The Threadborne design aesthetic from Under Armour is picking up the pace, and the new UA Fortis 3 is the third of its name.
Built for fast-paced runners, Under Armour’s take on the woven upper is integrated with its Charged midsole cushioning foam for a shoe that claims to feel as dynamic as it looks.
Starting from the bottom, the outsole is identical to a bunch of models from the current Under Armour lineup, featuring a hard-wearing rubber outsole with plenty of well-spaced flex grooves across the width of the forefoot.
The heel is interestingly cored out at the centre, and this has multiple advantages. It allows the midsole foam to distribute the shock load more evenly and helps to reduce the weight of material underfoot.
A cool side effect is that now if you walk on a totally smooth and hard surface such as a polished wooden floor, the heel zone becomes an accidental suction cup and you can feel it stick when you land heel-first! It’s not something that you’re likely to do when running though, because, despite the 10mm heel drop, the Fortis 3 isn’t a stability enhancing shoe. The weave and components of the uppers mark this as one for the high-cadence, low ground contact crowd.
The upper is sewn in multiple directions for both flex and support. While it looks like a design orientated crisscrossing of lines at first glance, there is a method to the madness, and it works. It feels barely on when you’re wearing it, and this is helped by the seamless inners. The idea here is that your foot can move freely while the sole, which provides cushioning and traction, stays attached to the bottom of your foot.
Essentially, it’s a sock with cushioning. You could wear it without socks, but depending on individual foot shapes the lowest lacing lug may rub on your toe below. If it irritates you, a sock of any thickness will help alleviate the issue instantly.
The ankle collar is unique in that it is sewn to come up from the internal bootie, separate from the regular lacing, which works to pull your foot backwards and securely into the collar when the laces are tightened.
This eliminates practically all heel slip while running, and while you do feel a little more material around your ankle when compared to the competition, the security is quite reassuring.
On a run, the initial observations of the Fortis 3 are confirmed as the shoe relishes in quick paces with steady ankle movements. It rewards midfoot strikers with a lively step off, and while the official specification rates it with a moderate 100m heel drop it really doesn’t feel as steep as that on a run. I wouldn’t wear it for distances beyond 12km, but for fast sessions below that distance, it’s a great companion.
Runners are a loyal bunch, however, and nowhere is this more evident than in the shoes that continue to pound the tarmac. Brands like ASICS and Mizuno have shoes that are into their twentieth generation and more. In the grand scheme of things, Under Armour is practically a baby, but it’s a fast-growing one. In just three generations, the UA Fortis has gone from being a curious outsider to a serious contender.
Get yours now at underarmour.com.sg!