Hoka Bondi vs Clifton Running Shoes Comparison

Last Updated: Feburary 01, 2024 | Author: Jake Thompson

Riding the wave of Hoka's rising popularity, Bondi and Clifton epitomize the brand's commitment to merging comfort with performance, each presenting a distinct approach to enhancing the running journey. I've thoroughly tested both, dissecting their nuances to guide your choice.

The Bondi 8, Hoka's answer to the call for extreme cushioning, cradles the foot with every stride, potentially making those long runs feel like a walk in the park.

Hoka Bondi vs Clifton - hero

On the flip side, the Clifton 9 offers a more agile approach, possibly giving you that extra spring in your step when you're looking to pick up the pace.

As we explore their individual strengths and potential trade-offs, I'll share insights that I've gathered from personal testing and research, guiding you toward finding the shoe that might just become your trusty companion on the road or trail.

With this comparison, you'll have the information you need to toe the line with confidence, regardless of which pair you choose to wear.

Table of Contents:

  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Table: Hoka Clifton 9 vs Bondi 8
  3. Cushioning and Comfort
  4. Breathability
  5. Design
  6. Upper Construction
  7. Midsole & Outsole Features
  8. Performance Comparison
  9. Support & Stability
  10. Durability
  11. Our Recommendations
  12. Final Verdict
  13. Frequently Asked Questions

Key Takeaways

  • - Bondi is a max-cushioned, long-distance neutral trainer, while Hoka Clifton is a cushioned, lightweight daily trainer.
  • - Bondi offers a more plush and soft ride compared to Clifton.
  • - Clifton is lighter and has more cushioning than Bondi.
  • - Bondi provides more stability with a firmer midsole and prominent arch support.

Table: Hoka Clifton 9 vs Bondi 8

Hoka Clifton 9 Hoka Bondi 8
Features Hoka Clifton 9 Hoka Bondi 8
Terrain Road Road
Pace Daily running Daily running
Toebox Medium Narrow
Pronation Underpronation Supination Neutral Pronation Underpronation Supination Neutral Pronation
Cushioning Balanced Plush
All-day wear
For beginners
Arch support Neutral Neutral
Heel to toe drop 5mm 4mm
Weight 249g 311g
Widths available Normal Wide Normal Wide X-Wide
Orthotic friendly
Removable insole
Sockless wear -
For big guys -
For heavy runners -
Lightweight -
Strike Pattern Forefoot / Midfoot strike Forefoot / Midfoot strike
Flexibility Moderate Stiff
Arch Type High arch High arch
Material Knit Mesh
Forefoot height 27mm 35mm
Heel height 32mm 39mm

Pros & Cons

Hoka Clifton 9

  • - Lightweight and versatile
  • - Balanced cushioning for comfort and responsiveness
  • - More affordable
  • - Narrower fit
  • - Less durable outsole

Hoka Bondi 8

  • - Maximum cushioning for comfort
  • - Superior stability
  • - Durable construction
  • - Heavier than Clifton 9
  • - Not ideal for speed-focused runs

Cushioning and Comfort

When comparing the cushioning, it's clear that both shoe models prioritize comfort but in distinctly different ways.

The Bondi 8's higher stack height provides a plush underfoot experience, ideal for runners seeking maximum shock absorption during their long-distance endeavors.

In contrast, the Clifton 9's slightly lower profile and balanced cushioning offer a more responsive ride, catering to those who favor a blend of softness and energy return.

Related: Hoka vs Brooks Running Shoes


Delving into the aspect of breathability, it's clear that both the Hoka models prioritize cushioning and comfort in their design, yet they incorporate distinct approaches to ensure proper air circulation within the shoe. The Hoka One One lineup is renowned for its performance, and breathability is a crucial element in a quality running shoe. Here's a detailed comparison:

Feature Hoka Bondi 8 Hoka Clifton 9
Upper Material Engineered mesh with fewer open areas Updated engineered mesh with more open areas
Ventilation Adequate for moisture management Enhanced for optimal airflow
Moisture Management Efficient, but less so than Clifton 9 Superior due to breathable upper design
Design Focus Durability and plush comfort Balance between cushioning and breathability
Ideal Use Long distances in cooler conditions Varied climates and more intense running sessions

Both shoes utilize a mesh upper for breathability, but the Clifton 9's design offers better ventilation, making it a more breathable running shoe overall.


When examining the design, it's crucial to scrutinize their upper construction, as well as the intricacies of their midsole and outsole features.

