Do brands impress me? Look inside my closet and drawers. You’ll see a handful of labels in both places that say all you need to know about my penchant for manufacturers who go the extra mile to turn out quality products that last years, not months. Do I have a favourite? Under Armour.
I let my girlfriend worry about fashion trends — but feel the need begin this review by saying that my passion for all things UA recently produced quite a shock: there is now a pair of Rocket Red UA SpeedForm® Slingshot running shoes occupying space on my closet floor. These shoes jump out amid the conservative colours I usually pick when I buy running shoes: black, grey, blue and white. The girlfriend wonders what she’ll find in my closet next!
Performance and fashion; who knew they could co-exist?
I take issue with Under Armour when their marketing honchos describe the Slingshot as offering “Innovative UA SpeedForm® technology [that] delivers zero distraction while running,” because these running shoes are the poster child for distractions. Whether I’m running indoors or out, you wouldn’t believe how many guys literally lose their pacing when they see a guy like me racing through trails, wearing in my red kicks.
These guys look but don’t stop me. If they did, I would tell them all about the seamless asymmetric zonal compression that makes me quicker, and since I’ve done my homework, I might be in the mood to talk about Dyneema, the 3D knit used to craft the uppers. It’s proven to be the ultimate in durability, so I could brag about wearing shoes made of the world’s strongest fibre.
The technology that went into the engineering of this shoe is, to my mind, the most impressive feature of all: midsole layers hide a Pebax propulsion plate that literally acts as a launching pad. And isn’t that exactly what a runner requires when he wears Rocket Red shoes?
Has my run improved? You be the judge.
Allow me to start this section where I left off the last one: That hidden propulsion plate does more than launch my run; it also helps improve my stride and contributes to the stability and support I enjoy mile after mile.
The Slingshot rubber outsole is no shrinking violet. Despite the fact that each shoe weighs only 7.5 ounces, I notice an appreciable difference in the amount of traction I experience every time I encounter a variety of uneven surfaces.
A word about the comfort I enjoy in the midsole area: It’s superior to comparable running shoes as a result of being fabricated of signature cushioning and foam that pair up to hug my feet over the longest distances.
It’s rare to find a shoe that delivers power within cushioning, so I’ve become a fan of this fabrication technology because it reminds me of the UA slogan: Energy Given. Power returned.
- I’m neither a professional runner nor a professional shoe tester, but I am a discriminating consumer who is somewhat obsessed with getting value and performance. I got both when these shoes came into my life.
- I’ve also been won over by the amount of shocks my foot is able to absorb without sidelining me. This is due to the technical superiority of energy conversion, Slingshot style.
- I receive benefits that include low-to-the-ground dynamics, comfort and stability. The seamless heel cup creates a precision fit each time I slide them on, and I haven’t had heel slippage issues.
- The Slingshot is a big improvement over Speedform Geminis I had in the past, and I actually get my usual size rather than half a size bigger or smaller.
- Although I’m fortunate to have avoided heel slippage issues, my running colleagues haven’t all been this lucky. A couple of wearers were nostalgic for the silicone strips built into other SpeedForm styles. The inventive ones rectify the problem by wearing up to two pairs of socks!
- The space-age material happened to be a big draw for me, but a couple of guys wearing Slingshots told me that cleaning theirs is a pain in the neck. I joked that this is why they need girlfriends! And no, I haven’t said that to my girlfriend.
So there I sit, wearing these Rocket Red shoes that my girlfriend still can’t believe I got, but what can I say? I’m evolving! I love the fit (which is why they’re on my feet already), the indestructible fabric that doesn’t appear to be that hard to clean, but it’s the forward propulsion technology that impresses me most.
True, I didn’t have heel slippage issues — and I felt like quite the adventurous sort when I got my first ever pair of red running shoes — but in the end, I stayed true to a sports brand I have counted on for many years.
The Men’s UA SpeedForm® Slingshot Running Shoes are available at all Under Armour brand houses and the Under Armour Singapore online store for S$259.
Here’s a benefit you won’t read in many shoe reviews: these shoes have started interesting conversations between me and the girlfriend about how far I’m willing to go now that I’ve got red running shoes!