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    Ready To Play Padel? Here’s The Gear You Need, Per Experts

    So, you spotted everyone having a blast on the padel court this weekend and now you’re itching to join the new “it” sport? Don’t worry, that little voice in your head asking “is it worth it?” is totally normal. But trust me, you’re going to be hooked on this game in no time!

    First things first, let’s start with the basics:

    Racket: You can borrow a padel racket from a friend or rent one at most courts.

    Court Shoes: Trust, your regular kicks won’t cut it here. Grab yourself a pair of court shoes for maximum grip and agility.

    Outfit: Shorts, skorts, a tank top, or a t-shirt will do the trick.

    Balls: Can’t play padel without ’em! 

    Water bottle: Don’t forget to bring along a water bottle to keep you hydrated. Here’s how to pick the perfect one!

    Now that you’re a regular on the court, here’s what the pros recommend:

    Their advice? Don’t be overwhelmed by the options! While there are tons of brands out there, focus on finding the right fit and feel for you.

    Meet The Experts: Jackie Booth is a top-ranked female Padel player and Sports Director of Africa Padel. Simon Raab is from Padel Gear. Ricky Lewis is the Director of Virgin Active Padel Club. 

    “As one of the few level 2 internationally qualified coaches in SA and top-ranked women’s player with a Playtomic rating of 4.84, I have been fortunate to test a number of padel products on the market,” says Booth. “It is staggering the number of padel brands that have flooded the market over the past three years. As players become more discerning and knowledgeable about the various shapes, weights, soles and bounce of the rackets, footwear and balls, in my opinion, there are a few top contenders, some mirroring the international market leaders who have been playing this game for many more years.”

    “In the world of Padel, equipment tailored specifically for women isn’t just about style, it’s about maximising performance and safeguarding your health on the court,” says Simon Raab from Padel Gear SA.

    Padel Rackets 

    There are different types of padel rackets designed to suit various playing styles and skill levels. Beginners typically benefit from rackets with a larger sweet spot and a balance of power and control. Intermediate and advanced players might prefer rackets with more control or power, depending on their playing style.

    First Buy

    “Weight, shape and materials used such as carbon or fibreglass as well as price will be the determining factors for padel players who decide to purchase their own racket,” says Booth.


    “New players need to be cautious buying a racket that is too heavy.  Incorrect technique coupled with a heavy racket can quickly result in an injury such as tennis elbow!  Women should stick to a weight range between 345 – 360 grams.  Beginners should also stick to either a round or teardrop shape head as these are more forgiving compared to the diamond shape which is better suited to expert players, as they are able to make consistent contact with the ball higher up on the racket face,” advises Booth.


    “Fibreglass has a soft feel but lacks power and durability. So, in my opinion, as a beginner, rather invest in a carbon racket.  Carbon provides more power and is also far more durable so the extra investment may save you in the long run,” recommends Booth. 

    PLAY TWO Drop Racket

    A signature choice for intermediate players seeking innovation. Crafted in Sweden, its custom heart minimises vibration, while a 7° racket shape maximises the sweet spot. It’s also got sharp edges for aerial control, a sand finish for spin and a 100% carbon frame for powerful hits.

    adidas DRIVE Light 3.3

    “This racket is designed for players who appreciate a few grams less in their hand. This condition facilitates handling and lightens the arm, especially for less powerful players. It is, therefore, a very interesting option for beginner-level players.”

    – Ricky Lewis, Virgin Active Padel Club

    Bullpadel Flow Light 2024

    “A light racket in beautiful colours, with a large sweet spot and very forgiving. World’s No. 1 selling Padel brand.”

    – Simon Read, Padel Gear

    Bullpadel Elite 24

    “My 2024 top choice for a women’s racket overall for all levels: It’s worth the investment!”

    – Jackie Booth, Africa Padel

    adidas Metalbone Team Light 3.3

    “This racket is designed for intermediate-level players who opt for fewer grams on their arm to achieve maximum performance.”

    – Ricky Lewis, Virgin Active Padel Club

    Black Crown Hurricane 2.0

    “A round-shaped racket, very forgiving, with excellent control and plenty of power.”

