Running Shoe Review: UA HOVR™ Sonic 2

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A month ago, I got the opportunity to test out another model of Under Armour’s running shoes from the HOVR™ series; the UA HOVR™ Sonic 2.

To maintain consistency with my last review on the UA HOVR™ Infinites, I conducted three 5-mile/8k trial runs on the treadmill. Spring is just around the corner (FINALLY), but I haven’t began my outdoor running regimen just yet so please keep in mind when reading this review that I have only had the opportunity to test out the runners indoors.

Under Armour describers the Sonic 2’s as a running shoe for the everyday runner and its construction is “light as a tempo shoe but with more cushioning and a super-smooth transition”. I personally really like the look, feel, and colour blue/grey scheme. I’ll refrain from being too redundant, but for those that haven’t read my last review, I just want to call out that I have the FLATEST feet imaginable and have worn the same brand and model of runners for over 7 years. The Nike LunaRacer +3 are light-weight and flexible with very little cushioning.

Now with that being said, please keep in mind that there is no universal brand or type of shoe that works for everyone. Foot types, stride, pronation, and stack height preference are just a few of the many variables to consider when selecting the right running shoe for you. For a lot of runners, the everyday running shoe (ie. Sonic 2) would probably do the trick.

Before I jump into my review, I wanted to point out a few important considerations when deciding on a runner that’s right for your foot type. One aspect is the stack height, which is more of a personal preference; deciding whether you like the feel of a plusher running experience (ie. more cushioning) or the feeling of being closer to the ground. The more cushioning, the more impact protection. Pronation is also very important; you can either choose a shoe that’s neutral or provides more stability to help correct overpronation or supination. I personally like runners with little cushioning; too much causes my a lot of pain in my heels pretty early in on my runs. The Sonic 2’s have a decent amount of cushioning (less than the Infinite’s), less flexible than what I’m used to, but still have a light-weight feel.

Tech Sheet Features and Construction Overview (from UA)

  • Flat-Knit Upper: provides maximum breathability and a gender-specific fit
  • Removable 3D Molded Sock Liner: cradles the foot with in-step comfort
  • External Heel counter: locks in the heel and guides the foot into its most efficient foot strike
  • Cushioning system:Soft foam combined with a dynamic mesh Energy Web creates zero gravity feel + energy return
  • Charged foam: frames the Energy Web to ensure a smooth, stable ride
  • UA Speedfit:provides a steamless locked in feel at the heel
  • Internal Stretch Saddle: extends from the tongue and hugs the midfoot for a secure feel.
  • Connects to MAPMYRUN: an embedded sensor that tracks, analyzes and stores detailed running metrics to inform ways to improve performance
  • Lightweight, High-Abrasion Rubber: convers a large surface area for impact durability and gives a fluid feel.
  • Blown Rubber: 5 mm of blown rubber under the forefoot for a springy feel.

Specs:

  • Weight: 235g
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Heights: 24mm in the heel and 16mm forefoot
  • Price: $120 CAD

MAPMYRUN

The UA HOVR™ Sonic 2‘s have 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.

THE TRIALS

TRIAL #1

My first 5-mile test run went surprisingly very smooth. As aforementioned, I’ve been using the same brand and model of running shoes for over 7 years now so my feet have a very hard time adjusting to new shoe types (even by the same brand). Unlike the first wear trial of the UA HOVR infinite’s where I felt quite a bit of pain on the sole pretty early on in the run, I didn’t start to feel any sort of discomfort until the 3 mile mark. I’m notorious for tying my running shoes very tight so I paused my workout and loosened up the laces a bit and noticed that the heel pain began to dissipate. I was impressed and a bit surprised on how my feet reacted to the runner on the first go.

TRIAL #2

After my first run, I gave myself a few days before wear trialing the Sonic 2’s for a second time. The second run went even better than the first. For a shoe that has a decent amount of cushioning, my feet adjusted quite nicely to the fit. Particularly, I liked the thickness of the tongue; it felt very comfortable across the top of my foot. I also really liked the breathability of the shoe and the light-weight feel when I took my strides. I did experience a slight lingering irritation in the sole of my foot in the last mile or so, but it wasn’t anything major.

TRIAL #3

After my second trial in the Sonic 2’s I noticed that I had a bit of knee pain the following day so took a week off from doing my final wear trial. My last trial with the Sonic 2’s was very similar to the second in that, I felt a slight irritation in my sole within the last mile, but experienced a smooth ride for the first 4 or so.

The Verdict

Overall, I was very impressed with Under Armour’s HOVR™ Sonic 2. My feet are very particular in the type of runner they need and surprisingly, the Sonic 2’s didn’t KILL my feet. As I mentioned above, I’m used to shoes with very little cushioning to accommodate my flat feet that have the tendency to overpronate. I only tested the runners indoors with a 5-mile/8 kilometer distance so I’m not sure how the shoes would fare for longer distances. I would recommend these shoes for a runner with a neural stride that prefers a higher stack height and a more cushioning/plush feel when running. The Sonic 2 has good impact protection, but personally I prefer my feet to feel a bit closer to the ground.

 Where to Buy

If you’re interested in grabbing a pair (retails for $120), here are the links:

Women’s Sonic 2: https://www.underarmour.com/en-ca/ua-w-hovr-sonic-2-nc/pid3021588-101

Men’s Sonic 2:  https://www.underarmour.com/en-ca/ua-hovr-sonic-2-nc/pid3021586-001

UA HOVR Sonic 2 Tech Sheet.jpg

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