With a 10k, two 5ks and 9 ¾ mile coming up (yes, that last one is a Harry Potter run), I seem to spend most of my work outs running. Sadly, following a Tough Mudder and another mud run that made the Tough Mudder look like a spar day, my old reliable shoes not only stink but have a whole in the mesh that is increasing in size with every outing. The Under Armour (UA) HOVR Sonic Running Shoes arrived just in the nick of time! My first reaction was concern over the colour, as we are currently trying to survive a heatwave, black might not be my ideal choice as the relentless sunshine is sending temperatures up to 33˚C, however all the mesh looks inviting, so I hoped the HOVR Sonic wouldn’t turn my feet into a hot, liquid mess. Starting with the overall look (because let’s be honest it matters) it comes in a very simple, White or Black in the men’s range and Black, Grey, White and Blue in the Women’s range.
The Black style we received has a cool marble design on the white sole and flashes of red accenting the heel and outside of the sole, I think they look smart, you could even wear them as street wear as well as sportswear and I appreciate there isn’t a hint of baby pink, pastel blue or purple to be seen in the women’s range. Moving on to the technical features the UA HOVR technology aims to provide a ‘zero gravity feel’ to prevent a drain on energy, encourage energy return and eliminate impact step after step. The external TPU heel counter provides additional support and structure around the heel without causing discomfort or restricting movement. There is blown rubber under the forefoot for a lightweight and responsive feel with each step and the high-abrasion resistant rubber that is placed under the heel to help absorb ground contact for heel strikers and reduce the risk of impact related injuries.
As it turns out my fears about the black material increasing the temperature inside of the shoe were unwarranted, the upper breaths wonderfully, and in the event of running through a puddle (It been so long since we have seen one) it dries fast and wicks moisture away, whilst the ventilated midfoot panel adds additional breathability. The HOVR Sonic offers a compression style fit that delivers a lightweight directional strength and consistent comfort straight out of the box until your final mile, the Compression Mesh Energy Web contains and moulds UA HOVR foam to return the energy you put in. The tongue and ankle construction are very comfortable, the tongue is attached to the footbed by stretchable support wings which hugs the foot and doesn’t create pressure points or move around during the run. Other features include the removable, anti-microbial Ortholite sockliner which moulds to the foot for customised fit, the heel-toe offset is 8mm and the shoe weighs 225g per shoe. After testing these out over three runs, a six mile road run, a one mile treadmill and a two mile off road run where I even managed to find some wet terrain by a lake, I can say with confidence these will become my new running shoes for most conditions. The only time they slipped up (literally) was on that wet surface, although the soles look like they will provide good traction the struggled a little over light muddy surfaces (that means they are safe from the next Tough Mudder) apart from that I couldn’t fault them, as the majority of my runs involve road running, all the cushioning, compression and springy energy return worked wonders for me (I even achieved a PB on my 10K) not forgetting the extreme comfort and lightweight feel. These are an excellent choice for those looking for fair weather, urban, neutral runners that perform well and look awesome. RRP £100
4.7 out of 5
Super comfortable straight out of the box
‘zero gravity feel’
Compression mesh Energy Web and UA HOVR foam
Breathable fast drying uppers
Ventilated midfoot panel
Removable, anti-microbial Ortholite sockliner
Lacks grip on some wet/muddy surfaces