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REVIEW: Under Armour HOVR Machina

If you're looking for a carbon-plated shoe that will last a little longer and cost a little less, you've found it

Almost every shoe company has released, or is in the process of releasing, its first plated shoe and Under Armour is all aboard that train. The brand’s newest shoe, the Machina, is one of the coolest carbon-plated shoes I’ve worn to date.

This shoe really struck me because in spite of the plate, it still allows the foot to move naturally. Unlike other companies whose performance shoes incorporate a very stiff plate and significant rocker, UA’s is a two-pronged carbon-filled Pebax plate as opposed to one solid slab, which allows for natural flexion. Think of this shoe as a lighter, stiffer and lower-profile version of the Infinite, that’s designed to go fast.

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MSRP: $190 CAD
Weight: 240 g for women’s size 7.5
Drop: 8 mm
Category: Neutral
Available: February 7


Photo: Nick Iwanyshyn

The shoe’s upper is engineered mesh with a traditional lacing system that includes extra holes for optimal lacing (this is important if, like me, you have small ankles). This upper is designed to be minimal but provide support where necessary and I think it accomplished that. As someone who sometimes finds uppers a little too wide, this shoe fit my foot perfectly and, I thought, true to size.


Photo: Nick Iwanyshyn

The midsole is a combination of uncaged HOVR and a two-pronged plate (which kind of looks like a barbecue fork). This duo creates a ride that’s supportive and snappy. Under Armour is the first brand to make a carbon-plated shoe that’s not just designed for racing. While this shoe could easily be used to toe the line, the idea wasn’t to create a racing flat, but rather the trainer you want to use on your fastest days.

HOVR technology is an evolution of UA’s charged foam. HOVR lasts longer and maintains its rebound better and is designed to provide a zero gravity feel with high energy return.

Because the goal wasn’t to create a racing flat, the shoe runs a little heavier than other plated shoe (50 g heavier than the Nike NEXT%) but also significantly more durable, and comes with a much more reasonable price tag at just over half the cost. As with all UA shoes, it’s also fully connected with their in-shoe data chip. The sensor embedded in the midsole can analyze and store data through the run, which translates into training advice and feedback post-workout.


Photo: Nick Iwanyshyn

The outsole is a combination of carbon rubber (to save on weight) and blown runner (to promote traction). During a run when the roads were a little wet, the shoe performed well–no slippage issue here.

If you’re looking for a carbon-plated shoe that will last a little longer and cost a little less, you’ve found it. The Machina is not as light as some of its competitors, but it’s not designed to be. Wear this shoe on a tempo or long run day and feel the magic of a carbon-plated trainer.