Our verdict

The Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 does a great job in the multidisciplinary category, adept at both running and gym sessions, even pairing well with your go-to jeans. In our lab tests, we appreciated its versatility but noted a few drawbacks. We found the energy return insufficient for our liking, and at almost 12 oz, it felt overly heavy for our runs. Additionally, during summer workouts, we were concerned about its breathability—it simply felt too warm even indoors. Despite these issues, it could still be a solid choice for cooler climates and low-mileage runners.

Pros

  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Highly stable
  • Versatile for cross-training and walking
  • Built like a tank
  • Unique aesthetics
  • Well cushioned
  • Balanced foam

Cons

  • Excessively heavy
  • Not suitable for long-distance running
  • Lacks breathability

Audience verdict

77
Bad!

Who should buy

From our perspective, the Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 is a great fit for those who:

  • Need a warm upper for the coldest runs of the year
  • Want a comfortable-yet-durable running shoe that can handle walking the dog, doing HIIT, or going to buy groceries
  • Have a heel strike pattern and don't mind the extra weight of this daily trainer.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3

Who should NOT buy

There are two clear concerns with this shoe. The first one is the poor airflow it showcases. This makes the shoe totally unsuitable for running in warm temperatures, regardless of the distance. In our tests, it's also not a wise choice for long runs unless it's really cold out there. Good alternatives at a similar price point include the Hoka Clifton 9 for a lower drop, or the Brooks Ghost 15 for a higher drop

The second concern is the weight. At almost 12 ounces, the Phantom 3 will feel too heavy if you are really into running. While they won't be a problem for some casual runs, in our opinion, there are lighter daily trainers like the ASICS Novablast 3 or other versatile shoes like the Hoka Kawana, which are significantly lighter than this Under Armour.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3

Breathability

If you're looking for a shoe that feels like an oven in summer, this is it. It's one of the worst shoes we've ever tested for breathability, so we had to give it the lowest score, 1 out of 5.

When we switched to our light-based test, we found that it effectively blocked all the light. This backs up our previous test. If light doesn't find a way out, the same goes for heat and humidity.

Then we moved to the microscope, and we discovered a thick upper that's really comfortable, but again, it has no ventilation holes or room for air to escape.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 microscope

If they had added some ventilation holes like those in the Adidas Ultraboost, this upper could've been something really great no matter the season.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 microscope close

On the plus side, the upper is one of the more elastic we've seen. Under Armour went all in with comfort, but they forgot about breathability, and that makes the shoe unsuitable for warm weather—although is great for winter.

Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 1
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Of course, a thick upper with limited breathability has its advantages. One benefit, already noted, is that the shoe is superb for winter since it keeps our feet warm. Another advantage is the outstanding durability.

In our Dremel test, the UA HOVR Phantom 3 held up in a remarkable way. We gave it a well-deserved perfect score—5 out of 5.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Toebox durability
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 5
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel of the shoe is also durable, and it seems improbable that anyone could wear it out before other parts of the shoe.

Although it didn't achieve the top score like in the previous test, we awarded it a 3 out of 5. This mark surpasses the average, showcasing its superior performance in our assessment.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Heel padding durability
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

After our first two tests with the Dremel, we had a pretty clear idea that Under Armour was aiming to create a durable shoe. But we didn't know what their plans were for the outsole.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 outsole

Measuring 86.8 HC on our durometer, this rubber is really hard, so they're focusing on durability again. This might affect the grip, but since we believe this is more of a multi-purpose shoe rather than a pure running shoe, it doesn't worry us that much.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Outsole hardness
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 86.8 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole thickness

Moving on to the outsole thickness, the trend continues. It's thicker than most shoes, so when combined with the hardness we measured earlier, we can easily expect this outsole to last a very long time.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Outsole thickness
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 4.3 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

With the thick rubber, padded upper, and everything else this shoe includes, it's no shock to us that it weighs in at 11.9 oz (338g). That makes it one of the heaviest shoes we've ever measured in the lab.

While we understand that some weight must be added for comfort, Under Armour really needs to rethink this design. They should make the next version, the v4, at least an ounce lighter.

Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 11.92 oz (338g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

In the heel, we found just the right amount of stack to give good protection, but it's not overdone like some of the max stacked shoes out there.

