UA Lightening 2

I ended up writing a bunch of BS not related to the actual shoe review.  If you want to skip ahead to the review click here.

Not a great runner. Overweight. Two ACL repairs in the left knee. A bad sprain in the right ankle that hasn’t been right since I was 18. Yo and I’m 36. Calling myself a runner is a stretch. I prefer the elliptical. It leaves my joints happier after 5 days in a row. I still put in miles.

Motivation isn’t hard to find. I want to be in better shape. I pick my 2-year old up every morning and know I need to be around as long as I can be. New shoes aren’t motivation they are a perk. That cushy relaxed feel.

I got into this running game about 10 years ago. My dad needed a stent for his heart my wife had just been told she had higher cholesterol and I wasn’t in great shape. I knew nothing about running shoes. I bought a pair of ASICS and thought I’d figure it out. The first pair were ASICS 1150 and I quickly realized gel was cool but more gel was better. I found the Brooks Ghost 3 and the Nike Lunar Glide 2. Those were my shoes for almost three years. I put 5-10 miles a day on 5-days a week that first year. Mainly because my wife and I bought an elliptical. The elliptical wasn’t cheap and I decided I needed 320 uses to make it under $5 per run.

Again I didn’t know what I was doing. I’d listen to iTunes playlists and run. Everyday. Eventually, I started wearing out shoes so I got another pair.  My job at the time had me on my feet constantly.  I talked myself into a few expensive or nicer shoes. Lunar glides were onto the 3. It wasn’t the same. I tried style of ASICS (Kayano 10s) again but more supportive ones. I still wasn’t a serious runner just looking for comfort.

I settled on cushy natural shoes.  I haven’t been a brand loyalist as much as a specific shoe loyalist.  The thing I’m most loyal too is…the sale rack.  I’ll try just about anything if its 50% or more off.  Or if its just coming in under $50 in general.  Having been out of the shoe game for a while it took me longer than it should’ve to realize the cycles that running shoes go through.  They aren’t every fall and Christmas like basketball shoes.  They are geared toward the marathon seasons.  I was trying to find new running shoes after the season so I was buying just before new shoes came out.  I wasn’t buying an older generation I was just buying the current generation a few weeks before the new tech came out.  Finally, I bought a pair or some flywire Nike’s that just didn’t fit so I took them back to the local running store.  Side note I don’t look like a runner.  When I go into a running store they treat me, somewhat justly, as a non-serious customer.  They took back the flywire Nike’s and sold me a pair of last years Kayano’s at about a 40% discount.  What the f Jeffrey why weren’t you doing this all the while.  You aren’t serious enough to try to win a race let alone care about the tech in the shoes.  You just want your feet comfy.  Now, this sent me down the path of affordable shoes.

The most recent pair I acquired was from Scheel’s in Fargo.  Scheel’s is great they have an entire section of the men’s shoes that is clearance.  Pretty much everytime you stroll through there are different shoes in this area.  I wear a size 14 so this isn’t the most plentifully stocked shoe locally in the first place.  Of the stores in town none of the basketball specific stores stock the 14 outside of two styles (which is odd but whatever).  Two weeks ago we were at Scheels and they had four pairs of size 14 running shoes.  Two different pairs of Nikes, Brooks Ghost 10s and Under Armour Lightning 2s.  I already have a pair of Ghost 10s.  The Nikes were intriguing but the UAs were half the cost and I’ve never worn UA shoes before.  I got them no questions asked.

THE ACTUAL REVIEW

I’ve heard a lot about UA basketball shoes.  I’ve seen all of the different Steph Curry shoes.  I assumed they can’t be horrible if they’ve taken the market by such a fierce storm.  Since I’ve never actually owned them myself I wasn’t sure.  The other thing I’ve noticed about UA is that they seem to have lots and lots of different models.  This isn’t horrible because it allows people who have different bodies and running styles to find the correct shoe for them.  As a dude at the clearance rack who hasn’t research UA before I had more questions than answers.  The main answer I had was the $35 price tage with $110 crossed off below it.

I throw the shoes on.  The initial fit is fine.  The tongue is more traditional and not the sock liner that is the current rage.

I’m not currently sure what type of tongue I like the most.  The built-in bootie/sock liner is nice.  The tongue that isn’t fused all the way to the toe-box is nice at times too.  I like having more than one option in the closet.  Depending on what I’m doing sometimes I like a specific feel.  

I lace up the shoes after the tongue not being a bootie I realize there is an internal sockliner it’s just not part of the tongue.  Then I feel the cushioning and I’m sold.  I have narrow heels so I need a snug fit in the heel to feel locked in.  Even though the cushioning is amazing I need to walk around and see if I slip and slide a lot.  When I put on shoes I tie them tight because I need to keep my foot back in the heel.  This is probably the wrong way to do it.  I probably need half a size down instead of cutting off the circulation in my forefoot.  This is how I’ve always done it.  Unless someone teaches me otherwise this is what I do.  That’s when I finally notice this is a knit shoe.  Not sure why it took me this long to realize that the shoe was knit and not mesh, leather, or layered plastic overlays.  This is sweet.  My toes can be locked in pretty tightly but still have room to wiggle.  The heel is locked in, the foot is in securely and the cushioning is buttery.  The sole is a pretty straight-forward waffle.  The sole is mad-flexible though.  Before I looked at the pattern I assumed it was something similar to Nike’s free flex deal.  The midsole is cushy but there isn’t the feel of a shank or anything to help transfer weight or energy from front to back or to absorb impacts.  The side to side is wide-open too.  I don’t feel like I’m getting support or restriction – this isn’t something I care about but I notice it.

I’ve had the shoe for about a week and I’ve used it exclusively on the elliptical.  I’ve put 30 miles on them so far.  The shoes are springy, cushy and light.  I haven’t run outside nor do I plan too.  I’m down with these for the elliptical right now.  I need to get something over 10 miles on them at one point in time.  So far so good.  At $35 I’d buy them again so far.

 

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