UA’s first carbon racer is a solid PB chaser for any distances up to half-marathon…

It’s taken a while, but Under Armour has finally unleashed its first carbon race shoe to compete with the Nike Alphafly, Adidas Adios Pro 3 and the Saucony Endorphin Elite. On paper the Under Armour Velociti Elite ticks a lot of boxes with stripped-down, lightweight uppers, a big-stack, super-foam midsole and a carbon plate. If you’re hunting for the best running shoe that packs marathon PB potential, this makes all the right noises. 

Men’s Fitness verdict

If you race short to middle distances UA’s first carbon racer will help you make big strides towards new PBs. If you can justify the price, it could be a luxury daily trainer too.
  • Light and roomy
  • Encourages fast foot turnover
  • Good stability for a super shoe
  • Lacks the punch of top carbon racers
  • A little firm over longer distances

How we test the best running shoes

Our testers put each shoe through their paces over a mixture of distances and paces to see where they excel, and clocked up significant distances in each one to examine how they wear over time. Each reviewer focused on speed, stability and comfort during test runs, while also assessing the effectiveness of any high-tech features on offer. Their detailed reviews are sure to help you choose the right running shoe for you.

Under Armour Velociti Elite features

The Under Armour Velociti Elite packs a full-length carbon fibre plate sandwiched into an 8mm drop midsole with a 39mm / 31mm heel-to-toe stack. There’s a layer of cushioned-but-springy Pebax foam closer to your foot on top and a wedge of softer, lighter supercritical Flow foam below. 

Like the Under Armour Velociti Wind, there’s no outsole here. The supercritical Flow foam is durable and grippy enough to remove the need for extra rubber, saving weight.  There’s also a TPE sockliner to add a bit of cushioning and bounce.  

Up top, you’ve got a minimal WARP 2.0 mesh upper with horizontal tapes for support and structure. There’s a lightly padded, perforated tongue and a small amount of traditional-style heel collar padding to boost the comfort. 

The fit isn’t as hugging as many carbon race shoes. Overall it’s roomier across the top of the foot than shoes like the Alphafly or the New Balance Supercomp Elite. But it still maintains a compact and secure feel on the foot with good heel hold and padding, plus reliable lockdown across the top of the midfoot. The toe box is roomy, too and in terms of sizing, we’d recommend sticking to your regular size. 

Pair of Under Armour Velociti Elite running shoes
A barely-there mesh upper is backed up by a traditional padded heel

Under Armour Velociti Elite weight

At 8.4oz / 238g for our test UK men’s 8.5 size, it weighs in a chunk over the official listed weight of 7.5oz / 212g. So it’s up there with the Nike Alphafly and the Adidas Prime X Strung as one of the heavier carbon racers with 20-30g more heft than the likes of the Nike Vaporfly and the Adidas Adios Pro 3. 

In tests of 100-plus miles in the Under Armour Velociti Elite, including a full 3.5-hour marathon at a mixture of paces, some all-out 5km efforts, steady-pace 10kms and some 10-mile runs, when it comes to the all-important ride, like all Under Armour shoes, it’s firmer underfoot and lacks the punch of more energetic carbon shoes like the Alphafly. It’s still lively, but more direct. If you like more ground-feel, this could be the super shoe for you.

That firmness tells over the marathon distance. The Velociti Elite doesn’t offer the protection most runners probably look for deep into marathon miles. Even fans of firmer-ride shoes will find their feet taking a bit too much impact late on a full 26.2-mile test. You’ll likely be looking for more cushioning in that final hour.

Under Armour Velociti Elite stability

The Velociti Elite encourages a faster foot runover and runs best at faster paces with a higher cadence. However, while shoes like the Alphafly give you extra, the Elite lacks that bit of kick that delays fatigue and gives you a helpful boost. 

However, what you lose in all-out spring, you get back in stability. The Velociti Elite provides a reliable platform to run off, much more connected to the road underfoot than some of the softer, wobblier super-shoes. That stability is welcome when your form goes ragged.

There’s a lot to like in the Under Armour Velociti Elite – good uppers, comfortable fit and great stability – but it lacks that all-out punch we’ve come to expect in the best carbon-plate marathon racers and the firmer ride won’t be to everyone’s liking. Definitely in the ‘good, not great’ category.

It’s closer to a less cushioned Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 than a Nike Alphafly and might work better over half marathon and shorter distances or as a good fast session, interval shoe. But its real strength might just be as a fast daily trainer rather than a guns-blazing race shoe. Though you’ll pay a carbon-shoe premium for that pleasure.