After the gyms closed in my area there was only one product that helped

Credit: clubrunwithus.com

When the gyms closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I went into a panic.

My workouts consisted of mostly lifting weights, my only cardio came from pickup basketball during the week, and I spent time on a treadmill. 

However, when the shut down hit and I had no home workout equipment, my wife and I turned to running — a lot of running. 

I had a pair of Adidas lifestyle and running shoes, and at first they seemed to be doing the trick, but the longer and further I ran, the more my feet started to ache. From blisters to bruises and even a split toenail, I finally realized I needed some real running shoes. 

I decided to try out the Under Armour HOVR Machina. I had seen tons of reviews about the shoe, specifically for comfort and support during long distance. 

The shoe is very appealing to the eye. I decided on the water and orange spark colorway. It was a tough choice as there are a few more colorways to choose from as well. 

Before lacing up my new shoes to head out and run, I downloaded the MapMyRun app from Under Armour. Did I mention that these shoes are Bluetooth compatible? There’s a small chip inside the right foot that connects the shoes to your phone, tracking key stats such as foot strike angle (first point of contact with the floor), the time a specific foot is on the ground for (ground contact time) and even steps per minute, also known as cadence. 

I laced up my Machina’s and started on my trail. 

The shoe felt comfortable and agile from the first few steps, a great balance of flexibility and cushioning. The HOVR technology helped with impact on concrete, giving me hope that I can see my 30s with two full functioning knees. 

The most impressive part of the mechanics of this shoe however was the feel when I pushed off. With some shoes, you feel an imbalance of power, a sense of losing energy every time you step. You pay for it later. The Machina’s felt completely different deep into my run — my legs felt fresh and powerful, pushing me to a virtual finish line. 

The coaching feature on the app helps you stay on pace, as well as keeping you in your steps per minute (SPM) range. 

MapMyRun also maps your run (who knew, right?). The GPS feature is a nice visual reminder at the end of a tough run to make you feel accomplished. I sat down on a picnic table after my run feeling as if I’ve been running like this all my life. 

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