Under Armour has unveiled its first new running shoes of 2022 – both of which track and analyze your runs, and sync the data with the Map My Run smartphone app. A lightweight sensor embedded in the right shoe collects data as you run, and transmits it to your phone via Bluetooth.
Under Armour has been researching and making connected footwear since 2010, and the two new designs are both additions to its lineup of smart road shoes. The UA Flow Velociti Wind 2 (shown above) is a follow-up to last year's Flow Veclociti Wind. Unlike most running shoes, which have a rubber outsole, the Flow Velociti Wind series have an all-in-one cushioning and sole design for more traction and less weight.
The second-gen shoe also has a redesigned heel system, which is intended to give more consistent lockdown at the back of the shoe, plus a molded EVA sock liner that's designed to be more durable for long training sessions. It'll be released globally in the first quarter of 2022 for $160 (about £120 / AU$230).
Training or race day
The UA HOVR Machina 3 (below) is a neutral performance shoe for both races and distance training. The third-gen version has a redesigned midsole that's firmer and more responsive in the forefoot for a springier ride.
Like the new Flow Velociti Wind, it also has an updated heel capture system, plus an updated upper construction for a snug and comfortable fit. It's due to launch in early 2022 in men's and women's sizes, but Under Armour has yet to announce a price.
Analysis: Do you really need another run tracker?
Under Armour Connect isn't intended to replace your running watch or fitness tracker. It's more like the Garmin Running Dynamics Pod or Nurvv Run smart insoles, furnishing you with additional data that couldn't be collected accurately from your wrist. Link your shoes to your phone, and you'll get real-time form coaching tips based on your cadence, pace, and stride.
You'll still need a GPS watch to track your route, and for access to your time, distance and speed at a glance, but it seems that the extra data from a smart shoe can make a real difference. In 2020, Under Armour crunched the data of 87,000 Map My Run users, and found that people using its Form Coaching tool ran 7% faster and 3% farther than who didn't.
That difference might be down to a different outlook on running – the type of runner who's invested enough in their training to be interested in analyzing their form may already be spending more time on their training – but the data makes interesting reading all the same and could give you the nudge you need to kick start your efforts in the new year.
- On a budget? Check out the best cheap GPS running watches
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Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)