Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Under Armour Horizon RTT trail shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
I’d never worn a pair of trail shoes before, so it was interesting to put on running shoes that almost resembled cleats on the bottom.
I got to test the Under Armour Horizon RTT trail shoes for BibRave. Normally, I get the same running shoes, but whenever I purchase a new shoe, I’ve tried them on at the store first. For these, since I ordered them through BibRave, I used UnderArmour’s online shoe sizing guide and decided on the size 7.5. My non-trail running shoes are a size 8, but for other types of shoes, I wear about a size 7.
When I received the Under Armour Horizon RTT shoes, they did seem a little tight, but it may have been just because it was a new shoe for me and different than what I’m used to. The top and sides of the shoe also include a hard type of material that I’m not used to with other running shoes — the Under Armour website says the shoe has a “Durable PU & textile upper.” I had to look up what PU was, but Reference.com describes it as “polyurethane material” and “versatile plastic,” which seems to make sense.
I was excited to try the shoes out, so I wore them on a couple runs with the Eastern Shore Running Club. I did have some slight pain under an arch (I think it was just the one foot, and nothing that lasted after the run), but I also figure the trail we run on for the club runs is really not too technical. I figured the shoes would be more fit for a more technical and rooted trail.
Even though I wouldn’t normally try out new things during a race, I decided to wear the Horizon RTT for the On The Bacon Trail — The Naylor Mill 7K, because I knew I would be running technical, single-track trails. Since I had noticed that arch pain, I decided to take the inserts out of my regular running shoes and put them into the trail shoes. I also wore thicker trail socks because I was worried about bugs.
I think putting the inserts in the shoes was a bad choice. As I had mentioned, they felt a little bit tight, and I think the inserts made the shoes — along with the socks I don’t wear too often — too tight against my feet. I ended up with a blister on the bottom of my foot.
Afterward, I did three more runs with the shoes — with the inserts that came with them — and I didn’t have any blister problems. I did notice a bit of arch pain, but sometimes it seemed to go away during the run, and it was never a huge deal.
Although I did get the blister at the On The Bacon Trail — The Naylor Mill 7K, I did feel very sturdy with the trail shoes. Because of the shoes’ gripping bottoms, I wasn’t worried about slipping, and I felt like I was going at a faster pace (even though I wasn’t really that fast). I did not fall or come close to falling during the race, and I know there were runners who did.
I recently wore the shoes on the trails at Pemberton Historical Park. These trails are not quite as technical as the Naylor Mill trails, but they are more technical than the City Park trails, where we do the Eastern Shore Running Club runs. I made sure to run four miles because that was about how long I had run at Naylor Mill, where I got the blister — that run was slightly more than 4 miles, but the first part was by the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex softball fields.
I ended up going through some mud near the end of my run, and although the shoes got dirty, the mud didn’t sink into the shoes or stain them like it might with a fabric upper portion. There might be a touch of a dirt stain on the back of the shoes, where it’s fabric, but the shoes are surprisingly clean for going through mud, and I didn’t wash them. They do have some sand on them now because I ran on the sand with them yesterday, but they still don’t look dirty.
Before running on the beach with them, I did a short run on the mountain bike trails at the Salisbury City Park. I’d noticed that the bottoms of the shoes seemed grippy in sandy areas (since I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, trails in the woods sometimes include sand).
I wore them for a three-mile run on the beach at Assateague Island National Seashore, and I tried to do the first mile at a relatively faster pace (not sprinting, but not stopping to take photos or anything like that), and I ran it in just under 11 minutes. That’s pretty decent for me on the sand, and I felt good about wearing the shoes on the beach. I was running by the water, and they did get wet. As they got wet, they seemed a little heavier, but it really wasn’t a problem.
This doesn’t matter to me, but there are letters spelling “charged” on the shoe that are coming off. It doesn’t affect anything regarding running.
I have had issues falling on trails before, so I am happy to report I did not fall at all while wearing these shoes on six runs!
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