Under Armour HOVR Phantom Women’s Running Shoes
If one thing is for sure, you have to give credit to Under Armour for designing such unique running shoes. It is not as if the UA HOVR Phantom Women's Running Shoes are flawless, as that is not even remotely close to the truth, but it is certainly a design that is going to intrigue quite a lot of runners out there. If you want to check what other models made the top ten, make sure you read our guide on the best Under Armour running shoes.
Right from the get-go, in fact, there is both a connected and non-connected edition of these shoes. Both are virtually the same exact shoes, except the connected version has the ability to analyze and track several of your running metrics through UA MapMyRun.
As you are quickly going to find out, no matter which option you go with, the under armour hovr phantom is one of a kind with some rather serious faults that hinder its overall performance and comfort. With that being said, there is a lot of good that comes out of the Phantom and many features that you will come to appreciate.
The foam underfoot is really comfortable
Designed with a soft and plush upper
Quite breathable overall
Features HOVR technology
The sole wears really well
Equipped with an external heel counter
Excellent selection of colors
Can stretch out quicker than other models
A break-in period may be required
The tongue can rub against your lower leg
Tends to run small
Not the best traction
Really hard to get on
There are a plethora of reasons for this, and all of them contribute equally to comfort overall. For starters, the sock liner is incredibly soft and is not removable (which is okay as it is one of the better aspects of the Phantom). Additionally, the upper sports a soft and plush feeling that is too amazing to ignore. Lastly, the heel secures your foot and provides soft cushioning at the same time.
Yet, not all is sunshine and rainbows here. Most specifically, there tends to be a break-in period with these shoes (Read our blog on how to break in boots) , and it is probably due to how small it is (more on that later). Plus, the tongue is rather tall and, with anything shorter than crew socks on, will rub against the back of your leg.
All that being said, several runners out there have voiced their complaints on just how flat out small these shoes are. Yes, the goal is for it to fit securely but there is also a point where it becomes too tight and that is never a good thing. The length is a little short and there is also not a ton of room in the toe box.
It may behoove you to order a half-size up (there are several half-size options available). To further get this point across, these running shoes for women are also a pain to get on. Get ready to use a lot of energy as this sucker certainly does not slip on and off.
The SpeedForm 2.0 sock liner that has been implemented into these running shoes, in addition to being incredibly soft and comfortable, will wick away sweat from your foot, and it doesn't matter if you are using the socks for sweaty feet or not. These shoes are great in wicking the sweat away. It is just another reason why the socks liners are arguably the most significant feature of this entire design.
The upper also provides substantial ventilation as it is going to allow hot air to escape and refreshing air to enter inside. Coupled with the sock liner, this makes for a highly breathable experience overall.
This type of drop is more suitable for heel strikers, but the tricky thing is the rated offset of these shoes is eight millimeters, which is ideal for forefoot or mid-strikers. Now, this does not necessarily mean that all you forefoot strikers out there need to stay far away from this model.
Just understand that the drop is closer to heel-strike territory than it is to the forefoot. Regardless, these shoes do offer a nice balance of cushioning and flexibility.
With their Phantom, it features what is known as HOVR technology. It is rather complicated and makes for an incredibly absorbing midsole. They had the help of Dow Chemical to engineer it. At its core, it is merely soft and lightweight foam, but that is not really what makes it tick.
Said foam has actually been wrapped by EnergyWeb and this is what allows it to retain its shape. Furthermore, this complete design provides you with excellent cushioning and responsiveness while you run. This technology and subsequent midsole may not veer too far off the written path but it really is not needed.
Yet, it is not quite as impressive as the design of the midsole. Let’s start with the good, though. The sole is made out of high-quality rubber, and it is going to wear very well over time. It is not a cheap rubber that will separate from the midsole within a few runs. The pattern of the sole is where it gets a little worse.
While you are not going to have very many issues finding traction on off-road terrain, the same can’t be said for smoother and slicker surfaces. Especially if the sole becomes wet, you will need to be careful to avoid slipping and such terrains.
Since the foam is the right level of thickness, a new support structure is not needed here. The design of the heel also comes into play. Adding on to the fact that it has been made with TPU, it also sports a heel counter. This is just a small insert that adds enhanced support (it also adds reinforcement, too).
This is the type of support that you can expect from neutral running shoes if you need something more, than you may want to look elsewhere.
In the case of the UA HOVR, it falls right in the middle when you start to compare it to other running shoes on the market. The men’s version is rated to be 10.6 ounces (this will fluctuate a little bit depending on the size you go with), and the women’s version is 8.8 ounces (depending on size). While there are certainly options out there that weigh less, this is normal for neutral running shoes.
For most of you, it is safe to say that the weight of this model is not going to be even a slight concern. Plenty of former users have lauded this aspect of it.
What you will also notice is the color of the midsole is distinct when compared to the rest of the shoes. Some of you may think this section looks too bulky and awkward, but it meshes well. Again, though, it all comes down to what you find attractive and appealing. For this review, however, UA deserves a lot of credit for designing shoes that are such a joy to look at.
Sure, you can point to the traction issues on smooth surfaces or even to the tongue that can cause blisters without long enough socks. However, those can be combated to a degree. That is a little more challenging with how this fits. It runs and fits small and tight, and that is the best way to describe it.
Even if you go up a half a size, you may notice that it remains challenging to get on and off. In spite of these concerns, you also have to give credit where credit is due. From an overall perspective, this neutral running shoes are incredibly soft, provides stable cushioning, and is built extremely well.
It also breathes with ease and is probably going to turn some heads while you are out on your runs. It is gauging whether or not to pull the trigger on this model is robust. Honestly, it is one of those trail running shoes that are better to try on first. UA does allow for returns to give you a little peace of mind, though.