New Balance


New Balance 860v12 Review


The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v12 has been a mainstay in the New Balance line-up for years. The 12th iteration has received considerable upgrades for the past two years. Its smoother and more comfortable than ever while still being supremely stable and secure.

The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v12 remains a workhorse of an everyday trainer for runners who need some additional support for pronation control with some modern, livelier features.

New Balance 860v12 Review


The 860v12 features a two-layer FuelCell/Fresh Foam X midsole package for the first time. This is a significant update that’s made it softer and slightly bouncier. It also has an improved engineered mesh upper and new lacing system that has enhanced the fit, feel and breathability.

Stability is derived from the firm and fairly traditional medial post — a large, wedge of higher-density foam under the arch along the inside edge of the foot — as well as the slightly wider footprint from the midfoot through the toe box.

While it remains a very stable shoe, the key aspect of the 860v12 is that it’s a smoother type of stable and not rigid and clunky like some of the previous editions.

New Balance replaced the elf-like Ultra Heel feature of the previous edition of the 860 with a more tradition padded heel collar with a slight flare to reduce Achilles tension.

The new upper, an updated lacing system, a firm heel counter and a heavier embroidered “N” logo combine for a secure all-around fit.

New Balance 860v12 Review


The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v12 fits true to size with a medium fit from heel through the midfoot and a noticeably wider toe box than it previous had. (It’s available in two widths for men and women.)

There’s a sense of cushy softness as you as you step into these shoes and lace ‘em up. This is  because of the soft Fresh Foam X midsole top layer and also from the premium sockliner, padded tongue, lightly padded heal collar and the locked-down hold of the upper.

While the FuelCell foam provides a solid foundation that makes it extremely stable on the run, the layer of squishy Fresh Foam X cushioning helps create a softer, smoother and springier ride. It’s a good mix that feels great while still providing the stability that runners expect.


Runners who need or appreciate a super-stable training shoe for high-mileage training will like the 860v12 a lot. But it’s been improved so much, those who ran in the previous two editions probably won’t believe it’s the same model.

While it was a bit one-dimensional previously, the new model is more dynamic and versatile. It’s best for weekend long runs and mid-week maintenance runs, but it can definitely hold its own on moderately fast tempo runs, spontaneous fartlek runs and some longer intervals.

New Balance 860v12 Review


The Fresh Foam X midsole compound is the softest and most compliant foam New Balance has in its lineup. The thin, full-length slice of that foam on the top of the midsole provides a hint of bouncy responsiveness in every stride. The ride is secured by the thick layer of FuelCell foam on the bottom.

The outsole is made entirely of blown rubber. This gives it sufficient grip on wet and dry pavement and plenty of durability. It’s very similar to the previous two editions of the shoe, with a slightly different pattern and marginally wider flex grooves.

Overall this shoe shines as a tried-and-true stability model with some modern flair. It’s not going to blow your hair back or inspire speed, but it’s reliable and slightly cushier and more comfortable than its predecessors.

New Balance 860v12 Review


The biggest downside to this shoe is that it’s heavier some of its contemporaries in the moderate stability category. If you’re running mostly slower to moderate paces, that’s fine. But if you running longer or faster, you’ll definitely notice the weight.




New Balance 860v12 Review



Women's 860v12 Review




Reebok Nano X1 Review


The Nano X1 is Reebok’s premier training shoe and one of our bestselling all around cross training shoe for runners.  This year we have an exclusive colorway available only at JackRabbit.  Come find out what makes the Nano X1 a perfect cross training shoe for runners and

The Nano X1 has been designed to be the most supportive, comfortable, and versatile training shoe in Reebok’s collection. The goal was to make a version that was ready to take on and tackle any fitness demand thrown its way. That means lateral, vertical movements as well as stability for the demands of strength training.

Reebok Nano X1 - men's and women's


A silhouette born more than 10 years ago that was originally created to meet the unique demands of athletes within the box, Reebok has continually evolved the Nano franchise over time to adapt with the fitness landscape and service the growing needs of the wider wellness community.

The Nano X1 is the most refined iteration of the popular training shoe, designed to be as versatile as today’s passionate fitness lover it was created for.

“Just like any great athlete who’s always looking to hit their next PR, we are not going to stop trying to set a new one either when it comes to creating great product.  And we’re confident, the Nano X1 is our best training shoe yet,” said Tal Short, Reebok Senior Product Manager.  “During a time when fitness is so critical to not just our physical, but more importantly, our mental well-being, we’re incredibly proud to be able to support the fitness community with a product that can help individuals and athletes of all levels train at their best.”

