Under Armour Speed Tire Ascent Mid Performance Review
At a recent visit to Under Armour, we got a chance to see their 2017 running shoes and got a sneak peek at some upcoming models. Watching the Baltimore-based company evolve its running line has been a treat.
A little over a year ago I tried out one of their more experimental shoes, the Fattire. The shoe had interesting inspirations for the design but wasn’t practical for my trail running needs. It was big, not very stable feeling underfoot, and heavy. Luckily UA did not scrap the concept shoe. They took the Fattire and sculpted it down to a sleek trail shoe that can nimbly maneuver off road.
After trying out the Speed Tire Ascent on a 9-mile trail run, I decided to wear it for my sixth running of the HAT 50k. It isn’t as much of a gamble as you might think. The race has loops where you can leave a drop bag. I brought an extra pair of shoes as insurance.
I learned from the 9-mile run that you don’t have to crank down the Boa® Closure System to get a secure fit. It is actually better to dial in a less snug setting. The stretchy booty built into the Speed Tire provides a back up to the lacing. The upper hugs your foot and is forgiving at the same time. There is plenty of room for your toes, the shoe might even lean towards the wide side of the fit spectrum.
The Speed Tire has a DWR finish applied to the upper. That is basically a fancy way to say that they coat the shoe with water repellent. This wasn’t necessary for the HAT 50k. There are two stream crossings where your feet get submerged. The Speed Tire was “okay” at draining water, it wasn’t the worst I have tried and it wasn’t the best. The high collar did a great job keeping debris out of the shoe and eliminated the need for gaiters.
A true test for the shoe came after the first stream crossing. My injinji sock started slipping down into my shoe. I still had about 10 miles until I would be back to the drop bag when I decided to take a gamble. I pulled the shoe off, stripped the sock, and put the shoe back on wet. I thought my chances were high I would get a blister. If I could make it back to the benches, I had a fresh pair of socks. The shoe was rubbing and making a terrible sound every step as it slid against my inner heel.
I made it back to my drop bag, scrambled to find my fresh pair of socks. Upon taking the shoe off there wasn’t even a red mark where the shoe was rubbing. Now I had a choice, switch to the dry extra pair of shoes or continue on with the Under Armour Speed Tire Ascent. Other than the sock incident, my feet felt great. I stuck with the Speed Tire. I am glad I did.
At the end of the 50k, I was in good shape. My feet felt good and my legs weren’t wrecked. The Speed Tire’s Michelin® Wild Gripper outsoles were perfect for the trail conditions we had this year. I never got jabbed by roots or rocks through the midsole. We ran over dry single track, stream crossings, road, grass fields, and very little mud. I would not recommend the Speed Tire for a course with lots of mud. The outsole isn’t as aggressive as I would want for clawing muddy terrain.
The UA Speed Tire Ascent has a 4mm drop and weighed 11.4 oz. for my size 10.5.
Pick up your pair of Under Armour Speed Tire Ascent Mid