Valentine’s Day holds a special place in Under Armour’s heart. Founder and executive chairman Kevin Plank raised the seed money to start the sportswear company by selling flowers on the holiday when he was a college student in the 1990s.
On the day that started it all, Under Armour shook things up in New York City with a new retail experience. The UA Flatiron popup provides an in-depth brand experience, allowing coonsumers to get an up-close look at the company’s new performance apparel and the latest iteration of the shoe that athletes like Steph Curry and Tom Brady have been rocking lately—the UA SlipSpeed.
“Under Armour’s mission is to make athletes better. In order to do that, it’s imperative that we listen to their needs, and we heard our athletes wanted more versatile performance wear—gear that could be pushed to the limit during a workout, then transition comfortably back into daily life,” Lisa Collier, chief product officer at Under Armour, said. “Those athlete insights are the driving force that inspired not only the UA SlipSpeed, but the full head-to-toe performance solutions featured at the pop-up.”
This trainer features a convertible heel design, transforming from sneakers to slides in seconds. Attempting to transcend the typical shopping experience, the popup provides a physical manifestation of what Under Armour says it’s all about—creating with the courage and conviction to defy convention, innovating by taking bold and smart risks, and showing up big where athletes train, compete and recover.
“At Under Armour we love athletes and are in relentless pursuit of making them better,” Plank said. “This pop-up exemplifies the same grit and hustle that we present more than 20 years ago and allows us to bring one of our latest innovations to a sophisticated market like New York. We will continue to innovate and solve for athlete problems just as we have with the UA SlipSpeed.”
At the popup launch, attendees heard from Plank himself about the future of Under Armour, created customized basketball jerseys and left with their own pair of UA SlipSpeeds. The party to celebrate the popup, now open to the public at 139 5th Avenue in Manhattan, also featured an onsite DJ, an in-store live mural painting with customizable UA SlipSpeeds, a contest for a chance to win Under Armour product and more. The UA Flatiron popup is open for a limited time only with product drops, surprise giveaways and pro athlete appearances.
The UA SlipSpeed sneaker is available for $150 and was released last October in response to athletes’ demands for a multi-dimensional shoe. A sneaker specifically engineered for training with options for all-day wear, the shoe features signature UA Flow and Iso-Chill technologies plus the BOA Fit System and “crushable” heel design.
“When we took a look at the market and spoke with athletes, what we continued to hear was the need for versatility—there was a clear demand for an innovative and versatile solution in the performance footwear category,” said Marcus Cheatham, director of product, special teams, at Under Armour. “What we have created with UA SlipSpeed is a trainer that not only adjusts to fit your specific footwear needs any time of the day, but also still packs in some of our biggest performance innovations like UA Flow and UA Iso-Chill for optimum training.”
When someone crushes the heel of a regular shoe, they deteriorate the footwear’s performance attributes. In creating the UA SlipSpeed heel folding technology, wearers can have a comfortable underfoot experience without compromising performance capabilities. Plus, the BOA Fit System delivers a micro-adjustable, personalized fit—wearers can dial in to secure their feet for tough reps or release the tension for relaxed wear.
The UA SlipSpeed leverages UA Flow technology, the same proprietary foam compound used in Steph Curry’s signature Curry Flow line. With UA Flow’s lightweight cushioning and pioneering traction, the UA SlipSpeed is designed to deliver comfort and performance.
“When I received my first pair of UA SlipSpeed, I was excited to have a shoe that could take me from a hard workout in the gym to running errands with the kids without the need to bring another pair of shoes along,” said Michael Phelps, world champion swimmer and Under Armour ambassador. “I was able to share some of my feedback with the team after testing out the shoe for a while, and I am excited to see it come to market for athletes and exercise enthusiasts of all abilities to take advantage of.”
The shoe underwent rigorous testing to ensure that the heel transforms for the wearing occasion while still giving wearers the support they need and cushioning to react to their activity level. Additional testing was done to ensure that UA SlipSpeed could hold up in the washing machine.
Available online and through Dick’s Sporting Goods, the full global launch is scheduled for Spring 2023.