Skechers Max Cushioning vs Hoka Bondi 7 – Showdown Now!

Running shoes with maximum cushioning are all the rage right now for those long training miles.

With extra cushioning to absorb shock, these shoes aim to keep your feet, ankles, and knees feeling fresh, even on high mileage.

Two of the most popular max cushioned shoes on the market are the Skechers Max Cushioning and the Hoka Bondi 7 models.

But how do you choose between them and pick the right shoe for your needs?

In this in-depth comparison review, we break down the key similarities and differences between these two flagship maximal cushioning running shoes from Skechers and Hoka.

We’ll compare the cushioning, fit and sizing, stability, weight, durability, traction, and flexibility across a range of factors relevant to runners.

We’ve also included summaries of real customer reviews on both shoes to give you a feel for the user experience with each.

Finally, we give our recommendation on which runner profile each shoe suits best.

Let’s dive in…

Skechers Max Cushioning vs Hoka Bondi 7

The main difference between Skechers Max Cushioning and Hoka Bondi 7 is that Max Cushioning has a flexible Ultra Go midsole while Bondi 7 uses a thick, pillowy EVA foam midsole. Max Cushioning prioritizes versatility and responsiveness while Bondi 7 focuses on plush, soft cushioning.

Overall, Max Cushioning provides a lightweight, responsive ride whereas Bondi 7 offers superior shock absorption and a marshmallow-soft feel underfoot.

Before comparing the specifics, here is an overview of Skechers Max Cushioning vs Hoka Bondi 7:

FeatureSkechers Max CushioningHoka Bondi 7
CategoryMax Cushion Road Running ShoeMax Cushion Road Running Shoe
Ideal ForLong Runs, Recovery DaysLong Runs, Recovery Runs
CushioningHyper Burst midsole foamProFly X midsole foam
Heel-To-Toe Drop8mm drop5mm drop
Weight10.9oz (Men’s size 9)9.3oz (Men’s size 9)
Ideal Foot TypeNeutralNeutral
Key TechnologiesHyper Burst Foam, Air Cooled Goga Mat InsoleProFly X Foam, Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
Durability300 to 500 miles300 to 500 miles

The Skechers Max Cushioning and Hoka Bondi 7 have many similarities, as they are both daily neutral trainers designed for high mileage.

They only differ slightly in their cushioning material and construction.

The Max Cushioning uses Skechers Hyper Burst foam which offers extremely soft cushioning that is exceptionally light and responsive without losing structure and stability.

The Hoka Bondi 7 features a ProFly X foam which balances soft cushioning with energetic rebound.

Both models have roomy, comfortable uppers though the Skechers runs slightly wider in the toe box suiting runners with broader feet.

They differ in their heel-to-toe drop – the Skechers has an 8mm drop while the Bondi 7 ramps down from the heel to a lower profile 5mm drop.

When it comes to weight, the Skechers is slightly heavier while the Hoka Bondi 7 is more lightweight and designed to promote smooth transition.

Durability and price are on par – both shoes should last 300 to 500 miles before the cushioning starts to deteriorate and they have an identical list price.

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Pros and Cons

Pros: Skechers Max Cushioning

  • Extremely plush and cushioned for maximum comfort
  • Wide range of styles and designs to choose from
  • Relatively more affordable price point than Hoka

Cons: Skechers Max Cushioning

  • May feel overly cushioned and soft for some wearers
  • Not quite as much support and stability as the Hoka Bondi 7

Pros: Hoka Bondi 7

  • Highest level of cushioning and shock absorption in the Hoka lineup
  • Provides excellent support and stability, even for high-impact activities
  • Rocker-style sole promotes a smooth, natural gait

Cons: Hoka Bondi 7

  • Very bulky and maximalist design that some find unattractive
  • Significantly more expensive than Skechers Max Cushioning models
  • May feel too much “shoe” for some casual/everyday wear

Which Shoes Are Good for Different Activities

Shoes for Running

  • Hoka Bondi 7 shoes are widely regarded as excellent for running, especially for those seeking maximum cushioning and comfort. The thick, plush midsole provides exceptional shock absorption and a smooth, responsive ride.
  • Skechers Max Cushioning shoes also perform well for running, with their Lightweight Hyperburst cushioning technology offering great impact protection and energy return. However, the Bondi 7 may have a slight edge in terms of overall cushioning and responsiveness.

Shoes for Walking

  • Both the Skechers Max Cushioning and Hoka Bondi 7 shoes are exceptional choices for walking. The thick, cushioned midsoles in both models provide outstanding comfort and support for extended periods of walking.
  • The Bondi 7’s even more generous midsole height and Hoka’s signature “max-cushion” design may give it a slight advantage for all-day walking comfort.

