Under Armour's knitted HOVR Tour SL provide supreme comfort and are packed to the rafters with tech. George Cooper put them to the test
Helping to lock you down where you need support and stretch where you need flexibility, the HOVR Tour SL headlines Under Armour’s new footwear range for 2022. Let’s take a closer look…
UA HOVR Tour SL: First impressions
What stood out straight away was the knitted upper and unique lacing system which seemed to wrap around the whole forefront of the shoe.
While they might not appeal to the traditionalist, I love this high-tech, futuristic look. They are cool and modern but at the same time still look more like a golf shoe than a trainer, unlike so many other spikeless models.
UA HOVR Tour SL: The technology
Collaborating with the world’s leading expert in golf swing biomechanics, Jean-Jacques Rivet, the HOVR Tour SL is designed to enhance every golfer’s ability to transfer power from the ground into the swing.
The central feature of the shoe is the knitted textile upper, which helps to create a sock like stretchy feel. But whilst traction is often compromised in knitted golf shoes, stability is maintained in the HOVR Tour SL thanks to its Intelliknit technology.
Intelliknit uses a strategic combination of stretch yarns and lockdown yarns to support the golf swing through impact. The technology is also treated with a stain-proof and waterproof NeverWet membrane, allowing the shoe to be worn in any conditions out on the course.
The HOVR Tour SL incorporates all of Under Armour’s rotational, horizontal and vertical traction technologies to generate incredible levels of energy return.
Using a lightweight TPU in unison with UA Rotational Resistance Traction and injected rubber spikes, the HOVR Tour SL offers true spike-like stability and grip throughout the swing, but with all the comfort and versatility of a spikeless shoe.
“The key innovation here is the dual-durometer of the spikes. The firm spikes penetrate the ground for traction, while the soft rubber-like spikes build up necessary friction with the grass, giving you contact points with the ground at all times.”Jake Haley, Senior PLM of Golf Footwear at Under Armour
The TPU outsole also features strategical flex channels based around the science of biomechanics, helping to keep the foot grounded for longer to produce more power through the swing.
At the back of the shoe, padding cushioning and an extended heel counter provides a vacuum like seal, producing maximum stability and the ultimate fit for any foot shape.
UA HOVR Tour SL: NCG verdict
These are without a doubt the closest pair of spikeless shoes I’ve ever worn which actually feel like you’re wearing spikes.
I kept having to remind myself that I actually wasn’t wearing spikes whilst testing these out, so Under Armour have clearly excelled in producing the ultimate spikeless traction shoe. Not only is the traction on the sole very impressive, but thanks to the rubber spikes they also remain soft underfoot even after 18 holes, so you get the best of both worlds.
At first, they did feel very snug and narrow across the front of the foot because of the Intelliknit technology, but I got used to this pretty quickly. Overall, the sock-like style felt incredibly comfortable. I would recommend wearing the shoes with thinner socks though to complement the technology and reap its true benefits.
The comfort ultimately didn’t hinder the stability of the shoe, as even when hitting driver my feet felt fully supported and locked into the grass. It will be interesting to see if this remains the case in wetter conditions, but given how much traction the shoes provide, I am confident they will retain their grip in the rain.
As a whole, comfort meets stability with Under Armour’s latest offering. These are easily the most supportive knitted golf shoe I have ever worn and provide all the traction of a traditional spiked shoe.
UA HOVR Tour SL: The details
Colours: Black/Red; Grey/White
More Info: Under Armour website