Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Skechers GOrun : The Review

The rain this evening put paid to my plans of raking in a little more mileage on the GOruns before posting my performance review on the shoe. I was all laced up and just about to step out the door when the skies opened up. I would have ran in the rain but it was just a little too heavy for my liking and I get sick easily if I get too much rain. The wife says I'm a soft little city boy ... LOL!

Anyways, I decided I might as well post my take on the shoe since I've already covered some mileage with it and also put it through a half marathon race distance last week for the Brooks Half Marathon. I've had the shoe for about 10 days now and have so far covered a total of 50KM in it. The wife has also put in more or less the same amount of mileage and she also has more or less the same opinion of the shoe as I do.

First of, I must say after my initial skepticism about the shoe, I'm a total convert. The GORuns just grow on you. The first time I put on the shoe was for an easy run covering a total of 17KM. The shoe felt a little weird initially as it takes some getting used to when you put on a Skechers GOrun for the first time.

As mentioned in my previous post, one of the first things you notice, besides the light weight is that bump under your arches. It makes it a little weird to walk in and I was pretty worried that it would affect my run. It felt funny having your arches 'probed' but the distraction went off after a few kilometers and I could hardly feel it anymore.

Fit wise, the shoe fit like a glove around my feet. I'm a US9 for all my other shoes but had to size down to a US8 for the GOruns. The wife strangely had to size up for her pair. I like the snugness of the shoe and how light it felt. In fact, it felt so light that I felt like I was running with just my socks on. I was worried that it would be a little difficult to slide the foot in with the stitched on tongue but surprisingly, the stretchy upper fabric made that task easy.

The almost weightless synthetic upper mesh made the shoe pretty breathable and it did help considerably with keeping my feet cool. My feet tends to heat up fast but with the GOruns I didn't feel that 'hot' sensation I get when I run with some of my other shoes. The toe box was a lot more roomier than most of my other shoes which allowed the toes to spread nicely and push off much easier without that feeling of your toes being pressed tightly together.

Since it was the first time I was running in the shoe, I took a more cautious approach. At an easy pace the shoe seemed able to withstand the impact of the newly tarred road, somewhat along the lines of the Green Silence and Pure Connects. The cushioning was adequate and held up admirably.

Upon stepping up the speed to a slightly faster pace was when I wished the outsoles were a little more rigid as I could feel the road pounding under my feet. The Resalyte outsole, though adequately cushioned, still wasn't able to completely absorb the faster landing feet motion thus the slight pounding. Not a big issue if you're light on your feet but for a heavier runner, it might pose some problems.

With the outsoles being a little on the soft side, you tend to 'feel' the road considerably especially at higher speeds, though the sensation doesn't go any further than the bottom of your feet with no impact whatsoever on the ankles and knees, which in my opinion is pretty awesome. I suppose the 'GOimpulse sensors' that are positioned at all the impact points of the soles tend to absorb and dissipate the impact along the soles of the feet rather than towards the top of the legs.

A little note here on the outsoles. I noticed that no matter how hard I trashed them during my runs, there was hardly any scuffing on it unlike my Pure Connects which was scuffed quite bad after my first run in it. The outsoles of the GOrun, while soft and springy is actually very durable. 

The flexibility of the shoe was also a joy to run in with the foot adapting well to the contours of the uneven road, mimicking an 'as close as I can possibly get to running barefoot without actually running barefoot' experience.

Day two saw me doing a short 5K speed run session with a 5 minute pace that was easily attainable seeing as how light the shoe was. The speed just came naturally which I have to watch out for when I'm doing longer distanced runs, don't want to tire out too soon! It just makes you want to run fast! LOL!
 
One thing the shoe cannot do, well almost cannot do, is heel strike. The way the mechanics of this shoe is built, you're always mid-footing and while it might be a good thing if you're a natural midfoot runner, it's an otherwise quite painful thing if you're a heel striker. The calves are worked up quite a bit from constantly being 'forced' to midfoot strike. You really got to get used to the shoes if you're a natural heel striker.

I tend to heel strike when I'm really tired but with this shoe, I found that I couldn't really heel strike at all. It's not impossible but you'd have to put in a lot of effort if your were going to heel strike in these shoes. Notice the still clean heel sections of the outsoles (they're still as clean as that even after the Brooks Half). Even the wife who is a heel striker simply couldn't heel strike with these shoes.

The unblemished sections at the very back of the heel
The furthest I've run with the shoe under race conditions was the recently concluded Brooks Half Marathon. While I personally didn't do well at the event because of a nagging thigh injury recurrence, the shoe performed admirably. Since I'm more familiar with the shoe by now, it got up to speed pretty fast.

I mentioned earlier that the outsoles were a little soft and you could feel the roads at higher speeds but surprisingly, at longer distances and slightly slower speeds the mid-section of the outsoles firms up nicely with ample cushioning making midfoot running a breeze.

