A versatile and mega comfortable trail runner that your knees and feet will love
If supreme comfort and shock absorbing stability are on the agenda for your next pair of trail runners, then the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3’s are most certainly for you. Promoting a neutral running position, and with a highly luxurious footbed, these quirky-looking trail running shoes are to be enjoyed by the knees and joints of road and trail runners alike.
Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3: The stats
|Best for:||All terrain|
|Heel to toe drop:||5.00 mm|
|Weight:||448g / 15.8oz per pair (size 7 US)|
Features of the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3
OutsoleThe bottom of these trail runners features 4mm lugs and a podular outsole design that provides excellent stability on uneven terrain.
Laces that don’t stay done up are a huge frustration. But these are nice and flat, and don’t undo themselves constantly — even with a single tie. They’re on the long side, but that leaves plenty of length should you wish to do a double knot.
The oversized EVA midsole provides lightweight cushioning that is superbly cushy under the whole of your foot. There is also plenty of cushioning at the heel making the foot feel highly secure and comfortably at the ankle.
The upper section of the shoes are constructed with breathable layers of synthetic fabric that have reinforced overlays for greater support and durability.
Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3 review
My first few outings in these distinctive-looking trail runners had me feeling a little anxious about falling over. I felt like I was wearing some kind of weird Croc/platform-shoe hybrid! Bumper-cars of the trail running world. The signature sole of Hoka One One footwear creates a platform of support and comfort that is like no other shoes I’ve ever worn. It can feel more cumbersome than comfortable — to start with, at least. But once I’d gotten used to them, I soon came to really, really love this feature.
Though these are not especially narrow shoes, the toe box is certainly on the fitted side. Obviously this is personal preference, but for my regular width feet I find them just a touch tighter across my toes than I prefer. Having said that, they are not so tight there that I get any discomfort from them at all. But if you prefer a little more wiggle space for your toes to splay then you may find these slightly restrictive.
Hoka One One claim that the Challengers have modest cushioning. However, compared with other trail shoes I’ve worn in recent years, I would say these are by far the most comfortable. And that is mostly down to the cushioning. The soles of my feet feel like they sink into the footbeds, and the shoes feels luxurious around my ankles and heels.
I’ve been super impressed with the ‘stickiness’ of the soles. And surprised, if I’m honest. They perform equally well on dry, loose downhills, as they do on wet and slippery uphills. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they almost rival the Salomon Speedcross trail runners in terms of grip performance.
The mid-soles provide a ton of support through my arches (though not height in the arches). And the relatively small heel to toe drop helps keep my feet in a relatively neutral position, much like the Topo Athletic Terraventures. Additionally, their snug fit and secure lacing system prevents my toes from hitting the front of the shoes on descents. There is minimal foot movement inside them at all.
The Challengers may have been be pipped at the post when it comes to grip, but they soar above the Salomon’s in the durability stakes. I would go to great lengths to avoid pavement running in my Speedcross’, as their lugs wore down very quickly. The soles of the Challengers, however, deal with road running with no problems at all. And their cushioning makes road running (almost) enjoyable again!
What I love the most about the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3
They’re super bouncy! and the cushioning is highly luxurious. I feel really supported when landing big leaps off or over rocks, and my knees very much enjoy the extra level of shock absorption that they offer. They look pretty great too!
What I don’t love so much about the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3
They don’t drain water through very efficiently.
With superb grip both on and off the trail, the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3’s are an exceptional trail running shoe, especially if comfort and support are important. Although slightly on the narrow side for some, the overall fit and performance puts these durable trail runners up there with the best high performance trail running shoes on the market.
Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.