under armor speed form


Not my picture, BTW. 

Pacers and 14 other run specialty stores across the country are going to start carrying the Under Armor Speed Form shoe, starting tomorrow.

This morning, 2 of their tech reps came to Pacers to tell us about the shoe and have us run in them to get our opinions.

When you think of Under Armor, the first thing that comes to mind is probably football, not running. Under Armor is trying to change that. Their running apparel has come a long way from just being cross training apparel, and they say that the Speed Form is totally different than any other shoe that they have come out with.

I’m not totally familiar with them, but even they said that their previous attempts at running shoes were a hot mess.

They must’ve been very bad, because these shoes honestly aren’t that great.

I wouldn’t really call them ‘minimal’, but they are on a 6mm drop and have a really lightweight upper. The upper I will give them credit for though. It is seamless, meaning no stitches inside the shoe or overlays on top, besides the tongue.  The heat welded overlay on the sides felt like it gave the shoe enough support and structure, although since it doesn’t have a removable insert, its not very compatible with orthotics.

One thing I especially thought was weird, was the grooves on the toe box that are supposed to conform to your toes. They say it is to demonstrate the way they can manipulate the fabric (a bra company manufacturer makes the upper). But to me, it reminds me too much of the Five Finger shoes. It has a sock like fit that will fit a lot of foot types. 

When I ran in them, the cushioning felt very firm and flat. I am used to shoes with a little bit of toe spring and softer cushioning though. I couldn’t imagine running longer than a 5k in these. There is also very little treading on the bottom. In fact, the only thing durable on the outsole is 5 little strips of TPU plastic on the ball of your foot, some on the toes, and on the heel wear the heel usually wears. IMO, this shoe will not last very long, and there are better shoes out there for the price point of $120.

Under Armor seams overly concerned about their brand’s appeal and being 'cool’. They have teamed up with Tough Mudder as a sponsor and have a very specific obstacle race/mud run shoe coming down the line as well. its a high top shoe (so mud and rocks don’t come in) with a water resistant lower portion, and has kind of a racing flat/trail shoe bottom. It has the same seamlessness as the Speed Form.  I admit, it is a lucrative market and I have been asked if there are any specific shoes for obstacle racing. 

I would steer clear of the Speed Form, but if you are currently in and like more minimalist shoes like the Kinvara or Brook’s PureFlow or PureCadence, or maybe just want a more versatile shoe to race or do fast workouts in, this maybe a shoe to try out.