I did my first and last full 42km marathon seven years ago. One off the bucket list. But if you are one of those avid long-distance runners, you might want to try the Under Armour (UA) Speedform Gemini 3.
Designed for runs of more than 10km, this neutral shoe uses Under Armour's Charged Cushioning midsole - made of compressed foam - for optimal cushioning and energy return while providing great responsiveness.
Its proprietary woven Threadborne side panels are supposed to provide excellent structure and breathability. Engineered mesh used on the tongue and widened toe box helps to give a good fit and increase ventilation. At the outsole, there is blown rubber under the forefoot for a more responsive ride and high-abrasion rubber under the heel to help absorb impact.
When I first slipped my feet into the Gemini 3, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the shoes felt. The embedded sockliner provides plenty of comfort. You don't need to wear socks with this pair of shoes.
I particularly like the internal heel counter that provides much needed support for my injury-prone ankles.
However, if you are the kind who needs maximum support for pronation, the Gemini 3 is not for you. The mid-foot support is not as stiff as those stability shoes meant for under-pronators and over-pronators. Support is just nice for a smooth and quick transition from impact to lift-off.
MATERIAL: Under Armour's Charged Cushioning midsole with Threadborne side panels
HEEL DROP: 8mm
WEIGHT: 280g (US 9, Men's)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
Whether you are doing fore-foot strikes or mid-foot strikes during runs, the Gemini 3 provides good stability, provided you are a neutral runner.
I usually do not run more than 5km for my jogs. For this test, I finally took my jogging distance to 10km. The shoes provided great cushioning and support, without any hot spots or blisters.
But if you are looking for the strong energy return provided by Adidas' Ultra Boost or Puma's Ignite, you will be disappointed. The Gemini 3 is more for distance than pace.
Looks-wise, the pair I reviewed - with its grey accents - can easily pass off as a pair of sneakers for walks in shopping malls, but they are not trendy enough for wedding dinners.
•Verdict: For neutral runners looking for a pair of nice cushioned shoes for long-distance jogs, the Under Armour Speedform Gemini 3 will be a great choice.