Sure enough they were over-sized and cushioned to the max, but I liked the looks of the grey and citrus colors and although my family snickered at the size of the shoes I didn't care. They looked nice. I did notice that when I put the shoes on, they felt hot and confining and I didn't like wearing them when I was just relaxing. I had bought my normal size 12, but most reviews say to buy them 1/2 size bigger. I liked running in them and my orthotics fit and worked in the shoes just fine, but I did notice that my toes got scrunched together a bit and I would tend to get some blisters and abrasions as my runs got up to the 8 mile range. I realized the shoes were a little bit too tight for my liking. They weren't pressing in on my toes, but my toes couldn't really move around. They would not be comfortable or usable on longer runs (once my body fully comes around to doing distance again).
|The Hoka insole wraps around your heel and orthotics.|
My impressions of the shoe was that it really does dampen the pounding your body takes when running. I never felt beat up after running in these and I only can imagine how great they would be on long runs. The size of the shoe may be overly large, but the weight was not. I have always liked doing my running and training in racing shoes and lightweight non-built up shoes; shoes we now call minimalistic. I hate running in trainers. The Bondi B did not feel like heavy-weight trainers at all. The problem I had with the shoes was that the model I bought was just too small for me and I was not sure my left foot was taking to them.
|My Skechers GoRun compared to the Bondi B.|
|Bondi B and the GoRun (both size 12)|
|My Bondi B's. I am not a fan of these colors.|
|Comparing the colors of my two Bondi's.|
Unfortunately, the muscles in my body still haven't evened out post surgery and I had to drop my mileage and eventually sought out a new PT. He suggested that I stop running and I have done that for the past month. I am hoping to start again slowly this weekend. In the meantime, at the Boston Marathon Expo, I talked to the Altra people and bought another model, the Altra Provision. I also decided to stop using my orthotics and started using the Provision as my daily shoe for work and walking around. I loved the feel for the first two weeks and then my finicky feet started to dislike the soft feeling of the shoe. I would come home from school and put on the Biondi's to walk around in and my feet felt more supported.
|The Bondi B compared to the ultra thin Puma H Street shoes I used to wear.|
I still haven't figured out which shoe I like best, particularly for running. I don't know if the Provisions will cut into my toe. When I first wore them the stitching was irritating the top of my big toes. I feel my feet have to do more work in the Altras and my feet roll nicely in the Hokas. The big question for me is how my left foot will eventually respond to the Hokas. Will they cause greater suppination and an awkward roll on my messed up side or will PT strengthen and straighten out my foot. If my left foot worked properly, I would be totally convinced that the Hoka One One is the shoe for me. This minimalist runner would be going maximalist. The jury is still out, however, as to which shoe will let me run in the best way for my body.
Don't just take my word for it. Here is a recent review of the Bondi Bs by Marsall Ulrich, ultra runner, adventure racer, and author of the book Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America.