Article by Ryan Eiler

UA Circulate Velociti Elite ($250)

Execs:

Race flat really feel semi versatile tremendous shoe: greatest run quick off the steady however slender heel Sam/Ryan

Pretty responsive and fast to rebound for 5-10k efforts Ryan

Foot maintain is managed very effectively by the robust higher Ryan

Cons:

Aggressive weight however..slender rear platform and fewer than max restrict heel limits race distance utility to lower than a half for me. Others ship extra stack and platform width on the identical or much less weight  Sam/Ryan

Rear of midsole must be wider and lengthen additional again Ryan 

Suits for much longer than labeled measurement Ryan

Agency midsole lacks the rebound and leg-saving skills of its rivals Ryan/Sam

Mid/forefoot feels underpowered and under-cushioned, relative to the rear Ryan/Sam

Outsole lacks the tenacity and sturdiness of molded rubber Ryan

Stats

Approx. Weight: males’s oz 7.83 oz  /222g (US9)  

  Samples: males’s  7.55 oz / 216g US8.5/EU42; M9.5 228g / 8.0oz

Stack Top: males’s 36 mm heel (measured) / 28 mm forefoot (spec 8mm drop)

Out there globally Spring 2023. Unisex sizing. $250

Introduction

Ryan: There have been various ladies who’ve been operating critically quick within the Circulate Velociti Elite, albeit over a lot shorter distances than the marathon-specific one which this shoe is billed for. Beneath Armour has explicitly said that the Velociti is meant to compete towards the ‘prime rivals’ out there, and in doing so has set the bar perilously excessive for itself. The shoe encompasses a dual-density midsole with a full size carbon plate, in addition to a extremely breathable ‘WARP 2.0’ higher and a TPE sockliner.

Tester Profile

Ryan Eller A hopeless soccer profession led Ryan to take up operating, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he’s again racking up mileage each time he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the toughest race of his life, the place he completed in 2:40, barely remembering his identify on the end line.  Extra not too long ago he has solo time trialed the 2020-2021 tremendous footwear, typically sub quarter-hour for 5K. Ryan has a brand new PR of two:19 from the 2022 Maine Marathon and in addition ran a 1:09 half in 2021.

First Impressions, Match and Higher

Ryan: It’s definitely not as flashy or head-turning as a ‘hyper orange’ Vaporfly, however the Velociti’s web-patterned, sewn on overlays nonetheless handle to offer it a particular look, and its black/grey/white colour gradient stays stylish amongst a sea of sophistication clown tremendous footwear. The mesh is so ventilated that it was pretty simple to see the design of my socks beneath it.

Sadly, the shoe runs lengthy by a minimum of a half measurement, which delivered a suboptimal match and strained forefoot tensioning all through my testing. 

Regardless of this, the robust however compliant materials of the higher comprises the foot exceptionally effectively, and hugs extra like a 4-point harness than an ordinary seatbelt. Sizing apart, there wasn’t a single side of the higher that I might name out for a scarcity of consolation. Not like another gram-shavers, the heel is constructed solidly and confidently does its job – even when operating effortful strides. 

A really minimal however ample toe bumper traces the entrance and sculpts the toe field. The tongue is a reasonably conventional, non-gusseted design with minimal padding defending towards the highest few wraps of the flat laces. 

A small cutout runs up the both aspect of the tongue and is bridged by an intricate community of black stitching. I couldn’t discern its precise function – perhaps air flow, perhaps to stop slippage, perhaps aesthetics? It is a minor however forgivable nuisance, because it does are inclined to make the outer edges of the tongue wish to fold. All in all, this can be a robust and efficient higher worthy of a excessive efficiency shoe, which match me a stable half measurement too lengthy.

Midsole

  • Full size carbon plate with some flex

  • Tender prime layer of supercritical expanded pellets

  • Firmer supercritical Circulate foam beneath non pellet in look 

Ryan: Within the midsole now we have a full-length carbon plate sandwiched in between foams of very totally different personalities. The higher layer is a softer, livelier composition of expanded pellets, which appears to be like and behaves quite a bit like Saucony’s ‘PWRRUN PB’ compound. Beneath the plate, a firmer and extra steady slab of “Circulate” foam focuses on each damping street impression in addition to offering traction. 

The twin-density composition soaks up the impression from footstrike in a powerful method, and its quickness to rebound encourages a quick turnover. Alternatively, it doesn’t appear to return vitality with fairly the identical magic as the opposite massive manufacturers’ flagship footwear, and it lacks the depth of cushion out there elsewhere – particularly within the forefoot. So far as carbon plates go, the full-length plate right here is on the friendlier aspect, and flexes extra simply than most.

