At $160, the Hoka ONE ONE ATR Stinson 6 improves upon its maximum cushioning trail predecessor by modifying its lug pattern for increased traction.
Enhancing the lace system for a more secure and supportive fit, and reducing its weight slightly (a tenth of an ounce for the women’s version and four tenths for the men’s).
Its price is in the higher range for similar trail shoes. This shoe is generous in its fit, cushioning, and protection and is built for a longer race with varied terrain, and not so much a faster one.
The protection, traction, and stability inspire confidence on variable trail terrain – from dusty dirt roads to icy conditions.
The updated design of the Stinson ATR 6 was the first thing that I noticed and liked about it – particularly in the Deepwell/Evening primrose colorway.
The upper material is made from recycled Unifi REPREVE® yarn derived from post-consumer waste plastic materials and it feels higher quality than its predecessor.
The tenth of an ounce weight reduction is an improvement but not as noticeable as I’d hoped.
Weight has always been sacrificed for cushioning, as Stinson is the highest volume shoe in the Hoka ONE ONE lineup.
The Stinson ATR 6 is one of the most maximum cushioning trail runners on the market with a stack height of approximately 38 inches of compressed molded EVA (CMEVA) foam in the heel and 33 in the forefoot.
Not only is the outsole higher, it is also oversized and extends significantly beyond your footprint.
This oversized outsole provides added stability and additional traction, but it increases the overall volume of the midsole and outsole contributing to its weight.
While this sacrifices a bit of speed and responsiveness, it makes this shoe excellent for its specific purpose – running long distances over all types of terrain.
My first run in these shoes were as expected – cushioned and stable on variable terrain; but steps come down heavier and flatter than I might prefer.
Since most of the test miles run in these were in snow and ice, I noticed that the new lug pattern was significantly improved even on some of the most precarious terrain.
In subsequent runs, I was even more impressed with the comfort, stability and traction of this shoe on road to dirt trails and muddy, snowy, and wet conditions.
The upper felt both durable and breathable than previous versions. The Stinson does not use a rock plate, but the high stack outsole provides a thick layer of protection from hazards underfoot.
The TPU reinforced toe cap provided an extra layer of protection of the front and tops of toes.
Further, a gaiter worked well with these shoes to prevent moisture and debris from entry and made them excellent for running winter trails where there were sections of deeper snow.
After over fifty miles of testing, the Stinson has help up remarkably well with very little wear and tear.
The upper shows very minimal wear from abrasions, and the reinforced toe cap would provide an extra layer of durability for the highest impact area of the upper.
Further, zonal rubber strategically used on the outsole performed as expected, offering additional durability in high use areas on the lugs.
The durability of these shoes make it ideal for the marathon or ultramarathon distances.
These shoes are built for stability rather than responsiveness and speed. Hoka late stage Meta-Rocker technology positions the heel to toe transition zone closer to front of the foot than early-stage Meta-Rocker.
This increases stability instead of facilitating a smoother and quicker transition to the forefoot.
The weight, height, and bulkiness of the oversized outsole, can make this shoe a feel less agile and maneuverable in general and even more so when navigating rocky or uneven terrain.
The traction on these performed better than on the Stinson 5. The 4mm lugs are larger, more symmetrical and placed closer together; and this update resulted in a much more secure and grippy feel even on ice and snow.
While the outsole performed well, the use of Vibram in the outsole may provide more grip and durability and justify the higher price tag on this shoe.
If you enjoy a cushioned shoe, the generous amount of compression molded EVA underfoot feels truly superb, especially over longer distances.
The impact of hard surfaces or trail hazards underfoot are absorbed in the mid and outsoles, and you do get the feeling of walking on clouds.
These shoes fit true to size. They are voluminous enough in the toe box to accommodate swelling and toe splay that may occur over longer runs.
“Anatomical support wings” integrated into the eyelets of the lacing system allows each eyelet to provide independent support to lock down, tighten, and adjust the upper for optimal security and comfort.
My foot was not rolling around in extra space inside the shoe or rubbing against the upper uncomfortably, mitigating the formation of hot spots or blisters over the course of testing.
Engineered mesh was breathable during longer winter runs these were tested in, and I would anticipate these to be breathable enough for longer runs in warmer and more humid weather.
The Hoka ONE ONE Stinson ATR 6 definitely delivers on its mission to be a maximalist “all-terrain” trail runner, and the updates from the Stinson ATR 5 are worth checking out if this is your type of trail runner.
While not the speediest, these shoes maximize reliability, durability and comfort over all types of trail terrain, from dirt road to icy trails.
They are ideal for long training runs, long distance races of marathon distance or higher, or for anyone who is willing to shell out $160 for a high quality maximum cushion trail runner.
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