Verdict from 11 experts and +100 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Many users said that the upper material was lightweight and extremely breathable.
  • The shoe provided a secure fit and a great overall foot support, according to some runners.
  • A majority of buyers commented that the shoe was comfortable.
  • Several users were satisfied that the color options available were pleasing to the eyes.
  • The lightweight nature and the agreeable heel cushioning received positive feedback.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Several reviewers thought the midsole was lacking in arch support.
  • There was not enough traction on wet trails, as observed by some runners.
  • Several buyers agreed that the toe box is narrow and uncomfortable.

Bottom line

Made from a lightweight and breathable material, the Charged Bandit 3 is a comfortable running shoe that is recommended for both beginners and seasoned runners. It aims to deliver a consistent performance no matter the distance. While some may not be satisfied by the traction and support it offers, most users will find this a reliable option.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

Our reviews

80
/100 by , posted on .

This is the third iteration of the Bandit line. These shoes are for those that are budget conscious and want something versatile and get the job done. As well as handle a bunch of miles and scenarios.

 

Midsole

The midsole is comfortable and provides a fair amount of cushion. I’m a mid-foot striker and found ample cushion there.

I get very mild plantar fasciitis, and this shoe worked well for me, it didn’t aggravate the pain. There is a decent level of response, and it can handle those track workouts.

Overall, you get a midsole that handles a wide variety of paces and speeds with ample cushion and some decent response.

Upper

The upper features a circular knit upper. It has a TPU heel counter to provide a bit more support in the heel, although some who like a secure feeling may find the sock-like upper doesn’t provide enough support around the ankle.

I didn’t find this an issue. The upper has held up really well over the miles and will give you a great amount of durability.

 

 

Beware if you get this shoe wet, it doesn’t take much to get your feet soaked from the water going through the upper. The upper has held up really well over the miles and will give you a great amount of durability.

Outsole

I have found the outsole to provide enough protection and excellent durability. Doing the majority of running in this shoe on a rail-trail, the outsole has lasted amazingly well and has not worn through yet.

I have even occasionally taken these shoes on some rougher terrain, and they’ve held up amazingly.

 

 

The outsole does struggle with traction, though. When wet, the shoe is fairly slippery on roads and similar surfaces. It was fairly good on concrete, though.

I don’t take these shoes out for many runs after taking them at least 700km (I should’ve kept count of the miles because it would be even more). I mainly use them for casual and other sports now, but if I wanted, I could still use them for running.

Performance

The Bandits are very versatile. They can handle anything from a long run to interval workouts on the track. They feel speedy and fast.

 

 

I was able to wear these for a 1500m race. I don’t know if it was the shoes or just me that day, but I felt bouncy, and they carried me to a win. So if you’re looking for a versatile shoe, this will get the job done.

Pros

  • Versatile handling a range of paces and distances
  • Very durable
  • Comfortable
  • Responsive
  • Cheap - the package you get at this price is quite amazing
  • Ample cushion
  • It gets the job done
  • They provide a barefoot feeling 

Cons

  • Traction struggles in the wet
  • Some runners will want more support

Conclusion

These shoes get the job done. They handle a wide range of paces and distances. They are affordable, providing ample cushion and are comfortable. They’re responsive and very durable.

My main downfalls are the loss of traction in wet conditions, and there isn’t much arch support. Not me personally, but some people will find this shoe lacking in support.

If you’re looking for an affordable shoe that gets the job done, comfy, responsive, and versatile. Look no further!

| Level 2 expert Verified
Hello, my name is Turhan. I just started running in 2018 and I cover around 40km per week. I have mainly competed in cross country and shorter distance races. I normally run on a rail trail nearby and get on the track when it’s time to tune up for a race. I love the trails too.

90
/100 by , posted on .

Under Armour (UA) is not a new super brand player in the world of sports. This leading American sports brand is definitely not playing around quality.

Under Armour has many series for Charged Bandits, but what I reviewed this time is my favorite shoes, Charged Bandit 3. Charged Bandit 3 is a neutral road running shoe. But, those with flat feet can still use these lightweight shoes.

 

 

Outside the routine of playing football, I am also a marathoner. For the past few years, I have used Under Armour Charged Bandit 3 in my daily jogging routine. In fact, I finished three marathons with these shoes in one year.

Fit

UA Charged Bandit 3 provides enough flexibility for your feet thanks to its knit upper. For me, these shoes are fit since first use.