    – Simon Read, Padel Gear

    READ MORE: How To Relax Sore, Tired Muscles With Easy DIY Trigger Point Therapy

    Court Shoes

    Proper footwear is crucial for maintaining stability, agility and traction on the padel court. Padel-specific shoes offer features like durable outsoles with herringbone or omnidirectional patterns for grip, cushioning for comfort and lateral support to prevent ankle injuries.

    Bullpadel Elite 2024 

    “I have seen many rolled ankles and skinned knees due to incorrect footwear.  Padel shoes provide good grip and stability with lateral and linear movements required during a point. Comfort is key and I like a little extra cushion in the heel as I am on my feet for many hours of the day.”

    – Jackie Booth, Africa Padel

    adidas CourtJam Control 3 Shoes

    “Their flexible Bounce midsole will keep you on your toes while the Torsion System helps you translate instinct into quick cuts and slides.”

    – Ricky Lewis, Virgin Active Padel Club

    Bullpadel Next Pro White

    “Style with technical ability and design.” 

    – Simon Read, Padel Gear

    JOMA T Open White

    “Excellent support and a great grip on the court.”

    – Simon Read, Padel Gear


    Padel balls are specifically designed for the sport, typically featuring a lower bounce than tennis balls. They’re made of rubber and come in various colours (usually yellow or white) to enhance visibility on the court. Make sure to have a sufficient number of balls for your practice sessions or matches.

    Bullpadel Next Pro FIP Balls

    “A ball that is durable, keeps its firmness and provides a consistent bounce can only be a great quality ball.  This ball is designed for tournaments and due to its long life capability is also the perfect coaching ball all at a very reasonable price.”

    – Jackie Booth, Africa Padel

    adidas Balls Speed Rx

    “Speed Rx is the best ball for beginner to intermediate. It stands out for its great durability and extra bounce.”

    – Ricky Lewis, Virgin Active Padel Club

    Black Crown Pro Padel Balls

    “Perfectly bouncy Padel balls are essential for every game. Why not try these Padel balls, made from high-quality materials to ensure excellent durability and long-lasting bounce?”

    – Simon Read, Padel Gear

    Wilson Padel Balls

    Engineered for optimal consistency, durability and playability, these balls feature Dura-Weave felt for reliable performance on faster court surfaces.

    More On Padel:

    Chamain is the Online Editor of Women’s Health. Explorer by heart, a creative thinker by day and a coffee addict, always. My hobbies include hiking, drawing, painting, photography, cooking and *recently* running. More

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    Say Hello To The Time-Saving Phone You’ve Been Waiting For

    Every year, tech giants push the boundaries of possibility with their latest releases, and this year, Samsung is rewriting the innovation rulebook. We got our hands on the new S24+ for a test spin and got to say, it’s the must-have accessory every boss babe needs! We’re here to unpack all the juicy features and specs and why these new AI features will make your life so much easier.

    We know what you’re thinking, “How much more can they possibly cram into these devices?” Well, this isn’t just another smartphone – it’s a powerhouse of next-gen AI features. From handling messages like a total pro to durability that’s off the charts, this device is solid proof that the future has officially arrived and it’s blowing our minds!

    Now, let’s talk specs:

    Front camera: 12MP crystal-clear selfies and immersive video calls

    Rear cameras: Advanced system with wide (50MP), telephoto (10MP) and ultra-wide (12MP) options

    Battery: Robust 4900 mAh for all-day power

    New updates: Enhanced AI features, improved performance and security

    A New Way To Create 

    Among the standout features of the cutting-edge Samsung S24+ is its array of innovative camera settings and editing tools, presenting users with a myriad of creative possibilities. Explore Space Zoom, indulge in high-resolution imaging and experience the intuitive functionality of the Intelligent Gallery. 

    Additionally, the AI Photo Assist feature revolutionises editing, effortlessly allowing users to remove or relocate objects in photos, adjusting backgrounds and maintaining visual integrity. With auto-fill capabilities to straighten images and resize objects, the Samsung S24+ empowers users to unleash their creativity with unparalleled ease.

