I have found myself uncontrollably visiting the standalone stores ever since Under Armour arrived onshore our little red dot in 2014. It has even become a ritual to set foot in their Collyer Quay outlet with my colleagues during lunch breaks. The strategic location in the middle of the Central Business District was hard to resist for many working professionals, especially on paydays.
On my first encounter, I was instantly attracted to how comfortable Under Armour’s apparels are and not to exaggerate, I soon revamped my wardrobe, replacing my retired training attire with the new label. I was fanatic and literally owned tops, tanks, shorts, hoodies, backpacks and bras of the same brand. On several occasions, I even purchased products of the same model in varying colours!
Oh wait. Before I go on confessing my love for my favourite sport brand, let me admit that there is one particular product category that I never had a preference for - shoes.
I love incredibly light shoes and has been an ardent supporter of knitted footwear that are usually woven from a single piece of fused yarn. I was religious to this radical innovation, having not looked back ever since getting my first pair. After all, why run when you can fly?
Priscelia’s love affair with the women’s UA SpeedForm® Slingshot running shoes swayed my beliefs. The SpeedForm® Slingshot is fabricated using Dyneema, a 3D knit material known for delivering extraordinary flexibility despite being so durable. Under Armour’s move to finally jump into the knitted technology bandwagon convinced me to give their shoes a try.
Changing Your Perspective Changes Your Experience
When I first saw the Under Armour Charged Bandit 2, I knew in a moment that I would have to land my hands on a pair! It was a love at first sight, even harder to resist with it being illumined in turquoise green, arguably the trendiest colour of 2016.
The rational decision maker in me attribute this impulse buy to the athleisure obsession, for the shoes boasted no knitted technology nor is it made out of ultra-light yarn. I was full of ideas on how to match this gorgeous pair of shoes with my casual attire.
Boy, was I so wrong. The Under Armour Charged Bandit 2 entirely convinced me that flying can be in style, even without yarn.
Having gone for two light 15km runs to attest for this pair of long distance running shoes, I am proud to announce that I am now converted with my pleasant experiences.
Engineered to Provide Fit and Comfort
The Charged Bandit 2 is engineered to provide a locked-in, anatomical fit throughout the foot.
The smooth, ultrasonic welded seaming with Bernis tape technology provided a familiar next-to-skin support and comfort, complemented with the unique tongue construction and a heathered upper that is light, breathable and stretchable. I find my experience similar to the snug fit I got from my previous pairs of knitted shoes.
The well-thought-out construction had managed to hold my foot in place with no slippage despite the fact that I was running on different terrains. The seamless internal heel cup and firm external heel counter had provided additional stability and support. I reckon that the moderate 12mm heel-toe drop/offset had also assisted in the promotion of forward momentum and added cushioning for my heels.
As usual, Under Armour’s proprietary foam technology - the Micro G cushioning system, has been incorporated in the Charged Bandit 2, combined with Charged EVA running from heel to toe. The high-rebound and low-compression set foam promoted responsiveness in the light platform to render an extra lift and energy return in each step. However, as opposed to traditional designs, the Micro G cushioning system is not present in the forefoot. I had no issue in this placement change as I found my stride pretty smooth and efficient. I was also delighted to not have felt any uncomfortable pressure on my feet during my long runs.
Having personally wounded and lost some nails, I am really fastidious with toe spaces. Glad to say, the toe box of the Under Armour Charged Bandit 2 is generous with a flexible and soft upper material. I was able to wiggle my toes up and down with ease.
It is also noticeable that Under Armour had put in efforts to deliver durability in the shoes with the rubber outsole that provided full ground contact with deep flex grooves for extra flexibility. High abrasion rubber was also added to high wear areas on the heel for increased durability. I am pretty assured that the Charged Bandit 2 is made to last with the advanced traction that does not weigh down the shoe. My pair of US 8 weighs at approximately 8 oz.
All in all, the Charged Bandit 2 had surpassed my every expectation and I was so wrong to have thought that the impulse buy was only perfect for jazzing up my casual outfits. The Charged Bandit 2 had delivered comfort and confidence for me to go the distance.
- The Charged Bandit 2 perfectly illustrates how performance can co-exist with style. I was completely won over at first sight by the design, initially perceiving the pair as another athleisure shoes.
- The colour combination of turquoise green with crystal stealth grey is a match made in heaven, further embellished by random splashes of paint at midsole and outsole. Some imaginative friends have also commented in fondness that the design resembles stars and galaxies.
- The signature Micro G cushioning system lives up to its reputation. The technical superiority of turning cushioned landings into explosive takeoffs contributed to my satisfaction. My strides were relatively smooth and efficient.
- The Charged Bandit 2 was also snug fitting with adequate space in the toe boxes. This meant a reduced likelihood of experiencing slippages and bruised toes - a wonderful balance!
- Apart from sharing the same name, the Charged Bandit 2 is completely different from its predecessor (which a fair amount of users had expressed disappointment online). Nevertheless, whether you consider this an improvised version or a brand new innovation, you would be pleased with this release.
- While some people could appreciate the paint splashing design effect and even relate it to stars and galaxies, a few unimaginative friends were dismayed at the fact that I had “dirtied” my new shoes so fast.
- This gorgeous crystal stealth grey version of the Charged Bandit 2 could not be found in Under Armour Singapore’s online store. It might be a good idea to make a trip down to the brick-and-mortar retail store to ascertain the right size at the same time.
- Although Under Armour has challenged my beliefs, a part of me still presuppose that I would be able to run faster with a lighter pair of shoes. Nevertheless, I am very much satisfied with the Charged Bandit 2 and ascertain its reliability in long distance runs.
A product of Under Armour’s Fall/Winter 2016 Collection, the Women's UA Charged Bandit 2 Running Shoes are available at all Under Armour brand houses for S$179.
How much does brand loyalty constitutes your purchase decision? Have you ever made an impulse purchase that led to an incidental satisfaction?