Traction: For the SpeedForm Apollo, Under Armour (UA) used high abrasion rubber inserts on the outsole in key contact areas, such as the heel and mid-foot. These areas are where most runners tend to strike first and have the most contact with the running surface. By doing so, UA kept the weight of the shoe down by not using rubber in unnecessary areas but this comes at a cost. Since there is less rubber on the outsole, that means less grip or traction, and depending on the running conditions or surfaces, you can find yourself slipping at times.
Cushion: The cushioning used in the SpeedForm Apollo is UA’s trademark foam, Micro G, which provides great cushion, and explosive feedback. There is also a 6mm built in sock liner, which unlike most traditional running shoes is not removable. The combination of the two provided a lightweight, responsive cushioning system that absorbed all impact during my runs and provided excellent energy return, never leaving me feel like more was necessary. Granted there might be other models out there that might have more cushioning but the SpeedForm felt like it had the right mix of shock absorption and feedback.
Transition: : UA had one thing in mind when creating the SpeedForm Apollo – creating a shoe that is lightweight and fast feeling, without compromising any cushion. The shoe’s platform has a 8mm drop with the heel being 22mm and the toe 14mm. The outsole has natural flex grooves in key areas of the shoe in order to allow the runner a natural feel from heel to toe-off. UA even went as far as to add a stability TPU insert at the mid-foot to give an added amount of support without sacrificing the neutral feel of the shoe.
Materials: One of the most interesting facts about the SpeedForm Apollo is how it was designed at an UA apparel facility – a very unconventional process. By doing so, UA incorporated technologies that have made their lightweight apparel brand infamous, working a variety of the elements into the upper of this shoe, while keeping the weight down to 6.5 ounces (men’s size 9). The upper is made up of a two-piece, three-layer seamless, moisture wicking molded synthetic material. UA used seam tape welding technique in order to combine the two-piece upper and have no friction points or “hot spots”.
Fit: The SpeedForm fit is exceptional. Having the SpeedForm material the upper actually feels like a second skin and molds to your foot. A molded, seamless heel cup and external heel counter is another benefit of the shoe and a design borrowed from their Speedform RC. This allows for better lockdown in the heel and less excess material to get in the way of a truer fit. Let’s not also forget that UA incorporated their 4D foam to the foot bed of the shoe to give the user a more custom fit to prevent any slippage or sliding around once the shoe is on the foot. Lastly, UA also went ahead and applied a silicone strip along the heel cup of the SpeedForm so that the user can get a better grip if choosing to run with no socks and not having to worry about the shoe slipping at the heel.
Ventilation: UA went above and beyond with the materials in order to make sure that the SpeedForm Apollo has excellent ventilation and breathability. The tongue is completely made of mesh and the upper panels have perforations as well as moisture wicking material, similar to the brand’s Heat Gear, in order to provide the user a cool and comfortable feel during runs.
Support: Although the SpeedForm is considered to be a lighter weight neutral runner, it still gives the user a good sense of stability, while not adding any bulk or additional elements to the shoe. By adding the TPU insert at the mid-foot, it makes a big difference from your typical neutral shoe to one that has enough support without feeling it actually being present.
Overall: Under Armour gets two thumbs up for the design of this new running shoe. The brand is truly an innovator and in my opinion, is great at creating running solutions for a variety of consumers. If you’re a runner looking for a lightweight, very responsive running shoe with a good amount of cushion, this is the shoe for you. With that said this shoe is for a specific runner, due to both the lightweight nature and lack of material on the upper. It’s definitely a shoe that I have enjoyed running in and has stood the test of not feeling any softer or less explosive from run to run. The only part of the shoe that might need some changing is the outsole. Due to the lack of rubber, if running on wet locations the mid-foot tends to get slightly slick if landing on uneven surfaces.
The Under Armour SpeedForm Apollo can be picked up today in this color way or others at
Finishline for $99.99
Images via Finishline and Under Armour