Multi-tasker. That's a word to describe HOKA ONE ONE's Challenger series. This year it enters its fourth edition and continues to impress with multiple uses. If you run trails here in Ohio or like to brave the elements, then the Challenger will fit what you're looking for.
The Challenger is most similar to the Hoka Clifton but has a few key differences:
1. Rugged outsole. This is the most prominent feature of the Challenger. Rubber lugs stick out from the sole to give you better grip over multiple types of terrain. Don't worry, though, you can still run on pavement without worry as this rubber is plenty durable for city walking and running, too.
2. Upper. The upper of the Challenger 4 is lighter than past versions and helps keep your feet cool and dry by having a more vented two-piece mesh.
3. Toe Cap. One slightly undervalued part of this shoe is a slight increase of size to the toe cap. The very end of the toe has a cap of rubber that pitches the upper off of your foot. This allows your foot enough room to splay and move naturally while making sure the upper doesn't rub or chafe on those longer, sloppy weather runs during the less ideal conditions.
If you're a fan of Hoka and you're looking for an off-road option that does it all, the Challenger is the next one to try on!
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Evan Schwartz spends his time running the roads of central Ohio and managing the Short North CRC. When he isn't brainstorming the "next great thing," he is geeking out over all things running shoes.