Tuesday, May 11, 2021

UA Flow Velociti Wind Multi Tester Review

Article by Jeff Beck, Michael Ellenberger, Zack Dunn and Sam Winebaum

UA Flow Velociti Wind ($160)


Sam: The Flow Velociti Wind represents a completely new run platform for Under Armour. It is the fruit of 3 years of R&D and 11,000 miles of testing by their elites and also by regular runners. Its defining feature is a single piece midsole and midsole as outsole called UA Flow.

The geometry of the midsole and its contact to the ground was mapped through extensive data analysis of runners’ strike patterns and loading. Note the circular shapes at the metatarsals and the rounded shape of the heel which is somewhat reminiscent of the HOVR Sonic (RTR Review) which was a 2 ounce heavier far firmer shoe with a full outsole. 

 UA told us the geometry is designed to have no lever arms and no sharp angles for a smooth “flow” and as such there is no distinct flex point, This is exactly what I have felt on my first run. After a few hundred yards the first word that came to mind was decently cushioned, quiet, moccasin like but a moc with plenty of softer, cushion, rebound and stability.  

women's color way PC: Sally Reiley

The midsole foam is a Dow Olefin based compound with a low compression set and with additives for durability. The Velociti Wind weighs 229g / 8.08 oz in my US9 sample and has a 26/18 stack,  8mm drop.


Jeff/Michael/Zack/Sam - Firm low slung ride has subtle rebound

Jeff/Zack/Sam- Upper has really solid hold

Zack/Michae/Sam - Very smooth toe off 

Zack - Includes neat ( but not entirely accurate) bluetooth technology (form analysis, stride length, etc.)

Sam: Quiet, natural moccasin like ride.


Jeff/Michael/Sam- Cost/performance/durability ratio seems off

Jeff - Lacking the cushioning Levels or plates that have taken over the market

Zack - Not as responsive or lightweight as other shoes on the market

Michael - Sizing is difficult. 

Sam: Potentially production inconsistencies in sizing between pairs.

Sam-Low slung ride ends up on the from side. Adding an ounce more midsole stack to bring it in at a still very reasonable 9 oz or so could improve cushion and ride while adding to versatility and better accommodate heavier runners.


Weight: 229g / 8.08 oz (US9)    

Samples: men’s  229g / 8.08 oz (US9) 268g / 9.45 oz (US11) Women’s  214g / 7.6 oz (US W8.5)

Stack Height: 26/18 stack,  8mm drop.

Available now. $160  

Tester Profiles

Michael is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University Law School in Chicago and is a patent and intellectual property attorney. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). He recently finished 2nd at the Chicago Half-Marathon in a PR of 67:43, and was the top Illinois finisher in the 2017 Boston Marathon (2:33:03, 82nd overall). He recently secured a 2:31 marathon PR at the Austin Marathon. 

Zack: a junior in high school. "I’ve been running for 7 years, and has focused solely on running after giving up on years of baseball and wrestling. I race distances between 800 meters and 10K  whether on the track, roads, or on cross country. I do most of my training on the roads, some training on the track, and occasionally run trails logging anywhere from 40-60 miles a week.  My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes miles on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. My personal bests are 2:02 for 800m, 4:30 for 1600m, 9:50 for 3200m, 15:57 for 5K, and 34:10 for 10K." 

Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 30 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs.

First Impressions and Fit 

Jeff: Most parents go through a phase where knock-knock jokes and riddles are a constant part of their life  and when I opened the box all I could think was “what’s white and black and pink all over?” The UA Flow Velociti Wind of course! This is my first UA shoe in more than five years, and the fit and finish seems much better than it was when they first brought out the first Speedform Gemini. My pair is a size 11, a half size up from what I normally wear, and there’s just a little bit extra up front - making me think this shoe fits pretty true-to-size. The toebox is a little lacking, but considering the intention of the shoe, a firm hold on the foot is more important than extra room for foot swell or toe splay, so I can’t knock it too hard for not being super roomy up front.

Zack: Just like Jeff, I received a half size up then normal, and it was pretty spot on for me in terms of length. But I have a slightly narrow foot, and I noticed there was some bunching up towards the bottom of the eyelet chain just because of cinching the laces down. So I conclude that the length runs a half size small, but the width is pretty standard. 

