I HAVE MOVED

After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.

Harold

Monday, March 23, 2015

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini - 50 Mile Review

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: March 23, 2015

Seth over at Granite City Running, kept telling me about how great the Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini was, from the time they opened in January, until I finally relented and got a pair on February 26th.

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini

Yeah it took me almost a month to get 50 miles on a pair of shoes, which says more about the winter we have had than anything about the shoes. It has been a tough winter up heah.

I will be honest that I have a hard time trying out non-name brands as legitimate running shoes. Which probably means that I am a bit of a running shoe snob - okay so be it. Until I actually run successfully in other/new brand’s running shoes, I am pretty damn skeptical about them.

All I know is that I have worn way too many pair of running shoes over the past few years, but I also have learned what I like and what works for me – the hard way. You know wearing actually running in them.

Honestly, I didn’t believe that the Under Armour brand would have running shoes that would work for me, based on their reputation and how trying on some of their products, didn’t impress me in the past.

I have been proven wrong with the Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini – I like them A LOT - so far.
How have they worked out for me?

The Gemini are working well for me after 60 miles. They have done better than I ever expected. They have become my primary running shoes for outside use (even with the arctic conditions we have had), which is why they took so long to get 50 miles on them – I have run too damn many miles on the treadmill and I haven’t used the Gemini on the treadmill as often as I want to.

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini - top view

They are a surprising shoe and, not because they are from Under Armour and I am liking them, but because they feel lighter and faster than what their specs lead you to believe. I know – the brand’s marketing spiel is that midsole adapts to how you are running. Which meant that I was pretty skeptical about what they were claiming…after all it is usually just so much marketing bullshit designed to get us to buy their product.

Mmmmmm the Gemini - when I am running slower they feel like a well-cushioned trainer and when I pick-up the pace (for me), they feel like a firmer faster shoe. I don’t know the science or really even care all that much about how they actually do it, other than the shoes work at faster and slower paces for me. So maybe there is something about the Charged midsole from Under Armour.
Fit/Sizing

For consistent measurement purposes, I am a size 7.0 on the Brannock Foot measuring device and when you add-on a thumb’s width, it usually puts me in an 8.0 to an 8.5 in most running shoes. Below is a photo of the Gemini and my thumb showing where my right big toe is inside the toe box to show how it actually fits my foot?

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini - A Thumb's Width

The Genesis 8.5 length is just about a thumb's width from the end and is how I want my shoes to fit length-wise. The width has not bothered my Tailor’s Bunionette, so they are wide enough, which is something that I need from any shoe that I run in. A lot of blogs and ShoeFittr are recommending going up ½ size, but it seems that I am between an 8 and 8.5 and that for most brands 8.5 is a good fit for me and how I prefer shoes to fit my feet (especially my right foot).
Feel (different from fit)

I run very quietly in the U/A Gemini’s, which means I feel that I run efficiently in the shoes. Like I said previously the shoes feel like they are running lighter, more cushioned and faster than I would have expected from the advertised specs.

With the Gemini I just throw out the specs and run in them, which is something I can’t say about too many shoes – most of the time I have a certain range of specs that I run better in and the Gemini are a bit outside of my sweet spot.

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini

I feel comfortable running faster than I should in the Gemini and might just start using them for most of my outside runs (including speedwork, tempo and maybe even my races), well other than my recovery runs – more because I tend to run them too fast in the Gemini, than that they are not comfortable running slower.

Sole

The outsole has some minor wear points, in the usual spots for me. I toe-off so there is some wear at the front of the shoe and when I run slower, I heel strike more and there is some wear there. Otherwise the sole is holding up quite well for having over 60 miles outside in the salt/sand/tar/snow mixes I have run in this winter.

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini - outsole

There is no removable insert or sock liner, so the one that is in there is what you get…although if you really wanted to I think that there is enough room for a thin insert. However, I don’t think too many people would bother.

Under Armour’s design for the sole works for me and reminds me of the Pearl Izumi feel underfoot, when it comes to the heel-to-toe smoothness.

The outsole design did surprise me at how well it handled snowy conditions, but at the same time I have trail shoes that do better in nasty conditions. I wouldn't hesitate to run in sloppy weather or moderate/easy trails, dirt roads in the Gemini – they would protect my feet, but provide enough traction. More technical trails or really nasty winter weather – I will stick with my trail shoes.

Upper
Initially, I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about the looks of the blue Gemini’s that I got (looks are not everything), but they grew on me. Even though the uppers were made in a “bra” factory (go to the Under Armour website for more on that), they are very functional and support ahhh my feet “just enough”.

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini

The Gemini’s upper works great for me and I will take functional over stylish every time – even though having both is always nice. Although my ideas of stylish are not the same as many others – there I admitted it.

The heel looks weird and felt weird when I looked at and tried on the shoes (several times). I really didn’t think I would like it and thought that the upper would rub my ankle area or that I would get blisters on my heel/Achilles area due to the design. The heel counter and height of the ankle cut-outs were the primary reasons that I was such a tough sell on these shoes. However, once I started running in the Gemini, I didn’t and haven’t noticed the heel or sides at all and have had zero issues with either foot.

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini - Heel View

One thing on the upper that I am not crazy about is the plastic toe bumper and think I can understand why Under Armour put it there (less to protect the toes, more to give some shape to the front of the shoe (at least from my perspective). When I got the Gemini, I didn’t know if it would bother the side of my right foot, because I could feel it when I put my hand inside of the shoes. Thankfully it has not bothered me at all while running, but it might bother some runners.

Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini - toe box

Modifications

There are not a whole of mods that you can do to the Gemini, but the black and blue flat laces, just didn’t thrill me. There wasn’t much contrast to the shoes – they looked kind of dull and drab, so I attempted to jazz it up a little by initially changing the laces to Pearl Izumi’s HiVis Yellow laces, but they were too long. Then I used a pair of white LockLaces and I really think that little change was just enough contrast to improve the “looks” of the shoes for me.

If Bennie Chewed Up These Shoes Today, What Would I Do?

The old would I buy them again question? To be honest, I have already told Seth, to have another pair of 8.5’s (in bright hi-vis yellow) in stock, with my name on the box for when I need them sometime in May. That is right for the first time in a long time I have already got my “next” pair of daily trainers lined up and if Bennie chewed up my Genesis, I would hurry down to Granite City Running and get my next pair.

The Reality is that

This is a shoe that Seth at Granite City Running had to keep talking about, persuading me to try on and keep bragging about how great they were, for me to finally get a pair. However I wasn’t all that keen on Under Armour shoes, based on how they had fit me in the past, I was very reluctant to give them the time of day. However, he was persistent and he does know what I run well in.

After every has been said and done, the Gemini’s have surpassed my expectations and have turned into my favorite running shoes since my GRR2’s and are my early favorites to be my favorite running shoe of 2015.

The thing that I like best about the Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini’s is that they disappear on my feet while I am running. I put them on and forget about them.

The biggest things that I dislike about the Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini are:

  • The name - it is too long. I think that they could get rid of the SpeedForm and just call them Under Armour Gemini’s.
  • I want to call them the Genesis, not the Gemini. To me they are the start of something new for Under Armour and I for some reason just keep calling them Genesis. So if I have called them Genesis somewhere in this post, just read it as Gemini – that is what I mean.

I can’t give a shoe a higher recommendation than I have already started to think about buying another pair when these are done. At 50 miles that is not something that I typically think about doing, usually I wait until 200 miles, when I really know a pair of shoes.

Disclosure of Material Connection: These shoes are a personal purchase from Granite City Running. The opinions I have expressed are my own and your experiences with this product might be different from mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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