Under Armour is still a new contender in the trail running market, and the Horizon BPF is a solid performer. At first glance you might think it’ll be a heavy and stiff, yet the weight is super reasonable for an overall trail shoe that’ll take you from crushed gravel to technical trails in comfort. In case you were wondering, BPF stands for “bullet proof feather.” The designers were clearly shooting for a lightweight shoe that stands up to technical terrain.
- Weight: 7.6 oz (women’s 7.5), 9.4 oz (men’s 9)
- Offset: 8mm (heel 30mm; forefoot 22mm)
- Category: Neutral
- Sizes Available: Women—5–12 in half size increments; Men—7–16 in half size increments.
- Midsole: Lightweight EVA
- Upper: highly breathable air mesh tongue to promote air flow and keep feet cool
- Outsole: Michelin® Oc Outsole Compound for excellent traction
- Lugs: Michelin® Wild Dig Decent’R Outsole Lug Pattern for shedding mud and debris
- Price: $130
Now for more details. In this review, we’ll break things down in to six areas:
- What’s good: the new, differentiating, or simply well designed or built features or aspects of the shoe.
- 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: head-to-head comparison with similar shoes
- Should you purchase? My overall recommendation on whether to purchase this shoe or not.
- Purchasing Information: where to go to purchase this shoe.
I’ll try to be as succinct as possible. After all, you’ve probably got more running you can do today!
UA partnered with Michelin on a rubber compound for the sole to provide excellent traction, and it really delivers. I headed out on steep, wet, rocky trails to make sure to put the tread through its paces, and I was impressed with the performance. Secure footing will be found on steep muddy downhills, slippery rocks, and any other terrain you might find yourself in. The lugs shed mud so you won’t find yourself with mud-caked shoes, and they are even strong enough to handle short stretches of payment.
Durability of the Under Armour Horizon BFP
The polyurethane “cage” that makes up the outside of the shoe provides the protection from rocks and other abrasive materials you may encounter out on the trails. While it looks like it would be heavy and stiff, it is actually lightweight and pliable, and it ensures that you won’t have to worry about blowing out the sidewalls of the shoe.
The gusseted tongue is designed to keep out debris, and it also helps secure your heel with the way it wraps your foot. The upper is breathable and drains quickly, despite not having any actual drain holes. You won’t have to worry about squishy feet after traipsing through water. There is enough cushion to the tongue to alleviate pressure points from your laces, and the removable insole allows you to customize the footbed if desired.
“Charged” foam midsole
UA’s “Charged” foam provides cushioned comfort with a bouncy and responsive feel. The cushioning evens out the terrain and protects you from even the sharpest rocks.
What could be improved?
The Under Armour Horizon BPF delivers great protection against rocks and roots and other technical terrain, but the forefoot can feel a bit stiff at times. I think the shoe would be close to perfect if UA could find a way to dial down the stiffness a bit in the forefoot area.
When to use it?
The Under Armour Horizon BPF is equally at home on gravel paths and highly technical trails. The super grippy Michelin outsole and lugs are designed to keep you upright as you tackle wet and muddy trails, as well as even out rocks and roots. You’ll be comfortable on just about any non-road surface. The shoe can handle short stretches of road from a durability standpoint, but you may find the lugs a bit too aggressive to spend much time on the roads.
Should you purchase?
I think everyone out there who doesn’t consider UA to be a serious contender in the trail market will be happily surprised. The Horizon BPF is a well-designed shoe at a solid price point. It’ll let you go the distance, secure in your footing and nicely protected from pointy rocks. Something to keep in mind, the cut is a bit narrow with a relatively aggressive taper. If you like to really splay your toes, this may not be a good fit for you.
Check out your local, independently-owned running specialty store, as independent stores are vital to our community and need all the help they can get. If that is not an option you can purchase directly from Skechers’ site (women’s link & men’s link). Thanks!
Meet Your Reviewer: Sarah Bradham
I started my love of gear as a climber and as I turned my attention to running I shifted from carabiners, ice tools, and crampons to hydration packs, midsole foam types, compression clothing, and everything in between. After several years of foot injuries, I’m enjoying getting back to my beloved muddy and rocky trails near my home in Portland, Ore. In my work life, I enjoy coordinating an annual Mountain and Ultra Running Camp at the base of Mt. Hood with Yassine Diboun, Amy Sproston, and Joelle Vaught.