I'll assess how each model's design choices influence performance, durability, and runner experience.

This analysis will provide insight into which shoe may better suit individual preferences based on their structural components.

Upper Construction

Analyzing the upper construction of both Hoka running shoes reveals distinct design choices that cater to different runners' preferences in terms of fit, breathability, and durability. Both models feature engineered mesh, which enhances the fit true to size and provides a breathable experience.

However, they diverge in their specific construction:

  • - The Bondi 8's mesh is structured for durability, with a more robust feel, particularly around the midfoot, maintaining its shape and support over long distances.
  • - Clifton 9's upper construction is designed with a lighter, more adaptable engineered mesh that emphasizes comfort and flexibility, especially in the toe box area.
  • - Both offer a secure fit, but the Clifton 9 may accommodate a wider range of foot shapes due to its more forgiving upper construction.

Midsole & Outsole Features

Building on the upper construction differences, let's examine the midsole and outsole features that define their design and performance characteristics.

Both models employ an EVA foam midsole, but the Bondi 8's is noticeably thicker, contributing to its higher stack height and pronounced cushion. This plushness is ideal for long distances, absorbing shock while sacrificing some responsiveness.

In contrast, the Clifton 9 offers a more balanced cushion-to-responsiveness ratio, courtesy of a slightly lower stack height and a midsole designed to be lighter and more resilient.

The meta-rocker geometry is present in both, facilitating a smooth transition from heel to toe. However, Clifton's meta-rocker initiates earlier, enhancing the shoe's responsiveness.

The outsole on both is designed to complement the midsole's properties, ensuring durability and traction while reinforcing the overall ride quality.

Performance Comparison

In comparing the performance, it's essential to consider how each shoe's cushioning and weight affect a runner's experience over various distances.

As a runner, I've found that:

  • - The Bondi, with its plush maximalist design, tends to shine on long runs where shock absorption is paramount.
  • - The Clifton, being lighter, offers a more agile ride, conducive to both tempo efforts and daily training.
  • - Both road shoes maintain the Hoka signature cushioning, but Clifton's responsiveness gives it a slight edge in versatility.

This performance comparison shows that while both shoes cater to a runner's cushioning needs, the Clifton 9's lower weight and greater responsiveness might suit a broader range of running activities.

Support & Stability

When examining the support and stability features, it's evident that both shoes provide a solid foundation, yet they differ subtly in their approach to underfoot security and control.

The Bondi 8, with its high stack height, delivers a stable ride that's beneficial for those worried about overpronation. Its wider base and extended heel geometry contribute to a feeling of security from heel to toe.

The Clifton 9, meanwhile, offers a balanced level of arch support and utilizes the metarocker design to promote a smooth transition, which can be particularly helpful for a runner's gait efficiency.

Both shoes would likely receive nods of approval from a podiatrist for their stability features, though the Bondi might edge out for those requiring extra underfoot support.


Assessing the durability involves a meticulous examination of their construction, materials, and wear patterns over time. When it comes to running gear, particularly shoes, durability is a key factor that can make or break the value proposition. The Hoka shoes in question are designed to endure, but how do they stack up?

The extended heel on the Bondi 8 offers additional support that may contribute to a longer lifespan.

The midsole foam used in both models is engineered for resilience, essential for repeated impacts on surfaces from asphalt to treadmill belts.

The outsole tread pattern is designed to resist abrasion, maintaining grip through many miles.

Our Recommendations

Hoka Bondi vs Clifton for Walking: Hoka Clifton 8 vs Bondi 7

The Clifton 8 is lighter and offers balanced cushioning, making it versatile for daily walks and occasional jogs, enhanced by its early-stage Meta-Rocker for a smooth stride. The Bondi 7, with its maximum cushioning and supportive design, excels in long-distance walking, providing superior joint support with a full EVA midsole and Meta-Rocker design for effortless transitions.

Hoka Clifton 8 Hoka Bondi 7
Feature Hoka Clifton 8 Hoka Bondi 7
Cushioning Balanced Maximum
Weight 7.20 oz 10.80 ounce
Support Moderate High
Sole Design Adaptive Thick and wide
Upper Design Breathable mesh Engineered mesh
Drop 5mm 4mm
Special Features Early Stage Meta-Rocker Full EVA Midsole, Meta-Rocker Design

Hoka Clifton vs Bondi Plantar Fasciitis: Hoka Bondi SR vs Clifton LS

For those managing plantar fasciitis, the Bondi SR offers unparalleled support with its maximum cushioning, stability frame, and slip-resistant sole, making it ideal for work environments and prolonged standing. In contrast, the Hoka Clifton LS provides balanced cushioning and a lighter, responsive design, enhanced by an early-stage Meta-Rocker for a smoother gait, suitable for daily wear and relieving plantar stress.

