Sunday, September 30, 2012

Going Bionic At The PJ Half Marathon 2012

I finally put the Skechers GObionic through the half marathon test this morning at the PJ Half. While the calves feel a little sore after the race (need more conditioning of the legs), the performance of the shoe itself was awesome to say the least.

Skechers GObionic
Before I head into the review of the race, let me state my feedback on the shoe. I'm not going to elaborate on the specifications of the shoe. Jamie has done a great review on them or you could check out my initial take here. The gist would be they're very light and I really mean very light. They're soft and flexible yet solidly constructed. A very breathable upper with the same signature Resalyte midsole giving you an ultra responsive feel with just the right amount of cushioning (for a zero drop shoe that is). It's very flat (it is a zero drop shoe, after all) so there is no arch support, best of all, no hump in the arches like the GOrun :D

I've had the shoe for close to 2 weeks plus now and haven't really run in them for a distance longer than 10K. Most of the distances done were basically during training and in pretty short sessions. While they came back with good feedback, I was still itching to test them out in race conditions. The PJ Half was a great opportunity to try them out at half marathon distance. 

Throughout the entire distance, the fit of the shoe was phenomenal. It was so snug yet with enough toe spread that it wasn't at all restrictive and bothersome like some of the other shoes I've tried. I hardly felt it on my feet which made it one less thing to worry about.

The GObionic is a low ride shoe and you can feel the surface, every pebble, stone, twig and whatnot's can be felt through the soles. Like I've said before, it's as close to running barefoot short of really running barefoot. The low profile of the shoe tends to change your gait, making you run with smaller strides, which makes you land rather lightly, almost noiselessly.

One thing you cannot do with the shoe is heel strike unless of course you consciously make an effort to heel strike but why would you? There are no breathability issues with GObionic and my feet were rather cool throughout the run. I was dripping in sweat and though the shoe was soaked, it repelled the sweat pretty decently. The shoe didn't get any heavier at all.

The wife who ran the 7K event also used it and came away with the same positive feedback too. The only difference was she ran sockless and for a girl prone to blisters when running sockless, the GObionic was a joy for her. I'm a little envious cos she's able to run sockless in them and I can't  :-P The last time I ran sockless with the GObionic I came away with bad blisters on BOTH feet. Guess the mechanics of my feet just weren't built for sockless running.

Overall, the Skechers GObionic is one awesome pair of shoes. It's now my official race shoe displacing my GOrun and I'm going to put them through the full 42K test in the coming Putrajaya Night Marathon next month. We'll see how that works out. The shoe is slated to be in stores sometime around November-December.

The scruffy looking medal model ...
Now, to the race review proper. This is the second consecutive edition of the PJ Half Marathon after its initial hiatus for a couple of years. Though last years event didn't really have the best of organisation, I decided to sign up again this year, simply because it's near where I live. I told myself that if it's as screwed up again as last year I would only have myself to blame for taking part again.

So I'm not going to complain, too much anyway ... LOL! The good point about the race was that the traffic management was excellent unlike last year. Of course there were the usual honking and impatient drivers but there always is, isn't there? The race flagged off at 5.30am which was a great move cos we were back way before the sun started peeking out.

The bad points about the race were that there was no announcement of flag off. One minute you're chit-chatting with someone and the next, everyone in front of you starts running! Way to go Mr. Emcee for your great skills in announcing race start.

Just before the sudden race start ...
The water stations (except the second station) were okay except they weren't exactly where they were supposed to be which made figuring out when to take your energy gel a little dicey. Those of you who take energy gels knows what it's like to take them without available water. The second water station was a disappointment. I skipped the first and was looking forward to the second station only to arrive and find the cups and drinks not laid out! I had to pour the water for myself and also for a few other runners. The rest of the stations were properly manned, thankfully.

No proper lines after the finish to direct you to some much needed beverages. I practically had to go outside and buy drinks for the wife and me. A little chaotic at the finish line if you ask me with everyone being allowed to mingle and block the incoming runners. I don't know what the officials were doing though. Anyways, I knew what I was getting into when I signed up.

The race itself, though slightly under-distanced went pretty well for me. I had a plan to follow which was to split the race into four parts with each part to be run at an increased pace. I started the race with a slow 6:15 pace and slowly worked my way through each 'part'. It took a while but I slowly caught up with some of those who started off faster.

I had no issues with the legs, which was working admirably I must say. The lungs were chugging along just fine too. Downed two energy gels which kept me going and sponged myself at two stations. I had a relatively good race. Reached the stadium for the final stretch and ran alongside Alex Au-Yong. Wanted to finish with him but he prompted me to go ahead and not use him as an excuse to slow down ... LOL! Thanks for the push Alex and it was nice to finally meet you in person.
Entering the stadium just before catching up with Alex Au-Yong ...
I crossed the finish with a time of 1:53:33 and took off a whole 3 minutes of last year's time. I'm a very happy man. Collected my medal, met up with the wife and the Skechers team of Ivan and Adeline. Chatted for a bit and then headed to look for water and finally headed home.

