A generous amount of rubber has been used in the design of this running shoe’s outsole, especially in the forefoot. In order to better cater to runners who struggle with overpronation
, a wider fit is present toward the front of this shoe, giving it an hourglass shape. This material, although closely resembling the sort of design you’d find on a pair of trail shoes
, is more springy and responsive. This makes it ideal for running on softer surfaces, with a degree of extra cushioning supplementing this outsole to the point where it also works well on a somewhat tougher terrain.
The majority of the material and weight found in these running shoes is located in the midsole. This is something that might take many customers by surprise since the gratuitous amount of cushion
isn’t standard for most running shoes and is much closer in design to a more heavy-duty mountain running shoe. However, this extra weight is extremely helpful as it provides a level of stability and cushion that makes the Under Armour Speedform Europa a running shoe perfect for tougher running surfaces and more casual fare.
When designing the upper for the Speedform Europa, Under Armour emphasized ventilation, rear foot protection, and high stability. Ventilation
was accomplished with the implementation of mesh fabric in the front and tongue of this shoe’s upper, as well as a small stripe near the back. The extra heel protection
was accomplished with the addition of extra material on the back of the heel, and the high stability was managed through the use of several taut straps along the shoelace hooks in the middle of the shoe. These design elements come together to make a very competent running shoe.
Depending on where you look, the listed weight for these shoes ranges from 10 to 12 ounces. This is a surprisingly high weight for a running shoe; weight this high is usually reserved for off-road trail shoes, designed for steep inclines and harsh terrain. No, these shoes have the same weight as these more durable shoes but are only really intended for use on standard running environments such as a track or grassy field. However, due to the increased weight in these shoes, they aren’t even the best at running on these surfaces when compared to other running shoes that don’t weigh nearly as much!
Ventilation was a key focal point in the design and construction of the Speedform Europa. This is most apparent when observing the upper portion, as most of the front, tongue, and back is made from a highly breathable mesh fabric. This mesh is only interrupted by some extra reinforced material on the back of the heel and several long straps placed along the middle. Although some of these design caveats make these running shoes
a bit less breathable than some competing brands, the level of airflow offered by them is adequate for the vast majority of runners.
One unfortunate aspect of these running shoes that is detrimental towards its comfort is the unusually high weight. This will most likely result in sore calves
after running for longer periods
of time with these shoes on simply because of the extra weight. However, this extra weight did go to good use with an insane level of cushion in the midsole. Additionally, the use of tightening straps along the medial and lateral sides of these shoes’ upper help to offset some of the discomfort from the extra weight by securing these shoes snugly to your feet.
The appearance of these Under Armour running shoes is different from just about every other running shoe on the market. It features an unconventional style
on the upper, with several long straps running alongside the lateral and medial sides where the shoelaces are threaded. This look may turn off some runners who prefer a less busy style. One area in which these shoes come across as very stylish, however, is in the multitude of color options. Depending on where you look, you can find around 10 or so different color schemes for this one pair of running shoes, making it easy to coordinate them with other aspects of your wardrobe.
As a result of the generous amount of cushion present in these shoes’ midsoles, the durability for the Under Armour
Speedform Europa is surprisingly high. A considerable degree of reinforcement has been added to the upper portion as well, thanks to the placement of several additional fabric straps to the sides. This adds up to a pair of shoes build like an armored truck, able to last you for years to come if they are properly maintained. Some individuals may not find this feature worthwhile, however, considering it comes at the cost of extra weight.
The bottoms of your feet will have an unparalleled amount of protection when wearing these running shoes, thanks to the obscene amount of cushion present in their midsoles. This level of cushion is nearly comparable to hardcore trail shoes, but don’t be fooled; the protection offered by these shoes is still not on the same level as these tougher articles of footwear. You cannot use these shoes comfortably on the same sort of terrain as trail shoes due to a lack of traction or weather resistance, but the cushion present here is in the same vein as these shoes.
