HOKA Challenger 7 GTX: A Waterproof Workhorse


For runners who want a versatile, cushioned shoe that can handle any weather conditions, the HOKA Challenger 7 GORE-TEX delivers. This door-to-trail shoe is designed to provide a smooth, responsive ride, whether logging miles on pavement or tackling moderate trails.

Dry Feet, No Matter What

The key feature of the Challenger 7 GORE-TEX is right in the name - it utilizes a waterproof GORE-TEX membrane to keep your feet dry through rain, snow, puddles, and any other wet conditions. The engineered mesh upper with GORE-TEX Invisible Fit technology creates a waterproof bootie construction that seals out moisture while still allowing breathability. [1][16][17][18][19]

During my testing, I ran through slushy snow and crossed several creeks without any leakage. My feet stayed perfectly dry even when the outer fabric appeared soaked. For runners tired of wet feet ruining their cold weather runs, the Challenger 7 GTX is a game-changer.

Cushioned Comfort for the Long Haul

The Challenger 7 GTX doesn't skimp on cushioning like other HOKA shoes. It features a generous stack of lightweight EVA foam (31mm in the heel, 26mm in the forefoot for men) to provide impact protection and an inherently stable ride. [1][3][4][5][7][10]

The midsole utilizes new compression-molded foam that feels slightly firmer and more responsive than previous Challengers. This gives the shoe a lively, energetic ride suitable for uptempo efforts while providing enough softness for long roads or trail miles. [4][7][10]

Versatile Traction for Mixed Terrain

With its 4mm lugs and Durabrasion rubber outsole, the Challenger 7 GTX can easily handle everything from roads to buffed trails. The lug pattern is designed to provide smooth transitions for road portions while still gripping well on dirt and gravel paths. [1][4][9]

However, the lugs are not aggressive enough for highly technical, muddy trails. As one reviewer noted, "The Challenger's midsole cushioning was a feature that landed in both categories. For anything faster, we wanted more pep."[5] This shoe is best suited for moderate trails and door-to-trail adventures.

Other Key Features

  • Extended heel pull tab for easy on/off[1]
  • Durable upper made from recycled materials[1][4]
  • Rocker geometry for smooth transitions[3][9]
  • Weighs just 9.7 oz/275g (men's size 9) [9]

A Versatile Waterproof Trainer

Overall, the HOKA Challenger 7 GORE-TEX shines as an incredibly versatile waterproof trainer for runners who want one shoe for roads, moderate trails, and everything in between. Its cushioned yet responsive midsole, capable traction, and waterproof upper make it an excellent choice for mixed terrain in any weather conditions. [1][3][4][5][7][9][10]

While not a dedicated road racer or rugged trail shoe, the Challenger 7 GTX covers an impressive amount of ground quite well. If you need a highly cushioned, weatherproof workhorse, you can't go wrong with this door-to-trail star from HOKA.

[1] https://www.fleetfeet.com/products/mens-hoka-one-one-challenger-atr-7-gore-tex
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAACGqw-QEc
[3] https://www.roadtrailrun.com/2023/01/hoka-challenger-7-multi-tester-review.html
[4] https://www.runningshoesguru.com/reviews/trail/hoka-challenger-7-review/
[5] https://www.runnersworld.com/gear/a43522958/hoka-challenger-7-review/
[6] https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/shoes-and-boots/trail-running-shoes-men/hoka-challenger-7
[7] https://www.trailrunnermag.com/gear/shoes/review-hoka-challenger-7/
[8] https://www.treelinereview.com/gearreviews/hoka-challenger-7-running-shoe-review
[9] https://www.roadtrailrun.com/2023/03/hoka-challenger-7-gtx-review-plush.html?m=1
[10] https://believeintherun.com/shoe-reviews/hoka-challenger-atr-7-review/
[11] https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/hoka-mens-challenger-7-gtx-trail-running-shoes-23fhqmchllngrtr7gmns/23fhqmchllngrtr7gmns
[12] https://www.theultimatefootstore.com/mens-challenger-atr-7-gtx.html
[13] https://www.hoka.com/en/us/mens-trail/challenger-7/1134497.html
[14] https://rununited.com/hoka-men-s-challenger-7-gtx-trail-running-shoes
[15] https://runrepeat.com/hoka-challenger-7-gtx
[16] https://www.rei.com/product/217107/hoka-challenger-7-gtx-trail-running-shoes-mens
[17] https://www.hoka.com/en/us/mens-trail/challenger-7-gtx/1134501.html
[18] https://www.hoka.com/en/us/womens-trail/challenger-7-gtx/1134502.html

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