Two of the most popular road running shoes that Hoka has to offer are the Hoka Bondi and Clifton. Many runners find themselves comparing the Hoka Bondi vs Clifton, with both running shoes offering a lot to love. Despite their similarities, there are a few differences that may help you choose one over the other.
One is the most cushioned shoe that Hoka One One has to offer, while the other is known for being a great balance of high mileage trainer and race day performance. So, which model is right for you? Find out more and compare them side by side below.
Hoka Bondi vs Clifton
- The Hoka One One Bondi is the most cushioned shoe Hoka One One makes. The Hoka Bondi is considered one of the most cushioned shoes on the market. Making it popular for logging a lot of training miles.
- The Hoka One One Clifton is noticeably lighter than Bondi. Weighing just under 2oz less, the Clifton offers a lot of cushion without the extra weight.
- The Bondi has more upper ankle support and stability. It’s noticeable when you wear them and in the picture once you’re looking for it.
- The Clifton is more breathable than the Bondi. I definitely noticed a difference when testing these in the heat.
- The Bondi supports a higher arch and the Clifton supports more of a medium arch. This may be the biggest difference in initial comfort between the two shoes.
If you are looking for cushioned road running shoes, both the Bondi and the Clifton are great places to start. Hoka One One is known for its plush ride, and these are two of the go-to models for runners looking to log a lot of miles.
The Hoka Bondi is the most cushioned running shoe that Hoka One One makes. That says a lot coming from a brand known for cushioning. All of that padding comes at a cost, though. These shoes are heavy. If you are switching over from a lighter brand, you will really feel that in your first few runs. The Bondi is a stable shoe, and the padding, once broken in, provides a great running surface. That said, you are not going to feel the road (for better or worse), and you may even say that the Bondi feels slow compared to other road runners. This isn’t a bad thing if you’re looking to run a lot of slow miles for half+ marathon training.
The Hoka Clifton offers a good amount of cushion on its own but is considered more “stability” than “cushioned” by the brand’s definition. That said, compared to almost any other shoe than the Bondi, it would be considered to have a lot of padding. You will notice the weight of these runners if you are coming from a lighter brand. To me, they feel quick—not fast but not slow. They feel like they want to run at about my perfect marathon race pace.
Below are the Hoka Bondi vs Clifton side by side for your comparison.
In the profile below, you will notice the added ankle and arch support on the Bondi compared to the Clifton, along with the added padding line running just above the sole.
The top view of both models. They are very similar.
Hoka Bondi Top View
Hoka Clifton Top View
As you can see below, the sole patterns of the two shoes offer different flexion but are very close in shape.
Hoka Bondi Sole
Hoka Clifton Sole
Bondi Back View
Clifton back view
Conclusion – Hoka Bondi vs Clifton
These are two of Hoka One One’s most popular shoe models for a reason. Both shoes encompass the brand’s dedication to cushioned running shoes designed for real-world runners. My only real complaints about the Bondi are the overall weight and high-arch design. I think larger runners will notice the weight less and benefit from the added cushioning.
As for the Cliftons, these are my go-to daily runners, and I love them for their ability to log big training miles and perform well at longer road races. They breathe well in the summer. The only thing I notice about them is they don’t hold up as well with a lot of road hill runs. The sole starts to disappear faster than other brands.
Which running shoe would I buy?
I’ve tried both of these shoes multiple times and always come back to the Clifton. For me, it fits like a glove, breathes well in the southern summer heat, provides a good amount of cushion, and typically gives me 250-300 miles. So, if you’re going based on this review site unseen, then go with the Cliftons
If you know you have a higher arch or are a runner over 200lbs, you may want to look at the Bondi.