Reebok Nano X1 - side view


JackRabbit is one of Reebok’s premier run specialty partners. Knowing the importance of cross-training for runners, JackRabbit has helped expand the Official Shoe of Fitness & Reebok’s training messaging to the running consumer. This colorway is exclusive to Reebok & JackRabbit and is a celebration of that partnership and Reebok’s commitment to expanding into the larger fitness community.



The case for cross-training is simple: runners tend to stay healthier if they include a variety of physical activities, in addition to running, in their training program

Choosing a low-impact cross-training activity, such as yoga or cycling, will give your muscles a break from the high-impact stress of logging mile after mile. Giving your muscles a break in this way is imperative to a training cycle as it gives them a chance to rest, recover, and build back stronger.

Additionally, layering in strength training days that focus on core functional movements ensures that you have a strong foundation that won’t break down on long runs or during high-mileage weeks. The balance of these different types of activities is what will allow you to stay strong, recover right, and help mitigate overuse injury risk to ensure you can run stronger, longer.

The Reebok Nano X1 is  . It’s a key footwear option for those non-running days, no matter what type of activity you choose to add variety into your training.

Reebok Nano X1 - Cross training for runners


At Reebok, they are inspired by anyone who wants to move, no matter their movement. From a fitness newbie just learning the ropes, to a well-seasoned athlete, and everyone in between.

For the Reebok Nano franchise, this has meant expanding the shoe to the larger fitness community by making the most versatile version of our traditional training product to date.

Designed to be the official shoe of fitness, the Nano X1 fuses the comfort of a running shoe while maintaining the performance credentials of a superior training shoe in order to meet the demands of the modern-day fitness landscape.

It’s versatile in its nature, so whether it’s HIIT, bootcamp, cardio, dance, boxing, or functional training, the Nano X1 was engineered to perform and do the job it designed to excel at! Leaving you, fit, trained and ready to perform.


Comfort: The Nano X1 fuses Reebok’s Floatride Energy cushioning of a running shoe while maintaining the performance and stability of a training shoe

Speed: The Nano X1 boasts a sleek shape and design allow for maximum speed and run ability.

Control: For training, a stable base is key and the Nano X1 delivers stability to support varied workouts.




Reebok Nano X1 - Men's


Reebok Nano X1 - Womens




HOKA Bondi X Review HOKA Bondi X Tech Specs HOKA Bondi X Pros HOKA Bondi X Review

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What Racing Shoes Are Best for Me?


By Brian Metzler

After what seems like an eternity, fall race season is back. But it’s also prime time for running a half marathon. Or a 5K. Or a trail running race. Or even a triathlon.

But you know that because signed up for a fall race, trained hard for the past several months and are almost ready to get after it. But what shoes should you lace up on race day? Here are 10 great models to consider as you count down the days until you’re toeing the starting line again.

Adidas Adios Pro 2

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2, $220

Best for: Half Marathon / Marathon

Weights: 8.0 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 6.8 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 8.5 mm (39mm heel, 30.5mm forefoot)

The Buzz: One of the elite super shoes unveiled in the past year, the Adios Pro 2 has is one of the most prevalent shoes on the podium at top marathons around the world. It’s a thickly cushioned shoe with carbon-fiber energy rods embedded in the lively LIghtstrike Pro midsole. Finished off with a featherweight, breathable upper and Continental carbon rubber segments on the outsole, this is best-in-class long-distance racing shoe

Is it the shoe for you? The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 is like a smooth-riding sports car that’s built to go fast. It feels high off the ground (because it is), so there’s a trade-off for the relative lack of proprioceptive connection with the roads. But when you’re running as fast as they shoes will take you, it will feel like your feet don’t touch the ground.


ASICS Noosa Tri

ASICS Noosa Tri 13, $130

Best For: Triathlon / 5K to Half Marathon

Weights: 8.0 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 6.5 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 5mm (34mm heel, 29mm forefoot)

The Buzz: This brightly colored speedster is as loud as it is versatile. It’s a fast and light shoe that can be used for fast training workouts or racing on the roads or in a triathlon. It doesn’t have a carbon-fiber plate, but it does have a rocker shape and a firm feeling underfoot that creates forward propulsion. 

