Sunday, August 09, 2020

Hoka One One Stinson ATR 6: Yet More for the Most Hoka! Well Refined!

Article by Jeff Valliere

Hoka One One Stinson ATR 6 ($160)


The Stinson ATR 6 is Hoka’s most heavily cushioned maximal trail running option, with an impressive 37/32 mm stack height.  While the shoe is massive in size, the weight is reasonable for all of the cushion and protection that it provides and it is quite comfortable for recovery runs and all day plodding.  The upper has been improved, now using recycled fiber and features newly integrated eyelets for independent lacing support and comfort.  To balance such a stack height and to give more met head room, the platform has also been widened, making for not just the tallest shoe I have run in, but the widest as well!


Jeff V:  Comfortable and secure upper, cushioning, traction, door to trail versatility, recycled upper materials


Jeff V:  Price, massive platform, and /weight may be a deterrent for some


Official Weight:: men's / (US9) 11.7 oz/332 grams  /  women's / (US8) 9.8 oz/278 grams

Sample: US Men’s size 10: 12.3 oz/350 grams

Stack Height: 37/32

Price:  $160. Available Now

Tester Profile

Jeff is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several.  He often runs and climbs at night. Passionate about the sport but also the gear he has reviewed hundreds of shoes for various magazines and sites and participated in product testing for many brands.  Formerly a bike mechanic he has recently worked in Satellite Imagery. He has twin 10 year old daughters who keep him ever busier yet.

First Impressions and Fit:

As a long time Hoka fan, having run in Hokas since 2010, I have sort of lost touch with the Stinson ATR, not having run in anything newer than the 1st or 2nd version (?), which I used to PR in the 2013 Pikes Peak Marathon (all about that cushion for the downhill!).  Out of the box I am in awe of the size of the shoe, not just the stack height, but the width and overall mass.  I could not help but to compare it to the almost cartoon like massive Hoka Ten Nine, which is longer with its bulbous heel, wihile the ATR 6 is taller and wider!  This is truly a steamrolling tank of a shoe.  

Sliding into the ATR 6 is pure joy, the upper materials (while somewhat thick) are soft and supple, though well structured and supportive while the cushioning underfoot is luxurious and unparalleled.  

Fit is true to size with what I find to be amply roomy, yet not a wide shoe by any means, with plenty of leeway from the lacing to accommodate a wide range of feet.  I find that with my thin foot I have to carefully snug up the laces to achieve a proper lock down, but it is secure enough to keep this shoe under control.


Jeff V:  The ATR 6 receives a complete upper overhaul. It is now constructed of an engineered mesh, made from unifit REPREVE yarn which is derived from post consumer waste plastic.  

The platform was widened at the met heads to provide more foot room above.

he ATR 6 also gets a new lacing system which Hoka describes as “integrated eyelets that offer independent support”, which is basically a layering of a semi gusseted tongue, 

and a middle layer of wing like support “wings” (two eyelets on either side as part of the wings), with more traditional lacing over all of that. 

 It sounds like a lot, but integrates smoothly and does a very fine job of securing the midfoot in a very fine tuned manner and soft wrapping comfort.  

While I very much appreciate the functionality of the laces, it does take a bit of extra time and patience to get them just right, though it is one and done lacing and I never have to adjust on the fly.

The TPU reinforced toe cap is sturdy and integrates with a low profile rand around either side of the front half of the shoe for added protection and durability (though the shoe rides so high, bumping rocks is less likely).  

Breathability of the upper is moderate and while not particularly airy, I found them to be reasonable on even 90 degree days.

The heel collar is well padded and the heel counter is very well structured and secure, with great hold and protection.

I find security to be good on most terrain, not an upper that feels super locked and precise, but certainly adequate to keep this shoe under control on most terrain and situations.


Jeff V:  The CMEVA midsole is plush and cloudlike, soft, but not mushy providing an excellent balance of all day (week!) on the foot comfort with just enough firmness to provide ample predictability and stability.  Just the sheer size and thickness of the ATR 6 provides very good protection underfoot, dulling and muting any obstacles such as sharp rocks, roots, etc…  but ground feel as one might expect is non existent.  I do not see that as an issue, as the target market here is typically not concerned with ground feel and instead is looking for all day comfort.

Compared to Speedgoat 4 above

The platform has been widened at the heel and at the met heads (for more room)  to offset the huge stack and is remarkably stable no matter how technical the trail.

