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Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite: Verging Towards Super
By Matthew Klein & David Salas

Under Armour has been putting out running shoes seriously for a few years now but have consistently been missing a high-level racing shoe. As the super shoe wars continued, images began appearing with this shoe on the feet of UA elite athletes and the hype began. I've been excited to try it and finally went and bought a pair myself to see how it stacked up to its peers. After 36 miles at a variety of paces, the Under Armour has proved itself to be a neutral (not stable), comfortable, partial super shoe.

Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite
Price: $249.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 7.7 oz, 218 g (Unisex Sizing: Men's size 9/Women's size 10.5)
Stack Height: 36 mm / 28 mm
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Carbon Plated Distance Racing Shoe





RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite is a plated racing shoe and partial super shoe for those who want a soft and comfortable ride for uptempo long runs and longer races. The combination of PEBAX foam, EVA Flow and the lack of an outsole make for a soft ride with a little bounce. The plate adds some rigidity to slightly offset the soft ride but it still feels better at comfortable uptempo efforts than all-out speeds. The upper provides a slightly long, low volume, but wider fit in the forefoot. It is secure and does a good job of getting out of the way but does not have the crazy super shoe bounce many of us have come to know. The UA Velociti Elite sits as an high priced partial super shoe (EVA addition makes it a partial super shoe) for those who want a comfortable riding uptempo/longer distance racer without an aggressive feel and wants a little extra length in the upper.

David: The Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite is a plated racing shoe for a large variety of distances. The shoe uses a dual Peba midsole and Flow EVA. The Flow midsole continues on to a rubberized EVA outsole. The combination softens the ride a little and does give a touch of bounce. The shoe fits very track spike like throughout and gives a more grounded feel than most of the current racing shoes. The geometry is much flatter and will appeal those that don't respond well to sharp rockers.    

SIMILAR SHOES
: New Balance FuelCell RC Elite 2

FIT


The Under Armour Velociti Elite fits me slightly long in my US men's size 10. The volume is quite low, especially in the forefoot and midfoot, enough that I occasionally had some pinching on the top of my foot from the most distal aspect of the laces. Thick socks offset this and thanks to the slightly wider width in the forefoot thicker socks were accommodated well. The midfoot fits normal in width and I had to tighten down the laces to get a secure lockdown. The non-gusseted tongue is thin with a moderately thick center that protects the foot well from the laces. The rearfoot is snug and is flexible outside of a small heel counter at the rearmost portion of the upper. There is minimal heel collar cushioning so I did notice the heel counter at first. It is somewhat flexible but those with heel sensitivities may not do super well here unless it breaks in.

Despite the slightly longer fit, the security of the upper in the Velociti Elite is good. I did not have to lace-lock the shoe and I could easily run without a second thought to what was holding my foot on the platform. While the upper does its job well, it requires using socks. I only tried using this shoe sockless briefly and came away with several abrasions due to many wraps. The UA Warp 2.0 upper does a great job of locking down the foot but the contrast between the mesh and overlays causes some rubbing. So make sure you use socks.

David: The Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. One thing I noticed initially was that the length was a little long, though the lower volume and track like fit did not make this an issue. The fit throughout is relatively snug and you notice the lockdown very quickly upon putting the shoe on. The mesh upper is really lightweight and translucent. The material has some slight stretch to it but holds its structure really well. I felt comfortable turning on the track or in road settings. There is narrow heel counter that has an extrinsic piece up the achilles tendon area and an intrinsic counter that wraps the heel medially and laterally. I felt the heel was secure without any irritation from those components. Outside of the length issue, I really did feel locked into the shoe. 





PERFORMANCE

Matt: The Under Armour Velociti Elite is a semi-super shoe with a soft comfortable ride. There is no outsole and two layers of PEBAX and EVA-based UA Flow sit underfoot. The PEBAX foam provides a little bounce but the UA Flow midsole is soft and compliant. This provides a soft and comfortable ride from heel-to-toe. The 7.7 oz weight is noticeable in that it does not feel super light but feels light enough to be a shoe you can move faster in.

