Sponsored by HOVR

Under Armour’s HOVR Infinite: A Smart, Reliable Marathon Runner

Michael Nystrom
by Michael Nystrom
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Under Armour’s HOVR Infinite: A Smart, Reliable Marathon Runner

I’ve tested tons of running shoes throughout my career as a health and fitness writer, and despite each brand creating proprietary fabric, foam and rubber promising this and that, one thing always remains the same: Comfort is king. Running is tough enough, and a comfortable running shoe can be the difference between a pleasant run and one that is just downright miserable, especially as you run farther and longer. What’s most impressive, though, is when a brand creates a shoe that blends performance technology with comfort for an all-around agreeable, fun and efficient running experience.

When Under Armour approached me to check out the high-visibility HOVR Infinite, I couldn’t pass it up. After thoroughly enjoying the brand’s HOVR Sonic, I was hoping for a similar level of quality and value in the newest offering. Let’s just say, mile after mile, my hopes were pleasantly confirmed.

SOLES

The midsole consists of UA’s proprietary HOVR foam surrounded by a compression mesh designed to retain structure, help with protection and smooth out the ride. The foam is thicker than other shoes in the HOVR line (29mm heel/21mm forefoot), which makes sense since the Infinite is designed for high-mileage, marathon-distance running. Despite the extra thickness, the shoe surprisingly didn’t feel sluggish or bulky. The midsole had a familiar, consistent feeling with a nice balance between cushion (firmer and more responsive than I expected) and support that I appreciated from the first run.

I tested these shoes for a couple of weeks while it was sporadically raining here in Southern California. The blown rubber on the forefoot and the high-abrasion carbon rubber on the heel not only added an additional layer of springy cushion, but they had plenty of grip on both dry asphalt roads and wet concrete sidewalks. I enjoyed the confidence this instilled, knowing each stride wouldn’t slip no matter the conditions. While I only tested the HOVR Infinite for a short period of time, the rubber seems durable and plenty thick enough to endure a season of racing and training — no issues here.

UPPER

From my experience, the HOVR Infinite runs true to size, but I found the upper to slightly on the narrow side. It wasn’t too narrow, though — the sock-like engineered mesh upper provided a nice balance between stretch and structure.

I was especially fond of the cushioned collar around the ankle and the padded tongue. The 3D-molded EVA sockliner added another layer of impact absorption, and it’s noteworthy to mention the men’s and women’s sock liners were designed separately with anatomical differences in mind.

The Infinite’s heel followed suit with my previous Under Armour running shoe experiences. Not only did the internal heel counter securely keep my heel in place while training on my favorite slightly-undulating roads, but there was no slippage while running up steep hills, either. The heels weren’t as padded as other shoes I’ve recently tested, but I didn’t have an issue with this. The lack of bulky cushion actually added to the responsive feeling of the shoe.

AESTHETIC

From a physical perspective, the HOVR Infinite is pretty unassuming. It’s got the stance of a high-mileage runner, but it’s slightly leaner and not as bulky looking as its competition. The shoe looks fast, and has one of the more attractive profiles for a marathon-distance shoe on the market.

Color-wise, I received the high-vis orange, green and yellow colorway. These color choices were a bold move, to be honest. I personally found them attractive, but I could understand why others may not be as keen (I posted an Instagram poll, and my followers were split on this decision). But don’t let this deter you, the shoe is available for men in three other more mild colorways and three color options for women. The design also includes reflective patterns on the toebox, heel and tongue to maximize visibility and safety in low-light conditions or on night runs.

TECHNOLOGY

The tech aspect is where the HOVR Infinite really separates itself. The right shoe is integrated with UA’s Record Sensor (a bluetooth chip, more specifically) that records important metrics like distance, pace, cadence and stride length. Once paired to the MapMyRun app, the shoe uploads your run data and the app gives you personalized coaching tips on how to improve your form. You’ll also be able to see a breakdown of your gait for the entire run, showing your stride consistency in regard to pace as a percentage. If you run with a smartphone, the shoe pairs to the app while you track your run from your phone, and additional metrics like route travelled and elevation gain are recorded as well.

I mentioned this in my review of the HOVR Sonic, and I am thoroughly impressed with the MapMyRun app and the connected HOVR technology. The bluetooth reliably paired to my phone without any issues, and the app itself was intuitive and easy to use. Knowing my gait was being analyzed, I kept my form in mind throughout each run. Shin splits have plagued my career for as long as I can remember, so data on keeping my stride shorter is always appreciated.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Coming in at a price point $20–$50 less than comparable neutral marathon-distance running shoes, the HOVR Infinite is an impressive value. Even without the integrated bluetooth technology, the shoe would be a worthy candidate at this price point. The connected sensor and in-app coaching tips are great tools for both novice and more experienced runners who are looking for an intuitive, guided way to improve their form and efficiency.

Fit-wise, the upper fit my foot like a glove, and I never felt any hot spots or blisters no matter the mileage I threw at them. The outsole was one of my favorite features — I appreciated both the grip and the springiness of the blown rubber and traction pods. The break-in period was exceptionally fast, and the shoes were some of the most comfortable I’ve tested straight out of the box. I didn’t mind the black/high-viz yellow colorway, but I’d personally probably opt for the mod gray/white alternative instead.

For being a shoe designed for training for and racing marathons, the HOVR Infinite is surprisingly efficient and faster than I expected. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this model for runners looking to PR in a 5K or 10K (there are faster, more responsive options out there), this shoe is more than capable for half and full marathon runners who log serious miles. Ultimately though, if you’re looking for a shoe that can do it all and then some, the HOVR Infinite is a balanced pair that checks all the right boxes.

Sponsored By

Sponsored by - HOVR
About HOVR

The new UA HOVR Infinite: Feels like zero gravity. A million miles of comfort. Fit for your body. Data-driven coaching through UA MapMyRun. Get yours now for men and women.

About the Author

Michael Nystrom
Michael Nystrom

Michael is a Los Angeles-based writer, two-time IRONMAN triathlon finisher and breakfast burrito connoisseur. When not swimming, cycling or running, he’s catching some waves or chasing his dog, Dingo. You can follow Michael on Instagram.

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