Hoka Bondi SR Hoka Clifton LS
Feature Hoka Bondi SR Hoka Clifton LS
Cushioning Maximum Balanced
Weight 14.3 oz 11.30 oz
Support High Moderate
Sole Design Slip-resistant, stable Adaptive, responsive
Upper Design Water-resistant leather Engineered mesh
Drop 6mm 5mm
Special Features Full EVA Midsole, Frame for Stability Early Stage Meta-Rocker, Streamlined Design

Hoka Bondi vs Clifton for Standing All Day: Hoka Bondi X vs Clifton 6

The Bondi X, designed for maximum comfort with its enhanced cushioning and carbon fiber plate, is ideal for those standing all day, providing superior support and reducing fatigue. On the other hand, the Hoka Clifton 6 offers a lighter, balanced cushioning experience, suitable for everyday standing with its responsive feel and smooth stride.

Keen Merrell
Feature Hoka Bondi X Hoka Clifton 6
Cushioning Maximum Balanced
Weight 10.5 oz 9 oz
Support High Moderate
Sole Design Thick, Carbon Plate Adaptive, Responsive
Upper Design Engineered Mesh Breathable Mesh
Drop 5.6mm 5mm
Special Features Carbon Fiber Plate for Propulsion, Meta-Rocker Early Stage Meta-Rocker, Full-Compression EVA Midsole

Final Verdict

Choosing the right running shoe depends on your needs. For ultimate comfort over long distances, the Bondi is unbeatable with its plush cushioning. It's perfect for runners seeking maximum shock absorption and support, especially for longer runs or those needing extra stability.

However, for a versatile, lighter option that blends responsiveness with cushioning, the Hoka Clifton stands out. It's ideal for daily runs, offering agility and comfort without the extra weight. The Clifton 9's balanced design makes it a great all-around choice for various running activities, providing durability and breathability to keep you going mile after mile.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the main differences between the Hoka Clifton and the Bondi running shoes?

The Hoka Clifton and the Bondi are two of Hoka's most popular models, distinguished mainly by their cushioning and fit. The Bondi offers the softest cushioning, ideal for recovery runs and those seeking maximum comfort, while the Clifton is known for being bouncier and slightly lighter. The Bondi has a higher heel stack height for extra padding, whereas the Clifton provides a more balanced feel with a slightly lower stack height, appealing to runners looking for a blend of cushioning and responsiveness.

2. Which Hoka shoe is the best choice for trail running?

Hokas Clifton and Bondi models are the best trail running shoes but the Clifton is still a better option due to its bouncier ride and slightly lighter weight. Its design offers a little extra responsiveness and a low drop, ideal for varied terrain. The Clifton's construction minimizes the risk of blisters and provides the durability and comfort trail runners seek, making it the preferred choice among those looking to take their run off-road.

3. How do the size, responsiveness, stack height, and geometry compare between the Hoka Clifton and Hoka One One Bondi models?

The Hoka Clifton and Bondi are two of their most popular shoes on the market, catering to people who wear them for their cushy, bouncy feel. Neither of these shoes skimps on comfort, each featuring a substantial stack height in the forefoot, contributing to their renowned responsiveness. The main difference between the two models is their fit and geometry: the Bondi has a slightly wider base for better stability and a memory foam collar for snugness, making it great for narrow feet. The Clifton is lighter and has a slightly lower forefoot stack height, appealing to those seeking cushioning and efficiency.

4. Can the Clifton or the Bondi be used for recovery runs?

Yes, both the Clifton and the Bondi are excellent choices for recovery runs, with the Bondi being the best choice for those needing the softest, most cushioned ride. Its plush platform and high stack height offer maximum impact absorption, reducing stress on the joints and aiding in muscle recovery. The Clifton, while still well-cushioned, provides a slightly more responsive ride, making it versatile for both recovery days and faster-paced workouts.

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Jake Thompson

Jake Thompson

I am Jake, a sports enthusiast, love everything about sports, particularly basketball and volleyball. I've played both sports at a local level. Here to share my passion for sports and sports gear experiences with you.