There is an 8mm drop listed although it feels closer to 6mm due to how much the midsole compresses. This also makes this shoe feel slightly lower stack height-wise than the listed 36mm/28mm if you land hard like I do. There is a centered heel bevel and a split rearfoot design in the sole. This allows the lateral aspect of the heel to compress separately, creating a crash pad and a decently smooth heel transition. The midfoot is narrow and creates a little medial bias with fatigue. The wider forefoot catches this and transitions smoothly off the toes. There is an early forefoot rocker which combined a moderately stiff carbon fiber plate creates a comfortable toe-off, especially at uptempo speeds. Initially, the forefoot was extremely stiff but it broke in after 10-15 miles. The plate is more flexible at the rearfoot and midfoot, which allows a bit of extra movement in the rear.

Use-wise, the UA Velociti Elite works well for workouts, uptempo longer runs, and tempo runs. The soft midsole makes it struggle at extremely fast interval paces, but the mild bounce and moderate stiffness do well at longer moderate to uptempo paces. One of my best runs was a 7-mile uptempo run at altitude on hilly roads. It was easy to keep an uptempo pace and I could have gone longer. When I attempted to push the pace to a tempo effort it was fine. When I tried to push faster, the softer midsole did not respond quickly enough. Once the shoe breaks in, the UA Velociti Elite does okay at easier paces but is still not an easy run shoe. Based on these experiences, it will likely function best for most people as a more comfortable, less aggressive racer for 10k to marathon distances. It is not fast enough for shorter events but does have the comfort component if you have stable mechanics for longer efforts.

Durability-wise the UA Velociti Elite is poor. I have 36 miles on my pair and I have torn through the exposed Flow midsole in my normal spot (posterior lateral heel). I will continue to get miles on these to see how long they will last, but at this rate I expect them to barely last 60-70 miles. This is not a great investment if you are hard on shoes and only those who are light on their feet will get more miles out of these.

David: The Under Armour Velociti Elite is an interesting shoe. Seeing it on the feet of Sharon Lokedi as she won the NYC marathon definitely raised appeal and interest. After putting it on I actually felt like the shoe shined at distances outside of the marathon. The overall geometry is a little more traditional with racing flats than the newer wave of racing shoes. The shoe has gradual toe spring, though feels pretty flat throughout. I actually found to enjoy this shoe when pushing off of it harder than marathon efforts. 

On the track it has good responsiveness and the flatter geometry lets you use it the way you want. The rubberized EVA outsole does seem to soften the ride a tad, though it is still firmer than other racing shoes currently. The Peba midsole is noticeable, but relatively thin. This is not as noticeable on the track, but is felt pretty quickly on the road. On the roads the midsole seems to flatten out a tad after a few miles of running on it. However, the flatter geometry and rigidity of the plate does make for a fun combination for running fast. For me personally this would be a fun 5k/10k shoe on the roads. I think half marathon and marathon are certainly doable, though it would be a niche crew that can handle this for the full 26.2. The shoe runs a little more nimble than the other racing shoes, but does ask a little more of the runner. I think it would be cool to see UA lean into this as a shorter distance option and then make a new marathon specific option. 

One of the reasons why I feel this way is the heel and midfoot design. The platform is relatively narrow through these regions and has an undercut in the foam through the midfoot medially. This creates a quick pronation moment when landing through the heel and midfoot. If you are running fast, this can actually help you transition quicker as long as you are able to resupinate ok through the forefoot. At slower paces it feels like it just pushes the motion inward and comes off a tad unstable. Over the course of the marathon this may hinder performance. Regardless of distance and design I do feel the UA Velociti Elite could benefit from adding a little more Peba and less UA Flow. I am not opposed to the rubberized EVA outsole, but it does not need to extend up as high as it does for the midsole when you have something softer and more responsive in the shoe already. 

STABILITY


Matt: The Under Armour Velociti Elite is a neutral racing shoe. There are no traditional methods of stability and no sidewalls. The forefoot sits wider like the fit but there is minimal sole flare. The midfoot sole is incredibly narrow with a medial bias as only the lateral aspect is in contact with the ground. The heel is neutral with a solid bevel and a split in the sole that lets the lateral heel act like a crash pad. This provides smooth landings and causes a little lateral motion for me initially on landing, then I get pivoted medially as I go over the midfoot. The heel and forefoot offset the midfoot, making the shoe a solid shoe that isn't unstable but certainly is not stable by any means. Those looking for an unobtrusive ride will do well here.  

