Under Armour Charged Lightning

Versatility is an underrated quality in a running shoe. While the trend in trainers has been towards specificity, with ultra-lightweight sneakers, heavy-duty trail runners, zero-drop stability shoes, and maximalist designs dominating the market, it seems shoe companies have walked away from the idea that a running shoe can work as an everyday sneaker. The Under Armour Charged Lightning has entered the more general market as an affordable trainer that functions as a dependable workout and light running shoe with a sleek, minimalist design that can be worn as a stylish, comfortable everyday shoe.    

With an upper comprised of a woven jacquard that provides lightweight support and a seamless, sock-like fit. Its midsole is made of proprietary Charged Cushioning technology developed by Under Armour that provides a good amount of energy return after landing impact. The foam Charged Cushioning provides a burst of energy with every stride, and its one-piece EVA sockliner enhances the cushioning and improves the amount of overall comfort. The Charged Lightning outsole has solid rubber placed in key high-wear areas with a pattern that delivers moderate grip on running surfaces which are formed into rectangular shapes that strategically slant in various directions for improved overall traction. In addition, several flex grooves enhance the Charged Lightning’s flexibility.

The Under Armour Charged Lightning is an ideal choice for those seeking a neutral running shoe that also functions as a stylish and comfortable everyday shoe. It can be used for a number of activities for the active wearer, from short runs to light sports to workouts to just going out to the store. Affordable, comfortable, and versatile, this is a trainer that will find fans for those looking for a sneaker that will keep up with their busy day without the need to switch their footwear between exercise and relaxation.

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Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Versatile shoe
  • Sleek minimalist design

  • Solid grip

  • Lightweight and breathable

  • Shoe runs true to size

    • Some have complained the shoe squeaks
    • Few reviewers have said the shoe is a bit too narrow

      Key Features
      A lightweight trainer-like the Charged Lightning keeps its overall weight down by smart design, paring down elements where it can without affecting performance. The construction of its outsole is a perfect example of this. Made of durable rubber that protects against wear and tear while providing moderate grip, Under Armour didn’t cover the entire outsole with rubber, instead dotting the outsole with rectangular shapes that slant in various directions for grip. With flex grooves that provide flexibility, the Charged Lightning outsole is designed to protect high-wear areas and offer a fair amount of grip without covering the whole outsole with heavy rubber.
      Proprietary technology in trainers’ midsoles is a popular method for shoe companies to protect and brand their products, and Under Armour’s Charged Cushioning technology follows this trend. This one-piece foam midsole is designed to enhance impact absorption and maximize energy return for a responsive, energy-packed burst that provides a bit of spring in each step. This thin midsole was designed for the runner to feel closer to the ground for better responsiveness and surface control. This low-profile midsole is also constructed to help keep the overall weight down and encourage midfoot striking, resulting in a smooth running experience.
      The Charged Lightning’s upper is made of woven jacquard, which is a loom-made fabric that has an intricate, variegated pattern with irregular patches and streaks. This provides a unique factor for every pair and enhances the overall style of the Charged Lightning while also providing overall structure and support to the upper. A breathable fabric that allows for ventilation to keep the foot cool and dry, one characteristic of woven jacquard is that it helps eliminate hot spots. The Lightning also has a seamless fit that reduces irritation and improves overall in-shoe comfort. The full lacing system on this trainer has eyelets with a small overall that aids in overall structure and provides a snug fit after lace-up.
      One of the highlights of the Charged Lightning is that it’s lightweight but feels like a more substantial shoe. Weighing in at 8.5 ounces/241 grams for men and 7.2 ounces/204 grams for women, runners and everyday wearers alike, this is a sneaker with a smart design that has kept the weight off and provides a lightweight shoe that’s still substantial.
      The woven jacquard upper is a highly breathable material that has been utilized by other well-known brands like Adidas before, and for good reason--it’s durable, lightweight, flexible, and allows for excellent ventilation. With the entire upper a seamless one-piece made of this fabric, runners and casual wearers alike will find their feet keep cool and dry throughout their various activities.
      Under Armour’s proprietary Charged Cushioning technology foam midsole absorbs impact and provides solid energy return, providing the runner with a comfortable and productive ride. The woven jacquard upper is seamless and guarantees an irritation-free ride, with the fabric and sockliner providing a snug and comfortable in-shoe feel. Its outsole boasts of rectangle-shaped rubber pods that provide grip and traction without ever feeling in the way. In addition, this is a lightweight sneaker that provides the wearer with a shoe that can be worn all day throughout various activities without ever feeling heavy on the foot.
      For an affordable, lightweight, and versatile shoe, the Under Armour Charged Lightning has a great amount of style that makes it a perfect fit for runners looking for an everyday shoe to wear. Its sleek, minimalist design comes in a variety of colors, from gray to neon blue depending on the wearer’s personal style, and its low-cut design offers a low-profile trainer that’s subtle and doesn’t stick out if worn with regular clothes after a run or workout. With a slick aesthetic and thick outsole, runners and everyday sneaker wearers will appreciate the nuanced overall aesthetic and design of the Under Armour Charged Lightning.
      With a rubber outsole that has solid rubber covering high-wear areas and a woven jacquard upper that’s a flexible but durable fabric, the Charged Lightning is a durable trainer. Although it is not meant for hard-charging trail runs or even for long distance running, its durability lies in its versatility. It can be worn for short runs, workouts, or as an everyday shoe and will hold up throughout and continue performing long after first lace-up. In addition, its proprietary Charged Cushioning technology midsole keeps its responsiveness and spring long into its lifetime.

