Monday, May 17, 2010

The Under Armour Illusion Review: It’s Magical

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For years I ran in Brooks – the grandpa shoe maker (I ran in their motion control shoes which are white and grey and look about as sporty as an RV).  I ran in the Beast (shown above) and their Addiction models (not shown because they’re so ugly).  I have flat feet, so I sort of had to but I knew there was more than grandpa shoes out there – I wanted to run and not be ashamed of my shoes. 

THEN I ran for Zoot, but they didn’t make much of a training shoe and I ended up breaking their carbon-soled bottoms the the amount of torque I was putting on the shoes – so they had me try their motion control racer but it left the ball of my foot bruised. Then I started running in some of the new Under Armour models – the Spectre (Neutral), the Revenant (their motion control) and the Illusion (also motion control). 

The Illusion (technically, it’s the Illusion II) became my favorite and had the same super grippy sole that I’ve come to love – I can run on trails, in mud and on the road in the same shoes because they simply don’t slip.  The Brooks were HORRIBLE when I went off road.  See the super outer grippiness of the UA Illusion vs the Brooks Beast?  The Beast is really a tame little mouse that slips on the dirt and they’re overly cushioned, too heavy and even with a splash of blue, they’re embarrassing to wear after the run is over. 

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So recently UA released their V2 of the Under Armour Illusion.  I was shocked at the improvements over V1, but it was even more amazing.  Amazing like Olivia Newton John on roller skates, singing and being cute. 

  • Stability
  • Cushion (not TOO much)
  • Traction
  • Awesome road feel
  • Solid fit

I didn’t mention the looked awesome but they do, but you don’t have to embrace the yellow ones I do – I run nearly every day before 7am, so the added visibility for drivers who might still be only on their 2nd cup of joe or possibly had just switched to Sanka. 

I’ve used these for my trail runs, my tempo run, my long run, my accelerations, and my simulated race that I do every 12 days.  So far they’ve performed beyond my expectations and I’ll be ordering a 2nd pair soon.  If you run in any motion control shoe, I’d try these – I’m a heavy runner (over 180) and these have been perfect for me.  It’s possible I might just race in these, despite them being trainers – I know they won’t blister my feet (I run barefoot in them), they have great off-road traction and I won’t end the race with bruised feet. 

It’s also possible these may make you better looking because people won’t see your feet and think ‘runner’ – they’ll see them and assume you’re smart, handsome, your calves are amazing, you make unquestionably GOOD choices and you are of course spontaneous (because women always say they love that). 

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