SpeedForm Apollo

Under Armour's snazzy new shoe

 

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What’s all the fuss about?
When NASA was looking for a company to manufacture the spacesuits for the original Apollo Project, it was a bra manufacturer rather than a military contractor that secured the deal. That manufacturer was Playtex and it was the company’s intimate knowledge of the human body and how to make things fit nice and snug that snagged the win. It was this inspiration that lead to the SpeedForm; it also explains why the shoe’s innovative feature – the seamless heel cup – has been designed in a bra factory for what Under Armour says is the “ultimate in fit and feel”.

Out of the box
At first glance, the shoe doesn’t look that much different to any number of lightweight, low-drop running shoes. But a sneaky peak inside at the heel cup and the first thing you’ll notice is the absence of an insole or any stitching. They are also extremely flexible, stripped down as they are to the bare essentials with an upper that’s barely there. Combined with the Micro G midsole, these shoes are seriously light but also feel like they could offer decent support.

On the foot
When you put the Speedform Apollo on, it feels less like a conventional trainer, more like a pair of funky house slippers. There are no seams to irritate the skin, while a tiny bit of silicone beading around the inner edge of the shoe helps keep it in place. Under Armour’s goal was to clothe runners’ feet with a more anatomically correct shoe, leading to improved performance. Hence the shoe’s tagline: ‘This is what fast feels like.’

On the road
If you’re looking for a shoe that combines lightweight and cushioning, this is a decent option. Under Armour has worked hard to develop both – the shoe was four years in the making. The seamless upper helps, but it’s also the sole and materials used that help cut down the weight of the shoe. The TPU-based material is not only lighter but offers better grip, with the same amount of durability found in traditional carbon rubber soles.

Finer details
If you want to get technical, the shoe does feature a TPU Shank for a little bit of added support, but these are not a support shoe per se. Other features include a single moulded toe, a breathable mesh tongue and a 4D Foam sock liner.

Verdict
The Speedform Apollo is sleek and streamlined and delivers a flexible feel unlike many other minimal racers. The innovative fit means it would be ideal for race day outings and on the road for a five-mile tempo run.

Price: £90

Weight: 185g
www.underarmour.com

 

Written by David Castle | 301 articles | View profile

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