For 2017 Under Armour has designed a collection of running shoes that can meet the needs of most runners. To help market the shoes and help consumers understand the UA running story, they have dubbed it Run the Spectrum. The three shoes in the initial launch are the Gemini 3 (daily miler), the Velociti (speed), and Europa (stability). The Gemini is the only one in the group with a legacy, however, the third version of the shoe is a complete overhaul.
Speedform Gemini 3
Thomas: The Gemini has been one of my favorite models. When we went to the Under Armour headquarter almost a year ago we got to see the Gemini 3 prototype, I will admit at that time I was a little nervous about the direction the design was going. When we got to see the finished product last October I was thrilled. The shoe’s look have been a favorite for both performance and casual wear. It’s the right shape and looks like a running shoe. It goes beyond the looks and functions well.
The fit of the Gemini 3 is true to size, go with your regular running shoe size. Under Armour uses different materials to create the fit so the shoe is void of clumsy overlays. A stiffer fabric like material is used to define the structure for the middle section of the upper. Once you lock down the laces it holds your foot securely in place. The tongue is mighty wide and adds a lot of comfort to the way the shoe wraps your foot. The toebox is fabricated from more traditional mesh and breathes well. The old Gemini 1 and 2 had a plastic heel counter, that is gone. The heel counter is rigid with some foam padding near the ankle. I had no issues with heel lift in the Gemini 3.
The midsole is a combo of Under Armour’s Micro G and Charged cushioning materials. The ride is similar to the cushioning in daily trainers like Brooks Ghost, Nike Pegasus etc. It isn’t too squishy but provides ample cushion. There is lots of rubber on the outsole. This is a durable shoe. The grip and traction are pretty standard, no issues or accolades.
Meaghan: I really enjoyed the Gemini 2 and I can happily say the 3rd iteration did not disappoint. There are several updates, but all good ones. For starters, the Gemini looks more like a traditional trainer. UA moved the external heel counter inside and did away with the perforated upper material. It’s now designed with a simple, sleek mesh and no unnecessary overlays.
Overall, the shoe is comfortable and breathes well. The midsole is made up of UA’s charged cushioning with micro G in the heel that gives the shoe a nice bounce. The outsole is designed with blown rubber under the forefoot and high abrasion rubber on the heel. They’re extremely durable and can easily be used for runs up to the marathon distance.
Thomas: This is the lower stack, lighter, firmer brother of the Gemini. The upper is very similar to the Gemini. The difference is the mesh in the toe box extends all the way back to the heel counter. There is not a built up saddle on the lateral sides of the arch. This makes the Velociti feel softer around the foot.
The Midsole is made from UA’s Charged foam, and the outsole is nearly identical minus a break in the pods in the middle of the shoe, that difference helps provide less give on toe-off and a firmer feel.
I would compare the Velociti to the New Balance Zante 3, Saucony Kinvara, and Brooks Launch style shoes.
The Velociti sheds almost 2 oz. from the Gemini 3 weighing in at 8.85 oz. for a size 10.5.
Meaghan: The Velociti is very similar to the Gemini 3, but designed with speed in mind. It’s slightly lighter and a bit more firm. The midsole is designed with UA’s charged cushioning, but no micro G like you’ll find in the heel of the Gemini. The firmer ride is great for the days you want to pick up the pace. The decrease in weight is also a huge win. My W8 (I went a half size up) came in at 7 oz. A whole ounce and half lighter than the Gemini.
Thomas: I didn’t run in the Europa, I used them as a cross-trainer. We received the shoes a week before the DONNA Marathon and I wasn’t going to switch up running in neutral shoes for one with support. After DONNA, I went straight into high mileage for the HAT 50k.