Michael: Size-wise, I received my usual 8.5, and found it too snug - a 9.0 would likely be a perfect fit.  Especially on warmer days, my toes were in need of some extra space in the narrow toebox. Not a huge issue, but online shoppers beware. Otherwise, I think the UA Flow Velociti Wind is a handsome shoe and one that really impressed me out of the box, both in construction and in appearance. Under Armor has been making strides (pun intended) in the running world recently, but hasn’t quite gained the traction I expected - is this the shoe to put them on the map?


Sam:  Velociti Wind is topped with a very airy UA Warp upper with an inner essentially transparent fishnet like mesh with the gray strips of reinforcement stitched in if you will by an outer matrix of thread like mesh. 

Stouter threads are also stitched in with the  rear blue ones helping provide heel lockdown while the pink ones provide foot lock down. The upper design is focused in like fashion to the midsole to provide a smooth continuous lockdown of foot to platform in motion. 

The tongue  is thin but well padded and has a stretch gusset

The fit is decently generous and should accommodate a wide variety of foot shapes as the Warp upper’s “seat belts” and  open mesh is very foot conforming yet supportive. This said several of our testers including some not yet in the review noted inconsistencies in fit as It compared to their usual sizing.

This said I think they may run a half size short in length for higher volume forefoot folks or those with a long second toe due to the fairly firm and low very front of the toe bumper. I was sent a half size up from my normal and my wider left foot fit seemed shorter but almost correct with my narrower right feeling a bit long wearing heavier SmartWool and then Stance socks. 

Jeff: Sam broke down the upper very thoroughly so I won’t retrace his work, and I largely agree with his assessments. The upper is very breathable, and my first run in the shoe was in a downpour (that got cut short as lightning showed up - I can deal with wet no problem, I don’t mess with Thor), and my feet were freezing only a mile in. 

The shape is very accomodating to various foot sizes, but I wouldn’t mind just a bit more width up by the toes as I am sometimes borderline between D width and 2E.  The only aspect I would actually disagree with Sam is the sizing, my half-size up 11 fit me like they should be a half size up. There may be some production inconsistencies though, I know a number of our reviewers had major sizing problems.

Zack: I definitely agree with what Sam and Jeff say about the shoe being pretty breathable. I think one of the things that make this shoe more accommodating for most people is the heel and collar area has a decent amount of cushioning which makes the lockdown a little better and boosts the comfort in that area. Overall, I found the upper to be lightweight and comfortable where needed, and it had a nice supportive feel. 

Michael: One element of the UA that stood out here was the upper’s ability to really mould to my foot - the upper is more plastic-y than I would have expected, visually. Yet as I started my 4th or 5th or 6th run in the Velociti Wind, I could tell the materials had shaped pleasantly around my foot. On the contrary, I found the heel counter to be overly stiff and uncomfortable - part of the reason the 8.5 didn’t seem to work for me, I think, is because of how much space the heel counter took up, and how sternly it forced my foot forward into the low-volume toe box.

Midsole also as Outsole

Sam: The midsole foam is a Dow Olefin based compound with a low compression set and with additives for durability. Salomon also uses Dow midsole compounds and the midsole here feels somewhat similar to the Salomon S/Lab Pulsar, on the soft side with rebound but not bouncy as ay New Balance FuelCell in the Rebel v2 is. My first run was in temperatures of 25 F / -4C and the ride feel (and as there is no rubber often part of the cause of “brick” like cold temp rides) stayed sott, flexible, and totally silent on the road demonstrating the claimed temperature stable nature of the material, 

With a stack height of 26/18 one might think there is not enough cushion for daily training but my sense is that there is plenty for many if you like a more minimal ride feel. Removal of the usual 3mm or so of outsole rubber and the UA Flow midsole foam’s characteristics deliver a cushion feel well above the lowish stack height, with a smooth distinct rebound and a nimble feel, but also not a highly responsive one with lots of pop from rubber or crazy bouncy as say the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 or Nike ZoomX Invincible deliver. 

