Even though the Ohio winter has been relatively mild, everyone needs a rugged yet runnable option in their shoe arsenal. The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3 absolutely fits this bill. The third iteration puts Hoka's innovation and technology at the forefront and continues the trend of max cushion, all while keeping the twists and turns of the trail at bay.
The Challenger is labeled Hoka's "most versatile running shoe" and can handle any, ahem, challenge you throw at it. The top of your foot is wrapped in a breathable and comfortable 3D Puff Print material. The cushion in the oversized midsole is the same as you would expect in a Hoka model. The outsole of the Challenger is what truly sets it apart. Compared to Hoka's popular Clifton 3, the Challenger features lugs of rubber for better grip on uneven surfaces.
The Challenger ATR 3 seems to fit a bit more snug around the middle of the foot compared to previous models. This is a great feature if you're looking for a shoe to use in wet or muddy conditions when you don't want the shoe slipping around, or if you prefer a closer fit to your foot in general.
If you're already a fan of Hoka's lightweight cushioning, this should be your go-to option for less-than-optimal weather conditions. The most similar ride would have to be the Clifton 3. Runners or walkers who liked previous versions of the Challenger should be pleased with the newest update.
The Challenger offers the well-known cushion that Hoka embraces, but also gives a bit more firm feeling than other models. The added rubber lugs on the outsole make each step feel more stable and secure as you roll through your step over any obstacles that dare to stand in your way. The Challenger is a great update if you're loyal to Hoka or looking for an option to wear in the ever-unpredictable Ohio weather. Check them out in Black/Red Orange for men and Neon Fuschia for women.
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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.