With a growing fan base, are Under Armour shoes good for running?
After a period of time where it felt like they had given up on making running shoes, Under Armour now brings us some really nice new releases and updates.
We’re talking about the Under Armour Hovr Machina, the Flow Velociti Wind, and the Sonic 4.
But are they any good for running or they just other Under Armour shoes?
Let’s find out…
Are Under Armour Shoes Good For Running?
If you’re looking for a quick answer, then yes, Under Armour shoes are really good for running.
To back up my answer, I’m going to be shortly reviewing 3 great Under Armour running shoes:
- Under Armour Hovr Machina
- Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind
- Under Armour Hovr Sonic 4
Under Armour Hovr Machina
This is a road neutral shoe.
We’re looking at 8 millimeters from heel to toe with 33 millimeters of stack height in the heel and 25 millimeters in the forefoot.
For weight, we’re looking at 10.4 oz in men’s size 9 or 8.7 oz in women’s size 8, which I believe is a little heavy for a daily trainer.
Trail shoes are usually in that weight range, but road shoes usually are not. So, it is on the heavier side when it comes to the weight in the Machina.
But even though it’s a little heavy, it feels responsive like you could get up and go possibly because of that propulsion plate through the midfoot and under the toe box.
Who is it for?
You can use the Hovr Machina for daily training when you’re looking for that 10 to 15-mile run range. It’s a little too heavy for a long run.
Also, you could use this shoe a little more so earlier in the training block when you’re not quite as concerned or interested in going faster on your daily training run and you want just to put the miles in building that aerobic engine.
If you’re a bigger runner, I think this shoe would be great for you. Again, the Machina is built like a tank and I think it could withstand a lot of weight on top of it.
If you want, you can connect this shoe to your phone through MapMyRun app. In real-time, the shoe will talk to you through the app and give you tips on your stride and stuff like that.
It’s an engineered mesh. In fact, the entire upper including the tongue, which is a gusseted tongue, is a plush upper meaning extra padding and extra cushion. It’s not a minimalist upper by any means.
Also on the generously padded heel counter, they did place an extra overlay just to add a little more uniformity and a little more rigidity to in the back. It’s not as rigid as the Asics GlideRide which has a real serious overlay going on through the heel counter.
But this Machina is actually mimicking that GlideRide heel counter but just not quite as much.
The eyelet chain just seems a little wider compared to some other shoes that I’ve laced up recently. It’s not a big deal but just a little wider through that eyelet chain.
It does have the extra hole for the runner’s knot.
The midsole is the Under Armour Hovr foam through the midsole.
Doing the twist test, I’m going to say the midsole is on the firmer side. I don’t want to say rigid but it’s not twisting very much and I can barely bend this shoe.
However, the ride is pretty good through that midsole. What I mean is the landing is not hard on the pavement.
Also in the midsole, they’ve got this propulsion plate. It’s not a carbon-fiber plated shoe. It’s just a type of plastic built-in through that midsole to help with your toe-off.
The outsole has these carbon rubber pods that are kind of elevated off of the bottom of the shoe.
In fact, there’s a lot of rubber on the bottom of this shoe. It’s almost exclusively all rubber, which increases durability but also increases the weight of the shoe.
This means you really have to kind of pick and choose what you want in your running shoe.
When you go into a running shoe store, look at the bottom and ask yourself, do I want a shoe to go past 600 miles or am I willing to sacrifice a little bit of longevity in the shoe in order to reduce the weight because the rubber on the outsole does increase the weight?
The outsole just doesn’t feel like it’s going to get great grip on wet pavement.
Overall, the Machina is durable and you’re going to pull out at least 500 miles. The Machina is built like a tank and it’s going to go the long haul.
Last but not least, it’s a little bit pricey but maybe because of that Bluetooth connectivity.
Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind
The Velociti Wind definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.
The shoe has a 26-millimeter stack height with an 8-millimeter heel-to-toe drop.
The midsole is unique and it looks like there’s a two-tier system, but I believe it’s all just one piece of foam.
There’s that black smooth part that’s on the upper part of the midsole and then there’s the white part that looks like it’s an outsole system.
This Flow midsole foam is new for Under Armour running although I do believe it has been used previously in some basketball shoes.
The foam isn’t a very soft foam. It is a firm midsole but a midsole that I was still feeling like I was adequately protected from road impact and it didn’t feel heavy.
I felt like I was actually getting pretty smooth movement through the gait cycle, which I was really actually pleasantly surprised with.
This Flow foam is unique because there’s no outsole required for this midsole at all. If you look at it, it’s just the same midsole foam and there’s 0% rubber coverage on this outsole.
For the upper, we have the Warp which is a very lightweight and max breathability upper.
The upper is pretty comfortable and there’s a little bit of padding on the tongue but nothing that’s too crazy.
There’s actually a large amount of padding around the back of the shoe on the heel and up towards the Achilles, which is very comfortable there without looking incredibly puffy.
The Warp upper fits really well and gives you plenty of room while still being very snug.
However, I wouldn’t call these roomy running shoes, but it’s not snug and kind of like the running shoe typical snugness that I normally feel. It’s a little bit more forgiving than that.
Again, the padding and the comfort around the heel and in the ankle actually feels really nice and the shoe also does a good job of keeping everything secure with my foot inside.
This entire package comes in at a relatively light weight of 8.5 oz for a shoe that I believe is supposed to be either a daily trainer or a daily trainer that can be used for a little bit of the faster stuff.
