Words by Leslie Nteta
Under Armour have been flexing lately with their releases. With all eyes on them they have attempted to create a shoe that is flawless in design, execution and technology. They have gone for the jugular and tried to create a shoe that can truly do it all in the lifestyle fitness arena.
Long distance running shoes aren’t usually the most appealing aesthetically-speaking, instead they put emphasis on multiple layers of material and have very strategic breath-ability. The new unique Hovr technology or cushion that Under Armour has created separates your foot from the ground, and in that separation is where the magic happens. The classy shock absorbent cushioning is God sent as it feels like a pillow for your foot when your shoe is on idle. Through the Hovr technology UA has found a way to lighten the concept of support by focusing on responsiveness. The artistry that is the new foam cushion is the UA’s new curve ball into the market. Believe the hype, the unique Hovr technology is the read deal.
The upper of the shoe has the similar sock finish as UA’s Steph Curry 4’s but the application on these bad boys is for different reasons. The shoe would never exist that far off the ground without some kind of ankle support, not exaggerated but just enough to provide support for an off road hike or an iron man competition where the terrain would not particularly be smooth. But the sock-like upper will always take some getting used to for a dynamic athlete who is used to wearing a traditional trainer – it feels almost too light on your foot to begin with. The focus was on the comprehensive sole (Hovr Technology) which required weight and Under Armour found the perfect area to reduce useless elements for a running shoe.
The best part about the shoes’ upper is the chamois material used, the same material used in the inner padding for cycling shorts. This material works like memory foam so in terms of ankle support and adjusting to fit, every time you wear the shoe, it remembers you (sounds crazy right?).
The culture is that trainers or running shoes age in a way that allows them to transcend into the lifestyle space. For most brands this happens over time, with the Hovr I think purely based on its simplistic aesthetic it can cross over with ease. The colour-way you get will send you into the direction you may want to go. In particular the salmon red and olive green colour ways sit well as a lifestyle shoe, easily challenging other players in the lifestyle market. The white and black colour-ways can look like a different shoe completely as they come off purely as a running shoe. Youthful, trendy and functional, the Hovrs colour-ways give it range. The best part about the the alternate color on the shoe is that it highlights Under Armour’s now signature Hovr cushion, a cool feature that identifies where the true engineering took place.
The name Hovr, besides loosely and cleverly referring to the greatest rapper alive, means to remain in one place in the air, to levitate. No (reasonable) doubt, a multipurpose trainer, engineered for responsiveness and capacity to absorb pressure, fit to to compete at this highest level, the Hovr is destined to deliver time and time again…. Can I get an encore?