    It’s All About The Experience 

    Discover and Shop

    Tired of pausing your favourite videos just to hunt down that elusive item you spotted? With a simple gesture, you can circle any object on your screen, whether it’s those trendy sneakers, a breathtaking holiday destination, or a mouthwatering restaurant dish. Instantly, the AI springs into action, presenting you with a curated selection of similar products or experiences that match your interests.

    This feature isn’t limited to just one platform – whether you’re binge-watching Netflix, exploring YouTube, or scrolling through Instagram, “Circle to Search” integrates into your favourite apps, ensuring that you never miss a chance to discover something new and exciting.

    Break Down Language Barriers With Ease

    Imagine making a call to a friend or colleague who speaks a different language and seamlessly engaging in a conversation as if you were speaking the same tongue. With a tap, your speech becomes text, enabling seamless understanding in real time. Supporting 15 languages and requiring only airtime, it’s a Wi-Fi and data-free solution to global communication.

    READ MORE: On The Flip Side With Samsung

    Time To Chat

    Chat effortlessly with friends in different languages, as the Samsung S24+ translates conversations in real-time, not confined to just text and Samsung messages but extending its prowess to popular platforms like WhatsApp. Supporting 35 languages, it integrates smoothly with third-party apps, eliminating the need to juggle between multiple translation tools such as Google Chat, WhatsApp, KakaoTalk and Tango.

    Messaging Mojo

    Tone assist offers versatility in expressing yourself across professional, casual, social, or emoji tones. Integrated into your chats, this feature suggests replies tailored to your message’s context and offers alternative styles to suit any situation. Simply type your text, tap the AI icon and explore a spectrum of expressive options at your fingertips.

    READ MORE: The 8 Greatest Smartwatches And Trackers To Elevate Your Health and Fitness

    To wrap it all up, every single feature we’ve talked about is designed to be time-saving, helping you smash your goals faster than ever before. Whether you’re a social media influencer or a savvy business owner, take it from us, the S24+ comes with our highest recommendation.

    For more information and spec breakdown, please visit More

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    We Tried Morphée: A Screen-Free Sleep Device To Help You Actually Doze Off

    Startling news: South Africans get less sleep than other nations in the world. That’s intel from Sleep Cycle app, which released the data in 2023. There are myriad reasons for this but getting quality shut-eye is important for our health. And our screens, in the form of TVs and phones, contribute to lower sleep quality. Enter Morphée, a completely screen-free, Wi-Fi-free approach to getting quality z’s. We tried it out to see how it got us dozing.

    Morphée Sleep Device

    What happens when we don’t get enough sleep

    Over 50% of adults report poor-quality sleep with screen exposure being a large contributor, per Morphée. According to Morphée’s South African Brand Manager, Daniella Degens, “In recent years, the prevalence of sleep deficiency has escalated, bearing substantial repercussions tied to numerous chronic health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.”

    A lack of quality time dozing also leads to health complications. Getting less lowers your body’s immunity, memory, attention and problem-solving skills. Added to that, chronic sleep deprivation can elevate stress hormones, making it harder to handle the pressures associated with personal and professional responsibilities.

    It’s clear that sleep is paramount and while sleep tonics and products assist, a quality sleep routine really helps move the needle towards restful, restorative sleep.

    READ MORE: Normal Sleep — Turns Out, There Might Be No Such Thing

    What is Morphee?

    In short, Morphée is a screen-free meditation device, works sans Wi-Fi and can lull you to La La Land, stat. It’s also small, making it portable, so you can bring it with you anywhere.

    How it works

    Morphée looks like a clock with various dials. On the right, choose the mode you’d like to use. There are many: body scan, breathing, movement, cardiac coherence, relaxing music and nature sounds (there are more but we won’t name them all). Next, pick your session on the right. Each mode has eight sessions, so you can mix and match and not get bored. You can also choose your duration: eight or 20 minutes. Choose from a male or female voice, et voila – you’ve got yourself a sleepy time sesh.

    Good to know: Morphée was created by a team of sleep experts, so every session is expertly curated.