David: The Under Armour Velociti Elite is about as neutral as they come. The ride feels relatively natural compared to most super shoes but does have some things that go for it and against it with stability. I feel the shoe did a good job with sole flaring through the forefoot. The platform is relatively wide and the midsole seems to act as a small sidewall for the full length of the shoe. The upper security is really good and keeps you connected to the platform well. This really shows in turning situations and makes this a solid option on the track. The thing I think people may struggle with is the heel and the midfoot. The heel is lightly rounded, but still maintains a flatter narrow geometry. For those that spend a lot of time back there they will have a hard time with rearfoot stability. The midfoot is also a little narrow with an undercut medially in the foam. This will increase the amount of pronation and speed it happens upon landing. At fast paces this might actually help with form if the runner is efficient enough to resupinate at toe off. At slower paces this may be detrimental and make the runner work harder to keep form. The Velociti Elite is certainly a neutral racing shoe. 



Thoughts as a DPT: The Impact of Outsoles on Ride
By Matthew Klein

The underfoot feel of a running shoe is multidimensional and the sum of all its parts (Agresta et al., 2020). Insoles, the midsole, plates/stiffness/flex points and the outsole all play important roles in how firm or soft a shoe feels. Outsoles refer to the bottom-most portion of the sole that is in contact with the ground. They are usually a firmer material that connects with the surface to provide traction, abrasion resistance, and to protect the midsole from whatever terrain the runner uses them on. The softer midsole foams often are not abrasion resistance and can wear out quickly, so outsoles are used to add life to the shoes and protect those softer foams. Some shoes do not have outsoles; the UA Velociti Elite being a current example and the Nike Free series being a more well-known group of shoes without these shoe components. 

While outsoles add durability to the outsole (usually), they also often add firmness. More dense materials do not compress as much and will add rigidity and an element of higher durometer foam underfoot. This can either make the overall ride feel more firm or stiff if there are not flex grooves to allow the sole to bend over/through this layer. A shoe that lacks an outsole will usually feel comparatively softer as the insole and midsole's true feel can shine better without any influence from a bottom layer. The trade-off is decreased abrasion resistance and durability. 

More research is needed on how outsoles effect running performance and economy. We do know they can influence perception and may make a shoe feel more firm or stiff but beyond that it is unclear. Next time you are looking at a shoe, do not just assess the midsole material as that is not the only thing that will influence the ride. A shoe is the sum of all its parts and thus the entire thing must be taken into account when assessing how you might respond to it underfoot. 

Sources:

Agresta, C., Peacock, J., Carmichael, A., Nielsen, K. E., Zendler, J., & Gonzalez, R. (2020). The perception of ride is multidimensional for running footwear. Footwear Science12(1), 15-24.




RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: While the ride is comfortable, this is not a true super shoe. The partial PEBAX foam makes for a soft ride but not a super fast one. My biggest suggestion for Under Armour is to either make this a full-height PEBAX midsole with a thin layer of more durable outsole material or significantly drop the price. I would put this shoe at $160-$180 tops. UA could have been far more creative with using the Flow material as a cage for a more stable ride. Another possibility is to cut out more of the Flow midsole internally and fill it with more PEBAX foam to create a stable cradle. Regardless, I would suggest filling in the midfoot a bit to create more ground contact. The plate isn't stiff enough to offset that narrowness of the midfoot and may also benefit from being stiffer to offset the soft ride. The more compliant ride does make this a unique and comfortable workout/less aggressive race shoe, albeit an expensive one. Finally, circling back to my comment above I would add a real outsole to this shoe. For $250 I expect this shoe to last longer and I am already tearing through the midsole. This is a decent first attempt from Under Armour and demonstrates some higher performance thinking, but some lessons need to be learned for version 2. 

David: I enjoyed my time with the Velociti Elite, though do have some recommendations. I think the Velociti Elite would benefit from using their Peba foam more and letting the midsole shine. The large amount of Flow midsole seems to flatten the ride out, despite making a softer landing on the rubberized EVA. I also think the midfoot medially could be adjusted. The undercut creates a fast pronation moment and really only works when running at faster efforts. Otherwise I find myself needing to work a little harder. The upper security is great outside of it running a tad long. The Velociti Elite shines at shorter and faster efforts, so I think it would be really interesting to see UA tackle a higher stack rockered option to make a model more marathon friendly. 