Almost done ... (photo credit goes to Best of Running ...)
Overall, I had fun. Will I take part again next year? We'll just have to wait and see.

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.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Be A Runner, Be A Giver Charity Run 2012

I know it's only a 6.4k charity race but I have so much time on my hands at the moment that I thought I'd do a short review on the event :D

I signed up for this race quite a few months back and didn't realize it was this weekend until the wife reminded me. Being an Arsenal fan, I simply had to sign up for this event and besides it was for charity anyway.

My well deserved 'finisher' medal ...
Got to the race site bright and early. Since I was still 'too young' for the veteran category, I was signed up for the open category and the moment I got there and saw all those super fast looking young runners, the first thing I said to the wife was,

'Oh man, I'm doomed. I'm going to be eating their dust all the way to the finish!'

The front runners were so fast they were literally flying!
All thoughts of getting my hands on that very limited range of medals looked like a tough prospect. But not to be dissuaded, I joined up with  them at the holding area and did a couple of loops of warming up to get the legs and muscles loosened up.

Before race start ...
Before I go any further let me say the entire event was pretty well organized except for one part which wasn't the fault of the organizers. The race started off an entire half an hour late simply because the guest of honour, that Mukhriz Mahathir fellow and his entourage turned up late to flag off the event. I'm sure he had a PA to remind him way in advance that flag off is at 7.30am and not 8.00am. Punctuality means a lot to me.

The finish area ...
Everyone had to wait at the start line for them to arrive which I thought was unacceptable. Even though it's a charity event and they had an agenda of their own to look good but in the end it's all about the runners. They woke up bright and early and reached the race location way before flag off and having to wait for these certain politicians for half an hour really pissed me off! I was totally cooled down by the time the race was flagged off.

The finish line just in sight ...
Ok, now that I got that off my chest, the rest of the race was pretty well organized or at least it looked that way to me. I decided from the start that it would be a pedal to the metal kinda race for me. Kept to a steady average 5 minute pace the entire length of the race without any difficulties. The lungs were able to keep pace with the legs. I guess all that tempo and intervals I've been slogging away during the weekdays do come in handy.

We spotted our dog's vet running, didn't know she was a runner even ... 
This being a race in KL, traffic was the usual chaotic stuff with drivers doing their impatient 'honk at a runner in anger' routine. I decided to just wave at all these impatient honkers with a huge smile on my face ... LOL! There were two water stations, skipped the first and took a swig at the second one.

Nothing really exceptional happened during the race and I crossed the finish line in a time of 32 minutes. Collected my medal and goodie bag which consisted of a bun, a 5-1 coffee mix and fried rice seasoning, really not the best of goodie bags but I wasn't there for that anyway.

The' goodies' ...
A big thank you goes out to the wife, a devout Manchester United fan for turning up at an Arsenal supported event to cheer me on and take pictures of the race :D Thanks babe! Now to prep for the PJ Half next Sunday.

With Jason after the run ...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Time To Run ...

It's been nearly a week since I've logged any mileage. The left leg has been feeling pretty buggy and a decision to rest it was made last week. Besides the break coincided with my hectic work week just nice. Most of my crazy work schedule has been completed and the break was actually a good thing.

The legs feel so much fresher now, though it's a tad tight from all that resting the past week though I'm eagerly looking forward to a very easy run with the wife this evening. Nothing fancy, no goals, targets or whatever. Just lace up and follow the wife.

It's also part of my contribution to the World Wide Fun Run that I'm participating in and it'll be so much more fun as the wife is also joining in the run with me :D The weather seems to be pretty decent and I hope it stays that way this evening. I'm really, really eager to get back to running again.

I'm slated to run a short race tomorrow. I actually totally forgot I signed up for this run months ago until the wife reminded me about it last week. It's a charity run called the 'Be A Runner, Be A Giver' run and seriously, the only reason I joined cos it is supported by the Arsenal Fan Club of Malaysia and being a die-hard Arsenal fan since my primary school days, how could I not sign up for this run.

The only slack thing is having to wake up so early tomorrow and drive into town just  to run 6.4K but it's a nice distance for someone just coming back into running after a one week break. The wife has so graciously agreed to follow me and lend some support. I wonder if I can convince her to dress up like a cheerleader ... hahaha!

Next week is going to be a little tough as I only have one week to get into shape for the PJ Half marathon next Sunday. I'm a sucker for punishment cos even after last year's not very well organized run, I still decided to sign up again this year so there'll be no one to blame but myself if the event turns out to be lackluster like last year. Hopefully they would have improved on some aspects of the race.

