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The SELF 2023 Sneaker Awards

Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite Review: This Sneaker Makes for Fast and Fun Racing

So much so that SELF’s fitness director laced up in a pair for her 10K.
Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite
Under Armour / Amanda K Bailey

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  • Lightweight and cool
  • Lots of pop for quick speeds
  • Looks great
  • Not as cushiony as other super shoes
  • Runs a bit narrow

When you line up at the start of any race—whether it’s a small neighborhood event or a World Marathon Major—chances are, you’ll see “super shoes” on a whole bunch of feet. These carbon-plated, cushioned trainers help you pick up the pace by boosting energy return, and they simply make racing a whole lot of fun.

Most running shoe brands now have their own version of them, and when I learned Under Armour was entering the fray with its new Flow Velociti Elite, I was eager to give them a try. I tested out a sample pair for SELF’s 2023 Sneaker Awards—and ended up enjoying them so much that I laced them up for the first 10K I’ve raced in several years. Here are my thoughts on the shoe.

Who it’s for

The Flow Velociti Elite is a racing shoe, made specifically for runners who are looking to push the pace at longer distances, like half marathons or marathons. Basically, if you’re looking for a PR, you’d gravitate to this kind of shoe.

Christa Sgobba

Out of the box

I have to admit: When I opened up the box and took out these shoes, my first thought was skepticism. The shoes looked so pretty that I was afraid they were going to be more about appearance than function. They’re a beautiful seafoam green color (with popping lime accents) with an almost dainty, see-through mesh upper that looks very cool. Appearance-wise, they looked more like a traditional running shoe—they lacked the super high stack height and futuristic details of other super shoes I’ve tried. Plus, they felt super light (weighing 7.5 ounces).

Christa Sgobba

Fit and Feel

I tried these in my normal street-shoe size, and they fit fine. Normally I go up half a size in running shoes (to allow for movement and slight swelling with activity), but I still had a little extra room at the top, so these might run a bit big. The shoe also has a streamlined, svelte look and runs a bit narrow in the toe box. While I was okay with my normal shoe size, I think a half size up could have also worked too (especially for runs longer than an hour).

The shoe laces up securely (no heel slippage!) and the padded tongue and heel add a little extra TLC. For super shoes, they didn’t feel overly cushiony—they’re definitely more of a firm support—but they sure did feel light. It got me excited to take them out for a fast run and put their speed chops to the test.

Christa Sgobba

On the run

The first time I wore this shoe was during a tempo workout that had me going 20 minutes at my 10K pace. My immediate takeaway? These shoes are fun to run in.

Thanks to the carbon fiber plate and the responsive cushioning, the shoe has some serious pop, encouraging quick turnover and giving me a boost in my step. Couple that with the lightness of the shoe, and it really felt like my legs could just keep going. I wound up hitting my paces pretty easily and didn’t feel quite as fatigued as usual when the tempo was done.

One thing about these that I really loved was that I felt more secure and stable in them than I did in other super shoes. Sneakers with tons of cushion or a super high stack make me feel wobbly, and I definitely need to slow down when taking corners. With the Flow Velociti Elite, I felt more like I was able to maintain feedback from the ground; my agility didn’t take a hit.

Also, the same mesh upper that looked so pretty out of the box actually came in handy on the road: It was great for air flow, letting in a bit of a breeze during super hot and humid northeastern mornings.

Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite Running Shoes

Bottom line

I loved the pickup with this shoe so much during my initial testing period for the Sneaker Awards that I chose them for my upcoming 10K—and finished just seconds off my PR. I had a great race in them; I felt fast, sure, but thanks to that energy return, I also didn’t feel like I needed to immediately take a nap afterward. They’ll definitely be in my rotation for my next one.

One thing, though. While these super shoes are marketed for half marathons or marathons, I actually think a 10K race is more of its sweet spot. For longer-duration races, I’d prefer more of a cushioned shoe. But for events where the overall time may be shorter and speed is of the essence, these would be a great choice. In fact, I’m already planning on testing them out again at an upcoming 5K.