Under Armour Speed Freek Boots Light, But Tough
I had two "Holy Cow" moments within the first five minutes of taking Under Armour Speed Freek boots out of the box.
The first was when I picked the boots up and thought, "Holy Cow, these things are light." They were certainly much lighter than I expected just by looking at them.
In the name of science, I conducted a very technologically advanced experiment. I picked up both Speed Freek boots in one hand and just one of my old hunting boots in the other hand. I was amazed that the two Speed Freek boots felt like they weighed less than the single boot.
An old saying among backpackers is that "a pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back." This seems to be backed up by research from the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, which found that even tiny increases in the weight of footwear could add up to significantly higher energy expenditures when walking or running.
With that being the case, I see some real advantage to cutting the weight of my boots in half.
Then came time to try the boots on, and, Holy Cow, the Speed Freeks are comfortable. Under Armour makes the uppers out of pigskin and Cordura, which give the boot a very flexible feel, and my feet settled right into the molded footbeds. The construction, combined with the light weight, made for a great first impression.
Neither of my favorable impressions changed over time. After quite a few hikes through the woods, the comfort still continues to amaze. The breathable Gore-Tex lining works like a charm and keeps my feet bone-dry by keeping water out and allowing sweat and moister to escape.
The 7-inch height is just right for me. It is tall enough to keep debris from easily making its way into the boot and tall enough to keep water out when crossing shallow streams and pools. Another small detail I liked was the speed lacking shanks, which are built to hold the laces in place but still allow you to easily tighten the laces.
Under Armour's Speed Freek boots check off all the right boxes; comfortable, extremely lightweight, waterproof and good looking.
- Josh Fleming