For this test, Under Armor made the HOVR Sonic 3 available to me. However, this did not affect the content of my review. All statements represent my personal experiences and opinions on the HOVR Sonic 3.
The HOVR Sonic 3 at a glance
- Weight: 289g for a running shoe size of 42
- Drop of 8mm
- Records your running data via an integrated sensor
- HOVR foam for more stability
The HOVR Sonic 3 is as light as a running shoe that was designed for maximum speed.
However, it offers much more cushioning than a classic competition shoe.
Thus, the neutral shoe should be versatile.
But what should such an all-rounder be able to do?
And does the new HOVR Sonic 3 manage the balancing act between long run and speed training?
I ran the latest Under Armor running shoe for almost 250 kilometers to put the kicks through their paces.
In this article you can read about my experiences with the HOVR Sonic 3.
Running shoe for speed and distance
The name is program.
When I held the HOVR Sonic 3 in my hands, I was forced to think of a video game character of the same name.
After all, the blue hedgehog from SEGA could run at supersonic speed without any problems.
Indeed, this is what distinguishes the neutral training shoe from Under Armor.
It feels quick, even if the HOVR Sonic 3 actually has a few grams too much on its ribs.
However, you have to make compromises from time to time.
It is difficult to reconcile speed training and long runs with one shoe.
Because due to the lack of cushioning and stability, competition shoes are rather unsuitable for long runs.
On the other hand, stable and well-padded running shoes are usually too heavy to run really fast with them.
Tempo training like classic interval training would be made unnecessarily difficult.
According to Under Armor, the HOVR Sonic 3 is the right shoe for runners who like to cover long distances but want more flexibility.
Read more: Interval training for runners: 5 tips to get faster
Microthread technology guarantees breathability
With the HOVR Sonic 3, the honeycomb-like structure of the upper material immediately catches the eye.
The so-called microthread upper material should not only dry quickly, but also impress with its high breathability.
However, the air permeability of a running shoe is relatively difficult to test.
At least if a laboratory and the appropriate equipment are missing.
Fortunately, I had the HOVR Sonic 3 in my luggage on a press trip that took me to the Ultra Mirage 2020 – a 100-kilometer run through the Tunisian Sahara.
I was therefore able to determine the air permeability of the shoe with a field test.
All I had to do was run on the beach and see how much sand found its way into my shoe.
After 30 minutes, I was able to tip a whole handful out of my running shoe.
Conversely, this of course means that the HOVR Sonic 3 has sufficient breathability.
However, Under Armor could have saved quite a bit of weight on the upper.
The lace holes have been reinforced with small plastic particles.
While this improves the durability of the shoe, it also increases the overall weight of the HOVR Sonic 3.
Thanks to the honeycomb-like structure of the upper material, your feet are properly ventilated in the HOVR Sonic 3
Very high wearing comfort
Let’s stay with the plastic.
The heel cap is reinforced with a plastic cap that is visible from the outside.
The plastic is flexible enough that the heel cap can be pushed in without any problems.
The HOVR Sonic 3 thus offers more stability than a competition shoe, but less than a stable shoe.
As a blistered runner, I was particularly happy about the additional padding inside the heel counter.
In contrast to conventional running shoes, the rear part is not fully padded.
The padding hugs your heel and leaves no room for friction.
In addition, thanks to this padding, the wearing comfort is particularly pleasant in my eyes.
The reinforced heel cap of the HOVR Sonic 3 ensures sufficient stability when running
Reactive damping material for versatile use
The Under Armor HOVR technology is designed to provide a feeling of weightlessness and optimal energy return.
I’ve always had problems with energy return.
For me that is simply not measurable.
Basically, damping occurs through energy conversion.
The force with which you load the shoe during the initial contact is largely converted into heat by the internal friction of the plastic molecules.
This results in an energy conversion from mechanical energy into heat, which you perceive as damping.
