|Weight:||Men: 9.4oz | Women: 7.7oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 5mm | Women: 5mm|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Strike Pattern:||Midfoot strike|
|Distance:||Daily running | Long distance | Marathon|
|Heel height:||Men: 31mm | Women: 31mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 26mm | Women: 26mm|
|Release date:||Jan 2019|
|Brand:||Hoka One One|
|Type:||Low drop | Maximalist|
|Width:||Men: Narrow, Normal, Wide | Women: Normal, Wide|
|Colorways:||Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Multi, Orange, Purple|
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96 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews
The Hoka One One Challenger 5 ATR—Go get some traction action
I walk—not a gentle pootle, mind you. I get my diesel on and need a shoe that can take me from (minimal) roadwork to the trails and fields where I find my heaven—without any drama.
I also need a shoe that doesn’t cause me to pronate when I’m motoring. And, that’s how I found the Hoka One One Challenger 5 ATR, after rolling (inwards) around the countryside in a pair of oh-so-comfy Asics Gel Kayano 23s.
The Hoka is a Marmite creature (love it or hate it) due to its generous mid-sole. I have tried the comparatively minimalist foot-hugging Mizuno Hayate 5.
Unfortunately, the Hayate caused me to pronate outside a running shop like my feet were doing some sacred tribal fertility dance. Thus, I can tell you that I see only beauty in the fecund design of Hoka.
The Challenger 5 ATR guides my foot gently whilst taking off and landing with ease. There’s also enough energy return to get me excited for each adventure.
Is it a responsive shoe? No, but, then again, it’s not sold as one; it feels like a safe pair of hands. Regardless, there’s plenty of bounce if a song on your playlist puts a spring in your step.
Let’s circle back to the mid-sole for a second.
The heel height for men and women is 31mm, and the toe height for both is 26mm. The heel-to-toe drop is 5mm. I thought, after the Asics, that I couldn’t drop from 10mm, but I was so wrong.
There are several things about this shoe that make my heart beat faster. To start with, the laces are long and don’t need double-knotting.
I’ve taken my shoes through water and mud, uphill and down dale, on tracks and pavements. Amazingly, the laces have stayed where I’ve put them like an obedient Labrador sitting patiently for its owner’s return.
However, I like to wear uncushioned running socks (so not chunky monkeys), and side-slipping on a hill camber can mean that the shoe stays planted whilst my foot moves inside a bit. However, better that than being cramped up and blistering.
Are my feet narrow? No, but nor are they wide.
I already tried the Speedgoat 3 Mid WP. Unfortunately, I returned them because of the squish between the third and fourth toe (plus heel moving up out of the shoe with each forward step despite race-lacing).
Thus, I’m pretty sure my feet are of average width. But, there is room for me to splay my toes out when I walk, and this makes it a perfect shoe for ‘normal’ feet in normal conditions.
The aesthetics are pleasing. I have the Challenger 5 ATR in two colourways. I bought the second shoe as one pair is usually in the airing cupboard, recovering from plunder through the vast British countryside.
Why not hiking boots? Because I like the freedom the Challenger gives. This is an extremely light shoe (226g for men/218g for women).
After a 13-mile hike across all terrain (averaging a conservative 4 mph), my feet were fresh and would have carried on if I’d asked it of them.
A waterproof Challenger would be good because this is a trail shoe, after all. Additionally, we know what trails can be like! Maybe this is something for Hoka to consider for the sixth iteration.
With the clocks changing and the ability to walk after work being limited (for me) to local streets, the Challenger is fit and able. I can easily achieve an average walking speed of 4.44 mph over 5.6 miles around undulating roads.
In fact, I could push further, given the great metarocker action that sends the whole foot into a front-to-back rolling motion when you land with your heel.
I’ve found that employing this foot choreography switches off some muscles. Then, this engages others and takes pressure away from a patellofemoral issue that threatens when I’m walking particularly hard and fast.
Landing on my heels for a few steps when jogging does the same trick, but the shoe's forefoot is suitable for running too. Climbing up hills in the Challenger is a joy and woofing back down again feels very safe due to the excellent traction.
