Hoka Challenger ATR 6 Review Analysis (2023)
Discover the latest model in the collection: Hoka Challenger 7
The new engineered mesh is not only good-looking and nicely fitting, but it also uses recycled plastic, which is a step in the right direction sustainability-wise. Some people found the ATR 5’s mesh a little too loose around the midfoot, and Hoka fixed it with the 6. The lockdown is rather tight but pleasant and breathable. However, some runners with wide feet described the toe box as a bit narrow, so be careful if you have experienced such issues in the past.
Then, the CMEVA midsole with a stack height of 29 mm under the heel and 5 mm drop gives a soft cushioning that has the advantage of comfortably absorbing shocks but reduces the ground feel. According to some trail runners, it also seems that the front part is not very flexible. Fortunately, the Meta-Rocker brings a slight bounce to the platform for a smooth ride overall.
According to the testers, the grip is, as on the previous models, satisfactory but a little light for technical terrains such as mud or rocks. Thus, stability is not always optimal, especially since the platform is not so wide. The Hoka Torrent 2 or the Speedgoat 4 seem to be the best choices if you have tough trails in mind or an ultramarathon with many different layouts. Finally, in terms of durability, the outsole showed signs of wear after just a few runs on rocky terrains for some users. It’s not necessarily a massive problem since the Challenger is not primarily intended for this type of terrain, but it’s not reassuring either.
To summarize, the Challenger ATR 6 is a very good choice for long easy runs. Its versatile and comfortable configuration makes it suitable for moderate trails and even allows you to venture out on the road. We recommend it to rest your feet from more technically advanced footwear.
- Great comfort
- Reasonable weight
- Comfortable cushioning for long distances
- Versatile trail shoe that can also go on the road
- Grip and stability not optimal on technical trails
- Toe box a little narrow
- Average durability
- The outsole of the Hoka Challenger ATR 6 features Full Ground Contact : a platform that maximizes the ground contact zone for better traction and stability.
- The 4 mm lugs optimize grip on trails to calmly face the most difficult conditions. Those rubber elements are multidirectional with an aggressive design.
- Trail Outsole is a special podular design created with stability in mind on harsh trail surfaces.
- CMEVA equips the midsole. It stands for compression-molded EVA, a single-density foam layer that gives comfortable cushioning.
- Also, the Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry is a flagship technology of Hoka One One that activates a natural rocking motion for smoother propulsion.
- The upper of the Hoka Challenger ATR 6 features a dual-layer engineered mesh that offers a secure and comfortable foot lockdown while allowing a good breeze, especially in hot seasons.
- The textured TPU toe-cap acts as a shield for the forefoot to protect it from potentially harmful bumps on trail surfaces.
- The internal heel counter molds comfortably to the foot to provide a safe lockdown.
|Heel height||29 mm|
|Forefoot height||24 mm|
|Weight (men)||279 g/9.8 oz|
|Weight (women)||245 g/8.6 oz|
|Features||Available in GTX|
|Outsole||Full Ground Contact Trail Outsole|
|Midsole||CMEVA, Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry|
|Upper||Dual-layer engineered mesh, textured TPU toe-cap, internal heel counter|
|Workout||Daily running, Recovery|
Comparisons – Hoka Challenger ATR 6 vs.:
Hoka Challenger ATR 5
Both shoes provide very similar rides because the cushioning hasn’t changed much. The main improvement is the new upper made of recycled plastic, which offers a better foot lockdown.
Hoka Torrent 2
The Torrent offers a lighter, less cushioned, and more technical configuration to tackle the most difficult trails. Therefore, these two shoes are complementary: you can use the Torrent for your competitions and the Challenger for easy long runs.
Hoka Speedgoat 5
With its thicker sole and aggressive lugs comfortable on all terrains, the Speedgoat 5 has little to envy the Challenger ATR. However, the ATR seems more appropriate for easier courses that don’t require an advanced configuration like the Speedgoat. Read the full comparison.
Hoka Stinson ATR 6
The Stinson has a similar profile to the Challenger but is even more padded with a 38 mm stack height under the heel for the first, compared to 29 mm for the second. However, the price to pay for this increased cushioning is a much heavier build. As a result, the Stinson weighs 1.8 oz (50 g) more. We recommend the Challenger unless you really want a very generous cushioning.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, runners who tried the shoe confirmed that it fits true to size. Therefore, you can buy your regular size for trail running shoes. Nonetheless, if this is your first pair of Hokas, it’s better to try them in a shop to be sure.
Yes, this model is suitable independently of your weight as it features a comfortably cushioned sole with a stack height of 29 mm under the heel (24 mm under the forefoot).
This trail running shoe is designed for medium-difficult trails. Therefore, it’s a little light for technical trails, and ultramarathon courses include many of those! The Torrent 2 or the Speedgoat 4 seem better choices with their more advanced configurations.
The Challenger is available in two versions: regular and Gore-Tex. The classic version drains water effectively, but the GTX version may be better if you need more protection. Be aware, however, that it’s a little pricier and heavier.