First Impressions of the Under Armour Horizon RTT:
Hmm…there is a lot going on with that upper. Looks pretty bombproof though. Maybe that’s a good thing? No directional lugs? Interesting choice. Then I picked the Under Armour Horizon RTT up and examined it closer…
…yup, that is one durable looking and feeling upper. And wow, that’s a lot of padded foam around the heel collar. Feels like it’s in that middle ground weight-wise (men’s size 9 = 10.6oz). OK, so how does it perform?
UA says it’s a “Durable PU & textile upper for breathability & reliable protection”
Now for more details. In this review we’ll break things down in to five areas:
- What’s good: the new, differentiating, or simply well designed or built features or aspects of the shoe
- What’s decent: the features or aspects that are OK but not particularly new or differentiating
- What could be improved: tweaks or improvements that could be made to make the shoe better
- When to use it: the situations or scenarios where the shoe excels
- How it compares: my current go-to shoes and how this compares
I’ll try to be as succinct as possible. After all, you’ve probably got more running you can do today!
What’s good about the Under Armour Horizon RTT?
- Upper durability. They certainly got that part of the equation right. With all of the welded, synthetic covering nearly 80+% of the shoe this upper will hold up to abuse.
Yes, there is mesh under all of that synthetic.
Not an overly protective bumper, but that’s fine. It’s good.
What Else is Good?
- The cush. Say what you want about full-length EVA midsoles but I still really like them. Yes, some of the newer midsole foam and rubber combinations may respond better while still being nice and cushioned (and don’t break down as quickly) but EVA foam feels good to me. At least until it breaks down after a few hundred plus miles.
- The price. These retail for $110. That is a deal compared to where shoe prices are trending. And I’ve already seen these on sale for under $90.
- Key features. Perfectly padded, gusseted tongue – yes. Rock plate that doesn’t interfere with the cushion or ride – yup. Sticky, durable rubber outsole – uh huh. Thank you UA.
What’s decent about the Under Armour Horzon RTT?
- The midfoot and forefoot fit. Despite a slightly unique lacing system that has a little more space between the eyelets than usual the midfoot and forefoot lock in well. It’s a nice, accommodating forefoot fit with enough volume to make many foot types happy I suspect.
Love the flat laces, they stay tied. Notice the space between the 3rd – 6th eyelets though, some folks may not be able to really crank down the fit because of this design possibly. Also, you can’t ‘lace lock’ the heel due to the lack of an extra top eyelet which is a bummer.
- The ride. It’s got a consistent feel throughout the gait cycle which I appreciate. The transition from heel-to-toe is not super quick but it works with you pretty well. If you want to pick up the pace every now and then this shoe should respond OK. UA says it has a “Charged Cushioning® foam puck placed under the heel for responsive comfort” and “Lightweight, full-length EVA midsole for optimal cushioning”. Marketing lingo aside, it rides just fine.
What could be improved?
- The heel collar and heel lock in. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, more is not always better when it comes to adding structure and extra foam to the heels of running shoes. Yes, it makes for a really nice and comfortable feel against your heel. The problem though is that, at least for me, the heel doesn’t lock in because of all that collar foam. Could be the width of the heel as well but I couldn’t get a solid heel lock in with this shoe.
While extremely comfortable, there is just too much collar foam and/or too wide of a heel to lock in the fit back there.
- The breathability. This is my main issue with the shoe. All of that welded synthetic material on top of the mesh upper comes at a cost. This shoe runs hot.
One area where you do get to see the upper mesh is around the heel.
- Directional lugs. The Under Armour Horizon RTT has the perfect length lugs, 5.5mm, for tackling many different types of terrain. However, for steep ascending or descending I personally prefer directional lugs that facilitate even better grip on the ups or the downs.
Great, sticky rubber and lug depth. Add a little directional action and we are in business!
When to use it?
- Cooler climates or winter use. These puppies will keep your little toes nice and toasty.
- Everyday use. If the heel works for you then at this price and comfort level it’s a great daily training option.
- Door to trail. It rides on the roads well and transitions perfectly to less demanding terrain nicely.
The Under Armour Horizon RTT is a great option in these scenarios.
How it compares:
- Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3: This has been my benchmark shoe of the past year or so. The fit of the Under Armour RTT is similar in a lot of ways except for the heel lock. Combined with the breathability concerns I have with the RTT I’ll opt for the Wildhorse 3 more often.
- Brooks Caldera. The Caldera is lighter, has a better mix of cushion and responsiveness, and just a better all-around better shoe in my opinion. I’ll choose the Caldera every time. Note though, the Caldera is $140 so this choice comes at a premium.
So the $110 question – should you purchase the Under Armour Horizon RTT?
In a word, possibly (or you should at least give it shot). If you find yourself in cooler climates, desiring a durable upper, and watching your pennies, this is a solid option.
Interested in learning more: Check out the UA site for specs and ordering.
Questions, comments, or feedback on this shoe? Please share! And thanks for reading!
Meet Your Reviewer: Ben Zuehlsdorf
I am an avid running shoe junkie. When I’m not smelling new shoes I’m usually running or racing around the local trails in Marin County, California or talking shop with the San Francisco Running Company community of friends. I was once a road marathoner but now have transitioned almost exclusively to the trails and racing ultras the last few years.
Disclaimer: This shoe was provided to URP/Ben for testing purposes. All words and thoughts are ours and no compensation was offered or received.