We have reviewed the Under Armour Speedform from a running perspective. Bobby and Dan have taken the Speedform to Crossfit to see how the shoe performs.
Under Armour Speedform: CrossFit Perspective Guest Review
I like to run, and I love to CrossFit. While they go hand in hand, the necessary footwear for both can be drastically different. Most CrossFit workouts with running are kept to a short distance, mostly less than a mile. Minimalist shoes seem to work well for these types of workout run combos. For distance running you need a shoe that is comfortable, as well as form fitting. It should have a sole that will effectively cushion your foot as, if you are like me; you hurl yourself wildly down the road or trail.
Many would say CrossFit’s core movements require three different types of shoes. The first is a minimalist shoe. This is for the daily workout with its general movements. This shoe should be wide in order to allow the foot to lay flat, and needs a minimal drop from heel to toe. This will allow you to have solid contact with the floor, which helps maintain balance when a heavy kettle bell is swinging a foot over your head. The second is an Olympic lifting shoe. The “oly” shoe has a rigid sole with an elevated platform heel. This shoe gives you the most support in the squat by raising the heel with a drastic drop to the toe, providing a sturdy platform for your lifts. The third shoe is a running shoe, cushy and comfortable; something that makes you feel as if you are floating on a cloud.
I believe a minimalist shoe is very hard on the knees and just generally uncomfortable to run in. However, for the short distances incorporated into the daily workouts, most people suck it up due to lack of transition time in between the different movements. It’s almost impossible to run in an Olympic lifting shoe. If you can do it please post a video to YouTube. The running shoe should make you feel like you’re hovering over the ground, gently kissing the surface with each step. While this is great for running, it’s not fun to lift 195lbs above your head while balancing on what feels like a cushion of air.
I average about 50 miles a month outside of the runs that are part of my daily CrossFit routine. For most of these extra miles I sport a 30lb weight vest, which usually gets me quizzical or scared looks from people driving by. With the vest I weigh 210 lbs. Because of this extra weight I needed a shoe that would effectively absorb the shock for my knees. I was previously wearing a minimalist running shoe, and due to the extra weight I had compressed the sole to the point where it felt as if I was using my knees as jackhammers every time I ran.
With 200 miles on my current pair, I can say with confidence that the Speedform is a great running shoe. The sturdy sole provides me with the support I need, and I haven’t experienced any knee pain. The upper is constructed as one solid piece, and is pretty sleek. However, it doesn’t offer much support. So if you’re prone to rolling ankles, you probably will. The price point seems to be right in line with the other major running brands.
I thoroughly enjoy running in my Speedforms, 10k after 10k they hold up. However, as soon as I run into the gym, I swap them for my minimalist shoes or my Olympic lifters depending what’s on tap for the day. Overall it’s a solid running shoe, but not very suitable for CrossFit or any other cross training activity.
The Speedform only has a few drawbacks in my opinion. First, the rubber on the bottom of the sole is soft; I’ve noticed a lot of wear for 200 miles on the Baltimore sidewalks. Second, they do not repel water whatsoever. If you even look at a puddle your feet will be wet. The material sucks in as much in as it wicks out, as well as there are many large ventilation holes that act as siphons for any precipitation that might be on the ground. Third, they are dirt magnets, and because all of the color options are extremely vibrant, they tend to look dingy pretty quick.
Dan Belove lives in the Canton area of Baltimore City, is a novice runner and a CrossFit level one trainer at Push511. If you see a guy running down Boston Street with what looks to be a bomb strapped to his chest, that’s probably him, give a honk.
Under Armour Speedform: CrossFit Prospective
Living in Baltimore and being a typical gear junkie I’ve kept a close eye on Under Armour’s contributions to footwear and have consistently been unimpressed. But with the Speedform I think they may have finally made a contender.
I was first introduced to this shoe by Thomas, he brought a pair to the Ragnar Relay. The shoe boasts a healthy, zero drop, cushioned sole and an upper of the most minimal of construction. I was intrigued. I won a free pair at the Baltimore Running Festival and opted for the Yellow Maryland Flag design, which in my opinion might be one of the coolest sneaker designs ever. You can refer to Thomas’ review here, but me and Dan Belove are reviewing as CrossFit athletes.
Great styling and a really comfortable shoe. I had to size ½ down to get the right fit. On short runs I’m confident and feel fast. The Speedforms are responsive, light, flexible. During agility and gymnastic workouts they are ideal. If you are an amateur weightlifter like myself, the flat sole, zero drop, and wide toe box make them a nice versatile option for many WODs.
Speedforms hate burpees as much as you do. Being a truly minimally constructed shoe there isn’t much protection on the toe area. Hitting the floor over and over beats up and dirties the toe a lot. I’ve resorted to taking the Speedforms off and doing some WODs barefoot to save the shoes (they look so cool you don’t want them messed up).
A solid shoe and in my opinion the best shoe UA has built to date. The design and styling are top notch. As a runner and even sprinting shoe they are solid. The Spedforms are a good shoe, but they aren’t built for the rigors of your everyday CrossFit shoe. I’d like to see Under Armour build on this concept and make a shoe like the Speedform that can handle CrossFit.