The Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 is the continuation of a really good looking line of running shoes from Under Armour. The HOVR Phantom and HOVR Phantom 2 were not great running shoes. They were more “do a little of everything” shoes — workouts, short runs, casual wear, etc. Running shoes for people who really don’t run all that much. The Phantom 3 again brings the great looks. Can it do at least a little better in the running department? Let’s find out.
Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3
Release Date: September 7, 2022
Weight: M 11.1oz, W 9.2oz
Drop: 8mm (25mm forefoot, 17mm heel)
Sizing: True to Size
- Rundown: The Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 is a good-looking shoe that doesn’t deliver much, if any, running performance. See below for other recommended UA running shoes.
The Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 just doesn’t qualify as a true running shoe in my opinion. It’s built for athletes that do a little running here and there alongside other workouts.
The HOVR cushion just isn’t good enough. Most of the step-in comfort comes from the built in Speedform insole which ends a good half inch before the toe of the shoe. And there’s not near enough HOVR in the forefoot. Pushing off with my toes felt like pushing directly into the ground with almost nothing in between. That’s not a great feeling on runs of any distance beyond 2-3 miles. Also, why are we still caging HOVR in 2022? It’s just basically EVA and no running shoe brand cages EVA…that just ruins the squish and impact protection. Under Armour needs to look at what New Balance and Hoka are doing with their big EVA midsoles and adapt.
While heel stability is very very good (thanks to the beefy external TPU heel counter), the forefoot sidewalls and overall lockdown leave something to be desired. It’s easy to slide off the footbed at the forefoot as the knit’s flexibility works against it on sharp turns. And getting the laces dialed in so my foot didn’t slide forward was impossible.
One good thing about the Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 was the outsole. The traction doesn’t look like much but really grips well.
Listen we know Under Armour can make good running shoes…the Velociti Wind 2 and Velociti Elite are two great examples. But the HOVR Phantom 2 isn’t a solid running shoe. Why Under Armour continues to market the Phantom line as a running shoe model is beyond me.
I want to like this shoe – I really, really want to like the Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 – because I LOVED the HOVR Phantom and HOVR Phantom 2. The shoe looks fantastic, futuristic, sleek, and fast. However, once in action, I was disappointed. Granted, I just got back into running recently, so I’m still coming around, but for me, the cushioning wasn’t as plush as the previous HOVR Phantoms. The forefoot felt extremely thin, and I could feel the road underfoot. The heel was thicker but still not as bouncy or cushioned as the first two editions.
Another issue was downhill – I could feel my foot moving forward into the toebox and smashing my toes. Not a huge problem because of the materials and the stretch but it made me feel slightly unstable. I also experienced some chafing from the midfoot laces, but that went away after the third or fourth run (between 3-5 miles each).
Overall, for an Under Armour distance shoe, I would stick with the Under Armour HOVR Machina 3. For short runs and and sprint work on the other hand, I could see the Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 working great depending on your running shoe preferences.
Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 Summary
The Under Armour HOVR Phantom 3 looks awesome. It’s got a style that fits in really well with what’s hot in sneakers today, and the top down view is fantastic. But looks can only bring status as a fun lifestyle option. The HOVR Phantom 3 has a bunch of issues on the running performance side. True, it’s got some step-in comfort and good traction but that can’t save it from a lack of cushioning, lockdown, and stability.
If you want to run in an Under Armour model, check out our reviews of the Velociti Elite, Velociti Wind 2, and HOVR Machina 3 here. One of those will be a much better option for anyone doing real running.