Thursday, October 31, 2013

Does Under Armour Make Running Shoes?

I need to address this question because I'm surprised at how often people say to me, "I didn't know Under Armour made shoes."

Does Under Armour make running shoes? Yes. They actually make a couple of different weights and styles. In the coming weeks, a friend who is an Under Armour athlete will run down all the styles she has tried and what she likes. For now, I can tell you that I've tried two.

Under Armour let me test these running shoes for women:

  • UA Charge RC-2
  • Under Armour Charge RC-2
    • Summary: not for me. See reasons below.
    • Like: 
      • Silver and neon color scheme. 
      • Heel fits in the stirrups of the rowing machine and doesn't slip out. 
      • Easy on due to toebox being separate from heel.
    • Dislike: 
      • High back - digs into my Achilles, causing some issues when running. 
      • Not as light as I prefer but good for someone who wants moderately light with structure. 
      • Runs big - based on reviews, I ordered the same size that I usually wear in a street shoe (instead of half a size up like most show experts reco) and it's still very roomy around my middle toes.
      • Rubs against a bone on the inner part of my foot. I've learned that, on most people, this bone doesn't stick out, so this shoe should work for others better than for me. 
UA mesh short and tank plus Micro G shoe
  • UA Micro G Toxic Six
    • Summary: not my go-to, but a great running shoe when I'm traveling because they pack small. 
    • Also like: 
      • Soft heel - very gentle on the damaged Achilles. 
      • Light - not as light as the Kinvara but definitely breezy. 
      • Good fit - I ordered half a size up from my street shoes and they fit perfectly. 
      • I get compliments on these odd-looking babies.
    • Dislike: 
      • Zany color choices - sort of a leopard print on a green background. 
      • Unstructured toe box can cause feet to slip.
    • Unsure: the laces are on the outer part of the foot, instead of running up the top. It's supposed to reduce pressure on top of the foot. This isn't a problem for me usually and I haven't noticed a difference except that it's a little odd looking.
    • Note: because of the very cushioned ankle, remember to wear thin or low-anklet socks.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Convert a T-shirt into a tank

For various reasons, a lot of athletes don't like short sleeves. Long sleeves - great if it's cold or your muscles haven't warmed up yet. Sleeveless tank - great for freedom of movement and showing off your biceps. But the T-shirt? The sleeve lives in no man's land. It's nondescript, not flattering, not functional. Just gives you a farmer's tan and, in the worst case, makes your shoulders look extra broad.

Here's an easy tip (mostly for women) on how to turn a t-shirt into a tank without cutting off the sleeves and looking like a power lifter:

I saw this at the Under Armour store in Baltimore. It looked so cute (better than I've done here), that I actually asked where they were selling the little ties. Turns out (and here comes the tip for how to make your t-shirt a tank), they had cut up their own head bands and made them into ties. Because of the grippy rubber on one side, they stay tied, so your sleeves stay up. One headband makes about three ties.

Why do it: You might have a drawer full of athletic t-shirts that you don't wear because they just aren't good looking. Instead of shelling out another $20-40 for a new tank, go to the hair products section of your local drug store and buy one of those multipacks of fun-colored (or black, if that's more your style), skinny headbands. Go home, get crafty and get happy with your new gear!

Stay healthy.