During the damping measurement in the laboratory, the shoe is loaded and relieved again with a heel-like metal attachment at maximum pressure.
The above-mentioned energy conversion, i.e. the lack of spring-back force during relief, can thus be determined.
How should you optimal energy return So do you objectively assess Otto normal runners?
Without clear laboratory results, the manufacturer can claim a lot.
Despite all of this, the HOVR Sonic 3 has a pleasant one Ride – So a comfortable run.
The running shoe impresses above all with its responsive cushioning material, which has enough Bounce disposes.
When running slowly, the midsole often appears soft, but not spongy.
The faster you run, the harder the midsole gets.
So you can actually wear the HOVR Sonic 3 for both long and fast units.
The HOVR technology provides reactive cushioning in the HOVR Sonic 3
Outsole with deficits
A look under the shoe reveals that you should only run the HOVR Sonic 3 on solid surfaces.
Because the outsole is not exactly profiled.
After running almost 250 kilometers, however, the first signs of wear and tear are already noticeable.
Judging by the abrasion, I estimate the durability of the outsole for almost 600 kilometers.
The damping material may last a little longer.
In that case, however, you would be with Slicks On the way.
Apart from the wear and tear, the rubber sole fulfills its purpose.
I didn’t have any problems with my grip on gravel or wet surfaces.
Only wet cobblestones cause problems for the HOVR Sonic 3.
In fairness, however, even the most grippy trail shoes have problems.
The outsole of the HOVR Sonic 3 is not heavily profiled, which is why you should run the running shoe on firm surfaces
The strengths of the HOVR Sonic 3
The HOVR Sonic 3 won me over from the start.
From the optics to the comfort and the feeling of running.
As soon as I have Under Armor running shoes on my feet, the desire to run increases.
This may be due to the fact that nothing pinches and nothing presses uncomfortably.
However, this can also be due to the fact that the shoe is versatile thanks to its reactive damping material.
Even if you want to go really fast again at the end of your long run, the HOVR Sonic 3 is the right shoe on your foot.
Thanks to its quite neutral look and its extremely high level of comfort, you can easily wear the HOVR Sonic 3 in everyday life.
With the integrated sensor, Under Armor focuses on connected footwear.
Your running data is recorded directly and is available for analysis on the corresponding MapMyRun platform.
That is of course a brilliant approach.
However, the platforms from Strava, Garmin and Polar are used much more heavily.
Under Armor’s in-house platform is thus becoming obsolete.
The weaknesses of the HOVR Sonic 3
The HOVR Sonic 3 is not that easy to criticize.
Personally, there is a relatively large amount of unnecessary plastic built into and on the shoe.
At this point, Under Armor could definitely have reduced the overall weight of the running shoe.
The outsole could be a little more durable.
However, a thicker outsole would also increase the weight of the shoe.
How to twist and turn it: One must die one death.
Running shoe without major flaws
The HOVR Sonic 3 has become my first choice.
This is mainly due to the excellent running feeling.
The HOVR Sonic 3 is just a lot of fun to run.
Driving games, intervals, slow runs.
No matter what you have on your training plan right now.
With the Sonic 3 you always have the right shoe on your feet.
Speaking of fitting.
The fit of the running shoe is also convincing.
The toebox could be a bit wider, but the HOVR Sonic 3 offers sufficient support in the metatarsal area.
This is ensured by the tongue, which is connected to the footbed via stretch wings and thus ensures a tight fit.
The same applies to the heel cap, which hugs your rear foot thanks to the special padding.
Basically, the upholstery of the HOVR Sonic 3 should be emphasized anyway.
There is nothing on the shoe that causes uncomfortable pressure or chafing points.
The cushioning of the running shoe is definitely a matter of taste.
I personally like the cushioning technology because, in my opinion, it hits the golden mean of soft and hard.
However, you should definitely get your own picture of the HOVR Sonic 3 from your trusted dealer.
For the low price you should definitely give the running shoe a chance.