Can the Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind rubber free shoes offer a high tech upgrade to your run while feeling like a low tech in nature?
By Ray Klerck
I detest running. Let’s make that super clear before you read any further. Wind in the hair? Meh. Clearing of the mind? Pfft. Health and longevity? Boo-yah! I run because as a human being I’m fairly partial to being alive. Part of that means staying fit. After 25 years of rugby training, I promised myself I’d never run again. It’s a promise I routinely break three times every week. It’s this weakness that makes me strong. My daily weight training doesn’t hurt that cause either. Fitness is a non-negotiable chore. I do love it. However, I do view fitness tech and trackers like a steel fist in a velvet glove. False prophets for profit. That didn’t deter me from undertaking a review of the Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind shoes.
Rise Of The Running Machines
My desk draw is a graveyard for multiple Fitbits, Motiv rings and Whoops. Their charging cables form knotted tentacles engaged in a battle royale. None of them have ever added value to my fitness pursuits. Most broke after a month. The metrics were useless. I’ve tested them all. So, when my Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind shoes arrived , I only cocked half an eyebrow. Upon opening the box, I looked for yet another charging cable to be tossed into my desk draw death match. There wasn’t one. Confused, I downloaded the MapMyRun app and after three screen taps, my phone was connected to my shoes. An inviting green button that begged to start running. Pure sorcery. A full eyebrow was now raised. The ultimate in high tech is to become low tech. It was different to anything I’d used in the past. Perhaps these were the evolution that would reboot my perspective on the marriage between fitness and tech.
Putting on the shoes, they are not excessively cushioned kicks. Smart move. Shoes that leave you feeling like you’re sauntering on rainbows don’t do feet any favours. They’re like that super soft bed mattress, it’s got the wow-factor on the shop floor but sleep on it for a month and you’re left aching like you owe bikies money. I like support, but not excessive comfort and that’s what the Flow Velociti Wind delivers – a neutral running shoe. It runs like a sprint shoe, just way lighter, which I found delivered more powerful push offs from each step. What about on the run? Light and comfortable. A little stiff in the forefoot to begin with but that eased up as the little voice from app to spurred on my steps to a technologically acceptable default pace. Normally I listen to my body. It’s smarter than me. The omnipresent feedback from the soles was smarter still. Not ear spam. Just enough. The shoes felt as though they offered recoil, which seemed to spit back the energy I put in. Very satisfying. The free tech that comes with them analysed every runs’ distance, pace, stride length and told me how many calories I’d burnt. I looked at the run stats afterwards and it even told me how hot it was, the humidity, wind speed and mapped it all out visually. If I was looking to figure out why I’d hit a new personal best (or worst), these are precisely the metrics I’d want. They’re great if you’re a casual runner like me and essential if you’re looking for big data on your performance.
The Cool Down
Normally, I’m gagging to get my running shoes off after a my 5km canter to the beach and back. Pluggers are my post run kicks of choice, especially at the warm end of a Byron Bay Autumn. However, these shoes don’t leave your feet feeling hot and swollen like you’ve run a marathon in rented bowling shoes. In fact, they never stink, which probably thanks to their anti-odor tech that’s super breathable. It meant I kick around in them long after my run has finished. While the following confession may void the warranty, I’ve even started to use them in the gym and they’re surprisingly solid beneath the burden of 1 rep max front squats. The quirky MapMyRun voice didn’t even groan under the strain. To me, this makes them a good multi-purpose pair of shoes that you can rely on for all fitness pursuits. It does present a problem because picking the best part of the Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind shoes is like choosing red meat at a Brazilian steakhouse. There are so many options, and they just keep on coming. If pressed, I loved the fact that you don’t have plug-in to plug in. Overall, they’re no shoe is ever going to reset your body to factory settings, but they are the best kicks if you want to find a little more affection for something you may love to hate. Thanks to them, my relationship status with fit tech has now been upgraded from complicated to engaged.