Material

With a supportive knit upper, Charged Bandit 3 gives comfort to your feet. It is lightweight enough to help with your pace.

Unfortunately, the knit on this shoe feels stiffer than the knit on Nike Zoom Fly or Adidas Ultra Boost series.

Charged Bandit 3 midsole use the Charged Cushioning® innovation. It's cool enough to support 5-10K distances with tempo run.

But for me, it's a bit harsh and minimal response in the middle to the back. This shoe insole is soft, thick, and supports your feet, and midsole work a little stiff.

The rubber outsole on Charged Bandit 3 is designed to touch the full surface of the ground when running and is flexible enough to run far. After the 700 kilometers, the shoe outsole is still far from thirsty.

As a whole component, this shoe is classified as a series of medium and above, and likewise suitable for the runner who begins to increase the portion of the training distance.

Strengths

  • Cheap in its class
  • Tough outsole
  • Super lightweight
  • Really comfortable

Weaknesses

  • Stiff knit upper
  • Midsole is less satisfying
  • Lack of support on the heel

Performance

I have tested it at various distances, ranging from 5K to marathon distances. It is comfortable for medium distance with tempo pace, but for marathons, I still expect even more support.

After reaching its life span as running shoes, UA Charged Bandit 3 is still suitable for casual use.

These shoes are intended for flat and asphalt road surfaces. Dry running and rain grip on the outsole remain excellent. In the rain, these shoe upper also still provides comfort when running.

Charged Bandit 3 is the right shoe for you beginner to intermediate runners.

Price

Under Armor Charged Bandit 3 may already be difficultly available at official retail stores. However, you can look for it in the online marketplace of your choice.

These running shoes range from USD 50-75. In addition to daily training, it is also suitable for daily casual use.

Conclusion

I am a fan of running shoes made from knit upper. Charged Bandit 3 offers the best price and quality in its class. It is well suited for runners with serious practice.

If you want to have a casual design and comfortable running, these shoes can be a great choice for you.

| Level 1 expert Verified
I'm 28 years old, a football fan, and runner. Currently, I am trying to conquer six Major Indonesian Marathon and six Indonesian Mountain Summit. I also actively practice soccer and jogging four times a week. For soccer and futsal, I usually like brands that use leather like Adidas Ace 16.1 to Munich Continental. As for my running activities, I am comfortable with many who use knits such as Adidas Ultraboost ST and Nike Lunartempo 2. You can find out more about me on Youtube (https://goo.gl/NLtF27) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/galihnugros).

96
/100 by , posted on .

After running 178 kilometers with the pair, in the first 11km, I would call the Charged Bandit 3 a definitive benchmark for neutral road/gravel runners.

In the following review, I will try to point out the strengths and weaknesses and how I came to my conclusion.

I gave the Charged Bandit 3 a chance just because I am always curious about trying something new, especially when it comes to running shoes.

Moreover, the price of €50 didn’t hurt my pocket at all.

My first impression of the Charged Bandit 3 when I first got my hands on it was it's lightweight. Then, I wondered what it sacrificed to make it as such, so I gave it a run.

After the first 11km, I was really impressed. The answer is simple: nothing.

Upper/Outer tissue & Comfortability

First of all, beware: this is no cushioning monster. Instead, the shoe feels spartan-like in the most positive kind of way.

 

 

It uses a thin fabric, with quite a stiff uncushioned heel counter that made me very uncertain about getting blisters before testing the shoe. After using it, my concerns disappeared.

It is the only shoe I tested so far that almost made me feel like wearing no shoes at all.

Midsole & Cushioning

As mentioned above, this is a no feel-good, cushioned shoe. Nonetheless, it does exactly what it should.

It hits the sweet spot between offering a good running experience without getting too heavy by uneconomical cushioning.

This combination keeps a comfortable feeling on longer runs of more than 20km without getting tired by too much mass.

So far after 178km, I cannot find any signs of usage that wouldn’t match comparable running shoes. The responsiveness is a pleasure. It offers what I call the perfect flow.

You can run and run without getting tired. Then, you'll reach a certain momentum and feel like you could go on endlessly like that.

Outsole/Durability

I tried the shoe on road/gravel/trails. I would call it perfect on road and gravel while making a few adjustments on trail.

 

 

Nevertheless, that’s not what the shoe is basically intended for. But, do be careful on very wet surfaces, such as wet rootstocks.

Also, go easy on fast turns on the road when it’s raining. I had the impression that the shoe gets quite slippery on these surfaces. Nothing to worry at all, but it is still good to know.

