|Weight:||Men: 10.2oz | Women: 8.1oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Use:||All-day wear | Jogging|
|Material:||Mesh upper, Rubber sole|
|Features:||Breathable | Cushioned | Comfortable|
|Strike Pattern:||Midfoot strike|
|Distance:||Daily running | Long distance | Marathon|
|Heel height:||Men: 29mm | Women: 29mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 21mm | Women: 21mm|
|Width:||Normal | Normal|
|Colorways:||Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Orange, Pink, Red, White|
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Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3 – Will you hover through your next PB?More photos
With the increasingly popular ‘coach in a shoe’ feature, UA HOVR foam and compression-like microthread upper, is this a shoe that can do it all?
A shoe that survives into its 3rd iteration is obviously a winner, but just how good is it? I have put these shoes to the test to find out!
Size and weight
As I found when reviewing the UA HOVR Infinites, they run true to size. I am usually a UK 9.5-10 and found that the UK 9.5s were perfect. One important thing to note is that UA has opted for ‘stretchable support wings’ to attach the tongue to the footbed.
This hugs the foot and is great for support; however, it does make the shoes feel narrower than they are.
My pair of UK 9.5s weighed in at 320g per shoe. This is definitely not the lightest shoe I’ve run in but, similar to the HOVR Infinites, the weight is well distributed, and they feel lighter than they are.
Whatever anybody tells you, how a shoe looks will have a direct impact on how it feels when you are running in it. Under Armour has done an amazing job on the aesthetics of this shoe.
The colour popped right out of the box when I opened it and the smooth lines on the shoe were the first thing I noticed. The micro thread upper looks breathable yet durable whilst the firmer heel counter blends seamlessly into the upper.
The black outsole with the white midsole is a nice contrast to the zany upper and UA have incorporated a nice wave-type pattern on the slit in the midsole and round the back of the heel.
On my first run in these shoes I was complimented 3 times by total strangers on how they looked – a definite testament to their eye-catching design!
Stack and drop
The Sonic 3s have a stack height of 25mm at the heel and 15mm at the toe (an offset of 10mm).
This is a standard offset for a supportive shoe and means that you have a nice thick layer of HOVR foam between you and the road.
The microthread upper is breathable and lightweight. It is slightly stretchy which allows it to cup your foot and keep the shoe secure.
Under Armour describe it as ‘compression-like’ which I totally agree with – your foot feels snug in the shoe and is anchored in place with the help of the upper.
A nice feature of the upper is the small UA logo added onto the bottom of the lacing detail and the slightly different colour of the lace holes plastic. I can see that this will prolong the life of the laces by allowing smoother plastic holes for the laces to slide through but also adds a nice addition to the one-tone upper.
The insole is on par with other insoles that you would expect to find in a supportive shoe – comfortable and durable. UA has added a nice touch here by including the name, weight, and drop of the shoe on the insole.
The midsole consists of a nice thick piece of Under Armour’s HOVR foam. I first experienced this when testing the HOVR Infinites and although the shoe was cushioned, it was firmer than I expected.
I am not sure whether UA has changed the way they produce this, but this shoe feels softer and springier than the Infinites. Straight from the box the shoes have a little pop through the stride and feel nice and soft, but not too soft that you feel you are sinking into them.
The sides of the midsole feel firm which I have always experienced as meaning that they will stand up to scratches and scuffs more.
The HOVR foam isn’t the lightest when looking at the weight of the shoe, but it certainly feels good and from my previous use of it I know that it lasts well (having run over 500km in the Infinites and not feeling any major decrease in performance from the foam).
I say this about very few road shoes but one of my favourite features in this shoe is the outsole. It consists of blown rubber under the forefoot and high abrasion rubber under the heel.
The result is a shoe that grips whatever you are running on (wet grass, road, dirt tracks). Undoubtedly, this has added a few grams onto the shoe, but it certainly performs.
After over 80km there are few signs of wear to the outsole and it is as grippy as the first run out of the box. I tend to pronate more on my left foot and often see the outsole wearing down quicker in that place; however, this is not an issue in these shoes.
One very small criticism is that small stones can get caught in the grooves – but you can only tell this once you are home and are actually looking at the outsole.
The tongue is in these shoes takes a little bit of getting used to. It is attached to the footbed by two elasticated support wings.