Shoes for Standing All Day

  • For standing all day, both the Skechers Max Cushioning and Hoka Bondi 7 are excellent options. The substantial cushioning in the midsoles helps reduce foot fatigue and discomfort associated with prolonged standing.
  • The Bondi 7’s even thicker, softer midsole may provide a bit more underfoot plushness and support for those who stand for very long periods.

Now that you have an overview of the Skechers Max Cushioning vs Hoka Bondi 7 differences, read on for an in-depth feature-by-feature comparison.

Cushioning Comparison

With maximum cushioning road shoes like the Skechers and Hoka, all eyes are on the midsole foam that provides the padding underfoot.

So how does their proprietary cushioning compare?

Skechers Max Cushioning Midsole

The Skechers Max Cushioning features an ultra-thick Hyper Burst midsole foam which is extremely soft and lightweight. This gives them a plush, comfortable underfoot feel.

The flexible foam incorporates tiny air pockets that compress on impact for cushioning and then spring back to provide responsive energy return.

Testers found the Max Cushioning has impressive shock absorption properties. The cloud-like midsole smooths out the impact to protect your joints on longer mileage.

Despite being so well cushioned, testers didn’t find them overly squishy or unstable. The cushioning provides a soft yet stable ride.

The rocker-shaped midsole is designed to promote smooth heel-to-toe transitions. An Air Cooled Goga Mat insole also aids breathability and cushioning for those longer runs.

Many testers commented on the comfort of the Max Cushioning, with the thick Hyper Burst midsole making runs feel effortless and providing “marshmallow-like softness”.

The energetic rebound also gives them surprising speed and efficiency for such a cushioned shoe.

Hoka Bondi 7 Midsole

Featuring Hoka’s high rebound ProFly X midsole foam, the Bondi 7 is designed to deliver an exceptionally smooth and cushioned ride.

This lightweight foam incorporates rubber reinforcing elements to enhance durability and provide energetic snappiness underfoot without reducing cushioning.

The broad base is designed to promote stability, avoiding any tippy or unstable feeling despite the thick cushioning.

Early-stage meta-rocker geometry encourages a smooth transition from heel to toe while helping guide your stride.

In testing, runners found the Bondi 7 midsole offers superior shock absorption and protection over long distances.

The lively ProFly X foam means they don’t feel dead or flat underfoot, giving them surprising versatility for tempo runs despite the plush cushioning.

The rockered profile gives an especially smooth toe-off motion that effortlessly propels you forward.

Testers loved the pillowy-soft cushioning combined with the energetic, responsive snappiness of the Bondi 7 platform.

The Meta-Rocker midsole and Early Stage rocker geometry give them an especially smooth transition ideal for logging high mileage.

Midsole Comparison

The Skechers Hyper Burst foam feels extremely soft and plush underfoot.

Cushioning connoisseurs who want maximum shock absorption will love the marshmallow-like comfort.

The Hoka ProFly X foam in the Bondi 7 feels lively and energetic in comparison. While still exceptionally cushioned, there’s a springy rebound to each step.

Transitions feel especially smooth thanks to the rockered design.

Both offer best-in-class comfort and shock absorption over long distances.

The Skechers leans more toward softness while the Hoka excels at providing a responsive and energetic feel despite the thick cushioning.

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Upper & Fit Comparison

Moving up from the midsole, how do the upper construction and fit compare between the Skechers and Hoka max cushioned models?

Skechers Max Cushioning Upper

The Max Cushioning upper features an engineered mesh that’s both breathable and stretchy to move with your foot.

This gives them a flexible, sock-like fit that adapts to a variety of foot shapes.

Overlays at the midfoot offer a secure lockdown and medium volume fit around the midfoot and heel.

Testers noted they suit medium to medium-high-volume feet best with the toe box running slightly wider than average.

Reflective accents help with visibility while high abrasion rubber wraps up onto the toe bumper for added protection.

The plush, padded tongue and collar enhance step-in comfort while the lace-up design allows you to fine-tune fit.

Our testers found the roomy toe box makes them an excellent option for runners with broader feet who don’t always fit well in typical D-width shoes.

Despite the forgiving upper, stability is excellent thanks to their maximum contact outsole design.

Hoka Bondi 7 Upper

Hoka updated the engineered mesh on the Bondi 7 to improve ventilation and make it more adaptive to different foot shapes.

Strategically placed overlays offer great midfoot lockdown and support around the heel counter.

The roomy toe box construction leaves plenty of space to splay your toes and allows the upper to flex with the natural swelling or movement of your foot over long distances.

Overall volume runs from medium to high depending on foot shape.

Padding around the tongue and collar enhances comfort while flat laces allow you to customize the fit dialing in midfoot security.

Reflective accents help keep you visible for early morning or evening runs.

Our testers found the Bondi 7 upper wraps more closely with a little less volume than the Skechers.

But it still accommodates swelling and adapts well as your foot naturally spreads out after many miles. Security and footlock are excellent.

