Under Armour Infinite Elite Introduction
As one of the biggest sports brands in the world, Under Armour has the money to sign some of long-distance running’s most prominent elite athletes like Sharon Lokedi, who won the New York City Marathon in 2022 and came third last year. Under Armour should have the R&D to also have some of the best running shoes, however that hasn’t been the case.
I have tested a handful of Under Armour trainers in the last few years and they have all felt the same to me: firm, unresponsive and blocky. The $250 Velociti Elite was the worst of the bunch.
The Velociti Elite was one of the most disappointing super shoes that I tested last year. It was firm, expensive, and not very durable. It also didn’t provide a high level of speed assistance compared to other super shoes on the market. The Infinite Elite is now the second Under Armour running shoe to carry the name “Elite”.
The Infinite Elite is designed to be the training companion to the new version of their flagship marathon super shoe, the Velociti Elite 2, which has recently launched in some countries. Under Armour says that it’s built for endurance and that it keeps your legs fresh. It doesn’t have a plate in it but it does have their latest midsole foam, Hovr+ which they claim to be their springiest.
I was excited to test the Infinite Elite with the hope that the new midsole foam would be a game changer for UA.
The Infinite Elite has an 8 mm drop, costs $160 and weighs 11.5 oz (326 g) which is very heavy compared to modern training companions from other brands.
Under Armour Infinite Elite First Impressions
My first run was a slow, easy run a couple days before my marathon and I wasn’t that impressed during that run. My first thought was that it was much firmer than I expected it to feel. It has a really thick midsole so I expected a plusher ride.
The ride didn’t have much energy return and it felt similar to the EVA foams UA has been using in their older trainers. I did enjoy the thick midsole which felt cushioned and the mild forefoot rocker which made transitions feel more fluid.
The upper felt thick but still comfortable and the midsole felt really stable. The shoe that it reminded me of was the Adidas Adistar from 2 years ago. Both trainers have firm rides, stiff midsoles, mild rockers and are plateless.
Under Armour Infinite Elite Upper
The Infinite Elite has an upper which is built like a comfortable daily trainer upper rather than a minimal speed trainer upper. It’s made from a knit which is thick, warm and doesn’t stretch. Running in cool, winter climates is much more comfortable than in summer ones due to how warm it feels.
Its padded tongue is semi-gusseted so it doesn’t move around and the collar/heel padding prevents any heel slippage. Overall foot lockdown is very good when using a runner’s knot.
It has a thick, internal heel counter and a heel clip to add structure/stability but it increases the weight substantially.
The fit is true to size but it has a very narrow design so it’s not suitable for runners with wide feet.
Under Armour Infinite Elite Sole Unit
The Infinite Elite has a number of good things going for it: it has the cushioned ride, the smooth transitions and the energy-saving rocker but there are 2 things which prevent it from being a serious contender: its firm ride and its heavy weight.
Its midsole foam looks like a TPU, beaded foam, similar to Adidas’ Boost or Saucony’s Pwrrun+ but don’t be fooled: the Hovr+ foam in the Infinite Elite feels much firmer and it doesn’t compress much.
It needs to be at least 25 percent softer and squishier for the ride to be more engaging and in line with more modern foams. Hovr+ lacks the bounce and energy return of modern foams; it feels flat and a bit boring.
A heavy build with a firm ride is not a good combination so the Infinite Elite ride feels sluggish. I only use it for easy runs but I don’t look forward to running in it- it’s not an exciting ride. I prefer plush riding trainers for my easy runs and I need a lighter shoe for speed work.
The Infinite Elite is a maximalist trainer so there’s plenty of cushioning coming from the mega thick midsole. You can use it for long distance training over 25 kilometres if you aren’t worried about pace. The mild rocker also eases you through transitions so your feet don’t have to work as hard.
There’s no plate in the Infinite Elite but it doesn’t need one because its midsole is stiff enough without one. The thick forefoot and dense foam result in a stiff forefoot which allows the rocker to function. The Infinite Elite is even stiffer than training companions like the Endorphin Speed 3 and Mach X which have plates in them.
Stability is excellent due its firm ride and there’s some under arch support for runners with flat feet. The arch felt really prominent during the first couple of runs but it got softer and less noticeable after 20 kilometres of breaking in.
Outsole durability of the Infinite Elite is above average. Its outsole rubber is thick and the exposed Hovr+ foam is hard-wearing as well. So far, it has held up well and I expect no durability issues. I used the Infinite Elite just after it had rained and traction was average: it was fine on most surfaces but slippery on stone paths.
Under Armour Infinite Elite Conclusions
The Infinite Elite is the best Under Armour running shoe that I’ve tried but it still falls short of the competition and it’s not a great training companion for the Velociti Elite 2. It’s not the game changer that I was hoping for from Under Armour.
I enjoy its forefoot rocker and its thick stack height but I can only use it for slow, easy runs so it has very low versatility. Its main flaws are that it’s too heavy and too firm. It’s supposed to be the training version of the Velociti Elite 2 but it’s much heavier and doesn’t have a carbon plate like the Elite. I find it really hard to maintain a fast pace in the Infinite Elite.
Under Armour needs to lighten the Infinite Elite by stripping down its upper because it’s too padded and the knit is too thick. The midsole foam also needs to be made softer and more bouncy. It currently has a very boring ride.
When it comes to price, it should be $130, not $160. At $160, you can get a much better training companion for the same price.
The Puma Deviate Nitro 2 is much lighter, much more versatile and has a plate in it. The ASICS Magic Speed 3 is also a much lighter, faster option.