Bondi is a standard series of running shoes, while Rincon appears with some surprising features from time to time. These Hoka’s flagships have similarities, yet some different characteristics may majorly affect your running.
For example, if you select Bondi 7 for recovery, it won’t be a wise choice.
According to users, the Rincon is a lightweight shoe with less cushioning and durable than the Bondi. While the Bondi provides a lot of cushioning, it also reduces road feel through its high stack height in the midsole.
So, I’ve come up with my personal experience to tell you which shoe is for what. I’ve been using Hoka Bondi 7 for years and recently bought a new pair of Rincon 3. So, I feel something needs to be shared with you to give a clear vision.
Hoka Rincon Vs Bondi: An Overall Comparison Between Hoka Rincon 3 Vs Bondi 7
If I conclude this in one sentence, Rincon has more flexibility, while Bondi 7 is stable as a rock. Just follow me till the end to learn more about them.
Sole Unit – Hoka Rincon 3 Vs Bondi 7
Rincon 3 is very soft and swift in the midsole. It has compression-molded EVA foam which is lightweight and spongy. This midsole is breathable, as it doesn’t let the forefoot sweat after many hours of use. Even after 80 kilos of running, I find it refreshing and dry.
The outsole of Rincon 3 is updated with new forefoot rugs and more layers of rubbers. Also, the heel has rubber coverage. When I run wearing these shoes, I feel more bounce underneath my feet.
The diagonal pattern in the forefoot also makes it stiffer and provides a faster feel. Winning any major competition with this shoe will be easier with its updated features. Because of the forefoot’s rubber coverage, Rincon 3’s traction becomes excellent. But the exposed midsole gets damaged very early. Yet, buying this for a specific short-time goal won’t be a problem.
With old-fashioned EVA foam, Hoka Bondi 7 is the trendiest energy return shoe in the modern era. Its midsole has medium-firm density with versatile features, making it an appropriate shoe for daily training and running. The blown rubber coverage in the outsole makes it firmer as well. However, its foam seemed too firm as a recovery shoe, so I didn’t use it during my injury time.
The shoe has a meta-rocker midsole that is perfect for high-intensity performance. Transition while running becomes so smooth in this shoe with soothed ground strikes. It also keeps my feet centered with its raised midsole. The midsole is a uniform-density foam that feels as if a bulk of mosquitos underneath your feet, unable to bite.
Bondi 7 is also famous for its meta-rocker effect that allows users to pick up the sudden pace. It has an Ortholite foam in the insole to add an extra layer of comfort and stability. And the most special thing I got from this shoe is the memory foam collar with a dense sponge that brings the shoe back to its shape no matter how hard I compress it.
Upper Unit – Hoka Rincon 3 Vs Bondi 7
New engineered sandwich mesh brings a premium look to Rincon 3’s upper unit with 100% vegan materials. Because of its previous version, I wasn’t very interested in Rincon 3 at first. The Rincon 2 had a very cheap looking upper that felt scratchy. But when I saw the updated upper version of Rincon 3, I couldn’t control myself.
However, those who like the softer touch in the upper part may not get the desired smoothness here. But Rincon 3’s upper unit is more breathable than expected. Also, the tongue is flat, far better than any padded tongue. Though this tongue isn’t gusseted, it has wide wings to prevent slides or moves.
With the narrowed upper, Bondi 7 comes with a stiff and stylish appearance. Since my feet are wider, I ordered the wide version. I’m pretty much satisfied with its upper unit, as it’s very accommodating and doesn’t stretch.
The multi-layered engineered mesh makes the Bondi 7’s upper so breathable. It can beat the Rincon 3 in breathability. The toe box is satisfactory with its true-to-size fit and thick padded gusseted tongue. The overlay strips around the toe box provide extra protection and stability in the shoe. Also, the heel counter and the tongue are padded adequately to provide comfort.
Overall, I’m satisfied with its upper part, especially with its new addition of a foam collar.
Cushioning – Hoka Rincon 3 Vs Bondi 7
The Rincon 3’s cushioning is totally responsive with a meta rocker geometry shape. It has fully compressed EVA foam with the right amount of spring to protect your feet and give them a light feel. Compared to my other premium shoes, Rincon 3 has similar flexibility in cushioning.
Whenever I want to pick up the pace, its balanced cushioning helps me to do so. The cushioning is also closer to the ground, which feels firm and provides great support to propel me further. So far, I’ve had the most responsive ride with Rincon 3.
With a stack height of 27/31 mm, Bondi 7 has enough cushioning. This shoe has a more plushest feel as it has extra padded cushion than its previous model. It has a dense memory foam to the shape of the heel, making its cushioning unit more softer and cozier.
If you like softness under your feet rather than the ground feel, Bondi 7 will be an appropriate choice. I usually take this shoe for hiking as it has a much-soothed cushion.
Stability – Hoka Rincon 3 Vs Bondi 7
Rincon 3 has great stability with its shallow rubber. This shoe has much more improvement in this section than its previous model. I also noticed a new design in the rubber part with more coverage. It certainly helps this shoe to be more stable.
Bondi 7 is extremely stable with its wide and flat base. But it is a neutral shoe due to its 36 mm stack height. However, I also want to mention its outsole in this section because it shows no sign of wearing, though I’ve used it for many years. This outsole is another big reason for its stability, I believe.
Heel-to-toe Drop – Hoka Rincon 3 Vs Bondi 7
Rincon 3 has a standard drop size of 5 mm with a unique stack height. Its forefoot is 28 mm with 33 mm of heels. This heightening really amazed me as it’s rare to be found because most shoes have a 30/35 stack height with a 5 mm drop.
The Bondi 7 has a pretty adequate drop size of 4 mm with 36 mm of stack height. It’s perfect for me as it has 32 mm of forefoot. Though its drop is less, it has an appropriate height for me.
Rincon 3 provides me with a more fun ride with the first stride. The cushion has a plush feel, which is also light and versatile. I usually take this shoe for distance running and training. So, it performed magnificently and provided me with much support in the long run.
Whether it’s an easy run, a long marathon, or an intense sprint, I undoubtedly rely on Bondi 7. But I don’t take it to rehab because of its stiff firmness. So, my recommendation for this shoe will be the same for you.