basketball by Sloan Varunok September 16, 2020
Women athletes rarely get recognition for what they do, no matter how skilled.
They rarely see the cover of a Wheaties box, if they see any endorsement at all. With the sports world so focused on its male competitors, women deserve some acknowledgment.
Because of this, Under Armour’s HOVR Breakthru is their first sneaker designed by ladies, for ladies.
Footwear designers Jessie Benjamin, Sasha Chaplin, and Shaneika Warden collaborated with women basketballers, rookies and veterans.
Their approach was unique. Instead of being a variant of an existing men’s shoe, the Breakthru is built from the ground up. To design a shoe made for women, they had to determine what makes the lady’s foot unique.
The Breakthru is designed with a narrower heel and ankle, as well as an arch tailored for women. Foam arch support pads on the inside ensure comfort with every step. The front of the shoe has soft, flexible, breathable mesh primed for the court.
Tested before a focus group of purely women athletes, Under Armour intently listened to their wants and needs in a shoe. Covering bases on all things style, hoop culture, and comfort.
Finally, the look and the colors were decided according to the athlete’s preferences. It wasn’t only about appearance but about what those colors and designs mean for their game.
Ultimately, their experiences were the biggest sources of inspiration from the group. The anecdotes from the athletes gave the Under Armour design team much to consider.
Under Armour Associate Product Line Manager Sasha Chaplin said, “Research and collaboration were big parts of our design process. The particulars of a woman’s foot, especially athletes with specific on-court performance needs, are critical when developing a shoe like the UA HOVR Breakthru…”
“We spent a lot of time analyzing how to best support her shape and structure, her movement, her pressure points. During this process, we came up with an entirely new last and designed the Breakthru from the inside out.”
Tough, light, and breathable, the HOVR Breakthru is ready to take on any athletic challenge. Don’t expect those heels to get tired, as they’re double layered for extra support. Cushioning reduces impact for running, jumping, and dunking.
Herringbone traction on the shoe’s bottom gives it traction designed for the court. Combined with the shoe’s lightness, and design, it’s quite literally made for speed.
In signing WNBA rookies Bella Alarie, Kaila Charles, and Tyasha Harris, the HOVR Breakthru is seeing endorsements from new talent. Under Armour will keep working with them to improve the models every step of the way.
Debuting at $110, they come cheaper than most other basketball shoes on the market made with the same care and quality.
If you’re in North America, they’ll be dropping tomorrow, 9/17. You can cop via Dick’s Sporting Goods, UA.com, and UA Brand Houses in Boston and Chicago.
Ball out, friends.