Thomas: I will admit at the outset that I am biased towards Under Armour’s running shoes. I have always thought they relied on gimmicks and flash instead of creating a quality running shoe. Personally I don’t know of one serious runner that wears Under Armour running shoes. They have been designated to gym rats, meat heads, and people that like wearing athletic shoes for fashion. On the other side of the coin, I have been hoping that Under Armour will fix their shoes and put out great products for runners. After all, Under Armour is a Baltimore based business and I live in Baltimore. I would love to support a local company and become a brand advocate for their running shoes. While Under Armour did not provide me with a pair of Speedform shoes, my friend Pete from Runblogger received two pairs from UA. Pete offered a pair to me that he hadn’t worn. I jumped at the chance to check out the Speedform. I had been hearing positive feedback from some runners I trust. Could Under Armour finally have a winner in the running shoe category?
The Under Armour Speedform shoe is super cool looking. When I slipped it on my barefoot the first time I was surprised how good it feels against the foot/skin. I rarely run sockless. I felt comfortable running sockless in the Speedform and had no blisters and only a minor hotspot on my right pinky toe. It may be a result of almost always wearing socks and then going sockless. The Speedform didn’t convert me to sockless running, I still prefer the protection of the extra layer. The upper fits well with room to wiggle your toes while both the heel and the mid-foot are secure in the shoe. The outsole is firm with enough stack height to keep your feet protected. I was happy with the firmness of the outsole paired with a good amount of flexibility. The shoes ride is light on the feet and have a fast feel. No energy is lost on squishy cushioning or extra weight (under 6 oz.) It is hard not to enjoy running in these shoes.
Some may find the shoe too firm. After running sockless I did get a hot spot on the outside of my pinky toe, however this may be a result of me having pampered feet. Like I mentioned above I rarely, almost never run sockless.
The Under Armour Speedform is the first Under Armour running shoe that I would recommend. It has a firm ride, paired with a low heel to toe differential leaning more to the “natural” side of running shoe category. It is a unique running experience, the closest comparison I can come up with is that the Speedform feels like a cross between Skechers GObionic and the GOrun Speed. I would limit my long mileage in the Speedform to half marathon distance. I would not recommend the shoe to a beginning runner. This shoe is more suited to mixing into your shoe rotation. The answer to the question, “Has Under Armour finally made a good running shoe?” The answer is no, it is a great running shoe.
Here is Runblogger’s take on the Under Armour Speedform