While attending The Running Event in Austin, Texas, last month, one thing was noticeable as soon as you entered the exhibit hall — Under Armour was pushing hard for HOVR, it’s new cushioning system, and for good reason.
While the running application of Charged foam always felt more cushioned than the basketball line, it still wasn’t touching Micro G, and Under Armour knew it needed a new cushioning system to keep up with the race. We first brought you the news and images last month, and now we bring you an in-hand look at the HOVR Phantom (the Sonic is the low top).
As soon as the two shoes were on-foot, the difference was noticeable. While the HOVR Phantom is a plush, luxury car ride (think Micro G but more Micro G on top of that), the HOVR Sonic is the Corvette, riding lower, tighter, and more responsive.
Unfortunately, we were only able to grab one pair for testing, and since the HOVR Phantom is a little different than any other UA runner we have tried, that was the choice (and it looks better — we can be vain too).
When you see the midsole, something may strike you as familiar. If not, let me help: UA Drive 4. The line under the midfoot, the split with exposed softer foam in the heel — all concepts used on the Drive 4, and for good reason. The difference? The midfoot cutout on the Drive 4 showcased the shank plate, while the HOVR is a window to the caged foam inside which is called the Energy Web.
This web contains the softer HOVR foam and keeps it in shape, keeping compression and stability intact, but the web is still flexible enough to allow the unit to cushion any impact. The web is tuned slightly higher on the HOVR Sonic, creating that stiffer ride.
The upper is, as described to me by Under Armour, a “chamois for your feet.” Form-fitting, moisture-wicking, and layered for comfort, the upper combines with a Speedform padded insole system to fit and mold right on your foot. While the HOVR Sonic is a no-stretch woven, the HOVR Phantom uses the previously mentioned chamois materials on the side panels and a stretch mesh/woven in the toebox.
You can learn more by going behind the design of the behind the design of the Under Armour HOVR Phantom.
UA’s HOVR technology debuts on February 1, 2018, in two models — the standard HOVR Sonic will run $100, while the HOVR Phantom (this model) will run $130. Both models can be upgraded to the Record-Equipped models (we reviewed the Velociti RE here) for an additional $10 per model.
For now, enjoy the images, because the performance review is coming soon.