Nearly a decade ago, Nike made available their foot pod, a standalone device that tracks duration of run, pace and distance. So it seemed fiiting when Under Armour released their connected shoe exactly 10 years later. The UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped is a pair of Bluetooth wearable that essentially builds a foot pod sensor into the shoe.
Because of this, you’re limited in your choice of foot wear should you subscribe heavily to the UA connected footwear system. I’ve had the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped for a month now and here’s what I have to say.
LOOK AND FEEL
The packaging made the pair of smart shoes appear more premium than it actually is. It’s a nice touch but like most shoes that are made these day, UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped is birthed in the factory of the world; China.The shoe wears like a pair of glove for the feet and putting it on, reminded me of Nike’s Hurache; a pair of shoe I paid handsomely for when I were a mere teenage eons ago. I’m a neutral runner so the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record felt fine; comfortable and snug. But I have to add that I preferred the feel of my Asics which are not top of the line but mid range in pricing.Because of the way the shoe is made, the heel collar tend to chafe at the skin of my ankles so that’s definitely something to take note of. I usually wear my Injinjis whenever I go for runs with the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped.There’s very little to inform that it’s a pair of pseudo smart shoe. I’m not a fan of the colours available but it seems UA is only pushing 3 colours for now.
Perhaps when the consumer response is more than warm, we can expect increased creative budget to be routed to the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped.
And the name is such a mouthful!
FUNCTIONS AND DATA PRESENTATION
Straightforward pair of wearable with a single objective, to track your runs. There are 2 modes the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped can function in.
If you run untethered, sans any mobile devices, the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record will estimate the distance, pace, steps, duration and calories burned.
During my indoor and outdoor runs, I thought the tracked estimated distance was pretty close to actual distance run; usually within 10% margin error. The tracked stats are then synced to MapMyRun app and you can further access the splits or pace but that’s about it.
In untethered run mode, you have to hit speeds of at least 11mins / mile for the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped to commence tracking.
In tethered mode or when run is commenced from the MapMyRun mobile app with the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped connected, simply put the shoe on, start your workout from the app and leave the rest to the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record.In this mode, the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped also list cadence over the actual distance as tracked by the mobile device.
Presently you can’t sync your runs directly to UA’s Record mobile app. However I was able to link the MapMyRun app to the UA Record app which was linked to my other wearable platforms such as Fitbit, Garmin and even Polar.
So it’s interesting when upon cessation of my runs, whether it’s on Garmin or Fitbit, the synced data will simultaneously appear as notifications that I’ve just completed a run on both MapMyRun and UA Record. But you don’t have to worry about double entries, that doesn’t happen.
You’ll have to remember that you’re not just purchasing a pair of smart shoe but buying into a premium subscription of MapMyRun and the UA ecosystem. You’ll have access to training plans, chart your workouts, have a voice coach inform you the distance and pace and so on. The MapMyRun mobile app also doubles up as a running diary.
Yet unlike Nike’s footpod, the sensor in the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped is irremovable and needs to be thrashed when the lifespan of the shoe is up. But Under Armour has promised that the Bluetooth Sensor will last longer than the lifespan of the shoe.
I was able to estimate my cadence simply by wearing the Garmin Vivoactive HR during the test runs and the estimated cadence is near identical. Vivoactive HR (175) versus UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record (176). So my guess is UA’s smart shoe does not fulfil a niche need, rather the MapMyRun app augments the wearable.
As stated earlier, in untethered mode, the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped will only start tracking once it detects speed of 11 mins/mile or faster. Before that, nothing is tracked. Not even step count. So you want to be mindful about using the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record for crossfit, HIIT workouts which are generally static in nature most of the time but wears out the shoe nonetheless.
Long trail walks are also not going to be tracked if the walks are pretty slow in nature, pun intended. 😛
IN A NUTSHELL
- Convenient solution to tracking runs
- 1 year MapMyRun premium service
- Stores up to 5 runs before requiring syncing
- Battery shelf life of about 3 years
- Running focused
- Tracking only kicks in at 11 mins/mile or faster in untethered mode
- Not reusable
While quaint, I can’t imagine people queuing up to buy the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped for a couple of reasons.
Presently there are only 2 colours; grey for men and light green for women. The fit is also generic with no specific models for under or over pronators. That in essence limits the reach of the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record.
Also, the absence of HR monitoring will also mean the runner will need to lug a mobile device with MapMyRun app, wear the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record and top it off with a chest strap or wrist worn HR monitor. So I’m left wondering the purpose of the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record when every stat I needed can be tracked with a single GPS watch such as the Garmin Forerunner 235.
I’ll just wear out the shoe and hope that Under Armour will consider releasing a foot pod instead.
You can purchase the UA Speedform Gemini 2 Record-Equipped Amazon where there’s usually a small discount, great return policy, and free delivery depending on where you reside. In return your purchase helps to offset the costs associated with the running of this site. Thanks for reading!