It’s been 45 years since the invention of the sports bra, an early example of activewear designed for women. Yet for much of the sporting-goods industry, adapting men’s gear for women instead of creating women-specific gear is still the name of the game nearly 50 years later. While there are many products marketed to women, there’s a level of compromise involved for women athletes. This holds particularly true with running shoes. Under Armour recognized the gap in the market for female athletes and developed the first running shoe of its kind with a women-specific last. With the release of the brand’s Flow Synchronicity, UA has given female runners a shoe designed just for them.
Prior to the release of the Flow Synchronicity, running-shoe makers developed women’s models on a male last and modified them. But that approach missed the mark in three key ways: women’s heels are narrower than men’s, women’s arches are in a different location, and their midfoot height is generally shallower. Taking all these variables into account, UA took 3D foot scans and created a prototype with a women’s last. Then the team recruited dozens of female runners to wear-test the design. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Comments like “They wrap my foot better,” “I put them on, started running, and forgot I was supposed to be paying attention to them,” and “I didn’t feel like I had to sacrifice” told the UA designers they had hit the mark.
The latest Flow Synchronicity shoe incorporates UA’s innovative signature Flow technology. Flow is designed to deliver lightweight, comfortable performance. At just 8.3 ounces, the shoe gives runners more power from less weight, with the durability to handle the miles, too. The shoe also features a knit upper, constructed to provide zonal structure and support.
When it came to aesthetics, UA wanted to create an understated, highly wearable shoe that can go from the road to the gym and work for multiple types of runners. The wear-testers ran the gamut of athletes, from Boston Marathon qualifiers to community 5K participants and even those who love boot camp and treadmill workouts. Universally, the Flow Synchronicity hit the mark.
Under Armour understands that every foot is different and there isn’t one perfect shoe for everyone. Creating a shoe on a women’s last, however, brings women into the equation in a way they haven’t been in the past. No longer do they have to compromise—no settling for a shoe that lets the foot slide around because the heel is too big. No more discomfort in the arch because the shoe makes contact in wrong place. The Flow Synchronicity brings women to the table, appreciating the nuances between the different genders and their feet.
By talking to female runners, scanning their feet, and creating a last just for them, UA’s Flow Synchronicity team has ensured that women are no longer on the outside. They are front and center, running in comfort for miles on end.
Under Armour, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is a leading inventor, marketer and distributor of branded athletic performance apparel, footwear and accessories. Designed to empower human performance, Under Armour’s innovative products and experiences are engineered to make athletes better. For further information, please visit the Under Armour website.