Considerably one of the most consistent sport equipment companies – Under Armour – just introduced a new family member to their basketball line – the HOVR Havoc 2. The first one was super solid, but it’s time for the new one to hit the hardwood.
That being said, let’s see what the second generation has for us to offer. Maybe a true HOVR experience?
WEIGHT: 312 g. / 11.04 oz
TECH: HOVR, ENERGY WEB, PROPULSION PLATE
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $120
BD RATING: 8/10
It doesn’t look like mesh, but in fact, it is a full-length micro molded mesh upper. Just don’t get confused about that fancy name as it’s pretty much a lighter version of traditional mesh that has a bit different pattern to it, and all of that good stuff that we love it for. It’s super soft, form-fitting, lightweight and at the same time pretty contained in high-pressure areas.
The higher portion of the tongue does keep the same micro molded mesh vibes going on while going towards the toe box it quickly transforms into that puffy mesh for some air circulation. Also, for the shoe to be protected from toe-drags and other beatings, they have added a circular rubber overlay that also adds some style points, am I right?
A full-length HOVR is making a return, however, it’s not the same HOVR that we have in UA’s running lineup, damn, it’s not even the same Hovr that we saw on the original HOVR Havoc. What happened UA? You always do us dirty when it comes to cushion set-ups…
Although I was expecting more out of last year’s implementation of HOVR, it still was pretty much fun to play in. Solid amount of impact protection in the heel & responsiveness combined with a low profile ride made for a well-balanced cushioning for any type of player across the board. This time, the things are the same, just every single aspect, minus court feel, did perform paler compared to the original one.
Obviously, looking at the whole market, this is definitely not the worst option, way far from that. It just got shifted more into that guard-aimed territory.
The grip on the original pair was straight-up money and, luckily, it stays the same on the second generation even with an updated traction pattern, and rubber compound itself in order to tick the final box that the original pair was missing.
UA went for a harder rubber compound which made this outsole to be durable enough to deal with all of that outdoor beating, and they did that without losing any of that indoor performance. As the only trade-off would be a tad bit longer break-in process in which I had a few light slip-ups, but definitely nothing major. Once broken in, it took me a few solid sessions, the bite was super solid.
Having this type of upper combined with great construction of the shoe, the fit just simply can’t be lacking, and that’s how it is one the Havoc 2’s. Lightweight construction + form-fitting materials = a shoe that does become like an extension of your foot pretty much out of the box. Oh, and I did forget to add up solid support to its total package. The upper does not balloon under heavy lateral pressure, which is how an upper should act on a basketball shoe.
The sizing is pretty much straightforward – true to size. Even if you’re a wide footer, you should be able to get away going true to size. Obviously, as always, trying them in-store is highly recommended.
Like the first iteration, the Hovr Havoc 2 clearly doesn’t look like the most supportive shoe, and it definitely isn’t one. However, it shouldn’t be perfect to be good as throughout my testing period I didn’t come across any support issues whatsoever. They are just simply not the best in this segment, but surely solid for what they are – a super lightweight, minimal shoe.
That being the case, having this type of minimalistic construction, usually all of the support, or the majority of it comes from the midsole itself, and you get plenty of that from the Hovr Havoc 2’s.
The midsole does overlay the upper quite a bit so that way you end up sitting in it which protects you upon lateral movements. Also, there you do have a propulsion plate for some torsional rigidity and a pretty wide base to keep things stable but at the same time smooth. Lastly, in the heel portion, you do have a rather small internal heel counter that was doing some big boy business as far as performance goes, had no problems with that either. So overall, they kept that support setup as minimal as possible for weight reduction, but pretty tough in terms of performance.
So the Hovr Havoc 2, personally, didn’t feel like a new shoe to me…I was getting those Hovr Havoc 1.5 vibes since pretty much all of the parts of the shoe did play the same, or at least very similar to the original version, minus a slight decrease in cushion department, and tougher rubber. Everything else – just cosmetic changes that I don’t really like that much. The original pair had the looks, this one, not really.
That being said, if you loved the first one, and you would use some extra durability for those outdoor sessions, go ahead and update by picking these up. Now if outdoor availability isn’t one of your main concerns, but you still want to try this line, I would recommend you picking-up the original version.