Is it the shoe for you? The Noosa Tri has been re-tooled a bit and is comfortable, fast and reliable. Plus, at $130 it’s very affordable compared to a lot of other super shoes. It has triathlon-specific features, including drainage holes and an interior feeling that makes it feel great without wearing socks. But let’s face it, it’s still the wild colorful patterns that draw everyone to this shoe as a race-day burner.


Nike Vaporfly Next% 2

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2, $250

Best For: 10K to Marathon

Weights: 6.9 oz. (men’s size 9.0); xx oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (40mm heel, 32mm forefoot)

The Buzz: The undisputed fastest marathon shoe on the planet, the neutral-oriented ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 it features Nike’s hyper-responsive ZoomX cushioning foam and a curvy, full-length carbon-fiber plate to increase forward propulsion. It’s been updated with a more breathable mesh and a little bit more structure to hold the foot in place, but the basic premise is the same: lace ‘em up and run fast!

Is it the shoe for you? Runners think about two things when they consider buying a pair of ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2: their current PRs and if they want to pay $250 to lower them. The answer is often yes, because the shoe is the closest thing to a short cut a marathoner can get. There are no short cuts in running. You still have to do the work, but this shoe definitely gives you a huge advantage over most others.


Nike Alphafly Next%

Nike Zoom Alphafly Next% Flyknit, $275

Best For: Half-Marathon to Marathon

Weights: 7.4 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 6.3 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm (40mm heel, 36mm forefoot)

The Buzz: The evolution of Nike’s paradigm-changing carbon-fiber plated-shoe technology has led to this, a maximally cushioned shoe that induces efficient forward propulsion with the aid of a curvy plate and dual Air Zoom units in the forefoot. It has considerably more foam but a lower heel-toe offset than the original Vaporfly 4% and Vaporfly Next% shoes.

Is it the shoe for you? Although it is slightly heavier and higher off the ground than the original two Vaporfly models, this shoe serves up noticeably more energy return, stability and impact protection with a much smoother ride.


Womens Hoka Rincon 3 Review

HOKA Rincon 3, $115

Best For: 5K/10K/Half Marathon/Marathon

Weights: 7.4 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 6.2 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 5mm (33mm heel, 28mm forefoot)

The Buzz: Light, cushy and fast, the Rincon 3 is a lively and versatile neutral-oriented shoe at a budget-friendly price. It has an exceptional cushion-to-weight ratio and serves up an easy-rolling ride, which allow it to be a great shoe for long runs, speedier workouts and recovery jogs.

Is it the shoe for you? The midsole is squishy soft, but the ride is very lively and agile. It doesn’t produce a bouncy sensation, but more of a fluid, rolling motion that comes from the rocker (or concave) geometry of the outsole-midsole undercarriage. It’s a heck of a deal at $115, both because it’s fast and versatile enough to be an everyday trainer or speed workout shoe during the week.


Hoka Carbon X 2 - Women's

HOKA Carbon X, $180

Best For: 5K to Marathon

Weights: 7.5 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 6.3 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 5mm (35mm heel, 30 mm forefoot)

The Buzz: A lightweight racing flat built on a stable midsole platform embedded with a carbon-fiber plate, the Rocket X combines responsive agility with soft, forgiving landings. Unlike the bouncy sensation of many super shoes, the Rocket X feels firm, smooth and resilient and more engaged with the ground.

Is it the shoe for you? Compared to other racing shoes with carbon-fiber plates, the Rocket X’s plate is far straighter. As such, it feels like it lifts you onto your toes more than it rolls off the toes. That produces a powerful lever to propels you forward, but requires a strong stride up on your toes and forward-balanced, driving with calves and posterior chain.


Saucony Endorphin Pro + Review

Saucony Endorphin Pro+, $250

Best For: 5K/10K/Half Marathon/Marathon

Weights: 6.9 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 5.9 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (35.5mm heel, 27.5mm forefoot)

The Buzz: The Saucony Endorphin Pro+ is a featherweight, top-tier racing shoe built on an energetic foam midsole embedded with a curvy carbon-fiber plate that enhances forward propulsion. Designed for all-out racing from 5K to the marathon, it carries a higher price tag than the Endorphin Pro 2 ($200) but it’s lighter, more lively and faster than its predecessor because it has a slightly leaner foam midsole.

Is it the shoe for you? The Endorphin Pro+ is an all-out speed merchant, capable of a wide range of running distances and it’s not as bouncy as some of the other models in the super shoe category. The midsole foam is made from the same energetic PWRRUN PB compound as the previous versions of the Endorphin Pro 2, but this edition has a slightly leaner shape and a new flyweight upper and, as a result, it’s quite a bit lighter and more agile.


