Under Armour Mirage 3.0 Review Facts
When thinking of Under Armour, the first thing that comes to mind for many individuals is their lines of thermal apparel. What put this athletic company on the map is their lines of underwear, undershirts, rash guards, and other forms of layering clothes that meet the demanding needs of serious athletes. However, many people may be surprised to find that they also create footwear to go with their other articles of clothing. They’ve made products for the purpose of general track and field running, as well as cross-training in a gym, but the subject of this review is their Mirage 3.0 trail running shoe. Much like how their thermal apparel manages to effectively protect the wearer from the elements without sacrificing comfort, these trail running shoes offer similar benefits that make for an excellent companion on any hike or camping trip.
Considering the fact that these shoes were designed with the intention of providing adequate protection and traction for wearers running on rough trails
and steep inclines, the use of hard rubber for the design of the Under Armour Mirage 3.0’s outsole was a good idea. Thanks to this material, the underside of these shoes are extremely resilient to all manner of environmental hazards, although it does cause them to weigh considerably more. The Mirage 3.0 also features a tread pattern that wraps around the rear and midfoot, providing fantastic stability toward the rear while also allowing for some comfortable flexibility towards the forefoot. It’s clear that a tremendous amount of effort was put into the design of this shoe’s outsole, and the results are fantastic.
Due to the fact that the Under Armour Mirage 3.0’s midsole is made from the same EVA foam material that virtually every single other modern running shoe uses, a casual observer may come to the conclusion that it functions in the same way as any other shoe. However, they would be sorely mistaken; the zig-zagged design that comprises this shoe’s midsole emphasizes different levels of support for specific areas of the shoe. This allows Under Armour to provide both support
and responsiveness in equal measure, with both aspects being prominently implemented in key areas. It may come as quite a shock for wearers of these shoes to find out that they were made with similar material to that of a casual Nike runner since the two couldn’t feel more different.
The upper portion of these Under Armour trail running shoes continues its design philosophy of deliberately mixing polarizing materials in an intricate fashion. The result of this strategy is yet another synthesis of dueling attributes: in this case, breathability and protection
. A base layer of synthetic mesh cushions the wearer’s feet while also providing plenty of airflow through its numerous perforations. On top of this material is a series of synthetic leather straps that serve a multitude of purposes. Protection is a major factor, especially when it comes to the forefoot toe cap, but stability is also provided by these straps, with the rearfoot heel cap, in particular, being a major player.
On average, the Under Armour Mirage 3.0 weighs around 16 ounces. Whether this is the combined total or the weight per shoe is unclear, but in either case, it would place these shoes somewhere in the heavier
part of the spectrum when it comes to running shoes. This makes sense when considering how much material was needed in order to construct this shoe’s multifaceted midsole, TPU-and-mesh upper, and hard rubber outsole. However, despite this considerable heft, these shoes manage to feel light on the wearer’s foot according to numerous reviews left online by satisfied customers. This may be because they are exceptionally well-balanced, or it could be because they feel lighter than the average hiking boot. In any case, wearer’s don’t seem to notice the weight of these shoes for the most part.
Thanks to the copious amount of synthetic mesh that was used to construct the base layer of this shoe’s upper, numerous perforated holes have been placed along both the medial and lateral sides of the Under Armour Mirage 3.0’s upper. These holes allow cool air to enter the insides of these trail runners, circulate throughout its internals to absorb heat and moisture, and then exit back outside in a refreshing cycle. To be fair, several large TPU straps have been layered on top of this mesh layer, inhibiting its effectiveness at air
circulation in a few areas. However, there’s still a great deal of surface area exposed to the open air in this manner, meaning that the vast majority of wearers won’t suffer from a lack of adequate internal ventilation. The exception to this is if the wearer decides to use these shoes in warmer environments such as the desert.
Something that might ordinarily come across as uncomfortable to individuals who aren’t used to trail running shoes is the higher than average weight of these Under Armour foot garments. However, most of the people who took the time to share their thoughts on the Mirage 3.0 don’t seem to feel as though this weight was a major impediment to their general comfort, with some even going so far as to say that they feel lightweight. When coupled with the generous amounts of padding provided to the wearer’s foot from both the mesh upper and EVA midsole, the end result is a seriously comfortable trail runner designed to accommodate some of the least comfortable running environments.
Under Armour may not have reached the same level of acclaim as other apparel companies such as The North Face, but they still enjoy a comfortable level of popularity as quintessential athletic gear for cold environments. This may be due to their general sense of style, which stresses functionality over fashion while still attempting to provide some style. The Mirage 3.0 is not a shoe that could be considered ugly, but it isn’t exactly designed to turn heads. The colorways available for this model are limited as well, with customers really only given the ability to choose different shades of grey. However, these shoes manage to be presentable enough to coordinate with a general hiking or camping wardrobe.
Durability can make or break a pair of trail running shoes. Whether or not a pair of off-road runners can maintain its structural integrity after miles and miles of rough terrain fraught with hazardous obstacles will speak more to its effectiveness than any other feature. Fortunately, the Under Armour Mirage 3.0 manages to pass this test with flying colors. From its solid rubber underfoot to its synthetic leather-strapped upper, these shoes were built to last. Customers have remarked that these shoes are some of the most resilient out of UA’s whole catalog, and many people have found uses for these shoes as replacement work boots. Because of this, runners can put their trust in their footwear and attack the trail with all their energy while wearing these Under Armour trail runners.