But all the same, I'm still looking forward to it seeing as how it's just a few minutes drive away from my house. I actually haven't run a half marathon since the Brooks half which was somewhere in March or was it April? Hoping to see some familiar faces there. Any of you guys running this event? I know some of you are running the Salomon Trail run the same day too.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Adidas KOTR 2012 Race Review

The first race for the month of September, the Adidas King of the Road just came and went and I must say I pretty much enjoyed the event. This is our second year participating in this event. It is actually one of my favourite events for two reasons. One is because it is just a stones throw away from where I live and the second being the fact that the roads are entirely closed which keeps those annoying, pesky and impatient motorists at bay :-)

The wife and me headed to the race location early like we always do and encountered a hitch in trying to access the parking area at Sunway Pyramid. They stopped us from entering the CP4 parking bay ramp though it was clearly stated in their race guide that participants would be allowed through. I had to make my way round the back and park outside Sunway Pyramid which was no big deal cos I arrived early and parking was still pretty much available. But it was still pretty annoying, Adidas, when your race guide says one thing and your volunteers do something else! Aside from that small hitch, everything else was pretty spot on. Met a couple of familiar faces and some new ones which included Wiliam, a Daily Mile buddy.

The Queen of the house with my King of the Road Medal
The wife and me did a short 2k warm up on the totally closed off NPE before race start to loosen the early morning tight muscles before heading to the race pen. I decided to stick to the middle section of the pen as I had a race strategy all planned out which included starting slower. Starting in front would have ruined that cos I would have followed the pace of the more enthusiastic front runners and ruin my plans.

The route ahead wasn't as easy as it may seem with a few killer inclines along the way that called for a conservative start and pace. I learnt that lesson the hard way last year by being too overly enthusiastic at the start and suffering on the early inclines. My race strategy this year called for patience. The race started right on time and the trudge across the start was slow. In fact the first 2k was pretty slow going with all the runners still pretty much bunched together which was fine since it fit my plans just nice.

Just before flag off ... I like that guy on the left sneaking in a pose ... LOL!|
The pace for the first 2k was kept to a 6-ish pace. The crowds started spreading out just after the 2k mark. Shifted into second gear of my agenda to tackle that first long incline and to slowly catch up with the front runners. Skipped the first water station just before the incline at the third kilometer. I was still pretty much hydrated. Since I was well prepared to face the incline, it didn't pose too much of a problem for me. Kept to a nice, fast, short strides and before I knew it, that part of the run was over and done with. Now for the next stage of the run, which still had a few more inclines to tackle but not as bad as this one was.

The pace throughout the next 10 kilometers was averging at a steady 5:20's to 5:30's. The legs were totally in the zone churning out step afte step without any issues, which I was thankful for. My one biggest worry was my calf issues cropping up again. The sun was pretty much out by this time. I hit the u-turn back to the finish, at approximately 8k and I knew it was going to be a hot final 8k back. Decided to stop at every water station and pour a nice, cold cup of water over my head which helped with the heating issues.

The final stretch was pretty flat with one last tough incline at the 15k mark. The last 3k or so though was pretty chaotic for me, since that was where the 10k runners merged with the 16.8k runners and the road got just a tad too crowded. I had to weave my way through which had a slight impact on my pacing. It is not a nice feeling having to weave through a crowd when you're tired.

You're all set to race that last few clicks back to the finish but having to side step a crowd can take your breath away quite a bit, especially more so with that last killer incline thrown in. But I managed to perservere and made a final charge to the finish in a time of 1:31:46 which was what I was aiming for. The race plan was followed to a tee, which I'm pretty much happy worked out as well as I planned :-) That made the race a pretty good one for me.

Runners coming in at the finish ...
Saw the Skechers team of Ivan, Adeline and another colleague of theirs which I failed to get her name, at the finish in support of the two (or was it 3?) officially sponsored Skechers runners for the event. Caught up with them for a bit after collecting my medal and then waited at the finish for the wife. Managed to catch Naveen, Atan, Lina and a few others crossing the finish before finally heading inside Sunway for a nice cool drink and then heading home.

My apologies to those who called out to me and whom I had a blur look on my face cos I didn't really recognise you guys. It was the lack of oxygen la ... hahaha! I'm actually bad with faces but it was nice meeting you guys :-)

I ran in my favourite race shoe, a blue Skechers GOrun and as expected, the shoe worked really well for me though I made the mistake of leaving my slippers in the car, which was quite a distance away and those who've run in the GOrun would know just how freaking painful it can be trying to walk in that shoe, especially so after you've just ran a race in it!

