Hoka Challenger ATR 6 VS 7: What Should I Buy?

When it comes to trail running shoes, Hoka One One has established itself as a brand that prioritizes cushioning and comfort without sacrificing performance. The Challenger ATR 6 and the newly released Challenger 7 are two of their most popular models, designed to tackle various terrains with ease.

In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll dive deep into the features, materials, and performance of these two shoes, helping you determine which one best suits your needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Challenger 6 and 7:

FeaturesChallenger 6Challenger 7
Launched In20232024
StabilityStableSome stability
FlexibilityModerately flexibleMedium
Weight9.6 oz (men’s size 9), 8.8 oz (women’s size 8)8.9 oz
CushioningBalanced cushioningHighly cushioned
OutsoleFull-contact rubber with 4mm lugsVibram® Megagrip with 5mm lugs
MidsoleCompression-molded EVABalanced/plush
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$130$145

Features Comparison:


The Challenger ATR 6 features a full-contact rubber outsole with 4mm lugs for traction, while the Challenger 7 boasts a redesigned outsole with smaller, tightly spaced lugs in the center and larger, more aggressive lugs on the outside for improved grip on moderate terrain.



The Challenger 7 also introduces an engineered mesh upper for enhanced breathability and a balanced/plush midsole for a responsive yet cushioned ride.


Both the Challenger ATR 6 and Challenger 7 are built with durable materials to withstand the rigors of trail running. The ATR 6’s compression-molded EVA midsole and full-contact rubber outsole are designed for long-lasting cushioning and traction.

The Challenger 7 features a redesigned outsole with lugs optimized for moderate terrain, paired with a balanced/plush midsole to provide a combination of durability and cushioned responsiveness.

While specific details on expected mileage aren’t provided, the quality construction of these Hoka shoes suggests they can handle repeated trail use over time.


The Hoka Challenger ATR 6 is praised for its secure fit, which is essential for confidence and stability on the trails. The upper construction hugs the foot comfortably without restricting movement.



Moving to the Challenger 7, Hoka has introduced an engineered mesh upper design that aims to provide a breathable and adaptable fit. This updated upper material should mold to the contours of the foot while allowing ample airflow during runs. However, it’s important to note that fit can vary between individuals based on foot shape and personal preferences, so trying both shoes is recommended.


Stability is a crucial factor for trail running shoes, and both the Challenger ATR 6 and Challenger 7 address this aspect differently. The Challenger ATR 6 is described as a stable shoe, providing a solid and confident platform for tackling various trail surfaces. Its design likely incorporates features like a wider base and supportive midsole to enhance stability.

On the other hand, the Challenger 7 offers “some stability,” suggesting it may not provide the same level of support as its predecessor. Runners seeking maximum stability, especially on technical terrain, may prefer the more secure ride of the ATR 6.


Cushioning is a hallmark of Hoka One One shoes, and these two trail runners exemplify that philosophy. The Challenger ATR 6 offers a “balanced cushion,” providing a blend of impact protection and responsive feedback. Its compression-molded EVA midsole aims to absorb shock while maintaining a lively ride.

The Challenger 7 takes cushioning to new heights with its “highly cushioned” design. Featuring a plush, balanced midsole, this shoe promises to envelop your feet in a soft, cushioned embrace. This level of cushioning can be beneficial for long-distance runs or runners seeking maximum comfort on the trails.

Value for Money:

With a retail price of $130, the Challenger ATR 6 offers a good value proposition for its versatility and performance. However, the Challenger 7, priced at $145, may be worth the investment for runners seeking the latest technology and enhanced cushioning.

Performance Comparision:

For Walking:

While primarily designed for trail running, both the Challenger ATR 6 and Challenger 7 can also serve as excellent walking shoes on various surfaces. The balanced cushioning of the ATR 6 and the highly cushioned design of the Challenger 7 provide ample comfort and shock absorption during extended walks.

The traction patterns on their outsoles also lend confidence when navigating unpaved paths or light trails. Whether you’re exploring nature trails or simply racking up steps around town, these Hoka models offer the cushioned support and versatility to keep you comfortable on your feet.

For Running:

As dedicated trail running shoes, both the Challenger ATR 6 and Challenger 7 excel in their intended purpose of tackling off-road terrain. The ATR 6 offers a versatile and responsive ride, suitable for mixed surfaces like dirt paths, gravel trails, and moderate technical sections.

The Challenger 7 builds upon this with improved traction on moderate trails and a plush, highly cushioned feel designed to keep you comfortable and confident during longer trail runs.

Whether you’re a seasoned trail runner or just starting to explore the great outdoors, these Hoka models provide the necessary grip, cushioning, and performance for an enjoyable trail running experience.

For Plantar Fasciitis:

The high levels of cushioning in both the Challenger ATR 6 and Challenger 7 can potentially help alleviate the discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. The plush, shock-absorbing midsoles of these shoes aim to reduce the impact forces that can aggravate this condition.

However, individuals with plantar fasciitis should also consider factors like arch support and stability, as these can vary between the two models. Trying on both shoes and consulting with a professional is recommended to determine the best option for managing plantar fasciitis during running or walking.

For Standing All Day:

While not specifically designed for prolonged standing, the cushioning and support features of both shoes can provide comfort during extended periods on your feet. The Challenger 7’s highly cushioned design may give it a slight edge in this regard.

final verdict:

Choosing between the Hoka One One Challenger ATR 6 and Challenger 7 ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize stability, moderate cushioning, and a versatile ride suitable for mixed terrain, the Challenger ATR 6 could be the better choice.

However, if you prefer a highly cushioned and responsive shoe with improved traction on moderate trails, the Challenger 7’s redesigned features may be more appealing.

It’s worth noting that the Challenger 7 is a newer model, incorporating the latest technologies and design updates from Hoka One One. This could make it a more future-proof investment for those seeking the brand’s latest advancements.

Ultimately, both shoes offer exceptional cushioning and comfort for trail running, but the Challenger 7’s additional features and updated design come at a slightly higher price point. Consider your personal preferences, running style, and the type of terrain you’ll be tackling to determine which shoe aligns best with your needs.

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