Under Armour Hovr Infinite trainers. Picture: SUPPLIED
Under Armour Hovr Infinite trainers. Picture: SUPPLIED

UA Hovr Infinite
Cool factor 3/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 4/5

It’s not often you have to do a Bluetooth pairing with your running shoes. But that’s the standout feature of the new Under Armour (UA) Hovr Infinite trainers, or takkies as we call them in SA.

Not only are they superbly comfortable running shoes, but the sensor in the right heel measures a bunch of useful metrics — the length of your stride, speed and distance, cadence and pace.

If you’re an active runner it’s much more helpful than to a nonpractising health fanatic like me who is trying to be a lapsed nonpractising health fanatic by starting to run again. (I was an avid runner in my youth.)

The sensor syncs with UA’s MapMyRun app to give you all this data on your phone.

These are not the first running shoes to have an embedded sensor, but they are certainly the slickest I’ve tried. And there is a certain novelty to having an accelerometer in your shoe, given that this is usually a sensor that is found only in smartphones.

It does seem to be overkill, given how many fitness tracking apps there are on the market for said smartphones. But the UA Hovrs (R2,500) are much more accurate for the metrics that it tracks, because the sensor is in the shoe, not in a gadget somewhere else on your body.

And they cost around the same as many other running shoes. It also means you can leave your phone behind, which is more viable now that smartwatches sync your music and pair with Bluetooth headphones.

Personally, I run to get away from the endless notifications on my phone, and it’s easier than trying to strap it to your arm so you have music to listen to. The batteries are designed to outlast the shoes, so you’ll never need to replace them, UA says.

It’s an unusual sight to see an Icasa sticker for a wireless device on the soles of a trainer, but then, these are not your normal running shoes.