Just fresh from the shelves comes an update to yet another Hoka classic – the Challenger ATR in the 6 th version with a lovely Gore-Tex top-up. To me, the Challenger has been a go-to shoe, particularly throughout the spring and winter period. Changeable weather conditions enquire some multipurpose capacities. This model is a characteristic “door to trail” shoe and I have been using the prior three versions in the past couple of seasons.
The most substantial difference with this model is the Gore-Tex upper. Gore-Tex is a waterproof, yet breathable material that can resist water even though it is able to let water vapor through. This will allow you to keep your feet nice and dry from the outside. Especially in the wet season this makes the difference. Different shoemakers are using Gore-Tex material but, in the past, I had some bad experience. Although you still want the water to stay external, you want a shoe to be breathable. After several tough and wetly off-road kilometers I can attest the Challenger a damn well use of the material. It is not too thick and consequently permits some sort of air circulation.
The design of the outsole remains the same. From what I could find out after about 250 kilometer in the ATR 6, the performance and robustness is the same as it was in the preceding versions. As detailed earlier on, the sole performs on a wide vary of undergrounds but is not a specialist at one. If you expect a companion for technical trails, then this shoe should not be your choice. Although the ATR performs great on trail you will feel the lack of an aggressive outsole design, the more technical and demanding the terrain gets.
The Gore-Tex version of the new Challenger ATR comes in a stylish black, yellow and red colorway. If you want to get your hands on the Gore-Text type then this is the only choice you have, at least in the male variety. There is also a really nice all black version of the ATR 6 around, but then again deprived of the distinct shield that Gore-Tex provides.
Smooth operator – commonly I break in a pair of Challengers as soon as the weather turns bad and unpredictable. This shoe is game for whatsoever is coming along thru the worser part of the year, at least when you are based somewhere in the northern hemisphere. I also like that it is not exceedingly soft and offers a nice spring paired with a proper cushion.
The development of the material that is now known as Gore-Tex was a happy accident, born partly of frustration by Bob Gore in 1969 and has since been used in several outdoor garments such a shoes, jackets and trousers.
Some raw details: Heel height comes in with 31 mm and the forefoot is 26 mm high. This creates a 5 mm Heel-Toe Offset.
The focus of this update was to provide a smoother feel and a softer, more comfortable upper. Hoka One One also modified the rocker’s design for an enhanced heel-toe transition within the 6 th version of this shoe.
The Stinson is Hoka One One’s max cushioned trail shoe, I would put the Challenger one step beneath this model. Personally, I like the volume of provided underfoot padding as this shoe, to me, is a daily trainer and mileage eater. Therefore, I think this is the right amount of cushioning without taking the ground feeling, especially off road, away.
Inside look – While on the road, the midsole sends some nice return that pretty much surprised me. I strike with the middle and forefoot and this part of the shoe is well and proficiently designed to be reactive.
Having experienced the earlier models of the Challenger ATR, there is no major update when it comes to feel and ride. The biggest change in the sixth version is the more flexible upper material made from secondhand yarn. It feels more stable and comfortable then the previous version. Also, the lacing has been restructured and adds to the steady approach of this shoe. The Challenger ATR 6 endures to build its legacy as an exceptional versatile training partner.
Tune of the day: DJ Stylewarz – 2360 feat Toni L + Esa X Four Tet – Parallel YouTube of the day: Mount Fuji Women’s Ekiden 2020