The UA Velociti 3’s predecessor, the UA Flow Velociti Wind 2, was a solid shoe for shorter, faster runs. It was a good entry in the line but cost $160 and didn’t deliver a lot that would interest running shoe geeks or those running long distances on the regular.
Can the UA Velociti 3 improve on the previous model’s value or will it stay largely the same as version 1 and version 2?
We’re definitely starting off on the right foot with Under Armour simplifying the naming scheme and dropping the price to $130. We need more of that in this industry. But we digress, let’s dig into the performance of the UA Velociti 3.
UA Velociti 3
Release Date: 2023
Weight: Men’s 8.8 oz., Women’s 7.0 oz.
Sizing: True to size
- Rundown: The UA Velociti 3 is a mixed bag that’s priced right with solid cushioning but isn’t accommodating and has outsole durability issues.
Drew: Flow is back but the midsole/outsole combo is reshaped. Did I notice any difference due to the new shape? No.
Flow continues to provide superb impact protection for its stack height. Under Armour gave the UA Velociti 3 more foam than last year with a 22mm forefoot and 30mm heel in place of the 18mm forefoot and 26mm heel of the Velociti 2. That’s a clear numerical upgrade but in practice feels basically the same underfoot.
Flow mutes jarring ground strikes well and protects the foot. There’s no feeling of sinking into the foam in a way that sucks energy. It’s responsive without being too dense. A shoe this responsive can be too firm but Flow is soft enough to avoid complaints.
But, just like last year, I’m wishing for a max stack version (typically ~40mm foam in the heel). The way the industry has moved, shoes just have more cushion to make longer runs easier. Anyone regularly running 6+ miles will have much better cushioning options than the UA Velociti 3. However, if you’re only regularly running 2-4 miles, the UA Velociti 3 will do the trick.
But that’s just my opinion as a 6’6” 205-pound giant. What did you think Annie?
Annie: Even as a 5’0” 8.5 stone hobbit (whose weight ebbs and flows–get it?–with the cycles of the moon–iykyk), the UA Velociti 3 remained strictly a short-range shoe. I capped efforts in it at around the 45-minute mark – and even then, I paid for it a little the next day.
In my case though, I think it was a two-pronged issue that had almost as much to do with the width (or lack thereof) of the shoe’s platform as it did the stack height.
The Flow midsole had a definite sweet spot for me just under the ball of the foot where the platform enjoys its widest point. The cushioning felt fantastic there–softer and much more responsive and forgiving than elsewhere. I could see and feel my weight compress the foam in that spot, whereas I struggled to get past the initial firmness at narrower points of the platform. When midfoot (and, presumably, also heel) striking it felt like the impact just had nowhere to go.
My takeaway was that Flow may need a little more room than it has here in order to compress and diffuse landing forces under my particular foot (we’ll get into this a bit more later).
The result was that I preferred the UA Velociti 3 for shorter, uptempo runs during which I’d be much more up on my forefoot and so could better enjoy the area where the midsole really shone for me. But overall, I wish UA would give the Flow underfoot both more stack and a slightly wider base so it would have room (literally and figuratively) to reach its potential across a broader variety of runs.
Drew: This was the biggest change up from last on the UA Velociti 3, gone is the WARP upper, and in it’s place is a flat knit upper. The tongue is perforated foam with a mesh covering that looks connected to the upper but is really just a gusset setup that blends really well.
As a lover of WARP, I’ll miss both the breathability and support. The flat knit upper is much warmer and doesn’t lock the foot down onto the footbed, especially at the forefoot, as much as previous versions did. In my mind, the upper is a clear downgrade.
But, this downgrade is likely where a lot of the cost savings come in. The WARP upper was fairly intricate and likely cost a lot more than this flat knit. More on the price later but this was likely a good decision even though I personally don’t love the change (but of course I also don’t pay for the shoe. Thanks again to Under Armour for sending it).
Annie: I didn’t have any lockdown issues myself, but I too found the upper warmer than expected. I felt air pass through the forefoot, but the padding and layered knit from the midfoot back seemed to retain heat (and rain…all the rain).
