Under Armour Takes the Gold with UA Flow Technology
Developed in Partnership with Dow, Under Armour's UA Flow is Recognized in the 2022 Edison Awards' Performance Based Design Category
Under Armour is thrilled to announce that its signature UA Flow technology has brought home gold at the 2022 Edison Awards in the Performance Based Design category, a first-time honor for the brand. The groundbreaking lightweight and long-lasting shoe technology was developed and executed in partnership between Dow and Under Armour teams including Innovation, Product Design, Biomechanics, Athlete and Consumer Insights groups, and many others. UA Flow technology was first introduced in December 2020 as the signature design element of our Curry Flow 8 basketball shoe.
At its core, UA Flow disrupts traditional footwear design by eliminating the rubber outsole to make it more lightweight. The result is a responsive, grippy, and supportive singular-foam compound that is the highest performance ground-contact cushioning technology ever produced by the brand. Since its introduction, UA Flow has marked a major leap forward in athletic shoe design.
"When we saw how sticky this material was on hardwood, we knew this was going to be groundbreaking,” said Fred Dojan, UA’s VP of Footwear Development Innovation in 2020. Since then, he, his innovation development team, and Design Director of Footwear Innovation Tom Luedecke have watched in awe as their tech has given one of the world’s best basketball players the chance to perform at an even higher level. "We all love watching his games," said Dojan. “It’s awesome being able to marry the best technology with one of the best athletes in the world.”
When first testing the shoe in 2019, Stephen Curry didn't hold back when sharing how it felt on his feet and his excitement for the technology. Since then, UA Flow technology has been supporting Stephen across his training and competition product needs on and off the court.
Equally excited are the many athletes and product testers that gave the UA design team invaluable feedback throughout the process. Leaning on their insights allowed UA to refine UA Flow technology for basketball, as well as iterate on it for a line of running shoes. “In my more than 25 years working in footwear innovation, this was such an incredibly collaborative project, with Stephen being an exceptional partner," said Dojan. "This is easily the most rewarding project that our team has worked on.”
Delivering on Under Armour’s mission to make athletes better, UA Flow technology has been integrated into several other game-changing products since launching with the Curry Flow 8 including:
- CURRY FLOW 9: If the Curry Flow 8 was an off-the-backboard pass, the Curry Flow 9 is the subsequent alley-oop dunk. Under Armour’s design team built in even more revolutionary innovations, including the addition of a unique upper technology called UA Warp, which acts like seatbelts on the foot. Other innovations to the Curry Flow 9 include an improved UA Flow sole, which has been fine-tuned based on feedback from multiple NBA players. The foam has been carried over, but the traction pattern has been elongated and refined in the toe and lateral edges. “The team was really looking at how we can continue to make things better every single year,” says Clay Dean, chief innovation officer at Under Armour. “That’s what allows you to create long-lasting products and experiences. The philosophy is to innovate for the long term because this is a long-term brand that is invested in giving athletes, like Stephen, what they need for peak performance and the competitive mindset on and off the court.”
- CURRY FLOW GO: In 2021, Curry and Under Armour brought to market a premium running shoe: the Curry Flow Go, a lightweight, high-performance shoe for the grind of training that complements the Curry Flow 9 basketball shoe in the Curry Brand lineup. “When Stephen isn’t on the court, he trains in running shoes. So he thought it would be great to have a running product that was Curry Brand, that took on the same characteristics and design DNA of his other footwear,” said Ryan Drew, vice president of Curry Brand.
- FLOW VELOCITI WIND: Following the successful launch of UA Flow technology in the Flow Velociti Wind running shoe in 2021, Under Armour launched the second iteration with the Flow Velociti Wind 2 in 2022. “UA FLOW is a game-changing cushioning technology that expands our capabilities for delivering the best experience and product solutions to the runner,” said Douglas Smiley, senior global product line manager for performance run at Under Armour. “The Flow Velociti Wind 2 delivers speed without sacrifice-keeping the runner protected, delivering amazing energy return, and putting the wind at their back with every stride, every run, every day.” The Flow Velociti SE also features UA Flow's all-in-one cushioning system and enhances the feeling of light and effortless speed with the absence of sensation in the upper—producing an incredibly balanced experience with several added comfort benefits.
Looking ahead, Under Armour will be expanding UA Flow technology into offerings for track, train and recovery categories as well as digging deeper into the run space with a new marathon shoe that is slated for limited release this summer and is already setting new records.
The Edison Awards are a high achievement in the product and innovation space, recognizing product and service development, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation, honoring the legacy of Thomas Edison.
To learn more and find UA products that feature the Flow technology, visit here.