Yours truly taking advantage of the empty NPE to pose ... 
Overall, it was a pretty well organized event with hardly any hitches. The water stations were spot on, the volunteers were more than enough at the stations (I made it a point to thank each and every volunteer I came across during the race), traffic management was superb, well with the roads closed, there was hardly any need for that :-) The collection of the medals were a breeze with the runners ushered nicely through by the friendly and smiling volunteers. The medals were nicely designed too. A big kudos goes out to them for a job well done. I had fun, loads of it :-)

See you next year, Adidas!


The well designed medal


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Skechers GObionic : The Initial Review

Two and a half weeks ago, I got a text from Skechers informing me that GObionic women's version was ready to be collected for the wife to test out. What? I thought. Only the women's version? What about the men's? I was envious. I've been looking forward to the Bionic for ages now.

I called the wife and told her the good news. Of course when I got home with it, I started messing with it even before she put it on. I would have put it on myself, women's model be damned, but unfortunately it was a tad too small for me ... siggghh.



Now, let me tell you, the shoe is gorgeous. I actually like the sleek low lines of this zero drop shoe. The first thing I noticed is the pure weightlessness of the shoe. The men's size 9 is an incredible 6oz and the women's size 6 is 4.5oz! Now, I love shoes that are practically weightless.

Please note that most of the feedback here is from the wife since she's the one who actually used the shoe for running with a little of my own opinion thrown in from just handling the shoe.


Just like the GOrun Ride, the distinct 'bump' in the midfoot section from the original GOrun is nowhere to be seen. The shoe looks slightly rockered with an undercut heel but according to the wife is actually totally flat when you stand in it.

She took the shoe out for an immediate trial run. I was pretty skeptical about her and the shoe. She's not very comfortable with really minimalist and extremely light weight shoes and the Skechers GObionic is one hell of a lightweight zero drop shoe! I was worried for her. She normally needs some form of cushioning, which is something the Bionic doesn't have much of.

But I was genuinely surprised when she came home with a huge smile on her face and the first words she uttered were 'I like this shoe and you're going to LOVE it even more than me!' Damn, that whetted my curiosity even more. She said the shoe made her run further and faster than her usual pace and no blisters whatsoever, mind you she ran sockless, which is something she NEVER does!

She said that although the shoe is pretty darn flexible, it was nice and 'rigid' when she ran with it with the soles absorbing the impact pretty well. A very surprising statement coming from one who has knee issues and needs slightly more cushion, which really speaks volumes for the shoe. 

 
Her first run session with the shoe was a distance of 5K. She tried a few different speeds with the shoe ranging from slow and easy, sprints to some real hard running and she came through it with flying colors. 

'I am never a fast runner but somehow the shoes made my legs want to run instead of jog'

The end of the run also provided some pleasant observations for her, no achy knees, no pains in the legs, no blister or hot spots and her recovery time was much faster. The GObionc she says, is a shoe tailor made for racing!

Her second, third and fourth outings with the shoe produced equally positive results for her. This time she put on a pair of socks (Injinji for the second and an Adidas micro climacool for the third session) to see the difference and said it kinda restricted her feet movement a little with the thinner Adidas climacool socks faring a little better than the Injinji's. But she prefers running sockless in it cos she loves the 'feel' of the road through the sole.

From what I gathered by handling the shoe is that it's extremely flexible which I suspect will make for a smooth ride. From what I noticed after the wife's run session, the grid like sole, made from the same lightweight, injection-molded 'Resalyte' compound of the GO series does tend to be a debris trap with huge pebbles getting stuck in between them.


A little worrying is the very thin footbed of the midsole. It basically consists of a pretty thin micro-fibre layer just above the midsole which in my opinion might be inadequate in protecting the bottom of your foot should you step on a sharp piece of rock that lodges itself into the grooves of the midsole.

But I suppose it wouldn't be too much of an issues since the shoe is meant for tarmac anyway and not for trails, so the chance of that really happening would be pretty slim but it's something to take note of anyway. And it does come with a removable foam insert that adds a little more safety for your soles.

The flexibility of the deep midsole grooves gives the Bionic a fairly large degree of flexibility, front to back, side to side and even torsionally. You can practically wring the shoe out like a wet towel after the run. It's that flexible.

The upper of the Bionic is basically very lightweight and breathable, similar to the rest of the GO series with the only difference being the rounded laces which I'm not too keen off. I prefer them flat but it's just a petty issues seeing as how it didn't make much difference in the wife's run anyway.

From what I can tell of the shoe without really running in them is they're destined to be one hell of a pair of shoes for speed and I really can't wait to get my hands or rather feet in them. With that said and done, I'll come up with a much more comprehensive review once I get the men's version to run around in but overall, the wife finds the shoe to be to her liking. Jamie thinks the shoe 'forces' her to run light, making her runs more efficient and she seems to be reveling in it.


I'm actually hoping it will arrive before next week's Adidas King Of The Road, but I'm not holding my breath though, that would have been a good platform to test the shoe in race conditions :D