Protection and durability often go hand-in-hand with shoes. Usually, a shoe that offers adequate resilience will provide protection for the wearer’s foot in a similar capacity. The Under Armour Mirage 3.0 falls into this same stereotype by providing individuals who wear them with a few defensive measures in order to prevent any painful injuries. For starters, the front of this shoe’s upper is fitted with a sturdy toe cap that prevents the wearer’s forefoot from becoming exposed to errant debris. Something similar was implemented on the backs of these shoes as well, although the rear heel caps are more for stability than general protection. Finally, it’s important to mention the tremendous defensive capabilities provided by the hard rubber outsoles of the Mirage 3.0, which protect wearers both from slippage and repetitive stress.
The unfortunate downside to the Under Armour Mirage 3.0 placing so much emphasis on providing wearers with excellent protection and stability is that these shoes can take a bit longer than usual to move. Runners who are used to casual running shoes may find themselves running a bit slower in these shoes since the extra weight and padding can necessitate more deliberate movements over faster ones. To be fair, these are lightweight as far as trail runners go and will feel more responsive than the average pair of hiking boots. However, there will almost certainly need to be an adjustment period for runners who are transitioning into this style of footwear over something more casual.
Thanks to the variably dense layers of foam that comprise this shoe’s midsole, the Under Armour Mirage 3.0 is able to provide extra support to parts of the wearer’s underfoot that need it most. The upper portion deserves some credit for the way in which it provides support as well since the numerous TPU straps help to prevent runners with gait abnormalities from experiencing the pain and loss of efficiency that can come with overpronation. Although it wasn’t a primary focus in its design, the Mirage 3.0 is fairly supportive and can be further enhanced through the addition of an orthotic insole.
These are trail running shoes, meaning that they are designed to accommodate some of the most treacherous forms of running terrain an individual may encounter. No, they may not provide the right features for a harsh tundra or torrential downpour, but the average running session on a forest trail or up a mountain path will be easily managed while wearing these Under Armour trail runners. Inclines, jagged rocks, overgrown brush: none of these will get in the way of a runner wearing these shoes.
Ordinarily, trail running shoes will cost a bit more than the average casual runner. This is mostly to do with the extra material used in its construction, but the more intricate design work that goes into its outsole and upper plays a large role in this as well. However, the Under Armour Mirage 3.0 costs much less than the average trail runner, placing it much closer to the price range of a high-end casual running shoe. The cause of this seems to be time, since newer Under Armour models have taken higher priority in their catalog. Regardless as to why these shoes are so reasonably priced, the end result is a great purchase for any trail runner on a budget.
It should go without saying that a trail running shoe like the Under Armour Mirage 3.0 would provide excellent traction, but it bears repeating nonetheless. Thanks to the hard rubber outsoles accented with an intense tread pattern, these trail runners are able to provide the perfect amount of grip for any runner looking to attack a variety of obstacles without skipping a beat. Fortunately, Under Armour was smart enough to ensure that their trail running shoes also provided the wearer with enough stability to supplement this increased grip, which means that wearers of the Mirage 3.0 will actually be able to take advantage of its excellent traction.
While these Under Armour trail running shoes are excellent at providing the wearer with traction and durability, something that they are lacking in is flexibility. In all fairness, these shoes compare well to other common forms of trail running footwear such as hiking boots, but they are far from the same level of flexibility that can be experienced from a casual pair of trail runners. Fortunately, it isn’t so bad of a situation that the wearer will feel uncomfortable inside these shoes, but the absence is still concerning.
As mentioned previously, Under Armour has gone to great lengths in order to provide their Mirage 3.0 trail running shoes with excellent stability. Starting from the bottom, the outsoles of these shoes ensure that the runner maintains a stable grip on the ground beneath their feet through its aggressive lugs. Focusing on the upper portion, additional stability is guaranteed through the implementation of TPU straps, providing extra control near the medial side, lateral side, and rear of the wearer’s foot. Because of these features, anyone wearing these Under Armour shoes won’t have to worry about losing control while hitting the trail.
There isn’t any specific information provided by Under Armour on the difference in height between the rear and front of its midsole. While this difference is usually quite large among traditional running shoes, trail runners like the Mirage 3.0 will usually have a much shallower drop. Based on its visual appearance, a decent estimate would place these shoes at a heel drop of 3 to 5 millimeters, meaning that it does provide some additional heel cushioning without sacrificing stability when running on inclined surfaces.
- Hard rubber outsole with aggressive tread pattern
- Dual-density EVA midsole with shallow heel drop
- Synthetic mesh upper reinforced with faux leather straps
- TPU toe cap and heel cup for increased protection and stability
- Heavier than a casual runner but lightweight for a trail runner
Under Armour may not be known for their footwear, but they really should be. It’s true that the thermal undergarments that put them on the map are functional and somewhat stylish, but many of their footwear offerings like the Mirage 3.0 are equally impressive in these respects. Any fan of Under Armour or trail running shoes in general who takes the time to check out some of their footwear offerings won’t be disappointed, especially if they pick up a pair of these.