Under Armour Fat Tire GTX Review Facts
The Under Armour Fat Tire GTX is a hybrid trail shoe/boot designed for the worst weather conditions. This shoe excels in snow, slush, mud, swamps, and other nasty places where normal trail shoes would never go. The massive outsole called the Wild Gripper features Michelin rubber and tread inspired by the extreme all-terrain tires found on fat-tired mountain bikes. This outsole provides amazing grip on varied surfaces and is surprisingly springy and comfortable. A Gore-Tex upper makes these shoes truly waterproof and protects the foot from the elements. Hot feet are not a problem as the material is also breathable. A unique BOA lacing system lets the wearer dial-in the perfect fit. If you are in the market for an incredibly rugged, yet comfortable shoe that can take on rocky trails and boggy terrain, this beastly shoe is for you.
The Wild Gripper outsole of the Fat Tire GTX is made from Michelin rubber. It is the same rubber used on fat-tired mountain bikes which are bikes designed to take on extreme conditions. The tread does resemble tire tread with lugs that completely cover the outsole and point in every direction. This tread offers exceptional grip on almost all surfaces, be they hard or soft. The outsole also has a slightly rockered profile from heel to toe and side to side. This outsole took a little getting used to for some wearers as it has a rockered feel from front to back and side to side.
The midsole of this shoe is made from Under Armour’s Charged cushioning foam. This foam is very resilient and designed for shock absorption and powerful rebounds. This foam sits on a layer of denser foam just above the outsole. The midsole provides a very cushioned ride on almost any terrain. When used as a hiking boot, the shoe remained very comfortable even when the wearer was loaded down with hiking gear. Most wearers were very surprised by the cushioned
feel of the shoe. This is a popular shoe with people who have to stand for long periods of time in wet environments.
The upper of the shoe is made from a durable outdoor material that is both breathable and flexible. A waterproof Gore-Tex membrane covers the entire upper to keep the foot dry no matter what the conditions. This membrane is also breathable to keep air circulating throughout the shoe. The inner lining and removable sockliner is very soft and made from Cupron antibacterial fibers that kill odor and bacteria. This is a great feature for hunters to remain undetected when stalking prey in the woods. It also helps prevent athlete’s foot
and other bacterial related problems.
A unique feature of the shoe is the BOA Closure System. This alternative to laces can be found on snowboard, cycling, and hunting shoes. A dial on the top of the shoe quickly and easily tightens and loosens the lacing cord. Some wearers had an issue with a loud squeaking sound coming from the tongue area. The upper part of the tongue is made from a synthetic leather material and rubs on the sides of the shoe when tight. Applying mineral oil to the top of the tongue will eliminate the squeak. Some wearers found that sprinkling dust on the upper had the same effect.
The GTX is a unisex shoe that weighs in at approximately 18 oz. depending on the size. Although billed as a trail running shoe, the shoe has a variety of uses and appeals to hunters, hikers, and anyone looking for a durable and solid shoe
. Although slightly heavy for a trail shoe, the features of the shoe make up for the weight.
A tightly-woven mesh material covers most of the upper. This material is very durable, yet fairly breathable. Beneath this material, a thin Gore-Tex membrane keeps the shoe 100% waterproof. The Gore-Tex
is also quite breathable. Although not as breathable as open mesh running shoes, the waterproof feature of this shoe means it can keep the foot dry under the harshest of conditions. A removable sockliner made of antibacterial Cupron also has moisture-wicking properties to keep sweat away from the foot.
Looks can be deceiving. The Fat Tire GTX does not look like a comfortable shoe. The bulky outsole, thick midsole, and overall design give the shoe a very heavy and stiff look. According to most wearers, this is not the case at all. They described the shoe as very comfortable. The outsole and midsole provide almost two inches of cushioning. The tread is so aggressive and thick that sharp obstacles were barely felt underfoot. The shock absorbing properties of the midsole cushioned every step whether the wearer was walking, running, jumping, or standing. Some wearers said the shoes ran small and they had to go a full size larger. Other wearers said the shoes fit true to size. It is always a good idea to try on shoes when possible as feet shape varies from person to person.
The upper of the shoe was also described as very comfortable. The waterproof Gore-Tex membrane keeps the feet dry in wet conditions and the breathability of the material keeps moisture from accumulating inside the shoe. Wearers loved the BOA lacing system which allowed them to tighten and loosen the laces as needed with a small turn of the dial. A removable Cupron insole adds extra padding and protection to the underfoot.
