Under Armour Verge Low Gore-Tex
These shoes land solidly in the middle of the pack in the waterproof-breathable trail runner category.
- Low profile tongue
- Gore Tex membrane keeps water out
- Michelin sole provides possitive grip and durability
- True to size
- Break-in period required before they perform
- Dye stained my socks
I have been using trail runners for almost all of my hiking now for over four years. I find the increased dexterity and reduced fatigue with lighter footwear to be a big endurance and safety benefit on the trail. I have even worn Gore-Tex trail runners to Camp Muir in the snow. I know some prefer the heirloom boot direction, but this is my way and I like it. I also trail run 12-18 miles per week to keep Fat Me from returning.
My most recent pair of trail runners are the Under Armour (UA) Verge. I didn’t know it before, but UA is branching out into the mountains with off-trail shoes, ski jackets, and a promising-looking storm shell jacket (Nimbus Shell) that I wouldn’t mind trying.
Being new to this arena I also had my doubts, but after wearing these shoes pretty much everywhere I am pleased, but not blown away with this shoe.
Right off the bat I was happy to see that they are Gore-Tex lined. I usually leave the desert when I go out to play, so waterproof is a must.
Michelin soles? I have heard of a Goodyear boot welt and I know Vibram soles very well, but I didn’t know that Michelin made rubber for walking on as well.
Reflective thread, for when you prefer not to get run over during an early morning run.
The tongue is low volume and keeps the laces from pressing into my instep.
I trail run an average of 12 miles weekly. They arrived June 10 and this writing is on August 16. I also had the chance to go on several hikes in them as well. I don't wear my trail shoes on the pavement except for the 100 yards on my street before I reach the trail.
I am about a 9.25 in foot size. Which means that sometimes I wear a 9 and sometimes a 9.5. When I get shoes online I always order 9.5. These shoes (9.5) fit slightly large on me which means they are, in my opinion, true to size. I had enough room for thick hiking socks when I wore them.
Having said that I also had no problem cinching them down and hiking downhill with a heavy pack on and my toes never rammed into the ends of them like many shoes/boots I have tested.
I don’t know why, but for the first two weeks these shoes made my feet sore, so much that I was tempted to stop wearing them, but I stuck with it and they have made a truce with my feet and are now a pleasure to wear.
The tread is wearing very nicely but the mesh over the toe box is showing a lot of wear and the toe cap is worn in one place. Possibly these may not last an entire year as I expect with my trail runners.
A medium in this category. I can feel the ground, but loose rocks aren’t bruising my feet. Even though the midsole is beginning to pack out (or conform to my foot, depending on your opinion) they are still protecting me from rocks as I like.
As expected with Gore-Tex. Very waterproof. Just keep the water from running over the tops of your shoes and you’ll be fine.
I really didn’t notice much difference between these and my non-Gore-Tex shoes in this category. Definitely a plus for the Verge.
I found the Michelin rubber to be slightly harder than the Vibram soles I have worn on trail runners before but they were also very grippy on rock and wet logs. I am a fan. I usually toss my trail runners once the tread is worn out. Michelin rubber may allow me to keep them a little longer.
Just enough flex and snappy energy return to make these good for both hiking and running. Here is the problem though; until I had worn these for a couple weeks, they produced a popping/flopping noise when I walked similar to the sounds made by flip-flop sandals. It happened as the shoes snapped back into position after being flexed.
I'm not the only person to notice this with these shoes. As I walked there was a very audible flop flop flop noise that was very distracting. During running and after a few weeks of wear it went away but, if I had heard that noise in the store while trying them on I would have passed on them.
These shoes have stained my socks orange/red. Perhaps the dye in the liners could use an upgrade to prevent color bleeding. Maybe it's my fault for requesting the loudest color available. Maybe I should be thankful for the free color change of my socks?
Listed at 12.7 oz they are on par with their class.
Who should get these shoes?
Hmm, tough question. If other trail runners aren't available in your area and/or you really like the UA brand I guess they may be a good choice but really, in this category I see a lot of other options I would go with first.
Let's hope UA gets better the more they enter the outdoor recreation arena. I mean, the Michelin soles are an innovation, but I don't think they alone make these a go-buy shoe. Taken as a whole, unless they REALLY feel great on your feet, or if you get a really good deal on them, at this price point I'd try another shoe.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample provided by Under Armour for testing and review)
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