When it comes to connected running shoes, Under Armour appears to be miles ahead of the competition.
Its new category of Bluetooth running shoes called Flow joins its extensive Hovr line-up of the Phantom, Sonic, Machina and Infinite.
The Flow Velociti Wind sneakers are responsive, grippy and feature a singular foam compound that eliminates a rubber outsole, resulting in a high-traction running shoe.
The top is a zonal structure made with mesh and tapes that run across and down to support your foot. It does not compress the foot but provides tension stiffening when required and relaxes when you’re not running.
This innovative ultra-lightweight shoe feels light and comfortable from the moment you put it on, making you want to hit the road immediately. It feels bouncy to the step.
The sneakers need to be paired on Under Armour’s MapMyRun or MapMyWalk app, available on both Android and iOS.
It takes a few tries before pairing as you have to put the shoe down on its side first, and then tap it to wake the Bluetooth chip.
The app provides a basic overview once paired — like distance covered, steps for the day and a list of your completed workouts. A little further below is a card for your all-time stats, which is handy to determine the lifespan of a shoe before it needs to be replaced. It also separates step count by recorded workouts and activity steps.
Apple’s iOS platform allows integration with its default workout app, which I linked to MapMyRun so when I start a new workout on the Fitness app, it pulls the data across as a recorded workout.
This is useful because I rarely remember to record workouts across multiple apps.
Each individual workout has more detailed stats for runners, like average pace, cadence, stride length and average ground contact time, including graphs for easy reference.
The app has real-time form coaching if you have a pair of earphones on, which provides tips to reduce injury to make running feel easier.
If you have multiple connected shoes paired on the app, they appear alongside each other on separate windows.
The UA Flow Velociti Wind is a breathable running shoe that can coach marathon or long-distance runners who want to improve their form.
It is available on UnderArmour.co.za for R3,499.
Cool factor 5/5
Value for money 3½/5
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. firstname.lastname@example.org