Under Armour

Under Armour, originally a sportswear company founded in 1996 by University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank, didn’t make its move into running shoes until 2009. Five years later, the brand began to gain traction with runners following the release of the Speed Form line of shoes. Put simply, this lineup proved that Under Armour could produce a well-crafted running shoe to rival the success of its athletic apparel.

The SpeedForm technology capitalized on UA’s apparel expertise and brought innovations from clothing manufacturing into running shoes. For example, the upper of the SpeedForm Apollo was actually constructed in a bra factory—an odd move at first glance, but the company’s experience with textiles helped UA develop a fabric with a nearly seamless finish that provided a snug fit and great durability. Though much of the conversation today centers around midsole foams and cushioning, other parts of the shoe also have a significant effect on performance. This makes Under Armour’s ability to craft comfy and breathable uppers a key skill set.

mid-cross back sports bra with supportive straps and moisture-wicking fabric to keep you comfy and sweat-free during running and strength training.

Fleece pants that won’t feel too baggy and keep you warm if you’re working out outdoors. It has roomy side pockets that’ll hold essentials and soft fabric that locks in heat.

Comfy sneakers because you’re done stopping mid-run to fix your shoes for the hundredth time. Wear these for your next workout and you’ll be ~going the distance~, thanks to laces that actually stay in place, good cushioning, and a breathable design.

Graphic running shorts so you can stay cool, avoid chafing issues, and have something lightweight to wear to the gym. No more overheating or irritated skin whenever you work up to sweat.

soft hoodie that’ll be great for cold days and double up as a cozy piece of loungewear. Your body will be at a comfy temperature, thanks to brushed material and a lined hood.

Lightweight shorts because your thighs will be able to breathe and not feel like a sweat puddle. These are made with anti-odor tech too, so they won’t stink after exercise.

short-sleeve tee you’ll want to slip into for weight training sessions. A streamlined fit and quick-dry fabric will make it easy to complete curls, deadlifts, and more moves.

Squat-proof leggings that won’t budge, ride up or sag. They provide a hint of compression without feeling too tight and they’re available in three lengths, in case you prefer a shorter or longer fit.

High-tech sneakers for your running workouts: Each shoe has a chip that connects to UA MapMyRun, an app that gives you some coaching and keeps track of your running metrics.

duffle bag that’ll have plenty of room for your activewear, sneakers, water bottles, snacks, and gym gear. The best part? It also has an adjustable strap making it so dang easy to carry around.

basic V-neck tee you’ll want to wear for barre, running, yoga, and everything in between. It’s so comfy and breathable, you’ll never want to take it off.

Gym-ready boxers because you won’t have to think twice about bunching or sweating. They’ll feel so amazing under basketball shorts or joggers.

training tank that literally has your back with four-way stretch, a breathable fit, and fabric that’ll keep sweat at bay.

Wireless headphones so you can tune out distractions and listen to your favorite beats during workouts. Dwayne Johnson also helped design these babies, so you’ll be good to go for gym sessions.

Training leggings that have multiple perks for cold-weather workouts. They’re made with a mineral-infused material that helps reflect energy back to your body, stay put on your waist, and keep you warm the whole time.

A baseball cap so you can shield your eyes from the sun *and* prevent your head from overheating. Regardless of what type of exercise you’re doing, you won’t feel so much sweat dripping down your face thanks to a breathable shape.

Comfy underwear that’s breathable and won’t show through compression shorts and leggings. With a seamless material and barely-there fit, you can focus on your workout and not worry about anything riding up.

A fitted crewneck so you won’t freeze whenever you go on a run. Thumbholes help retain warmth and prevent your sleeves from rolling up. You’ll want to wear this top with fleece leggings or joggers when it’s cold outside.

A cozy hoodie because exercising outside can be a pain and you seriously don’t want to get chilly from the temperature and perspiration. It has fabric that wicks away moisture and keeps you toasty, which is a win for cold-weather workouts.

A seamless sports bra that’ll feel like a soft pillow for your chest and minimize boob sweat. You can lift weights, do yoga, or go on a walk without anything digging into your skin.

A compression mock neck shirt that’ll be incredibly useful for snowboarding, skiing, and other cold-weather activities. You will feel warm because it has dual-layer material and an ergonomic fit that covers your upper body (we’re talking arms, neck, back, and shoulders here).

The Bottom Line

In only a decade, Under Armour has become a well-recognized name. More importantly, it is associated with quality and innovation, which means that it is easier to charge higher prices. The result is that Under Armour has been able to maintain strong margins, which currently are around 46%. The company also has been able to bring on top athletes, including Olympian Michael Phelps, and NFL stars Tom Brady and Cam Newton.

For a growth company, it can be easy to spend too much money. However, Under Armour has taken steps to remain disciplined, and has instituted measures to improve the supply chain. The company also has brought more functions in-house, such as the manufacturing of its accessories. All these moves should help lower overall costs. It’s massive. You can find Under Armour items in over 25,000 retail outlets, including large sports retail chains like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Foot Locker.

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