Energy return has been the focus of the latest arms race in the shoe market, with offerings like the Nike Next% and the Reebok Floatride Run attracting runners with lightweight, performance-driven designs. With the UA Rush Compression Sleeveless, the Baltimore-based company is calling upon their long history in the compression game to bring the energy return close to their chest—and abs and back. (We also covered the women’s Rush tank, a loose-fitting, open-back top, which pairs well with the Rush bra.)
The new tech, developed by Celliant, claims to capture and redistribute energy burned during activity. As the body emits heat, mineral-infused fibers in the shirt capture said heat as infrared energy, which is then reflected back into the body. (It’s much better explained in this video). Layman’s terms: the shirt is designed to increase your stamina during each workout, which it does to varying degrees.
The Rush does a decent job at ventilating and absorbing sweat, thanks in part to a V-shaped column of mesh panels under the arm. The top also provides a cooling feeling (similar to a fresh Dri-Fit shirt) that makes warm runs more tolerable. On an 80-degree lunch run with no shade, the other guys in my group had to pause to ring out their shirts. Unlike them, my chest did not become an Uber for perspiration.
Important to note: Just because the shirt assists with energy return doesn’t mean you’ll be instantly dropping 10 minutes off your next half marathon time. Like other compression gear, you don’t necessarily “feel” the energy return, though your recovery time is reduced. Where a warm long run destroyed my legs, I found my chest, shoulders, and abs to feel as if I had just done a light three miles. I’m still on the fence of whether it was a result of the Rush’s tech or a placebo, but in the end, I felt great, and that’s all that matters.
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It’s hard to fault a compression top for doing its job, but Under Armour is not using hyperbole when they compare the Rush’s fit to a second skin. Like that John Legend song you’ll hear at every wedding this summer, it will love all of you—no curve or edge goes uncompressed. The design is great for the desired energy return, though even the most confident runners may be wary of sporting this on a busy trail.
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