilize the foot as securely as the Bondi 8’s solid upper. For managing plantar fasciitis discomfort specifically, the Bondi 8 is likely the smarter choice.

Standing All Day:

Although both shoes are cushy, testers found the Triumph 21 wasn’t as comfortable for all-day wear compared to athletic activities. The soft foam flattened out relatively quickly under prolonged standing, diminishing support. The knit upper also didn’t provide as secure of a lockdown for extended wear.

The Bondi 8 maintained its structured cushioning and supportive upper construction when worn for long shifts on your feet. The rockered sole also encouraged better weight distribution in static standing positions. Overall, the Bondi 8 provided superior comfort and foot relief for all-day use at work or play.

Final Verdict:

Overall, the Hoka Bondi 8 emerges as the superior choice for runners seeking a supportive, cushy daily trainer. The Bondi 8’s compression-molded midsole delivers ultra-plush cushioning that maintains its pillowy softness and shock absorption for more miles.


The structured upper provides a stable fit that helps control overpronation. This combination makes the Bondi 8 ideal for recovery days, long runs, walking, runners with plantar fasciitis, and all-day wear. The Saucony Triumph 21 has a smooth, energetic ride but its softer foam is less durable and the knit upper less supportive.

For neutral runners prioritizing durable softness and biomechanical stability, the Hoka Bondi 8 is the clear winner. While both are quality shoes, the Bondi 8 stands out for its superior construction, comfort, and longevity.

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