The heel feels slender, particularly as it’s rounded upward round its perimeter, additional lowering its contact space. 

On a associated word, the midsole doesn’t lengthen as far again behind the heel as I feel it might. The froth ends instantly on the again fringe of the heel, slightly than reaching again just a few extra millimeters. It doesn’t make an enormous distinction, however there have been instances when this lack of a touchdown platform detracted from the shoe’s ahead momentum. I’m undecided I’d admire this sense late in a race on drained legs. We see the midsole extending rearward of the heel on most different top-shelf marathon footwear, and that is possible for causes different than simply aesthetics.

Outsole

Ryan: The outsole is an fascinating alternative for what’s touted as an elite marathoning shoe. Fully devoid of rubber, the decrease phase of the midsole does double obligation, offering traction the place the rubber would usually meet the street. 

Foam on asphalt often produces a nice, pleasant sensation throughout footstrike, and this design is not any exception. It produces a definitively non-slappy feeling underfoot, for lack of a greater adjective. Nonetheless, I personally desire rubber on racing footwear for its potential to supply maximal grip in addition to its potential to assist the midsole. I felt like I used to be dropping a smidge of vitality when pushing off of the froth underfoot, which is patterned like a checkerboard on LSD. To be honest, I definitely didn’t have any appreciable points with grip, and the outsole carried out very effectively – even on moist asphalt. I simply felt like the selection to make use of foam as a substitute of rubber sacrificed a little bit of tenacity. 

After about 40 miles, I haven’t seen any vital graining which bodes effectively for sturdiness. Nonetheless, my expertise with foam vs rubber outsoles leads me to imagine that over the following 100 miles or so, the froth is more likely to put on comparatively shortly.

Journey

Ryan: Though the Velociti is marketed as a marathon-specific shoe, the trip appeared to carry out extra like a shoe suited to 5k-20k distances. It lacks the deep, leg-saving cushion of the Adios Professional, Vaporfly, and so forth, however has a a lot faster and peppier rebound for shorter efforts. The unique Saucony Endorphin Professional instantly got here to thoughts, for its equally responsive, albeit stiffer and extra aggressive, trip.

The relative softness and narrowness of the heel (as in comparison with the forefoot) encourages you to load the heel versus the midfoot. This provides the entrance and rear of the shoe pretty disparate traits, leading to a form of division of labor: the heel goals to deal with many of the vitality switch, whereas the entrance of the shoe primarily focuses on stabilizing the stride earlier than toe off. However as I famous within the midsole critique, whereas the heel is fast to rebound and encourage turnover, its geometry prevents it from offering a very assured feeling underfoot.

The form of the midsole/outsole has a notably excessive arch, making the transition extra of a discrete, two-step course of than a easy transition from heel to toe – not essentially an excellent or a foul factor, only a matter of desire.

The plate sits pretty low up entrance, and is well felt by urgent a finger into the ‘Circulate’ midsole foam. 

Packing the plate in right here, instantly above the firmer outsole foam, in all probability contributes to lots of the shoe’s forefoot stability. 

Narrowness apart, the midsole could be very effectively behaved for such a vigorous beast, rebounding in a directed and predictable method. The general result’s a trip which focuses on fast turnover by an lively heel and a stiff, however not too-stiff, full size plate.

Conclusions and Suggestions

Ryan: Beneath Armour has me satisfied that they’ve been learning laborious and are on monitor towards constructing footwear worthy of reward. This Velociti Elite is a powerful enchancment over a lot of their footwear of yesteryear. Nonetheless, it nonetheless feels a bit unrefined and in want of some tweaking to get issues good. 

As a $250 marathoning shoe it misses the mark, nevertheless it does make for a really succesful and gratifying trip for quick 5k-20k efforts. Its fast rebounding dual-compound midsole, its light-weight however robust higher, and its fairly stiff plate tempt you to push the tempo. Alternatively, the sizing is a bit off, the midsole geometry may very well be improved, and the Vaporfly-equivalent value level weakens the deal for me.

