Where do you get the ultimate in anatomical fit? According to Under Armour, the answer is in a bra factory.
The brand’s new shoe, which we got for a first-look test this month, has a seamless heel cup made in a factory that usually deals in women’s undergarments.
Called the UA Speedform, the shoe is unlike anything we have tested. The bright orange color popped off the pavement and seemed to glow.
They weigh only about 6 ounces a shoe and are flexible like many minimalist shoes. But the sole is thicker and has more cushioning than most “barefoot”-style shoes.
The flexible slab of foam that serves as the mid- and out-sole has a 6mm drop and almost no tread underfoot.
We gave it a test run this past weekend on pavement and dirt roads. Despite the lack of tread the shoe was solid on both surfaces. The running experience was good — I liked the flexible-but-cushioned feel of the foam sole.
It’s not a harsh run like some minimalist shoes can produce on pavement. But the design does not over-direct the foot either, letting you land in a natural midfoot position. Heel striking feels dull and thus the shoe discourages it — a trait we like.
Fit on the foot (thanks to the bra factory again?) is superb. You can wear the Speedform without socks. There is no removable footbed, just a clean and cradling interior with a thin mesh tongue.
After 5 miles of running, I came away impressed for the initial test. I look forward to pounding out more miles in the strange orange shoes this summer, despite the odd looks I know I will get!
The toes are segmented slightly with formed fabric that bumps out. A silicone ring ensconces the cuff, giving the foot a soft and sticky interface where the ankle meets the upper.
Under Armour will sell the Speedform beginning this month for $119.99. Try on a pair if you’re looking for an experience in running shoes unlike anything before.