REVIEW: Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite
Written By: SportsShoes
Tested by some of the world's fastest runners, the Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite were built to hit race-winning speeds.
A full-length, carbon fibre plate adds propulsion, while rubberless UA Flow cushioning makes this shoe super-lightweight and grippy.
We asked elite athlete Elle Twentyman to review this exciting new race shoe. Here's what she had to say;
|Most suitable for:||Designed for achieving PB's in races ranging from 5K to marathon distance. More suitable for heel strikers.|
|Stack height:||39mm (Heel) / 31mm (Forefoot)|
|Key features:||UA's SC flow midsole for a highly responsive and cushioned ride, a full-length thermoset carbon-plate that was engineered for the perfect snappy sensation and a WARP 2.0 upper for lightweight stability and support.|
|RATINGS:||(out of 5)|
Pictured: Elle Twentyman wearing the UA Flow Velociti Elite
I had the honour of testing out Under Armour’s first carbon plated racing shoe, the Flow Velociti Elite, during a recent month-long training camp in Spain. Having been marketed primarily as a marathon shoe I was excited to test these shoes out on the roads, particularly for those longer tempos and sessions. I was curious to see how these shoes matched up alongside other carbon plated ‘super shoes’ in the market.
Starting with the aesthetics, my first impressions were very positive! I really liked the snazzy new design and the ‘aqua foam/lime sage’ colourway. Who doesn’t love a pop of colour on race day? A perfect addition to any race kit and an easy way for family members and supporters to spot you from afar! Due to the mesh upper the shoe looked like it would be both breathable and lightweight, however compared to other super shoes currently on the market, this shoe has a more understated look, without the pointed heel of the Nike Vaporfly or the sharp foam edges of the adidas Adios Pro.
I was surprised (and intrigued!) to see that this shoe doesn't have a traditional rubber outsole, so I was eager to find out what impact this would have in terms of performance.
The first thing I noticed when I put these shoes on was just how comfortable they were, no need to worry about wearing these shoes in around the house before heading out on a run! They felt like a natural extension of my feet. The shoes felt lightweight but as per my initial observations regarding the look of this shoe, they did not give that immediate springy feeling of a ‘super shoe’.
FAST & EFFICIENT: Every detail from the warp upper, to the tongue, to the sockliner, heel construction and laces, weight was taken into consideration. Providing the runner everything they need and do not need to crush race day.
The upper of the Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite has been designed using Under Armour’s WARP technology, which uses horizontal and vertical tape lines to act like little seatbelts across the top of the foot. These tape lines are not only aesthetically pleasing, but essentially help to lock in the foot and contribute to a secure, smooth, and stable ride. This technology also ensures that the shoe is exceptionally breathable and lightweight, essential features for a fast-racing shoe, and something for which I was very grateful for whilst getting used to the warmer weather out in Spain!
This shoe also benefits from a padded tongue, a feature which many other super shoes appear to have forgone for the sake of saving a few grams. If you are worried about saving weight in this area, you need not be concerned as Under Armour has used their Microperf technology in the tongue to ensure that this feature remains lightweight and breathable. This Microperf tongue certainly feels plush and combining this with a traditional lacing system provides a secure and comfortable locked in feel. I also found it reassuring knowing that I could tie up my laces without worrying about irritating the tendons underneath- a great feature for anyone like myself who often struggles with little niggles in this area.
SNAPPY RIDE: A full-length thermoset carbon-plate that was engineered for the perfect snappy sensation with every stride.
The midsole of the Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite is made up of three layers comprising a TPE sock liner, a layer of Pebax foam, and a full-length thermoset carbon plate. These sit above a layer of supercritical (SC) flow which makes up the outsole of the shoe. Each of these layers designed to contribute to the shoes comfort and efficiency;
The TPE sock liner, made from recycled materials, helps to evenly distribute pressure and provides that lovely soft step-in feel, a feature that really stands out when you first put these shoes on! The Pebax foam is a lightweight foam designed to provide extremely soft landings with a great energy return. And finally, the carbon plate, which is sandwiched between the Pebax foam, and the SC flow outsole, contributes to a snappy responsive feel. Whilst I did not find these shoes to be as bouncy as other super shoes, I did find them to be very responsive and efficient. I found that my cadence was naturally higher, and I felt that these shoes encouraged a better running form. Whilst these shoes are not as aggressive as some of the other super shoes, and thus perhaps better suited for half marathons or marathon distances, I found that this shoe really excelled during faster reps and as I picked up the pace, the effect of the carbon plate became more evident, with the plate providing as much propulsion as I put into it.
Whilst this shoe feels perhaps a little less ‘fast’ and snappy than other carbon plated shoes on the market, it also feels much more stable and provides a lovely silky-smooth feeling on the roads. Both on the track and on the roads, I certainly wasn’t worried about cornering or going over on my ankles.
SC FLOW TECHNOLOGY: Introducing UA's new Super-Critical Flow, it is incredibly soft and lightweight. Giving the runner a highly responsive and cushioned ride with every stride while still providing impact protection.
The outsole of this shoe is made up of a lightweight layer Under Armour’s SC flow. I was particularly interested in the use of this technology as I had initially questioned whether these shoes would be durable due to the lack of rubber on the outsole, however this layer eliminates the need for the rubber, thus saving weight, whilst still providing great traction and durability.
Whilst I initially questioned if this shoe would be durable due to the lack of rubber on the outsole, technology won, as these shoes stood up to the test and proved to be remarkably durable even with the odd trail run thrown in for good measure!
I found that this shoe fit true to size in terms of length. In terms of width, this shoe is slightly roomier in the middle and in the toe box. Although I prefer a narrower shoe for racing, my toes were certainly grateful for this feature during my longer runs and sessions. A definite benefit if you are planning to race over the longer distances!
I tested these shoes out over a variety of runs, from easy jogs, to tempos, and faster sessions on the track.
Overall, I really enjoyed running in these shoes, they were extremely comfortable and very versatile. I found that that benefit of the carbon plate became more evident as I worked up through the paces and found the shoe to be responsive and efficient. Helping me to run with a higher cadence and with better running form.
Whilst it doesn’t feel exactly like other super shoes in terms of bounciness and overall speed, the UA Flow Velociti Elite has many attractive qualities including that they encourage efficient movement with a higher cadence than in the other super shoes and that they have an increased feeling underfoot and greater stability allowing more confidence to put some power down in shorter reps and corner at speed!
- Overall, a very versatile shoe, ideal for both training sessions and chasing PBs on the road. Designed for half marathons/marathons but also a great option for faster sessions on the track or 5km and 10km races.
- A lightweight, breathable shoe, with design features to maximise comfort and stability without compromising on performance.
- A responsive shoe that encourages good form and a high cadence.
- A shoe that’s fits true to size, with a slightly wider fit and roomier toe box- perfect for those longer training sessions and races!
- A more understated look compared to other super shoes.
- Unfortunately, does not provide the same ‘bouncy’ feeling as other super shoes.