Ryan’s Rating: 8.1/10 

(Deductions for sizing, narrowness of the heel, entrance/rear trip stability, value, outsole materials)

Smiles Rating: 😊😊😊😊

Comparisons

Index to all RTR critiques: HERE

Adidas Takumi Sen 8 (RTR Evaluate)

Ryan (M9.5): Though not billed as a marathon shoe, the Takumi makes for one of many closest comparisons to the Velociti inside the previous 12 months. Each footwear are quick to rebound and switch over, with a bouncy however lower than maximal stack top. The similarities proceed when taking a look at their skinny however robust mesh uppers, a slender feeling on the heel, and low inertia. The candy spot for each the Takumi and the Velociti is in masking distances of 5k-15k.

The Adidas seems like a extra aggressive shoe, by its stiffer ‘vitality rods’, its extra propulsive nature, and its tenacious lockdown. It additionally occurs to be about an oz lighter, which I feel is noticeable at quicker paces. 

Nonetheless, the heel on the Takumi isn’t as stout as that of the UA – one place the place the Takumi’s weight shaving reveals. The Adidas additionally wins in my eyes on its outsole design, with Continental rubber on the toe providing superior toe-off grip. 

Though the cutouts and nonconformist sculpting of its midsole take somewhat getting used to, the Takumi’s trip feels extra balanced and evenly cushioned between the entrance and the rear. Perhaps this has to do with a single kind of ‘Lightstrike Professional’ foam being utilized by the Takumi, whereas the UA blends two differing compounds to ship extra impression damping, however much less vitality return. All this stated, and because the Adidas is $70 cheaper, I’d positively attain for the Takumi over the Velociti. The Adidas match true to measurement, whereas the UA ran a half measurement too lengthy.

Adidas Takumi Sen 7 (RTR Evaluate)

Ryan (M9.5): Over an oz lighter, and with a significantly decrease stack (25/16 Adidas vs 36/28 UA), The Sen 7 rides way more like a modern-day race flat than a half marathoner. Lockdown, foot containment, and grip within the Adidas are laborious to beat, though the decrease stack is much harsher on the legs. 

Whereas the Velociti propels one off the heel, the Sen 7 is far much less prepared to assist out, and prefers to be run on the forefoot the place a bit of ‘Enhance’ foam helps with vitality return and cushioning. The Adidas lacks the full-length plate of the UA, nevertheless it does have a ‘torsion plate’ within the midfoot to assist switch energy. 

As for the outsoles, these footwear might hardly be a lot totally different. The Velociti takes a a lot mellower strategy by its ‘Circulate’ foam, whereas the Sen 7 depends on very aggressive rubberized lugs which might be conducive to XC operating. These are very totally different footwear with very totally different use circumstances. I’d use the Adidas as a racing flat for 5k or much less, whereas the bouncier, extra leg-friendly UA can maintain its come clean with half marathon distance.

Saucony Endorphin Professional 1 (RTR Evaluate)

Ryan (M9.5): That is the shoe that instantly got here to thoughts upon lacing up the Velociti. These two share practically an identical stack heights, are inside 0.2oz of one another, and have full size plates with (a minimum of partially for the Velociti) PEBA-based midsole foams. 

Whereas the plate on the Saucony makes it a extra aggressive shoe general, the footwear’ rebound traits are very comparable. I felt that the soundness of the Endorphin was higher than that of the UA, largely attributed to its wider, extra conventional and fewer sculpted form underfoot. Evaluating the uppers, the Saucony feels extra fabric-like, whereas the UA is extra plasticky however simply as snug. The Velociti wins on foot containment and lockdown due to its superior power. The Velociti is much less assertive by its friendlier plate, and has extra cushion within the heel. 

The selection right here principally comes down as to whether you favor the Endorphin’s stiffer however extra steady trip over the UA’s higher lockdown and extra heel-striker pleasant heel. The UA is a minimum of a half measurement longer than the Endorphin Professional 1.

Saucony Endorphin Professional 3 (RTR Evaluate)

Ryan (M9.5): Each of those footwear are touted as marathon-specific racers, however the Saucony is clearly within the ‘tremendous shoe’ class, whereas the UA isn’t. By evaluating the specs alone, it is obvious how totally different these two are: the Saucony is 0.5oz lighter regardless of practically maxing out on authorized stack top (39.5mm on the rear). The higher on the Saucony is extra typical of a protracted distance shoe, with extra room within the forefoot and a much less aggressive mesh. Whereas the UA’s midsole incorporates bouncy PEBA on the higher part of its midsole, the Endorphin makes use of a completely PEBA midsole with a stiffer plate. The result’s a significantly greater vitality return and depth of cushion than the UA can present. 

