Under Armour Charged Assert 9 are a neutral running shoe designed to help runners improve speed while providing a balance of flexibility and cushioning. The Assert 9 is NOT built for speed, but for strength. The shoe probably works well as an all-around gym or cross-training shoe, but for running fast or long, it is too sluggish.
After running the Boston Marathon, I came home looking forward to recovery. On my doorstep were a perfectly matched pair of shoes to fill my recovery need - the UnderArmour Charged Assert 9 were ready for testing.
Coming in at a cost of $70, the Charged Assert 9 is billed to be a mid-level neutral trainer, designed to provide comfort, flexibility, and protection for multiple applications.
Under Armour promotes the Charged Assert 9 as being used in cross-training activities on turf, with the claim of making the athlete faster. Clearly, this running shoe is intended for multiple applications and various terrains.
I ran 50 miles in the UA Charged Assert 9 to test them in several applications including easy jogging, sprinting, and hill climbs, and on various kinds of terrain including concrete, asphalt, gravel, grass, and track surfaces.
Who should buy it
This is an everyday training shoe, perfect for runners who:
I wear US size 12 and I weigh in at about 175 pounds. The shoe fits perfectly length-wise, but the toe box is a little narrow. I experienced some mild discomfort in my feet due to the narrowness.
UA Assert 9 are flexible but “sloppy”
The “Charged Cushioning” is comfortable but is not as responsive as other foams. The result is a cushioned landing, but a sluggish response.
Expect some heel-rubbing
The laces in the Assert 9 are extremely long and there is no additional eyelet at the top for locking down the heel. This prevents the feet from being stable, which allows for some heel-rubbing and movement on each foot-strike.
The Assert 9 is heavier than other entry-level running shoes
Size 12 of the Charged Assert 9 comes in at 11.40z/323g. Compared to other entry-level running shoes, such as the Saucony Cohesion 14, the Assert 9 are quite heavy. Daily training shoes have an average weight of 10.6oz/300g.
The Charged Assert 9 is made to last
The rubber outsole will undoubtedly provide for a long life for the Assert 9.
The upper materials also demonstrate their ability to endure for many miles. Most likely, the midsole cushioning will break down prior to the outsole or upper wearing out.
Assert 9 provide a dense upper, with leather, that is not too breathable
There is a lot of material making up the upper portion of the Charged Assert 9. The addition of leather and the thickness of the upper makes for a shoe that is not very breathable.
Unfortunately, the desire for a lightweight trainer seems to have been overshadowed by the desire for thick leather protection around the toe. This demonstrates that the design of this shoe was most likely influenced by a desire for cross-training applications versus running long miles.
My name is Mark Clements. I’m an avid runner in my 40’s and I run races from 5Ks to Marathons. I’m always training for a race and run at least 40 miles/week, rotating up to 5 pairs of shoes through my runs. My long term goal is to run into old age, remaining injury-free, which comes in part by being equipped with the best shoes out there!