Response is minimal to moderate, but the shoe can move surprisingly well for its size when prompted, very much nudged along by the late stage Meta Rocker.


Jeff V:  The outsole features widely spaced, 4mm lugs in a zonal configuration to help save a bit of weight.  While the lugs are visually unimpressive and somewhat non descript, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they grab on such a wide range of surfaces, loose gravelly trails, rocky slab, scrambling and just overall versatile, smooth performance on harder surfaces and road (ATR in the name stands for All Terrain Running), integrating very nicely with the deep midsole contributing to the smooth and well cushioned ride.

One interesting, kind of surprising and somewhat unique aspect of this shoe is that the sheer surface area of the footprint adds a significant amount of traction, particularly on steeper, more loose surfaces by having more ground to grab largely making up for what at first glance is not an “impressive” looking outsole and lug pattern design. 

Durability thus far is above average, with very little wear after 50 or so miles of rocky and rough terrain.


Jeff V:  The ride here is predictably smooth and plush, with a nice easy transition at toe off, much in part due to the late stage Meta Rocker putting your foot effortlessly in position for toe off.  

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jeff V:  The ATR 6 is a great recovery day shoe for anything door to trail, moderate trails and even handles technical trails just fine.  Easy paces and hiking are ideal for the ATR 6, but they can handle faster speeds when nudged, they just don’t beg for it.  

For as large as this shoe is, they do not feel overly bulky on the run and are surprisingly nimble, but I definitely need to be careful when the trail is very narrow or when coming off a lower profile race type shoe as they do require a bit of an adjustment in gait and awareness. 

I would recommend the ATR 6 for anyone with a medium to low volume foot looking for maximum cushioning for mid to back of the pack ultras, all day or many days adventures or as an easy day recovery shoe.

Jeff’s Score: 9.4/10

Ride: 9.5 - very smooth and well cushioned

Fit: 9.5 - the upper is exceptionally secure and comfortable, perfect for my low volume foot but flexible in lacing to accommodate a slightly wider range of foot shapes.

Value: 8.5 - $160 is a lot to drop on a shoe, but I do think it will last longer than average with durable tread and such a thick midsole stack.

Style: 9 - if you don’t mind the maximal look, styling here is very classy IMHO

Traction: 9.5 - For the intended usage, traction is impressive on a wide variety of terrain and that huge footprint grabs extra surface

Rock Protection: 10 - NOTHING gets through


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 : (RTR Review)

Jeff V: The Speedgoat 4 has 4 mm less cushion, but 32/28 is still a lot.  The SG4 is lighter with a more streamlined, minimal upper and narrower more tapered fit.  

The SG4 also has a more aggressive tread contributing to it’s prowess on more technical terrain.  

I think the SG4 is overall a more fun, responsive and versatile shoe, as it can do all that the ATR 6 can and more, at higher speeds, but the choice will come down to foot shape and preference.

Hoka One One TenNine: (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The TenNine just did not do it for me.  I found it to be overly bulky and the extended rear heel gets in the way.  I never found the heel extension to be a benefit, even when trying my best to replicate the sort of downhill stride for which it is recommended.  The ATR 6 has more cushion, better traction, a more secure and comfortable upper, better agility/runability and greater versatility.

Hoka One One EVO Mafate: (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The EVO Mafate is a race shoe, lighter, more breathable, more nimble and very responsive, with more aggressive tread, whereas the ATR 6 has more cushion, is wider, more stable, and better for easy running/hiking.

Altra Olympus 4 (RTR Review)

Editor’s Note: While Jeff Valliere did not test the Olympus 4 it is clearly a comparable shoe at the same weight and with a slightly lower zero drop stack height of 33mm/ 33mm vs the Stinson’s 37mm/32mm and its 5mm drop.

Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was a provided at no charge. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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acroboy said...

Can anyone comment on whether the Stinson ATR 6 footprint is wider than the Altra Olympus 4.0? I had a bad ankle sprain on a downhill yesterday in my Torrent 2s and was wondering if a wide footprint could help with rolled ankles.

LA Runner said...

One interesting point of comparison between the Stinson ATR6 and Speedgoat 4 that might not be evident from your pics is that, while the Stinson's base (i.e., its outsole) is much wider than the Speedgoat's at the heel, at the forefoot they are nearly identical in width. I think the Speedgoat's wide forefoot base contributes significantly to its stability.

Anonymous said...

Is it good for summer days . I mean if is airy enough.