Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shoes, Shoes And More Shoes ...

Since it was a nice rainy morning earlier today and I was stuck at home waiting for the water filter technician to come over and check on our malfunctioning water dispenser, I took stock of all the running shoes the wife and me have lying in our room.

The funny thing is the wife has a heck of a lot more running shoes than heels, which is really kinda strange for a woman, but you won't see me complaining ... LOL! Between the two of us we have brands ranging from Adidas, Reebok, Mizuno, Brooks and Skechers, notice no Nike's ... hahaha ... sorry, just had to squeeze that in.

Now, of all the brands that I have besides the Brooks series, the Skechers GOrun series seems to be the one that we have the most of, with thanks to Skechers Malaysia.

Of course Skechers wasn't always on my list of shoes radar that I thought would be close to my heart. In fact, I still remember vividly  the reaction I had when the wife first ventured into a Skechers outlet to get the Skechers Shape-Ups Liv for herself.

'A Skechers?' I said to her, 'Seriously?'

Little did I realize that I would be eating my words and skepticism about Skechers a little over two months later when the GOrun was launched. That shoe changed my entire perception towards Skechers. It was also a plus point that my feet seem to be suited to run in their shoes and even had me finishing my first ever full marathon in it and has since become the shoe of choice for races that I take part in, well that is until the GObionic came into my hands or rather feet!

On the positive side, Skechers has been producing a pretty decent range of the GOrun Series running shoe which is catching on with a lot more people these days. There was a time that I could hardly spot a single pair of Skechers shoes in any race, except for the ones the wife and me had on, to being able to see loads of them in races these days. The latest example was the recent BARBAG run where I spotted countless of GOruns and GOrun Rides on lots of runners. A good sign that runners are beginning to take the brand more seriously.

On a personal side, Skechers has become the shoe of choice for me and I'm not just saying that cos I get shoes from Skechers to wear test. Even if I had to pay for them, they would still be the shoe of choice simply because they work for me. Almost all of my training and races have been run in a Skechers shoe with the occasional switch to my Brooks Green Silence or Pure Connect.

If someone asks me to recommend a pair of decent running shoes for them, it would have to be a Skechers. I've taken the liberty of jotting down a very brief summary of the range of the Skechers GOseries that the wife and me had the opportunity to try and hope they do help anyone out there looking for a pair of running shoes and are considering a pair of Skechers.

Skechers Shape-Ups Liv
Though not from the Skechers GOrun Series, this fitness shoe was the first Skechers shoe that the wife purchased. This was the shoe that had me looking at her in disbelief ... LOL! It's not really a running shoe and was basically designed to enhance the benefits of walking.

The Shape ups is supposed to let you experience intuitive motion with Natural Stride Technology. Touted to be lightweight, flexible and comes with the trademark Resalyte midsole for a cushioned fit and a smooth synthetic upper mesh fabric.

Though it's not meant for 'real' running, the wife has comfortably used this for quite a few races and come away smiling each time. She still swears by it and uses it on a rotational basis with her other shoes.

Verdict: (According to the wife) A great shoe if you're into fitness and likes walking with some casual jogging.

Skechers GOrun
The Skechers GOrun is the shoe that started my love affair with the Skechers brand of running shoes. The first time I laid my eyes and hands on it, I simply had to get it. The GOrun is designed to give you a more natural running experience. It's extremely light weight at 7oz for a men's size 9 and rides low to the ground enabling you to 'feel' the surface as you run but the trademarked Resalyte sole offers just enough protection for your feet. The shoe promotes a more 'forced' mid-foot strike which makes heel striking virtually impossible unless you're the kind who loves pain.

Takes a little getting used to if you've not run in minimalist shoes before and the 'hump' under the arch will/might pose some problems. While it's great to run in, the moment you stop running and start walking is when the hump will really be a bother. Can be awfully painful if you've got a long way to walk. But I'm pretty used to it and it doesn't bother me as much. I've even used it as my race shoe for my first ever full marathon and it came away with flying colors.

