Under Armour Speedform RC General Info:
The company’s latest venture into the lightweight market, the Under Armour Speedform RC is a shoe which puts design at the forefront. Boasting slim-designed fabrics, a seamless upper, and a silicone heel cup, the Speedform is fabricated with performance at heart.
Under Armour Speedform RC First Impression:
The Speedform has a sleek design that simply looks fast–smooth lines, simple design and construction, and a unique heel unit all lend to a unique appearance right out of the box. Built in conjunction with Playtex to create a “bra-like fit” in the heel, the Speedform cradled quite well and prevented the back of my foot from slipping. The six millimeter drop created a fairly-neutral platform without unnecessary guidance in the back of the shoe.
Under Armour Speedform RC Sole Unit:
The sole of the Speedform feels flat and stiff for a lightweight shoe, especially when compared to other performance-minded shoes within its class. The stack height also seemed unusually high for a lightweight shoe, particularly due to its stiffness.
I would be curious to see how a thinner sole would feel for a shoe which does not have much “give” in the sole, as I typically opt for more ground-feel in minimalist models. All told, the sole on the Speedform is highly durable and responsive for long and short runs.
Under Armour Speedform RC Upper:
My thoughts on Speedform’s upper are mixed: the material itself was unlike anything I had encountered before–an interesting fusion of soft materials that maintained the right kind of rigidity (staying soft while not clinging to the foot).
Ultimately, however, the upper caused blisters on the side of my big right two on more than a few occasions. I was surprised to find blisters, as this does not happen in most of the shoes I review. That the Speedform’s literature promotes the soft, second-skin fit of the upper’s material, that I had recurring blisters was unfortunate and surprising.
Outside of the upper being blister-prone for me, I found the upper to be satisfactory. My feet stayed dry and secure, even in inclement weather. The tongue and laces still leave much to be desired, as their construction did not feel as well-designed as the rest of the sole unit. The tongue is composed of a sheer mesh material, and the laces felt cheap as compared to the rest of the shoe.
Under Armour Speedform RC Opinion:
The Speedform is a great effort for Under Armour as it makes a concerted effort to create performance-minded shoes in the running market. Ultimately, the Speedform still leaves a bit to be desired–mostly with an unusually-thick sole, hotspot-prone design points in the toe box, and a few design flaws in the tongue.
The Speedform is still, however, a formidable entry into the market for Under Armour, and could provide a lightweight option for runners looking for minimalist sensibilities within a thicker-soled shoe.
We thank the nice people at Under Armour for sending us a pair of Speedform RC to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.