The Under Armour SlipSpeed is a hybrid training-recovery shoe with a unique collapsible heel that lets you slip effortlessly between workout and chill-out mode. Kieran Alger tests it out…
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Under Armour SlipSpeed
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$150 / £135, underarmour.com
- Great versatility
- Unique collapsible heel
- Unique fit feels a bit fussy
- Foot hold lacks a little security
Like the mullet of training shoes, the Under Armour SlipSpeed is business in the front, party in the back. This innovative gym shoe switches effortlessly from beast mode to recovery comfort in the flick of its ‘crushable’ heel.
Under Armour SlipSpeed features
Part performance gym trainer, part post-workout recovery shoe, the Under Armour SlipSpeed’s stand-out feature is a unique convertible heel that folds virtually flat, letting you flip between training mode and a casual Crocs-like recovery mode with ease.
In training mode, the SlipSpeed is built to be a capable all-rounder, handling everything from moderate strength training to aerobic exercises and even short runs. In recovery mode, it’s designed to look sharp and deliver comfort for general kicking about.
The SlipSpeed’s 2mm drop midsole is made from a sizeable wedge of the same lightweight but durable, supercritical Flow foam that you’ll find in the Under Armour Velociti Wind 2 and Velociti Elite running shoes. Like those shoes, the Flow foam is durable and grippy enough to remove the need for extra rubber. So there’s no outsole, saving weight. However, at 10.8oz/306g these are still comparatively heavy and from our tests, we’re not confident those soles will handle too much rope-climb abrasion.
The reinforced supportive mesh uppers have engineered venting to boost breathability. Your foot slips into an Iso-Chill fabric booty that gives them a nicely padded neoprene wrap feel that’s comfortable for training with or without socks.
There’s also a BOA Fit lacing system with a 12-point lockdown system that helps dial in the fit – at least across the mid-forefoot.
The SlipSpeed are also machine washable and come with a laundry bag. In testing, I ran them through the wash once and they came out fine.
Under Armour SlipSpeed performance
I put these shoes through a range of workouts that included lower body (back squats, deadlifts, weighted lunges), some basic plyometrics (box jumps, jump lunges) and a few 5km runs on the treadmill and the tarmac. I also wore them in recovery mode while going about the daily grind.
This SlipSpeed tries to cover a lot of bases. Not just with that workout-recovery mode mash-up but its all-round training capabilities too. So it’s probably no surprise that when it comes to performance, they’re a bit jack-of-all, master of none. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.
If you’re looking for one shoe that’s versatile enough to tackle most of what you’ll chuck at in the gym and daily life, this is a solid workhorse with some stylish flare. They’re OK at most things and there’s something great about being able to go from gym to the office or cafe without having to change up your footwear.
The fit is a little fussy. In workout mode, the BOA laces hold well across the top of the midfoot and the ability to tweak the lace lockdown with more precision is great if you like a slightly different hold for different drills. The toe box also feels a touch long and sometimes the front of the SlipSpeed can feel a bit disconnected. You might fix that by going half a size down, but if you’ve got wide feet the narrowish fit might rule that out.
In recovery mode, I found the open heel had a tendency to slip – a bit like a Croc when it’s not in sport mode. That took some getting used to but they’re plenty comfy for casual wear.
During workouts, I found the Flow midsole platform stable enough to handle deadlifts and squats, though there are better weightlifting shoes for sure and if you’re moving big weights, you might want a shoe with a less compressive midsole.
They also offered enough grip, protection and response for the more explosive, higher impact HIIT and plyo drills like box jumps and squat jumps. Though there are lighter and more agile trainers out there.
When it comes to running, the ride underfoot definitely benefits from that run-friendly Flow foam, though I found the fussy fit and lower drop made them better for shorter, easier efforts. I’m also not sure I’d lace them up for more than a casual 5km or the odd set of treadmill intervals.
Overall, this isn’t the very best training shoe you can buy right now, but it definitely brings something happily unique to the table.