Category: Cross training
Best For: Athletes seeking extra ankle support, a new look or an unparalleled fit.
Star Feature: CompFit ankle sleeve
Weight: 9.25 oz
Cam Newton loved wearing Under Armour’s form-fitting CompFit ankle sleeve so much during his Championship run at Auburn that he had his favorite brand create a trainer with similar features. The result is his first signature shoe, the UA Cam Highlight Trainer.
Aside from looking awesome, the Cam Highlight Trainer boasts a ton of performance technology. By far the most functional (and noticeable) is the CompFit ankle sleeve. Let’s get right down to it: does the high-profile sleeve deliver the lockdown and support touted by Under Armour? You better believe it.
For athletes who find heel slippage to be one of the most annoying and common issues with performance shoes, it's nice to find a true lockdown solution. No matter how fast the run or transition, the CompFit sleeve holds it down, preventing any sort of slipping or sock bunching. It may seem like a small factor on paper, but there’s nothing more comfortable than a pair of trainers with a proper fit. Despite the high cut, the neoprene CompFit sleeve is responsive and isn't restrictive, though it may look it.
Under Armour's proprietary EVA blend Micro G, delivers a lightweight, responsive ride that sits low to the ground and strikes an excellent balance between bouncy and supportive, while feeling tough enough to last. They were tested mainly in the gym, but the Micro G foam seems to hold up well on a number of surfaces so you can join in on that pickup ball game if you feel like it.
That said, the UA Cam Highlight Trainer could benefit from added breathability. When fully laced for the gym, the nature of the high profile cut creates a pretty hot atmosphere. The perforations are too small and sporadically placed to offer proper ventilation. Perhaps UA’s HeatGear tech could come in handy on a UA Cam Highlight Trainer 2.
The other facet of the UA Cam Highlight Trainer that I wasn’t totally thrilled with was the use of premium microfiber Nubuc on the toebox and upper. I appreciate premium materials on sneakers just as much as anyone, but I found the choice of material and its placement to be puzzling. Crosstrainers are meant to take a beating, but the microfiber Nubuc gathers more dents and scratches than a vintage Porsche in a hailstorm. Not only is this unappealing from an aesthetic standpoint, but it seems that it could pose a long-term durability issue. They’ve held up just fine after a month plus in the gym, but it’s definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re the kind of person who buys one pair and expects it to last for years.
Bottom Line: Forget about the wild looks, these trainers go hard when it matters most. The UA Cam Highlight Trainer are perhaps the best-fitting crosstrainer on the market, with every inch of the sneaker designed for comfort. If you’re brave enough to pull these off casually, go for it, but they’re really going to excel in the gym and on turf/track surfaces.