Robbe: I feel like Under Armour’s biggest hurdle to gaining validity as a major force in the running scene is their inability to commit to either running or fashion and still not figuring out how to combine the two.
I absolutely loved the look of last year’s HOVR Sonic, and it’s comfortable as hell. It’s a perfect summer shoe and I wore it on the reg. But flat-out, it was a poor running shoe.
On the other side of the see-saw sits the new Under Armour Velociti 2, a lightweight and neutral trainer that checks most of the boxes in the running category. Not really a looker, but it’s certainly acceptable as a solid running shoe.
Thomas: So far the Velociti 2 is the Under Armour shoe I would pick out of the UA 2019 lineup to run in. I have run in the Guardian, the Infinite, the Velociti Racer, Sonic, and the Phantom. All of the shoes I just mentioned had me scratching my head. I can’t really follow the running shoe story Under Armour is trying to tell. Spoiler alert, while the Velociti 2 is the best shoe from this year’s UA lineup, it is prosaic compared to what is going on in the running shoe market. The latest offerings are making me feel nostalgic for the Gemini.
Robbe: I’ll start with the great: Under Armour nailed the upper fit on this one. It’s an engineered one-piece mesh with a molded, full-length EVA sock liner that forms nicely around the foot. It’s neither too tight around the foot or too roomy in places. It’s not especially clever; it just does its job in securing the foot perfectly. It’s really one of the more comfortable uppers I’ve recently worn.
The midsole features their HOVR technology, which I’m ambivalent on since it came out last year. The outsole is a high-abrasion rubber and the drop is a fairly-standard 8mm. As a total package, the weight rings in at 10.6 ounces/301 grams for a size 10.5.
This isn’t a revolutionary shoe by any means, but it can be worn as a solid trainer. The best compliment I can give this shoe is that it feels identical to a Nike Pegasus 33, albeit slightly lighter. Which is to say it’d be a great shoe three years ago. Read into that as you will on the state of UA’s running technologies.
Overall, it provided a quick and comfortable-enough ride for those 5-7 mile distances. It offers a comfortably firm ride that works well with mid-distance tempo or speedwork.
I got the grey colorway which emits shades of a Commodore computer. More appealing options exist, like the sunfish (blue/mango) and dark grey/ether blue (teal).
Unlike a Commodore computer, it doesn’t come with a floppy drive; however, like most of UA’s running shoes, it features their Record Sensor™ technology inside the heel that “tracks, analyzes & stores virtually every running metric so you know exactly what you need to do to get better.”
I don’t know the actual stats of people who use this in conjunction with UA’s MapMyRun, but it perpetually feels like a gimmick when I see it in the spec sheet. Like most runners, I didn’t use it but instead uploaded my data through my watch to Strava. I just don’t need another app on my phone.
Thomas: I’d agree with Robbe on the fit. The Velociti 2 has an upper that hugs the foot, breathes, and flexes well with the foot. In the past, people wanted a removable footbed in the Under Armour shoes, for those that requested it, their prayers have been answered. The padded tongue is on target in thickness and size, and the lacing is straight up standard stuff.
Under Armour is back with their HOVR “rim and core” midsole. The rim is the traditional foam and the core is HOVR. The cushioning platform works well enough and with the durable rubber on the outsole, Velociti 2 delivers a smooth ride.
Robbe: I don’t have anything particularly bad to say about the shoe, to be honest. I have some ‘eh’ thoughts. I’m not fully sold on the HOVR midsole; it feels like something a few years behind everyone else (refer to exhibit A, the Pegasus 33).
It’s a straightforward shoe, but it’s not super-responsive, and as with other models’ HOVR midsoles, there isn’t much of a pop to it. According to Under Armour’s product page, this shoe features the Micro G® midsole rim, touted as “turning cushioned landings into explosive takeoffs.” Politifact may flag that as “mostly false.”
Lastly, there is just something about Under Armour that is off. Overall, I just don’t trust their direction, because it’s about as accurate as a Super Soaker stream in a hurricane. There’s just no consistency. For instance, this shoe is pretty good. Another one may not work functionally, but looks great (Sonic and Phantom). And still another may be super comfortable for “wearing around,” but it’ll be much too heavy to run in (Guardian). There’s just no consistency for me to build trust in their offerings.
That said, I am rooting hard for Under Armour. As Baltimore boys, both Thomas and I want to see them crack the podium as a top-notch running shoe brand. They’re not totally there yet, but I want nothing more than to see them get there.
Thomas: Robbe and I work together and the first thing we both said was how much the Velociti 2 reminded us of an older Nike Pegasus or a 2016 Saucony Ride. Both good shoes in their day BTW.
The look of the shoe sets you up for the experience of running in the shoe. I think the designers were going for a “retro” 90’s color story but ended up with a mashup of an elementary school teachers lounge. A beige and grey midsole with a corduroy upper look. Other colors might “jazz” it up a little, but the performance will remain the same. Even with that, I would rather have boring over outright bad. The Velociti 2 isn’t a bad shoe.
While all the UA shoes are Bluetooth enabled and connect to the MapMyRun app, I did not take advantage of it. I’ll admit, I have app fatigue. Because I use Vdot02 for my coaching, Strava as my training log, and Nike + on the rare occasion (mostly to unlock special offers), I just don’t have room for another running app.
Under Armour Velociti 2 Conclusion
Robbe: Overall, I was pleased with this shoe. It’s a no-frills ride that I don’t have to think about. I’ll continue to cycle it in every now and then, but probably not for anything more than 7-ish miles. In 2019, better options exist. The $120 price point is average, as most running shoes these days seem to be running up that high. This shoe won’t surprise you, but I’d recommend it if you miss that Pegasus 33 feel, or if you love its design and want to make sure it’s solid enough to run in. Also, this is not for wide feet, in case any of you Yetis out there are reading this.
Thomas: The good news is the Velociti 2 is the best UA road running shoe I have run in this year. It is a solid daily trainer that will work for many runners. I might be snobby about my running shoes, but my taste in wine is unrefined. For me, box wine does the trick. The Velociti 2 is like that boxed wine (don’t hate on Bota). For most people, this shoe will work well enough. Cheers.Shop UA Velociti 2
Robbe is the Digital Marketing Manager for Big Run Media/BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards. His favorite race distance is the marathon and his favorite beer is anything but Blue Moon.