At 32.8 mm, it falls into the average range, making it a solid choice for heel strikers.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Heel stack
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 32.8 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

However, the forefoot paints a different picture. Measuring only 20.1 mm, it's likely less than what's required for serious long-distance training. That's why we can only recommend this shoe for short, easy runs.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Forefoot stack
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 20.1 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

Together, these factors result in an astonishing 12.7-mm heel-to-toe drop. This design is clearly best suited for heel strikers or those who have Achilles issues and need to incline their feet as much as possible.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 drop

It's also a surprising deviation from the 8-mm drop that Under Armour originally claimed, and that might be a letdown for some.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Drop
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 12.7 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

With a clear focus on comfort, it's essential to have a well-cushioned insole. The team at UA, however, has taken this to the next level, providing an exceptionally thick 7.1-mm insole.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Insole thickness
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 7.1 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

In the midsole, we find the HOVR foam registering at 20.1 HA for softness, a balanced approach that's likely to suit the needs of most runners.

It strikes a nice middle ground, not being overly soft like the Nike Invincible 3, nor as firm as the On Cloudswift 3

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Midsole softness
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 20.1 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After placing the shoe in our freezer for 20 minutes to simulate cold conditions, we took it back to the lab for testing. The measurement now registered at 25.5 HA, which is notably firmer than before, but it remains decently soft.

This observation confirms that the shoe really shines during the winter months, maintaining a nice level of comfort thanks to its extremely warm upper.

The difference between the two measurements shows a 26.7% increase, which falls more or less in line with the average performance in this area.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 26.7%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

The UA HOVR Phantom 3 is impressively stable, leaving no room for doubt in its performance. Whether we were walking, running, or cross-training, this shoe delivered in the stability department.

Torsional rigidity

One of the main factors contributing to the great stability of this shoe is its torsional rigidity. We gave it a rating of 4 out of 5, a score that's notably above average. This level of stiffness is quite unusual for a versatile running shoe.

Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Nevertheless, what really caught our attention about this shoe is its MASSIVE heel counter. This crazy TPU piece wraps around the heel, working effectively to provide stability for heel strikers.

Although it can make the heel feel a little uncomfortable, there's no denying that it's a stand-out feature. This design is just different from anything else we've seen.

Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 4
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

A stable shoe requires a wide platform, that's how it works. And the forefoot of the UA HOVR Phantom 3 might not be the widest shoe we've ever come across, but it certainly delivers in this aspect, measuring at 114.9 mm.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 114.9 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

But it's in the heel where Under Armour really concentrated their efforts. In this area, we measured an impressive 98.9 mm, which is significantly more than what's typically found in most shoes.

This added width in the heel provides extra stability for those who are heel strikers.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 98.9 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

A shoe promoted as versatile enough for everything—from running to walking the dog or doing HIIT workouts—can't afford to be stiff. We confirmed this in our test.

To bend the shoe to 90 degrees, we needed to apply only 18.1N of force, which is a lot less than the usual amount required. This flexibility is indeed far from the norm and showcases the shoe's adaptability to various activities.

Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 18.1N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

In cold conditions, the shoe disappointingly becomes much stiffer. We found that it requires 29.3N of force this time, a significant increase from the usual measurement. 

The 61.9% increase in stiffness really falls short when we compare it to other shoes on the market. Although some of this underperformance can be expected from an EVA-based midsole, it's still a letdown.

And what makes this worse is that the shoe is meant to be better suited for cold temperatures.

Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 61.9%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

The toebox of the shoe is roomy, measuring at 99.7 mm, but what really makes it comfortable for those with wide feet is the stretchiness of the knit.

This type of upper allows the shoe to adapt to different foot shapes.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 99.7 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

In the big toe area, the shoe is just average. If your feet feel comfortable in most shoes, then you should be good to go with these.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 76.7 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 179 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Under Armour has chosen to include a sock-like tongue in the design, and it's a complete success in terms of comfort.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 Sock like

Comfort

Tongue padding

While the tongue area of the shoe isn't overly padded (3.0 mm), the material is incredibly comfortable, and it offers a wonderful balance for this particular design.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Tongue padding
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 3.0 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Removable insole

The Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 stands out because the insole is not removable, which is quite unusual. Therefore, it may not be the best choice for those of you need to use custom orthotics.

Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Removable insole
Test results
HOVR Phantom 3 No