Friday, March 30, 2018

UA HOVR Sonic Connected Review: Stylishly Understated, Tracks Runs Phone Free, a Great Value for a High Performing Trainer

Article by Dominique Winebaum

UA HOVR Sonic Connected
Weight:  W8 8 oz/225 g
Stack Height 17mm/25mm, 8 mm offset +sock liner 6mm
$110. Available now

The HOVR Sonic is my first pair of Under Armour running shoes!
First Impressions
Out of the shoebox, my first impression is that, color wise, it is an understated running shoe -- I received two pairs: “Overcast Gray/White” and “White/Elemental.”
However, after a few runs, I am thinking that less is more, as gray/white are colors that complement my running outfits, whatever color jacket/top I am wearing.  Also, I can comfortably dress-up in jeans wearing my understated running shoes!  Available in three colors for women and five colors for men – not all understated - the shoes have contrasting and/or subtle color accents.  I would lean for the color Formation Blue/Brilliance for a distinctively attractive and sleek look.

Connected means that a pod, the UA Record Sensor, is built into a water tight compartment in the right shoe. It records run data, including: pace, distance, time, stride length, and cadence-no phone or watch required. The pod battery is designed to last the life of the shoe.  I followed the instructions on the shoebox on how to connect my shoe to the MapMyRun app allowing me to run phone-free. Everything happened seamlessly and fast.

Connected frees me from having to start and end my workouts on my app, not to mention dealing with app malfunctions, or need to take my phone as the shoe will do it for me. The Record Sensor does not require any GPS basing its data on the pod's accelerometers. As such, it is also ideal for recording indoor run workouts.

We tested the pod versus a high end Garmin Forerunner 935 watch. The HOVR Sonic Connected with no phone or GPS in the mix recorded 3.98 miles, the Garmin 4.02 miles, so remarkably close out of the box.
Top Run Tracked Phone Free, Bottom Run Tracked with MapMyRun and GPS on  a different  route.
My shoe through the MapMyRun app which receives all the data will tell me how many miles I have run in them. However, even as the shoe will record my mileage, duration, and pace, there is a give and take, as it won’t play music as I run, nor will play queues to keep me on track with my pace and splits unless I use it conjunction with the MapMyRun app.

The UA HOVR Sonic CT Connected is more than just a running shoe or a sensor but is an affordable run tracking option in a great shoe at $110, only $10 more than the UA HOVR Sonic NC without the feature.

HOVR Sonic on the Run
A new brand/model of running shoes brings opportunities for change, and the UA HOVR Sonic delivered just that! After 40 years of running, and lately in super cushiony shoes (Clayton/Hoka and Torin/Altra), I needed something to boost my performance.

Fit and Upper
The fit is perfect at my usual true to size. This said while the shoes may feel a bit snug at first, they will slightly stretch as you run in them.  In terms of breathability, a fast drying and breathable upper made of UA Microthread technology, including a highly ventilated midfoot panel, all contribute to optimizing the comfort level of your feet during your runs – short or long.

HOVR is a great deal more responsive than my prior shoes, I run more effectively, thanks to the UA HOVR technology, which “provides ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step.”
The HOVR tech embeds a soft inner core wrapped in a compression Energy Web. into a firmer midsole carrier for great cushion, energy return and stability without any if the mushy soft feel of my prior shoes. I have had no issues with the additional firmness and am running faster than normal.
The wide, round, almost court shoe heel makes them stable on the run and can also make them great option for the gym as well. The rear rubber is firm and long lasting, the front blown rubber soft and responsive.
Running 60 miles in them in the span of 3 weeks, my pace is faster by 20 seconds per mile on the exact same courses and with roughly the same efforts!

Overall, I really like the UA HOVR Sonic Connected as the shoes deliver both comfort and performance, are reasonably priced, and come with a digitally connected feature to track performance as well as enhance one’s running experience.

Reviewer Bio
Dominique has been running for 40 years. She has a marathon PR of 3:16, in her second marathon ever in the 80's which made her the 11th all time fastest Swiss woman at the time. These days she runs 4-6 miles, 4 days a week, year round, along the New Hampshire coast and in Utah.

Shop for the HOVR Sonic Connected at Under Armour here

See our in depth review of the non connected Sonic HOVR with comparisons here
The Sonic was provided at no cost.The opinions herein are entirely the author's.

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Anonymous said...

Have you been able to make the pod stream your music through Bluetooth (phoneless)? I was told it could but I don’t know how.


Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
My wife has over 80 miles on hers and there is for all intents and purposes no wear beyond the nubs. So to date a very durable outsole.There is very thick rubber over the whole outsole which is neat as it will accommodate different wear patterns.
Sam, Editor.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
I do not think the pod is capable of streaming music phone less. Haven't seen that anywhere. Do you have a link? Maybe a future version? It is already a battery challenge to record run data for the life of the shoe.
Sam, Editor