Again, the Velociti Wind is lighter than it looks. In previous Under Armour shoes, they kind of felt very dense and heavier than they looked.
However, the Wind is lighter than it looks. I feel like the shoe is actually a pretty agile shoe.
There is a bit of a bevel in the heel, but there isn’t like a huge elf flare in the back. There isn’t a giant rocker upfront either.
So, the Velociti is kind of more of a standard running shoe. I felt like the shoe had that nimbleness to it that I’m looking for in a shoe that I might take for my daily training but also might want to take for some faster days.
It felt like it was giving me a very quick snap up to the butt. Maybe that firmness of the midsole just had me kind of picking my legs up behind me really quick, and that in turn also led to a little bit of a shorter stride in a good way.
Overall, I felt like it was really encouraging very snappy paces and a quick turnover.
There’s a built-in Footpod in this shoe. This is going to give you pace and distance information even if you don’t have a phone. You don’t have to turn it on, you don’t even have to charge it, and you don’t have to have to plug it in.
It can detect when you’re running in it and it will start recording activity. Later on, if you sync it to the MapMyRun app on your phone, it’ll pick up what those activities were.
If you do want to bring a device with you, you can always bring your phone and make sure that the Bluetooth connection is there with the Footpod as you start an activity.
It’ll use your phone’s GPS so then you can have a GPS tracing as well as pace and distance information that you can view real-time as you’re running.
This could be really convenient if you don’t yet have a GPS watch or if you’ve just been using a phone and you live in an area where GPS isn’t always that great.
Dive into the world of optimal running shoe lacing techniques.
The other thing about this shoe that I think that a lot of people will need to consider is you will probably want to try them on first.
The arches on these running shoes are very tall. I definitely felt it and during my first two miles in the shoe, I was worried that my toes were going to start getting numb.
After about the 2-mile mark or so, I kind of just stopped noticing it and it never ended up being a problem for me.
But if you’ve got lower arches or if you’ve got flat feet and high arches are a real problem for you, I would definitely try the shoe on first preferably in a place where there’s a treadmill where you can run a little bit in it to get a feel for whether or not those high arches are going to bother.
The outsole is surprisingly grippy for me. I normally don’t like rubberized EVA outsoles that are dense rubber but don’t have the grip of rubber.
But in this instance, I ran on surfaces that were a little bit wet, I ran on crushed gravel, and I did run in damp grass and the shoe held up just fine. So, I actually had more grip than I was expecting.
I don’t know if it’s the pattern or the composition that they’re using, but whatever is going on on this rubberized EVA outsole, it ended up working for me.
The one other thing though other than the high arches that I think gives me a little bit of pause and caution with these shoes is the fact that they’re pricing these shoes at $160, which I think is just way too much for this shoe.
I don’t know that the shoe delivers the amount of value that that $160 price point kind of demands.
I think that had they brought the shoe out at $130 or better yet even at $120, it would have really brought a lot more units.
I’m definitely not a pricing guy, but as a consumer running in this shoe feeling what I felt, I think that $120-$130 is probably the better price, and at that point, I’d say it’s definitely a solid buy.
Under Armour Hovr Sonic 4
This is the 4th version of the Sonic which was originally billed as kind of like an Under Armour desert island shoe.
The Sonic has the cushion to run a 10k in, but it’s also got the snap and the light weight that you could do speedwork in.
While being super light, this shoe also feels really durable, which is a unique combination.
Another thing I really love about the Sonic is the plastic heel counter. What’s smart is that the heel counter is on the outside and then inside, you’ll actually find a little bit of buildup of cushioning so that there is no rubbing or chafing.
I have kind of funny heels and bad ankles and I have absolutely no hot spots in this shoe, but the little bit of support you get from the heel counter goes a long way because there isn’t any other form of motion control throughout the shoe.
The Hovr midsole has not changed much. However, the ride of this shoe feels snappier than ever.
Honestly, the Sonic 4 is something that I would use for shorter faster intervals. I would absolutely use this shoe for track work like a 400 repeat to a 1k repeat.
Like all Under Armour shoes, the Sonic is fully connected meaning that the chip inside the shoe will gather data from your run so you don’t need a phone or a watch.
It’s also a great shoe to have if you’re someone who’s looking for a little bit of direction when it comes to your training but you don’t want a coach or aren’t prepared to hire one.
The shoe will connect with the MapMyRun app and that gives you access for free to an entire fitness community and will also give you feedback on the run you just did.
It’ll tell you things like cadence, time spent running, how far you went, things about your stride length, and then it can give you recommendations and cues going forward if you’re looking to change those to optimize your efficiency.
Two Different Lasts
One other big change with the Sonic 4 is that there are now two different lasts. There’s a men’s last and a women’s last with the women’s last having a shorter instep than the men’s.
This is becoming increasingly common with shoes like the Asics Gel Kayano, but it’s not consistent across all of them and it’s not in every model of shoe.
The outsole is still mostly blown rubber, which is really great for traction. I wouldn’t call this a winter running shoe for the worst conditions. However, you would love this for the treadmill.
Overall, I would say this is a really affordable shoe and it’s something that you could get if you were looking to do some 10k runs or a shoe you could get as exclusively your speed trainer.
It is really light however it does have the Hovr cushioning to back up the slightly longer stuff.
This is honestly a shoe that does it all.
For me personally, I would use this on the track, but if you are looking for something that can transition from the gym to the road, this also does it as well.
So, this wraps it up for this article. Going back to the “are Under Armour shoes good for running?” The answer is definitely yes and the three shoes we’ve reviewed are the perfect examples of that.