Sunday, February 18, 2018

Shoe Review - Under Armor's New HOVR

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Under Armour HOVR Sonic Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews! 

For the most part, I am a creature of habit. When I find something that I like, I tend to stick to it. This counts double for my running shoes, or at least it did until recently. I had been running in the same brand for basically the last 3 years, just re-upping the model. When I was given the opportunity to test out a brand new pair of shoes that Under Armor was introducing, at first, I almost didn't. But a part of me thought - Be brave, try something new and most importantly, THESE SHOES SOUND SO COOL! And boy and I glad I tried them.

First, let me tell you a little about the HOVR Sonics.

Here's the info from the Under Armor website -

Product DNA 
(for Women's model)

  • UA HOVR® technology provides ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step
  • Compression mesh Energy Web contains & molds UA HOVR® foam to give back the energy you put in
  • Microthread upper dries fast & provides a breathable, compression-like fit that delivers lightweight directional strength & unmatched comfort to help you go the distance
  • Ventilated midfoot panel increases breathability
  • Unique tongue construction is attached to the footbed by stretchable support wings to maintain a snug fit throughout the foot
  • External TPU heel counter for additional support & structure
  • Removable, anti-microbial Ortholite® sockliner molds to the foot for customized comfort & cushion
  • Blown rubber under the forefoot is lightweight yet incredibly responsive
  • High-abrasion rubber placed under the heel to help absorb ground contact
  • CONNECTED: These shoes are equipped with UA’s Record Sensor™ & will pair to your phone
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Weight: 8oz/225g

Cool, right?

So the first thing that I noticed when I received my shoes was just how crazy bright they are. I mean, as a rational person, I know that shoe color has no impact on the performance, however, there is just something crazy fun about running in a super bright shoe. And let me tell you, people notice them. I have yet to wear them without getting some kind of comment about how bright/pretty they are. 

They were really easy to set up the connection to Map My Fitness (they connect to either Map My Run or Map My Fitness, I just happened to already have Map My Fitness). Basically, you just open up the app next to the shoes and like magic, they connect. They are able track all kinds of neat things while you run. The data nerd in me just loves that. 

I mean check out all this neat data collected on my run. And this was all gathered with just the shoes on. I didn't have my phone even with me during the run. When you are finished with your run, simply open the app and it will automatically sync. Now, I will say, that the tracking seems to be slightly off from what my Strava reports. For example, I will put in a 4 mile run and typically my shoes will track around 3.8 miles. If you are wanting exact stats, I would recommend also using a GPS form of tracking, but the data from the shoes is still really neat and really useful. 

My first impressions were that the shoes were super comfortable and had some really amazing cushioning. I was more used to wearing a heavier shoe and really could tell the difference. Another first impression was how thin the mesh on the shoes is. Now at the time of my first run, this wasn't the biggest positive ever since I first tested them in January on a really cold and windy day. The wind whipped right through the mesh and my feet were pretty cold, but I thought to myself how great these will be in the middle of the South Carolina summer! 

I wore the shoes off and on (mostly on warmer days) and each time I wore them I liked them more. After a while I realized that all of my recent runs where after I thought to myself, wow, I ran way faster than I had expected, I was wearing my HOVRs. This includes one run where I was with friend who is quite a bit faster than me. We had gotten to chatting while we were running and I was thinking to myself that he must have slowed down so as to not leave me behind, but after 3 miles, I checked my Strava and my average pace was a full minute faster than I usually run for the same difference!

Armed with this knowledge, I decided to wear them for the AllState Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte. Actually, the decision was based on not only the speed that I had been displaying in them, but also how light they were. See, there was rain in the forecast for race day and the previous week when I ran in the rain, my shoes (a different pair) go SO soaked they became SO heavy! I figured since the HOVRs were so light to start with, if they got soaked, they would still be much lighter making the run easier. Luckily, the rain mostly held and while my feet got a bit wet, the shoes didn't retain water and become any heavier. I ran a great race in them and scored a new 15K PR! 

Yesterday in fact, I did my longest run ever in them - 15 miles. And guess what? Today, I feel great. 

I am 100% sold on these shoes. I plan to wear them next month for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon where I am confident that they will score me a new PR.

The Under Armor HOVR Sonic shoe is priced at $100 for non-connected or $110 for connected versions and is currently available online and at retailers all over. Also, be sure to follow Under Armor Running on social media to keep up on the latest news - 

Super light and super fast! I love my HOVRs! 

No comments:

Post a Comment