The Fat Tire GTX is more boot-like than shoe-like in its design. The tread is very aggressive for a shoe and the upper extends up higher than most running or trail shoes. This is a unisex shoe and women will want to go at least a size and half smaller than their regular running shoe size. A men’s size 7 would be the equivalent of a women’s size 8.5. Color choices include all black, black with a teal colored midsole and outsole, light blue with a black midsole and outsole, and camouflage. This is a very popular shoe with hunters despite the squeaky tongue. Loosening the shoe or applying mineral oil or dust to the top of the tongue should eliminate the squeak. Firefighters and EMTs are also regular buyers of this rugged shoe which they describe as very comfortable and quick to put on thanks to the BOA system.
This is probably one of the most durable trail shoes on the market. The Wild Gripper Michelin outsole has the tread of a mountain bike tire and can withstand thousands of rugged miles. The midsole is made from very durable foam that can also withstand many hard miles. The tightly woven material of the upper resists snags and tears and can take on very harsh terrain
. The Gore-Tex membrane keeps water from entering the shoe which means the inner lining never gets wet. The breathability of the upper also keeps moisture from accumulating inside the shoe. The Cupron anti-bacterial fibers of the inner lining kill odor and bacteria meaning you won’t have to throw the shoes away due to oppressive odors
This shoe was made to take on the toughest of trails. The components of the shoe provide plenty of protection to the wearer. The rugged outsole can traverse almost any kind of terrain with little impact to the bottom of the foot. Nearly two inches of rubber and foam keep the foot off the ground. The waterproof upper means the shoe can go through water, swamps, and other wet conditions while keeping the foot dry. The anti-bacterial lining keeps the foot healthy and the shoe odor-free.
The cushioned midsole makes this shoe fairly responsive. The foam is very resilient and provides great shock absorption as well as powerful push-offs. Runners said the shoe felt very agile on the trails despite the thick midsole. Although heavy for a road shoe, the shoe does well on roads
and makes a good shoe for trails that require short jaunts on paved surfaces between trails.
The Fat Tire GTX offers good arch support
for a neutral shoe. The midsole provides the most of support for the foot through its soft, yet firm cushioning foam. The high sides, which make the shoe more like a boot, than a shoe, also keep the ankle tight and centered in the shoe. Because of the high total stack height of the shoe, the foot is nearly 2 inches off the ground which can cause ankle rolls on uneven terrain. Keeping the shoe laced tight will help prevent turned ankles and other injuries.
This versatile shoe can tackle almost any kind of terrain. When used for trail running, the outsole will perform well on hard surfaces, loose terrain, rocky paths, mud, snow, slush, and even makes a decent road shoe. As a hiking boot, the lugged outsole and tall upper will carry the wearer up and down steep hills, over boulders, across streams, and anywhere you dare to go. Popular with hunters as well, this shoe is at home in the woods, open fields, and marshy swamps.
Read also about best winter shoes.
The Under Armour
Fat Tire GTX retails for $200. This is an average price for shoes of this quality. Considering that the shoe will probably last for several years, depending on the use, you are getting your money’s worth. A search of the net will find the shoe on sale from some well-known retailers.
This shoe has exceptional traction on almost any surface
. The tire tread design of the outsole means you can go just about anywhere. The lugs are spaced far enough apart to prevent small rocks from getting stuck. The lugs also face in different directions to provide the best traction possible. Mud, snow, and loose rocks are no problem for this shoe. Very slippery surfaces, such as sheets of steep ice, may require the use of crampons. Few shoes without ice spikes can take on extremely icy conditions.
This shoe is surprisingly flexible. A manual “flex-test” of the toe area requires very little effort to bend the toe back. Under Armour’s Charge cushioning foam provides flexibility in all the right places for a smooth ride. The outsole is also fairly flexible to allow the runner to negotiate tricky terrain with ease. Wearers said the shoe was flexible in all the right places without being overly flexible. Some stiffness is needed on uneven terrain.
This shoe sits high off the ground and ankle rolls can be a problem on very uneven or cambered terrain. The high top design helps keep the ankle and foot secure, but runners may need to be a little bit careful when traversing rough terrain at high speeds. The curved outsole design and tread that wraps around the sides keeps the shoe balanced.
- Michelin Wild Gripper outsole
- Under Armour Charged cushioned midsole
- Waterproof Gore-Tex upper
- Cupron anti-bacterial inner liner and insole
- BOA Closure System
- 10mm heel-to-toe drop
If you’ve ever wanted a shoe that will let you go just about anywhere, the GTX is that shoe. Aggressive tread, a waterproof upper, and a BOA closure system makes this a shoe you can pull on and head out the door, no matter what the weather. Amazingly comfortable with mountain bike tire traction, this shoe is the perfect companion for extreme trails, woodland adventures, and any activity that requires rugged and waterproof gear. Slightly heavy, but loaded with durable features, this shoe is a favorite with hikers, hunters, and trail runners. Pick a pair for yourself and you’ll quickly discover why.