Under Armour HOVR Sonic review
The Under Armour (UA) HOVR Sonic is a new addition to the Under Armour lineup.
It has a lot of potentials but needs some tweaks to make it competitive with other running shoes. It is a lightweight, neutral, daily trainer that seems like a stripped down shoe without a lot of extra features.
It has a stiff ride and requires some break-in before you begin to appreciate the HOVR technology. However, the shoe still has enough cushioning in the midsole for long runs. It is also priced right.
Comfy, breathable upper
These shoes have a comfortable upper that is breathable and stays cool. The heel construction is minimal, but it anchors the foot. The toe box is moderately roomy. The best thing about the upper is the sock-like fit, which compensates for other aspects of the shoe.
On the downside, the lacing system needs tweaking. I like to lace my shoes up very tightly, and this is where the shoe falls short.
The lacing system could be designed to allow more adjustments and the metal eyelets (like old Chuck Taylors) are not ideal. The tongue of the shoe is thin and it rolls up on the top corners, which can be uncomfortable if laced up improperly.
I don’t know why UA went with flat laces for this shoe, but they seem like they will wear out quickly and break due to rubbing on the metal eyelets. The good thing about the laces is that they are long enough to double knot.
Another questionable thing is the heel. It doesn’t have a lot of structure and feels a little too flexible. There is also little padding in the heel around the ankles.
The HOVR Sonic needs break-in
The strength of the shoe is the midsole and HOVR blown foam.
The midsole adds extra support and the Compression Mesh Energy Web technology seems to be doing what is promised for people with high arches. The foam on these shoes is stiff and needs a break-in period. I am a runner who likes stiff shoes, but these shoes start out too stiff, particularly in the forefoot.
After some break-in, the shoe began to perform better but the forefoot could be designed with more flexibility. I took long runs, 9 plus miles, in them out of the box. After about 40 miles, the foam began to perform better and there was more flexibility in the forefoot.
Signs of wear after 40 miles
After about 40 miles, the outsole is showing signs of wear. I am a neutral runner who supinates slightly and there was wear on the outer edges of the outsoles after a few runs.
The overall design of the outsole is minimalist. It would be a better shoe if there was a slightly wider forefoot to create a wider toe-box and more surface to make contact with the ground.
I know the rounded heel crash pad pattern is a signature of UA. I am not a heel striker, so it works for me. Other runners might like more surface area in the heel as well.
Colors and style of the UA HOVR Sonic
The shoes have a simple design and UA didn’t offer a lot of bright colors. I have the classic, retro, white with gold lettering. They are stylish enough for me.
I gave the Under Armour Sonic a try because of the HOVR foam and Compression Mesh Energy Web technology. I like that aspect of the shoe.
However, I think UA needs to tweak other aspects of the shoe, like the tongue, lacing system, heel, and outer sole.
If they can figure out a way to create a more beefed up version of the Sonic without adding weight to it or increasing the price, they will have an extremely competitive shoe in this segment of the market.
Tip: see the best running shoes.