    READ MORE: Struggling To Sleep During Your Period? This Might Be Why 

    We tried Morphée

    WH Features Ed Michelle October tried Morphée for two weeks to see if it could help her notch more quality z’s.

    “The device looks intimidating at first: so many dials and buttons and no idea what they mean. But once you open the accompanying Blue Book (an instruction manual), it all becomes incredibly simple. What I really loved about it? There’s no accompanying app or Wi-Fi needed. You just pick your session, put Morphée down and get some sleep.

    I know from experience that repetition of sound can create a cue in your body that prompts it for sleep. In that vein, I tried to listen to similar sounds every night but got too excited by everything on offer. I particularly loved the nature sounds and the body scan sessions, which encouraged me to tune into my body and consciously focus on relaxing my muscles as I got ready for bed.

    I was out like a light within minutes. The soothing tones and speaker quality really allowed me to drift off super fast. When I couldn’t fall asleep, I could just pick a new mode and settle in again.

    I also really appreciated that there are no lights on the device except for a brief orange light letting you know the device is on. Other than that, there’s really nothing to deter you from getting to bed.”

    Morphée retails for just R2 490 and is available on their website and on Yuppiechef.

    READ MORE: The Greatest Sleepytime Products That’ll Take You To La-La Land, STAT More

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    9 tech-inspired accounts to follow on Instagram this month

    Lifeby Sarah Joseph8 mins ago A curated guide of tech-inspired accounts to #follow on Instagram this month.ŌURA@ouraringA smart ring to track fitness, stress, sleep and health.Coperni@coperniFrench DNA blended with a futuristic eye.Mwaz@mwaz.coThe first phygital store to open in Riyadh.Dyson@dysonThe future of haircare through Coanda airflow.TruBe@trubeappCreated for in-person sessions with expert coaches in fitness.Apple@appleBorn to transform the game in the tech industry.Hunza G@hunza. gThe original crinkle swimwear one size fit crafted to perfection.Rebecca Treston@rebeccatrestonCreating beautiful skin through laser technology.37xDubai@37xdubaiBridging art and technology.– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @ouraring More

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    February’s – The Tech Issue with MAXION

    Lifeby Amy Sessions2 hours ago Creative Direction: Amy SessionsPhotographer: Ziga MihelčičFashion Editor: Camille MacawiliMakeup & Hair: Mauro Hernan at MMG artistsCover Star: Christiana MaxionLocation with thanks to UPSIDE LIVINGStyling with thanks to OUNASSWelcome to The Tech Issue.In this issue we explore both the benefits of, and boundaries needed around technology. The pace and speed with which tech can support businesses to scale, individuals to optimise their time and now with the ability to harness AI, it can create something truly amazing.For our cover, we partnered with MAXION, the matchmaking concierge scaling both regionally and globally. With Valentine’sDay around the corner, Christiana Maxion, Founder of MAXION, shares personal insights that kick-started her career in building long-lasting human connections through tech and why the app she is launching is changing the dating game.We look at AI-backed wearable fashion brands for the tech aficionado in Into The Future, Georgiana Huddart of Hunza G discusses building a one-size-fits-all swimwear brand on the principles of inclusivity and sustainability in One Size Wonder, and Chief of Fashion and Retail at Sela’s Mwaz Store, Aram Kabbani, shares the concept’s journey of opening the first ‘phygital’ store in Riyadh.Tech-driven wellness is also a focus and we have doubled down on listening to what it takes to be the best in this arena with interviews from Head of Project Management of Lanserhof Group and Director of Lanserhof at The Arts Club, Eva Maria Hasenauer, who discuss delivering a level above the rest in Level Up to TikTok and Meta’s take on unlocking social media’s evolution and innovation potential in Vision and Voice and inspiring women we know who share how they leverage technology to ensure they use their time productively in Optimize.Harnessing the power of tech is beneficial but keep your boundaries clear.The Hero Buys:February’s – The Tech Issue with Christiana Maxion  – Download Now– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More

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    Gadgets and Gizmos Galore: The ultimate gift guide for the tech addict


    by Camille Macawili
    3 hours ago

    If you or your lucky loved one is a tech addict and spends their time reading reviews of the latest gadgets, you will appreciate this ultimate guide of the latest new kits – from updated models to new product releases, discover the perfect presents worth buying below.
    Who knew it would already be the season of pumpkin lattes and Christmas movies so soon. With the Christmas just around the corner and if you’re in need of gifting inspiration? Not to worry as we’ve got you covered.

