• Juan J. Arrieta

Quite a versatile running shoe

Disclaimer: I received a pair of UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (Ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

I have never been much of a trail runner, but over the last couple of years, thanks to some of my running family at Team RWB I have been mixing things up a bit and have ventured more and more into the trails, to where I have even entered and completed a couple of trail races in the last few months. So needless to say I gladly took on the opportunity to receive and review the UA Horizon Trail Shoes last month. I had been running those races with regular road shoes until then and wanted to experience the difference between the two types.

I must admit I was a bit hesitant to be receiving these without having tried them first at a store, as I'm generally quite picky about the fit of any of my shoes, not just running ones. I feel the fit has to be practically perfect, otherwise I just don't buy them. So I was quite surprised on the day they arrived with how well they fit me. They were very comfortable right out of the box, and felt to be designed with just the right balance between weight and foot support. I walked around the house and took them outside for a light jog down the street and was again, surprised that they fit me like a glove with no strange or bothersome rubbing anywhere on my feet.

A couple of days later I took them on an Interval run of 4 sets for 5-minutes, each one below half-marathon pace, sandwiched between an easy pace 2-mile warmup and a 2-mile easy jog at the end, so I tested them on a wide range of paces to feel and experience the difference between each. The trails are approximately a mile and a half from my house, so I was somewhat hesitant to run them on pavement for that long on my way there and back, but figured it would be interesting to see how they'd handle that.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much cushion and comfort I felt the entire way on the concrete surface. It had been raining here quite a bit over the last couple of days, so once I reached the trails, the conditions were perfect to test them as there was plenty of mud, wet grass, and puddles all over, and they handled that without a hitch; I never even came close to slipping and my feet never got wet, all while feeling light enough where I had no problem hitting my target pace on the intervals. During all of my runs after that, that same feeling has continued and the thing I'd say I like the best about them is that they make my ankles feel extremely stable and secure with just the right amount of support and without being too restrictive (that is a tough balance to achieve).

In addition to the overall fit and feel on both concrete and trail surfaces, the shoes are quite appealing in design and color to me. While I always focus first on fit and feel when selecting running shoes, I can't deny that the very next thing on the list is looks. If the fit is great and on top of that, they have decent colors and design like these Horizon RTT Trail shoes do, you have a winning combination in my book. I found the teal/black/orange color combination of this particular model I received to be great, along with several other color and pattern sets on their entire line for men: https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/mens-ua-horizon-rtt-trail-running-shoes/pid1287337 as well as women: https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/womens-ua-horizon-rtt-trail-running-shoes/pid1287338-300. As of the date of this post (3/25/2018), they retail online for $109.99 and in my opinion are WELL WORTH THAT for the quality of shoes they are.

Within a day or two after each of my test runs on the trails, I would wipe these shoes down with a wet cloth towel and the dirt, grass, and grime easily came off thanks to the materials used to construct them. So, in addition to protecting your feet and keeping them dry during the run, they're also quite easy to keep clean. As you touch and handle them, you can tell they're well constructed to absorb quite a bit of impact and are designed to last.

In conclusion, they're keepers for me and are well worth a try for you to consider adding to your rotation.

As part of a current trail-racing campaign, Under Armour and BibRave are offering an outstanding promotion to the Copper Mountain Under Armour Race Series through which you can receive 20% off your race registration when you use code "BIBRAVE20" at checkout.

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