words_Nick Engvall
images_Zac Dubasik

UA Propulsion Trainer – A shoe that becomes part of you

There is nothing more frustrating or dangerous while exercising than feeling unstable. If you’ve ever done squats, lunges, or t-bar rows at the gym, you can easily understand the importance of having stable footing. Being that your choice of footwear is the last thing between you and the possibility of having 45 pounds or more come crashing down on your foot, back or other body part, it’s safe to say that having a shoe that is stable is one of the most important things for training. Of course, none of us choose the exact same weightlifting or exercise routines, so the importance of the shoe you choose being able to work across a variety of activities is also extremely important.Performance Review: UA Propulsion Trainer Insole

With that in mind, there isn’t a sneaker that I can recall that felt as much a part of me as the Under Armour Propulsion Trainer. Thinking about how a shoe feels, the design of many shoes forgoes one of two things for the betterment of its appearance, either fitment or function. The right cuts, flex points and choice of materials can make or break a shoe. The UA Propulsion Trainer feels like it becomes a part of you with only one ever so slight hiccup.

The Propulsion Trainer does this by utilizing Under Armour’s Foot Sleeve technology. You will first notice this when slipping on the Propulsion Trainer for the first time. It fits snugly and comfortably against the top of your foot, and the tongue even wraps the the top of your foot. This combined with the soft and textured synthetic insole makes sure that neither the tongue, or your foot, slip or slide once you’ve laced these UA’s up. This fitment also supports the way that the ArmourGuide and DCE systems work together to offer great stability.

As I mentioned before, when it comes to choice of activities in your workout, it’s near impossible to find a shoe that will be optimal for every person or every type of exercise. The Propulsion Trainer is better suited for someone that wants to take there exercise routine to a more natural surface than the gym floor. Meaning, there is sufficient traction for running outdoors and other on-field exercises thanks to the semi-aggressive outsole. While it might not be as light as other running shoes or weather resistant or aggressive enough to go blazing new trails, it can hang with the best for a decent amount of time, and that’s what a training shoe needs to do. Heads up, though, if court sports like basketball or racquetball make up a big portion of your workout; that same tread pattern (specifically in the forefoot area) that helps on the field may not have the stickiness desired indoors. Performance Review: UA Propulsion Trainer

Now, as for that slight hiccup. The most noticeable downside to the Under Armour Propulsion Trainer is how stiff the synthetic patent material is around the forefoot of the shoe. Yes, it gives the shoe a little bit of style points I suppose. In reality, though, this is a training shoe. You’re using it at the gym or on the field; if you’re there to be fashionable, maybe the shininess is easier to overlook.

The shoe’s cushioning is sufficient. It is breathable. It is stable. It doesn’t allow your foot to slide around like some of the other “training” shoes on the market.  Overall, if an option for a non-patent finish was available, I think the Under Armour Propulsion Trainer, especially with some minor improvements, would sit at an easy A grade rather than the B that I would give it as it stands now.

Some very minor improvements, that may just be more personal preference than anything, could greatly improve the Propulsion Trainer. First would obviously be the material in the forefoot changed to something with a little more flexibility. The second thing that might help make the Propulsion Trainer even more competitive as far as an indoors training shoe without losing much of its outdoor abilities would be to make the outrigger on the forefoot a little more pronounced. This would give a little more support when it comes to sports like basketball or racquetball, where quick changes of direction are required.

Over all, the Under Armour Propulsion Trainer is an excellent shoe for the do-it-all type of athlete, but would work best for those that choose to make their cardio regimen take place under the watchful eye of mother nature.

Available Now: Under Armour Propulsion Trainer

Performance Review: UA Propulsion TrainerPerformance Review: UA Propulsion Trainer

Performance Review: UA Propulsion Trainer