      Hey, not every shoe can be used for the more strenuous activities runners and athletes can dream up. Although the Charged Lightning will keep your foot safe and secure on regular running and walking surfaces and in moderate climes, it is not meant for trail running or mountain climbing. But if your intent is to go on short runs or get through your daily activities, this sneaker will provide a moderate amount of protection from average hazards that can be found during a day’s routine.
      The Charged Cushioning technology midsole is a low-cut one-piece that keeps the runner close to the ground and provides a great amount of energy return with each impact. Its outsole is designed to provide a good amount of grip, with multidirectional rectangle lugs that allow for a change in direction without losing traction. With a snug fit after lace-up and lightweight, the Charged Lightning is a solid, responsive, low-cut sneaker meant for light running and overall athletics.
      The Under Armour Charged Lightning is for neutral runners with standard arch support. Although it has a standard support structure, this is not a support shoe for those with fallen arches or runners that suffer from under- or over-pronation. But those seeking neutral arch support in their trainer will find the Charged Lightning well-built for their needs.
      Made for regular running surfaces--asphalt, pavement, and the track--and to traverse the various surfaces found in workplaces, stores, and around the house, the Charged Lightning is a good light running shoe but not particularly tenacious enough to tackle the varied topographies found in nature. Around the house and for short runs around the neighborhood, however, runners and wearers alike will find the tread and support the Charged Lightning offers enough.
      One great strength of the Under Armour Charged Lightning is its price. With its price having dropped considerably since its first release, this is an affordable shoe for those in the market for a good all-around trainer suited for light runs and everyday wear. It’s stylish, lightweight, and affordable, and although not as tenacious as many other running shoes, its price point is well worth the purchase.
      The traction of the Charged Lightning mostly lays in the smartly designed outsole. With rectangular lugs dotting the outsole, these are covered with durable rubber that provides moderate grip and have been arranged in multiple directions for versatile surface control when changing direction. The outsole is also outfitted with flex grooves for enhanced flexibility. Although not the most tenacious traction on the market, everyday wearers and light runners will find its traction just enough for their needs.
      From the woven jacquard upper that’s flexible and allows for a snug fit after lace-up to conform to the shape of the foot to the flex grooves outfitted on its outsole, the Charged Lightning is a flexible everyday trainer that has plenty of give for enhanced comfort and control over surfaces.
      Built as a sneaker for neutral runners, the Under Armour Charged Lightning is not specifically a stability shoe and those suffering from overpronation may not find this the best option. However, it’s a well-balanced shoe with a standard drop so most runners will find its overall stability comfortable.
      With a 10mm drop, the Charged Lightning features a standard drop for most running shoes. Although it may look like a minimalist shoe, this is only aesthetic--its drop is standard and made for neutral runners.
      Key Features
      - Lightweight
      - Affordable price
      - Low-profile, slick, minimalist aesthetic
      - Woven jacquard upper
      - Proprietary Charged Cushioning technology
      Bottom Line
      For the long-distance runner or the trail runner, there are plenty of shoes on the market that will suit their needs. For everyone else--the light joggers, short distance runners, or those just looking for an overall everyday shoe that’s comfortable and responsive, there’s the Under Armour Charged Lightning. Affordable, stylish, and providing solid performance without over-specializing in one function, it’s an everyday trainer suitable for everyone.
      Ideal for those in the market for a neutral running shoe that acts as a comfortable, stylish everyday shoe, the Charged Lightning will keep up with the active wearer looking for a sneaker they can wear whether on their daily run or just to go grocery shopping. Aesthetically pleasing without being too flashy and built to perform without going overboard with bells and whistles, the Under Armour Charged Lightning is an all-around versatile sneaker.
      Where to Buy
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Mike Gray
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 28. 2021

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