Under Armour HOVR Phantom
With the great number of neutral road running sneakers on the market today, Under Armour has their work cut out for them to make a good impression. The Under Armour HOVR Phantom is an excellent option when considering a sneaker in this category. The midsole is equipped with lots of great technologies to propel you through a fast and responsive running experience and the sneaker as a whole is pretty durable. As with any sneaker, there are pluses and minuses to this sneakers’ design but all in all it is a great option to put on your list.
Pros & Cons
Underfoot cushioning is technologically superior with the HOVR foam, Energy Web, and Olefin casing Stylish shoe whether woking out or using them casually Comfortable fit with the sock-like ankle collar Optional connectivity with apps for running May run about a half size small Some say these sneakers aren’t as supportive in the forefoot as preferred
The outsole of the Under Armour HOVR Phantom features a full-length thick rubber material that boasts lots of little rubber knobs for lots of traction. The pattern of the outsole is very unique by design and features some flex grooves in the forefoot for a smooth and more flexible toe-off
. In the middle of the heel, there is a round piece of soft foam that is emblazoned with the UA logo that gives you a little soft cushion for your heel. Running up the center of the outsole, you can peek through the outsole to get a glimpse of the energy-webbed encased midsole foam. This cutout cuts down on the weight of the shoe.
The midsole of this performance sneaker is where it really shines. Under Armour developed and introduced the new midsole foam in the HOVR Phantom to compete with Adidas BOOST
foam and Nike’s REACT foam. The name of this new foam is called UA HOVR and is made up of a lightweight yet responsive cushiony foam. Some users say that when you compare this foam to BOOST and REACT, it bears a more cushiony resemblance to REACT because it is cushioned but not too squishy. In conjunction with the reactive HOVR foam, Under Armour encased it with an Energy Web which is visible through small cutouts on the side of the midsole, through the bottom of the outsole, and at the rear of the sneaker. This webbing material is made out of compression mesh and it helps the HOVR foam maintain its structural integrity and keep it from sagging. Not only does the Energy Web protect the HOVR foam, but it also works with it to help return energy to the runner, allowing even more response. That is not all, however. The midsole also features an olefin unit that encases the HOVR midsole to help prevent against deterioration and wear and tear. Olefin is a firmer and sturdy material and wraps around the midsole. However, the protection of the olefin stops toward the top of the midsole at the heel. Here, you will see the HOVR foam wrapped in Energy Webbing. In some versions of the UA HOVR Phantom, the midsole also features a Record Sensor that is connected via Bluetooth to apps such as MapMyRun.
Unlike many other running shoes on the market today, the Under Armour HOVR Phantom does not feature a mesh material. Rather, this sneaker boasts a micro-thread material which is a tightly woven textile that dries quickly and allows for decent ventilation. Toward the front of the sneaker, the weave is a little tighter to provide optimal support
of the forefoot and as you move to the rear of the shoe in the middle, the weave gets a little looser and the top looks a little puckered to allow for a more flexible adaptive fit. The ankle collar of the sneaker is a sock-like design which is commonplace for one-piece construction shoes. This ankle collar allows for easy on and off and delivers great comfort without being too constrictive. Inside the upper, the shoe features Under Armour’s proprietary Speed Form technology. This just means that the inner lining of the shoe is sewn to the interior of the shoe to allow for more durability and for a lighter weight. The heel of the shoe is padded and delivers extra comfort and lockdown. At the midfoot area of the shoe, you will find UA’s 3D molded midfoot panel. Here, there are three slightly-raised moldings that feel almost like neoprene with perforations for ventilation in between.
These performance sneakers are a little heavier than other competing sneakers, but not by much. This may be due to the thick and durable rubber outsole. The men's version weighs around 10.6 ounces while the women's’ weighs around 8.8 ounces.
Because the HOVR Phantom is not made up of breathable mesh material, it is not as breathable as other sneakers out there today. The micro-thread that is featured in the upper is flexible, durable, and water resistant but not overly breathable
. With that said, the sneaker does feature a number of ventilation perforations throughout the shoe to aid in better airflow. These perforations can mainly be found interspersed throughout the 3D molded midfoot.
This single-piece-construction performance sneaker is designed to fit like a bootie with its sock-like ankle collar and tongue that is integrated into the upper. Once you slip these on, you will immediately feel the comfort that they provide. Not only is the responsive cushioned HOVR midsole comfortable, but the sewn-in insole feels almost like memory foam under your foot. The 3D molded midfoot feels cushioned and soft against the sides of your foot while the forefoot is just flexible enough to allow for a supported and comfortable fit. The sneaker also features a chamois-inspired football and built-in Under Armour Speedform
2.0 sockliner that is made up of layers of Ortholite foam and PU materials for additional underfoot comfort. Some users did say that these sneakers tend to run a little small so if you like a snug-fitting running shoe, purchasing your actual size will work but if you like a tad bit more room, you may want to go up a half size.
The Under Armour HOVR Phantom is a great looking shoe in any colorway. The company did not emblazon the UA logo all over the sneaker but subtly placed in on the medial side of the heel portion which looks classy. Some of the versions of the shoe feature a heel counter
, giving the sneaker a little extra pizazz. Although this is designed to be a performance shoe, a large number of reviewers like the fact that it looks great with casual attire as well.
