I started running in the Hoka One One Challenger ATR while training for my first ultra almost two years ago; it’s about time I write a review of my go-to trail shoe!
I am a big fan of cushioning, in both my road shoes and my trail shoes, and the Challenger does not disappoint. I’m of the belief that your running shoes should feel like a hug for your feet, comfy like slippers, yet responsive to road or trail conditions. The Challenger definitely delivers, with ample cushioning but not too much that you can’t still feel the trail beneath your feet.
The Challenger features rubber-tipped lugs so you will feel secure running up or down all terrain including mud and ice. The upper is highly breathable, and the entire shoe is extremely well ventilated and drains water like a champ – I tend to run trails that feature stream crossings and my Challengers drain quickly and allow my feet to dry. The ample toe box allows plenty of room for your toes to spread; I never feel cramped into my Challenger’s, and yet despite the roomy fit I always feel secure in my shoes.
The outsole seems to last forever; my sole complaint about the Challenger is that the upper never lasts as long, as I tend to develop splits in the upper right where the shoe flexes.
All in all, the Hoka One One Challenger 3 trail running shoe is a winner for comfort, responsiveness, and durability.