Disclaimer: I received a free pair of UA Horizon RTTs to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
I’ll put the summary right here at the top for you short attention span types that don’t want to dive into the details.
I ran several short runs in these and one long run of 11 miles. The long run was a nice combination of “runnable” trails and some technical stuff with some rocky stuff and a little bit of various dirt and gravel. I was unable to really get into anything too muddy. The Horizons are a shoe that I believe can handle the tough terrain and there’s enough substance to wear them through long distances while also not being too much shoe to kick up the pace when you need to (or want to). I felt like I could run fast in them, although I likely wouldn’t choose them for a short distance race shoe. I have only one ultra marathon under my belt, but I do know distance running and the Horizons are built to go the distance, whatever distance it may be. Overall, I really have enjoyed running in the Horizons so far. I’m a huge fan of Under Armour shoes in general, though this is my first pair of their trail shoes. I’ve run many miles in UA SpeedForm Apollos and SpeedForm Apollo 2s. Some of miles include PRs. I trust UA to know what they’re doing and honestly, I’ve wondered why their running shoes aren’t as widely used as I’d expect.
Out of the box, I thought to myself that the Horizons were too good looking a shoe for me to want to get them all crapped up with trail dirt. As far as cosmetics go, the only thing I’d like to see different is a small stiched section at the top of the tongue that matches the light color on the shoe. It really should just match the rest of the tongue. The tread seems simple, but unlike other trail shoes that I’ve run in. When I tried them on, they seemed to have a good grip without impacting the feel on my feet as some trail shoes can do. Initially, I thought that the shoes felt “bulky” and maybe a little heavy. Honestly, I think that I’m spoiled by some of the lightweight road shoes that I run in and they affected my feel for these trail shoes. Once I took them out for a test drive, I had no thoughts of bulkiness or heaviness. They do feel as though they are armor for your feet. I have no doubts that durability won’t be an issue. I’d recommend sizing up a half size if you ever size up. I usually wear a 12, but decided to upsize to a 12.5 and I’m glad I did. There’s no way a 12 would have fit right.
I took the Horizons out for a short and easy run out on the trails with my good friends of the Blue Ridge Trail Runners. They noticed my shiny new trail shoes and I tried not to make a big deal about them, but I was pretty excited to take them out. I wanted to get a nice combination of speedy stuff, climbing, rocks, mud, and all of the other things that we love about trail running. I couldn’t find the mud, but I was able to get the other things in.
I really liked what I found out. The Horizons felt fairly invincible, like they are made out of Ironman’s suit. They weren’t the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn, but I’m optimistic that can improve over time. What I liked most was that the Horizons seem to find a middle ground of being able to take a beating, provide cushioning and support but at the same time I can definitely get going in them.
I was very happy to be able to take the Horizons for a long run at Lake Tahoe! I know, I know, 11 miles probably isn’t even considered a long run by ultra runner standards, but I think that 2-3 hours in these was enough to know where the weaknesses might be over the long haul. The run was absolutely beautiful. I had no idea where to run, but I found some trails about a mile from where I was staying. I ended up climbing over 1,000 feet and then I got to really test the shoes out on the way back down. My feet tend to get beat up on the downhill technical stuff.
I actually started running on asphalt to get to the trails. The Horizons weren’t bad on the road and if you had to run a race featuring some of both road and tral, you could definltely get away with it. Once I hit the trails, I was happy with how well the shoes protected my feet and gripped the terrain.
On the way down, I hit the gas and let gravity do its thing. The shoes are light enough that I felt like I could keep my feet quick enough to handle the terrain without problems. My feet didn’t get too banged up from the run downhill. I had some minor blistering on my outer pinky toes, but for me that’s typical.
I think that these shoes are a solid choice for a distance runner’s trail shoe. I’m curious to find out how many miles I can get out of them because they honestly seem to be built like a tank. They aren’t the softest shoe I’ve ever worn, but they certainly seem to be able to take whatever punishment you’re willing to dish out.
Support/Cushioning Somewhat narrow (size up)