The Hoka Challenger ATR 6 review

The Hoka Challenger ATR 6 is a running shoe that’s designed to handle the roads and trails. A max-cushioned model, it’s an excellent choice for runners who want a pair that’s at home on both surfaces. 

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Comfy and secure upper

The upper is very comfortable and accommodating. I have a slightly wider foot and the shoe just wraps around my foot securely. It also made of a dual-layered mesh that is not so breathable but still works well. 

The Challenger 6 ATR is nice padded

The tongue is nicely padded and semi-gusseted. While running, I did notice the mesh material that attaches the tongue to the strobel board. Although not a cause of discomfort, it was just a bit annoying. 

No heel slip

The heel counter is very stiff and also generously padded, but I think it did the job—I had zero heel slippage. Typically, I prefer less rigidity and less padding, but this still worked well for me. A bonus is the heel loop which I really liked! 

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Lacing system 

From what I can see, the only update made to this shoe is its revamped eyelet chain. I had pretty good lockdown in this shoe, but for some reason, I can’t really tighten the laces to the max. Might be that the laces were just a bit stiff. 

Insanely soft midsole

Comprised of CMEVA foam with a rocker shape, this Hoka shoe runs smoothly. This midsole construction is insanely soft and comfortable, it’s like running on pillows. 

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The downside, however, is its lack of pop—it felt really sluggish on flats and climbs. One thing to add about the midsole is that when going downhill, you can’t really feel the rocks underfoot which is great! 

Durability 

Because the midsole foam is too plush, I think it’s not going to last that long. Just after three runs, I have already seen some wrinkles on the midsole foam. 

Outsole

The lugs of these shoes are about 3-5mm, but I didn’t feel like they had an aggressive grip—a little too much for the road, and a little less for the technical terrain. It might be because the shoe tries to do everything, it’s not really doing extremely well on both. 

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Conclusion

The Hoka Challenger ATR 6 is great for dirt paths and gravel roads. I’m a bit skeptical about its ability to handle steep and technical terrains. It might also be a little grippy for pure road running.

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Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Weight: Men 9.8oz
Drop: 5mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: 26mm
Heel height: 31mm
Collection: Hoka Challenger

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Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyzes every detail of the shoes that you might buy.