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.
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).
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.