Under Armour (UA) has unveiled a new footwear cushioning technology called UA HOVR, which is said to return energy while protecting feet during workouts. The company said the new technology was inspired by the fact that every step a runner takes has an impact of 2-4 times their body weight. It was therefore necessary to develop a better combination of cushioning, responsiveness and energy return in order to lift the runner up. According to UA, the new UA HOVR underfoot returns that energy, and this makes running feel lighter. The midsole, which is made of a proprietary foam compound developed in partnership with Dow Chemical, features an extremely soft durometer with cushioning and shock absorption. Another key component is the mesh fabric that wraps around the cushioning core, which is meant to provide energy return and strong responsiveness. The new UA HOVR technology will initially be launched in two running styles - the UA HOVR Phantom and the UA HOVR Sonic – but the company plans to extend it to other categories in the coming seasons. The HOVR Sonic weighs 272 grams and is especially designed for distance runners, while the HOVR Phantom is configured for enhanced all-round cushioning and features a knitted collar, for a sock-like feel. The shoes are also made available in a connected version, with an embedded sensor that links to the MapMyRun app. This app provides access to a fitness community of around 225 million people and advanced data analytics, including data related to the life of the shoe.