Saturday, November 16, 2013

Skechers GOrun 3: Initial Review

I first got wind of the Skechers GOrun 3 was while surfing and came across a tweet from Madi Serpico (a Canadian Skechers sponsored triathlete) and her pair of Skechers GOrun 3. That got me excited, then again, just about anything running related gets me excited! From the look of the shoe, which was in vibrant pink, it looked pretty interesting. A few quick text exchanges with Skechers Malaysia and I found out that it'll only arrive on our shores late December/Early January.

The Skechers GOrun was what got me started with the Skechers brand of running shoes. So, a third edition of the shoe really excited me but the thought of having to wait till year end before I could get a feel of it dulled the excitement quite a bit. Which was why I was as giddy as a school boy out on date when I got a text from Skechers Malaysia saying that they've got a pair waiting at their office for me to wear-test. I wasn't expecting to test the shoe that early but I wasn't complaining and headed right over to pick up the shoe.

The Skechers GOrun 3
The original Skechers GOrun was launched here way back in March of 2012. The GOrun has gone through two iterations with this being the third in the series. The GOrun 3 (GR3) is the next generation of running shoes from Skechers and is made in the same mould as the previous two in a sense that it is designed for speed and still promotes the midfoot strike technology.

The shoe I have for wear testing came in the blue/green color scheme and while it looks a little bulky outright, it's still surprisingly light though a little heavier than the GOrun 2 weighing in at 7 oz for the men's size 9 compared to the GR2's 6.6 oz. The flexibility of the shoe still remains and you can squish, twist, pull, bend or squeeze it any which way with ease.

Still as flexible ...
Now, I'm not too sure as there is really very limited literature for the shoe, both online and on hardcopy but the stack height of the shoe looks to be a little higher than the GR2. The GOrun 3 comes stock standard without the insole (the insole comes separate as a custom fit 2-in-1 option) and actually caused some confusion for me.

The shoe is promoted as a 4mm drop shoe and I reckoned that was without the insole cos upon slotting the insole in, the GR3 seems higher as if it had a 6mm drop. But I was still not happy with  that assumption. I felt something was not right. I shot Skechers USA an email (which was also confirmed by Skechers Malaysia) about the specifications of the shoe. The reply was kinda surprising cos the shoe is a 4mm drop WITH the insole and without the insole, you get a slightly lower drop shoe, not zero drop, just lower.

Note the slightly taller look ...
Ok, that put my mind to ease, well kinda anyway. So, the shoe is a 4mm drop minimalist shoe with the insole on, which by the way is pretty cushy. In fact I felt it was way cushier than the GR2. Taking the insole out gave it more ground feel and if you're like me, who loves more ground feel, then I'm betting you'll be running without the insole most of the time. Even without the cushy insole, there was still just enough protection for your feet that you could take it for a long run with no issues.

The Skechers GOrun 3 retains the same proprietary lightweight Resalyte™ injection molded midsole with memory retention that assists with impact absorption, albeit with some 'splashed dots' (for want of a better word) pattern imprinted upon it. Nice touch if you ask me. The independent circular GOimpulse sensors offer the same flexibility and feedback for a more responsive running experience as before with no changes at all to the position or number of pods. Not a lot has changed construction wise for the outsole, after all, why change a good thing, right?

The same circular pods is retained ... dog in background not included with shoe.
The upper on the other hand has been worked on and improved from the previous edition of the shoe. What we have now is an even more breathable upper with an extremely flexible Power-prene mesh for forefoot support and toe splaying. I found the previous GOrun 2 to be a narrow shoe but this time around, the GOrun3 seems to offer a wider fit. It feels much roomier upfront, giving your toes a lot of extra space to spread, grip and toe off.

The nice flexible toebox ...
The breathability of the upper was simply awesome with improved air-circulation and I hardly felt any hotspots at all during the two short and two long runs I did in it. The Power-prene mesh is so flexible and non-restrictive that you could wiggle your toes with ease, which is something that I like a lot seeing as how the Nite Owl™ seem to be a little restrictive on my toes during the longer distanced runs.

This time around, the heel counter has been given some tweaking making it a little more sturdier than the previous version. The added material with the Skechers logo that has been stitched on the heel cup seems to hold the heel in place nicely though it's still 'soft' in terms of flexibility. On a personal level though I still prefer the soft heel counter of the original Skechers GOrun.

The stiffer heel counter ...
Another change to the GR3 I found very welcomed was on the tongue of the shoe. The two previous editions of the GOrun sported thicker tongues but this time around, the tongue is way thinner ala the GObionic which helps to keep the shoe light weight. In addition to that, the thinner tongue helps keep the shoe cooler and retains practically no water or sweat and for someone like me who sweats buckets, that's a good thing. The tongue is also stitched on to the shoe to keep it from moving around as you run and helps keep annoying pebbles from sneaking in your shoe. The lacing is the same ribbon type as the GR2.

The thinner tongue and I have no idea what that dog is doing in the background ...
The flatlock stitching gives the interior of the shoe a smooth seamless feel, making it sockless running capable or at least I think so cos I don't run sockless. I'm sure those of you that run sockless might appreciate the smooth inner fabric feel of the shoe.

As mentioned earlier, the shoe can be worn either with or without the insoles. The custom fit insole comes packed separately and feels a little thicker than the GR2's insole. Removing the insole definitely gives the shoe a lower drop with a lot more ground feel and makes the GR3 a lot more roomier too. Four reflective markings, two on the front and two on the back completes the shoe.

