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A Sneaker Designed for Women by Women

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It’s been 45 years since the invention of the sports bra, an early example of active wear designed for women. Yet for much of the sporting goods industry, adapting men’s gear for women instead of creating women-specific gear is still the name of the game nearly 50 years later. While there is gender-specific products in many cases, there’s a level of compromise involved for women athletes. This holds particularly true with running shoes. Under Armour recognized this gap in the market for female athletes and as a result, developed the first-of-its kind running shoe with a women-specific last. With the release of the brand’s Flow Synchronicity, UA has given women runners a shoe designed just for them.

Prior to the release of the Flow Synchronicity, running shoemakers developed women’s models on a male last and modified them. But that approach missed the mark in three key ways: women’s heels are narrower than men’s; the arch of the foot is in a different location for women; and their mid-foot height is generally shallower.  Taking all these stats into account, UA took 3D foot scans and created a prototype model with a women’s last. Then the team recruited dozens of female runners to wear-test the design. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive: comments like “they wrap my foot better,” and “I put them on, started running and forgot I was supposed to be paying attention to them,” and “I didn’t feel like I had to sacrifice,” told the UA design team they had hit the mark. 

The final Flow Synchronicity product incorporates UA’s innovative, signature Flow technology. Flow is designed to deliver lightweight, seamless performance. At just 8.3 ounces, runners get more power from less weight, with the durability to handle the miles, too.  The shoe also features a knit upper, constructed to provide zonal structure and support. 

When it comes to aesthetics, UA wanted to create an understated, highly wearable shoe that can transition seamlessly from the road to the gym and works for multiple types of runners. The wear-testers ran the gamut of athletes, from Boston Marathon qualifiers to community 5k participants, and even those who love classes like boot camp, treadmill workouts and the like. Universally, the Flow Synchronicity hit the mark. 

Under Armour understands that every foot is different, and that there isn’t one perfect shoe for everyone. Creating a shoe on a women’s last, however, brings women into the equation in a way they haven’t been in the past. No longer do they have to compromise—no settling for a foot that slides around in the shoe because the heel is too big. No more discomfort in the arch, because the shoe’s last is designed for males and hits in the wrong place. The Flow Synchronicity brings women to the table, appreciating the nuances between the different genders and their feet. 

By talking to female runners, scanning their feet, and creating a last just for them, the Flow Synchronicity has ensured that women are no longer on the outside. They are front and center, running in comfort for miles on end. 


Under Armour, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is a leading inventor, marketer and distributor of branded athletic performance apparel, footwear and accessories. Designed to empower human performance, Under Armour’s innovative products and experiences are engineered to make athletes better. For further information, please visit the Under Armour website.

The post A Sneaker Designed for Women by Women appeared first on Outside Online.

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