UnderArmour HOVER Apex 2 review in a sentence: a very comfortable workout shoe that should suit all but the most demanding gym-goers and park workouteers.
If you’ve been hunting for the best workout shoes and stumbled across Under Armour, there’s no doubt you’ll have found the fitness brand has one of the most extensive offerings out there. There’s the HOVR Rise, HOVR Apex, TriBase Reign, TriBase Edge, Charged Commit, Charged Breathe, and Project Rock to name a few. And that’s not even taking into account its running shoe lineup!
A standout, however, is the HOVR Apex 2, which promises a “zero gravity feel” to maintain energy return and help eliminate impact, backed up by that renowned HOVR foam for comfort and a lightweight mesh upper with 3D print design for enhanced protection and durability. But are these features balanced well enough to ensure this shoe lives up to its expectations? Let’s find out.
UNDER ARMOUR HOVR APEX 2 REVIEW: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Under Armour HOVR Apex 2 gym shoes were launched last July for an RRP of £120 / $140 in five different colour options.
However, some variants of the shoe (the white and the purple colour ways) have since come down in price and can be picked up on Under Armour’s official web store for £40 cheaper, priced at £83.97 / $104. The all-black model, the black model with blue and orange accents and the grey model are all still selling full price at £120 / $140.
UNDER ARMOUR HOVR APEX 2 REVIEW: DESIGN
The HOVR Apex 2 boasts a simple and lightweight mesh upper that’s not only soft and flexible but has a tight weave for durability, overlaid with rubber accents up the side of the ankle. These overlays are 3D prints and aren’t built for stability or support but are designed to make the shoe more durable so it can resist friction from rope climbs and so on. They also give the trainer a unique aesthetic, standing out from rivals.
The tongue is bigger and much padded than we’re used to seeing on gym shoes - it’s almost like a skate shoe. Still, its goal is to bring extra cushioning and comfort during long workouts. As for the ankle area, this touts a quilted padding that hugs the joint to give a perfectly snug fit during use.
So what about the downsides? There's a lot of material that goes into the HOVR Apex 2, so if you're more into lightweight, minimalist training shoes, these might not suit your needs. They also feel and look a little bulky, especially when trying them on for the first time. That’s thanks to UnderArmour’s Tribase tech in the outsole.
Another negative is that if you like to lace up your shoes all the way to the top and use the plastic islands, you may experience some fraying. We found they can tear fairly easily and would definitely benefit from some metal eyelets.
UNDER ARMOUR HOVR APEX 2 REVIEW: SIZING AND FIT
In terms of sizing and fit, the HOVR Apex 2 is pretty wide through the forefoot. So much so that the shoes feel a little bit short and condensed. While it did fit well for us, we can imagine some athletes running into issues, especially those pushing that upper limit in a normal shoe size. We’d therefore recommend going up half a size on your normal run shoe.
UNDER ARMOUR HOVR APEX 2 REVIEW: PERFORMANCE
So how does the shoe fare when it comes to getting hot and sweaty? First off, let’s make it clear that the construction of this shoe means it is best suited to lifting and training over running. This is because the rubber in the mid-sole and heel feels a little too thick and stiff under foot. The shoes feel heavy and somewhat cumbersome as a result.
Still, it’s able to bring some great bounce back energy and cushioning for short, powerful sprints during CrossFit or HIIT training, for example thanks to some layered support. We just wouldn’t recommend any long distance running in these as they’re not going to provide you with the flexibility you need.
As for weight lifting, this is where these shoes truly shine. They are really stable, right where you need it, thanks to the TriBase outsole, which offers a nice, flat base to squat, deadlift, or do any form of lifting in.
The only niggle we have here is that the heel to toe measurement is 8mm, which is slightly higher than what you’ll find on other popular training shoes out there. However, it’s not a huge difference when compared to what most people are used to.
Overall, the HOVR Apex 2 has some really great mechanics built in. We never had any heel slip in this model and with the TriBase tech, you’ve got a great solid base for support across the whole foot, alongside some decent cushioning and bounce-back in the sole, when needed.
UNDER ARMOUR HOVR APEX 2 REVIEW: VERDICT
The HOVR Apex 2 is a multidisciplinary workout shoe that provides some great support and cushioning for most types of exercise, even explosive HIIT or heavy weight lifting thanks to UnderArmour’s Tribase tech in the outsole.
This comfort and support might come at the price of bulkiness, but they are exceptional at eliminating impact, especially when it comes to jumping exercises or quick sprints.
Overall, though - the HOVR Apex 2 is a decent all-in-one gym shoe. So if you want to lift, do lighter runs, and just wear a shoe casually, this is a great model for doing so. As a bonus, they can also be worn casually due to their accessible, universal design and impressive comfort levels.