Under Armour is making a big investment in running, which can be seen through their development of the Dark Sky Distance professional running team in Flagstaff, Ariz., and their new suite of track spikes. The collection, which becomes available on UA.ca in the coming weeks, includes footwear for all track events from sprints, distances, jumps and throws to cross-country spikes and road racing flats.
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Canadian Georgia Ellenwood played an integral role in the refinement of the spikes (as a heptathlete she wears multiple models of shoes to compete). Ellenwood says she’s in frequent communication with the UA team to make sure the spikes are perfect. “They provide prototypes, I test them, provide feedback and then we make the necessary changes. I test the prototypes at the track, during my warmups and drills and in competitive scenarios so that I can get an accurate feel for how the shoes would perform in real-life settings.” Ellenwood’s favourite pair are the Speedform Sprint Pro, because they’re super light and dynamic (she wears them for two of her seven events).
Here’s a look at the UA spikes.
UA HOVR Speedform Sprint Pro ($120)
The Sprint Pro is ideal for short sprints (the 60m through the 200m). The heel-to-toe plate is made of a combination of Pebax and carbon, and the midsole is made of Mirco G high-rebound material.
UA HOVR Smokerider ($100)
These spikes are designed for the 400m and 800m, with a nearly full-length Pebax plate and a light breathable upper. This shoe provides a great springboard for intense intervals sessions and races, but 800m runners who aren’t accustomed to sprint-style spikes should ease into them, as the full-length plate can wreak havoc on uninitiated calves. However, for 800m runners who come from a sprinting background, these will be ideal.
UA Speedform Miler 2 ($120)
For runners who compete in the 800m through the 1,500m or mile, these are the shoes for you. This spike couples EVA foam with a 3/4 length Pebax plate (shorter than that on the Smokeride, meaning a little more flexibility).
UA HOVR Shakedown
This spike is designed for distance events from the 3,000m up to the 10,000m. The HOVR Shakedown features a soft, full-length HOVR midsole and sock liner for comfortable landings. Coupled with a forefoot plate with a four-pin spike system, the shoe weighs only 133g.