Disclaimer: I received a pair of Under Armour HOVR Soncis to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
My last five or six pairs of running shoes have been the same brand. When I’m shopping for new shoes I don’t even look at alternatives. Fortunately I had the opportunity to test new shoes from Under Armour which have opened my eyes a little.
The Under Armour HOVR Sonics come in two forms. Connected and Non-connected. The Connected shoes ($110) come with a built in sensor that feeds data back about your run to Map My Run (Under Armour’s running app).
For the review, I was sent the Non-connected version ($100) as the Connected shoes have been flying off the shelves. While the geek in me would have loved to try the Connected version and see what stats it’s able to produce, it’s probably not something I’d use in the long term as I’m already heavily invested into other platforms.
I requested a light-grey pair of shoes, the first pair of running shoes I’ve owned in this color. In our house it seems to be the “in” color in shoes, at least with my kids. When they saw the HOVR Sonics for the first time, they were very impressed.
I was too. I loved how they have integrated the tongue with the shoe upper, and how comfortable that feels on your feet. The shoes feel snug, but not tight. The upper is made from a thin soft knit mesh and hugs nicely around my heel.
When I was ordering them, the sizing worried me a little. I ordered the same size as my regular running shoes and it was perfect. Very happy indeed.
For some reason, I had it in my head that these shoes were “zero drop” – as they did feel like I was running in flatter shoes. When I looked it up online later, I found out they are not and have an 8mm offset.
What surprised me the most about my first outing was how fast they carried me. I ran two miles in 7:39/mi. I wasn’t trying to beat any records on this particular run, but if I’d continued at the same pace I would have ended up with a 5K PR.
A Good Hosing
Next I took the shoes out for a series of longer runs. On one of these runs we came back through an unfinished trail. It had been raining fiercely here in North Carolina, but it didn’t occur to me the trail might be muddy until it was too late.
My lovely light-gray shoes got caked in thick soggy mud.
When I got back to my house I gave the shoes a good hosing with water. I was so relieved, they came up like new. Normally if I get my running shoes drenched it can take 2-3 days to dry. Thanks to the light soft knit upper, these shoes were dry in a day!
Long Runs, Hills and Energy Return
Probably because I’ve worn the same brand of shoes forever, the impact of the run feels different in the UA HOVR Sonics. I definitely feel my calf muscles a little more tender afterward, and I suspect it’s just a transition to slightly different running dynamics that the HOVR Sonics bring.
Because of this I was a bit apprehensive to using the shoes on a really long run, but today I decided to anyway. I knew I was writing this review today and wanted to know how the shoes felt over a longer distance.
We ran 11 miles today, on a mixture of road, greenway and trail, with plenty of rolling hills. The shoes performed great the whole way, but especially on hills. This “energy return” Under Armour talk about on their website is freaking real! Seriously! Even when fatigued I felt the shoes propelling me up the hills.
I’m so happy to have a different pair of shoes now to add into my rotation. I’ve been reading recently about why it’s a good idea to throw a mix of shoes into your regular running routine. The UA HOVR Sonics are definitely here to stay.