At first it felt like I hadn’t put my foot into the shoe properly as I could feel the two support wings on my foot; however, after a couple of runs in them it felt completely natural and is nothing to put you off the shoe.
The tongue itself is lightweight which helps with the breathability of the shoe. It is not the plushest tongue I have tried and when I first laced up the shoe, I had to loosen the laces slightly as they were biting through the tongue.
It does have some level of padding to help and I personally wouldn’t want it to be any thicker but for those who are wanting a very cushioned shoe all over, they may be left wanting more.
The reflective HOVR SONIC logo at the top of the tongue is excellent for those running in darker conditions and is visible even with the laces tied.
Like the tongue, the heel is slightly different from any that I have tried before. Instead of the usual thick padding all the way down the heel, Under Armour has opted for a short, padded strip towards the top of the heel (as can be seen in the photo).
I initially thought that this was a recipe for disaster but, like the rest of the shoe, I was very impressed by it. Your heel feels well cushioned and secure without the need for the heavier full heel cushioning.
The heel has excellent rigidity provided by the external heel counter which allows greater support for your feet. It also looks good with the big UA logo and the reflective detailing at the back of the heel.
A big selling point of many of the UA shoes is their connectivity and smart training features.
Having been lucky enough to test the HOVR Infinites before, I have experienced this and use it regularly on steady runs to ensure that my cadence is in the correct zone.
It is also brilliant if you do not have a GPS watch as the shoes will record your route and upload it via Bluetooth to MapMyRun (UA’s own app). Connecting the shoes initially is incredibly easy and after that it is a case of turning on your device’s Bluetooth and wiggling your foot – it is really that simple!
If you haven’t tried using the smart features of UA shoes before then I highly recommend it. By having smart shoes, you also get a free permanent upgrade to the premium version of MapMyRun meaning that you get training plans, full insights such as Heart Rate analysis, foot strike angle, and other excellent training features.
As I have alluded to above, this shoe is certainly durable. After 50 miles on a mixture of roads, trails, and grass the only sign that it isn’t brand new is that the upper is slightly dirty!
The outsole has worn fantastically with only a slight abrasion to the rubber occurring where I supinate.
The upper shows no stretching or snags and the midsole still feels springy and supportive over all terrain. For shoes that aren’t as durable normally around the 50-60 mile (80-100k) mark is where you feel a drop off in the performance of a shoe but this is certainly not an issue here.
Comfort & fit
Apart from the initial few minutes getting used to the internal support wings, this shoe has been incredibly comfortable.
It took 1 run to break in and even on long runs it hasn’t caused me any discomfort or blisters. The midsole excels at dampening the terrain so on gravel or stony bridleways you don’t feel the sharpness of the stones.
Size-wise UA is true to size. Compared to my other shoes in rotation (Brooks, New Balance, and Asics currently) the Sonic 3s are slap bang in the middle of them. Width is not an issue either and the lacing is accommodative of narrow feet as well without any pinch points occurring.
So, the bit you have all been waiting for. How do these shoes perform?
On the first few easy runs I did in these shoes I thought they would be an everyday mileage shoe. They had a good return of energy but on the easy runs I wasn’t feeling anything magical from them.
Don’t get me wrong my legs felt fresh afterward and my turnover was good throughout the runs (as confirmed by the MapMyRun data after the run) but I couldn’t imagine running fast in them at that point.
Well how wrong can I be! I took them out on a road interval session which was 9 miles in total. The intervals were at 4:50-5:00 minutes per mile pace (3:00-3:06/km) and the shoe performed outstandingly. Normally I opt for a road flat for this kind of speed but the Sonic 3s performed just as well as my racing flats would have done over these intervals.
I would even go as far as saying they performed better as my legs were not as beaten up at the end of the run as they may have been in a less cushioned shoe. The HOVR foam provided great energy return through each stride and the shoe’s weight (which I thought would be an issue) was unnoticeable.
I also took them on a 16-mile long trail run at sub 6:20/mile (4min/km) average pace and found the same thing – the weight was almost unnoticeable and the shoes just loved going faster.
Great work Under Armour!
What I like
Where do I start? I loved that the shoes weren’t confined to one area of running – I was able to throw in some trails and grass halfway through a run if I fancied it rather than sticking purely to roads.
I liked finishing runs in these shoes not feeling beaten up, and I definitely like the look of these shoes on my feet (perhaps not 4% physical performance but probably 4% mental!).
