07
Jan
19

Quick Review: Under Armour HOVR Phantom

I’ve been wanting to post this review of the Under Armour HOVR Phantom for the longest time but I’ve been hesitant as I’ve only used it a few times.  Nonetheless, I think I have enough feedback to make a quick review, so here we go.

UA HOVR Phantom in white/steel colorway.

I got my pair of UA HOVR Phantom some time after the Philippine launch, courtesy of Under Armour Philippines.  They sent me this absolutely pristine white/steel colorway which is quite gorgeous if you ask me.  That unfortunately was the primary reason why I’m so reluctant to use it as the streets of Manila would surely turn it to cream or brown at the end of the day so all my evaluation was done indoors at my gym.

Rear view of the UA HOVR Phantom.

The UA HOVR Phantom features a sock-like design with its very flexible upper and gartered opening.  It has a non-removable sockliner which feels somewhere between a gel and a foam.  The sole is a bit thick but is quite soft giving the shoe some good cushioning.  Here are some specs of the UA HOVR Phantom as per Under Armour:

  • UA HOVR™ technology provides ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step
  • Compression mesh Energy Web contains & molds UA HOVR™ foam to give back the energy you put in
  • NEUTRAL: For runners who need a balance of flexibility & cushioning
  • Soft knit upper dries fast & provides a breathable, compression-like fit that delivers lightweight directional strength & unmatched comfort
  • 3D molded midfoot panel with laser perforations for increased ventilation
  • Knit ankle collar provides a snug, bootie-like fit
  • External heel counter creates the ultimate in stable support
  • Ultra-breathable, SpeedForm® 2.0 sockliner is built into the shoe with gender specific contours for extra protection & softer underfoot support
  • Full rubber outsole features unique knobbed texture for elevated traction & durability
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Weight: 10.6oz

My test of the UA HOVR Phantom involved running it in the treadmill up to speeds of 17 kph.  That should be enough to give me an idea on its traction, fit, cushioning, and comfort.  I also used it on my leg day to see how it fared with weights.  Here are my results:

Pros:

  • Fit is excellent, like a sock, as the shoe never felt like it would fly away while running at 17 kph.
  • Comfort is good as the mesh upper kept my feet cool and ventilated.
  • Traction is also good as I never experienced any slippage.
  • Soles have enough thickness and softness to provide good cushioning.

After a single run on the treadmill…

Cons:

  • The built-in sockliner felt like a flat tire—it felt soggy so it didn’t do much and the cushioning eventually fell onto the soles.
  • The gartered ankle collar may look like a sock and may seem like it’s good for running sockless but it is a bit loose for those with smaller ankles and it is thin and sharp enough to cause chaffing.  These can all be fixed though by wearing socks that are higher than the shoe collar, but those with bigger ankles may be fine.

Doing some leg presses to test the cushioning!

Overall, the UA HOVR Phantom is a great shoe as it looks more than good enough to pass as a lifestyle shoe, but it can perform should you suddenly have the urge to run or do some lifting at the gym.  The ankle collar may not fit well those with small ankles like myself, but wearing a sock (which I think reduces the look factor of the shoe, but not that big of a deal in my opinion) eliminates the issue with chaffing.  The sockliner may also be a matter of preference and a custom insole may help.  Given the chance though, I would prefer a darker shade so that I won’t be scared of using it outdoors, but nonetheless the white/steel colorway would surely catch attention wherever you wear it.  If you’re in the market for a great-looking shoe that can also keep up with your active lifestyle, this may be for you!

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