Unboxed: Under Armour’s Blazingly Bright Carbon & Bluetooth HOVR Machina

Under Armour's new HOVR Machina is big, bulbous, and bursting with hotness like a carbon plate, foam, and Bluetooth connectivity.

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Ok, so carbon-plated running shoes are popular right now; so is tons of foam. Can we get Bluetooth connectivity in there too? Why not. So goes the new HOVR Machina from clothing-company-turned-shoe-brand Under Armour. Inside the bulbous foamy exterior of these brightly colored new light- to midweight trainers lives a Bluetooth device that measures fairly familiar things like stride length and cadence, along with a few neat unexpected goodies like foot strike angle and live form coaching via a smartphone app. In other words, this little Bluetooth-connected app will let you know when your form is starting to fail (or “change” as they so tactfully put it) so you can do something about it, rather than just examine the autopsy of your blown run or race after the fact.

Check out our video below for the full unboxing, or scroll down for some quick takeaways.

First Impressions

Under Armour HOVR Machina: $250, Underarmour.com

What I Like About Under Armour’s HOVR Machina

  1. There are actually some pretty interesting features in the smart coaching platform, and it lives on their popular MapMyRun app, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises for those who already use it. The ability to see your form change graphically in real-time is pretty cool.
  2. While it may seem like overkill, I think it’s fun that Under Armour threw so much into this pair of shoes—between the tech, the carbon, and the foam.

What Makes Me Worried With Under Armour’s HOVR Machina

  1. The fact that you can only use UA’s Form Coaching with a smartphone is sort of a bummer for those who don’t like to carry their phone on runs.
  2. From the upper to the collar to the sockliner to the outsole, these are some plush shoes. The only downside to that is with wear, sometimes things (like fit) can change pretty quickly.

Final Thoughts

  1. Though Under Armour has been around for a while, they’re not yet known as a major player in running shoes. Their tech is super cool, but hopefully it’s not just a bunch of buzzwords all in a row.
  2. If their Form Coaching does what they say it will, shoes like these could be a very cool tool for triathletes. Somehow get the HOVR Machinas connected to a Garmin, Suunto, or Polar, and you’d be in business. Unfortunately, there’s almost no chance of that happening, as UA’s big mandate seems to be driving people to sign up for its online platform.

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