The midsole feel is closer to the Hoka Mach 4 with its rubberized foam midsole as outsole or a FreshFoam Beacon or maybe, as memories are distant, the Clifton 1.  Different and pleasing the Velociti Wind has a low to the ground, on the softer side, very well cushioned with nicely measured rebound and stable ride and I will say it again.. a distinct smooth and very quiet “flow”. 

It is of course too early to determine the durability of the Velociti Wind with no outsole rubber in the mix but wear should be even adapting to each runner’s wear patterns. The shoe went through 11K miles of wear testing and UA assured us durability was good.

Jeff: And this is where being a bigger runner has me see this shoe differently from Sam. As much as I’d like to put it into the rotation as a daily trainer, there just isn’t enough under foot protection for me to want to run in it day after day. There’s decent protection, but not great. I think that means if you are a sub-200 pound runner, this could be a solid trainer for you.

Zack: I definitely agree with most of Sam’s statements about the midsole feel. I had a hard time coming up with the right comparison of other shoe foams, and the best I could come up with is NIke’s Cushlon foam. It is not super soft, but it's not extremely firm either, and it's also not that responsive, but it's definitely more responsive than generic EVA foams. I will say that it definitely felt as if there was more foam underfoot than a 26/18 stack. 

I found the midsole shines for tempo/moderate efforts as it wasn’t forgiving enough for true recovery runs yet it wasn’t stiff and fast enough for race day or true speed work. It felt perfect for those mid-distance, moderately harder efforts where your cadence is up and you’re moving but still want some underfoot support and a fair amount of cushion.

Michael: I quite liked the firmness of the midsole - it was vaguely reminiscent of the Puma Deviate Nitro (which I was testing contemporaneously), minus the plate. There’s isn’t a lot of midsole here, as Jeff mentions, but it is a fun, more lively ride than I had expected out of UA. The drop (8mm) is also favorable here, and helps promote a quicker turnover, which hides some of the harshness of the ride, as Zack suggests above.

Outsole as Midsole

Sam: I particularly noted the grip of the outsole as I ran across thin layers of sand over pavement, gravel and bigger stuff on pavement and a section of hard packed road base. The softer than rubber foam and the patterning clearly has a tenacious grip. Everywhere the grip was top notch and I would say the best of any shoe this winter on these surfaces. No stones were noticed getting lodged and if they did the flexibility of contact surface should easily eject them The “outsole” would be a great choice for hard pack gravel dirt roads but one would have to see how those surfaces affected durability.

Jeff: I was surprised how well the “outsole” gripped the wet ground. No slips, no uncertainty, and every step was planted. I did experience a few tiny stones in the gaps, but they were inconsequential to the ride of the shoe. I’m with Sam, varied terrains could do some serious work on the durability. 

Zack: Not much for me to say, the other guys pretty much covered it. Grip was pretty good on road, dirt, and the track. Not quite sure how well the outsole/midsole compound will last in terms of durability up to say 200-250 miles, but time will tell. 

Michael: I put about 30 miles on the Velociti Wind (entirely road) without issue. No concerns on wet pavement or across grass when maintaining a 6’ distance - just a solid, durable “outsole”. 


Sam: The Velociti Wind has a very unusual and pleasing ride. With a 26/18 stack one might imagine a firmer ride but not so for me but for sure a low to the ground more minimal than all the super stack recent shoes. The combination of the softer and rebounding Flow midsole foam, no rubber outsole, and no sharp levers or edges geometry has it decently cushioned and more than adequately so and decently above its stack. Moccasin like and smooth is how I will describe the ride.

My first run was a recovery run at 9:30 miles in high winds and cold, 20F. The ride remained soft even in the cold and notably silent.  I ambled along very comfortably with the transitions smooth and easy  at those slow paces and the cushioning and stability just fine. I particularly noted the stability of the landings on the circular rear geometry and a sensation of easily moving forward to toe off. The 8mm drop and rest of the geometry was notable in the mix as usually at slow paces as I am a heel striker in shoes with low drop and softer foam such as the Beacon the heel feels low and hard to get past but not so here.

