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

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Under Armour SpeedForm Bandit 2 - 50 Mile Review

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Well this 50 mile review took a LOT less time to get to than my last one :-). Finally, starting to get so I can run again, which is a good thing.


The Under Armour SpeedForm Bandit 2's were a birthday present from Mary (that I picked up the week before at Olympia Sports in Waterville, when I decided to go in a different direction from my last daily trainers). It was tough to leave a new pair of running shoes in the closet for a week, when I knew they were they just waiting for me to run in them.

Enough background how are they doing?

You can my initial thoughts here

So far, they are comfortable to run in and haven't bothered my feet in any of the runs that I have used them, although there is a distracting snugness in my right foot at times. It took a couple of runs to get used to the slightly different stride from my other shoes. Yeah, it is my experience that each pair of shoes has its best way to land in that pair of shoes that seems to be slightly different - I might be full of crap, but that has been my experience.

One thing I have noticed is the Bandit 2's run lighter than their listed weights and that is something that I have experienced with my other U/A shoes.

Some Stats

Weight from my new scale:


My Bandit 2's are size 8.5 U.S. men's and so I expect them to be slightly lighter than the standard weights listed by the Brand or Retailers, which typically use either size 9 or 10.

Weight: 9.5 oz (size 9)
Stack Height: 29mm (Heel), 19mm (Forefoot) for a 10mm drop, which is where I wanted to be with my Achilles issues.
*Stats from Running Warehouse website

Weight: 9.8 oz (Under Armour website)
What are these shoe's purpose in my rotation?

The Bandit 2's are my everyday runners and when I get back to the point that I can run long again, my run long shoes.

What kinds of runs have I done in them so far?

Shorter and middle distance stuff on tar, dirt roads, treadmill, groomed trails and runs with Bennie (which brings out flaws in some shoes very quickly, because it is much more like interval work). I am still limited with Achilles/Left heel issues. So longer or faster runs haven't happened, but I have been able to stretch the distances a bit and pick up the pace for some runs. I have managed to get up to speed a couple of times in the shoes and they did well.


Are they comfortable?

The Bandit 2's size 8.5's fit the way 8.5's are supposed to fit. When I tried on the 9's I could have gotten away with wearing them, but the 8.5's felt better, the 8.0's were just too snug. So for me the sizing is just about right on.

The toe box is borderline on the width, but the upper has enough give/stretch around my tailor's bunionette to make it only feel snug, but it has not bothered my foot, other than I notice the snugness for the first part of run and then forget about it as the run goes on. It does mean that I don't want to wear thick socks with these shoes.


For a mild motion control shoe, I think part of the reason for the above is that the Bandit 2's are a little more of a curved last than some other similar style shoes, which would be more of a problem for me if the upper didn't have some give to it. I have done up to 7.0 miles without any issues other than a feeling of snugness, which is okay by me.


I have worn them casually without socks and believe that I could run without socks and not run into any problems. However, I am too used to the sock routine so it is not really something that I look all that closely at for running.

Initially I had in the stock laces, but just didn't like them, so I changed over to LockLaces and it took a few more runs to get the fit where I wanted it. I needed loosen it up little more than compared to the left foot, now they are fitting quite nicely.


I like a more cushioned feel and the Bandit 2's have that feeling when I am going slower, however, when I pick up the pace, the shoes seem to firm up and don't bottom out like some other cushioned shoe I have run in. There is a nice firm feeling that make them feel faster and lighter than their listed 9.5 to 9.8 oz. 

They are comfortable, fit my feet and running style.

Do they run quiet or slap the road?

The B2's have a tapping sound when I am landing towards the back of the foot due to the amount of rubber and how the heel unit is designed. When I am running with more of a forefoot landing, they are much quieter.


I guess I have two running forms, one for running faster and a more heel first when I am running slower. Nothing is ever consistent about me it seems.

Are they rock collectors?

One of the things I like is that except for a couple of times, there have not been any pebbles to constantly pick out of the sole unit. Although if I do land just right on a rock it does stick in the exposed foam.

Are they multipurpose or strictly roads/trails/snow?


Like most shoes primarily designed for the roads, the B2's are not what I would call a real multi-purpose shoes. Running on groomed trails is not a problem when they are dry and they do fine on wet roads. I think they would be okay in dry snow, but in wet slushy stuff, mud, lots of rocks or wet grass, there just is not enough tread and I have better choices.

What don't I like about them?

The flat laces just didn't do it for me and I put in LockLaces and they are working great.


I think that for a light motion control shoe, I would like to see more of a straight or semi-curved last versus what I see as too much of a curved last.

Appearance

The hounds-tooth look might be cool for casual dress and wearing them with jeans, but they are running shoes first and foremost, not lifestyle shoes.

So I would have preferred them with different choices in the colorways besides the houndstooth and I think some runners will be put off by the non-running shoe look they give off. Just my opinion, but if I had to pick a pair of running shoes based on appearances, I would take my U/A Apollo 2's every time over the Bandit 2's.


Appearances might be deceiving, but they are a factor in whether many runners will purchase a particular shoe or not, even if it is a great running shoe.

The breathability on the B2's might be an issue during hot weather since they don't seem to have a lot of ventilation. It hasn't bothered me, but for some people this could be a problem.

The reality is that

So far the Under Armour SpeedForm Bandit 2's have done everything that I have asked of them and have not bothered my feet. While the snugness doesn't always allow the B2's to completely disappear on my feet, it is more of a distraction than an issue, which I attribute to the curve of the last.


However, the upper compensates just enough for the curve, so that the snug feeling remains at a snug feeling - which I think some runners will like. Me I am still making up my mind about it.

The true test will be when I start running double-digit runs in them, then I will know whether or not it is an issue.

A very nice running shoe that made it to 50 miles.

Would I get the Under Armour SpeedForm Bandit 2's again?

It is too soon for me to say. I am running well in the B2's, but with the snugness issue that is merely a distraction right now, I want to make sure that it doesn't become more than that, especially as I get ready to start doing double-digit runs again. Time will tell on this one and by the time I get 200 miles on the Bandit 2's I will know for certain whether I will be getting another pair or not.



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