My second Hoka review
was published a few hours after the first. I liked
the Mafate because it had the features I wanted. I loved
the Bondi B because it had the features I loved in a performance shoe
. The Bondi was a ten-and-change ounce shoe and that's really in my wheelhouse as a lightweight trainer.
Hoka One One was sold to Deckers Outdoor, owners of Ugg Australia, Teva and other brands. The president of the Hoka division, Jim Van Dine, and the president and chairman of Deckers Outdoor, Angel Martinez, are both sub-30-minute 10k runners in their days and finally got their hands on an interesting running brand. What they have done with the Hoka shoe is outstanding. But it has not come without its hiccups. There were factory changes, material changes, there was a furious run-up from a $4 million brand to a $40 million brand and all these changes expressed themselves in the shoes from time to time. The three examples that stick out, to me are the Hoka One One Conquest, which I love conceptually but I find the shoe harder than I'd like; the Bondi 3, which was a clear miss; and an unannounced and annoying (at the time) change in sizing (inexplicably I went from a size-12 to a size 11 1/2 between the Bondi B and the Bondi 2, and remain a half-size smaller in most of Hoka's shoes).
The Bondi 3 was a painful miss, for me, because I have always felt that the Bondi was the flagship road shoe in the Hoka's road line. Yes, the Stinson is a popular shoe and the Clifton is setting the world on fire. But as a day-in, day-out shoe - not the shoe you date on race day, but the shoe you're married to, and that you wake up to every morning - that's the Bondi.