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR

Matt: The UA Velociti Elite is for those that like Under Armour and want to try their first semi-super shoe. The upper fits slightly long but is secure and provides a bit more room upfront with a lower volume. The ride is extremely soft and comfortable. It is not the fastest ride and is certainly not a top-tier racing shoe. However, for those that prioritize comfort over all-out speed, but still want a carbon plate and some PEBAX foam, the UA Velociti Elite may fit the bill for 10k to marathon distance efforts. It is certainly one of the more comfortable uptempo shoes out there, although it is not stable contrary to many other reviewers' opinions.

I appreciate UA's attempt at getting a super shoe out to market, however I am confused with their extremely high pricing. I still think $250 is far too much for this shoe. For this price, I would expect a full-height PEBAX midsole and some outsole rubber for durability. The price and function of this shoe may be a major deterrent to many people purchasing this shoe, but I still want to encourage the UA team to keep trying and working on version 2. There is an incredible amount of potential here and I am excited to see what gets updated. That said, this is still an incredibly comfortable uptempo shoe and if you can get a great deal on pair like I did ($110), they are certainly worth a try. 

David: The UA Velociti Elite will be a racing shoe for those that are sensitive to rockers and like a more grounded feel. The shoe uses a dual layer midsole with Peba on top and UA Flow (EVA) underneath. There is a rubberized EVA outsole that softens the landing a tad. With that said it still runs firmer than other racing shoes on the market currently. The geometry is on the flatter end and will work well for those that like geometries like that. I enjoy the shoe for pushing the pace (5k/10k) but some can take it longer distances. I think this shoe has a lot of potential for improvement and could be a killer at shorter distances with some tweaks. 


GRADING

Matt
Fit: B+/A- (Slightly long, lower volume but wider fit. Secure but definitely requires moderate thickness socks)
Performance: 
B (Comfortable lighter cushioned ride for longer uptempo runs and races. Semi super shoe but not full)
Stability: B [Neutral] (Narrow midfoot offset by wider forefoot and split heel allows lateral aspect to compress separately)
DPT/Footwear Science: C (Price is NOT justified by partial super foam and EVA foam. Narrow midfoot creates medial bias, which isn't great for those with any stability needs. Ride comfortable but not among the best)
Personal: B (A really comfortable ride but not that fastest by any means. Not a shoe I would choose to race in over any other of the top options. Great for workouts and uptempo efforts. Would never pay full price for these.)
Overall: B/B-

David
Fit: A- (Great lockdown throughout, light with good reinforcement. Length is a tad long though.)
Performance: 
B+ (Situation dependent for me. I like this for pushing the pace but for longer controlled efforts this seems a tad too flat on the roads)
Stability: (Great upper, good grounded feel, narrow heel and midfoot undercut does create for some fast pronation)
DPT/Footwear Science: B- (Depends on the angle. For most this will be unstable through the midfoot at controlled paces with the heel and undercut midfoot. At fast paces it could actually help for short periods of time. Overall a comfortable but mechanically conflicting shoe.)
Personal: B (A niche option for me. I really like the way this feels on the track and for shorter intervals. I struggle with longer reps or mileage on it. But, for track days they'll most likely be on my feet again soon.)
Overall: B


SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite
Price: $249.95 at Running Warehouse

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Asics Metaspeed LD [Track Spike] - Flytefoam Turbo and a carbon plate power this super spike
Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 - We look at Brooks premier racing shoe
Hoka Rocket X 2  - Hoka finally has its first real super shoe with this PEBA-based racer
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 - A full redesign of their super shoe offers the best ride yet, but with one issue
Nike Vaporfly Next% 3 - A better fit and new geometry make the Vaporfly 3 the best yet
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 - One of our favorite racers sees its upgrade, but is it better?
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Saucony Terminal VT [Track Spike] - Saucony's new middle distance super spike, featuring PWRRUN HG

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased for $110 from Poshmark with personal funds (Matt), 1 pair seeded from Under Armour (David). This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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