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By 10 January 2019 | Categories: news

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There are a multitude of ways to track your runs these days. While smartphones and smartwatches seem to be the most popular, Under Armour is releasing the UA HOVR Infinite running shoe in South Africa. The Infinite contains an embedded sensor in the midsole of the right-footed shoe that digitally connects to the MapMyRun app via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It tracks a wide array of data, from running basics regulars such as distance, pace and splits, but also running form data, including cadence and stride length, which is not often measured. Using this data, the MapMyRun app provides a personalised coaching experience to each athlete, helping each runner find their ideal running form.

New in 2019 is the Gait Coaching feature, which can tell the runner fine-grain details about their stride and provide a holistic view with historical data to predict pace and plan for future runs. Runners can see the paces and portions of the run where they hit their ideal form and where they can improve. This part of the feature enables wearers to analyse hard workouts like intervals, long runs or even races.

Under Armour notes that when tracking runners who purchased and connected their UA HOVR Sonics (another UA pair with built-in sensor), they found that these runners worked out twice as much in their first five weeks, which resulted in a 5% improvement in their Average Run pace.

A bit more about the UA HOVR Infinite running shoe itself. As a neutral cushion trainer, the shoe is called the UA HOVR Infinite because it was created for distance training. Much like the folks over at Adidas, Puma and Nike, cushioning tech is key for Under Armour, creating what they call HOVR foam. They encase this in an “energy web” which the company notes provides comfortable landings and springy take-offs.

What about the outsole? The forefoot is a blend of blown rubber and a textured traction pattern, while deep flex-grooves extend from the medial to lateral outsole, following the natural flex angles of the foot. Under Armour states that the rubber in the heel is also made with a high-abrasion compound to extend the life of the shoe and resist excessive wear in the crash-pad. How many kilos this will add to the shoe remains to be seen in real life.

Interestingly, the women’s shoe is quite a bit different from the men’s shoe, and not just in style. The company’s research team notes that women’s heels are shorter, the arches are more sensitive, and the forefoot area has less volume. This resulted in a gender-specific construction of the UA HOVR Infinite sockliner that raises her ankle up by 2 mm, for a better fit in the collar. The men's sockliner is single layer, 6 mm. Both sockliners use high-end open-cell foams and are moulded to cradle the foot, serving as another moderating layer from impact forces.

How much will you need to cough up for a pair of connected running shoes? R2 499 is the going rate, with the UA HOVR Infinite running shoes available in South Africa at the start of February. Hit play below to see what went into designing the shoe.

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