Under Armour took a cue from NASA for its new sneaker.
The highly engineered, lightweight performance style was inspired by the U.S. space agency’s Apollo missions. The shoe will debut in running independent stores later this month.
The idea, said Dave Dombrow, senior creative director of footwear, was to create a product that could be made without lasts and molded around the foot. And like the Apollo mission space suits, which were created by Playtex, Under Armour turned to its sports-bra manufacturing partners to produce the SpeedForm.
“We’re looking to change the fit and feel of the shoe on the foot,” Dombrow said.
The $120 SpeedForm features an anatomical shape, Micro G cushioning, a 6-millimeter offset and a performance-focused fabric upper. Most importantly, it is engineered to have a completely seamless heel cup. To improve fit, the SpeedForm also has molded toe forms on the upper that help guide the foot into the proper position in the shoe, an aesthetic choice that Dombrow said could be polarizing “but works.”
And the connection to bra manufacturing, he added, not only helped the firm look at the shoe in a new way but was consistent with the Under Armour brand. “We’re an apparel-led company, so it lets us take a different approach,” Dombrow said.