The story so far…
So having found my size 9 runners were now too small for my growing 42 year old feet ?!? I found my way to a brace of new pairs of shoes the Hoka OneOne Clifton 5 for road running and the Hoka OneOne ATR Challenger 5 for my trail and mixed surface running.
My earlier review on how I got on is here.
Where are we at…
So as of May 22 the shoes have both broken the 100km mark and I thought that was a good time to give a follow up. Often shoe reviews are given after an initial view and test. I’ve now put on over 200km in these two pairs so feel that I can give a pretty reasonable update of life in the Hokaverse!
(Pictures as of May 21)
Clifton 5 – 15 runs 116km
Challenger 5 – 5 runs (including one Half Marathon comp) 106km
Review and Opinion…
So the Clifton is a neutral, road shoe with a modest heel to toe drop. It’s a well cushioned shoe too.
So far I’ve found the shoe comfortable and responsive. I’m used to Brook’s shoes and the Clifton feels lighter when in use.
My running has been consistent and at the higher end of my usual pace in these shoes which is encouraging too.
The change in shoe has had no negative impact on the old body with no issues with knees, ankles or hips. I’ve had a couple of knee injuries since taking up running and so this is particularly good news.
Durability wise, well they look pretty much as new. The sole is wearing very well and the upper is perfect – no sign of any poor manufacturing or weaknesses that some reviews have highlighted.
In comparison to the Brooks I would say they do come up smaller and in particular narrower across the toes/forefoot. So if you tend to trend slightly wider on shoes these might take a lot of wearing in or might just now work.
ATR Challenger 5
Much like the Clifton to be honest. Wearing well, the fit and feel is similar to the Clifton with a ‘narrower-than-Brooks’ feel across the toes/forefoot. Responsive and cushioned and even on some rougher trails a stable and capable shoe.
The shortcomings of the shoe is simply that it has a niche in the types of use it’s designed for and it doesn’t like pushing it to the trail extreme. It doesn’t like a lot of mud and struggles to clear mud from the tread. One run I took resulted in me becoming about an inch taller due to the build up.
BUT they are hybrid shoes for road and light trail and they carry this of very effectively. Of mud is your thing then the Hoka OneOne Speedgoat is you weapon of choice. The Challenger simply isn’t built for it.
In summary I’ve been really pleased with these shoes. The are comfortable, responsive and hard wearing so far. They are well priced too if you shop around. For me the cushion and neutral fit is perfect for my needs but of course we are all different so you need to give these a try and consider how they work for you if you want to give them a go.
I’m going to carry on thrashing around the streets and trails of South Oxfordshire in these and also put the Challengers to test on a few off-road races, including Race to the Stones in a few weeks (100Km). That will help select the men from the boys!!
BTW, this is all my opinion and in no way do I have any connection with Hoka or any other shoe manufacturer or provider. Everyone is unique and shoes often feel and fit differently between individuals. I hope you find this interesting and useful but please ensure you test any shoes you plan to use for running and make your own informed decision – 🤔