As someone who runs a lot, I’m always on the look out for new running shoes that will last longer, provide better support and protection, and feel comfortable on my feet. To that end, I’m often testing out a variety of new options from a number of different manufacturers, including some of the biggest and most well known brands on the planet. That said, I’ve recently been running in my first pair of shoes from Under Armour in the form of the HOVR Infinite models and after more than month on my feet, I can say they are a perfectly adequate shoe that doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, but also doesn’t do all that much to stand out in terms of fit and comfort either. But, it does offer some intriguing technology that some runners will truly appreciate, including onboard sensors to track a variety of data.
Whenever I post a review of any kind of footwear, be it a hiking boot, travel shoe, or a running shoe, I always like to preface things with the disclaimer that all of us have different preferences when it comes to how things feel on our feet. Everyone’s feet are shaped different, have unique contours, and what works for me may not be quite as comfortable and supportive for you. Keep that in mind when reading any review of a shoe and be sure to try that particular model on before making your own decisions.
Under Armour says that when it designed the HOVR Infinite it surveyed pro runners to find out what they wanted and needed from a shoe. With that knowledge in mind, the company engineered the Infinite to be less of a specialized racing, training, or recovery shoe, but a combination of all of the above. In other words, this is meant to be the only footwear you need, no matter what kind of run you are embarking upon. To that end, the shoe is a neutral runner that tries to blur the lines of what we should expect from our shoes, extended versatility to a new level.
UA wants the HOVR Infinite to be the Swiss Army Knife of running shoes, but I found that it was only partially successful in that endeavor. There is no denying that it is a comfortable shoe for instance, but for me that comfort became less evident when I started to run longer distances. This was exasperated for me due to a narrow, confining toe box that seemed to become a bit more problematic as my foot swelled slightly on high mileage outings.
Similarly, cushioning and stability were good at all times, but after a particularly heavy training month in July my legs struggled to recover while wearing these shoes. I also found that cushioning providing less bounce and support sooner than I expected, although admittedly I’m a larger runner than most, so that isn’t all that uncommon. Conventional wisdom says you should change your shoes every 300-500 miles (480-800 km) and I’m definitely on the lower end of that spectrum.
So what did I like about the HOVR Infinite? For starters, they were ready to run straight out of the box with a minimal amount of break in time. I’ve read reviews online where others have indicated that wasn’t the case for them, but I had zero issues with the shoes in this regard. The shoes are also lightweight and extremely breathable, something I greatly appreciate in the hot and humid conditions where I live. UA has outfitted the HOVR Infinite with an outsole that provides stable traction as well, providing confidence to the runner even in changing weather conditions. I ran in these shoes in the rain on more than one occasion for instance and never once felt like I was slipping or losing traction, even on tough uphills. This traction is further enhanced by the use of carbon rubber traction pads, which I wouldn’t hesitate to use on mud and snow either, although I’d stop short of turning the Infinite into a trail shoe.
In addition to the engineering that went into making the HOVR Infinite a solid running shoe, Under Armour also integrated some unique technology into this model as well. That includes Bluetooth connectivity that links the shoes to your smartphone via an app for Android and iPhone, collecting data on a runner’s performance as it goes. When it works, the metrics that are tracked are helpful and interesting, particularly for runners looking to improve their form or train for an upcoming race. Much of the data that is provided isn’t all that different from what you’d get from a connected fitness watch, but if you don’t like to wear a watch when you run, then these shoes can pick up the slack instead. Occasionally the Bluetooth connection would fail however, leaving gaps in the run or not collecting data at all. To be fair, this is more of an issue with BT technology than Under Armour’s implementation of its Bluetooth chips, as the connection system can be problematic in a wide range of devices, including the aforementioned smartwatches and Bluetooth headphones as well.
Overall, the Under Armour HOVR Infinite is a perfectly capable shoe with a lot to like, but at times it feels like it isn’t quite the sum of all of its parts. It is a good shoe, and many are apt to really like what it brings to the table. For me personally however, I was left just a bit underwhelmed. While the shoes saw me through a lot of long, hot, and challenge miles, there are others that I prefer to wear on a consistent basis instead. As mentioned at the top of this review however, your own experience may quite different and you just might find these shoes to be exactly what you’re looking for. Because they don’t vary far from what mainstream runners need, chances are they’ll work for a wide range of people, although they may not standout in any one way either.
All of that said, priced at $120 I do strongly feel that the HOVR Infinite packs a lot of value. I have tested shoes that cost more than this and have been far less comfortable and easy to run in. Those shoes didn’t have “smart” features either, which helps to further reinforce the idea that Under Armour has delivered a quality product at a good price. If this shoe does fit your foot nicely and works for your training needs, it really is offered at a great price.
Find out more on the Under Armour website.
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