Last week I was sick AF, but my mood was lifted a bit when an awesome surprise arrived at my doorstep:a new pair of the UA HOVR™ Infinite runners to test out. These are the newest distance running shoes by Under Armour and are officially launching/available for sale today (Feb 1, 2019)!
UA describes the shoes as a neutral cushion, but for me, they felt much more cushiony than I was used to. I gave the shoes a fair three run trial on the treadmill, running my daily average of 5 miles/run. Canadian winters are brutal right now, and I’ll admit that I turn into the biggest wimp when it comes to the cold, so I decided to test them out indoors on a treadmill. While you’re reading this review, it’s important to keep in mind that the UA HOVR™ Infinite was designed for distance training. The company describes the runners as providing a “consistent underfoot feel through an infinite number of miles”.
My initial thoughts on the shoe’s design: I liked the colour scheme, the “Energy web”, and the way they looked on my feet. Now, before I fully dive into this review, I need to tell you about the type of feet I have, as this was a critical factor in my experience with the shoe. My feet are very narrow and flat…I basically have no arch. Think Sims character. When using runners that don’t adhere to my cartoon-like feet, it causes me to overpronate, creating soreness in my soles and other parts of my body.
However, on the inverse, I’ve tried running shoes in the past with a lot of cushioning and my feet suffered substantially. For distance running, I’ve struggled to find a shoe that fits my needs and provides stability and comfort for a pain-free run. I had finally found my shoe soulmate (the Nike LunaRacer +3), but it has unfortunately been discontinued for several years now and is getting harder to find online (I end up paying 2-3x regular MSRP due to scarcity and the obscure locations I purchase from on Amazon/eBay). For a low-weight shoe, they are soft and supportive and what I love the most is how easy I was able to work in a new pair. Okay, okay…enough about Nike and my feet, let’s get to my review on the shoe of the hour, the UA HOVR™ Infinite runners:
Features and Construction Overview (from UA)
- Plush Comfort Collar:cushions the ankle and protects the Achilles from irritation
- 3D Molded Sock Liner:made of open cell PU foam is gender specific, cradling the foot with enhanced step-in comfort
- Cushioning System: soft foam combined with dynamic mesh Energy Web creates zero gravity feel + energy return
- Carbon rubber: at the heel extends durability in high impact landing zones
- Deep Flex grooves: allowing foot to move efficiently
- Engineered Mesh Upper: lightweight and breathable with stretch and structure when needed
- Connects to MAPMYRUN an embedded sensor that tracks, analyzes and stores detailed running metrics to inform ways to improve performance
- Charged Foam:Frames the Energy Web to ensure a smooth, stable ride
- Blown Rubber:In the forefront for springy take-offs
- Weight: 248g
- Offset: 8mm
- Heights: 29mm in the heel and 21mm forefoot
- Price (approx.): $120
The UA HOVR™ Infinite has a pod embedded in the midsole of the right shoe and connects through bluetooth to UA’s own MapMyRun app. If you’re not familiar with it, the app allows you to track run data without a device (cellphone, watch, etc.) and then receive personalized coaching on runner’s gait, stride length, pace and more. Since I ran indoors, I unfortunately did not get the opportunity to test out the feature, but would love to test it out once the weather warms up a bit.
My first run with Infinite’s didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked. I suffered from a bit of soreness in the sole of my feet that progressively got worst as the mileage increased. I 100% attribute my first experience to the cushioning and the fact that my feet have been so used to a specific brand of runners for so many years. I finished the 5 miles, but I’m not going to lie, my feet were not happy with me. I tested them out for the first time a week ago and was planning on trying them out over the weekend, but decided to give myself a few days off before testing them again.
My second run with the HOVR™’s went much better. The first trial, I tied the laces super tight and loosened them a bit for this run. The shoes still felt snug and comfortably, but gave my feet a bit of breathing room to move around to find a comfortable state. The first 5 kilometres felt good and the shoes performed as expected and advertised; “a smooth, steady ride”. Albeit the shoes were heavier than my Nike’s, they were still light and my strides felt easy. I didn’t start to experience any soreness or discomfort until the 5.5/6 kilometre mark. Like the first trial, the soreness started off mild, but progressively got worst with each subsequent mile and the soles of my meet were in pain by the time I finished the 8k/5 miles.
The third was very similar to the second. My feet felt as if they were slowly adjusting the shoes, but I still had that nagging sole pain. This time, the discomfort didn’t kick in until the last few kilometers. I was hoping that on the third run, the pain would subside and I would fully experience the benefits of the HOVR™, but my damn flat feet just rejected them.
TRIAL #4 (Tested by my Sister)
Now since running shoes are so specific to one’s foot type and to give these shoes a candid and fair review, I let my sister (Alex) trial them out on the treadmill as well. Alex has a natural stride, a medium arch, and has always worn runners a bit more on the cushiony side. When she first tried them on, she commented on how comfortable and snug they fit. Similar to my LunaRacer +3’s, Alex described the shoes as “perfect for her feet”. Her first trial went much better than my third. She didn’t experience any discomfort or pain and loved the light-weight nature of the shoe (despite all the extra cushioning). Her feet seemed to have worked them in on the first go and finished the 8k/5 miles easily. Alex said she loved them and would definitely recommend the shoe for similar for types.
Re-iterating my points from above, I think for runners that don’t experience pronation or supination and have more of a neutral stride and higher arches, these runners are a great choice. They are super comfy, fit snug, are light-weight, and pretty badass looking. I love how they are digitally connected and although I didn’t get to test the feature out myself, I think runners will get a lot out of the run data UA provides. However, for both myself and other flat-foot runners, the Infinite’s just aren’t a good match for my foot type.
Thank you Under Armour for giving me the opportunity to test these out! 🙂
If you’re interested in picking up a pair, the UA HOVR™ Infinite releases globally today! You can pick up a pair at online at www.underarmour.com