The more I have run in the shoes, the more things I like about them. I’m not saying that they’re perfect but of the numerous shoes I’ve trained in, these have to be pushing towards my top 2 pairs. If I had to pick one favourite feature it would be the versatility of the shoes. Trails or roads, slow or fast, and uphill or downhill; these shoes just love to run.
What’s more they have felt natural on all my runs – something that is a rare find across all pairs of shoes. I probably wouldn’t take them into a mountain race, but I would for most other runs!
What I didn't like
Yes, I have said that this is one of my favourite pairs of shoes, but yes, they aren’t perfect. The shoes are on the heavy side and, although they perform as well as a far lighter shoe when the speed picks up, they are still over 300g.
This isn’t an issue if you aren’t looking for a racing shoe, although there are similar style shoes that weigh around 60g per shoe less than these. It isn’t a dealbreaker, it's just something to consider.
Believe it or not, I am a big fan of these shoes! They are reasonably priced, perform excellently, and can be thrown into any nearly any situation and excel.
The smart connection is a win for new and seasoned runners alike, whilst the midsole will help you HOVR through your training and races.
If you are looking for an everyday mileage shoe, a more supportive performance shoe, or one that can do both, then this is the shoe for you!
- The Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3 is a road running shoe that works best for neutral runners or individuals who supinate. It offers a perfect balance of cushioning and flexibility for a comfortable and efficient ride.
- In the upper of this lightweight running shoe is MicroThread technology, which provides a compression-like fit for breathable comfort and support. The top is designed with lesser overlays in the forefoot to help prevent irritation. An updated heel counter is also used for additional support. The heel counter keeps the foot locked in place while walking or running.
- A redesigned outsole is integrated into the shoe for better traction on various surfaces. The outsole allows for smoother transitions and provides reliable protection against abrasive elements.
The Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3 uses the standard sizing measurement for both men and women versions. Runners can assume a good fit in their regular sizing, though it should be noted that some reviewers highlighted that the shoe is a bit tight. It is recommended to try the shoe in-store or utilize the general feedback of consumers about sizing before making a purchase decision for a pleasant wearing experience.
The technical factors that directly affect the fit of the shoe include the shoelaces that offer a secure and customized fit. Other elements that influence the comfort around the shoe are the removable OrthoLite sockliner and tongue. The sockliner offers tailored cushioning and added underfoot protection, while the unique tongue construction helps ensure a snugger in-shoe feel.
Providing protection against sharp rocks and uneven surfaces is the blown rubber outsole. This lightweight material is highly durable and abrasion-resistant. It helps absorb ground contact and provides a firm grip on both wet and dry surfaces.
The UA HOVR™ technology is featured in the shoe for zero-gravity feel. This technology offers excellent energy return and eliminates impact in every stride.
The compression mesh Energy Web is featured in the midsole of the Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3. This technology contains and molds the UA HOVR™ foam, providing a high level of comfort. The UA HOVR™ foam gives back the energy that the runner exerts in every step, giving a plush feel and responsive running experience.
This Under Armour running shoe also integrates a small chip in the midsole that connects directly with the MapMyRun app. This technology helps the runners analyze the running metrics to help them improve their performance. It allows the runner to track everything from running pace to stride length.
For a personalized cushioning, the removable antimicrobial OrthoLite® insole is included in the Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3. This material molds to the natural shape of the foot for customized cushioning. Apart from providing comfort, the insole also offers added underfoot protection.
The Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3 features MicroThread technology, which is a fast-drying upper material. This component is responsible for creating a cool and moisture-wicking microclimate inside the shoe. It provides a compression-like fit and keeps the foot dry for an extended period.
A breathable textile lining is infused in the upper to provide long-lasting comfort free from irritation. The soft padding also protects the foot from irritation.
For a secure ride, a molded external TPU heel counter is incorporated into the Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3. The heel counter locks the foot in place to prevent it from sliding up and down while walking or running. This material is also added to help provide structure to the shoe. A cushioned heel collar is also used for added comfort and support.
The unique tongue construction helps maintain a snug in-shoe feel. The tongue is adhered to the footbed by stretchable support wings. It also safeguards the top of the foot from rubbing and getting pinched by the shoelaces. The tongue also helps prevent the entry of small rocks and debris inside the shoe.
The traditional lacing system is featured in the shoe to ensure a secure and snug fit every time. The shoelaces allow the runner to easily adjust the tightness and looseness around the shoe.