Releasing recently, the HOVR Phantom 3 from Under Armour continues to push forward their trainer designed for speed and comfort. We have been putting a few miles in over the past few weeks and here are our initial thoughts.
There are many corners a runner can cut when it comes to workout gear – cheaper shirts, uglier shorts, and maybe even some inexpensive accessories. But not the shoes. Never the shoes. And with so many options available, so many choices in not only brand but style, it’s hard to know where to start.
Read all our posts about Under Armour here!
Under Armour, as I’ve mentioned in several other reviews, has made great strides in every way in regard to running gear and shoes in the last few years. I’ve always liked the look of their products, but the functionality has been excellent as well. These shoes are made and marketed for runners.
As you can with other Under Armour shoes, you can download the UA MapMyRun app and connect to a chip in your shoe that will give you access to coaching and training plans. These shoes are the latest in both technology and comfort. They look cool too, if that matters. And let’s face it, it does.
The UA HOVR Phantom 3 offers move HOVR, more breathability and improved fit when compared to its predecessor.
I really liked the look of the Phantom 2, but I will say the I LOVE the Phantom 3. While there are a few colorways to choose from the top-to-bottom Opal Green / Illusion Green combo is amazing. I feel the color on the webpage is a little darker than what you get in person – but personally I prefer it that way.
There are little design “nic nacs” (for lack of a better word) that add some style to the shoe as well. I am sure they all have technical terms, but I will call it ribbing on the top, indents on the sides, and an opaque mini-fin heel counter that wraps around the back.
We understand that looks are subjective, and that if a pair shoe is comfortable and providing a smooth run, then looks aren’t all that necessary. But hot dang we love the look of this shoe.
The new sock-like fit shoes seem to be trending, and I’m a fan. They hug the ankle and feel secure and breathable like a cozy slipper. They must do it in the right way however, so as feel both stable and also “disappear” during a run and feel like an extension of your foot. The UA HOVR technology will do exactly that, with it’s “zero gravity feel” that gives you spring in your step.
The SpeedForm 2.0 sockliner and the flat knit upper will give you the breathability you want and ample stretch. As we all know, it’s better to give than to receive, and the UA HOVR knows the rules. The UA HOVR Foam + Energy Web compression mesh material with give you back the energy you put in. These are a cinch to pull on and provide a secure fit around the heel and foot as a whole. It’s not too tight, but provides security and stability.
I loved that the tongue was integrated as a part of the shoe and the “marshmallowy” feel of them on my feet was not a bad thing in the least. I knew immediately that these were the shoes I could put on for a run and keep on my feet for the various errands I often have on my plate afterwards.
I was a little worried about the lacing, as they pass through little fabric loops as opposed to embedded holes on the shoes themselves. The final resting place of the laces on top also sit a little lower on the foot than most running shoes. Some runners may find some challenges with these construction decisions. I personally did not have an issue, because I feel that the security of the actual shoe – the upper, heel support, and sockliner – provide a nice fit regardless. Honestly, these are one of the few running shoes that almost don’t need laces. I know that’s weird to say, but I have been able to just pull on and go without lacing up or down each time.
The shoes felt like a dream! They were cushy but supportive and tight where they needed to be but not constrictive. While my foot skews on the slimmer side, people with a wider foot profile may find these a little too snug. There is definitely a lot of flexibility in the upper, but the security of the heel and middle of the foot may prove too tight for those with a need for extra room. I did feel as if the base of the forefoot provided enough landing width.
I will say that I think the choice of a good sock is key with a sock-like shoe, as a no-show style might not feel great under the sockliner. My socks were a tad on the short side the first time I tried the shoes, and after about 30 minutes, my ankles felt a bit itchy, for lack of a better description. However, the next time I wore the shoes with a slightly longer sock, everything felt perfect.
It has been a while since we’ve tested shoes and wet weather, but a slightly drizzly day in October gave us that opportunity. Despite the outsole being made fully from rubber, I just found the grip “OK”. During our drizzly runs on sidewalks, I experienced slight slippage – mostly when rotating the foot on corners. This was not as much of an issue when running on the added traction of literal roads, but you might need to be aware of this when taking fast corners in wet weather.
I have minimal complaints about the overall fit of the shoes. I run in a Men’s 12 and it fit pretty true to size. The base was wide enough for my feet and I felt there was ample room to move my toes around freely. I had no issues with lockdown at all and there has been no rubbing on this front.
Real Time Run Tracking:
Additionally, as with many new UA shoes, it provides real time running data and coaching. If you desire to set this up (and if you get a pair, there’s probably no reason why you shouldn’t) it will give you notifications letting you know how your cadence is changing over the course of your run. It will also provide other tips on improving your form so you stay in an the ideal range.
While I am not necessarily in need of professional feedback like this, it was very interesting, and positive, to feel like I could actually make changes mid run and know the exact moment to do so. It’s a pretty cool option that I could see definitely helping someone stay on track when pushing for a PR or a BQ.
I am not typically a MapMyRun user, but I have enjoyed it when trying these out. However, if you are a hardcore Strava or other running tracker app user you may be less interested in this feature. However, MMR is necessary for the feedback, so make the call accordingly.
Overall, while there are a handful of things that may cause some pause, I really do enjoy the UA HOVR Phantom 3. I feel they are almost a situational hybrid shoe – one that can perfectly be worn during indoor runs and in some shorter outdoor scenarios – but also look so dope that they can be a go-to casual pair. Honestly, utilizing these as a runcation travel shoe is a perfect opportunity that can cross over into all situations and workouts while still looking stylish is a perfect sweet spot.
Facebook | Instagram
Products & Price:
- UA HOVR Phantom 3 | ~$140
- Weight (Men’s size 9): 11.1 oz | Women’s size 7: 9.2 oz
- Stack: 25 MM Heel / 17 MM Forefoot
- Offset: 8 MM
Thank you to Under Armour for providing us with test shoes. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.