In this article we give a full review of the Women’s HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATR 5 which, as the name suggests, is the fifth edition of one of HOKA ONE ONE®’s most popular running shoes. Read on to see our thoughts on this popular trail running shoe.
Women’s HOKA ONE ONE® Challenger ATR 5 Features
This shoe comes in six different color choices. Erin is running in the ITALIAN PLUM/POPPY RED model in a size 7 W and Caroline is running in the MEDIEVAL BLUE/MALLARD GREEN model in a size 9.5 W. In addition to attractive color options, we love that these shoes have reflective markings on them so that you are more visible in low-light.
In addition to six color options, there are two widths to choose from. Though we fit nicely in the regular shoe size, both of us like a little extra room in the forefoot and so have opted to go with a wide. (The ‘W’ at the end of our shoe sizes signifies WIDE).
The HOKA ONE ONE® Challenger ATR 5 is first and foremost a trail running shoe. One of the most obvious features that makes it a trail runner is the tread. Though the tread isn’t overly aggressive or knobby it does have 4mm lugs that give you traction on all kinds of surfaces. In addition, the lugs are spread out in the forefoot and spaced closer together in the heel which helps with both the overall ride (smoothness) and grip. We’ve tested this shoe on everything from wet leaves to sand, dirt and rocks. We find that the tread is grippy on all different kinds of surfaces and in different conditions and that it also runs really nicely on the pavement and concrete making it a natural for hybrid runs that may involve both singletrack trails and a bit of pavement. Who said you have to always park at the trailhead? One thing to note is that the 4mm lugs will wear down a bit quicker if you are running on hard surfaces than they would if you strictly ran on trails.
One of the reasons we switched over to the HOKA ONE ONE® brand several years ago (and now many, many pairs of shoes later) is because of their lightweight cushioning. (Check out our review of the HOKA ONE ONE® Clifton 6 to learn more about what we wear as our daily running shoe). As with other shoes in the HOKA family, the HOKA ONE ONE® Challenger ATR 5 offers excellent cushioning to protect your feet from the pounding that naturally comes from running on trails. Specifically, this shoe has an oversized EVA midsole which basically which means that when you run on super technical trails with lots of rocks and roots, you won’t feel the sharp impact from landing that you do in some other brands. HOKA ONE ONE® offers three categories for it’s shoes: Responsive (the least amount of cushioning), Balanced, and Plush. The HOKA ONE ONE® Challenger ATR 5 falls in the Balanced category.
Luckily, the Challenger ATR 5 doesn’t sacrifice weight (i.e heaviness) for the sake of cushioning. These shoes weigh in at a mere 7.7 ounces (based on a women’s size 7). They’re light enough that it you wanted to use this as your everyday trail running shoe as well as your trail running race shoes, you could.
One of the reasons this shoe gets compared to the Clifton 6 is that it is built with an “early stage Meta-Rocker.” This means you’re in for a smooth ride as the rocker is very subtle and won’t alter your stride much.
This model is slightly larger in the forefoot than we were expecting. (We’re comparing them to the way the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton’s fit.) You may want to consider ordering a half size smaller when purchasing this shoe.
HOKA ONE ONE® Women’s Challenger ATR 5 similar to the Challenger ATR 4’s?
In a nutshell, yes. Erin ran in the Challenger ATR 4’s and didn’t find much of a different other than she was in a different color. The ride felt very similar. This sentiment is also confirmed on HOKA’s website via the FAQ section.
In addition to runners who enjoyed the previous model of the Challenger ATR series, runners who love HOKA ONE ONE®’s Clifton shoe series will most likely be big fans of the HOKA ONE ONE® Challenger ATR 5. The Challengers feel like a more rugged version of the Cliftons with a similar ride and feel.
Review of the Women’s HOKA ONE ONE® Challenger ATR 5 Running Shoes Recap
We highly recommend these trail running shoes and are stoked to get many more miles out of them. We think runners who are neutral and don’t require a lot of stability or correction are great candidates for this shoe. We also think that this shoe is great for the runner who likes to run to the trailhead via some pavement, get some miles in on the dirt, and then run home. This shoe is versatile and can stand up to both road and singletrack surfaces in all kinds of conditions. If you’re looking for a durable running shoe that is lightweight and can tackle almost anything you throw at it, this might just be the shoe for you.
Have you run in these shoes? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
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