Under Armour is a relatively new player in the performance running footwear game, and if their latest offering is anything to go by, they’ve propelled themselves to the top of the category. Using their latest cushioning tech, HOVR, the newest UA shoes are designed to cushion your run, absorb shock, and deliver a lift off the ground using their incredible energy transfer return.
But before we get to the nitty-gritty of performance, let’s just get this off our chest: they look cool as hell! The new HOVR Phantom is so ridiculously good-looking, you wouldn’t be blamed for being scared to take them off-road, and their aesthetic appeal was the key factor, which led to our test drive.
Coming in 3 main colourways, white, red and black, we were lucky enough to give the all white versions a spin. The shoe is so pristine, it’s almost to the detriment of their intended use. It took days to gather the courage to really open these bad-boys up and take them into the wild for a real run. But leaving them sidelined for fashion purposes would be a huge waste of their performance potential.
Whilst not out of place in the Style pages of MH, the shoe is a performance piece at it’s core. Available already in Australia, it is by far Under Armour’s most versatile and responsive shoe to date, especially for runners. The trademark Under Armour technology and HOVR soul come together to bring you the kind of shoe that lets you run without thinking, as corny as that may seem.
This intuitive design is also reflective in a key component of the HOVR technology, the ‘Energy Web,’ which is a comprehensive mesh web that contains the cushioning core, helping to maintain the midsole’s shape and, in return, delivers strong responsiveness and energy return.
Every step you take in the HOVR range is effortless, steady, and confident. Even walking feels lighter, and you immediately notice more of ‘bounce’ in your gait. “Gravity has been defeated,” reads their HOVR specific tagline, and it’s actually unnervingly accurate.
The sock-like opening of the shoe is a comfortable addition, and it’s obvious that a lot of thought went into this unique piece of engineering. However, as an extreme sweater, especially when running, you can probably expect this loose elastic to gather a fair amount of perspiration, and smell as a result. Our advice: keep them clean!
Under Armour may not normally be a brand you think of when looking for running shoes, but the American sportswear giant is making enormous in-roads in the sport, growing and innovating since the purchase of running app Map-My-Run for US$150m in 2013.
Since birth, they’ve diversified effectively beyond their original NFL under-garments, and this later offering proves that they’re serious about securing their reputation as experts in all sports they touch.
So far, so good… if you’re brave enough to wear them outside.