Running Shoe Review: UA HOVR™ Velociti 2

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out my third pair of running shoes from the UA HOVR™ series; the Velociti 2’s. I found these runners a standout from the other two pairs I tried. Granted, I only tested the other two on a treadmill, whereas the Velociti’s I tested in various terrains.

The HOVR™ Infinites were the first pair I tested. Under Armour describes these as an outdoor distance running shoe. Unfortunately, since I received them in the dead of winter and I’m a baby when it comes to the cold, I only tested them out indoors on the treadmill. The consensus was that although I did think these would make a great runner for some, for me and because of my foot type (flat AF), the amount of cushioning caused some foot pain.

Next on the testing docket was the HOVR™ Sonic 2s. These were designed more for the every day runner; they were lighter than the Infinite’s in weight, but still had a bit more cushioning that what I’m used to with the Nike LunaRacer +3. I tested them out in April on the treadmill and although they were more comfortable than the Infinites, due to my foot type, they weren’t a great fit for me. I recommended these shoes to runners with a more neutral stride that prefers a higher stack height.

The most recent pair; the Velociti 2’s had the least cushioning of the three and were designed as more of a tempo shoe with a focus on speed. SPOILER ALERT: Out of the trio, these were by far favourite.

As I’ve mentioned multiple times in my previous reviews, just because a shoe works for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you. There’s an abundance of variables and considerations when choosing the right shoe for you. Including (but not limited to): stride, foot type, arch height, pronation, and stack height preference. Some need to not only consider these, but also need more of a custom shoe and orthotic inserts. I’m not a  an expert in running shoes by any means, but I do know that the choice of a shoe is an individualistic choice. The right shoe can give you the edge you need to get that personal best (PB), provide a comfortable and smooth ride while running, and make your feet feel, well, special. The adverse effects aren’t so pretty; the wrong shoe can cause pain in the knees and shins, throw you off balance, and WORST, make the experience terrible causing you to stop enjoying running in it’s very essence.

For the past 6+ years, I’ve been using the same brand and model of runners as aforementioned in this post and several others. I stick to the same, discontinued brand because I’ve tried others and to be quite honest, no other shoe has been such a great fit for me. My feet are flat and I over pronate while running. I look for runners with little cushioning, low stack height, stability (slight stiffness), and can be worked in within a couple runs.

 “The UA HOVR™ Velociti 2 is light, low & sleek to keep you fast. The UA HOVR™ Velociti 2 incorporates a thinner layer of HOVR cushioning, providing maximum energy return, while Micro G foam frames the dynamic mesh under the HOVR foam, delivering a light and snappy ride.”

Tech Sheet Features and Construction Overview (from UA)

  • Engineered Mesh Upper: lightweight and breathable with stretch and structure where needed – no need for overlays
  • Removable, 3D-Molded Sock Liner: cradles the foot with step-in comfort
  • Cushioning system: Soft UA HOVR foam combined with a dynamic mesh Energy Web creates and incredible zero gravity feel + energy return
  • Lightweight High Abrasion Rubber:covers a large surface for impact durability and gives a fluid feel
  • Reflectivity: on the tongue, heel, and UA logo
  • Micro G Foam: frames the energy web to keep the ride stable, light, and snappy
  • Blown Rubber: 3.5mm blown rubber under forefoot for a springy feel.

Specs:

  • Weight: 213g
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Heights: 23mm in the heel and 15mm forefoot
  • Price: $120 CAD

MAPMYRUN

All UA HOVR™ series shoes have a pod embedded in the midsole of the right shoe and IMG_2976connects through bluetooth to UA’s own MapMyRun app. I was excited to try out this app out on my first outdoor trial since I didn’t get to test out this feature with any of the other UA shoes. As a disclaimer, I’ve been using the Nike Run Club app for years so my opinion was mostly formed on the basis of my experience with NRC. Bluetooth can be hit or miss at times, but my experience connecting the shoes was very seamless. Connecting the shoes took only a few taps on my iPhone and they were connected in less than a minute. At first glance, the app looked pretty comparable to the NRC app that I’m more accustomed to using. You can either use the app to track your run or log a run manually (which I do for all my treadmill runs). I won’t get into the app in too much detail and will save that for another review, but high level, I found it super easy to use and could easily disable the optional coaching and voice feedback (personal preference). For accuracy purposes, I also tracked my run using my Garmin fenix 3 GPS watch. The only initial downside I noticed was the discrepancy with the distance; MapMyRun logged 0.66 more kilometers than my Garmin, but I found the same with the NRC app when I first started using it . It sometimes takes a few runs (or several) to calibrate correctly. Albeit, I’ve found that there will always be slight discrepancy between the app and Garmin. Now into what you came here for – the shoe trials!

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MAPMYRUN Screenshot

THE TRIALS

TRIAL #1 – OUTDOORS

After a brutal and long winter, followed by a rainy and cold spring, the weather is finally starting to warm up in Toronto. That being said, I decided to do my first trial run IMG_3013outdoors using the accompanying MapMyRun app. I did my usual daily 5 miles/8 kilometres by the water along the Martin Goodman Trail and I noticed immediately the thin cushioning and low stack height (something I very much prefer). Unlike the Infinite’s and the Sonic 2’s, my first trial went very smoothly with only mild discomfort in the sole of my feet within the last mile or so. Even with my Nike’s that I’ve been accustomed to using for years, I still experience mild discomfort on the first wear trial. In addition to the low cushioning, I also felt a lot of room for my feet to move around; the fit was very comfortable. I logged 8k /38:57/4’52/km on trial 1.

TRIAL #2 – TREADMILL

To diversify the testing terrain, for my second trial, I ran on the treadmill. For this one, I incorporated high intensity interval training logging 8 kilometre at a 4’20 pace. I was very impressed on how smooth the run went. I noticed the shoes had a bit of stiffness too them, but in a good way. I felt no no discomfort whatsoever and due to the lower cushioning, the shoe felt more responsive to quick movements. When I switch the levels up from 8.5 to a level 10 or 10.5 for example, the shoes adapted quickly.

TRIAL #3 – THE TRACK

To mix things up a bit, I brought these new friends to the track with me. IMG_3317As previously mentioned, Under Armour describes the Velociti 2’s as a tempo shoe and in my mind, that means sprinting. I did 10x 100m sprints followed by some light jogging. Much like my experience increasing levels on the treadmill, when I moved from a static position to a sprint, the runners adapted quickly; my feet felt close to the ground and the lightness of the shoe allowed me to lift my feet quickly while running.

 

The Verdict

This is my first well-rounded review of the HOVR series where I got the opportunity to test the shoes on multiple terrains whilst also using the accompanying app. Although I’ve only included three trials in this post where I paid extra special attention to the feeling of the shoes on my feet and impact on my running performance, I’ve used these runners subsequent times after. Overall, I was really impressed with these shoes specifically for my foot type. The biggest pluses for me was the light cushioning, slight stiffness, responsiveness, and the look (very aesthetically pleasing). I’d recommend these shoes for runners with flatter feet and who like the features as described above, but still think it’s very important to try them out yourself before you buy. Overall, I’m excited to add a new brand and model of runners to my robust collection of Nike LunaRacer 3+’s. Thank you Under Armour for giving me the opportunity to test out the full suite of performance runners from the HOVR™ line!

Where to Buy

If you’re interested in grabbing a pair, here are the links to buy online:

Women’s Sonic 2 ($120 CAD): https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/ua-w-hovr-velociti-2/pid3021244

Men’s Sonic 2 ($150 CAD): https://www.underarmour.com/en-ca/ua-hovr-velociti-2/pid3021227

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