Conclusion

There are running shoes out there that can compete in terms of performance. For instance, the Brooks Glycerin 14 also offers this perfect flow with even better cushioning.

However, it’s a little heavier (you’re going to carry 40g extra) than the Charged Bandit 3.

The Saucony Triumph ISO 2 as my perfect all-rounder still offers the more convenient cushioning, but also 30g extra compared to the Charged Bandit 3.

I see all of these shoes on a similarly high level. It depends on what you want.

If you are a little heavier and therefore grateful for a little extra cushioning, you may be better off with the Brooks Glycerin series or the Saucony Triumph ISO 2.

If you prefer having a sufficient cushioning and less weight to carry, the Charged Bandit is perfect for you.

What makes it the best choice overall is when you consider the price tag. It’s around 50% cheaper than comparable models.

I definitely recommend this shoe for neutral road runners. With this shoe, you will get the most for your buck.

This shoe earned a score of 96/100 points from me—four points down from the perfect note for that little lack of grip on wet surfaces.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Stable with perfect flow
  • Cheap price
  • Responsive

Cons

  • Weak traction on wet surfaces and trails
| Level 1 expert Verified
Hi, I'm Chris, a classical Hobby runner. I started running in 2011 for fitness purposes and also because I was searching for a sport I can do on my own, without a partner. I run around 1000km a year and do relaxing training as well as competitions. The standard workout is 10km, but when I have enough time, I expand the training-sessions to a max of 21km. So far, my only marathon was in Linz 2017 in 3:55. Mainly, I run half marathons competitively (Best: 1:39, Linz 2019).

94
/100 by , posted on .

The unassuming, affordable and lightweight Under Armour Charged Bandit 3 is a shoe a lot of runners would not give a second look. First, Under Armour is known more for its training shoes than running ones. Second, it's relatively cheap. We have that perception that the cheaper it is, the lesser the overall quality of the shoe.

This is where these pair of shoes destroy all the myth. Personal adversity led me to buy a pair of Charged Bandit 3 (bought it for CAD 54 - an absolute bargain), and I have been impressed with the superior quality of the shoes with each passing run.

 

 

As a midsole or even sometimes foot runner, the shoes provided great support in my 50+km run that I have accumulated on the shoes. These shoes are lightweight and durable making it an ideal pair for runners looking for performance, speed, and comfort.

Upper & comfortability

The Charged Bandit 3 is made with a seamless, breathable design making it an extremely comfortable shoe to wear. The back of the shoe is protected by a TPU heel counter which gives it superior support ensuring that back of the foot does not slide out easily.

 

 

These shoes are an anomaly in comparison to the competition as it has minimal cushioning for the Achilles tendon which made me paranoid about this purchase. I have always been used to a good level of cushioning, and I was pleasantly surprised by how unaffected I have been without the cushioning during my runs.

The EVA tongue is supposed to stay put; however, I can see this being a potential problem for most runners. It has a very weird construction, so it tends to sit on your foot at an odd angle making it uncomfortable at times. Most of the runners would need some time getting used to this design.

Midsole & cushioning

The midsole of the Charged Bandit 3 is where this shoe is so impressive. Powered by Charged Cushioning® technology, made from 2-piece compression-molded foam.

This is where enhanced firmness is provided at the heel yet soft at the forefoot making it a delight for neutral, midsole and forefoot runners. This technology makes every run of mine super responsive with enough energy return ensuring that I have a smooth yet consistent run.

 

 

Under Armour also an antimicrobial Ortholite® sock liner, delivering a snug fit to my feet (I feel they conform to my feet). I am not able to provide any efficacy to the claims of this sock liner’s antimicrobial property.

Outsole & durability

I am an outdoor runner, and I love to run on different surfaces like road, pavement, trails and concrete surfaces. I very rarely run on the treadmill and hence I am not a big fan of shoes which don’t have a good outsole.

The Charged Bandit 3 has a relatively good and sturdy outsole and I have had extremely good traction on the different surfaces I have run on. The shoes have performed significantly well through the different surfaces I have challenged them to.

The outsole has grooves across the forefoot which gives me flexibility and a smooth run as I am landing on my midsole or forefoot.

 

 

Some of the downsides I have observed is when I have run with this on slightly wetter conditions. The shoes tend to drift on wet trails slightly, and I have relied on slowing down to ensure I still have enough traction to continue.