For working out the Europa is extremely comfortable. It shares many of the same attributes as the Gemini 3. It would be redundant to go over the entire good section as it would be the same as the Gemini’s above. The only difference is the medial posting, exterior molded plastic heel counter, the rubber on the medial side of the outsole is continuous, and the stiffer material over the saddle to lock your foot in. The thought behind UA’s stability shoe is, the posting provides some guidance, but your foot has to be securely locked down to benefit from the posting. I am not sure how Under Armour’s team did it, but the Europa only weighs 0.10 oz. more than the Gemini 3. Size 10.5 weighs 10.85 oz. Not bad for a Stability shoe.
Meaghan: The Europa is UA’s “stability” version of the Gemini 3. It’s got all the same qualities as the Gemini 3, but with the added medial posting to help prevent overpronation. You’ll also find an external heel counter and midfoot panel for extra support and a secure lockdown on your foot. I personally love this shoe for everyday wear. It’s a good looking shoe.
Thomas: I can’t put my finger on a specific trait that I would improve about the Gemini 3. There is something in the tuning of the toe-off that I feel could improve the way the trainer moves through the stride. Maybe it just needs a little more toe-spring.
Meaghan: Other than wishing these shoes were slightly lighter (W8 weighs 8.45oz), I really can’t complain.
Thomas: The Velociti doesn’t have removable insoles. During my runs, I kept thinking that just a little bit of an insole would really make a difference in this shoe. In 8 and 10-mile runs, I found the landing hard. An insole could also help with the feel of the fit between the bottom of the foot and the footbed. I needed just a fraction more underfoot comfort.
Meaghan: The only real negative I have to say about the Velociti is that, given the choice between the Velociti and the Gemini, I’d go with the Gemini. While I almost always pick the shoe that’s lighter, the Gemini offers a smoother ride for me.
Thomas: The plastic heel counter was susceptible to scratching, leaving white scars on the black plastic. It is only cosmetic, but…
Meaghan: I just don’t like stability shoes. I don’t believe I need the extra support and I don’t like the stiff ride the medial posting creates.
Thomas: The Speedform Gemini 3 is my favorite of the three shoes in the Run the Spectrum group. Between The Under Armour Bandit 2 and the Gemini 3, UA has two trainers that are underrated by the average runner. Wait til you see the Bandit 3 this Fall! You may not be wearing Under Armour yet, but my bet is that your feet will be wearing a pair soon. My pick for getting started is the Gemini 3. Size 10.5 weighed in at 10.75 oz., with an 8mm drop.
Meaghan: The Gemini 3 is an awesome daily trainer. It’s comfortable, light and one of the most durable shoes we’ve received this year. Under Armour never disappoints when it comes to quality. The materials used are some of the most comfortable I’ve experienced in a running shoe, only to be topped by its durability. If you’re looking to try out a running shoe from UA, the Gemini 3 is a must-have from the lineup.
Thomas: I wanted to love this shoe. It looks great, it has all the qualities I like, but we missed out on the chemistry. This shoe is so close, it just needs more tuning. It is missing that pop I like in a faster lighter shoe. For shorter workouts, track days, gym cross-training, the Velociti will work well. There is enough shoe under your foot for daily training and long runs, but it won’t be my first choice. Size 10.5 weighed in at 8.85 oz., with an 8mm drop.
Meaghan: The Velociti is a solid shoe. It’s light, but cushioned enough for every day running. If you prefer a firmer ride, the Velociti is a good option from the lineup. It’s hard to beat the $110 price point.
Thomas: As I mentioned, I didn’t run in the Europa, I used them as a cross-trainer. So it is hard for me to give a conclusion. They feel very similar to the Gemini 3 which I like, so I would guess they would work for a runner needing stability. If you are one of those runners and you have tried the Europa, I would love to hear your thoughts. The shoe worked well for a cross-trainer.
Meaghan: While the Europa was not my cup of tea for running, if you’re in the market for a stability shoe, its worth checking out. It holds the same awesome characteristics as the Gemini with the added medial plate and extra support through the upper. I’ve worn a lot of stability shoes in the past and this is one of the most comfortable.