When heading out for a run, the one thing you definitely won’t forget are shoes. Fitness bands, watches and other apparel items with tracking abilities can become an obstacle for analysing post running sessions if forgotten or simply misused. Under Armour have understood this and created their latest SpeedForm Gemini 3 Record Equipped running shoes, which track data with or without your phone on your person.
The shoes don’t give away that they’re anything but Gemini 3s to the casual eye. The left shoe is a normal Gemini 3 and the right contains all the tech. Featuring an accelerometer, battery with 3 years of running life and Bluetooth chip - there’s absolutely no notable difference in weight between the two shoes. We did find it a little tricky to figure out exactly what colours these shoes are available in from looking at the USA & EU Under Armour sites (our colourway is available in both territories). Nevertheless, our accented luminous green on grey with white soles colourway looks fresh and stylish with or without workout gear. The soles particularly lend a street-style, with the front lip design detail of a half and half colour split establishing a distinctive character profile that we love.
After a few months of ownership there’s also no question about the craftsmanship and maintenance. Foremost our shoes haven’t creased or lost the fullness of shape and the stitching detail is still impeccable. What we’ve also noticed is that dried on mud splatters and general dust wipes off with paper towels and some water - leaving no marks behind. This leads us to believe these are coated in something water-repellant, as they’re rather good at resisting light showers too.
Apps & Tracking
When stationary the Under Armour Record Equipped Gemini 3s just rest, sipping energy and waiting for your run. Once they’re worn and in action the internal sensor begins to track your progress. We’re told that a maximum of 6 running sessions can be stored in the shoes memory and that the battery lasts for 3 years, but it would be nice if it somehow recharged itself via regenerative means.
MapMyRun (years subscription included), MyFitnessPal, and UA Record all have a part to play as compatible Apps. We have really focused in on using MapMyRun and the UA Record app that prompts the user to go to the former App for a detailed perspective of how you’re doing. UA have designed a platform here that, from an iOS perspective, just works really well! Our Gemini 3 shoes sync up after each run with no issues. There are no break-ups of data or what we would feel as noticeable inaccuracies either. We did take a smartphone with us, using a different well known highly trusted running App, to see what difference the data sets would produce, and the two systems were just 24 steps apart after a 3 mile run.
Whilst MapMyRun tries to calculate all the fundamentals like calories burnt, distance, time and pace in a visually pleasing and organised time-stamped manner, the exciting element of the App is mapping a route and this is something that can only be achieved with a smartphone on your person. The Record Equipped shoes don’t feature a GPS - so it does seem like a bit of missed opportunity for the grand picture of each run, but the overall experience of capturing running data in an almost unconscious way and syncing when you choose is completely brilliant!
What are they like to run in?
Our Gemini 3s have been left with 2-day intervals between runs, and what Under Armour refer to as a Charged Cushioning® foam sandwich on the soles hasn't depressed in the slightest. In terms of hardness, the SpeedForm Gemini 3 running shoes lean more towards a supportive softness. We’d rate comfort at the higher end of the spectrum too, with distances of 6 miles presenting zero friction or other niggles. They are also soft, light weight and promote excellent breathability. Of course, all these attributes make running that bit more pleasurable, and the design of the featured Under Armour Threadborne fabrics and how the foot sits within the shoe is also perfect. These shoes promote disciplined and consistent strides, so excessive heel striking needn’t be a concern from the get-go. In particular, up hill running over grass and dry mud paths is one of the sweet spots of the Speedform Gemini 3 design: energy return is tremendous and truly avoids ankle strain from nimble paced ascending voyages.
Under Armour have made no sacrifices with comfort and pulled off something quite interesting with their SpeedForm Gemini 3 Record Equipped shoes. To keep track of your runs you don’t need to press a button, calibrate anything or charge something. Just pop the shoes on and head out like you normally would and your data can be synced across to a smartphone at your convenience. We love it!
The one piece of information lacking from this phone-less experience is GPS detail - Gemini 4 shoes would be perfect with such an addition.