Any runners out there? If you love running, you’ll know what it’s like to smash your personal best on a 5K. Or being able to build your endurance over time and see results.  Happily I am in  that category. Of course running it is good for longevity.  So, I was overjoyed to be able to test out the new Underarmour Hovr runners. Especially since these shoes were designed specifically with this desire to constantly improve in mind.

What makes them different from the runners you have now?

First off, these babies are seriously high-tech. They come with a built-in high-fidelity sensor in the mid sole of the right-footed shoe. This sensor digitally connects seamlessly to the MapMyRun™ app via Bluetooth™ Low Energy (BLE). While you run, it tracks your movements. It then gives you personalized feedback that will help you improve your running style and achieve your running goals more effectively.

How does it work?

For all the tech that goes into it, the process of setting up your runners is very simple. First, you need to download the most recent version of the MapMyRun™ app. Next, you create a profile containing all your physical information. This will be used to track your progress and help you improve as an athlete.

Then it’s time to get moving! Gear up, connect your new runners to the app on your phone via Bluetooth, and the app will detect the pod in the right shoe. It will then prompt confirmation, after which the shoes are paired and ready for their first digitally connected run.

From here, it gets better.

Thanks to its wireless system, you can leave your phone at home when you go running and disconnect from our tech-laden world for a while. When you come back, you will have a full report on your run on the app. This includes the distance you went, the total duration of your run and elevation gain, as well as your average pace, stride length, cadence, gait, and the total amount of calories burnt. Finally, you also get a personalized coaching tip, based on how you did at it and how it ties in with your goals.

If your goal is to ride a bike instead of run or walk for that matter, simply adjust the goals on your app and it will personalize it for you.

About the sensor

It is located in the mid sole of the right-footed shoe that digitally connects seamlessly to the MapMyRun™ app via Bluetooth™ Low Energy (BLE). The sensor is fully protected from the elements and will last the lifetime of the shoe without needing a charge.

runners run

How will it make me a better runner?

Let’s say you want to be able to run a full marathon in about twelve weeks from now. The app works out a running plan for you, based on your goals and the available time you have. Each week, you will have to run different ways to build up your fitness levels. For example, on Monday, you will run tempo intervals of 3m:00s at a pace of approximately 6:05min/km. The workout would be broken down into a warm-up, actual running and cool down. On Wednesday, you are scheduled for a good long run at an easy pace, which will help your body get accustomed to longer, more taxing runs.


You can opt for live feedback

During the run, a voice-over gives you live feedback on the distance you’ve covered so far and how you are doing. Over time, these workouts build-up to get you to your goal.  Your own personalized coaching tip gives you feedback that can help you adjust your running style to meet your target.

With my first run I was informed that my stride length was out. It stayed that way for about two more runs before I was able to get it right. I was advised on what to do to make this easier, and once I got it right, I was notified. I was also able to see the pace and portions of the run where I hit my ideal form and where I could improve.

Other runners special features: 

It can be connected to your Apple Watch, and once you connect the watch to your phone, you can use the MapMyRun app on your watch.

Besides, you can connect it to Fitbit, Garmin Connect, Suunto, Misfit, Polar, and Samsung health. It can also connect to wireless accessories via Bluetooth. Want to hear the voiceover in-between listening to music? Simply connect it to your wireless earphones.

The app tracks and saves your routes as well, making access easier.

So, are these runners hype or hope?

It’s a hope from me. I have always enjoyed running, and with these shoes, I feel like I can optimize each run and get better every time – absolutely worth it.

Take it up a notch

Want to know how to get a runner’s high? Click on the link to find out.

Johane du Toit

Johane du Toit

Johané du Toit is the Health Writer at Longevity Magazine. She has a keen interest in medical and scientific innovations and aspires to provide the public with the latest reliable news in the fields of medicine, fitness, wellness, and science. Johane is happiest outdoors, preferably near a large body of water or in the mountains, and loves waterskiing, cooking, traveling and reading.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.