Hoka Kawana 2 VS Bondi 8: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka Kawana 2 and Bondi 8 represent two different approaches to maximizing comfort in a running shoe. The Kawana 2 prides itself on its versatility as an everyday trainer that can still provide a smooth ride for long miles. The Bondi 8 is geared more towards recovery runs and absorbing impact with its plush cushioning.

Both are neutral shoes best for normal or high arches. The choice between more minimalist cushioning versus a pillow-soft ride depends on your preferences for feeling underfoot. Read on to see how they compare across all categories and which excels for walking, running, plantar fasciitis, and standing all day.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Kawana 2 And Bondi 8:

FeatureHoka Kawana 2Hoka Bondi 8
Launched In20242022
StabilityModerateVery Stable
FlexibilityModerateRigid
SizingTrue to sizeRuns Small
Weight9.8oz (men), 8.8oz (women)10.8oz
CushioningModerate EVA foamHighly Cushioned EVA
OutsoleRubberRubber with wide platform
MidsoleEVA FoamCompression molded EVA
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$140$165

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Kawana 2 uses a combination of engineered mesh in the upper for a secure breathable fit. The midsole is made of EVA foam for responsive cushioning and the rubber outsole is designed for durability and traction.

HOKA KAWANA 2
KAWANA 2

Hoka Bondi 8
BONDI 8

The Bondi 8 also utilizes an engineered mesh upper for a dialed-in fit. It has a compression molded EVA midsole for plush impact absorption and its rubber outsole has an extended platform design for stability.

Durability:

When it comes to durability, both the Hoka Kawana 2 and Bondi 8 are built to last many miles. The Kawana 2 holds up well thanks to its sturdy rubber outsole that resists wear and tear.

However, the Bondi 8 edges it out as one of Hoka’s most durable shoes. The Bondi’s rubber outsole with a wide contact platform is extremely hardy and can handle hundreds of miles of training without significant breakdown. Runners report the Bondi 8 continues feeling protective and responsive even at high mileage. So for maximum durability, the Bondi 8 is the winner.

Fit:

The Hoka Kawana 2 offers a true-to-size fit that will accommodate most neutral runners. Its engineered mesh upper provides a secure feel while still being forgiving.

HOKA KAWANA 2 TOP VIEW
KAWANA 2 TOP VIEW

Bondi 8 Top View
BONDI 8 TOP VIEW

On the other hand, the Bondi 8 runs slightly small and has a more narrowed fit in the forefoot that may not work well for wide-footed runners. The Bondi 8 has an upper designed to hug the foot that some find too snug, especially those with wide feet who may need to size up.

For most foot shapes, the Kawana 2 will provide a dialed-in yet flexible fit. But the Bondi 8 caters to narrow-footed runners who prefer a sock-like compression around the foot.

Stability:

When it comes to stability, the Bondi 8 is the clear winner. The Kawana 2 offers moderate stability that allows for some natural inward foot rolling, making it best for neutral runners.

However, the Bondi 8 provides excellent stability from its wide platform rubber outsole and the structured cushioning of its midsole. This prevents overpronation exceptionally well, providing superior support and guidance for runners who need help controlling excess inward foot motion.

Runners praise the Bondi 8 for its stable ride that remains balanced and secure even at slower paces. So for those seeking maximum stability, the Bondi 8 is the top choice.

Cushioning:

The Kawana 2 utilizes a medium-cushioned EVA foam midsole that provides a cushioned yet still responsive ride. In contrast, the Bondi 8 maximizes cushioning and shock absorption with its plush compression-molded midsole that offers a supremely soft, pillow-like ride.

The Bondi 8 gives runners who want the most cushion possible an ultra-padded shoe that excels at protecting feet and joints on long miles. The Kawana 2 strikes more of a balance between cushioning and ground feel. So for runners seeking the most cushioning for low-impact comfort over any other factor, the Bondi 8 is the clear choice.

Value:

At $140, the Hoka Kawana 2 hits a moderate price point that matches its versatility as a cushioned daily trainer. The Bondi 8 costs $165, which is justified by its exceptional combination of long-lasting durability, plush cushioning, and stability. For runners seeking maximum cushioning for recovery days and long, slow miles, the Bondi 8 is worth the investment.

However, for those wanting a well-rounded shoe for short to medium-distance training, the Kawana 2 gives you responsive cushioning at a more affordable price point. Overall, the Bondi 8 wins for value if soft cushioning is your top priority.

Performance Comparision:

Walking:

When it comes to walking, the extra cushioning of the Bondi 8 makes it the superior choice for longer distances. The plush midsole provides pillow-like comfort that helps reduce foot fatigue when walking for extended periods. The Kawana 2 has moderate cushioning that performs well for short walks but lacks the impact absorption needed for all-day wear.

Runners report the Bondi 8 feels far more comfortable and supportive when walking multiple miles compared to the Kawana 2. So for long walks where cushioning is a priority, the Bondi 8 is the clear winner.

Running:

For running, the Kawana 2 is the more versatile option suitable for short to long distances at easy paces. Its moderate cushioning provides a good balance of responsiveness and comfort for daily training.

The Bondi 8 isn’t recommended for speed work or racing due to its heavy, rigid build. But it excels at recovery runs and long miles where its superior impact protection shines.

Runners praise the plush cushioning of the Bondi 8 for absorbing shock on high mileage days. So while the Kawana 2 covers all the bases, the Bondi 8 is ideal for low-impact long-distance runs.

Plantar Fasciitis:

For runners with plantar fasciitis, the Bondi 8 provides superior relief with its ultra-plush cushioning that absorbs impact and pressure on the heels and arches. The Kawana 2 offers adequate arch support and shock absorption but can’t match the Bondi 8’s soft, pillow-like midsole that minimizes pain with each step.

The Bondi 8 is praised by runners with chronic plantar fasciitis for its cloud-like comfort and protection mile after mile. So runners needing maximum cushioning to alleviate foot pain should opt for the Bondi 8 over the Kawana 2.

Standing All Day:

The Bondi 8 is the top choice for all-day standing comfort thanks to its supreme cushioning technologies that reduce fatigue on feet, joints, and muscles. While the Kawana 2 provides decent cushioning for extended wear, the Bondi 8 outperforms it with its ultra-plush midsole that offers pillow-like comfort.

Nurses, teachers, and others on their feet all day need exceptional support, and the Bondi 8 delivers that soft, stable ride shift after shift. For unbeatable relief from prolonged standing, the Bondi 8 is the clear winner.

Final Verdict:

The Hoka Kawana 2 is the better choice if you want a lightweight, responsive shoe for short to medium-distance training runs and daily use. Its versatility and moderate cushioning suit most neutral runners seeking a comfortable daily trainer.


However, the Bondi 8 is ideal for runners who prioritize soft cushioning and stability above all else. Its plush ride offers supreme impact absorption for recovery days, long miles, walking, and standing all day.

While both are cushioned neutral shoes, the Bondi 8’s pillow-like softness makes it unmatched for low-impact activities where foot relief is the top concern. In the end, opt for the Kawana 2 for versatility or the Bondi 8 for ultimate cushioning.

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