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REVIEW: UA Sonic 4

Meet the interval shoe of your dreams

The UA Sonic is Under Armour’s all-around trainer. One of the lightest shoes in the brand’s lineup of distance trainers, the Sonic was extremely well received at its inception in 2018, and the latest Sonic continues to impress. You notice the weight (or lack thereof) from the moment you put it on. This shoe strikes a lovely balance of being both lightweight and durable at the same time – exactly what runners want. Finally, one of the most exciting changes with the Sonic 4 is the creation of sex-specific lasts for the shoes, meaning that the women’s shoe is no longer just a small version of the men’s. 

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Price: $120
Availability: Now
Drop: 8 mm 
Weight: 231 g

 

The Upper

UA has really refined their uppers and the Sonic’s is one of the most comfortable uppers I’ve ever worn. The shoe fit my foot perfectly (narrow at the heel, wide at the front) and the engineered mesh was breathable without giving too much. The heel counter was another highlight for me. A stiff heel counter in a neutral shoe provides the wearer with a bit of stability without any full-blown correction. The Sonic heel counter was firm without causing any hot spots – this is thanks to the plush liner and the smart idea to put the plastic heel counter on the exterior (as opposed to building it into the liner). 

One more note with the upper: Thanks to the female-specific last for the Sonic 4, the shoe has a shorter instep to accommodate a woman’s foot. This is a welcome change that’s emerging from some companies, to improve their female users’ experience. 

The Midsole

The Sonic midsole is full HOVR, which feels quite firm, but that’s to be expected from a speed trainer. With this shoe, I preferred it on the shorter intervals (400m to 1K repeats) rather than a steady long run. I think this shoe has some real snap to it, and its low-to-the-ground feel was nice on faster days. 

Like all UA shoes, the Sonic is also fully connected. This is ideal for the person looking for feedback on their stride or cadence and who might not have a coach or running partner who’s able to watch them. With this data, UA will provide the runner with cues to improve their form through the MapMyRun app. 

The Outsole

The Sonic outsole is a combination of carbon and blown rubber, making for a durable and lightweight pairing. On wet and slightly snowy roads, this shoe performed extremely well, and its breathable upper and lightness also make it a great treadmill choice for sloppy winter days. 

Final thoughts

With shorter and harder intervals, feeling the ground can be an asset. With the Sonic, its firm foam and minimal motion control allow runners to feel the ground underneath them – ideal for speed or track work. My ideal use of this shoe would be on the track, running hard. However, I could certainly see this as a one-shoe-to-do-it-all situation for the runner who’s only looking to purchase a single pair. 

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