The HOKA ATR 5 is designed as an all-terrain shoe, which Physiotherapist, Michael Harrop has been testing over the last 3 months.

Design #

Consisting of a dual layer mesh, compression moulded EVA midsole this HOKA is sleeker than some of the other trail alternatives. Importantly for me it was the first trail offering to come in a wide (2E) fit for my paddles and has ample room in the toe box! The ATR 5 is a neutral shoe, which is different to the structured shoes I usually prefer, but with the metarocker technology I wanted to see how it handles. No doubt it initially feels different walking, but when running this is barely noticeable and I still haven’t decided how beneficial it is. There isn’t a dedicated rock plate although with the increased stack height on HOKA’s design there’s a fair amount of cushioning between any sharp objects and your foot.

MH 2

Image credit: Michael Harrop

Features #

The all terrain rubber outsole is durable and the 4mm lugs are a compromise in terms of grip. They served me well on a 30km run / hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains and felt stable on loose scree slopes and rock slabs. In contrast they managed well on an ultra wet Maverick half marathon in the Kent countryside including on and off road sections through severely waterlogged trails and fields. Naturally there were times I could have used more grip but was pleasantly surprised. 

MH 3 MH 4

Images credit: Michael Harrop

The key advantage of this shoe is that they allow you to switch back and forth from road, trails to everything else. However, for those people needing more grip, the new HOKA Speedgoat 4 is coming in wide for 2020 offering better traction especially during the winter months. 

For their size the shoes are light and responsive weighing the same as my HOKA Arahi 3 road shoes and I feel that they don’t hinder my performance or pace. The material dries quickly even when thoroughly soaked. Impressively there were mostly dry the day after a 4km ankle deep Nerja river walk, again in southern Spain.

MH 5 MH6

Images credit: Michael Harrop

If I could improve anything on this shoe, I would like to see the addition of elasticated laces, which you find on many other trail brands, such as the Quicklace system by Salomon. However, I know some people prefer the increased stability from a traditional lace, so appreciate it is more of a personal choice.

Overall this is an exceptionally comfortable and well-designed shoe. Its needs more testing especially in regards to durability as I have been previously disappointed with my HOKA Arahi 3’s, which has worn around the heel cup exposing the plastic. Although admittedly I could have been more careful putting them on but this was never an issue with my Asics!

This is my second pair of HOKA’s after being loyal to Asics for many years. As a company they have come onto the market strongly, especially in the ultramarathon community and are now developing competitive offerings for road running.

I would say that this is an excellent shoe and are worth trying for those heavier heel or midfoot strikers who may enjoy the extra cushioning. I have been pleased with my current transition over to HOKA’s and they certainly won’t be last the pair I buy. 


  • Neutral
  • Weight: 266 grams (Mens)
  • Drop: 5mm
  • Lugs: 4mm
  • Regular and wide fits
  • Price: £115 from Run and Become & The Northern Runner
MH 7

Image credit: Michael Harrop