Altra Lone Peak 5

Altra Lone Peak 5, $130

Best For: Trail Running 5K to Marathon

Weights: 10.5 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 9.5 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 0mm (26mm heel, 26mm forefoot)

The Buzz: A reliable trail running shoe built on a level or zero-drop platform, the Lone Peak 5 is offers good cushioning, great traction and exceptional agility. The new AltraEGO midsole foam is absorbent and extremely responsive, putting a bit of a resilient spring in every stride. Like every Altra shoe, it features a slightly roomier foot-shaped toe box, which is especially appreciated on downhill sections and on hot days when feet tend to swell.

Is it the shoe for you? This is one of the best-selling trail running shoes in the U.S., but the key is whether or not you can adapt to a zero-drop platform. If you’re a fit runner or someone who has been running in low-drop shoes for a while, you’re going to love this shoe for its proprioceptive feel for the ground and the traction its outsole provides.


Saucony Peregrine 11 - women's

Saucony Peregrine 11, $120

Best For: Trail Running 5K to Marathon

Weights: 10.8 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 9.7 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm (28mm heel, 24mm forefoot)

The Buzz: The Peregrine is a versatile, neutral-oriented trail running shoe that has the comfort and smoothness of a road running shoe with a low-to-the-ground feel and a nice blend of cushioning, traction and protection. It’s a classic, do-everything off-road runner, ideal for smooth, rolling dirt paths, moderately technical routes with some rocks, roots, gravel and other obstacles, as well as sloppy trails with a lot of mud and moisture.

Is it the shoe for you? The Peregrine 11 has a new upper that’s more durable and protective than the previous edition. The moderate midsole cushioning is accompanied by a flexible rock plate that allows for a cushy, flexible and protective ride doesn’t inhibit the natural movement of your feet on variable terrain. The Peregrine isn’t exceptionally energetic, but it feels and runs lighter than its spec weight and serves up an agile, go-get-it sensation on most types of terrain.


On Cloudflyer 2020 - Men's

On Cloudflyer 2.0, $160

Best For: 5K to Half Marathon

Weights: 9.8 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 8.8 oz. (women’s size 7.0)

Heel-Toe Offset: 7mm (36mm heel, 29mm forefoot)

The Buzz: The Cloudflyer is lightweight, soft and secure high-mileage stability shoe built on a chassis of On’s unique Cloud cushioning system. Made from a new Helion Superfoam, the midsole is soft but also extremely resilient and it a great job at damping the impact with the ground, and  combined with the extra-stiff Speedboard, it also provides an energetic pop that crescendos into a noticeable burst of forward propulsion as the foot reaches the toe-off phase of the stride.

Is it the shoe for you? Although the Cloudflyer feels as light and nimble as many neutral-oriented shoes, it’s a modern stability shoe that offers significant medial-side support for runners who need it. Overpronating runners will appreciate that support throughout a run, but neutral-oriented runners will benefit from it on long runs or races when fatigue starts to result in form breakdown.




Marathon Training






RACE DAY: 11.07.21

You’ve trained long and hard for the 26.2 miles to the marathon finish line.  Before you collect your medal in Central Park, merely getting to the start line in NYC can be a marathon in itself!

We asked our running shoe guru and multiple-time New York City marathoner, Brian Metzler, to share his top ten tips on how to make the most of your time once you arrive in The Big Apple.

1. Arrive Early 
The Big Apple has plenty to see and do, but there’s no need to take any of it in before your race. My best advice is to arrive Thursday evening or Friday morning in time to visit the New York City Marathon Expo (and get it out of the way before the massive crowds congregate on Friday evening and all-day Saturday) so you can rest up, do shakeout runs on Friday and Saturday and then rest up for the race.

Keep in mind that everything takes longer in New York, including getting from the airport to your hotel and to the expo (at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center) and back, so plan accordingly. Save any sightseeing for after the race or another trip to the city.

2. Don’t Dawdle at the Expo – Move through, move on
The expo is different this year, and rightly so. With the pandemic limitations, check in and get your bib number and move on. There will be a JackRabbit Expo Store for last minute marathon essentials. Even if you’re going to be in and out, take a water bottle with you and snack to keep hydrated and fueled. This is not the time to mess up!

