A little late to the super shoe game, Under Armour is finally releasing its own marathon racing shoe, the UA Flow Velociti Elite. Partially modeled after Under Armour’s daily trainer, the UA Flow Velociti Wind 2, it also introduces a new Under Armour foam for the majority of the cushioning.
Once I got it in hand, the UA Flow Velociti Elite both looked and felt the part of a legit marathon racing shoe. But the real test was getting it on foot and going fast. I really enjoyed the experience. Here’s why:
UA Flow Velociti Elite
Release Date: June 2022 (limited), Spring 2023 (Global)
Sizing: True to Size
- Rundown: The UA Flow Velociti Elite is a bouncy marathon shoe that’s surprisingly stable and fun to use for most road racing distances.
- Pebax & Flow
- WARP 2.0 Upper
- Tongue (edges)
- Outsole Durability
Pebax & Flow
Under Armour’s Flow, a foam that’s great at blunting the impact of forceful ground strikes is used as the bottom layer (and outsole) of this cushioning combo. It appears to be a softer version of the Flow originally used on the Jordan 37 and the UA Flow Velociti Wind.
But the real hero, so to speak, is the thick slab of pelletized Pebax foam that sits above the Flow. Pebax now appears on almost every marathon racing shoe of consequence. Why? Because it’s both extremely light and super springy. Since Nike showed the world Pebax’s capabilities with the Vaporfly Next%, runners have sought it out in droves.
Is Pebax worthy of the hype? Yes. Just look at our list of Best Marathon Racing Shoes. Under Armour adding Pebax to its arsenal is a signal that they’re serious about high-end running shoes.
The Pebax and Flow are separated by a full-length carbon plate, which while not an Under Armour first, is well used here. Together, the two foams and the plate deliver a snappiness. Dig your foot into the ground, and it pushes back with equal force. And it all happens without feeling too stiff or clunky. It’s just a smooth ride from landing toe-off. It feels similar to, but also an improvement on the midsole of the original Saucony Endorphin Pro.
The Flow outsole again delivers better than expected traction. As you can tell from my photos, I got these out in some vicious southern rainstorms and experienced zero slippage. Every time I test a shoe with a Flow outsole, I expect slippage as it’s just foam gripping the ground. But each time I can take turns at breakneck speeds and don’t have to worry about my footing. A shoe that grips like the UA Flow Velociti Elite is a great option when conditions are tough.
WARP 2.0 Upper
WARP is a knit, nylon, and mesh upper pattern with both vertical and horizontal lines providing containment and lockdown. As I’ve stated in my previous Velociti Wind reviews, WARP is comfy and supportive while also extremely breathable and flexible. It’s Under Amour’s best running shoe upper, so it makes sense that it would appear on Under Armour’s best and most expensive running shoe.
The WARP 2.0 upper is slightly tweaked from previous models including fewer layers to get even lighter and more breathable. The changes are perfect for a race day shoe. This upper stacks up very well with other marathon racing competitors.
Despite what is a narrow-ish race day build, the Jordan Luka 1 is a super stable shoe. The combo of the Flow layer of cushion cresting into a triangular heel counter type piece, the actual traditional hidden heel counter, and the lockdown of the WARP upper all work in tandem to keep the foot on the footbed. Marathon racing shoes often leave you sliding off the footbed or feeling tipsy around high-angled turns. But that doesn’t happen at all in the Velociti Elite.
Because of this stability, I can see the Velociti Elite translating well as a 5k racing shoe. You get a great bounce from the midsole while never feeling insecure navigating tricky corners.
I don’t love synthetic suede tongues because synthetic suede is kinda gross when super sweaty. Performance-wise they work fine though. And the tongue on the UA Flow Velociti Elite is ok, except for the edges.
Below the collar of the shoe, the edges of the tongue fold over underneath the tongue every time you slip your foot into the shoe. Trying to fix them lasts seconds before they just flip right back. It’s super annoying and leaves the tongue feeling a little thicker towards the bottom edges. It didn’t result in any hotspots for me, but it did tick me off and make me consider potential solutions like cutting the edges off (though I’m not sure that would completely solve the problem). I talked to others that tried the shoe, and it happened to them as well. It’s not a huge issue, more a minor annoyance…but one that shouldn’t happen on a brand’s flagship marathon racing shoe.
We’ve seen this particular con pop up on a lot of marathon racing shoes, and most of those have some rubber on the bottom. Flow is surprisingly durable for a foam outsole and lasts longer than most other foam outsoles (I’m looking at you Hoka).
But, when you pay $250 for a marathon racing shoe, the foam fraying after 40-50 miles is disconcerting. Will the shoe last 250-300 miles? Yes. I’m just worried that by mile 200, some wearers may not get the same reliable traction due to excess wear. Not a deal breaker, but if you’re tough on outsoles, it’s something to consider as you choose your marathon racing shoe.
UA Flow Velociti Elite Summary
The UA Flow Velociti Elite packs the best midsole cushion combo in Under Armour’s short history of running shoes. It’s bouncy and protective. It’s not quite as good as the best marathon racing shoes out right now, but it’s still a viable racing option if you enjoy the shoe’s fit and feel.
The Velociti Elite grips well in all conditions, has a fantastic upper, and is way more stable than expected. It’s got a couple of small issues but nothing that’s a deal breaker. All in all, the UA Flow Velociti Elite is a super fun shoe that shows off some distinctive Under Armour DNA. It also makes me hope Under Armour keeps making high-end marathon racing shoes because they bring a different perspective to the running shoe industry.