Under Armour Horizon KTV Review Facts
Under Armour is a company that is known for their high-quality running apparel, specializing in the sort of clothing commonly seen on a hardcore marathon runner or a rugged outdoorsman. Essentially, their brand is based around providing the perfect protective garments for engaging in some of the most treacherous and adrenaline-pumping forms of physical activity. Although they are primarily known for clothing, Under Armour has also designed a wide range of footwear that can accommodate many different environments and styles of exercise. In particular, their trail running shoes such as the Horizon KTV are very interesting and worth more attention for their build quality and overall versatility.
Any experienced hiker
or trail runner knows that the make-or-break component of any trail shoe is its outsole. In the case of the Under Armour Horizon KTV, their approach to this instrumental underfoot covering is to incorporate a flat and even design that ensures high stability while also providing the tread pattern needed to guarantee traction. The lugs that comprise this shoe’s treading mimic the shape of an animal’s teeth, which allows them to firmly grip surfaces beneath the wearer’s feet. However, the forefoot and heel are absent of these large fangs, which allows them to efficiently rebound off the terrain and ensure higher responsiveness.
The first thing that becomes noticeable when observing the Horizon KTV’s midsole is the large “Charged” logo placed on its lateral side. This indicates the inclusion of a small foam puck placed under the shoe’s heel
in order to provide additional cushioning and responsiveness. Impressively, the inclusion of this component doesn’t increase the midsole’s elevation to the same degree as a typical running shoe; in fact, the entire EVA foam midsole maintains a relatively flat and neutral style in order to more evenly distribute weight and shock from impact with the ground. Thanks to this design element, runners can navigate steep inclines and obstacle-ridden trails without worrying about losing their balance.
Anyone who’s familiar with trail running and offroading footwear will likely be thrown for a loop when they see the Under Armour Horizon KTV’s upper. It’s certainly a shock to see such a thin and lightweight textile-based design used for shoes intended to be worn in some of the most dangerous and potentially life-threatening running environments. However, this upper portion is made from an extremely durable ripstop fabric similar to the kind used in parachutes
and other resilient accessories. While this may not ensure that they provide heat insulation or protection from road hazards, it does mean that they will be able to maintain their structural integrity while also ensuring comfortable breathability.
At just below 10 ounces on average, the weight of the Under Armour Horizon KTV may cause some prospective customers to confuse these for casual running shoes. And while these trail runners will provide some of the benefits of a lightweight pair of running footwear, they are still very much designed with the sensibilities of hikers and campers
in mind. This will come as a significant benefit to runners who are used to the more traditional style of running shoe since they won’t have to adjust to a heavier or bulkier pair. However, this design decision does come with the consequence of limited protection and cushioning, especially around the upper half of the Horizon KTV.
Ordinarily, trail running shoes aren’t great when it comes to breathability. The many layers of protective padding around its upper and midsole usually come with the unfortunate side effect of limited ventilation, causing the insides to feel stuffy and moist
. The Under Armour Horizon KTV provides an alternative to that disappointing design practice by manufacturing its upper out of a textile material so thin that it’s nearly translucent. An internal bootie provides some of the stability that would be otherwise absent from such a design, but these components still pale in comparison to standard trail running shoe uppers in all areas except ventilation.
There are positive and negative aspects of the Under Armour Horizon KTV when it comes to comfort. On one hand, the lighter weight and highly breathable design provide a more comfortable experience for trail runners in warmer weather
as well as for those who are more used to the weight of a casual running shoe. On the other hand, the lack of significant padding around the upper or midsole means that these shoes will feel less comfortable than a heavier pair of trail runners, especially for individuals who already have experience with these kinds of footwear. The final verdict on these shoes’ comfort will be up to the individual, but there are strong arguments for and against.
In many ways, Under Armour can be seen as an alternative to Nike
due to their numerous similarities. Both are high-profile manufacturers that create a wide variety of active apparel that garners high praise from professional athletes. Both brands also place high priority and a considerable design emphasis on style, which is a major contributor to their popularity. The Horizon KTV may not be the most visually striking pair of shoes Under Armour has ever developed, but they are certainly more impressive in appearance to a significant amount of trail running shoes on the market today. Their streamlined aesthetic and wide range of colorways help to define them as the ideal trail runner
for fashion-focused fitness fanatics.
Although not the most important aspect of a trail running shoe, durability is still a major concern. In the case of the Under Armour Horizon KTV, many people who are used to the resilience and longevity of the average trail running shoe are likely to be disappointed. This is mostly due to the upper portion and its nearly translucent construction, which makes it more likely to degrade at a quicker rate. To be fair, it is still made from a highly tear-resistant ripstop fabric and contains additional internal layering. However, these still won’t last as long as a heavy-duty hiking boot or hardcore trail runner with multiple layers of padding and reinforcements. Regular maintenance will be necessary, so it’s fortunate that these shoes can be easily cleaned and repaired.
