Tuesday, March 2, 2021

In Which Jenn WANTS To Love UA Running Shoes, But...

Tape and sneakers

You know how sometimes you jump into a series of love affairs but just end up getting hurt? Yeah, that's me and Under Armour running shoes.

Before we start, I want to make it very clear that I am not disparaging UA or their products. They make great stuff. I love my long sleeve Baltimore Marathon tech tee with the thumbholes and my polarized sunglasses and the pair of running pants I tragically tore a hole in. Pat likes my rain-resistant jacket so much he bought one of his own. But for whatever reason, I just can't make the running shoes work for me - and what's more, every time they don't work for me, I turn around a try again.

Round 1: I get the original Sonic Hovrs. I LOVE THEM. They make me feel speedy! I get two pairs. But I notice after a 17 mile run that my inner knee bugs me the next day. Not the same day as the run, but the next day. Huh. It happens again after the National Capital 20 Miler. It is worse. I have a marathon coming up. I am nervous. I switch to my tried-and-true Brooks Ravennas and make it through okay, but it's a close one. I sadly give up my speedy Hovrs.

Round 2: UA comes out with the Guardians, which are support shoes. While I have one neutral and one support foot and have run in both types successfully, I think - maybe the Hovrs were too neutral? Or something? Maybe their support version will work?

And maybe they do, but it's hard to tell - I never run more than 10 miles in them, because I discover that after four miles I am increasingly at risk of developing a blister on my inside right heel instep (this is my neutral foot). So these seem to be a bit too supportive. In addition, the Guardians just feel kinda stiff and clunky to me. I am not a fan. I never run a race in them.

Round 3: UA debuts a NEW version of the Sonic Hovr - and they come in PINK! (They call it peach, but whatever; it's pink). Perhaps this latest iteration corrected whatever it was about the first edition my knee didn't like? 

I buy a pair and once again, I love them! So speedy! I run a race in them, and it goes pretty well. A couple weeks later, I start experience heel pain. Weird. Then I go visit family for a couple weeks. I've only packed a pair of the Ravennas since I don't anticipate any long runs, and indeed never go above four. The minimized mileage, I figure, will let my heel... heal. Heel heal. Yeah.

It works! I come back home and do some long runs, several of which are in the pink Hovrs. The heel pain comes back...? I do a little research and it seems to be the dreaded plantar fasciitis. Weird - I've never had that problem before! It waxes and wanes, seemingly unrelated to mileage... until after an embarrassingly lengthy amount of time, I finally figure out that my heel flareups correlate to long runs in the Hovrs.

Damn.

They're so cute, too.

Oh well. It was nice while it lasted. But I think I'm gonna have to break up with the Under Armour running shoe line. If you can trust me saying so - I've gone back on my word before. Heck, just a few weeks ago I said I wouldn't be picking up any Nike Vomero 14s and now I think I might because I like to have at least two models of shoes in rotation. I hear it (ha!) helps prevent injury.

John Mulany

All the same, if you see me tweeting or whatever about buying some UA sneakers again, make like the other drunk girl in the bathroom and yell "DON'T DO IT!" I'll thank you later.

P.S. I look forward to writing the post in the future when I say "I know I told you guys I'd never do this, but..."

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

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