Verdict: Under Armour HOVR Sonic 4 is a durable daily trainer for beginners who want a shoe that can transition from walking to running to the gym very easily. It is a simple, neutral running shoe that is not going to break any speed records or help you run a marathon.
It’s a very breathable running shoe that provides just enough cushion to make running comfortable, but not so built up that you can’t feel the ground.
Who this shoe is (not) for
It’s great for beginners who land on their heels when running and want a highly breathable shoe (in colder months it may simply be too cold).
Look away if you’re looking for a:
More cushioned running shoe,
Tempo or a race shoe,
Midstrike or forefoot strike running shoe.
The integrated foot pod is unique to UA running shoes and is a really cool feature to give you live coaching on your runs.
The foot pod allows you to utilize technology to provide live coaching through their app. Perfect for those that want/need the coaching provided through the app to give you that extra kick.
Grippy and durable
The full rubber outsole gives you plenty of traction for runs on different terrains and the durability to get the most miles out of the midsole.
Under Armor HOVR Sonic 4 lacks structure
The upper is very flexible and breathable but doesn’t have any structure to it to provide a little bit of stability.
Pros of this lack of structure:
It allowed the shoe to wrap around my foot.
No hotspots nor feeling that you have too much plastic on your feet.
The upper overlaps the midsole a bit (but not so much so that it is uncomfortable).
Too much room in the toe box.
A walking shoe for forefoot strikers
The midsole in the heel feels less dense than the midsole in the midfoot and forefoot. While walking this sensation is very comfortable but is a little odd for someone who strikes the ground on the midfoot/forefoot while running.
I would definitely prefer this as a walking shoe for that reason.
Serious issues in the foot lockdown department
The tongue is really padded so the laces don’t feel like they are pushing against the top of your foot. I did struggle with the lockdown in the shoe though.
Despite the extra padding in the heel, I couldn’t use the extra eyelet for a runner’s knot without creating a lot of pressure on my ankle bone.
I had to tie the laces really tight, which helped with the heel slippage but didn’t eliminate it completely.
Not for experienced runners
I wouldn’t recommend these shoes for seasoned runners looking for a specific shoe since it doesn’t fit any one area. Here’s why:
It’s not cushioned in the right places to make it a good long-distance shoe.
It’s a little too clunky for speed/tempo work.
For a utility shoe, it definitely fits that market.
Sonic 4 is heavy
The shoe didn’t feel too heavy while running, but after a couple of miles, it did start to feel clunky. I might have noticed this more due to my landing (not a heel strike).
I'm a running nerd. I watch running/endurance events in my free time and spend hours reading gear reviews. I have completed over 2 dozen running and triathlons. I am solidly in the “mid-pack” group. I enjoy lacing up the shoes and getting a run in whenever I can whether on the road, trail or even the treadmill.