If you’re looking for a firm racer which is reminiscent of the facing flats of the past, the Velociti Elite might be a good option. If you have high volume or wide feet, the Velociti Elite will also be very comfortable.
If you’re looking for a cutting-edge super shoe which provides plenty of speed assistance, the Velociti Elite is not the shoe for you. If you enjoy a really soft, bouncy ride, the Velociti Elite is also not the shoe for you.
As one of the biggest sports brands in the world, Under Armour is very, very late to the carbon fibre super shoe party. Nike launched their Vaporfly 4% in 2017 and now, only 6 years later, Under Armour has globally launched their first super shoe.
The Velociti Elite takes inspiration from Under Armour’s Velociti Wind training shoe. Both shoes use Warp uppers and have no outsoles but use the Flow midsole foam as the outsole.
When I tried the Velociti Wind, I liked the smooth transitions and padded landings but the ride wasn’t soft or lively enough for me to add it into my rotation. It was relatively light for an Under Armour trainer and I enjoyed how agile it felt.
The Velociti Elite is the first Under Armour running shoe to have a full-length carbon plate in its midsole. It’s also the first UA shoe to feature their Pebax 44C midsole foam.
The Velociti Elite was worn by Sharon Lokedi when she won the 2022 New York City marathon in her marathon debut but this doesn’t tell us much about the shoe because a good runner could use any shoe and still win. The win has created a lot more hype for the shoe’s release though.
The Velociti Elite weighs 7.7 oz (218 g) for a men’s US9 which is a very competitive weight. It has 36 mm/28 mm midsole stack heights which are quite a bit lower than the marathon super shoes from other brands that come in at or close to 40 mm in the heel.
It’s priced at $250 which is the same price as the Nike, Adidas, ASICS, Brooks and Hoka super shoes.
I was lucky enough to get invited to the launch event of the Velociti Elite here in Malaysia. When I held the shoe in my hands for the first time and I inspected it, I was surprised that there wasn’t any strobel lasting underneath the insole- you could see the midsole foam. This was the first time I have seen this in a racing shoe. Usually racers need the lasting so that your feet don’t sink down into the foam so much.
My first run was a workout consisting of 2 km and 1 km intervals. I was disappointed with the ride of the Velociti Elite because it felt more like a racing flat than a super shoe. The ride felt flat without much speed assistance from the sole and it felt a lot firmer than I expected it to.
It reminded me of 2 shoes: the UA Velociti Wind because of the similar sole setup and the Adidas Adizero Pro which was another firm, carbon super shoe that felt like a racing flat. The Velociti Elite felt a tad softer than the Adizero Pro though.
The landings felt padded and smooth due to the absence of outsole rubber but the shoe was greatly lacking in bounce and energy return which is a must-have for a marathon super shoe.
The upper of the Velociti Elite is one of the more comfortable super shoe uppers, it’s accommodating and lockdown is excellent, however, it has some serious durability issues.
During my first run, the tongue ripped, close to the bottom because it’s so thin and has micro perforations. I find it too thin and I can feel the lacing pressure through the tongue. It’s also non gusseted so it slides downwards during runs.
The Warp 2.0 mesh is extremely porous and breathability is very good. It also won’t pick up much sweat during races in warm climates.
The fit is spacious and accommodating in the midfoot, forefoot, and toe box; I recommend going true to size. For me, it works best with medium or thick socks.
There are a few reasons why the Velociti Elite feels like a racing flat and not a super shoe. The main reason is that its midsole is so firm. The Pebax layer on top as well as the supercritical Flow layer at the bottom don’t compress that much so the midsole is very dense.
With such a dense, firm midsole, the carbon plate inside it can’t travel a lot when it’s loaded so there’s no springboard propulsion. Decathlon’s KD900X also had the same problem because it too had a Peba midsole which was too firm.
The second reason is that there isn’t a high toe spring to speed up transitions so the ride just feels flat. There’s no rocker to improve efficiency and your feet have to do most of the work.
The third reason is that the Velociti Elite is only 36 mm in the heel so it doesn’t feel like a modern, maximalist racer. It’s not such a tall shoe and your foot doesn’t sit very high off the ground compared to other super shoes.
It feels much better at fast paces below 5 minutes per kilometre than slow paces because it has a firm forefoot that you can push off from, however, the firm forefoot can feel harsh during longer distances if you aren’t used to a firm ride.
The Velociti Elite doesn’t have a soft ride but it has plenty of cushioning, enough for a full marathon. I did 40 kilometres in it one Saturday morning and while it wasn’t a fun experience, it protected my feet well enough for the full distance and I was able to recover relatively quickly.
I feel that it’s best suited to short, fast stuff like intervals and short threshold runs where you don’t need long distance comfort or energy-saving efficiency. It also has better stability than most super shoes due to the firm ride so it’s easy to corner in it.
The 1.2 mm carbon plate in the Velociti Elite has some flexibility so it’s not an extremely stiff shoe. I would prefer the plate to be more rigid which would result in a snappier forefoot with more propulsion.
Landings are unique and more padded than any other super shoe due to the Flow midsole which forms the outsole. This supercritical version of Flow feels softer and more forgiving than the version that’s in the Velociti Wind. Durability is much worse though because of the softer density.
After 80 kilometres of testing, the outsole on my pair has been ripped up by the road on the lateral heel areas where I strike. Outsole durability is extremely low and this is a racer that should only be used for races.
Grip on the other hand is excellent. There were many times when I ran in the rain and the rubberless outsole provided great traction.
The Velociti Elite just isn’t on the same level as the other super shoes and it doesn’t offer much speed assistance. I feel sorry for fast Under Armour elite athletes like Sharon Lokedi and Stephen Scullion because they could run faster in a more competitive racer. At least Under Armour has a carbon-plated racer now: it’s better than having nothing and having their athletes run in blacked-out super shoes from other brands.
At $250, the Velociti Elite is way too expensive for what you get and I don’t recommend it. It has low outsole durability and my pair had a tongue flaw where it ripped on my first run. It also feels more like an old school racing flat, not like a modern super shoe- it doesn’t have good propulsion or punchy toe offs.
I probably won’t continue using the Velociti Elite in my rotation because I find it too firm, too flat and not a fun ride. Under Armour needs to redesign the Velociti Elite: it needs a softer midsole foam, a more aggressive toe spring and more midsole stack height.
If you have wide feet and you need a racer with a spacious upper, the Velociti Elite might be an option for you but you need to be used to a firm ride and be fine with a low durability.