One thing I noticed is that after all my runs, my legs tended to recover so much faster. The usual aches and soreness almost immediately vanished and I was left with the feeling of wanting to go out and run some more! I've only clocked 50K on it so far but the pains in my ankles and knees are also a thing of the past. I don't know if it has anything to do with the shoe though I suspect it does. It could also be psychological but I'm not complaining. It's nice to have pain free legs after a run.

Normally after a run, I tend to feel the aches and soreness almost all day and have to walk down the staircase sideways like a crab ... LOL! But after the Brooks Half, I was immediately feeling ready to run again in the evening and if it wasn't for the thigh injury, I would have. And I'm not alone in this assessment, the wife feels the same way too and she's been running with a Skechers (albeit a different model) a lot longer than I have.

The wife was plagued by knee problems but after using Skechers Shape-Ups for quite a while now and then moving on to the GOruns, she swears that all her knee issues are gone and she's running pain free as well. She also hardly has much aches or soreness after her runs and recovers pretty fast.

To be honest, there was nothing I didn't like about the shoe. It does take some getting used but it tends to grow on you the more you use it. I'm not sure how well it would perform for a full marathon but I do intend to find out in June for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon where I'm signed up to run the 42K and will probably use this or hopefully a newer updated model of the shoe to see how it performs in a full marathon.

One issue that I can foresee cropping up is how some might find it a little unnatural in the sense that it 'forces' one to midfoot strike. It's not a shoe that you can put on and immediately feel the the benefits. A little break in period is need for your feet to familiarize itself with the shoe.

A little caution is advised, this shoe is not immediately for everyone. Like I said it takes some getting used to. Do some research, know your feet and running style before making a decision to buy the GORuns. But overall I'd say it's one hell of a shoe and is putting Skechers on the right path in breaking into the running shoe market. I'm already looking forward to future iterations of the shoe.

I'll post another follow up review once I've done a lot more miles in the shoe to see how it holds up in the longer run (pun intended).

Once again, thank you Skechers Malaysia for the review shoe you gave the wife and me. The writeup you read here are based on my own honest and personal opinions and is in no way influenced by Skechers Malaysia.

22 comments:

  1. Interesting.

    And just when I'm looking for a new shoe.

    I likey the colour. Suka things striking2 one. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually like the lime green but unfortunately it's only for the women ... siggghhh ...

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the update. I am a midfoot striker. I wonder if the shoe would cause me to forefoot strike? And am not sure about the arch support. Shouldn't the support "weaken" the arch in the long run once one becomes more accustomed and dependent on it?
    That said, would love to try it out. Perhaps I will. If I come across it in Penang.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a point there about the arch. There was quite a few negatives I read about the arch in overseas reviews but most said the arch actually helped with plantar fasciitis issues but I don't really know cos I don't have PF issues (touch wood).

      Anyways, my personal opinion was that the shoe worked for me, might not be for everyone though. If you can find one, give it a go, it might surprise you :D

      Delete
  3. so did u run sockless?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I didn't. Was too afraid to take the risk of blistering especially on race day. Will try running sockless in one of my coming training sessions this week and see how it feels.

      Delete
    2. that's right, there is always concern about sockless vs blister

      waiting ur test run then! enjoy :)

      Delete
    3. I actually a sockless run session already. Check out my latest posting on my take of sockless running.

      Delete
  4. Im a huge fan of sketchers prospeed after my friend introduced it to me last week. It somehow helps me to straighten my core during my running sessions.
    After reading this article this morning, i went to Sketchers One Utama to give GoRun a try. To my surprise, its the most comfortable running shoes i've ever won. I bought a pair for my fiancee :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn' t at all intrigued with the prospeed cos it seriously didn't look at all like a real running shoe but the GOrun's are an entirely different matter all together. Here is a shoe that actually looks and feels like a what a running shoe should be like and I'm a total covert now :-)

      Anyways, I'm glad you found this article helpful and welcome to the GOrun club! Happy running.

      Delete
  5. GOrun is great for running, and running only. It feels very light, and its contour contributes to the momentum of moving forward. I like it a lot for my running.

    That being said, it's HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED if you're going to wear it for an extended period of standing without running. I wore it for one of my company roadshows, and stood for 7 hours for 2 days consecutively and it made my legs hurt (not painful hurt, but tolerable, sprain-like hurt) that lasts for more than 2 days now. I've never experienced this in my past roadshows when I used to wear normal, flat-bottom sneakers.

    So it's really important to know what to wear based on the correct occasion. GOrun is made specifically for running, and thus running is what it should be used for. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't normally use my running shoes for walking so I can really testify to whether they're not good for walking but I'll take your word for it :D

      I totally agree with you about knowing what's good for your feet and not just running out there and buying any pair of shoes cos we all have feet that are built differently.

      It's good to know that the GOruns are working out nicely for your runs :D

      Delete
    2. I am not a runner, but bought a pair recently because I have a high arch and they felt perfect on my foot. I have worn them many days to work, and my job involves a lot of standing, and the shoes were amazing. They did not make my legs hurt.

      Delete
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