My second 5 mile run in notably warmer conditions was equally as smooth and a somewhat faster average pace of 9:20 per mile with the last mile or so at 8:20. Was it apparent is the friendly smooth flowing softness if a softness tempered by not much actual stack height. The rebound from the Flow midsole is clearly there and there was never a sense of bottoming out or instability. There is an unusual amount of road feel and sensation of the foot working in synch with the the stride and ground while also never any harsh or jarring sensations.

This said it is an unusually soft if thinner ride.. Going to say it one more time a flow with each stride than any snappy response.

On my walks back from the end of each run I noted how comfortable and smooth they were for walking. So clearly it is a great travel, run, and do many things shoe as well. 

Jeff: I think I’ve gotten spoiled by the number of shoes on the market that have incredible squish without slowing things down, because these felt very firm and borderline harsh for most of my runs. There is just a hint of rebound after you land, and it is a unique ride, but ultimately there just isn’t enough cushioning for me. 

Zack: I found this shoe to shine in the tempo/moderate efforts. I had initially taken them out on a 7 mile recovery run at 7:40 / mile pace, and the shoe didn’t feel terrible. It had a good amount of support and just enough forgiveness to not have the legs absorb all the impact of the pavement but it's also apparent they weren’t made for easy efforts. I then proceeded to take them on a 4 mile moderate/easy tempo effort (6:20 / mile pace), and I started to enjoy the ride of the shoe. I found at that pace, the smooth toe off and slightly firm yet supportive midsole made for a pleasing ride that allowed me to “flow” (get the joke?) in the run. 

Michael: I’m with Zack here, entirely - I think the shoe worked best when I was nearing my moderate paces (~6:00-5:50), and was noticeably less fun in the workup to those clips. The Velociti Wind doesn’t have a plate, obviously, but there’s some definite propulsion to the geometry, and with a lively enough midsole, I didn’t mind the meager cushioning when trying to run a little more aggressively. It’s even more fun around corners or navigating some tighter turns, and I think the lower profile really promotes that almost old-school running shoe vibe (like an old ASICS Onitsuka Tiger) as opposed to the beefier options we have today.

Bluetooth Features

Zack: I had made an effort to try out some of the Bluetooth features that come with the shoe and connect to the MapMyRun app. It analyzes pace, distance, cadence, stride length, ground contact time, and foot strike angle. I can tell by comparing what my running watch tracks (pace and distance) to the shoe’s analysis, it's evident the shoe is not very accurate for those things, as the shoe was about 0.5 miles off in distance and about a minute slower in pace. One reason i think that could be is that I run in a city environment, and i found myself at least once during my runs taking a 30 second break at a traffic light waiting for it to change. The shoe, not having a automatic start and stop function, probably didn’t immediately stop tracking the fact I paused which would have slowed the overall pace, but this is just my hypothesis. Not sure why the distance is off by so much though.

In good news, the cadence and foot strike angle seemed fairly accurate as the cadence was within 5-6 spm of what my watch said, and the foot strike angle had me at 0-8 degrees  (depending on pace), which I think is fairly accurate considering. I have a fairly midfoot flat landing. In terms of stride length and ground contact time, i never really had a way to analyze those, so im not completely sure the accuracy of those which means there's  not much i can say about it, but the data doesn’t seem to be out of the ordinary. So overall, the pace and distance was off by a good margin, but the aspects of form analysis seemed fairly accurate and even if those aren’t perfect they will give you a good relative (run compared to run) idea of the way you run. 


Sam: At $160 the Velociti Wind is called a “pinnacle” shoe by UA. The pricing for sure does give pause.  It clearly incorporates a state of the art modern midsole foam, an effective geometry to go with the midsole, BT form, stride and distance tracking sensor and an excellent upper. 

The Flow Velociti Wind is well named. The smooth “Flow” is clearly there. The Velociti part is to be seen but at about 8 oz with an agile platform and I think appropriately for the softer rubber outsole less foam a 8mm drop it can move along in what I will call a more moccasin like than snappy responsive way.

This unusual and distinct ride may not be for everyone but those seeking a light weight, decently cushioned for its low stack, free flowing, long slung, more natural ride, with good ground feel will be well served to consider them.

I think the platform could be improved by adding some stack height to improve the depth of cushion and thus make it a more versatile option for more general daily training.

