Under Armour is well known for its inventive and performance-enhancing sportswear and equipment. Recently, the company took large strides toward staking its claim in the footwear industry by introducing UA HOVR. These sleek new shoes combine fashion and technology to help runners hone their skills and look their best while doing so.

UA HOVR

While style and color are always important, the thing that truly makes these shoes innovative is the technology behind them. Their designers specifically focused on the cushioning, incorporating both UA HOVR foam and a “compression mesh Energy Web” into its design. The combination of the two is vital, as it provides two things that every runner craves. The foam provides a plush, comfortable cushion, while the Energy Web contributes a springy bounceback. This responsive effect reciprocates the energy that one typically expends while running, which means that while the cushy UA HOVR foam lowers the impact of each individual step, the Energy Web lowers the energy required to take each step, making for all-around longer and easier runs. The company site states their benefit simply and clearly as a “zero gravity feel & energy return.”

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Some might argue that brands like Nike and Adidas already have the footwear game locked down, but HOVR is certainly looking to challenge that belief. While Nike recently released a shoe with a similar concept (the Nike Epic React), it’s design only seems to incorporate high-end foam. Adidas is now similarly offering UltraBOOST shoes, whose premium cushioning is reported to match the energy being expelled by the runner. While both of these shoes have the same intention as Under Armour’s, they do not follow through as thoroughly. Each style relies solely on the cushioning for comfort and responsiveness, lacking anything like the HOVR’s trademarked Energy Web.

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Under Armour displayed the broad range of its technological prowess by adding another cutting-edge feature into its shoes. Once you connect them to the company’s free app, MapMyRun, your workout stats will automatically by updated in your phone, even if you are not carrying it on your run. The company explains that the shoes have been equipped with UA’s record sensor technology to track details like “pace, cadence, stride length, and distance.” Knowing such metrics is vital when training for a marathon or even just working to cut down time on a sprint. Rather than having you carry your phone or another piece of high-tech equipment around, UA HOVR cuts out the middleman for greater convenience and cost efficiency.

UA HOVR

The sneakers are available in two different styles, depending on your fitness goals. The UA HOVR Sonic was designed with long-distance runners in mind. This shoe boasts a more lightweight form of UA’s mesh and padding so as to not add on any unnecessary weight during a long workout. The UA HOVR Phantom is more versatile but less adaptable to long-distance runs. These shoes have cushioning onall sides to provide maximum comfort and energy reciprocation in each step. Both styles are currently available, so head on over to Under Armour’s website to check them out for yourself.