The Under Armour Flow Synchronicity marks a first for Under Armour — it’s a shoe designed specifically for the female foot. For years, women have been running in shoes designed for men that have been made slightly smaller, slightly narrower, and well, made pink. Yet in 2022, Under Armour has released the Flow Synchronicity, made by an all-female design team, and I was one of the first runners to put it to the test.
Weight: 8.3 oz (women’s US7)
The design of the shoe focuses on three main areas where the female foot differs from a man's — the heel, the arch, and the midfoot height. It’s an everyday running shoe, best suited for easy miles, and I’ve put it to the test over 30 miles. How does it compare to some of the best women’s running shoes on the market? Read my initial Under Armour Flow Synchronicity review to find out more.
Under Armour Flow Synchronicity review: Price and availability
The Under Armour Flow Synchronicity was released on June 9, 2022 and costs $140 / £115. At launch, it’s available in five different colorways — black/tangerine, black/neptune, black, white and pink — and in sizes US 5.5 to US 12.
As this is a female running shoe, it’s only available in a women’s fit.
Under Armour Flow Synchronicity review: Design and fit
At the launch event in New York, Helen Woo, Senior Director of Biomechanics at Under Armour, held up a 3D foot (it’s called a ‘last’ in the shoe-designing business) that was used as the mold for the shoe. This is nothing new in itself, but this last was a first: it was made completely from scratch based on the scans of thousands of women’s feet, to help the brand create a better-fitting shoe.
To do this, Under Armour focused on the arch support and on securing the heel of the shoe. Out of the box, it comes up a little longer in the foot than the Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind and the HOVR Machina 2 running shoe. I’ve run in a UK 5 (US 7.5) in all three shoes, and definitely feel that I could have sized down half a size in the Synchronicity. That said, I’m a UK 4 in my everyday sneakers, so perhaps the approach here is to buy your actual shoe size, not size up as you would normally in running shoes. (Confused? Here’s a guide to buying running shoes and how they should fit).
The upper of the Flow Synchronicity has been designed with minimal layers, for close-to-foot containment. This isn’t a bootie-upper — there’s still enough stretch to prevent irritation or hot spots — but it’s definitely designed to hug the foot and keep it in place on the run.
In my opinion, the best design feature when looking at the upper is the heel grip. Despite the shoe coming up a little long for me, the shaped heel really did keep my foot from sloshing around in the shoe, and it was comfortable on the run.
Under Armour has used its Flow midsole cushioning in this shoe. It’s the same midsole as that found in the Flow Velociti Wind and it’s designed to be super lightweight. It’s definitely not overly plush — you don’t sink into this shoe, and after doing a lot of training miles in the likes of the Nike Zoom X Invincible Run and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v12, it definitely felt firmer underfoot when running on concrete.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, because it's not intended to be particularly plush; Under Armour isn't positioning this as a marathon shoe, focusing instead on making the foam lightweight. Compared to other female-first running shoes released this year, such as the Lululemon Blissfeel (8.9oz) and the Adidas Ultraboost 22 (10oz), the Flow Synchronicity is much lighter, weighing in at 8.3oz, so if it’s lightweight you’re after, you get it here.
Under Armour says it's added additional arch support to the midsole of the shoe to help support the female foot. This is still a neutral running shoe, so it’s nothing overly dramatic, but as a runner with high arches, I did appreciate the support, and could definitely feel it towards the final miles of a run.
The outsole of the Flow Synchronicity follows the design introduced in the Velociti Wind in the lack of a rubber outsole. Rather, the midsole extends right to the pavement, where a grid-like pattern helps ensure solid contact with the road, even in slippery conditions.
Under Armour Flow Synchronicity review: Performance
So, how does all that tech feel on the run? I’ve tested this shoe over a number of different sessions — a 10-mile long run, a faster tempo session, and a shorter easy run-commute. I’d definitely want to clock more runs in this shoe before drawing any firm conclusions, but after a week of testing, I’d definitely recommend these for easy runs. While you can pick up the pace in them, there are better shoes on the market designed for running fast (I’ve rounded up the best carbon fibre running shoes here) and I felt they were a little stompy when I was using them for tempo sessions.
That said, as a relatively stompy runner, I wished they had a little more cushioning underfoot for easy running days. As a distance runner, if I was reaching for an Under Armour shoe I’d always opt for the plushness of the Hovr midsole foam, and I missed it when running in this shoe. That said, if you’re not a fan of too much cushioning underfoot, or you’re not ever running further than a 10K, I wouldn’t let this bother you.
When it comes to the fit, the heel support is fantastic. I didn’t experience any heel slipping in the shoe and was impressed at how well it held my foot in place. I also enjoy the design of the shoe — it’s not overtly branded, and the lack of seams prevents hot spots and rubbing. (It is worth noting that my photos of this shoe are from the launch, so they feature a custom artist design).
Under Armour Flow Synchronicity review: MapMyRun app
Like most of the running shoes in Under Armour’s line, the Flow Synchronicity has a Bluetooth chip in the midsole that syncs to the MapMyRun app. While this might sound a little space-aged, it’s a super-smart feature that allows you to track your runs from your feet. The app also gives you coaching tips, and offers advice on your running technique, telling you, for example, your average stride length and cadence, as well as how often you were within the target range, and where you may have dropped off.
While the data might not be as accurate as that provided by the likes of Nurvv, the fact Under Armour gives it to you for free as part of a running shoe is impressive. It’s also far easier to use than Nurvv — you just connect your shoes in the MapMyRun app and go.
Under Armour Flow Synchronicity hands-on review: Verdict
As a runner who has been writing about running shoes for the past five years, the fact brands are finally considering female runners’ needs is encouraging. The Flow Synchronicity is a decent everyday running shoe for women looking to clock a few runs a week in a shoe that fits them well. It probably won’t break PRs or be the shoe you pick for race day, but it’s not pretending to be anything more than an everyday, easy-mile shoe.
If you’re a long-distance runner, or you’re planning on going further than 10K, I’d recommend something a little plusher — the Nike Pegasus 39 is in a similar price bracket, and has a lot more foam underfoot, plus enough of a snap to cope with faster miles. The Under Armour Machina 2 is also plush enough to keep you comfy over higher mileage plans.
All things considered, this is a decent first attempt at a female-first running shoe. Does this mean the days of the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach to female shoe design are over? I hope so.