When I first started blogging, I would force myself to go to every event I was invited to. Even if I stood nervously in the corner feeling awkward. Nowadays, I don’t go to every event, partly because I don’t have time (or the energy!) and now that I don’t live in London it takes a lot more time. And luckily I do know a few more people now so that I don’t have to stand awkwardly at as many events.
One of the events I did make a special effort for was the launch of the new running shoe from Under Armour. The HOVR running shoe launch was at Oval Space in East London (NOT The Oval in South London as I originally thought, and only realised I was in the wrong place when the cricket ground was completely shut, yes I need to read my emails better!).
I hate running in the evening and seriously debated skipping the run, trying the food and heading home early but as I hadn’t run yet that day, I decided to join the group. After a quick warm up from my friend Charlie and the London Brunch Club, we took to the streets of Shoreditch.
There were three pace groups headed out; 8.30 min miles, 9.30 min miles and 10+ min miles. I joined the ‘faster’ group and set off for the 5K. I met up with Grace, Emma and Rich and ran, chatting about marathons etc.
First impression of the HOVR Sonic – they were so comfortable and so bouncy! Apparently the upper is designed based on a chamois (the crotch of cycling shorts!), making them comfortable, soft but hard wearing.
And the sole… WOW! They are so cushioned without having a ton of padding, thanks to the new ‘energy web’ systems that UA have developed. They have wrapped a mesh fabric around a soft sole to deliver maximum energy return, shock absorption and to improve the responsiveness of the base. It is supposed to change depending on the type of surface that you’re running on!
“The development of UA HOVR was inspired by the insight that every step a runner takes has the impact of 2-4x their body weight, holding them down. When designing UA HOVR, we set out to create the perfect combination of cushioning plus responsiveness and energy return – to essentially lift you up,”
At 272g and an 8mm drop, the shoes are really light and have a medium heel drop, apparently this is perfect for mid-foot strikers, although suitable for heel strikers like me, with a little extra padding around the heel than the rest of the inner. They are definitely a road shoe, although the sole has a grippy ‘turf’ pattern. I’ve worn them on both wet and dry road runs, and felt a good traction on both.
I am really pleased that Under Armour stepped away from the classic ‘girl’ colours of pink and purple and have kept it slick with white, grey, blue and black options within their HOVR range…however, white is definitely not the most practical for a long run shoe.
Mine have already been damaged by the wet British weather and now have a rather nasty brown patch at the front of the shoe 😱 I have to say, I think that might be the only bad thing I have to say about these shoes so far! I’ve run 10 miles in them, and although I don’t want to take them on my long run for fear of getting even dirtier – I can’t wait to up the mileage in them.
For reference, I have size 6 feet and have a 6.5 in these, and they fit well. My feet are on the wider side, and I find a lot of shoes quite narrow but these trainers have a wide toe box and are very comfortable, without pinching any areas of the foot. And at only £100 for the HOVR Sonic, I think they’re incredible value for an awesome shoe!
One of the coolest things is that you can link your shoes to MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal (both UA owned apps) however it would be awesome if they linked up with Strava too!