Under Armour FUTR X ELITE
The Under Armour FUTR X ELITE is a very interesting new performance model that packs some cool new UA tech.
Release Date: 2024
The Under Armour FUTR X ELITE, according to Under Armour, is the future of their basketball footwear, which is a bold statement. The shoe is packed with UA tech, the most intriguing of which has to be the new knit upper. However, we’ve seen everything else before on previous UA models. That doesn’t mean that this is a bad performance model, but you would expect more innovation from the “future of basketball footwear”.
The other aspect of the shoe that’s quite new and different has nothing to do with technology. It’s the build of the shoe. The Under Armour FUTR X ELITE features a wide, forgiving toebox similar to what you would find in a barefoot shoe, which, to say the least, is an interesting choice. A wide toe box that allows toe splaying might be good for runners and gym shoes, but how will it perform on a basketball shoe? Let’s find out.
Under Armour FUTR X ELITE Review
Under Armour FUTR X ELITE Specs
Under Armour FUTR X ELITE Traction
Traction on the Under Armour FUTR X ELITE is excellent, just like in every other Under Armour shoe that features their Flow tech. In fact, the shoe features almost the same traction pattern as the Curry 9. Flow is super grippy and offers excellent multidirectional coverage and, as long as you’re on a clean indoor surface, it’s one of the best and most consistent traction setups out there.
But Flow isn’t perfect. It tends to accumulate debris faster than other traction setups, and it can get very slippery on dusty surfaces. It also offers very little outdoor durability. Since Flow has no traditional rubber sole (the midsole foam also acts as the traction pattern), it gets chewed up quickly when playing on abrasive surfaces like blacktop.
Under Armour FUTR X ELITE Cushion
Cushion on the Under Armour FUTR X ELITE is again nothing new. If you’ve played in shoes that feature Flow, you know what to expect. It’s dense, reactive, it offers a lot of court feel, and it provides a very fluid ride on court. The slab of foam on the FUTR X is thicker than in other models but, besides riding a bit higher than normal, there is little difference in performance.
Flow is a cushioning system better suited for light agile players who are looking for something speedy, and reactive with a lot of stability. If you are looking for above-average impact protection or squishy compression, this is not the setup for you.
Under Armour FUTR X ELITE Materials
Here is where we find the biggest innovation in this shoe. The upper is built with what UA is calling its new IntelliKnit fabric. This fabric is soft, lightweight, and ultra-breathable, and with this build Under Armour can target certain areas of the upper to make them more or less restrictive (tightening or loosening the weave) depending on the performance needs.
It requires absolutely no break in time, it’s very comfortable, and has no real weak spots in terms of containment, which is an issue with many 100% textile builds you run into. The one concern regarding the upper has more to do with the width of the forefoot.
Because the FUTR X has a wider toe box that allows your toes to splay you may lose reaction time when you play. Toe splaying is great for stability and foot health off the court, but when you are playing a sport with quick changes in speed and direction, bounding your toes is better for performance. This problem is compounded by the fact that the weave in the forefoot area of the shoe is more open than in the rest of the shoe.
Under Armour FUTR X ELITE Support
Support of the FUTR X is elite. The shoe features a very wide and stable base and Flow as a cushioning system is also very stable. On top of that, in this case, it houses a TPU shank plate that extends into the forefoot, giving you a high level of torsional rigidity, and functions as a spring plate as well, giving you a nice spring in your step as you play.
The shoe also features a very sturdy internal heel counter and a highly padded and sculpted internal heel area. This sucks your foot in and keeps your heel in place at all times. Under Armour shoes that feature Flow are usually very stable, and the FUTR X is no different, and is probably one of the better models in this aspect.
Under Armour FUTR X ELITE Fit
The Under Armour FUTR X ELITE technically fits true to size but, because the textile upper is so forgiving, and the forefoot is so wide, going down half a size is advisable if you want a snug 1 to 1 fit. The best advice is to go in-store and try them on so you can feel it for yourself.
Under Armour FUTR X ELITE Overall
The Under Armour FUTR X ELITE is a weird basketball shoe, not in a bad way, but there really isn’t another performance basketball shoe out there quite like the FUTR X. Traction is top-notch, cushioning is responsive and speedy, support and containment are awesome, the one sticking point is the fit. You might love it, you might hate it, but in our opinion, it’s not optimal for performance.
A solution might be going down half a size, or, again, you might enjoy the shoe in your usual size (it’s just a weird build). One thing is for sure, IntelliKnit is very cool and we are looking forward to seeing it used on more Under Armour shoes in the future.
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