I used to own an Adidas Supernova which had the Continental® outsole which reigned supreme in any condition, and hence I am extremely critical of the outsole make.

Colors

The other major highlight of the shoes is its availability of exciting color options. I make extremely bold choices with my running shoes, and I am happy that I could get the green-blue hue.

Pros

  • Cushioning and responsiveness in the midsole and forefoot
  • Sung fit and conformity to the leg
  • Comfortable and durability
  • Color options
  • Amazing value for the cost of the shoe

Cons

  • Lightweight knit material can make it penetrable
  • Traction on wet surfaces
  • Weirdness of the EVA tongue on your foot

Conclusion

I have been running for a few years now, and I always invest in Adidas or maybe a Nike. However, the purchase of the Charged Bandit 3 has been one of the best, and my entire perception of Under Armour has been blown to smithereens.

I can see myself running a few hundred kilometers easily with this, and I might even use this for a 10k or half marathon in the near future. The snug fit and the midsole cushioning make it one of the best shoes that a runner of any profile (from a beginner to an expert) can invest in.

Although it has been discontinued for the Charged Bandit 4, you could find these shoes at some stores being sold on a discount. If you haven’t, invest it the Charged Bandit 3 right away!

| Level 1 expert Verified
I got bitten by the running bug 7 years back and I have never looked back since. I run an average of 20 km per week. I have done countless 10k's as part of some competitions in India and Canada. I have done to date 4 half marathons (Raramuri run, Bangalore night marathon etc.) with my last one clocked at 2:01:05, the toughest being the run of the Raramuri tribe (my 1st half marathon) where most of the race was at a significant incline. My aim is to complete a full marathon in the near future.

Good to know

  • The Charged Bandit 3 is designed to be lighter and more durable than its predecessor. It does retain some of the tried-and-tested features of the shoe line, such as the solid rubber outsole, the flex grooves, and the Ortholite® sock liner. The shoe was crafted daily use, either on long runs or short sessions on the treadmill.
  • Featuring the UA Charged Cushioning® technology, the midsole is made even more responsive and durable as it provides optimal cushioning and energy return. This design is suitable for neutral pronators.
  • The upper makes use of a lightweight mesh that hugs the foot for a flexible coverage.
  • Under Armour’s own SpeedForm® technology allows the shoe to mold to the foot for a precision fit, therefore eliminating distractions.

The shoe is true to size and will wear best on runners with an average-volume foot. The width profiles are D – Medium and 4E – Extra Wide for men, and B – Medium for women.

The rubber outsole of the Charged Bandit 3 has a full ground contact design, thereby providing traction that is suitable for runs on dry concrete and on treadmills.

The heel area employs a high-abrasion carbon rubber to handle high-impact zones and to deliver a heightened performance. It also aims to provide additional traction.

There are strategically-placed flex grooves to add flexibility in all the appropriate areas and allow for a smoother ride. The flex grooves also enable support for the foot during longer runs.

The midsole of the Charged Bandit 3 consists of the Charged Cushioning®, which is made from a two-piece compression-molded foam. This cushioning is softer at the forefoot and firmer in the heel, thus providing a blend of comfort, support, and impact protection for long-distance efforts or up-tempo runs.

Charged Cushioning, which is also used in the Bandit 4, also aims to deliver a higher level of responsiveness and durability while having optimal cushioning and energy return.

An antimicrobial Ortholite® sock liner is provided to mold to the foot and provide additional underfoot support while also preventing the buildup of bacteria.

Designed to provide an elevated level of comfort, the upper of the Charged Bandit 3 is made with a seamless, breathable design using a lightweight circular knit material. While it is supposed to feel good to wear, it also delivers strength and support that stretches and moves with the foot while running.

The foot is guaranteed comfort and an anatomical fit with the help of the SpeedForm® technology, which comes in the form of a seamless molded heel cup that aims to feel like an extension of the foot. This also allows the foot to perform better as the precise fit eliminates distractions from running.

Protected by an external TPU heel counter, the shoe is given an enhanced structure and a locked-in support to keep the back of the foot in place.

A snug yet stretchy toe box is present to provide a secure fit for the toes.

The EVA tongue is uniquely constructed as it connects to the upper so that it stays put, thus providing comfort over the top of the foot.

How Charged Bandit 3 compares

This shoe: 86
All shoes average: 82
56 95
This shoe: £100
All shoes average: £120
£40 £280
This shoe: 259g
All shoes average: 270g
100g 437g
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com