My Love Affair With The Women’s UA SpeedForm® Slingshot Running Shoes
A locked big door always kneels down in front of its little key. Every giant has a weak side!
I happen to be a big fan of the Bible's Old Testament story about David using his slingshot to take down the giant Goliath.
It reminds me that even runners who may not be the biggest or fastest often take down "giants" by training properly, being persistent and feeling confident, so when I heard that UA had just introduced Women's UA SpeedForm® Slingshot running shoes, I couldn't help asking whether they could help me beat the fiercest competitors on the Singapore running scene?
Yes, I crowed on the day I acquired a pair of Slingshots in harmony red, I can slay giants in these, because even the color signifies power and says everything about my can-do attitude!
More durable than any dude I've dated
Let me start by telling you that I was predisposed to applaud this shoe's integrity after reading about Dyneema, "the world's strongest fiber." The SpeedForm® Slingshot is fabricated using this 3D knit material known for delivering extraordinary flexibility despite being so durable.
From the moment I slid on the shoes, I noticed what Under Armour calls the "burrito tongue" factor. This clever descriptor is right on the money because when the sock-like cushioning wraps around my feet, even my toes feel like they're tucked into comfy tortillas, minus the beans and hot sauce.
Having purchased these shoes in red, I worried that they could prove to be all look and no performance, but was I wrong. These shoes feature an anatomical outsole made of rubber that offers traction I've never before experienced over the life of my running career.
Despite all of this giant-slaying armouring, these kicks are lightweight and the midsole layer performs like a rocket launcher every time the propulsion plate pushes me forward like — well, a slingshot!
It's all about the fit
Having already expressed my delight at this shoe's colour and responsiveness, it's important that I share with you the benefits I receive from wearing them. Is it possible to energize the foot? I believe so, and I credit the advanced cushioning properties with impacting my foot strike in such a way that I feel both comfort and power, acting in concert, each time I run.
I could swear that my takeoffs have become more explosive and in my opinion, this is the result of a lower-to-the-ground athletic shoe than those I wore in the past. Of course, fit makes all the difference, especially when running long distances that tended to diminish my overall performance as miles sped by.
That's no longer the case. I like the stability of this shoe as well, so I admit to having begun what I am sure will be quite the lengthy love affair with my red Slingshots.
Runner's Boon (there are more!)
- I must repeat a comment made by a fellow runner who looked at my shoes and said: "Those shoes are what fast looks like!" I thanked her, but suspect she was envious that she didn't have UA SpeedForm® Slingshots in her locker.
- Calling all flat-footed runners, who can make finding proper running shoes an impossible task: these Slingshots make my flat flooted friend feel like she's walking and running on clouds. Stretchy and breathable, they're also true to size.
- I often refer to the soles of my Slingshots as "out of this world" because I've never before experienced having my foot locked in place. No matter the terrain, I've experienced no twists and turns. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that these shoes are equally at home in the gym, so no second pair of running shoes will bust my budget.
- Not everyone I encountered found favour with the red colour. A few women called it "ugly"; one joked she hopes the UA SpeedForm Slingshot comes in other hues that don't make runners appear to be sprinting in ripe tomatoes!
- There have been complaints from women that these shoes run small, thus it was inconvenient to deal with returns when they needed a half-size larger. Other women grumbled that they had to go up a full size to get their Slingshots to fit properly.
Is it wrong to fall hard for a pair of shoes? Not if they're Slingshots
While I empathized with those who had bad experiences wearing UA SpeedForm® Slingshots, I was in heaven quickly after putting them on for the first time. What won me over first? No brainer: the proprietary sole. In the past, varying terrains tended to present daunting balance challenges as I pounded over natural trails, tracks and obstacles, but I found myself gaining confidence with every stride as I came to the realization that these soles never met a surface they couldn't conquer.
Further, I agree with the happy shopper who proclaimed the Slingshot “a game changer,” because these running shoes not only surpass my expectations when I train and compete, but my ability to wear them in the gym is a big plus.
Would I buy them in other colours? I'm not sure. My "foot tomatoes," as my BFF calls my Slingshots, have prompted conversations with other runners I meet, including some really cute guys — which is why I now refer to my Slingshots as my dude magnets! Maybe I'll double up and buy a second pair in red next time I've got some extra bucks.
The Women's UA SpeedForm® Slingshot Running Shoes are available at all Under Armour brand houses and the Under Armour Singapore online store for S$259.
If you fell in love with a pair of shoes because they fit in ways you've never experienced, would you turn them down simply because the colour turned you off?