Verdict: A good minimalist running shoe but takes some getting used to. You need to go easy and ease into it. Not for everyone though.

More detailed reviews can be found here:
Happy Feet
Jamie Pang

Skechers GOrun Ride
The Skechers GOrun Ride is the second iteration of the GOseries running shoes. Though the GOrun Ride is a slightly more cushioned shoe, at 7.9oz (men's size 9) it still falls in the lightweight category. It still comes with the same Resalyte soles though with a little more strategically placed impulse sensors underneath.

The uppers are as light and breathable as the GOrun and aside from the added cushioning, one other thing stands out about the shoe which is the hump in the arch, or rather lack of. The people at Skechers Performance has taken note of the unpopular hump in the previous model and has more or less done away with it in this shoe. Though not completely gone, it's very much less noticeable which makes walking in this shoe a breeze.

The Skechers GOrun Ride is a perfect shoe for training and races. It still promotes mid-foot striking and heel striking with this shoe is also nearly impossible. The added cushioning and the non-existent arch bump makes this shoe the perfect choice for any type of runner, be it casual or serious. For those who love the GOrun but hated the 'hump' in the arch, then this is the shoe for them.

It's currently my training shoe and I've also used it for a 12.4K race and it worked just fine. It has also been rain tested and came away with flying colors.

Verdict: A good shoe for training, easy on the feet and works nicely while walking too.

More detailed reviews can be found here:
Happy Feet
Jamie Pang
Penonton

Skechers GOrun Ride Ultra
The GOrun Ride Ultra can easily be mistaken as another model in the GOseries of shoes but it isn't really a newer or different model of shoe. It's actually a GOrun Ride but with a different upper mesh design. The upper mesh for the GOrun Ride Ultra has much wider 'holes' in it than the GOrun Ride.

Everything else about the shoe, its performance and specifications remain the same. The only difference I detected was that it was slightly cooler though you really can't tell much unless you're absolutely paying attention. Half the time I'm too beat up to actually notice the slight cooling difference ... LOL!

I'm not sure why this iteration of the shoe even came up and must ask the people at Skechers about this one day. That aside, it's simply the same good training shoe as the GOrun Ride.

Verdict: The same as the GOrun Ride above

Skechers GOtrain
If you're a fitness buff who loves working out and frequently goes to the gym, then the Skechers GOtrain might be the shoe for you. The GOtrain has much increased cushioning and is ideal for intense gym fitness workout and is supposedly pretty much suited for treadmill running. Though it's the most padded shoe in the GOseries, it still retains the flexibility of the GOseries family.

The upper has the same soft flexible mesh and it sits on the same trademark Resalyte outsole. It still promotes mid-foot striking but has the impulse sensors spaced out differently. The high abrasion rubber sensors are fused together for added control and stability at the lateral and medial strike points. The outsole has a minimal design to help increase stability for gym activities like squats and lifts.

The wife has been using it for her core and fitness workouts and says it feels sturdy, stable and is able to absorb all her hard foot stomping fitness workouts. She hasn't used it for any runs yet and won't be able to test it out on a treadmill cos we don't have access to a gym so I can't verify if it'll work as advertised on a treadmill.

But according to the wife, who's been using it for walking around the neighborhood, it should work pretty well on a treadmill. She plans to take it for road test soon and I'll write a more comprehensive review of the shoe once she's tested it out more.

Verdict: (According to the wife) A decent pair of shoes for fitness and gym activities.

Skechers GOrun All Weather (GOdri)
The Skechers GOrun All Weather with GOdri technology is essentially the exact same pair of shoe as the original GOrun (right down to the designer 'hump' even) with one exception. Its upper is doubled lined built to protect your feet from snow and rain keeping them dry and warm throughout your run.

