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New Under Armour Sneaker Will Offer Connected Coaching

The upcoming UA HOVR Machina running silhouette from Under Armour claims to change the way runners assess their progress, allowing “unprecedented” insight into its wearer’s running form through a new digital running platform.

The Baltimore-based athletic giant says the shoe offers the comfort of long-distance running footwear while embracing speedy features from the racing category.

This means that runners won’t have to choose between the dense cushioning found in long-distance shoes or the lightweight, agile aspects of racing flats, Under Armour said.

“With the UA HOVR Machina, we’ve found the ideal balance of cushion and energy return in a lightweight package—delivering snappy speed and a smooth ride—to make a shoe for runners who want to break through their goals in 2020,” Topher Gaylord, group general manager of run, train and outdoor at Under Armour, said in a statement.

A two-pronged, carbon-filled Pebax propulsion plate reminiscent of those found in marathon-racing footwear keeps runners up on their toes, increasing energy return. The plate sits within a UA HOVR midsole, a proprietary lightweight foam, improving cushioning without adding additional weight to the silhouette—even though it contains about 20 percent more cushioning than the recently released UA HOVR Infinite.

Under Armour leveraged “precise geometry” to build the shoe without a cage surrounding the midsole, which meant designers could add more cushioning foam to the silhouette without weighing it down.

“What I like about the UA HOVR Machina is when I’m 12 miles in a long run, I still feel springy, light, and cushioned,” Aisha Praught Leer, middle-distance runner, Olympian and sponsored Under Armour athlete, said. “This shoe gives me the comfort I need during high-volume training weeks, while still feeling fast enough for all of my workouts.”

Under Armour has come out with a new feature for its running app, MapMyRun, which allows for detailed running form coaching when connected to the new UA HOVR Machina.

An “uncaged” midsole allowed designers to infuse 20 percent more UA HOVR foam into the Machina.

The shoe will be connected to the upcoming Form Coaching feature on Under Armour’s existing MapMyRun mobile app. Digital sensors embedded in the Machina collect data and track each run, similar to many smart shoes. Under Armour’s new shoe differentiates by collecting additional information on detailed running data like average foot strike angle and ground contact time during post-run analysis.

This lets the app provide real-time, personalized guidance on running form, which could help runners avoid injury and improve running time throughout the course of a run, Under Armour said.

“With UA connected footwear and real-time Form Coaching, you’re essentially getting a personalized coach, who gives instantaneous feedback to help you reach your goals,” Ben McAllister, the senior director of MapMyRun and connected footwear, said.

All of the footwear released under Under Armour’s 2020 run suite will include the same digital technology. The Form Coaching feature will be released on MapMyRun on Feb.1 with the UA HOVR Machina available for purchase on Feb. 7 through Under Armour stores, the UA Shop App and select retail partners.

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