The 'splashed dots' pattern ...
I've currently ran in the shoe for over 50k both with and without the insole and both options didn't pose any problems in my run. Personally I prefer ground feel so my preferred option would be without the insole. The GR3 were extremely light weight (despite looking rather thick) with adequate protection and is just perfect as a transitional shoe to foster a barefoot running experience.

The separate insole ...
The most important thing that I noticed about the shoe during all my runs was that I didn't even notice it on my feet. I thought the GR2 was a big improvement from the original GOrun, this one simply hammers both of them flat. I'm simply loving the shoe and will use it to serve as my training shoe for longer runs cos it's so easy and forgiving on the feet. I'm going to give it its baptism of fire during next week's Putrajaya 50K ultra and I'm sure it'll come through just fine though I can't say the same for its owner!

One negative aspect of the shoe I noticed is that it tends to discolor and stain my socks around the top of the foot. I've experienced this discoloration issue with the GObionic as well and suspect it has something to do with the construction and dyeing of the thinner tongue. I sweat a heck of a lot on my longer runs and most times my shoes get the brunt of the dripping sweat and once I remove them, the socks are totally stained. The picture below shows what the GR3 did to my white socks after a 20k run in it.

Notice the square like stains and blueish patches of the discoloration on my socks ...
I don't know if it's just my pair or if it happens across the board but like I said above, it probably has something to do with the thinner tongue fabric. It doesn't affect my performance in any way but it doesn't help with my white socks though. The wife always gives me the eye and asks me if I've been playing in dirt with my socks on every time she does the laundry ... LOL! Well, at least now I've got a reason to go sock hunting.

The three generations of Skechers GOrun ...
The Skechers GOrun 3 comes in 3 color schemes at the moment, the NYC Marathon edition, blue/green and black/red. It's currently not available in these parts of the woods just yet and will see it launched somewhere around December. The Skechers GOrun 3 will be priced at RM399 for the men's and RM369 for the women's version.

Note: The pair of Skechers GOrun 3 used for this review were kindly provided by Skechers Malaysia for wear testing purposes. This review is based on my own personal experience with the shoe and is in no way influenced by Skechers Malaysia whatsoever.


16 comments:

  1. Is there still the midfoot bump in GR2 in this updated version of Gorun? If it's still there, is it more or less bump?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, there isn't any 'bump' in the arch area of the GOrun 3. The GOrun 2 though, still has that midfoot arch 'bump' but it's so negligible that it's hardly noticeable.

      Delete
  2. Any info for GoRun Ride 3?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No idea regarding the GOrun Ride 3 just yet.

      Delete
  3. This is a great review. Thanks for it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Nick,
    could you comment on the breathability of the GR3? I had the GR2 and my feet were soaked wet from perspiration after a HM. I ran w/o the insole. I had the GoBionic over the same distance and it wasn't as bad.

    Cheers and Happy New Yr!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The breathability of the GR3 is pretty good. I sweat a lot though and irregardless of what shoe I use, anything above 21k will see my shoe soaked due to sweat dripping down from my body. But for my shorter runs, it does a good job of keeping my feet cool, no hotspots whatsoever.

      Delete
  5. Hi Nick, thanks for the blog article. I have been running 5k's for 1 year+, and have only used the GoRun 1. My first month I hated the shoe, then followed by 11 months of absolutely loving it. Basically, my running style is now totally based around the GoRun1, and when I went into the store today, and saw the goRun 2... immediately thought - wait a second - this shoe is not the same!!

    My question is, how was your transition from GoRun1, to GoRun2? Should I hunt online to get myself another pair of GoRun1's , or should I just go down to my local store and pick-up the GoRun 2's ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dean, If you've run with the Original GOrun then transitioning to the GR2 or even the GR3 should be relatively hassle free. I found the GR2 to be a little on the narrow side though. I'd recommend getting the GOrun 3 cos it's simply the best of the series. A truly remarkable shoe, the GOrun 3.

      Delete
  6. I recently ran sockless in my newly bought GoRun3, did a 5k run in them. Initially it was comfy but at 2.5k mark, I started to pick up my pace, that's when I felt the chafing on the medial side of my right foot's metatarsal. The pain got worse as I continued running. When I took off my shoes at the end of the run, I saw my foot skin peeled off with a red and sore spot. Left foot was fine though. Just a bit disappointed that the flagship GoRun3 gave me chafing when my GoBionics and GoRun Ride2 were working fine for sockless running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to hear about your blistering problems with the GR3. I'm not an advocate of sockless running cos no matter what brand of shoe I wear, I'll get blisters if I run sockless.

      Maybe try applying Body Glide or Vaseline before running sockless and see if that helps :D Hope your foot has healed by now.

      Delete
  7. I absolutely love the GR3s. Bought them based on my love of the original GRs (bump and all) and the GRR2s. I buy online as no store in my area carries them The only thing that really and I mean really disappoints me is the wear. I have approximately 50 k on the GR3s and they are already showing wear on some of the pods. If the wear pattern continues at the same rate, these shoes will be highly worn at 100 k. NOT GOOD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the GR3 is a beautiful piece of shoe. I absolutely love them too. I also have to agree as to the durability of the outsole. They wear out pretty fast but they're still good to last for quite a while as I'm still using my pair which is close to 350 plus kilometers so you're still good to go for a long time more :D

      Unfortunately the durability of almost all the Skechers outsole are their weakest point at the moment. Hoping they'll improve that bit in the near future.

      Delete
    2. You can easily fix the durability issues with Shoe-goo. It is a rubber paste, that you apply to the places that show wear.

      You only need a very thin layer, and it reduces outsole wear to a minimum.
      Happy Shoe-goo'ing.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the tip Morton. Will give it a looksee.

      Delete