UA HOVR Sonic 4
The midsole of this design provides runners with excellent energy return that adds an extra spring to their step with just enough cushioning to protect their joints.
Overall, I would recommend this running shoe for runners that like to engage in a little bit of speed work on the track, or high-intensity workouts such as CrossFit.
One of the downsides of this shoe is that the outsole isn’t exactly built for slick sidewalks, and it doesn’t have the same level of durability as other road-running shoes.
If you are on the hunt for a great running shoe that is lightweight, comfortable, and full of surprisingly modern features, the UA HOVR Sonic 4 is worth checking out!
If you are on the hunt for a great speed and agility shoe, the UA HOVR Sonic 4 is a great option. This shoe is a fan favorite amongst runners that need something that is lightweight, flexible, and provides just a little bit of extra comfort where they need it most.
Built-in microchip sends run progress to your phone
Cushioned yet responsive midsole
Great for speed or agility work
Lightweight upper offers excellent lockdown
Exterior TPU heel counter won’t rub against your ankles
Affordable price point
Not ideal for long distances
Minimal traction doesn’t work well on slick sidewalks
Some runners feel the toe box is too wide
The midsole is made from what UA calls Rim and Core construction. Basically, the ‘rim’ of this shoe is made from a soft and cushioned material that provides runners with a nice step-in feel.
The Charge EVA foam is soft, but it isn’t exactly plush. It feels slightly squishy, but not so soft that it will make your stride muddy. The core of this shoe is made from Olefin.
I have seen a few newer running shoes utilize this unique material, and the addition of Olefin of the UN HOVR Sonic 4 really makes it shine. This material is much stiffer than foam and gives this shoe its patented snap to your gait cycle.
Overall, the midsole of this shoe walks that perfect line between cushioning and responsiveness. If you want something that will help you pick up the pace while still offering modest cushioning, this is a great choice.
The outsole of this design is composed of two different styles of rubber to create a springy and durable ride. It boasts blown rubber along the forefoot to keep your stride nice and light, as well as add an extra spring to your step.
The heel is composed of high-abrasion rubber to boost this shoe’s overall durability as well as absorb a good deal of impact when running on hard surfaces.
Overall, many runners felt that the rubber outsole is a little too thick and heavy for a speed-shoe. However, the construction of this outsole is made to be tough and durable so you can squeeze well over 300 miles out of this shoe.
The upper is one of HOVR Sonic 4’s best features. The upper is composed of the perfect blend of stretchy and lightweight mesh and modest cushioning that offers runners a comfortable run that is also quite responsive.
UA added a TPU plate on the outside of the heel, which I feel is a really smart idea. The heel counter boasts a thin layer of padding on the inside of the shoe (that prevents rubbing and chafing), and the exterior TPU heel counter locks your heel in place for a better overall fit.
The upper is also made from a flat knit construction that is incredibly breathable. Even after a long and sweaty run, many users found that their feet stayed nice and cool.
What I also love about this design is that it walks that perfect line between cushioned padding and breathable materials.
It provides runners with just enough padding along the heel collar and tongue to prevent rubbing, and the forefoot is nice and flexible to provide runners with a full range of motion and excellent lockdown.
One of the most impressive (and surprising) features of this running shoe is that it comes equipped with a little microchip built into the midsole that actually tracks your steps!
This little microchip pairs with apps such as Map My Run that provide your step count, time, and distance traveled. You can also pair it with the UA app that works like a tiny personal trainer built right into your shoes.
This app not only tracks your progress, but can also give you personalized insights into your running style, and how to push yourself just a little further. As a runner, a little bit of guidance can go a long way.
As far as the overall construction of the shoe is concerned, I would recommend this shoe for runners that want to go fast. The minimalist upper and modest padding in the midsole is great for speed work, but not so great when running long distances.
The HOVR Sonic 4 doesn’t provide runners with much stability or control, which can be a problem when distance is the aim of the game.
Overall, The UA HOVR Sonic 4 runs true to size. If you are a size 10 on other UA running shoes, this shoe will fit you just fine.
If you are new to UA, be sure to consult their detailed sizing chart to ensure that you get the right fit for your feet.
When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to head down to your local shoe store to give them a try and then head online to find your best deal.
There are a few places where this shoe really shines in terms of fit, and other places where runners encountered a few issues. The wide flat tongue is attached to the sides to cradle your foot and hold it securely in place.
The design of this tongue not only boosts lockdown, but it is incredibly breathable and flexible as well, which is perfect for agility work.
One issue that some runners did not like is the build of the toe box. There were some runners that felt that the toe box on this design is just a little too wide.
Personally, I would gladly take a toe box that is too wide rather than too narrow. If you prefer your toes to have a little less room to naturally splay, you may want to consider sizing a half size down.
When I discovered that this shoe boasts a microchip in the midsole, I was prepared to encounter a steep price point. Much to my surprise, the UA HOVR Sonic 4 clocks in at a super affordable price tag and almost enters the realm of a budget-friendly running shoe!
When you take the responsive midsole and durable outsole into consideration, this shoe is an incredible value that is worth checking out.
Comparison to Previous Versions
At first glance, these two shoes are almost identical. One of the biggest complaints of the HOVR Sonic 3 is that it wasn’t offered in many different color choices. UA has fixed that with the release of the HOVR Sonic 4. This updated option comes in a wide variety of unique color options that really pop.
Another change made to this design is that it is slightly lighter than previous versions. The HOVR Sonic 3 weighed in at around 10 ounces, which is a little heavy for a neutral speed trainer. The HOVR Sonic 4 has shed a few ounces, weighing in at around 8.8 ounces.
While both shoes are very similar in design and performance, investing a little bit more in the newest iteration is the better option overall. The HOVR Sonic series is a fan favorite, and UA knows better than to mess too much with a good thing.
Plus, with the UA App, you can receive personalized recommendations on your runs, and tips on how to push yourself a little further.
It’s a perfect option for newbie runners that need a little extra help, and the versatile design is also ideal for experienced runners as well.
I would recommend this shoe for runners that don’t need a lot of extra stability features that will slow them down, but still want a little bit of extra cushioning to protect their joints while out on a run.