While the problems that can arise from the Horizon KTV’s durability may be manageable, something that is less manageable is its disappointing protective capabilities. No matter how resilient ripstop fabric may be at resisting damage via tearing, it simply can’t protect the wearer’s feet in the same way that a much thicker and sturdier shoe can. Because of this, runners will need to take extra care when using these Under Armour trail runners so that they avoid coming into contact with errant debris. Fortunately, these shoes are still able to protect runners by preventing slippage and loss of balance through its excellent outsole and midsole design. Still, these shoes shouldn’t be purchased for the sake of providing foot protection.
One of the major benefits that come with a lighter shoe such as the Under Armour Horizon KTV is an increase in responsiveness. Even without any features specifically designed to improve this aspect of its performance, any shoe with less weight is going to be more responsive as a result of simple physics. That said, these trail running shoes still have some features that improve their response time, such as a Charged Cushioning rearfoot puck that can provide an explosive degree of energy dispersal. Despite the absence of the traditional high heel drop, customers should expect these shoes to provide the same general experience as a lightweight Nike running shoe
when it comes to their responsiveness.
As previously mentioned, the Charged Cushioning heel pad has the additional benefit of providing rearfoot support in addition to improved comfort and responsiveness. Other than this design element, however, Under Armour hasn’t devoted any more effort or resources into providing additional support. A relatively flat midsole and thin outsole prioritize a neutral running style but offer no amenities for low arches or individuals with a proclivity towards repetitive stress injuries. The same can be said for its upper, which provides an appealingly lightweight feel without containing any structural aids for gait correction aside from a thin internal bootie. For these reasons, individuals who desperately need support in their running shoes would be better off with a different product.
Since these are trail running shoes, it goes without saying that they are designed to handle the types of terrain commonly encountered on a trail run. This means that hard dirt, fine gravel, overgrown trails, and steep inclines can be taken in stride without fear of being thrown off balance or losing a foothold on the running surface. Something that should be noted, however, is that the thin upper design makes these shoes less protective and durable in the face of road hazards. However, this design element also makes these shoes much more viable for use in warmer environments due to its increased breathability.
On average, trail running shoes cost a bit more than the average running shoe due to the fact that they require more design work in order to navigate treacherous environments. As a result, the least expensive trail runners are often right around the price range of an above-average casual running shoe. In the case of the Under Armour Horizon KTV, this mostly applies. At its launch, these shoes had a suggested retail price slightly over $100, which was a bit cheaper than other trail runners but well above the cost of an average road runner. However, time has caused these shoes to have a smaller price tag to the point where especially shrewd shoppers can hunt down a pair for less than $50.
It’s a good thing that the Under Armour Horizon KTV’s outsole provides such an impressive degree of traction since that is far and away the most important aspect of any trail running shoe. Despite its thin construction, this portion of these trail runners provides a large quantity of evenly spaced lugs designed to tightly attach to the ground beneath the wearer’s feet, whether it’s hard dirt, soft sand, or fine gravel. One notable exception to this design aspect is the fact that these shoes are not slip-resistant, which means that running on wet surfaces will require more caution in order to avoid slippage. However, the vast majority of trail running environments can be navigated with ease.
Any shoe, whether it’s designed for street running or trail running or cross-training or tennis or wading, needs to balance flexibility and stability. Too much of the former will cause the wearer to lose their balance and too much of the latter will cause them to feel uncomfortable. The Under Armour Horizon KTV is an extremely flexible pair of shoes, thanks in no small part to its thin upper design. The thin outsole at the bottom of its construction also helps in this regard, but the fairly dense midsole does a decent job mitigating this to a degree. Thanks to these features, runners will feel comfortably pliable with these shoes on their feet.
While these Under Armour trail runners do a fine job providing the wearer with flexibility, they don’t offer the same degree of stability. Sure, the flat outsole/midsole and the internal bootie added to its upper provide a modicum of control for the wearer. However, this isn’t enough to completely balance out the Horizon KTV in this respect. As of the time this review was written, no complaints have been left by verified customers regarding a lack of control or stability when wearing these shoes. However, people who are looking for shoes that guarantee a high amount of stability may want to pick a different pair than these.
While these Under Armour trail running shoes have a mostly neutral design, they still feature a slightly higher heel drop than the average trail runner. There’s a difference in elevation in the midsole from its heel to the forefoot of around 7 millimeters, with the thicker portion located in the back. Most of this increased thickness can be attributed to the Charged Cushioning heel puck, which greatly amplifies the support and responsiveness for the rear portion of these trail runners. Because of this, these shoes are an excellent choice for runners who are acclimated to casual running shoes but want to try their hand at trail running.
- Michelin rubber-based outsole with midfoot treading
- EVA foam midsole with Charged Cushioning in the rear
- Thin and lightweight ripstop fabric upper with internal bootie
- Lighter than average weight and high heel drop
- Neutral footing for easily navigating rough terrain
Under Armour has once again designed an elegant and effective pair of athletic footwear. In this case, the ideal user for the Horizon KTV would be an individual who has some experience with traditional running shoes but wants to try the much more dangerous pastime of trail running. So long as these individuals stick to warmer environments that don’t contain a lot of road hazards or excessive moisture, these shoes will be able to meet their needs every step of the way. They’re also easy to find at an affordable price and can be maintained easily in order to last for quite some time.