The Skechers Performance brand of running shoes has always held a special place in my heart since the day I first put on the original GOrun way back in 2012. Back then, many were (some still are) pretty skeptical of the Skechers brand. I know I was too.
But after wearing the brand for years with lots of positives coming from them, it seemed like the shoe was built to fit my feet. I've practically run in almost every model of the Skechers Performance series and I've yet to dislike any, well with the exception of the Skechers GOmeb KRS, now that shoe was in my honest opinion a train wreck of a shoe (sorry Meb).
Skechers Malaysia has been going through a transition in this part of the world and looks to be heading more towards the lifestyle side of shoe selling. I was really not expecting to see any of the newer Skechers Performance series shoes coming here at all which was heart breaking seeing as how I've been reading great things about their newer generation shoes. The Skechers GOrun 6 and the Skechers GOrun Ride 7 (GRR7) in particular caught my fancy.
The GRR7 has been described as a poor man's version of the Nike Vapor Fly 4% in the running shoe geeks page that I'm a member of. I can't attest to that being true or not as I don't and can't afford a Nike VF4 but there's been some rave reviews about what a great update the GRR7 was. A check with Skechers Malaysia on availability elicited no reply so I looked around online and managed to snag one from Japan (of all places). But after placing the order, my desired size was unavailable. I grudgingly accepted the fact that I wouldn't be getting my feet in them.
So you can imagine my surprise and extreme delight when the wife and me stumbled upon them in a local Skechers outlet here while out shopping. To cut a long winded story short, there was nothing anyone could do from stopping me to get it. So there I was, like a kid in candy store, happily walking out 15 minutes later with a pair of the Skechers GOrun Ride 7. Oh, the joy!
The Skechers GOrun Ride 7 is the latest in the range of a cushioned daily trainer for the Skechers 2018 lineup. I've run in all the GRR series with the exception of the GRR6 and the GRR7 has come a long way from its predecessors. The Skechers GOrun ride 7 is a cushioned yet lightweight daily trainer featuring the new FLIGHT GEN™ cushioned midsole. A stretchy breathable knit fabric upper with a nearly seamless design and 3D printed overlays makes up the rest of the shoe.
I took them on a 16k training run right out of the box. No breaking in whatsoever was needed. I've never really had to break in any previous Skechers models and this one was no different. The fit was true to size. I'm a size US9 for most of my other brands of running shoes but for Skechers it's always been a US8, I have no idea why. They fit snugly, maybe a tad too snug. Removing the provided sockliner made the fit just right for me. The cushioning of the new FLIGHT GEN™ midsole was already apparent. A nice cushioned feel to them without that overly sinking feeling.
What I liked about the upper of the GRR7 is the extremely breathable two-toned knit upper. The knitted upper has just the right hold over your foot yet is stretchable enough to accommodate a slightly wider foot or for feet expansion in the later stages of your run without being uncomfortable. The only small dislike I have is the single sewn overlay running across the midfoot up to the eyelets. The overlay is also apparent at the heel. No big deal but it kinda cheapens the look. The overly does have a purpose though as it gives the lacing system some structure and also keeps the foot a little more secure. I don't see why they just couldn't use something like Flex Film to do that though.
The tongue is of a gusseted construction and is lightly padded but very secure and comfortable. I've always disliked padded tongues but this one I had no issues with. A pull tab at the back of the shoe makes putting on the shoe a little easier and I like this much better than the older Quick Fit pull tabs on the previous editions. Overall I'd say the upper is simply fantastic otherwise.
The highlight of the GRR7 comes from its FLIGHT GEN™ midsole foam. It's a complete upgrade to the previous 5Gen™ material, which was also great in my opinion and produced some solid running for me. But the new FLIGHT GEN™ as far as I'm concerned is simply fantastic. The new FLIGHT GEN™ is 30% lighter than the previous stuff they used and because of the lighter material, Skechers Performance was able to add more stack height to the GRR7's midsole which in turn translates to a lot more softer landings with less pounding. The GRR7 has a rocker shaped midsole and mixed with the proprietary M Strike technology rolls you through stride after stride with smooth efficiency. And yes, I'd say the new FLIGHT GEN™ midsole is truly legit and all that it's advertised to be.
The outsole combines the exposed FLIGHT GEN™ material with strategically placed rubber to provide durability and traction. The previous Skechers outsoles have always suffered from durability issues with the more exposed outsoles and sensor pods always wearing down pretty fast which was a bummer really cos the uppers still looked fresh. The GRR7 with the added rubber seems to hold up a lot better this time around and also provides excellent road traction. I can attest to that as I've been running with them on some wet and slippery roads recently.
The Skechers GOrun Ride 7 isn't really the lightest of shoes and weighs in at 9.2oz for the men's US9 and drops under 9oz without the sockliner. I run mine without the sockliner as I've found them to be too snug for my feet. The GRR7 has a stack height of 18mm in the forefoot and 24mm in the heel giving it a drop of 6mm as opposed the the previous GRR6 which was a 4mm drop shoe. I didn't really find any issues with the weight and in fact found it to be light enough to go at even faster paces when needed.
I've been using the GRR7 in my training mostly for my easy run days and also one weekend 10 miler and found them to be an excellent daily trainer. The GRR7 can be 'programmed' to run in two different configurations. If you run them with the sockliner, they can give you a soft and forgiving ride, especially when you take them long. Even with the sockliner, the responsiveness and road feel are still pretty apparent and the cushioning is second to none. This configuration of the GRR7 works best for those long steady weekends runs or on your recovery days.
Taking off the sockliner though turns the GRR7 into another beast altogether. You get a snappier, albeit less cushioned but speedier ride. This configuration works best for tempo, road intervals or maybe even a short race. They feel a lot faster, more efficient yet still providing some decent amount of cushioning for the feet. I run mine in this configuration and it gives me the best of both worlds.
Personally, the Skechers GRR7 is an extremely affordable and solid daily trainer with ample cushioning that is a joy to run in. It's an amazing shoe that totally disappears on your feet as the miles set in and is just simply fun to run in! I'd highly recommend this shoe as a cheaper alternative to some of the other more expensive brands of the same category.