It has a lot of potential 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.
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.
Midsole and Cushioning
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.
Outsole and Durability
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
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.
What I liked most about the HOVR Sonic
- The HOVR foam and Compression Mesh Energy Web technology
- Decent energy return after a break-in
- Good arch support
- Breathable upper
- The sock-like fit
- Good price
What I do not like about the HOVR Sonic
- The tongue is thin and rolls up under the top laces
- The metal eyelets
- The lacing system is not very adjustable
- The heel and ankles need more padding and structure
- The outsole shows wear fast
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.
Good to know
- Runners will have an option to choose between being digitally connected or not. With the integration of the UA Record Sensor technology, the user will be able to track his or her running metric without using any mobile phone or device.
- The HOVR cushioning is integrated into the shoe. It aims to deliver shock absorption and enhanced responsiveness.
- The High Abrasion Rubber in the heel area provides the right amount of traction. It also absorbs the forces from the impact.
- Utilized in the shoe is the Threadborne upper. This breathable, material delivers lightweight comfort and strength to the platform.
The Under Armour HOVR Sonic utilizes the High Abrasion Rubber. It is located in the heel area to provide traction in a wide variety of paved surfaces. It is also essential in absorbing force from the impact during the running activity.
The Blown Rubber is integrated into the Under Armour HOVR Sonic. The material lies in the forefoot area to provide additional durability, flexibility, and responsiveness to the platform.
Featured in the midsole is the UA HOVR technology. This component of the shoe provides ‘zero gravity feel’. This technology maintains energy return. As a result, it aids in the elimination of impact in every stride.
To give back the energy return, the Compression Mesh Energy Web is contained and molded in the UA HOVR foam.
The UA’s Record Sensor lies in the midsole area. It is securely placed in a watertight casing to prevent it from getting wet or damaged. The technology aims to store, analyze and track the user's metric. This sensor is essential in helping the runner to improve and do better in achieving his goals.
A removable Ortholite sock liner is added into the shoe. It has anti-microbial components to keep the foot fresh and dry at all times. It contours to the natural shape of the foot for a more individualized comfort and cushioning.
Integrated into the Under Armour HOVR Sonic is the Threadborne upper. This compression-like fit material delivers lightweight strength. It also provides added breathability for unmatched comfort.
The shoe uses the TPU External Heel Counter. The purpose of this technology is to offer a more supportive structure to the heel.
To increase breathability, the Ventilate Midfoot Panel is used in the Under Armour HOVR Sonic. This material is essential in providing a snugger and more comfortable midfoot lockdown.
Attached to the footbed is the unique tongue unit construction. It uses stretchable support wings that maintain a snugger fit throughout the running session.