3. Don’t Run in New Gear
If you buy anything new before the race, don’t wear it on race day. That goes for shoes, socks, shorts or a shirt or sports bra. If you haven’t worn something running yet, you don’t want to find out on race day that it fits awkwardly, chafes or just doesn’t make you feel as fast and free as possible. Wear the stuff you brought with you, if nothing else as a testament to all the training you did in that gear.

4. Organize Your Race Kit
Check the weather for the race and know exactly what you’re going to wear on race day the on Saturday morning. Lay it all out out on your hotel bed (and yes, take a pic for Instagram) and pin you race bib to your shirt. If you’ve forgotten socks or gels or safety pins, it’s better to figure out with enough time to run to the corner store.

If you have last-minute needs on Saturday, don’t go back to the madness of the expo! Assuming you’re staying in Manhattan, head to the New York Running Company powered by JackRabbit at 10 Columbus Circle adjacent to Central Park. The stores are stocked for race weekend and ready.

5. Run in Central Park
No matter where you are from or where you’re staying in New York, Central Park is a place to behold—especially for runners. When some New Yorker friends told me years ago that they ran in the park almost every day, I scoffed, knowing that I ran different trails every day of the week in my trail running paradise in Boulder, Colorado. But the first time I ran there, I completely understood the magical aura and cherished wonderland of the park. Yes, it’s one of the only places New Yorkers have to run freely, but aside from that, the park is huge.

Central Park has numerous routes, trails, features and sights and you can sense a methodical rhythm of locals and tourists alike enjoying their daily affirmation. On race weekend, you’ll see runners from all over the world doing pre-race shakeout runs and taking pictures at the finish line. Head out for a light jog, but don’t get too caught up in amazement.

NYC Marathon - Before the race


6. Eat Early
New York City revs up for dinner later than many cities, and it’s always crowded. Consider heading to dinner (or ordering room service) much earlier than you normally would (by 6 p.m. at the latest) so you have time to relax, rest, review the course map and allow your meal to digest before you fall asleep. Don’t eat anything spicy or potentially volatile to your system! Also, drink plenty of water before you go to bed and continue the moment you wake up.

Plan in advance where you’ll have breakfast and what you’ll eat, taking into consideration the calories you need and what your system will be comfortable digesting (including coffee or tea). Best advice: Eating a bagel, a banana or cereal stashed in the mini frig in your hotel room is much better than battling lines in the hotel coffee shop. If you’re planning on ordering room service, do it as early as possible.

7. Plan Your Morning
The toughest part of the New York City Marathon is getting to the start village adjacent to the starting line on Staten Island on race morning. Shuttle buses are an option (especially for some affiliated organizations and training groups) but you have to sign up in advance. If you plan on taking a cab, Uber/Lyft or subway to the tip of lower Manhattan, plan on starting the process early because there might be a long wait and you’ll still have to catch the Staten Island Ferry from the Whitehall Terminal.

Expect the journey from your hotel room to the starting line to take as much as 90 minutes, but hope for much less.

8. Dress Warmly
It’s typically chilly, often breezing and sometimes raining when you get to Staten Island. You’ll probably have at least two hours hanging around in the athlete’s village prior to getting into your starting corral, so either sign up in advance to transport your morning layers of clothes via the race’s gear bag service or dress with an extra layer that you consider disposable. (Consider an old, long-sleeve race T-shirt or a plastic garbage bag with holes cut out for your arms and head.)

Keep those extra layers as you head to your starting corral and wait to ditch them just before you start. (If it’s raining, keep the makeshift plastic bag on until you get to Brooklyn!)

9. Fuel Up and Hydrate
You should be sipping water (or an endurance sports drink) from the time you wake up and on your journey to the starting line. Consider consuming an energy gel or bar in the hour before you start. And if you’re going to need to use a porta-potty, get in line early. Word to the wise: Carry your own toilet paper tucked in your shorts just in case.

Keep sipping from that bottle until you get into your starting corral. If you need to pee, hold it until the first set of toilets you see after crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in Brooklyn.

10. Stay Positive
As you meander to your starting corral, you’re bound to get nervous and a bit out of your element. This is an important time to trust in your training, no matter how fit you think you are. Everybody around you trained as well as they could given their own life situations and everybody dealt with missed workouts, illness, work and family stress, fatigue and plenty of other variables.

As you’re about to embark on a monumental run up and over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, give yourself an emotional high-five for embarking on this grand endeavor and making it to the starting line. You earned it!

