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Under Armour Hovr Havoc Low Performance Reviews


There was a lot of hype around the initial launch of HOVR with their running shoes but UA put almost zero effort into the Havoc especially from a design perspective. Here was a chance to show the world, “hey we can do cushioning too” but instead it’s probably the snooziest “new and improved” showcase of a cushioning I’ve ever experienced. Not to mention the Havoc mid looks almost identical to the Drive 4.

Pros: traction, low to the ground feel, forefoot to midfoot fit, stability, containment

Cons: cushioning is unremarkable and requires break in to get decent, heel fit is iffy and depends on size of ankle/foot and does not adapt to player

Sizing advice: true to size for low, mid runs small by half to full size

Buying Advice: wait for discounts or MyFitnessPal coupon. I paid $65 after MFP. Definitely not worth $105-115 especially when there are a lot of better options out there from six months ago. Buy the mid for better lockdown or just wait, the only place these are going are to Ross and Marshall’s. Or just wait until HOVR goes full length in a year or two. Or buy Curry’s if you really want UA.

Weight

13.5 ounces which is about average for a low.

Traction

Copying over some things are fine and the traction on the Havoc is great and very similar to the Curry 3 or pretty much almost any UA shoe. No wiping needed on clean floors some wiping needs on dusty floors.

Still not as good as the Curry 2 mind you but great overall. Herringbone works so can’t complain.

Well done UA!

Cushioning

The Havoc is the first UA basketball shoe to feature HOVR which is UA’s new premium cushioning set up. HOVR is basically Olefin in a web bag that is supposed to last longer than standard EVA which is the forefoot. (Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purposes of having HOVR? Forefoot will wear out first and you’re left with half a shoe with HOVR, Just a thought). Out of the box, these don’t really feel like anything special at all (they feel slightly special after)

HOVR might as well be called sardine cushioning because is it packed…packed into a web then also packed between a firm strobel board and a firm foam midsole that needs break in. Contrary to what it looks like on the outside of the shoe, there isn’t foam on top of the so you’re really breaking in the foam below and the strobel board.

Being essentially top loaded I thought these were going to feel great out of the box but it took some serious break in to soften up the foam below which means the HOVR isn’t really getting any action squished between the strobel midsole and TPU shank. What you really start to feel is the foam softening up with a touch of HOVR to accentuate the feel of the foam.

I had high hopes for HOVR because I had tried on their running shoes at the store and really enjoyed how they felt. (Sorry I didn’t buy a pair and I know UA isn’t sending me any after this review)

I went back to the store to see what’s different and they main two differences are the

Midsole foam

This midsole foam is very soft and easy to compress. This softer foam is what really allows the midsole to compress while the Havoc foam is more like what you find on shoes like the Kyrie 2 and 3. Actually that’s really what these felt like to me the whole time expect the insole was thicker.

Strobel

You can easily compress and feel the HOVR with this foam strobel board in the Phantom while the Havoc’s HOVR is really smushed under the board and you can barely compress it. I think UA really just overpacked it. Switch out this strobel alone and it would have made a world of difference.

The forefoot is EVA which is expected considering the price point. Adidas did the same thing with the Crazylight Boost 14-15 so UA will probably eventually go full length with more HOVR in the upcoming models. Another reason I suggest passing on these and waiting for the next model.

Overall cushioning on the Havoc feels very average to me, however, I think based on the running shoes, UA can implement HOVR differently in the future by cutting a hole in the strobel, changing the board, changing the foam encasing HOVR etc..in the meantime I MUCH prefer the feel of MicroG which is softer and bouncier than this set up. I also prefer Zoom, Boost, Bounce, React and Lunarlon ahead of how these felt.

HOVR isn’t going to give you any extra BOOST anyways so go with the cushioning set up you like the most not what marketers say is the latest and greatest. If UA softens up a few things here and there, HOVR will feel really nice but in the meantime, this was a disappointment for me especially considering how other shoe companies are doing cushioning a lot better/full length especially out of the box. 99% of customers aren’t going to read reviews UA, they will go in the store try it on, say hey these feel comfy or these feel dumpy and decide. #iwill not purchase these shoes will be the most common answer.