There will certainly be an adjustment process for many runners who aren’t used to wearing shoes this heavy. In this respect, these shoes take a hit in terms of responsiveness, especially when compared to other running shoes on the market that weigh considerably less. However, the implementation of energy efficient material for the insoles and tight-fitting fabrics for the upper compensate for this overbearing weight and results in a pair of running shoes that are fairly responsive when running on roads
When it comes to providing the level of support necessary for running comfortably on asphalt roads and sidewalks for long periods of time, these shoes are some of the best. This comes at the cost of extra weight, but this weight allows the Speedform Europa to facilitate long running sessions on these surfaces without wearing down your soles. Couple that with a generous heel drop, and runners used to heel striking will be pleased with the impressive heel support offered by these Under Armour running shoes.
Since the total weight of these runnings shoes is similar to the weight of a good pair of trail shoes, you may think that this Under Armour product will work in similar environments. While there is enough cushion to provide comfort on harsher trails like the ones trail shoes are designed for, the truth is that these shoes aren’t really viable on these forms of terrain. This is due to a lack of traction and water resistance that makes it difficult to maintain solid footing on inclines or on slippery rocks. You may have some success when running on flat trails, but you will want to stick to roads or tracks when running in these shoes for the most part.
It’s not the cheapest pair of running shoes, but the price for the Under Armour Speedform Europa is very reasonable considering what you get for the price. The price difference between sizes is drastic, but it makes sense considering just how much material is used in the construction of each shoe, which would only increase exponentially with larger sizes. However, due to the strange design of these shoes that emphasizes extra weight and support, the fairly limited environments in which these shoes are most suited for may dissuade casual runner looking for something lighter.
The amount of traction present on the outsoles of these shoes make them ideal for most basic running surfaces and a few intermediate ones. Although they resemble trail shoes in their weight and midsole cushioning, the traction simply isn’t there to facilitate running in a similar capacity. This isn’t to say that these shoes don’t have very good traction, simply that they don’t have impressive traction given how much they weigh. Stick to flat surfaces in dry climates and you should never have a problem with traction, but any encounters with inclines or rainy weather will require extra caution.
If you’re looking for a lot of flexibility in the lower portion of your shoe, such as some bend or give when striking the ground, you should probably look elsewhere. These shoes simply have too much cushion and material padding around the bottom portion to provide any reasonable amount of flexibility in this regard. However, on the upper portion of this shoe you can find an impressive amount of flexibility due to the use of lightweight and snug material. It’s very easy to adjust the fit on your foot due to the flexible fabric used for the straps and mesh along the majority of the Speedform Europa’s upper.
A high measure of stability has been accomplished with the design of these shoes. This is done with a combination of factors that apply to both the upper and lower portions of the Under Armour Speedform Europa. On the top half, extra effort has been made to offer a flexible yet snug fit around the middle of your foot, thanks to the extra straps placed along the area where the shoelaces are threaded. On the lower half, a special heel cup has been implemented into the sole that helps keep your heels locked in place while running. Couple that with a level of rigidity offered by a heavily cushioned midsole, and you have a seriously stable running shoe.
8 mm of elevation is present in these running shoes’ midsole, offering slightly more cushion in the heel than in the forefoot. This serves two purposes that are perfect for a running shoe. First, the forefoot being closer to the ground allows for a better feel for the surface you are running on and adds a bit of extra flexibility. Second, the additional cushion on the heel absorbs the majority of shock from heel striking, helping to prevent damage to the Achilles tendon and ankle. One area where this shoe falls short despite this drop is the forefoot since the gratuitous cushioning present along the entirety of the midsole prevents any extra flexibility in the forefoot despite the high drop.
- Tight upper with breathable fabric and straps in the middle
- Reinforced heel padding on the back
- Heel cup for extra stability
- Generous amount of midsole cushioning
- 8 mm drop that favors heel striking
- High weight
It seems like the kind of shoe Under Armour was looking to create with the Speedform Europa is highly specific. The only runners who would get the most out of its unconventional design are ones who want to run for long distances on surfaces that are harder than basic running track but softer than mountain trails. This essentially limits the demographic to marathon road runners. If you’re a marathon road runner, these shoes are perfect for you and every design decision that went into them will certainly appeal to you in a way that no other shoe can. However, if you’re a casual runner looking to train for a track and field event, or an outdoorsy type who likes long hikes and runs around mountains, these shoes are going to disappoint you in one way or another.