Weight: 300g (M), 269g (W)
It sounds like a beast of a shoe, and well, it is. But not as you’d possibly expect.
A more streamlined version than it’s two predecessors, the Under Armour HOVR Machina 3 provides a really comfortable, stable ride that’s going to be great across the hilly 14km route from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach that 70,000+ runners will be embarking on in just under a month’s time.
The easy run as part of this week’s launch event was nothing short of heavenly on the feet (and the eyes for that matter, whilst cruising along the most iconic coastline in the world – no Sydney bias here). The cushioning was noticeable in a good way in the mid foot (where I strike the ground) and the heel with every stride, and the seamless upper fit well (runs true to size, with a good amount of space in the toe box).
Upon reading an email from City2Surf saying the event is less than a month away, I locked in a hills session after work in an attempt to see what the Machina 3 is going to be like on race day around the inclines of Double Bay & Vaucluse.
The result? Whilst it doesn’t look like the lightweight racer I almost always do my hill repeats in, there was far more toe-off & response in the front third of the shoe than I had originally thought, with a 8% gradient feeling really comfortable. The shoe comes in at 300 grams (comparable to the weight of the Nike Pegasus range), which I’d usually turn up my nose at on paper, but I just didn’t feel 300 grams on my feet at all. Quite the opposite, the UA HOVR cushioning actually did have a noticeable energy return helping me all the way up the P1 Capark ramp (you can join me on Thursday’s after work if you’d like) on each repetition.
I finished with a few strides back to the office – and it held up well without being the leopard-fast shoe of the Saucony Endorphin or Nike Vaporfly series. But realistically, the Machina 3 isn’t trying to be something it’s not – it’s there as comfort, it’s there as cushioned, and it’s there as just a solid, fun ride.
So the question remains – do I get the Machina 3’s for City2Surf? Well, if you’re after the three things in the sentence above, you might be able to answer that question yourself.
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James Constantine - Runner's World wear-tester & contributor
Athletics NSW Marketing & Communications Manager
5x Marathoner, 10x City2Surf'er, not sponsored
16:06 5K PB, 33:49 10K PB, 76:32 Half Marathon PB, 2:52:43 Marathon PB.