    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Gettty Images More

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    The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 Might Be The Bounciest Running Shoe We’ve Tried

    When it comes to running, a number of factors come into play that determine how much you’ll get out of that 5K sprint (or let’s be honest – light jog). There’s how well you hold yourself – too far forward and you’ll be going slowly, too far back and it’s the same. There’s your cadence, pace and other measurable variables. But one that only gets measured by how much pain you experience? Your bouncy running shoe. Too tight and you’ll cramp. If it’s too loose, you’ll get no support. Too soft and you’ll hurt your knees. But we have found a winner! 

    When shopping for a running shoe, we know we need to look at arch support, ankle support and something light and springy. The *new* New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 delivers all that and then some. It’s incredibly light and so bouncy you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re walking on reinforced marshmallows.

    New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080

    The Specs

    Get comfort for your feet with this shoe. It cushions the foot perfectly, while still being versatile for everyday life. A midsole is built for smooth transitions from the landing to push-off (so you’re flying) and a second-skin style mesh upper provides breathability that’s supportive around the ankle. Plus, choose your preferred fit, from a standard shoe or wider shoe.

    READ MORE: How Do You Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Running Shoes?

    What it’s good for 

    Touted as your go-to everyday shoe, this gorgeous runner goes beyond cradling your foot while trying to ace your next PB. It’s been designed to be worn while running errands, shopping, walking, the whole nine yards. “As a mostly barefoot person (hello, WFH attire), I relished this shoe in all its softness as I padded around the house and did my morning walks. Light and airy, it also looks great with a pair of jeans and a plain white top,” says Michelle October, WH Features Ed. 

    READ MORE: The ASICS GEL-KAYANO™ 30: The Shoe That Will Make You Love Running Again

    We tried the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080

    WH Features Editor Michelle October took the shoes for a run.

    “The shoe is next-level bouncy and responsive on the road. I tried it out on a run and felt like I was flying through my route. Because the shoe is so soft, I expected it to have minimal support around the ankle – I have weak ones – but that wasn’t the case. The forefoot is reinforced and ultra-supportive, making it perfect for long runs. It’s also got a light, airy upper that leaves your foot able to breathe as you take on your run. I loved that it gave me back what I pounded into the pavement and the bounce back definitely takes a load off your knees when running. Overall, a shoe I’d buy in an instant.”  More

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    Under Armour Drops 2024 Gear – And We Are Obsessed!

    Step into the future with Under Armour’s 2024 tech and product range, where innovation and style collide to empower athletes of all levels. From groundbreaking baselayers to premium sportswear and cutting-edge running shoes, Under Armour is bringing their a-game to help you reach your peak performance.

    Told through an immersive fit – the brand highlights three areas of focus in the year to come:

    Baselayer – For the Heat and Cold.

    Unstoppable Collection – Be Unstoppable. Born from performance. Made for style.

    Infinite – The Run Category Collection.

    Baselayer Tech

    Under Armour’s 2024 collection places a significant focus on baselayer technology, which saw the unveiling of new Heatgear, Coldgear, Iso-Chill and Authentics apparel. These cutting-edge baselayers are designed to offer a next-to-skin fit, regulating temperature and providing essential support for every athlete. 

    The baselayer product offerings included:

    HG Armour Tee (feel cool, dry and light)

    CG Armour (feel warm, dry and light)

    HG Armour Iso-Chill (Makes you cooler so you can work longer).

    All of which exemplify the commitment to moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating properties, ensuring athletes feel powerful and perform at their best. With key benefits such as a next-to-skin fit which regulates temperature, these items are a must-have for every athlete. But, that’s not all. They’re light and tight which makes you feel more powerful so you can work out for longer.

