Under Armour Charged Bandit 2 Review
Thomas: Before we get started, this Bandit 2 is nothing like the original Bandit. I think it just stole the name, get it… bandit… (crickets)
Anyhow, the fit of the Under Armour Bandit 2 is dope, possibly better than any other Under Armour running shoe. I attribute this to the elastic on either side of the tongue. It holds your foot in place and works with the lacing to help secure the midfoot. There were no issues with heel lift, the heel counter cradles your foot comfortably with minimal padding. The toebox of the Bandit 2 is generous and the upper material is soft and stretchy. So you have some wiggle room without it being a toe cavern. My narrow foot felt fine and I heard no complaints from Meaghan and her wide flat feet. The style of the shoe is “cool”. I give it my blessing, which is a big deal cause I have amazing taste. The midsole is made up from two of Under Armour’s EVA compounds. In the heel, you have the Micro G foam that provides a stable firmer platform. The Charged EVA runs from heel to toe providing soft cushioning. The outsole of the Bandit 2 has high abrasion rubber on the heel and a softer rubber in the forefoot. The shoe is very smooth through your stride.
BTW, the price is on the thrifty side. The Under Armour Bandit 2 has an MSRP of $100. Get ready to fork out your cash July 1, 2016.
Meaghan: If you’re familiar with the original Bandit (yikes), consider this a completely different shoe. There’s a new last, a completely renovated upper, and substantial changes to just about every other aspect. I actually have no idea why UA is calling this shoe the Bandit 2.
The upper looks similar to the UA Slingshot, but there’s no “burrito tongue.” It’s made up of a light, stretchy durable material that breaths well. UA removed all the cushioning around the tongue and collar, but you really don’t miss it. These shoes hug the foot. The lacing system has been updated with some semi-stretch flat laces and external loop-holes that I really like. You can tie these suckers down without feeling any uncomfortable pressure on the top of your foot. The external heel cage locks the foot in nicely and I never had any issues with rubbing or blisters.
One thing that remains the same is the dual-layer midsole combo of Charged cushioning on top of Micro G foam. However, the placement has changed – you won’t find any Micro G in the forefoot. I much prefer the feel underfoot of the Bandit 2. The transition from landing to toe-off is so. much. better. So much. There’s just enough rubber on the outsole for durability, without weighing down the shoes. My W8 came in just over 8oz.
Thomas: The shoe may be too soft for some runners. It can feel a little squishy under the forefoot. I would have liked a little more grippy feeling from the rubber under the toes.
Meaghan: I really don’t have much negative to say about Bandit 2…
Thomas: The Bandit 2 shares the name with the original Bandit, but other than that it is a completely new shoe. I was not a fan of the original shoe. We rarely skip reviewing a shoe, the only time we do is if we have nothing good to say. We chose not to review the original Bandit. However, the Bandit 2 is a really solid trainer. It could be my favorite UA running shoe to date. While I am a big fan of the Gemini, the Bandit 2 is more versatile. I was able to use it for speed work and long runs. Although the shoe weighs 10.25 for a size 10.5 it felt lighter on my feet. The Bandit 2 is flexible and super comfy. I would recommend the Bandit 2 to a runner looking for an everyday trainer that is on the softer side of the cushioning spectrum. I give the shoe high marks on style and performance. I ran over 50 miles in the Under Armour Bandit 2 and had no issues with rubbing or any blisters. The quality of the shoes was also top notch with no noticeable wear.
Meaghan: I like where Under Armour is going with their running shoes, however, I feel like they’re all kind of melding together. The Bandit 2 looks more like the Speedform Fortis than the original Bandit.
All that aside, the Under Armour Bandit 2 is a quality shoe. It just disappears underfoot. I would call this an everyday trainer, but I think I’d be happy racing a marathon in them. I can’t think of a runner I wouldn’t recommend this shoe to.
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What are your thoughts on the Gemini 2 versus Bandit 2?
I’m a bigger runner (205lbs) with no major pronation/supination. I have more of a gliding stride for long distance. I’ve done 3 half-marathons and about to start training for my 4th. I loved the first Gemini. They prevented ITBS I suffered before. Could the Bandit 2 be a less expensive substitute? I can’t find any good comparisons of the UA models or what each shoe was designed for. Any help would be great!
It might be one of those “if it ain’t broke…” Try on the Bandit 2 and see what you think, but if the Gemini works for you I would stick with it for this training cycle. The Bandit 2 is softer and more flexible than the Gemini 2.