Posted on September 13, 2011
Ever since last SHOT Show, bloggers and industry experts have been writing about Under Armour’s Speed Freek. While there are variations for hunters, the boot’s tactical style has garnered its own fans. As the responsibilities of elite operators, first responders and tactical professionals have grown and evolved, so has their wardrobe. Oftentimes their jobs require them to be active, light on their feet.
Enter the Speed Freek. Hitting the market early last month, the long-awaited boot has begun to gain positive feedback. But what kind of technologies went into its construction? Under Armour’s director of outdoor marketing, Bryan Offutt, was kind enough to answer some of our questions about their newest tactical addition.
How long was the boot in production?
The boots have been available online and in retail stores since August 1, however the development process was about a year and a half. Our testing process is very in-depth. We sent boots to our key athletes and target consumers in the field. They reviewed the boots for fit, durability, and evaluate the technical features in both daily usage and in extreme conditions and terrain.
Based on the feedback and discussions with the wear-testing team, we then make additional test samples to adjust for any issues that arise. As we make our final revisions, we test the pre-production boots for Final Fit confirmation before we sign off on the development process. As you can see, these boots have gone through the ringer for testing and the process is meant to ensure that Under Armour delivers best-in-class product every time.
Prior to its release, was the Speed Freek wear tested?
The Speed Freek along with the Tactical Breech Boot and Tactical Valsetz Boot, were wear tested with America’s elite in both the military and federal law enforcement sectors. We do our best to expose all of our products to the most extreme environments prior to bringing anything to market to ensure that we deliver product that meets Under Armour’s standards and the needs of those who will utilize it.
What specific features make the Speed Freek so lightweight?
Our EVA midsole unit saves a lot of weight compared to PU units that others use. We also use pig suede leather on the boot upper to reduce weight and maintain high abrasion. The outsoles also have rubber removed in key areas to keep the boot lightweight but still supportive.
Could you describe the composition of the outsole in greater detail?
The forefoot features an additional Push Through Protection plate to help with puncture protection in rugged environments. In the arch we have relieved the outsole to save some weight and have the EVA visible. The lugs are self cleaning and provide excellent traction across varied terrain.
Will it be available in other colors?
The Speed Freek is currently only offered in Black and MultiCam for the tactical end-user, however other patterns are offered to the Hunt consumer (pictured above).
What kind of midsole/support does it have?
The EVA midsole features a nylon shank which provides support and less weight than a typical steel unit.
“The Speed Freek has an aggressive sole designed to provide superior traction in all terrains and climates from the hottest desert to the coldest mountain,” said Offutt. “Some of the most elite in military and law enforcement have put this boot to the test and Under Armour is proud to deliver such a high-caliber product built to perform in the toughest of environments.”
In addition, its Gore-Tex construction keeps feet and ankles dry, as well as well-supported and protected.