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Under Armour’s big running shoe debut

(Photo: Under Armour)
(Photo: Under Armour)

Under Armour has done a lot in the past year to woo fit, fashionable women, like opening a giant, trendy Soho store, launching its largest-ever campaign targeted at women, and hiring Gisele Bundchen and Misty Copeland as ambassadors.

Now, the company’s turning its attention to long-distance runners (both male and female), with the launch of the SpeedForm Gemini running shoe ($130), set to debut on January 1.

“This is definitely the most technical shoe for long-distance runners that we’ve produced,” Under Armour creative footwear director Dave Dombrow says. “The normal shoe cycle for us is usually 18 months. It easily took twice that to produce this shoe.”

Why? The SpeedForm Gemini features a knitted and seamless upper that’s made in a bra factory (no, we won’t be making a Victoria’s Secret joke), which seems to put it in direct competition with Nike’s popular Flyknits. Meanwhile, its Charged Foam sole is manufactured so that it’s soft when you’re standing and more responsive when you’re running. Its dual nature landed the shoe its Gemini moniker.

“I’ll use this shoe for 12 to 28 mile runs,” Under Armour elite runner Nick Arciniaga says. “I train on trails, and I can’t feel the rocks when I’m running in these. They’re more substantial.” We took the SpeedForm Gemini on a test run, and while they were an uber comfortable training shoe, they didn’t provide as much support as we’d like for running, so they’re still probably best for the runner that prefers a flexible, lightweight shoe.

If they do catch on among marathoners, it seems like soon, there won’t be a category of athlete or fitness enthusiast that Under Armour isn’t prepared to outfit. —Jamie McKillop

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