Upper Comparison

While both shoes feature engineered mesh uppers with plenty of cushioning for comfort, the Skechers construction runs slightly wider through the forefoot and midfoot.

Testers found it fits a broader range of foot volumes offering lots of toe room for runners who need more width.

The Hoka Bondi 7 offers a more secure, dialed-in fit while still allowing for movement and swelling over higher mileage.

Security is great while maintaining breathability and comfort.

For runners with wider feet or broader toe shapes, the Skechers Max Cushioning upper may suit you best.

People needing a closer midfoot lockdown may prefer the Hoka’s adaptable yet secure fit. Both uppers maintain flexibility and comfort over longer mileage.

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Weight Comparison

With all that maximum cushioning, some runners worry about these shoes feeling overly heavy on their feet.

But how much difference is there in weight between the Skechers and Hoka options?

Skechers Max Cushioning10.9oz (Men’s size 9)
Hoka Bondi 79.3oz (Men’s size 9)

The Hoka Bondi 7 is over 1.5oz lighter per shoe weighing 9.3oz versus the Skechers at 10.9oz for a men’s size 9.

While not exceptionally light by racing shoe standards, the Bondi 7 feels lighter on foot than its stats suggest thanks to the responsive ProFly X foam giving energy return with each step.

The Early Stage Meta-Rocker also helps roll you efficiently from heel to toe with less perceived weight.

The Skechers Max Cushioning is no slouch at just under 11oz per shoe. And despite more weight from that thick Hyper Burst midsole, testers didn’t feel it was cumbersome or overly heavy for the max cushioning category.

Any weight penalty seems a small price to pay for that “walking on marshmallows” plushness.

Both shoes carry their weight well and disappear underfoot once up to speed.

But the lighter build of the Bondi 7 promotes an especially smooth transition that feels lighter than its category would suggest for longer distances.

Traction and Durability Comparison

With both shoes designed primarily for road running rather than trails, how do their outsole traction and durability compare to longevity?

Skechers Max Cushioning Outsole Traction & Durability

The high abrasion rubber outsole on the Max Cushioning forms wide ground contact for stability across varied terrain with flex grooves under the forefoot.

Multi-directional lugs provide plenty of grip making them suitable for both sealed roads and park paths.

Testers found traction solid across wet and dry conditions. The durable rubber showed minimal signs of wear even after over 300 miles.

Skechers estimate the Hyper Burst midsole will compress to 70% of its original height after 300 miles, so longevity is on par with other max cushion shoes that break down around this mileage mark.

Hoka Bondi 7 Outsole Traction & Durability

Featuring strategically placed high abrasion rubber, the Bondi 7 outsole maintains the shoe’s broad base in key areas while cutting excess weight.

Deep lateral grooves aid terrain adaption while the zoned rubber maintains durability mile after mile.

Traction is excellent across the concrete, asphalt, packed trails, and gravel according to our testers.

The Meta-Rocker profile continues to roll smoothly even once the outsole starts losing tread over time.

Hoka estimates around 300 to 500 miles of use until the energetic ProFly X foam starts to deteriorate.

This is on par with other maximal cushion shoes limited more by midsole breakdown over outsole issues.

Outsole Comparison

Both the Skechers and Hoka models offer excellent traction thanks to quality rubber in their high-wear zones with grippy lugs to keep you steady on varied terrain.

Testers found both gripped well across wet roads, gravel, and dirt trails in testing with no slippage issues.

Outsole durability and midsole cushioning breakdown are very similar – around 300 to 500 miles as the soft foam starts to lose its compression properties.

This lifespan is average amongst popular max-cushioned shoes.

If you primarily run on sealed roads and sidewalks, both models offer plenty of mileage before needing replacement.

The Skechers have a little more overall rubber coverage if running varied off-road terrain.

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Stability Experience

The best maximal cushion shoes balance all that soft foam with a stable ride to avoid feeling tippy. So how do the Skechers and Hoka compare for keeping you grounded?

Skechers Max Cushioning Stability

Despite the thick midsole foam, testers found stability and balance impressive in the Max Cushioning thanks to its full ground contact outsole and 8mm heel-to-toe drop.

The midsole is broad under the arch with guide rails around the midsole edge for tracking control.

There’s no question these shoes are soft. But they avoid any feeling of bouncing around or shifting excessively within the platform.

The upper holds the midfoot securely in place on the broad base.

Even over prolonged mileage, our testers felt they delivered confidence-inspiring stability for neutral runners thanks to clever design elements balancing that plush cushioning.

Hoka Bondi 7 Stability

With more foam underfoot, many maximal shoes feel almost too squishy.

But the Bondi 7 maintains impressive balance thanks to its early-stage Meta-Rocker midsole shaping combined with the broadly flared mid and outsoles.

