Austin: The first of the two UA models I’m reviewing is the HOVR Infinite, a daily trainer suited for short and long distances. This is my first foray into the Under Armour (UA) running scene, so I was deeply curious to see how the Baltimore-based brand (which is also the home city of Believe in the Run!) will fare against its competitors in the ever-changing footwear market.
West Coast Meghan: Floral patterns on shoes. Hard pause. I don’t really know if I should roll my eyes, close the box and walk away, or embrace this targeted marketing. As a reviewer, I know I’m supposed to have an open mind, but I have such a strong adverse reaction to anything that even hints at a ‘Shrink it and Pink it’ ploy. Floral patterns on anything immediately has my mind going there.
West Coast Meghan: I definitely judged these shoes from the minute I laid eyes on them, which is completely unfair. The floral pattern is very subtle. It’s covered by a black mesh overlay and, surprisingly, the look grew on me. Maybe it was the subtle pop of color from the pattern. Or maybe I just secretly love pink and, like these shoes, and I’m trying to hide it under a layer of black. Whatever the case may be, I started to dig the look.
The shoe, itself, is quite comfortable. Most of my daily trainers have very little cushion. It may seem strange, but I like to feel the road contact. The HOVR Infinite definitely has more cushion than I’m used to—almost like a soft pillow. That said, it still allowed me to feel the road surface without squishing on each step. I wouldn’t say it propelled me into the next push-off, but definitely a wonderful easy/recovery run shoe that might actually help my body absorb those filler miles.
The feature I found most intriguing was the connectivity to the MapMyRun app. A sensor embedded in the midsole automatically tracks your running metrics and seamlessly uploads it to the app, once connected via Bluetooth (or instantaneously if you carry your phone while you’re running). As an avid Garmin device wearer, this is unnecessary for me, but I see where it could be a very valuable tool, marketing to the masses. The sensor, when compared to my Garmin data, was surprisingly close. Mileage-wise, it was spot on. Pace-wise, a little variance here and there. I’m sure I’d be more concerned if I was tracking a pace specific workout, but I don’t know that this feature is really meant for that level. For me, it obviously doesn’t replace the functionality of my watch. That said, I could see it being an amazing tool to track those easy miles where it might be better to run by feel, sans watch, yet still have your data captured.
Austin: Based on Under Armour’s conversations with pro runners, the Infinite incorporates “cushion, bounce, durability, and efficiency” into a single package. That’s an ambitious undertaking for sure, but I think the engineers delivered with this one.
The Infinite weighs 10.75 ounces in a men’s nine, but my size 12 shoes didn’t feel overly burdensome or clunky. This light feel can be attributed to HOVR, Under Armour’s technology that provides cushioning and energy return for the feet. What is HOVR? Great question! I wanted to know too. HOVR is comprised of a foam and an “energy web” that keeps said foam in place. So, basically as mysterious as every other shoe company’s “technologies.” Basically, it utilizes HOVR foam and EVA foam to yield a soft, responsive ride.
The Infinite ride skews slightly firm, but there’s a noticeable softness that I appreciated as the miles begin stacking. I used it for shorter runs and fast strides, but I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to go double-digits in this shoe. The Infinite is stiff, which impacts toe off, but I didn’t mind.
The Infinite is available in a more muted black and white and gray colorway, but I liked the high-viz yellow and orange pairing. A handful of reflective strips on the upper further enhance the bright colors.
Austin: With every run I wondered if some aspect of the Infinite fit would be problematic. Alas, I came up empty. My feet stayed in place and I didn’t encounter any rubbing or redness or irritation or hot spots. That’s always a win with new shoes. I’d like to see Under Armour drop 1.5 ounces or so in the next version, but that’s more of a personal preference than a complaint. I have nothing bad to say against the Infinite.
West Coast Meghan: I really have only one complaint about this shoe and that’s a tight toe box. I’ve worn other Under Armour shoes as daily trainers and have never experienced this issue. The same size in the Infinite, however, had my toes feeling ‘squished’. At faster paces, the feeling was exacerbated and I ended one run with slightly tender little piggies. Based on this, I’d definitely recommend going up a half size.
Austin: The Infinite is a good running shoe. Normally, if a shoe is average or bland, I’ll run in it a handful of times and lose interest, but I intend to put many more miles in the Infinite between other models in my rotation. The Infinite runs lighter than the weight, and the minimal wear on the outsole is a clear sign of durability.
At $120, the HOVR Infinite is appropriately priced on par with, among others, the Nike Zoom Pegasus, Brooks Ghost, Saucony Ride ISO, and Mizuno Wave Rider.
Though it would be nice to run an infinite number of miles in one shoe, the 300-500 mile threshold still holds true—even for these. Still, they are bound to be fun miles.Shop Under Armour HOVR Infinite