I struggle to think about what someone may not like about this shoe, but everyone’s needs and feet are different. Personally, my right foot is still able to supinate a bit, but I don’t have orthotics to correct it.
I haven’t done a speed walk on a hard surface over 6 miles to see what happens to my knees, but I don’t think that’s shoe issue anyway. It’s the mechanics of my body and the perils of my particular/peculiar walking style.
Oh, you can feel stones under your feet but not in a painful way. I was surprised to feel some nobbles but didn’t wince, curse, or have to slow my downhill flow.
It’s a shame that Hoka doesn’t let you properly try out their shoes before returning, as the only way to get to know a shoe is to go for a good long walk/run.
Regardless, give the Challenger a go! The mid-sole isn’t really so chunky, and who doesn’t deserve a bit of comfort?
To summarise, this shoe really puts the “All Terrain” in ATR, and it gets the Sarah Seal of Approval. Me likee!
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
So far so good. Recommended for the trail runner looking for a simple, well executed shoe that is light and performs well on a variety of different terrain.
I find the Challenger ATR 5 to be a great long distance trainer/racer for those looking for maximal cushion in a lightweight and responsive package.
And if you were waiting for a truly wide version of a HOKA that fits more like an Altra or a Topo well this is your best option today from HOKA.
If you don’t need a lot of support or guidance from your shoe, and just want that signature Hoka ‘marshmallow’ cushioning on trails, this is an outstanding shoe.
- The 5th iteration of the Hoka One One Challenger ATR offers a light design and fast performance on a wide variety of surfaces. A few updates have been made to the new version to give runners smoother and more consistent ride.
- One of the few updates is the new oversized EVA midsole. It provides the signature cushioning of the brand for a more satisfying running experience. It is lightweight and it aims to deliver smooth underfoot protection.
- The CMEVA foam midsole is also new to this version. It aims to provide impact protection and stability to the foot.
- The Hoka One One Challenger 5 ATR uses the same rubber placement used by the previous version but it has a new outsole lug pattern for a reliable grip even on wet running conditions.
- The Challenger ATR model is usually available in standard medium sizing, but the 5th version is the first version that is available in wide sizing.
The Challenger 5 ATR is available in standard sizing and the overall fit is very similar to the older version. The upper mesh hugs the foot comfortably and the wider toe-box allows the foot to splay. The women’s and men’s versions of the Challenger 5 ATR is available in both wide and medium width options.
In the outsole of the Hoka Challenger ATR 5 is the exposed midsole foam for better ground contact. The rest of the outer unit features rubber compound materials that are strategically placed in high-wear areas for durability.
Hoka One One Challenger 5 ATR features a podular design outsole which is meant to provide stability on uneven surfaces. Along with the podular design are the 4mm lugs that provide reliable grip on wet, soft, and hard surfaces.
Unlike the Asics Gel Venture 6, the Hoka One One Challenger 5 ATR has a maximalist design. It gives maximum cushioning to a wide range of runners.
The shoe features an oversized EVA midsole foam which is designed to provide reliable underfoot cushioning. It delivers the notable Hoka One One cushioning without adding too much weight to the overall design of the shoe.
Along with the oversized EVA is the Compression Molder EVA foam or CMEVA foam. The primary purpose of the midsole foam is to absorb landing impact and provide the foot stability while running.
The Challenger ATR 5 is also equipped with an Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry. The rocker shape of the platform aims to provide runners a smoother transition through the gait cycle. This element is also present in the older version of the ATR 5.
The upper of the Hoka One One Challenger 5 ATR uses a dual-mesh material. The same material is used in the older version, but the upper of the new Challenger ATR has been modified to give it a fresher look. The dual-mesh aims to deliver breathability, support, and durability.
A textured TPU toe reinforcement is also visible. It is designed to give added toe protection against sharp trail elements. It also offers durability to the upper unit.
The running shoe also features an internal heel counter. It holds the foot securely while running and it also offers support on all terrains.
The overlays in the midfoot of the Hoka One One Challenger 5 ATR provides midfoot security and further enhances overall foot lockdown.