Under Armour continue its move into natural running motion with the launch of its “natural collection” of minimalist running shoes: Toxic Six. The collection offers the athlete an extension of the foot to deliver a superior, natural, protective ride. The ultra-flexible, anatomical Micro G midsole helps your foot move naturally. A glove-like upper fits perfect like you’re practically wearing nothing. Off-center laces reduce pressure on bones and tendons. Together, this adds up to a shoe that is a lot like your foot but better.
Neoprene upper is light, tough, and allows the foot to move naturally. It provides a glove-like and tapered fit (like a wet suit) with a webbing tongue pull loop for easy entry. The perforated toe box and heel area adds breathability. The asymmetrical lacing system reduces pressure and abrasion on the top of your foot and aligns medial and lateral quarter panels to provide a more even fit. Textile lining and a full length molded sockliner conforms to your foot’s exact shape, eliminating slippage. A full-length Micro G foam turns cushioned landings into explosive takeoffs. The low heel and forefoot midsole (4mm drop) encourages the foot to strike on the midfoot/forefoot, to work with natural efficiency. Solid rubber traction is strategically placed on high impact zones for full ground contact with less weight.
My pair of Toxic Six (US Men’s size 10.5) weighs in at 8.0 ounces and the toe box is wide and stretchable just like the Adidas adipure collection. The glove-like and snug fit is the first thing you’ll notice. The asymmetric lacing is my favorite as I have a pet peeve with tongues sliding to the lateral side with movement. But over long runs, I can feel slight pressure (no hot spots) on the top of my left foot from the pull loop – it might be coming from the extra stitching for the loop.
The uppers are extremely breathable, soft, and comfortable running sockless. The outsole is flexible but slightly firm with great traction. The midsole has slight cushioning that is welcomed. I’ve taken this shoe on asphalt, rubber, and non-technical trails and liked it a lot more than the Charge RC and Charge RC Storm. You can also make a statement with the bright colors – I love the neon orange!
If there is anything Under Armour can change to improve the Toxic Six, it will be the footbed and sockliner. The sockliner should be fully integrated into the footbed and seamless for sockless wear. Removing the sockliner in the current model exposes the unfinished footbed.
The midfoot stack height is about 14mm and get you real close to the ground. Transitioning runners will like the Toxic Six as the 4mm drop will not affect your barefoot-style running form. I really enjoy running in this shoe as the flex grooves in the outsole provided a different feel of flexibility. Under Armour expertise in high performance apparel shines through again in the manufacturing of the Toxic Six especially in the uppers. We look forward to later this year for even more revolutionary advances in its shoe design process.
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