Saturday, 31 March 2018

shoeporn: Hoka One One - Challenger ATR 4

Hoka One One takes its most popular road model to the trails. The latest Challenger ATR4 could be considered the  dirty and rough brother of the Clifton 4.
By now it is no secret that the bulky Hoka One One-style does not mean your are dealing with a lot of weight. With a mere of 265 gram (in my size US13) the Challenger ATR4 continues what runners admire about the brand. Loads of cushion with less weight.
As mentioned in earlier Hoka One One reviews, the brand name origins from the Maori language with the loose meaning "fly over the earth". Knowing this, it might explains the logo. Here placed on top of the romy toe box.
If Salomon would have known what their previous employers were up to. Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard found the Hoka One One as they were seeking for more comfort and better protection while running long and on trails. They developed the bulky shoes in a time when the Minimalistic trend had its peak (anno 2009). The unusual design quickly caught the attention of the ultra trail running scene. Thanks to the open-minded community the trend spread fast.
Active Foot Frame - The fourth version of the Challenger blends into the previous version as a properly cushioned off-road shoe. This time though the sole feels more rigid and liked it even more. Also the quality of the outsole is significantly better. While i had my issues with the rubber quality on the older versions, it seems that this time the sole does not show as much wear as before. The internal heel counter is another new feature. I like the additional support.
And this is the design of the outsole. It is not an aggressive style and definitely not made for highly technical trail or off-trail adventures.  I life in a town and need to get to my local trails via cemented roads. The Challenger combines my needs of trail and road running perfectly. 
Meta - Rocker - A detailed look at the oversize EVA midsole of the Challenger ATR 4. The base of a well well-cushioned shoe.
Hoka One One gave the new toe box a little update. They enlarged it and incorporated thicker material on the overlay. While this makes the toe box a bit stiffer then the previous version, it also ensures more safety for the feet. 
Quick facts: Offset: 5 mm Forefoot: 24 mm Heel: 29 mm
A thinner and more breathable upper create a pretty comfortable feeling. Dual-layer mesh balances support, durability, and breathability. 
The stack height of the new Challenger model is 2mm thicker. This adds up to a mere of 31mm in the heel.
The Challenger Series can be seen as the trail flagship of Hoka's product range. 
While older models felt a bit spongy and insecure on the trail, the new midsole material creates a super supportive and firm ride. Long days on the trails take less out of your body. Hoka established the this new way of cushioning and still pushes the development. My quads and back certainly enjoy it. 
The re-designed upper definitely earn some style points.
A daily workhorse and a slick and reliable shoe for trail outings. With the 4th installment of the Challenger ATR series, Hoka One One made a great shoe even better. It is hard to overlook the benefits of this comfortable yet light and fast shoe. Racing longer distances does make this shoe a great partner, daily training, commute and mixed terrain is something where i use the Challenger ATR 4.

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