While churning out content for WPW, I’ve noticed a trend about Under Armour that all of their products seem to support: their desire to push the envelope. With three decades of dominance, it has become near-conventional wisdom that Nike makes the best athletic products. Its something most of us were born into. Lately, though, UA has taken on the role of “rebellious upstart” with provocative designs and flamboyant colors that are winning over the young, flashy player. That youthful bravado couldn’t be better represented by anyone other than Bryce Harper and Cam Newton, UA’s big contract guys. Young, cocky, sometimes abrasive, and impossible not to watch. They simply could not have picked two better guys to match the direction they’re headed.
A good example of this is the new line of UA batting gloves coming out. They’re nothing like what we’ve seen before. Check ’em out:
Under Armour dubbed these “for the new generation of mashers,” which makes it very natural that we saw these first on Bryce Harper. The most prominent feature obviously is the long cuff which UA calls Compfit™, which, according to the manufacturer, eliminates the need for taping the wrists. I’ve got to say, I’m skeptical of this, though I’ve never taped my wrists before.
The UA Highlight will be available 10.1.2013 for $54.99, and I have no doubt they will be in every high school batter’s box in no time.
Like Chevy’s Impala and Malibu, Under Armour makes a habit of keeping the best-selling names around. The Yard, another part of UA’s 2014 glove lineup, is their best-selling baseball name by far, be it the batting gloves or the cleats. These new ones, though, might be my favorite of all. I actually wasn’t crazy about Bryce’s two-color version. I’m not going to hold it against UA, though, because I thought a lot of the Mets’-colored stuff looked bad. I mean no disrespect, I love most of what the Mets do with their own stuff, but there were some poor choices in the All Star design. Namely, way too much orange. But with these more basic versions, they did a really nice job design-wise, and most importantly, they look like a really comfortable glove. I think the Yard’s popularity in the Big Leagues will continue and likely grow with this new design.
These will also be available 10.1.2013 for $44.99. If I’m allowed to wish, I’d wish for all the UA logos on top of the hand to be color-coordinated—or maybe we’ll just see that on the player exclusives (Bryce’s already had it).
These are already out in white/white, and on some pros (including Bryce, Reyes, Segura). They looked sick on Bryce in his commercial (one of my favorite sport commercials of all time). Unfortunately, it looks like UA stripped the soul off of these for the regular market. It looks too standard, and though it is made from pro-grade cabretta leather, I couldn’t justify spending $60 bucks on these when I can get the mighty fine-looking Yard for $15 dollars less.
(Also available 10.1.2013)
Going for the same Audrey Hepburn look as with the Highlight, UA will release its first fielding-specific glove this year as well. Even though I think the wrist thing is ridiculous, I do see some utility for a catcher with these. A little wrist protection can’t hurt back there, and if you’re catching anybody with some sizzle, you probably already use a glove. (Note: Noah recently did a post on these types of glove and we uncovered some good stuff—check it out here). This will also be out 10.1.2013, at a price of $24.99 (for the left hand only).
Which is your favorite?