Under Armour Bandit 3 – 50+ Mile Review

This is a shoe that I never expected to get, much less like as much as I do. It was one of those shoes you get because nothing else is really working and the store you wanted to shop at for the shoes you wanted to shop at in Bangor was closed.

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I went to Dick’s and it came down to the Bandit 3 and another pair – the Bandit’s won based on their sole not being a rock collector. Otherwise they were very similar to a pair of Nike Free’s with the knit upper or whatever Nike is calling them nowadays.

I have 75 miles on the Bandits and probably at least another 30 miles of walking in them.

The Bandit 3’s are my fourth pair of Under Armour running shoes over the past couple of years and without a doubt the best pair yet. I had the Bandit 2’s and while liked them, they had problems with my foot going over the side if I attempted make a sharp turn and they were too damn slippery on wet pavement.

So how are the Under Armour Bandit 3’s working for me?

I will say that when I go for a run nowadays, I almost always lace up the Bandit 3’s.

Stats

Yeah, stats don’t tell the whole story of a pair of running shoes, but it does give an idea of the kind of shoe it is and if it is similar to running shoes that may have worked or not worked in the past for me.

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In the past the Bandit line was considered a light stability running shoe, but on the U/A website I can’t tell where they place it and some of the other sites/blogs put it as a light-weight neutral trainer. However, since the Bandit 3’s have an external plastic heel counter, I think that I would still classify them as a light stability running shoe style.

There is also a little confusion on what the stack and drop are from reviewers saying it is a 10mm drop and Under Armour’s site saying it is 8mm, but whatever it actually is 2mm is not all that big a deal – it just means it is a more traditional running shoe. I went with the Runner’s World stack heights just for comparison’s sake.

Heel Stack Height: 32.0 mm

Forefoot Stack Height: 22.0mm

Weight

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That is what my home scale gives it for a weight in a size 8.5, the standard size 9.0 that the U/A website probably uses had the shoes listed at 9.1 ounces. They are light and snappy enough that I can do tempo and speed workouts in them and will probably use them as my race day shoes for a while.

So the stats are mostly in the sweet spot of where I look when it comes to choosing running shoes.

Upper

This the part of the shoe that really surprised me, because most d-width shoes tend to bother my right foot and its Tailor’s Bunionette by pushing the pinky toe into the fourth one and causing discomfort, then finally just a bit of misery.

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I think that the knit upper is the primary reason that I can wear these in a d-width, it stretches to accommodate my weirdly shaped foot quite well. I haven’t had any complaints about my right foot hurting during a run – which is how I judge an upper.

I do like the way that the upper wraps around my heel, but still is flexible enough that it doesn’t bother my Achilles tendon. Although some have complained that if you wear too low a sock with this style of heel counter that it will cause a blister. I haven’t had that problem with the Bandit 3’s and it did not bother where another pair of shoes badly blistered my right Achilles recently.

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I am not too crazy about the way the tongue doesn’t really lay flat when I tie the shoes up, but it has not bothered during a run, which means it is more of a cosmetic flaw for me than anything else.

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The other thing if I want to be really picky is that I am not crazy about the darker colorway, but that is pretty minor compared to the level of comfort that I have in them.

Sole

All I can say is that it is a helluva lot better than the Bandit 2. When I run in the rain on asphalt, they don’t slip back on toe-off like the 2’s did and if I take a corner in them I feel confident that the grip is there to make the turn without having to slow down to ensure that I stay upright (not that I am going that fast).

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The Bandit 3’s are not rock collector’s which is a great thing because out where I am running on dirt roads and having to jump onto the dirt shoulders of the road all too often means that many shoes gain weight on a run – the Bandit’s do not do that.

While they are not really a multi-purpose sole, but I would use the Bandit 3’s on almost all of the runs that I do in the area.

They have worked well on the dirt road down-back in wet and a little slimey conditions during heavy rains. No, I wouldn’t take them on a wet, technical trail run or in deep mud, but in dry conditions I would use them for most trails in the area. However, I would watch out for rocks and stuff a little more carefully since I notice the ground in them more than I thought I would.

I have a feeling that they would do decently for most winter running, except during storms or when it is the wet, slushy nasty stuff or icy conditions – in my opinion no running shoe does great on ice and those are either rest days or being safe on the treadmill.

The wear is about where I would expect for a shoe that I have run and walked in over 100 miles. I would expect them to last at least until 400 miles without too many issues for me.

The reality is

That I like the Under Armour Bandit 3’s.

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They are comfortable, I run well in the Bandit 3’s, so far they haven’t limited how far I can run in them (like some other shoes I ran in earlier) and well, hell they are comfortable to wear.

Personally, I think that a running shoe being comfortable on my feet is the most important thing. All the bells, whistles, brand name and latest technology don’t mean anything if the running shoes are not comfortable when we are running in them.

Sometimes in our rush to go out and get the newest, greatest, fanciest running shoes with all the latest technologies that  we overlook some running shoes that would work quite well for the majority of runners. I know that I have been guilty of all this in the past and will probably get sucked into that vortex again in the future at some point, that if the running shoes cost more – it must be a better running shoe.

That is not always the case and I am slowly learning to focus more on what works for me than anything else.

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The Bandit 3’s are well designed and Under Armour has created a very nice pair of running shoes that are: light-weight, have a comfortable upper, a nice ride and great heel-to-toe transition, all in a nice looking running shoe, that just seems to work well. T

Right now I use them for just about all my running and too often when I go for a walk lately. To say the least I have been happy with how they have performed on the runs I have done so far.

The Bandit are versatile enough to be a one shoe option for many runners. Let’s get real not too many runners only use one pair of running shoes, but then again, I haven’t run in too many others since I got the Bandit 3’s so I guess that I am becoming a one style of shoe runner – for now.

Will I Buy Them Again?

At this point I will say probably. Nothing is ever certain with me, but I am very happy after 75 miles of running and how the Bandit 3’s are performing for me.

Last Thought

The Under Armour Bandit 3’s are a surprising running shoe that doesn’t cost as much as many others on the market today and so far have out-performed many of the other more “popular” or “higher-priced” models for me.

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