Sam’s Score: 8.7 /10  

Ride: 8.7 (50%) Fit: 9 (30%) Value: 7.8 (15%) Style: 9.5(5%)

Jeff: The Velociti Wind feels like a shoe that doesn’t go far enough in several respects. It’s light, but not really light enough, it’s decently cushioned, but not cushioned enough, it has decent rebound and pop, but not enough to justify its $160 price tag. It doesn’t cleanly fit into my shoe rotation - not enough protection for a daily trainer, not fast enough enough to be a speed shoe - but I think runners who hate the widely adopted trend of high-stack, low-weight, carbon-plated shoes will find this shoe a breath of fresh air. In this case, I’m just not one of them.

Jeff’s Score 7.2 out of 10

Zack: I agree with Jeff that this shoe does not excel or excite in any one category. That being said, the shoe had a pleasing and smooth ride for tempo and moderate efforts, and did okay for easy efforts, but is just not made for that. It also comes with cool semi-accurate Bluetooth features which analyzes aspects of form such as cadence, stride length, foot strike angle, contact time, etc.. without phone or watch. So if you care about stuff like that then this shoe might intrigue you. All that being said, the price at $160, is tough to justify, especially with some of the fantastic choices on the market. Sure it has cool Bluetooth technology, but removing that from  the equation I would say this is a $120 maybe $130 value shoe, neat upper aside. Overall though, this shoe wasn’t bad, it had a nice smooth ride, cool integrated technology, and felt good for the runs i took it out on, but it just isn’t justifying the $160 in terms of overall performance. 

Zack’s Score 8.5 out of 10

Michael: While I came away impressed by the performance and ride of the Velociti Wind, it’s not a shoe I will be rushing to spread the word about. Ultimately, it’s probably Under Armor’s most capable effort yet, and undoubtedly a solid trainer for more efficient runners, but it’s not a particularly exciting or novel option. Add in the $160 price tag, and I have my doubts as to its success. As with Zack, I think a $120 price point would make this a considerably more appealing option - but, if you’re able to set the cost aside, I think the Velociti Wind can hold its own with many modern trainers, and should be considered by those who want a firm, aggressive everyday trainer.

Michael’s Score: 8.7/10


New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 (RTR Review)

Sam:The Rebel is 0.7 oz lighter has a more energetic and softer yet foam and a super exciting ride. It is less stable and has lower drop at 6mm vs 8mm  but is a superior faster shorter run shoe and much more fun.

Michael: The Velociti Wind is much more similar to the Rebel v1 than v2, the v2 being a massively more fun and bouncy option. Unless you only want a firm and inflexible platform, I think the New Balance is easily the superior choice.

Hoka Mach 4  (RTR Review)

Sam:The Mach 4 has a higher stack at 29/24 vs 26/18 and combines a firmer EVA top midsole layer with a thick, firmer rubberized foam midsole as outsole lower layer. They weigh exactly the same and both are on the soft side These are similar riding shoes for me with the Mach 4 more substantial and I expect much more versatile.

Michael: The Mach 4 has a higher stack and really feels it, but the rides of the two shoes isn’t as different as you may think at faster paces. While I prefer the Hoka, I don’t think the Velociti Wind is a bad choice for runners who like the Mach line but want something a little more aggressive and lower-slung.

Saucony Freedom 3 and 4 (RTR Review)

Sam: The lower 4mm drop  Freedom 1,2,3 were Saucony’s entry into the more natural and wild ride. The Velociti Wind also focuses, it seems, on the fun and smooth and is more stable (in large part due to its superior foot well held upper) and is considerably softer  than the first Freedoms, The Freedom 4 changes the formula to a more stable flavor with extensive rubber and a relatively dense midsole and as such is firmer than the Velociti. 

Puma Liberate Nitro (RTR Initial Review)

Sam:1.5 oz lighter at a mere 6.5 oz, so 1.5 o lighter than Velocity with just about the same stack height and priced at $110 the Liberate has equivalent cushion with a more dynamic feel from its nitrogen infused midsole and full rubber outsole. It can daily train if you like light, light.  In the class of light light daily trainer Liberate tops Velociti for me.

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review beyond potential commissions from the shopping links in the article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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