Given the fact that temperatures during testing were pretty moderate, the upper didn’t cause me any true discomfort. But I’m not someone who usually requires more than average performance on the breathability front, so it caught my attention.
As it stands, though, the UA Velociti 3 upper – which admittedly does feel budget-oriented – seems in line with what I would expect for such a cost savings overall. To be fair, I never experienced the WARP upper of previous versions. But given the fact that the midsole already limits the shoe’s range to shorter efforts (for Drew and me, anyway), a less refined upper seems like an understandable tradeoff to bring the cost down overall.
Drew: The Flow traction pattern on the UA Velociti 3 is different but the results are pretty much the same. It grips well in pretty much all conditions except mildew or ice. It’ll also wear down faster than a rubber outsole. This year’s pattern seems to be wearing faster than previous iterations. It’s tough to measure durability when you only test a shoe for a couple weeks but I’m dubious this one will last 300+ miles.
Annie: Having never before run in the UA Velociti line, the grip is an area where the shoe far exceeded my expectations. I had better luck with this exposed Flow traction than I’ve had with plenty of more traditional rubber outsoles of late. It performed shockingly well, even on rainy fall runs plagued by ordinarily perilous wet metal surfaces.
However, despite the fact that I am not at all someone who rapidly burns through outsoles, I saw some early fraying of the Flow material under the ball of the foot (sweet spot, I hardly knew ye). So, the Flow traction will grip admirably while it lasts, but it will probably be the first thing to go when it comes to the lifespan of the UA Velociti 3.
Is the UA Velociti 3 wide foot friendly?
Drew: The UA Velociti 3 is sitting on a fairly narrow footbed, so while the upper is stretchy, I don’t think many wide footers will find these accommodating enough. There are much better options out there for our wide-footed friends. Now let’s see how Annie’s wider forefoot fared.
Annie: Steer clear, wide-footed friends. Drew hit the nail on the head. The knit upper is accommodating, and I was able to get away with my usual running size. But, let me tell you, it is a dainty true to size even for my only slightly wide forefoot.
So, if you are anything other than an average or narrow-footer, you’re going to notice how slender the footbed itself is. It detracted from my running experience significantly, and because of the nature of the fit, I don’t personally think it’s worth exploring a half size up. As Drew said, there are simply better options out there that will more effectively cater to wider foot shapes.
Is the UA Velociti 3 worth $130?
Drew: I think the $120-$130 range is about right for what the UA Velociti 3 delivers. If you’re a runner getting ready for a marathon you’ll probably want to level up to something better. But if you’re jogging or running a few times per week, this price point is a sweet spot for performance at a value.
Annie: If Under Armour were still offering the Velociti 3 at the previous price of $160 (even with the more intricate WARP upper of those earlier iterations), I wouldn’t be able to reconcile the fit and the midsole’s limited use case with the expense.
But at $130 (or perhaps a little less…), it feels like the company has more closely aligned the shoe’s components to meet at a price that makes relative sense for the type of running you’ll be able to do in the UA Velociti 3. Its narrow platform and (by today’s standards) lower stack mean it has a pretty limited scope for me. But for someone with an average-to-narrow foot who perhaps prefers a more traditional stack to take out on shorter jaunts, it could offer solid value.
UA Velociti 3 Summary
Drew: The UA Velociti 3 is right priced and the Flow cushion is solid but it’s not accommodating and the outsole durability may be an issue. Overall it’s a mixed bag, but if you’re running 3ish miles 2-3 times per week and looking for good value, it’s worth it to try on the UA Velociti 3 to see if it works for your foot.
Annie: The UA Velociti 3 could use some tweaking for me to think it would be one of the best options available for a significant cross-section of runners. But if you happen to get along with a slimmer platform, don’t like getting lost in cushioning, and aren’t looking to be out on the roads for several miles at a time, give it a look. Because the Flow is nice when you can take full advantage of it – and more runners could if we just had a little more of it…(here’s lookin’ at you, UA…nudge, nudge, wink, wink).