Fit

So if you follow my Instagram at all I bought an 11 on the mid and low. Low fits true to size lengthwise while the mid run half a size to a full size short. Usually it’s the other way around but oh well. So I sent the mid back and decided to just do the low. I can tell you based on experience and try on I had no heel slip with the mid and ankle collar is flexible so if you want a safer bet fit wise, go with the mid.

Anyways, on with the fit on the lows

Forefoot to midfoot fit great out of the box but the heel gave me some serious slip due to the stiffness of the outsole and placement of the top eyelets.

You can see how much further back and up the Havoc’s cousin’s eyelets are.

Even after a two weeks I still have heel slip but it isn’t nearly as bad since the foam softened up and the shoe is more flexible. Even still I need and prefer the top eyelets to be higher up. There are no straps inside the shoe that work to pull the ankle back and down like the KD so you’re purely relying on the sock to hold the ankle in. On top of that the entire heel collar is roomy with a little below average padding.

Look at the difference between how large the ankle collars are. Non adaptive fit with low lace placement really affects the fit unless you just fit fill that gap (twss)

Going down half a size typically helps but I’ve been too busy to go through all this again especially if it means playing in shoes that are too short. Wide footers will not want to go down half a size for sure due to the snug forefoot fit.

Even these “old” Clutchfit Lows had the eyelets higher and further back. Sorry the sock trend just doesn’t work for me.

Overall, the fit is decent with some heel slip even after break in. The ankle collar is too wide/big (that’s what she said (just for you Faris)) and doesn’t really adapt to the foot like a good shoe should since there are no straps to pull the foot back and down. Thicker socks helped a little but once again I had to adapt to the shoe. One size fits one annoys the hell out of me.

Materials

Mesh and synthetic panels which actually are in the right places. I actually liked how these panels keep the forefoot locked in especially on hard cuts. Who would have thought to do that ..hmm

The rest of the shoe aside from the toe box covered in a TPU is mesh and it’s fine and expected at the $105 price point.

Support and stability

Since this is a low support comes the decent heel fit and heel counter(s). Contrary to outward appearances, the heel sits about halfway down the red midsole so you’re not simply relying on that heel clip.

Midfoot support is great thanks to the packed Hovr and plastic shank

Stability is also very good with a low to the ground forefoot and wide outsole

You can see how similar in shape and width the Havoc is to the Curry 3.

No issues at all with stability or support.

Well done UA!

Containment

Zero issues here thanks to the synthetic panels and raised midsole all the way around the shoe. All that foam above the HOVR cut out is actually just a foam barrier that keeps the foot in place on hard cuts.

Well done UA!

Conclusion

One line summary of the HOVR Havoc low: okay overall, but nothing great aside from traction, stability and containment.

I’d wait for MyFitnessPal coupons or heavy discounts though because let’s face it, nobody is buying UA unless #30 name is on it.. oh wait let me clarify that..unless it’s a real sig shoe not the 3Zero2. At $105 it’s a decent price but Harden Vol 2’s are on sale for $70-$50 bucks and have better cushioning, comparable traction, better fit, stability and cushioning for half the price with a MVP name to boot. So even with the MFP coupon I could get the Hardens for less. I can also get the PG2’s, and Whynots for similar prices as the Havoc. #neverpayretail

HOVR technology is cool and it feels good in their running shoes but the way it’s implemented in the Havoc doesn’t let the player feel it as much as it could. Don’t get me wrong it feels decent after break in but it isn’t something that a cushioning snob would enjoy like Zoom, Boost, Micro G or pretty much every other cushioning feels better but in the world of sneakers, UA really needed a Boost (get it) in sales so out with the old, in with the new since new means better right? If you’re expecting Boost or full length Zoom feel, you will be disappointed but if you’re expected a decent shoe that does a decent job all the way around, you might like the Havoc. But “like” isn’t really what we’re all looking for is it? Plenty of other average shoes out there that I like better than these.

Overall rating: third team due to the heel fit and unremarkable cushioning. The mid would probably get a second team since heel fit would be better.

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