HOKA ONE ONE Stinson ATR 6 Performance Review
TAYLOR: It goes without saying that HOKA ONE ONE is the King of Cush. Even though their shoe range is wider than a Nebraskan cattle pasture, I don’t know that I’ll ever shed the mental picture of the original platform-esque HOKA’s that changed the running scene in the middle of a minimalist movement. I guess I also can’t get rid of the idea of cattle after my last review of the Challenger Low GTX…
HOKA’s original idea was bold and they haven’t slowed their attempt to change the running scene (e.g. TenNine and Clifton Edge).
In the beginning, HOKA’s were made for the trails. As a prime example of their endeavors, the brand-new Stinson 6 has all that you would expect from the pioneers of plenty.
The Stinson is their max-cushion option (the Bondi’s trail counterpart) that retains HOKA’s core principles as a light-as-possible shoe with an elevator shaft of cushioning that rolls smoothly via a meta-rocker.
TAYLOR: If you’re reading this review, cushioning is probably on your mind. The Stinson’s got it. In modern terms, this pair of trail grinders are THICC. A slab of compression-molded EVA foam offers a soft and very protected ride. The foam is not the fluffiest that you’ll find, but I appreciate a tiny bit of rigidity because it provides some decent feedback. The foam even feels a little springy.
As with most HOKA shoes, the Stinson has one of the smoothest rides on the market. Contact to toe-off is a harmonious experience over most any terrain.
For starters, an early-stage meta rocker and 5 mm drop help the ride roll smoothly– especially if you’re a midfoot striker. Their ride is seriously always top-notch.
Second, as with the Challenger Low GTX, the outsole has a combo of a wide base and an atypical pattern of 4 mm lugs. Made of spaced Vibram MegaGrip lugs (i.e. #thebestoutsoleinthebizzz), the outsole gives the Stinson an incredible range of running. I am actually pretty indifferent about whether they feel better on light trails or roads, that’s how smooth they are. Of course, HOKA has a bunch more shoes that are better suited (and lighter) for the roads, but the Stinson works really well on roads with any surface.
For a shoe that can make you tall enough to ride the big coasters, they are surprisingly nimble. As mentioned, flip the Stinson over and the shoe doubles in size. This time around, you’ll find an even wider base to give a more stable ride. Also, a wider base gives more surface area for more traction on any terrain (something I did enjoy about the TenNine). Because of the wider base, the overall ride resembled the EVO Mafate quite a bit, even though the Mafate has about a third less stack.
As for fit, I’ll give it a thumbs up. A close-fitting upper with a slimmer midfoot (classic HOKA) helps hold your feet in an optimal position within the shoe on any surface up to moderate trail technicality and/or slower speeds. Support “wings” are utilized for both arch support (similar to Altra Provision) and give extra help for a close fit.
Let’s talk about the upper a little bit more. Yes, it’s pretty darn comfortable, but the thing to discuss is that it is made of recycled polyester fibers. HOKA calls it the Unifit REPREVE yarn. They take the polyester plastics from the leftovers of other products and utilize those fibers for these uppers.
The upper is comparable to many other softer engineered uppers without deepening the debt of animal-made or newly produced materials. It’s something for which I want to give a standing ovation to HOKA, and a lot of other shoe companies, as they look to become more sustainable in 2020 and the future. I hope they continue to refine this process because it is needed on many levels to promote a sustainable/forward-looking culture in the goods industries.Shop STINSON ATR 6 – Men Shop STINSON ATR 6 – Women
TAYLOR: While we’re on the topic, the recycled fiber upper follows suit with the rest of the shoe as being thick. It’s understandable since extra material is necessary to support such a large undercarriage, but it does get pretty toasty during these summer months. I have not felt any hotspots in terms of friction, just general warmth. The upper sure doesn’t help to get rid of water quickly, either. Plan on soggy feet if there are water crossings in your run.
To no surprise, this shoe comes in the “high-average” category in terms of weight for a trail shoe– 12.9 ounces for a men’s size 10.5. It’s not wildly heavy, but you’ll start to notice the weight if you’re going out for more than a few miles or picking up the pace. HOKA has a bunch of amply cushioned road shoes that are lighter than most other shoes on the market. Let’s see that transfer into the trail world a little more. I want some of the uber light cushioned shoes on the trail!
As you could also guess with the Stinson, there is literally zero ground feel. This isn’t a negative per se, unless you personally enjoy a little bit of ground feel like me, but it is something to be aware of. I suppose the Stinson is basically like the Grave Digger of trail shoes. So, the goal is probably to eliminate as much underfoot sensation as possible.Shop STINSON ATR 6 – Men Shop STINSON ATR 6 – Women
TAYLOR: I’m not too often surprised with a shoe, but the Stinson ATR 6 did throw me for a small loop. For so long I had resisted the maximally inclined shoes, but HOKA continually pulls me in with their overall fit, comfort, and all-terrain performance. The Stinson is no different.
Cushioning as thick as the humidity this summer, solid stability, and moderate support are what you get. A solid fit from a recycled engineered upper makes this a feasible and surprisingly nimble-for-its-size trail shoe. They work best on the smoother/less-technical trails but can hang in there on moderately technical trails.
You can pick up the HOKA ONE ONE Stinson ATR 6 for $160 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop STINSON ATR 6 – Men Shop STINSON ATR 6 – Women
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Great review, I know Hoka does not offer the Stinson in a wide version but I am hoping that it might run wide in the toe box as it is such a big shoe.
What is you take on the toe box width?
I have tried the Challenger ATR 5 in a wide and it just didn’t work for me, still a little narrow.
If the Stinson doesn’t work maybe the new Altra Olympus could fit my needs.
Thanks for the breakdown and review.
I’m still somewhat new to your site, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it and your genuinely entertaining reviews so far. As a double-check, this review stated that this Stinson ATR 6 has a Vibram Megagrip outsole, but it doesn’t appear to be Megagrip to me (however, I don’t own this shoe). The write-up/details on Hoka’s own site don’t mention Megagrip for this Stinson either. Please bear with me, as I couldn’t resist double-checking, since I’ve also found Megagrip to be the grippiest compound I’ve tried on wet rocks. In any case, I thoroughly enjoy your reviews and the site content – keep up the great work! Thanks.
Hi Loucas. Thanks for keeping me honest on that. You’re right. It doesn’t seem to have the Megagrip that most of the Hoka line has. It does have the same outsole as the Challenger though. That piece of info is right. That outsole is really quality. It’s quite grippy on a variety of surface and is incredibly durable.
We’ll get that change in the review. Thanks again!
You reviewed the Saucony Mad River TR a TR2, is the new Stinson 6 as wide as the Mad River? It would be nice if it were. I found the Mad River to have a real foot shaped forefoot and toebox, something Hoka has never quite understood unfortunately.
The Stinson 6 has a slightly simmer midfoot and forefoot then either of the Mad Rivers. The shape of the toe box is a little more pointy.
If you are looking for a truly maximal shoe that is closer to the same foot shape as the Mad Rivers, check out our review on the New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail V1. That will be closer the the same fit as the Mad River… but still not quite as uniform. The Mad River shape and fit is just soooooooo good.
If you are looking for something that would be well cushioned (not maximal) and versatile on the trails, go check out the Topo Athletic Ultraventure (or Ultraventure Pro if you need a little more stability and will do more hiking). The original Ultraventure is one of my favorite trail shoes. It has a similar fit and feel to the Mad River but with more grit and cushion – equally as versatile though! Hope that helps!