Nonetheless, the higher behaved dual-density midsole of the Velociti is more likely to be extra acceptable for something 10mi or much less. I’ve additionally had appreciable points with the sturdiness of the toe rubber and overlays on the Saucony, which aren’t more likely to be a problem with the Beneath Armour. The Saucony match me ½ measurement smaller than the UA.

Puma Deviate Nitro 2 (RTR Evaluate)

Ryan (M9.5): The Nitro 2 has been considered one of my favourite trainers of current reminiscence, so this one’s a formidable opponent for the Velociti. The Puma can be a plated shoe, however its comparatively versatile nature makes it maybe essentially the most versatile excessive efficiency coach available on the market. Whereas the higher on the UA excels at foot containment, the Puma’s higher gives satisfactory lockdown but in addition feels extra plush and acceptable for extra “informal” operating. Though the Puma makes use of a relatively vigorous mixture of Nitro midsole foams (2mm greater stack), its heel feels way more steady and pleasant. All in all, the Puma is a much more versatile shoe with arguably the identical degree of snappy efficiency. At practically $90 much less I’ll select the Deviate Nitro nearly each time.

Asics Magicspeed 2 (RTR Evaluate)

Ryan (M9.5): The Magicspeed’s trip differs significantly from that of the Velociti, regardless of their very comparable weights and stack heights. The ASICS makes use of a constant slab of plated FF Blast + foam to supply a confidence inspiring, very predictable trip with a easy transition. 

In contrast, the UA gives a livelier trip with a extra deeply cushioned however a lot narrower heel, and a delineated transition between the heel and forefoot. Lockdown and containment is superior within the UA, particularly within the forefoot. There’s definitely extra ‘enjoyable issue’ constructed into the Velociti, and I view it as the next performing shoe, however I additionally don’t see these two as direct rivals. 

The ASICS is supposed to be a extra budget-friendly high-performance coach. It’s laborious to justify spending an additional $100 for the Beneath Armour in my view. The ASICS match true to measurement, whereas the Velociti was a minimum of ½ measurement longer.

Adidas Adios Professional 3 (RTR Evaluate)

Ryan (M9.5): The Adios Professional has rightly earned its status as one of many highest marathoning footwear available on the market. Though it feels barely unnatural throughout the first run, the AP3’s potential to return vitality and stave off leg fatigue is arguably rivaled by solely the Vapor/Alphafly. On the identical value level and weight because the Velociti, I’d decide the Adidas for almost any race longer than 10k. In evaluating midsoles, the taller stack of Lightstrike Professional doesn’t reply as shortly or crisply because the midsole of the Velociti, and it isn’t as effectively behaved, nevertheless it does provide way more depth and propulsion in each the heel and the forefoot. 

The UA can be preferable in circumstances the place lockdown is of relative significance, or the place a ~40mm stack is perhaps unwieldy. The heel on the AP3 is much much less structured and in a position than the sturdy cup on the UA, however I strongly desire the cheesy rubber on the Adios Professional. The UA matches a half measurement longer than the Adidas.

Nike ZoomX Streakfly (RTR Evaluate)

Ryan (M9.5): Marketed as a 5/10k specialist, the Streakfly weighs in an astounding 2oz lighter than the Velociti, though its stack top is a pair mm decrease at 32/26. Whereas the Nike’s low inertia and thrilling ZoomX midsole really feel fantastically snappy on foot, general it seems like a a lot much less strong building than that of the UA. Whereas the UA makes use of a full-length plate, the Nike makes use of solely a partial Pebax plate and a. 

My greatest gripe in regards to the Nike was that it felt underpowered due to the shortage of stiffness within the forefoot. This isn’t the case within the UA, the place the forefoot is essentially the most steady a part of the shoe. 

Each of those footwear provide a reasonably delicate, slender feeling within the heel, and are very fast to show over. I felt that the geometry and composition of the Nike’s midsole made for a cleaner transition. 

For those who like a extra supple shoe that feels weightless for 5k efforts, the Nike is definitely a enjoyable trip. Nonetheless, if you happen to like extra plate and don’t thoughts a barely much less refined trip, the UA is a noteworthy consideration. It’s additionally value noting the $90 value distinction right here. The UA matches about ½ measurement longer.

UA Circulate Velociti Elite will likely be out there globally Spring 2023

Samples had been supplied at no cost for overview functions. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and should earn fee on merchandise bought by way of buying hyperlinks on this article. These partnerships don’t affect our editorial content material. The opinions herein are fully the authors’

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