Under Armour Horizon Trail Shoe Review – Female Perspective

Women’s Under Armour Horizon Trail Shoe Review

First impressions: Huh, teal…. Beefy teal-colored shoes.

ultra armour horizon

 

The color isn’t off-putting. Or maybe it is, if you care about the color of your trail shoes. I’ve just never seen teal-colored shoes before. I hope some shoe designer at Under Armour fought hard for the color. “It’s never been done before!”  

The light-colored material around the heel counter was worrisome though.

ultra armour horizon
That’ll be dirty as sin in no time.

 Dirty-looking trail shoes on trails are fine, but all my retired running shoes become mom-about-town shoes. These were unlikely to ever give up their dirt.    

They did feel a bit heavy, but not unreasonably so with all the cushion and protection they looked to provide. I was excited to test them out on the rocky Texas Hill County trails. But first, I double knotted them and headed out the door to pick up the kids from school. Time to impress the moms with a clean pair of teal shoes!

Under Armour calls the color Marlin Blue. Maybe they were working with a seasick marlin.

under armour horizon
Marlin Blue. 7mm drop. 9.2oz

 

The Good:

  • The shoelaces stay tied. I realize that sounds like faint praise, but as anybody who’s struggled with slippery laces knows, this is a fine thing.

Also, it is faint praise. The teal color turned out to be the best part of these shoes.

That’s not entirely true…

  • The shoe is durable and tough. My foot was well-protected running over rocky, technical terrain. The material on the sides is a stiff double layer of textile and polyurethane (PU). I barely felt the rocks I knocked into. I certainly didn’t worry about getting bruised by them. And the PU around the toe box is also nice and stiff. My toes felt invulnerable, and I bombed down hills with abandon. Good job UA!

Also:

  • The seams are mostly welded and look well-made and unlikely to fail.
under armour horizon
Welded seams on the Under Armour Horizon

 

 

  • The heel collar is nice and cushioned and feels snug and comfortable.  
under armour horizon
Comfy Heel Collar

 

 

  • The midfoot wrap is similarly snug. And the toe box is roomy enough to accommodate a thick pair of trail socks and not cause blisters.
  • The rubber lugs shed mud well. Our mud down here is sticky, and certain lugs and tread patterns end up generating mud platform shoes. It’s not worth scraping the mud off mid-run. You just wait until it builds up enough that the weight causes it to slough off. And you hope it happens to both shoes at the same time. But there was no high-heeled mud running in these shoes.
under armour horizon
Lugs shed mud well.

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  • And the price is good. $109 or less. That’s a reasonable price for a pair of good trail shoes.

Unfortunately, these are not a good pair of trail shoes.

The Bad:

  • The grip. I was sliding all over wet rocks in these things. Wet rocks, damp rocks, damp leaves…
under armour horizon
No dependable traction here.

 

  •  The lugs look substantial, and I don’t know if it’s their composition or their orientation, or both, but they do not provide the “dependable traction” UA describes.
  • OMG these things are hot! The PU layer turns them into little ovens.
under armour horizon
Those little holes do not provide breathability.

 

My feet were a pruney mess after every run – and even after I just wore them around mom-life. And it’s not even hot here yet. I think my feet would burst into flames if I wore them during a Texas summer. I have a client in the Yukon I’d recommend them to if the traction wasn’t an issue. These are not summer-friendly shoes.

The Ugly:

  • These shoes look like they’re well-cushioned from the outside. And they feel that way when you walk from your car to the trailhead. Light and well-cushioned. But three minutes into a run, it feels like you’ve got plywood strapped to your feet. Light plywood. That’s how I came to think of these shoes: Light plywood — covered in teal. The midsole and heel cushioning combined with the shoe’s stiffness should make for great technical trail running shoes. But they don’t. And the plywood sensation is worse on flat terrain. In fact, I was left limping after a 4 hour run. (I ran the day before and after in different shoes. No problems. Same problem the next time I wore them. “It’s gotta be the shoes!”)

But maybe these are the shoes for you anyway!

If you live somewhere cold and your trails aren’t particularly technical – and you like really stiff shoes and eschew cushioning…then the UA Horizon Trail Shoe might work well for you. There is a lot of good to these shoes. My feet just couldn’t take the bad.

Fellas!

Ben reviewed the same shoe for URP right here and shared some of the same concerns while finding some additional positive points.

More info on the UA site.

Questions, comments, or feedback on this shoe? Please share! 

 


Meet Your Reviewer: Liza Howard

Your trusty (and honest) reviewer Liza Howard. 

Liza Howard is a harried mom and long-time ultrarunner living in San Antonio, Texas. She divides her time between teaching wilderness medicine for the National Outdoor Leadership School, coaching for Sharman Ultra, co-directing the Band of Runners project — and being harried.  She has no professional affiliation with any show manufacture and was not compensated for this review.

[Eric here: Want to hear a truly incredible interview? Listen to this episode that Sarah and I recorded with Liza a few years ago.  15:07 at Umstead while stopping to pump on the floor of an outhouse…)

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