There are a lot of aspects of the HOVR Phantom that make it a very durable performance sneaker. The outsole is made up of a thick layer of rubber that feels firmer and more durable than competing sneakers and will stand up to lots of abrasions. The HOVR foam is doubly-protected with Energy Webbing and olefin to help ensure that the foam does not wear down and sag quickly. The Energy Web holds the HOVR foam in place while the olefin protects both of these parts of the shoe by wrapping around the midsole to keep it dry and protected. The upper is also durable
because the micro-thread material is woven tightly and will help the sneaker to maintain its shape. The 3D molded midfoot will help the sneaker to maintain its structural integrity while the firm heel counter will keep the heel safe against sagging and creasing.
The thick full-length rubber outsole of these sneakers will eliminate any discomfort from underfoot debris while you run. The platform that is created by the outsole and HOVR foam midsole cradles your foot and helps protect you by absorbing shock and releasing it in springy response. The 3D molded foam midfoot panel holds your foot in the shoe snugly to protect it against slipping out while your run while the padding in heel counter and tongue help prevent irritation and blistering. The micro-thread material that is used in the engineering of the upper is both protective against wetness and helps to lock your foot securely in place.
The midsole of the Under Armour HOVR Phantom is equipped with a couple of different technologies aimed at providing a responsive running experience. In fact, Under Armour claims that HOVR foam was developed to deliver a “zero gravity feel” while you run to help eliminate impact and results in a springy propelling movement. The Energy Web that encases the HOVR foam is also made to deliver back the energy that is added to it, resulting in even more response. When you step on the midsole, you will feel the soft cushioning of the HOVR foam and Speedform sock liner
and will experience an energy release on the toe-off.
The inside of this sneaker is supportive in a couple of different ways. First is the UA Speedform 2.0 sockliner that is sewn into the sneaker. This sockliner feels almost like memory foam and comfortably cushions your foot and supports almost any foot shape. The 3D molded midfoot panels support your foot by providing cushioned comfort to the lateral and medial sides and hold your foot comfortably in place. The heel counter is firm and helps to support your heel by locking it in place and preventing it from slipping out of the shoe.
The Under Armour HOVR Phantom was engineered to be a neutral road-running sneaker. The durable thick rubber on the outsole is equipped with lots of little rubber nubs that will allow for a long road running life. The engineering of the sneaker will allow you to take these shoes on well-groomed trails and may even translate to some minor technical terrains.
Depending on which version of the sneaker you are looking to buy, these shoes can be purchased for anywhere from $110 to $140. That is a pretty decent value since the shoes are packed with great responsive and supportive technologies and are built to last.
The rubber nubs on the bottom of this shoe will deliver excellent traction across a variety of surfaces. Although these are designed to be daily road running sneakers, you could carry them to other more technical terrains and experience a great run. One reviewer even commented that they wore these shoes in packed snow and they performed with excellence.
The Under Armour HOVR Phantom has a lot of things going for it but flexibility may not be one of them. Due to the fact that the outsole is made up of a thick layer of rubber, the end result is a stiffer type of sneaker. The HOVR foam and Energy
Web are both lightweight and pretty flexible but both of these are encased in an olefin structure which is designed to help keep the midsole protected against wear and tear. This structure is semi-stiff and does not allow for a ton of flexibility. With that said, this is not the stiffest sneaker around either. The outsole does feature a number of flex grooves in the forefoot which is designed to allow for a flexible toe-off. The upper is a fairly flexible fabric as well so the upper may be the most flexible part of the whole shoe.
Although the Under Armour HOVR Phantom was not engineered to be a “stability running shoe”, it does offer some stability features. The platform of the shoe is the most stabilizing part of the whole make up because it is equipped with some great supportive technologies. Your feet should be relatively stabilized thanks to the secure rubber platform and the combination of Energy Web encapsulated HOVR foam and stabilizing olefin wrapping.
This sneaker has an 8mm drop
which is less than the typical 10mm but more than a minimalist sneaker. That means the shoe will offer a relatively neutral experience when running. It will help absorb shock on the heel strike and attenuate it to the toe off so you will experience a great level of response.
- Thick rubber outsole delivers a lot of durability and will extend the life of the sneaker
- HOVR foam midsole delivers lots of response in conjunction with the Energy Web and olefin outer shell to make the midsole responsive and durable
- Micro-thread upper allows for a great level of adaptable fit and comfort as well as support
- 3D molded midfoot encases the midfoot in cushioned comfort and support for supreme lockdown
- Single-piece engineering of the upper allows for excellent comfort and support
- Some models of the sneaker include a chip embedded in the midsole for Bluetooth connectivity
with running apps
The Under Armour HOVR Phantom is a great sneaker option for those looking for a neutral road running shoe. The HOVR foam is a competitor to Adidas BOOST foam and Nike’s REACT foam midsoles and definitely raises the bar. HOVR foam has some of the softness of BOOST foam and combines some fo the firmness of REACT form so it is like the best of both worlds. Under Armour is still an up and coming name in the world of sports gear so it may not be as revered but this shoe is definitely one to consider. Not only does it encompass a great amount of great responsive technologies, but it also looks great on foot whether you are working out or using them for causal wear.