Hoka Bondi 8 SR Work Shoe – Great For People Who Are on Their Feet All Day
Hokas apparently aren’t just for runners; they’re for service and retail workers too. Therefore, I was excited to try out the Hoka Bondi 8 SR work shoe.
I first began seeing people wearing Hokas in a retail environment a few years ago. I didn’t think much of it, because they were also runners. For them, wearing Hokas made sense.
In the years in between, I saw more and more people wearing Hokas- people I knew were not runners. When I asked them how they liked them, they swore by their comfort. I kept all the positive testimony in mind, but at the time, I wasn’t working in an environment where colorful running shoes were allowable work attire.
A few months ago, I started working at REI and observed that several of my co-workers (notably the ones who worked in footwear) were all wearing Hoka Bondi 8s.
After complaining about my feet hurting after the first couple of shifts, the 67-year-old sales lead took one look at my current work shoes (which had been serviceable to me for years) and said “Two words. Hoka Bondi.”
Then, I noticed quite a few nurses and retail workers coming in looking for Hokas and snapping them up, a couple of pairs at a time. Clearly, Hokas had a cult following for a reason.
I had been holding out because my expensive work shoes were fairly newish, but I really had to see what the Hoka hype was all about. Especially since my sore feet were compelling me to get them. I mean, if people who spend 12 hour shifts on their feet were buying literal boxes of Hokas I needed to try them.
I was absolutely ecstatic to learn that the Hoka Bondi 8 SR work shoe. It checked all the boxes for me: practical, slip-resistant tread, and constructed from water-resistant leather.
Up until REI, nearly all my jobs in service and retail required nondescript black shoes with nonslip soles. Also, I was unsure of wearing something so flashy with bright colors. I couldn’t wait to wear them to work!
My initial impression when they arrived was that they looked kinda weird- like sneakers with mega wedges. I tried them on and felt like a towering 5’2” instead of 5’0”. How would I get used to these? But they were comfy. Ohhh so comfy! Like walking on pillows.
I had to wait nearly a week to wear them to work. I felt the anticipation rising, like a kid waiting for the show and tell in elementary school.
So, the big day came and went and no one said one word during my entire shift. Not a peep. Talk about a letdown! But my feet thanked me. For the first time, they did not hurt. I spent all day on my feet walking for hours on a concrete floor and sometimes crawling up and down ladders- my feet were not tired or sore at all.
The rest of the week was much like the first day. My feet felt great! Boosted by the memory foam collar, EVA midsole, and early stageMetaRocker™ (like the Hoka Bondi 8 running shoe, Hoka Bondi 8 SR is mega cushioned!), my hardworking feet were cradled in comfort.
Unable to bear no one mentioning my shoes any longer, I caved in during week two and casually mentioned my Hoka Bondi 8 SRs to two of my co-workers.
Apparently, the reason no one mentioned my Hokas was that no one realized they were Hokas.
The all-leather top and conservative appearance offered no clue they were Hokas (at least in appearance, anyway). And, like me, no one else was aware Hoka made work shoes for people in retail or service.
Once they realized they were a variation of the Hoka Bondi 8 running shoe (unofficial staff favorite at the location where I work), the questions came pouring in. How did I like the tread? Were they stable? Were they too heavy? Did the leather make my feet too hot?
So, yes. I liked the tread. I somehow felt safe in the knowledge that these were created with a workplace and slippery surfaces in mind.
Secondly, while they felt a bit heavy in the box, the superior cushioning made them surprisingly light to get around in.
Also, the leather did not make my feet feel hot because I am used to wearing all-leather work shoes.
The final verdict?
Hoka lives up to its reputation- I finally got to experience what the hype is about and definitely recommend these to anyone who spends long hours on their feet. Finally, all that legendary Hoka technology is packed into a functional work shoe.
The Hoka Bondi 8 SR is a sturdy workplace shoe that can get me through an entire demanding day of walking miles on hard concrete, bending down to lift heavy objects, scrambling up and down ladders, etc. Well designed, this is a solid work shoe that is so comfortable that your feet will survive long, punishing days at work.
The toe box looked wide, but they fit true to size.
They’re not pretty shoes, but that’s not the point. I only wish there was a slip-on version without shoelaces.
Dr. Of Stoke
Freelance writer, bicyclist, outdoor recreation enthusiast, social justice advocate, and mom to her furbaby, Sansa.
A Colorado native, Kate considers the outdoors her mother ship. She brings her passion for bicycling, the environment, and issues of diversity to her writing. Her primary outdoor recreation activities are mountain biking, road biking, nordic skiing, alpine skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and peak bagging Colorado’s 14ers.
Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Colorado State University and later an MSEd and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University. In addition to her education, Kate’s background serving on the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and experience working for non-profits and bicycle sales well position her to bring depth and understanding to the complex changes currently taking place in the outdoor recreation industry.
The Dr. of Stoke has been part of the Engearment team since 2016.