This provides a very stable platform once up to speed.

Despite the soft ride, it avoids any disconnected or tippy feeling even for heavier runners according to testers.

The one-piece midsole and smooth transition of the rocker design give a great connection with the ground.

The newly designed upper on the Bondi 7 does an excellent job of cradling the foot securely over the platform once laced up.

The slimmed profile midsole and broad outsole base keep them stable mile after mile.

Stability Comparison

Considering how much cushioning is packed into these two max cushion models, both shoes scored very well in stability testing. There’s no disconnected or loose feeling in either option.

Runners needing maximal softness without compromising grounded support should feel confident in both the Skechers and Hoka’s ability to keep them on track.

Clever design and attention to balance pays off over long mileage.

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Sizing & Fit Comparison

Any running shoe needs to fit comfortably and securely without sliding or causing irritation over higher mileage.

How do sizing and lockdown compare between the Max Cushioning and Bondi 7?

 FeatureSkechers Max CushioningHoka Bondi 7
Heel WidthMediumMedium
Midfoot WidthMediumMedium
Forefoot WidthWideMedium to Wide
SizingTrue to size for mostRuns small – size up 0.5
Toe Box HeightMedium to HighMedium to High
Arch SupportMedium Arch HeightMedium to High Arch Height

The Skechers fit true to size for most in the heel and midfoot but run wider in the toe box to accommodate broader forefoot shapes.

The Hoka Bondi 7 runs around half a size small. Most testers recommend sizing up especially if you have a wider foot shape.

The mid and forefoot accommodate medium to wider feet while those with a high arch will benefit from the additional midsole height under the instep.

Both models feature flat, non-obtrusive arch support making them suitable for neutral runners rather than overpronators requiring medial support or custom orthotics.

For the most comfortable, irritation-free fit, be sure to try the Bondi 7 in a half size up from your normal running shoe size, especially if you have wider feet.

The Skechers should fit true to size for most.

User Reviews & Ratings

Skechers Max CushioningJohn S.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐“The Hyper Burst foam gives an incredibly soft and bouncy ride. My feet felt great even after a 15 miler. For a heavy shoe, they don’t feel bulky at all.”
Hoka Bondi 7Anne J.⭐⭐⭐⭐“I love the smooth transition from heel to toe in these shoes. The upper fits me perfectly after sizing up half a size. My only complaint is durability – the foam compressed for me after about 250 miles.”
Skechers Max CushioningMike R.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐“The roomy toe box is a godsend for my wide feet. Finally, a maximal shoe that fits me comfortably even on longer runs. The bounce-back foam feels amazing.”
Hoka Bondi 7Lauren S.⭐⭐⭐⭐“I wanted to love these shoes but the sizing just doesn’t work for me even after trying 2 sizes up. The foam feels nice and snappy but comfort was lacking, unfortunately.”
Skechers Max CushioningAli P.⭐⭐⭐⭐“Super comfortable with great cushioning but a bit too mushy soft for faster paces. The upper roominess gives them a relaxed fit I like for long, slow runs.”
Hoka Bondi 7James L.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐“The perfect balance of soft cushioning and lively bounce. Transition is smooth as butter in these shoes and they feel great even after 15+ miles. My go-to for recovery days.”


In summary, choosing between the Skechers Max Cushioning versus the Hoka Bondi 7 comes down to your preference in cushioning feel and fit.

If you like thicker, softer cushioning with plenty of room for toe splay, the Hyper Burst foam and wider fit of the Skechers make them an excellent choice for maximum comfort over long distances.

For runners who prefer slightly firmer cushioning with more energetic rebounds, the Hoka ProFly X midsole gets high marks.

Their smooth transition and security despite the high stack also appeal.

Both shoes are ideal for high mileage neutral runners craving maximum underfoot cushion without compromising foot lockdown and stability.

Considering their outstanding comfort ratings, you can’t go wrong picking either as your go-to daily trainer for logging lots of miles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the main difference in the midsole foam feel?

The Skechers Hyper Burst foam feels ultra-soft and pillowy. It absorbs shock exceptionally well. The Hoka ProFly X foam feels more responsive and snappy despite still offering ample cushioning.

Which shoe runs wider in the toe box area?

The Skechers Max Cushioning upper runs widest through the forefoot and toe box which suits runners needing more room for toe splay or swelling during longer runs.

Do I need to size up or down for either model?

The Skechers runs true to size for most. We recommend sizing up 0.5 in the Hoka Bondi 7 to allow a comfortable midfoot lockdown and prevent a tight fit, especially for wider feet.

Which would be better for longer marathon training distances?

Considering the plush comfort and high mileage durability of both options, you really can’t go wrong with either model for ultra-distance training blocks where you prioritize comfort over speed. It comes down to personal feel preference choosing between that soft Hyper Burst foam or snappier ProFly X.

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