Unfortunately we don't have snow in these part of the world and not many people are crazy enough to want to run in the rain or carry a pair of extra shoes to change into when the weather takes a turn for the worst. The double layered upper makes the shoe very hot to run in normal weather conditions and you can really and I mean really feel the heat in the shoe.

The wife tested it for a run and had to actually stop and take off her socks cos it was really hot in there. She said running sockless was a lot more bearable, heat wise. I tried the shoe on and true enough, just walking around in it for a few minutes was enough to convince me that it would heat up considerably on a normal day over here.

She hasn't had a chance to take it out for a spin in the rain to test the water-proofing yet though. If it wasn't for the pinkish themed design, I would put it on and take it out for a run in the rain myself! LOL!

Verdict: (Both the wife's and mine) Not a suitable shoe for this country and would probably work best in colder climates.

Skechers GObionic
Finally we come to the shoe that has found a huge place in my heart, the Skechers GObionic! I knew about this shoe since I had my GOrun and was patiently waiting for a pair to drop into my hands. Unfortunately for me, the wife got hers first and had the opportunity to test it out way longer than me. Mine only just came into my hands a couple of weeks back.

The GObionic was awarded the Runner's World UK Editor's Choice and rightly so, if you ask me. This zero drop shoe is so light yet adequately cushioned and so flexible that you hardly feel the shoe on your feet when you run. It weighs in at an incredible 6oz for a men's size 9 and is as close you would come to running barefoot short of actually running barefoot.

The wife who's never run in zero drop shoes in her entire life came back happy with how the shoe worked for her. She said it made her perform better and even run faster than her usual pace. I was surprised yet happy all the same for her. 

I've relatively covered only close to 35K in them and so far they're an excellent pair of shoes to run in. I like the feel of how close you feel to the road. Again, it's practically impossible to heel strike in them unless you love pain. 

The GObionic being a zero drop shoe does take some getting used to especially if you've never run zero drop before. Take it out for a few short, easy runs. Walk in them for a bit to condition your feet before even attempting to go long and fast in them.

I'm planning to put them through a half marathon test this weekend during the PJ Half Marathon and will come back with a more in depth review then.

Verdict: (Both the wife's and mine) Awesome shoe. Some conditioning required. Go easy in them but otherwise every bit as good as it's made out to be. Might not be for everyone though.

More detailed reviews can be found here:

With that, I'm waited with baited breath for the coming models to the GOseries family and from what I've heard from Skechers Malaysia, they're going to be just as awesome.

12 comments:

  1. That's plenty of Skechers you've tried.

    I'm tempted to get one but always got turned off by the outlet staff. They don't pitch the shoes well to runners, in my opinion.

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    1. Lina, the Skechers stores over here are more lifestyle themed and not specialized running stores hence the staff are not so informed on running shoe aspects but the outlets I've been to (Empire and Sunway) had pretty friendly staff.

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  2. Nice write up for the Skechers series.
    I like the GoRun Ride and the Gobionic, the only concern with them are the durability of the outsols. How long it will last? I am cheepo so I actually prefer to spent 800~1200k on the shoes before replacing them :P

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    1. They might not last that long la ... LOL! But gove the GOrun Ride a try, you might just be surprised by it.

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  3. I love how some of the verdicts start with "(According to the wife)..." ;D

    The pink GOTrain reminds me of Nike colours - daringly bright!

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    1. Well, it's only fair cos she's the one who actually wear tested those shoes and besides I would look real silly in themed shoes ... LOL!

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  4. I found this article interesting. I never even gave the idea of running barefoot any thought. I always thought running shoes were there to protect you. Now I may have to look into this even further…

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    1. I'm no barefoot runner myself and always believed that you need some form of foot protection, especially when running on the roads over here.

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  5. Lucky to see the good article. Feeling very good, recommend everyone together and see it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lucky to see the good article. Feeling very good, recommend everyone together and see it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like messi, great game, and a great tennis shoes

    ReplyDelete