Could the Under Armour HOVR Havoc be the most well-rounded basketball model out of Baltimore? Let’s find out.
“Sneakersheads” and hoopers alike have a million and one different reasons why they may dislike Under Armour. However, I tend to enjoy that the brand usually doesn’t stray away from what works in terms of traction.
We hear and read it all the time, “Why do companies tell stories on the bottom of a performance shoe when you can’t see whatever lame story they’re trying to tell” and it often times translates to hit or miss coverage on-court. Herringbone is the way to go and herringbone is what UA uses more often than not. Yes, the brand tried something new on the Curry 5 and it didn’t quite work. No worries, because it’s already back to basics and I love it.
Not once did I have to wipe the soles of the HOVR Havoc, no matter which court I was playing on, from the cleanest to the meanest. It even handled the 40-year-old floor that should’ve been refinished ages ago perfectly. The outsole here works beautifully.
The HOVR Havoc is just as awesome outdoors, if not slightly more awesome, than it was indoors. The shoe has become one of my go-to outdoor options because it have provided me with reliable coverage and it has just enough cushion to make my time outside in 100-degree heat enjoyable.
HOVR has made its way onto a basketball product, finally! Not that we really had to wait that long. But still, if you wore the HOVR Phantom or Sonic then you know what I’m talking about.
Just a heads up: if you’re just trying them on or you’ve only worn them for a short period of time then your initial impression probably won’t be accurate. Since the HOVR is encased within the EVA midsole there is some serious breaking in to do. If you have the patience to do that then you’re probably going to enjoy the well-balanced ride the HOVR Havoc provides.
Having HOVR located from the heel to the midfoot doesn’t sound like it would be all that comfortable for those that primarily play on their toes, but I was impressed. Again, once broken-in the ride was slightly bouncy — but not to the point where I felt unstable.
The forefoot is just plain old EVA so you’ll receive plenty of court feel in this area for explosiveness and responsiveness. Typically, the faster and more athletic the athlete the more natural court feel he/she wants (or if you happen to be a shooter and rely on stability).
Of course, everyone is different and some folks like a bit more bounce under the forefoot. For that I would have loved to have seen a thinner top layer of HOVR combined with the EVA underneath. It’s possible that the brand tried this during wear-testing and athletes preferred the setup that made its way onto the retail version, but we’ll never really know.
All I know is that I was surprised and happy with the current implementation of HOVR in basketball; I’m interested to see where UA takes HOVR in its future basketball products.
The HOVR Havoc is comprised of mesh with a top coating that reminds me of silk screening…only stretchier. This top layer helps contain the foot without restricting the mesh from doing its thing.
There is a skin-fuse-type layer at the forefoot that protects the toe from abrasion. While the past handful of UA products I’ve worn, tested, and reviewed have all had something similar, it has continuously shown signs of wear within minutes of me playing. While this doesn’t bother me at all, I don’t ever plan on wearing my basketball shoes casually, it may irk some that try to keep their shoes looking as new as possible for as long as possible.
This time around, the fuse layer has been durable enough to not just protect the material it’s adhered to but also maintain its looks as well. I’ve been playing in the HOVR Havoc for weeks both indoors and outdoors and the shoe still looks pretty good.
The HOVR Havoc fits true to size but it is slightly snug width-wise. If you like some wiggle room or you’re a wide footer then I suggest going up a 1/2 size.
Lockdown is great from heel to toe. The forefoot features a synthetic overlay on both the medial and lateral side which allows the mesh to stretch and form around your foot while you adjust the laces to your liking; this creates a great fit and proper containment.
At the rear we have a couple of nylon lace loops along with an additional set of “eyelets.” They’re just cutouts of the mesh supported with skin-like fuse that draw your ankle and heel into the heel counter.
These two lacing systems combined don’t form Captain Planet but they do create a one-to-one fit that I really love.
Everything you need from a shoe is used on the HOVR Havoc, and it isn’t overdone. There is a torsional shank that also acts as a TPU carrier for the visible midfoot section of the HOVR cushion.
Meanwhile, the fit is fantastic. Couple that with the wide flat base and exaggerated midsole/outsole to form a barrier-style outrigger and you have tons of support that helps promote natural movement and mobility.
The UA HOVR Havoc has been the most well-rounded basketball model I’ve worn from Under Armour in a long time.
There has always been something missing in the brand’s recent hoop shoes — from cushion to desirable materials and durability. There’s usually been something that I could undoubtedly point to and say, “I’d have changed that.” With the HOVR Havoc, the only thing I’d like to have seen is a thin layer of HOVR in the toe, but the comfort is still there so it’s more of a “I wonder how it’d feel” versus a “the shoe needs this badly.”
At $105, the HOVR Havoc is a great deal and should offer you a bit of everything you could want — court feel, cushion, a one-to-one fit, support without feeling like you’re being restricted, traction, and durability. Did I mention the shoe has cushion? Good cushion too.
If you were considering the UA HOVR Havoc or this happens to be your upcoming season’s team shoe then I hope you enjoy the shoe as much as I have. Now, if this cushion is in the Curry 6…sign me up.