    READ MORE: We Tested The NEW Under Armour Iso-Chill Range With Running Late Club

    Unstoppable Collection

    This is a premium sportswear line designed for athletes who want to look good, feel confident and perform at their peak. It’s described as a “clean, premium and a future-looking sports style.” Feeling confident and unstoppable is the emotional impact of wearing the product. Designed with UA performance technology and crafted from premium materials, the gear is not only comfortable and stylish but also enhances one’s overall performance. The woven fabric, enhanced with an EcoStorm finish, ensures superior comfort and durability, with the jackets composed of 90% Polyester and 10% Elastane, and the bottoms available in 100% Polyester or 90% Polyester/10% Elastane options. 

    The Unstoppable Woven Jackets

    These represent a fusion of style and functionality, catering to the needs of today’s active lifestyle with an elevated and versatile sportswear design. Ideal for post-workout recovery, travel, and everyday activities, these jackets feature a woven fabric with an EcoStorm finish, ensuring superior comfort and durability. The trendy jacket silhouettes not only offer a contemporary look but also incorporate elements of sports heritage DNA, adding a distinctive touch to the design. The jackets boast a loose fit, providing comfort and ease of movement, along with practical pockets for added functionality. The inclusion of PU matte logos adds a touch of sophistication, making these jackets a stylish and practical choice for individuals leading an active lifestyle.

    The Unstoppable Woven Bottoms

    Crafted with woven fabrics featuring an EcoStorm finish, these bottoms ensure superior comfort and durability. The design showcases cargo and wide-leg silhouettes, combined with an elevated aesthetic with elements of sports heritage DNA. Evident attention to detail shines through with the oversized fit for wide-leg pants, loose fit for cargo styles, convenient pockets and incorporation of PU matte logos.

    READ MORE: 24 Best Fitness Gifts For The Gym Lover In Your Life


    Let’s talk shoes, a popular offering in the Under Armour staple. It was announced that a key focus for 2024 is their Infinite Shoe range, with special attention being placed on the UA Infinite Pro, UA Infinite and UA Elite – elevating your running experience like no other. 

    UA Infinite Pro

    Designed to deliver an elevated and comfortable running experience, the UA Infinite Pro incorporates various tech features. The tongue and collar lining provide added comfort, ensuring a snug fit without irritation. The shoe prioritises heel impact reduction for smooth landings and enhanced overall stability. Its outsole is intelligently designed for a balance of durability and lightweight rebound. The engineered upper, with zonal structures and 3D haptic print detailing, offers breathability and containment. A high-resiliency premium sock liner cradles the foot, enhancing step-in comfort. The lightweight Pebax foam in the midsole contributes to soft landings and exceptional springiness, providing excellent energy return. The one-piece bead foam midsole, softer, lighter, and more flexible, ensures a plush and bouncier underfoot experience for runners.

    UA Infinite

    The UA Infinite offers an exceptional running experience with its Deluxe Comfort System, featuring an Ortholite sock liner and PU strobel underfoot for ultimate step-in comfort. The full-length, unwrapped HOVR technology ensures lightweight cushioning and high rebound responsiveness, propelling the runner forward. The Circular Knit full-length upper contributes to breathability, durability, and lightweight containment. Additionally, the shoe is equipped with a durable rubber outsole that provides traction and durability. This ensures proper flexibility for an efficient toe-off during each stride.

    UA Infinite Elite

    The UA Infinite Elite promises an uninhibited running experience with its resilient and springy core. The updated outsole design features wider gauges and a reinforced heel for added guidance, flexibility, and efficient dispersion of impact forces, ensuring a smooth ride. HOVR+ cushioning, higher midsole heights, and intelliknit upper technology combine for an undeniably plush feel, providing a dynamic fit. Notable features include a pull tab for easy entry, premium branding for heel support and an outsole designed for a balance of durability and lightweight rebound.

    The knit upper materialisation provides a precision 1:1 fit with micro details. While a high-resiliency premium sock liner enhances step-in comfort. The full-length, one-piece bead foam midsole contributes to a softer, lighter, and more flexible underfoot experience, promising runners a smoothed-out ride with amplified energy return and increased overall stability.

    For more information, visit or download the Under Armour app on Google Play or the Apple Store, today! More