Under Armour have become well known for our innovative use of fabric to improve sportswear, but we’ve taken innovation to a whole new level with the revolutionary design techniques we’ve applied to trainers. If most running shoe companies started in the shoe business and gravitated towards T-shirts and hoodies, Under Armour have taken the opposite route, knowing it would have to come up with something special to make an impression. UA rose to the occasion with the SpeedForm shoe, which provides superior cushioning, a precision fit and structured support that helps control foot motion. And where would the concept for this breakthrough come from? Well, the SpeedArmour would get its inspiration from a most unusual source: bra moulding.
This would lead to a design that is the utmost in simplicity. The upper materials are formed in two pre -shaped sections that fit together like a clamshell. To put this into perspective, where a typical shoe could have up to twenty parts constituting its upper, the SpeedForm has only three. With fewer parts and no stitching, the shoe is able to smoothly conform to the runner’s foot. Say goodbye to the rigidity that seams can enforce, as the SpeedForm’s uppers are held together by ultrasonic welding that you can’t even feel. There’s no need for an insole, as a moulded, seamless heel cup anchors the foot.
You can see as well as feel the difference when you look at the SpeedForm from above. Isolated toe undulations wave their way across the upper, putting the toes into position, with a fit that’s snug but doesn’t bind.
These technological innovations pioneered by UA promise to revolutionise running shoe manufacture. Imagine how this technology could be combined with 3D printing. Since the manufacturing process requires far fewer parts, the labour involved is significantly reduced, which could potentially reduce the number of sweatshops in the world, by allowing domestic production and, hopefully, leading to better working conditions.
You can take part in this revolution by making your next pair of trainers SpeedForms – Under Armour have produced a ground breaking range of these shoes, guaranteed to feel like the lightest things you’ve ever put on your feet – and to make you the quickest you’ve ever been on them.