One of my least favourite things is to go shoe shopping (in fact, make that any kind of shopping) when the old reliable trainers have to be retired due to falling apart with every step, or the smell has just become too overpowering. You pop into your favourite sports store only to be faced with an intimidating wall of shoes, which, more or less, all look the same.
I remember, when I was a kid, I had three pairs of shoes: wellingtons, school shoes and little trainers to run around in. Now I’m all grown up, I seem to have shoes for every occasion and that includes just two pairs of heels (much to the despair of some of my girlfriends). However, I like to have the appropriate gear for the job, so, if I’m walking, I have walking shoes; for hiking I have hiking boots; I have running shoes and now, thanks to Under Armour, some brand-new training shoes.
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!
Fresh out the factory the new Cloudace couldn’t have landed on my desk at a better time. With my old trainers slowing falling apart with every step, not to mention the distinct swampy smell after a recent mud run, it is time for an upgrade. 95% of my runs are road runs so I naturally look for a trainer with cushioning to help reduce the risk of impact related injuries and for a more comfortable, springy run.
The HOVR Phantom from Under Armour are available in both Connect and Non-Connect editions depending on whether it has been fitted with a Record Sensor that allows you to pair it up to your phone, we will be looking at the Non-Connect Edition in this review. The HOVR has been created to provide a zero gravity feel and a consistent energy return to reduce issues and injuries caused by impact, it features a compression mesh Energy Web that contains and moulds the HOVR foam to return the energy back to you with every step.
The Cloud from On running immediately stands out from all the other shoes on the rack with their unique sole, but don’t let your eyes deceive you! Although it carries the trademark individual bouncy “clouds” this is in fact a new sole called CloudTec. These shoes have been created to perform all day, every day as an all-round, lightweight shoe.
There is a reason On Running have a cloud theme around all their lines and that’s because they consistently manage to produce some of the lightest and bounciest running shoes out there. As the old saying goes, 1lb on your feet is meant to be the equivalent to 5lb on your back, and if you are serious about getting your pace up, being as light as you can when heading out the door is a good start.
The Roclite 290 by Inov-8 have been designed for trail running on multiple terrains in mainly dry conditions. They are available in four colours: red, blue, grey and black (the red and blue styles are particularly striking). They come in a standard fit, in full sizes from 6 all the way through to 14, with half sizes available up to 11.5.