HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATR 5 Review: Back Stronger Than Ever!

Looking for smooth, swift road runs and quick, nimble trail excursions? Meet the all-terrain shoe that can take you anywhere (and will get you there in style!).


Some days you want to kiss the city goodbye, get off the grid, and trail run until your heart’s content and the stress melts away. Other mornings, you rise and grind, running routes around skyscrapers and over bridges, watching the world just starting to wake up while you’re already crushing mile number 10.

You never know where your legs will take you—and that’s perfectly okay! Satisfying that urge to just get up and go is part of what makes running so incredible. For those runners who don’t want their shoes to dictate their terrain, the venerable Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 is the perfect match. These dynamic, all-terrain trainers let you effortlessly toggle between the trail and the road so you can get after whatever adventure is calling your name on any given day!


Freshly released, the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 improves upon last year’s ATR 4. It’s their latest in their line of unstoppable, all-terrain running shoes that perform just as impressively on pavement, concrete, packed dirt, wet mud, and any other condition you might encounter during your on- and off-road adventures! Take on technical trails with confidence or rack up mileage pounding the city streets—either way, your feet will stay protected with next-level traction, ultra-soft cushioning, and supreme durability. From your porch to the trail and back again, the new Challenger ATR 5 allows you to run wherever you feel most alive.

Men’s Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 in Nasturtium/Grey and Sapphire/Blue


If you’re part of the Hoka fan club and already own a pair of Challengers, you might be thinking “Why do I need the new ATR? I already love with my current pair as-is” And we don’t blame you! Last year’s Challenger ATR 4 was well-received and provided plenty of Instagrammable bragging rights, but if you were a fan of the 2017 edition, you’re going to love the Challenger ATR 5 even more.

Hoka One One didn’t just tweak the Challenger ATR for 2018, they gave it a complete overhaul! On the bottom, you’ll find the newly-designed podular outsole. It boasts aggressive 4mm lugs that are closer together at the heel to deliver a super smooth sensation but spread further out beneath the forefoot for added grip during takeoffs. The deep cut grooves serve up stability across uneven terrain—so you can worry less about rolled ankles out on the trail—but the pods are wide enough to transfer seamlessly over to the road. As an added bonus, extra rubber is placed over all the high-impact areas to resist breaking down from wear and tear. When you want to go hard and get after it, these guys are definitely up for the challenge.

Outsole of the new Women’s Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 in Black/Very Berry

Compared to last year’s model, the midsole also features more rubber coverage for enhanced durability. The outsole got a little stiffer, so they counterbalanced it by decreasing the density in the EVA midsole. Don’t worry, you’re still going to score that signature softness from landing to toe-off.

If you were waiting for a wider version of last year’s release, then you’ll be happy with the expanded toe box in the updated Challenger ATR 5. The upper is a little less rigid and the lace eyelets are a bit more flexible, but Hoka One One modified the midfoot for superior lockdown. You’ll never feel distracted by wobbly feet as you traverse those uncharted paths! Confidently conquer every ascent and blaze down each trail with lightning speed wearing these all-around agile sneakers.


The Challenger ATR 5 is designed for neutral pronators who don’t need much stability support. It’ll become your go-to shoe for running everyday trails or tackling all your road-to-trail excursions! Keep in mind though, the lugs will wear down faster if you plan to take to the streets pretty often. This is a dynamic, Jack-of-all-trades kind of runner; if you know you definitely prefer to run on one type of terrain over the other, you might want to shop in a specialized direction instead.


Hoka One One made some awesome changes in the latest Challenger ATR 5 to enhance the performance, appearance, and functionality of the shoe, but they kept all those well-loved features that made it such a hit in the first place. Tall stack height? Low heel-to-toe drop? Weight-to-cushion ratio? Check, check, check!

Upper of the Women’s Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 in Pavement/Lichen

The real reason runners obsess over Hoka One One’s shoes is due to the brand’s unique early stage Meta-Rocker technology that optimizes midfoot and forefoot impact for buttery smooth transitions and explosive takeoffs. It’s made with super absorbent CMEVA foam to stabilize landings and disperse shock upon impact with hard pavement and treacherous trails. Meanwhile, the oversized EVA midsole provides lightweight cushioning, keeping your feet energized and protected throughout your whole run!

The Challenger ATR 5 is ready to execute right out of the box. The supportive, internal heel counter serves up lateral support and medial security so you can enjoy sure footing over all those rocks, roots, and random potholes. More raw fun and less slipping and sliding? Um yes, please! The upper is still made with a two-layer mesh that does an excellent job of blocking debris while still allowing air flow, keeping your feet cool, clean, and dry. TPU rubber continues to reinforce the seams and toe cap, making the shoe strong and tear-resistant, but Hoka ditched the pointed shape from last year’s model that led to an unnatural crease in the toe box. Plus, more padding in the tongue and heel means an even cozier fit that your feet will surely appreciate.

If you need a powerful workhorse of a shoe that lives up to its heritage of dynamic functionality, then the Challenger ATR 5 might just become your new best friend.


Before wrapping up our review of the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5, take a look at these specs to see if these guys are the right choice for you.


This shoe is for runners who are looking for an extremely soft underfoot sensation. It’s a Level 5 cushioned shoe, meaning it delivers cushioning to the max.


Men’s 9.0 oz | Women’s 7.4 oz


An early stage Meta-Rocker provides a 5mm drop for enhanced smoothness throughout your entire gait cycle.


The new upper of the Hoke One One Challenger ATR 5 is sleeker than past models and it comes available in different color choices for men and women.

Men’s: Black/Green

Women’s: Blue/Aqua

Want to know for sure if the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 is right for you? Take 2-3 minutes to run through our online SHOE FIT FINDER. You can also call 800.551.5558 or drop by your hometown store and we’ll guide you through your personal fitting. See more of our favorites on Pinterest!

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