When you line up at the start of any race—whether it’s a small neighborhood event or a World Marathon Major—chances are, you’ll see “super shoes” on a whole bunch of feet. These carbon-plated, cushioned trainers help you pick up the pace by boosting energy return, and they simply make racing a whole lot of fun.

Most running shoe brands now have their own version of them, and when I learned Under Armour was entering the fray with its new Flow Velociti Elite, I was eager to give them a try. I tested out a sample pair for SELF’s 2023 Sneaker Awards—and ended up enjoying them so much that I laced them up for the first 10K I’ve raced in several years. Here are my thoughts on the shoe.

Who it’s for

The Flow Velociti Elite is a racing shoe, made specifically for runners who are looking to push the pace at longer distances, like half marathons or marathons. Basically, if you’re looking for a PR, you’d gravitate to this kind of shoe.

Christa Sgobba

Out of the box

I have to admit: When I opened up the box and took out these shoes, my first thought was skepticism. The shoes looked so pretty that I was afraid they were going to be more about appearance than function. They’re a beautiful seafoam green color (with popping lime accents) with an almost dainty, see-through mesh upper that looks very cool. Appearance-wise, they looked more like a traditional running shoe—they lacked the super high stack height and futuristic details of other super shoes I’ve tried. Plus, they felt super light (weighing 7.5 ounces).

Christa Sgobba

Fit and Feel

I tried these in my normal street-shoe size, and they fit fine. Normally I go up half a size in running shoes (to allow for movement and slight swelling with activity), but I still had a little extra room at the top, so these might run a bit big. The shoe also has a streamlined, svelte look and runs a bit narrow in the toe box. While I was okay with my normal shoe size, I think a half size up could have also worked too (especially for runs longer than an hour).

The shoe laces up securely (no heel slippage!) and the padded tongue and heel add a little extra TLC. For super shoes, they didn’t feel overly cushiony—they’re definitely more of a firm support—but they sure did feel light. It got me excited to take them out for a fast run and put their speed chops to the test.