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Hoka’s Stinson ATR 6 Is Soft on Your Feet and Merciless on the Trail

It’s smooth running on the gnarliest paths wearing the brand’s most cushioned trail shoe.

hoka stinson atr
Lakota Gambill

The RW Takeaway: Hoka’s softest trail shoe, the Stinson ATR 6, provides all-around comfort in a secure, refined upper.

  • An updated, plusher heel collar
  • Integrated lacing system with anatomical winged eyelets
  • Very lush midsole; high stack height

    Price: $160
    11.7 oz (M), 9.8 oz (W)

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    The Stinson may not be as nimble as Topo Athletic’s Runventure or as responsive and lightweight as its distant cousin, the Rincon, but it assails whatever is in its path like a bulldozer—with laces. No surprise here since “all-terrain” (ATR) is in its name.

    The shoe provides a smooth ride on the trail with 4mm lugs that bite into mud so you won’t lose your footing, but aren’t too harsh on unresisting pavement. Its midsoles are like mattresses for your feet, though sleep, of course, isn’t the intention here.

    Hoka One One Stinson ATR 6

    • The brand’s plushest trail shoe
    • New integrated eyelet lacing system for a locked-in fit

    • Heavy

    With the Stinson, you get what you get: The shoe is beefy and bulky, heavy and high (the towering stack height caused one tester to be wary of twisted ankles), and cushioned to the max. It’s not our first choice for earning PRs, but the soft ride, as one tester described, feels like running on a cloud.

    Incredibly Soft

    I have a complicated relationship with Hoka’s shoes, which mostly stems from not experiencing the same swift, float-like ride as other RW staff have, in models like the Rincon, Cavu, and Clifton. No matter how much I surged and sprinted on my usual testing route in these shoes, my Garmin’s average pace always left me disappointed postrun. I was slower in the Stinson, but this was expected. For me, the shoe is comparable to the Bondi: a heavy, highly cushioned trainer that is built for comfort and not breaking records.

    hoka one one stinson atr
    Zonal rubber and 4mm lugs make for a grippy outsole.
    Lakota Gambill

    Everything is thick with the Stinson: the stack height (it’s the highest in Hoka’s line of shoes), the cushioned heel collar, the lux foam midsole. I appreciated how its midsole doubly served as a lush platform and a protective buffer. Large pointy rocks, gnarled roots, stray twigs, anything that couldn’t be avoided I allowed the shoes to trounce without injury to my feet. The weight and stack height, however, did require more effort with turnover; I’m used to being light-footed and closer to the ground.

    Grippy Tread

    The zonal rubber and spaced-out, triangular lugs on the outsole permitted our testers to run on wet, technical trails without any slippage. “These are extremely stable shoes,” said one. “While running on rocky trails a few days after a storm, I did not feel the need to look down every few seconds to make sure I would not slip and fall. Instead, I was able to continue on my run while the shoe gripped the ground beneath me.”

    hoka one one stinson atr
    An anatomical lacing system provides a secure, locked-in fit.
    Lakota Gambill

    Integrated Eyelets

    The sixth iteration’s minor tweaks include a new lacing system with eyelets isolated on anatomical wings for a tighter, securer fit. The heel collar has also received an upgrade; plusher than the Stinson ATR 5, it locks in your ankle without creating friction or irritating the Achilles.

    “The material (engineered mesh) stretched with each stride,” said a tester. “The padding around the collar was thick, which provided extra cushion and comfort.

    More Tester Feedback

    Aly C. | Tester since 2017
    Arch: Medium | Gait: Neutral | Footstrike: Heel
    “I usually run in Hokas, so I typically go for shoes with lots of cushioning. These went above and beyond any other Hokas I have owned. They are firm but also have that "running on a cloud" sensation that most Hokas provide.”

    Lakota Gambill | Runner’s World Photographer
    Arch: Medium | Gait: Neutral | Footstrike: Heel
    “I had a love/minorly hate relationship with the Stinson ATRs. While it was great for its cushion and comfort, I felt I was lugging around my feet due to the weight of the Stinsons. Because of that, I felt my pace [suffered]. Even when pushing it farther, I felt unsteady. In summary, this is a Sunday Runday shoe. If wanting to set records and beat paces, I would look elsewhere. Though if needing a shoe to nurse injuries or even begin trail running, I think the Stinsons are a great starter. Consider these the ‘comfy sweatpants’ of running shoes.”

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