February 1 2018
Under Armour has launched its newest shoe technology, UA HOVR, as part of its unveiling for two new shoes: the HOVR Phantom and HOVR Sonic.
The Tester: Nikki Peoples
As a 37-year-old working mom of two, Peoples views running as her “me time.” She’s an avid half-marathoner, marathoner and even does triathlons. The Houston resident, who ran 3 miles for the first time in 2014, is also a USATF Level 1 coach and loves to encourage other women, especially moms, to be active. As far as shoes go, Peoples is easy to please because her feet are blissfully problem-free. That said, she’s not a fan of a thin or firm sole, and she prefers lighter styles. When buying shoes, she focuses on comfort, pricing and color. She wears a size 8.5.
Julie’s guidelines: Since Nikki wears neutral shoes and does not have foot issues, she has free rein to play with different styles.
7.5 oz., 0mm drop
The boxier look of the Torin was an adjustment for Peoples: “The shape of the shoe may look funny but your toes will thank you because they won’t feel cramped!” The real surprise came when her steps per minute increase from an average of 159 to 180 when wearing these shoes—proof that a little extra cushion won’t slow you down! Peoples also felt that the pair helped her maintain a straighter posture and loved the “perfect length” of the laces.
8.1 oz., 4mm drop
“This shoe is one of the best my feet have been introduced to since I began running three years ago,” Peoples says. She also announced these as her new marathon shoe—it helps that she ran a 5K PR while wearing them! The plush cushioning felt like running on clouds. These nimble road shoes also helped Peoples keep rubber to the road with no slipping, rolling or skidding, even on wet pavement. These run about half a size small, so try on before you buy.
10.1 oz., 8mm drop
Gnarly off-road conditions, rocks and roots are a whole lot more fun when tackled with plush cushion and a grippy sole. Peoples rated these high in the protection department (her feet felt nice and secure even when striding on challenging surfaces). The trade-off is a clunkier feel. Peoples’ only qualm was the heavy weight, which she felt slowed down her stride.