Put a huge smile on your face and know that the ensuing 26.2 miles through New York’s five boroughs will be an experience of a lifetime, no matter how long it takes to get to the finish line in Central Park and how you feel along the way.

Have fun, run free and enjoy the journey!


Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He has run the New York City Marathon three times with lackluster results. But he considers each experience among his most memorable running experiences.

hoka one one


HOKA Bondi X Review


A maximally cushioned neutral-oriented training shoe designed for long-distance running on the roads, the HOKA Bondi X is a soft but energetic model built with a propulsive carbon-fiber plate embedded in its midsole.

Styled off the soft, comfortable and extra-cushy ride of the original Bondi, the new Bondi X features an extended rocker design for efficient heel-to-toe transitions and the firm plate for a boost of energy in every stride.

HOKA Bondi X Review


This is a brand new shoe in the HOKA line-up, one that combines the soft, plush feeling of previous Bondi models with the lively snap similar to HOKA’s Carbon X s racing shoes.

A new engineered mesh upper, a curvy carbon-fiber plate, a soft but resilient compression-molded EVA midsole and a shapely, swallowtail heel design for zonal energy disbursement and more fluid transitions all contribute to making the Bondi X what it is.

Like most HOKA running shoes, the midsole/outsole chassis has a pronounced rocker or convex shape that creates a rolling sensation to help guide your feet from touchdown to toe-off. It has an extended rocker design that took cues from the lengthy outsole that HOKA developed for its Clifton Edge shoe.

The addition of a carbon-fiber plate to a max-cushioned training shoe is designed to provide a stiffer, more energy-efficient movement through each stride. It’s not a nimble speedster, but it’s still a performance upgrade to the Bondi 7, which retains a softer step-through sensation for a different form of support and comfort.

The Bondi X has more cushion and a softer foam compound than the dual-density midsole of the Carbon X 2, which is more performance-oriented than the comfort-meets-performance combination of the Bondi X.

HOKA Bondi X Review


The Bondi X fits true to size with a snug feeling in the heel and a slightly more roomy volume in the midfoot and forefoot. These comfy cruisers feel luxuriously soft and reliably secure the moment you lace them up, thanks to a cushy heel collar, a slim, secure tongue and a premium footbed.

But this shoe is all about a best-in-class maximally cushioned ride, and what gives this shoe considerable juice is the newfangled combination of its thick midsole and the carbon-fiber plate that serves up stabilizing structure and a spring-loaded ride.

While it’s not as light as the Bondi 7 or as race-day sharp at the Carbon X 2, it’s an idyllic combination that creates a lively, long-lasting vibe from the first mile to the last.


Runners who appreciate maximally cushioned shoes with a smooth, spirited vibe will relish in the fit, the feel and the ride of the Bondi X on long training runs. It is unfathomably soft in the heel and midfoot but relatively light and snappy as it rolls through to the toe-off phase of a new stride.

It’s an innovative combination designed to make the propulsive, efficient ride of carbon-fiber plate technology accessible for all athletes, not just competitive runners. It’s built for comfort and performance on long runs, but it’s not agile or fast enough to be marathon racing shoe (unless the finishing goal is more about comfort than speed).

HOKA Bondi X Pros


The overall footprint of this shoe is extremely wide — one of the widest available in 2021. Combined with the structure of created by the carbon-fiber plate, it provides a feeling of inherent stability for most runners, especially on the latter miles of long runs.

Although it’s not a featherweight shoe, it’s very hard to believe a shoe with this much cushioning is as light as it is. The midsole foam is dense, but the carbon-fiber plate serves up a good amount of responsiveness so it’s a shoe that feels and runs lighter than you’d expect it to, given its considerable girth.

The low-profile engineered mesh upper offers a bit of foot hold from 3D hot-melt yarn overlays that’s designed for minimal weight and maximal breathability and durability.

It features a segmented outsole with sections of durable rubber in high-wear areas interspersed with exposed foam. The rubber provides exceptional grip on wet and dry surfaces, and the foam is durable enough that it won’t wear down significantly after months of high-mileage running.

While $200 is a relatively high price tag for a training shoe, our wear-testers believe the durability of this shoe will justify the investment. Based on the materials and how it is built, you can expect to get several hundred miles of quality training before you begin to see any wear and tear.

HOKA Bondi X Cons


The Bondi X is an exceptionally high-off-the-ground shoe and thus is not especially nimble. If you like feel-for-the-ground proprioception or shoe with notable agility, this might not be your favorite shoe.


Saucony Endorphin Pro + Review