Breaking Down the Hoka Challenger ATR 6: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

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Being a teacher is often considered a high calling, as it involves shaping the minds of future generations. However, before accepting this profession, one must be willing to accept certain things. This includes being content with a modest salary and being prepared to face mistreatment from students at times. Patience is also key in this profession.

Additionally, it’s important for teachers to master their craft since they cannot teach what they don’t know. But one thing that is often overlooked in the teaching profession is footwear. Your shoes are the most important weapon in your arsenal when it comes to standing on your feet all day and navigating through a busy school day.

For me personally, I’ve always been partial to two men’s sneakers – the New Balance 574 and On Cloud Stratus. However, I’m always open to trying out new kicks and my latest pick up came courtesy of Road Runner Sports. They were a pair of Hoka sneakers that I wanted to test out for an entire week, notably the Hoka challenger ATR6. I tested them for a total of three days and here are my findings.

hoka challenger ATR 6 side view

First Impressions: Hoka Challenger ATR 6


During the first two days of testing, I had the opportunity to put the Hoka Challenger ATR6 shoe through its paces. After thoroughly testing these shoes by walking my dogs, running errands at the mall, and going on a 4-mile walk, I have some initial impressions to share. As soon as I stepped into them , I felt elevated – a unique sensation for me since my go-to sneakers, the nb574 and On Cloud Stratus, have low soles. These shoes boast chunkier soles that propelled me with every step during my dog walk. However, it was challenging to evaluate the shoe consistently in such a short time since I only walked them for 10 minutes.

During my trip to the mall, I experienced some discomfort on the side of both big toes – likely because the shoe runs a bit small. My natural size is 12.5, but I went for size 13; therefore, I’d suggest going half a size bigger. Breaking them in may take some time since my foot felt squeezed within the sidewalls. Additionally, I encountered sharp pain only in my left foot.

On My 4 mile walk

These shoes undoubtedly offer a tremendous amount of bounce with every step. On day 2, I went on a 4-mile walk and noticed that my strides were faster, likely due to the incredible bounce pushing me forward. However, the footbed is somewhat hard, and the cushioning isn’t soft – it’s really hard.

I hadn’t checked out the shoe features yet; my feedback was solely based on my experience testing them. Plus, they’re narrow, so those with wide feet may need some time to adjust.

Interestingly, I typically take an hour and 25 minutes to finish my walk, but this time I finished in about 1 hour and 8 minutes (with a few stops to jot down my thoughts). So they definitely increase your walking speed, so for walkers or runners, this is certainly a positive.

Upon arriving home, I felt some pressure on my lower back and decided to switch shoes for walking my dogs. I opted for the On Cloud Stratus and immediately noticed a difference in the softer cushioning, with no crunched feeling on the sides – especially at the forefoot. The On shoe felt more natural on my foot than the Hoka.

However, this could be because I needed to get used to them properly. The ultimate test would be teaching in them for an entire school week of 8 hours per day. Later on, I wore them to church during worship time, but my legs felt restless due to the pressure of the shoes pushing back against the bottom of my foot. It was unclear whether it would take some getting used to or not; however, these shoes seem solely designed for runners.

Day3: Teaching For 8 hours

After standing on my feet for eight hours, they were burning and in great discomfort. My feet felt squeezed on the sides, and the ball of my left foot was mildly sore. I couldn’t wait to get home and take off the shoes. The ventilation was subpar, making my feet steamy inside.

I realized that the Hoka Challenger ATR6 wasn’t meant to be worn as an ordinary shoe like the ON Cloud or the New Balance 574; it was solely made for running or walking. They’re not ideal for stationary purposes. If you’re seeking a performance shoe for activities like marathons, then I’d definitely recommend them since they boost your speed. However, if you’re looking for comfortable everyday wear sneakers, I would advise against it.

hoka challenger ATR 6 front to back

Additional Observations

Aesthetic: The Hoka Challenger ATR6 boasts an aerodynamic design that screams speed. Despite not being a fan of chunky soles, I must admit that these shoes look great. When it comes to design and aesthetic, I’d rate them a solid 9 out of 10.

Cushioning: When it comes to cushioning, I have mixed feelings. While they offer a lot of bounce when walking, the cushioning is by far the hardest I’ve ever experienced in any shoe I’ve owned. Therefore, I would rate them a 6 out of 10 since the cushioning is subpar.

Comfort: As mentioned earlier, the shoe did not prove to be very comfortable for me. This could be attributed to the fact that my foot is slightly wider than average. I experienced some discomfort in my big toes which felt a bit crunched and the sides of my feet felt slightly constricted as well. Overall, I would rate them a 6 out of 10 for comfort.

Ventilation: The ventilation system of the Hoka Challenger ATR6 leaves much to be desired. Despite the temperature being 65 degrees outside, my feet felt uncomfortably warm. While some may appreciate the cozy feel of these shoes, I personally prefer a cooler air flow. Overall, I would rate their ventilation a 5.5 out of 10.

Stability: Stability and foot containment were not an issue with these shoes, as they performed exceptionally well in that department. In fact, I would rate them a remarkable 9.5 out of 10 for this aspect.

Who should wear the Hoka Challenger ATR 6?

It is an excellent choice for runners and walkers. However, if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, this may not be the ideal shoe for you as it elevates your foot and restricts proper stretching. It’s important to note that this shoe is specifically designed for running or walking purposes and may not be suitable for regular use outside of those activities.

Are there alternatives to the Hoka Challenger ATR 6?

Yes! Fortunately, Road Runner Sports offers a diverse range of sneakers that make for excellent alternatives to the ATR 6. Take a look at the list below for some fantastic options.

oka challenger ATR 6 official pic

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