Hoka Challenger 7 vs. Speedgoat 5: Which One? (Comparison)

Hoka Challenger vs Speedgoat

The Hoka Challenger and Speedgoat are two flagship models in the Hoka One One trail running series. However, they play different roles.

Even with 2 mm less stack (31 mm height in the heel compared to 33 mm for the Speedgoat), the Challenger is more comfortable overall. It offers a slightly softer, lighter platform (8.9 oz/252 g vs. 10.2 oz/290 g for the Speedgoat men’s version). The heel-to-toe drop is low on both shoes: 5 mm for the Challenger 7 and 4 mm for the Speedgoat 5.

However, the Speedgoat is clearly the sharper tool for your trail missions. It’s a tough, grippy shoe to tackle the most technical trails. Thus, one of the most notable differences is the outsole. The Challenger uses generic rubber with 4 mm lugs. The Speedgoat, on the other hand, features the very best available today: Vibram MegaGrip with 5 mm lugs.

Both shoes are comfortable over long or ultra distances. But the Challenger is more at home on easy to moderate trails. It’s also a good option for recovery sessions.

Hoka Challenger or Speedgoat: Which One Is Best for You?

The answer depends, above all, on your objectives. If you’re looking for a daily trainer for comfortable training sessions on moderate surfaces, the Challenger is the right choice.

However, if you’re looking for THE advanced trail running shoe that can do it all (training and competition on all terrains), then we recommend the Hoka Speedgoat 5.

Side-By-Side Comparison Table

9
Hoka Challenger ATR 6 Check Prices
9.6
Hoka Speedgoat 5 Check Prices
Overview
Description The Hoka Challenger ATR 6 is a good shoe for long, comfortable trail runs. The Hoka Speedgoat 5 keeps its crown as the most effective trail running shoe, capable of handling everything from daily training to the toughest ultrarunning races.
Comfort
9.5
Grip
9
Protection and foot lockdown
9
Responsiveness
9
Durability
8.5
Value
9
Design
9
Comfort
9.5
Grip
10
Protection and foot lockdown
9.5
Responsiveness
9.5
Durability
9.5
Value
9.5
Design
9.5
Facts
TerrainTrailTrail
Support NeutralNeutral
Heel stack height29 mm33 mm
Forefoot stack height24 mm29 mm
Heel-to-toe drop5 mm4 mm
Lugs4 mm5 mm
Weight (men)279 g290 g
Weight (women) 245 g240 g
Features Available in GTXAvailable in GTX, Vegan, Rocker
Athletes Karl Meltzer
Release year20202022
Technologies
Outsole Full Ground Contact Trail OutsoleVibram MegaGrip
Midsole CMEVA, Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry CMEVA, Meta-Rocker Geometry
UpperDual-layer engineered mesh, textured TPU toe-cap, internal heel counterEngineered mesh
Cushioning
Cushioning Soft Balanced
ResponsivenessLow High
Use
DistanceMid, Long Mid, Long, Ultramarathon
Speed Slow, Moderate Slow, Moderate, Fast
WorkoutsDaily running, Recovery Daily running
Photo of author

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

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