HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATR 3

Best-Cushioned Trail Runners

Why people love it
  • Feel like heavy duty running shoes, but without the extra weight
  • Amazingly comfortable and cushioned!
  • Offer superior traction on wet, dry, and slippery terrain

Thick cushioning, roomy toe box, solid lacing system, lightweight, amazing protection, and very comfortable. In addition, these shoes offer excellent stability, secure fit, good ventilation, and great traction on a wide range of terrains

Lacking durability and on the expensive end of the spectrum.


Performance: If you're a heavier runner that needs more cushioning, you'll love these shoes. They offer the thickest cushioning of any trail running shoe on the market, but they're surprisingly lightweight. You can run for hours without feeling like they drag at your feet.

The shoes offer good stability and arch support, but it's the traction of the outsole that's the real selling point. The outsole isn't versatile or flexible, but a thick, sturdy platform that will keep you solidly on your feet no matter how wet, muddy, snowy, icy, or gravelly the terrain.

However, be warned: a lot of users have complained that the shoes aren't as durable as they'd like, with quality control issues that lead to rapid breakdown.

Features: The thick midsoles of these shoes aren't the most versatile, but they're ideal for adding extra arch and midfoot support. The thick cushioning built into the heel and forefoot of these shoes reduces joint impact. Despite the heavy-looking construction, the shoes weigh just 19 ounces.

The toe box is roomy (narrow fit was a complaint with the previous model), but the fit is secure enough that you won't have to worry about your feet sliding around.

Price: At $130, these are some of the priciest shoes on our list. They're worth it, though, if you want maximum cushioning and a design compatible with any terrain.

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