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Mens Hoka Challenger ATR 3 Review

Mens Hoka Challenger ATR 3
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This versatile off-roader is comfortable over any distance.

Mens Hoka Challenger ATR 3 Review

This versatile off-roader is comfortable over any distance.
8.0
0.0
0 REVIEWS
Write a review

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Our verdict

Smooth riding and responsive, the ATR 3 is a very comfortable long-distance cruiser and a short-session superstar due to its lightweight versatility.

  • Positive
  • Lightweight
  • Cushioning
  • Well made
  • Negative
  • Might struggle on very muddy terrains.
  • It might be too narrow for very wide feet

First impressions

Based on Hoka’s Clifton 3 shoe, the Challenger ATR 3 shares all the versatile lightweight cushioning as its road running partner.

The ATR 3 is Hoka’s off-road running offering all you’d expect from Hoka and the shoe doesn’t disappoint. It is blend of lightweight performance mixed but soft, springy, responsive cushioning. All this with added grip, nice!

Initial impressions? They look good to us and we all liked the colourways. Sliding the shoe on and they fit like the Clifton 3, the no-sew construction of the synthetic mesh upper felt sock-like and there was more than enough room in the toe box. There are plenty of strengthening structural overlays on the ATR 3 and these are all fuse-welded on to the upper which reduces weight and prevents stiffness.

The Compression Molded Ethylene vinyl acetate foam or CMEVA is used for the entire length of the Hoka One One Clifton 3’s platform. It’s a durable material that delivers sure cushioning that’s responsive and springy. Its thickness brings reliable impact protection and long-lasting performance. The Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry is a rocker design that’s made to assist the foot in achieving a faster and more effective performance. It is likened to the actual mechanics of the foot when taking each step, rocking from the heel to the toe in a single, fluid motion.

The Full Ground Contact design of the outsole provides a good wide base for your foot to land on, which in turn (due to the surface area) means you can drive off more efficiently in delivering traction. It also assists the foot in achieving a smoother and more natural transition through the gait cycle. In the case of the Challenger ATR 3, the traction is provided by 4mm hard wearing lugs sitting on a podular design. The shoe offered good grip on a wide variety of surfaces and due to its soft nature, we felt well protected running along stony trails.

Midsole

The EVA used is both soft and responsive and the shoe, like other Hoka’s, carry the meta-rocker system so you feel aided throughout your heel to toe transition. This aided propulsion in this lightweight shoe makes for a very comfortable ride indeed.

Upper

The ATR 3 carries very comfortable but strong upper. The no sew speedframe construction helps support the upper and your foot within it. The midsole design wraps up like a bumper around the shoe for extra support and strength. There’s a strong synthetic toe box wrap and additional overlays across the upper for strength and support on the trails.

The heel collar and tongue and both extremely comfortable. The heel really locks you in. Overall, the shoe offered a really secured fit. The shoe also dried quickly after a particularly wet run.

Sole

The full contact traction feels good underfoot and the soft podular midsole will help soak up the pressure felt by rocks and stones on your run. The 4mm lugs are durable and offer decent grip in the heel and forefoot areas

Conclusion

The Challenge ATR 3 is a beautiful off-road long-range cruiser of a shoe. It is extremely well-made offering some fine design features. The ride is soft and responsive but it is the shoe’s versatility that will win many fans. As per the Clifton shoes, the lightweight nature of the shoe makes it perfect for faster running: off-road tempo runs, hill circuits, fartlek session etc. It would also be great for long-distance trail racing as well.

The ATR 3 offers adventure runners with a bit of a dilemma. Do you go for lightweight comfort or shoes with less protection but with a lower and potentially, more stable profile? The choice is yours but for us less adventurous runners, the Hoka Challenge ATR 3’s will do just fine.

The ATR 3 also won Editors Choice in the 2017 Runner's World shoe awards.

Technical info

MIDSOLE

  • Soft EVA Midsole runs the full length of the shoe and is 30% softer than traditional EVA foam, offering enhanced cushioning and support.
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry is a rockered midsole design engineered to deliver a smooth ride and increased propulsion.

OUTSOLE

  • Full Ground Contact provides increased traction and a smooth heel to toe transition.
  • Trail Outsole with podular design for stability on uneven terrain.
  • 4mm Lugs provide reliable traction on trails.

UPPER

  • 3D Puff Print Frame offers lightweight support with enhanced foot lockdown.
  • No Sew SpeedFrame Construction provides a seamless interior environment for reduced irritation and blistering.

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Shoe details

Gender Mens
Year 2017
Season Autumn
Current model
Release date 01/08/2017
MSRP $130.00
Heal Drop 5mm
Weight 269g / 9.4oz.

Suitabilty

Off Road Use
Short Trail
Long Trail
Adventure
Shoe Type
Neutral
Trail
Surfaces
Light Trail
Trail
Severe Trail
Weight
Light
Regular
Heavy