Skechers Go Run Review: First Impressions

Skechers Go Run

(UPDATE Dec. 2012: With a new update to the GoRun now out, the original Skechers GoRun can be purchased for as little as $36 at Amazon.com. The GoRun 2 will be reviewed soon here on Runblogger)

This post is going to come as a bit of a shock to a lot of people who read this blog. The first shock is that I agreed to try out a Skechers running shoe. The second shock is that I think I might actually like it.

My first interaction with Skechers was not a good one. Earlier this year I was contacted by a representative from a PR firm representing Skechers, and they wanted to know if I would be willing to try out and review the Skechers Resistance Runner shoe. However, the catch was that they asked for either a “positive or neutral” review. Though I probably would have declined anyway on account of the fact that I could tell it was a shoe that I would probably not like to run in, the requirement to post a “neutral or positive review” was unacceptable, and borderline unethical. I should emphasize that the email came not from a Skechers employee, but a PR person from a company representing them, so I don’t know if this was a screw-up by an individual or if it was a directive coming from the company itself (based on my more recent interactions, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and assume the former rather than the latter).

Sketchers Resistance Runner AdMy other problem with Skechers is that I’m not a big fan of their marketing. The whole Shape-Ups campaign was a really egregious example of using “Skechy-Science” to sell a product to people who generally don’t take the time to evaluate the science themselves. Then came the ads for the Resistance Runner shoe (see example at left) – they were humorous to say the least for a shoe that was supposedly designed with “mid-foot strike technology.” The model in that ad may just slide the heel back and land on his midfoot prior to contact, but methinks that is rather unlikely with the amount of ankle dorsiflexion and knee extension he exhibits that late in his stride.

Given all of this, you can imagine my initial reaction when I was contacted a few weeks back by Skechers (directly this time) to see if I wanted to try out and review a pair of the soon-to-be released Skechers Go Run shoe. I had seen some early images of the Go Run, and they looked to be a bit of a positive departure from previous running offerings from the company, so I was at least curious (particularly since Meb Keflezghi apparently plans to use this as his racing shoe). But, the bad taste left in my mouth from my previous interaction with Skechers caused me to hesitate. Did I really want to support a company with a marketing approach like that which Skechers has employed? I wanted to be sure that if I agreed, and honest review is what they wanted. So, here is the text of my email response to their initial inquiry:

Can you tell me the height differential between heel and forefoot in this shoe, as well as the weight? I’m pretty picky about what I run in since I have to put a decent number of miles on shoes to do a review.

Also, just to be completely open with you, I had a negative experience with a previous contact from a Skechers PR rep. Was offered a trial pair of shoes in return for a “neutral or positive” review, and this is the only time anyone has ever specified something like this when asking for a review. I assume that you would be looking for a completely honest review of this shoe – I generally am very detailed and honest in my reviews, either positive or negative.

Pete

I was assured that an honest review was what they wanted, and I was content with the response that I was given. However, I still wasn’t to sure I wanted to review a Skechers shoe given my feelings about the company – iffy marketing, and cheap, gimmicky, mass-produced shoes were all that came to mind when I thought about Skechers. However, I sometimes need to remind myself that my feelings about individual companies perhaps should not dissuade me from reviewing a shoe that might actually work for some people, especially if that shoe is one that I’d at least consider wearing myself based on the product specs. I’m reminded in these situations by comments made by Stonyfield Farms CEO Gary Hirshberg in the movie Food Inc. – he basically said that if you believe in organic products, want them to gain a broader market share, and want prices to come down, you need to get these products out to the masses. If that means working with the Wal-Marts of the world, so be it – you can be stubborn and refuse to work with mega-companies, but this ultimately might hurt the consumer who could potentially benefit from the product. I believe in light-weight footwear with a reduced heel-toe offset, and this shoe looked to be a step in the right direction from a large shoe manufacturer with a lot of market reach.

Another reality about my desire to see greater market acceptance of lightweight, less-structured footwear became clear to me after I started teaching again a few weeks back. When I look at college students on my campus, Nike is by far the most popular brand of athletic shoe on their feet, and the Nike Free Run seems to be a big hit among the 18-22 year old crowd. None of them are wearing Saucony Hattoris or Merrell Trail Gloves. I was very skeptical about the Nike Free Run when it first came out, but after trying it I found that despite the deceptive marketing about it being a “barefoot” shoe, I actually liked running in them. Whereas Nike is already top dog in the athletic shoe market, Skechers is going to have a really tough time breaking into the serious running market. However, their shoes will wind up on shelves of stores where a lot more consumers shop, and could be an impetus for further innovation in the lightweight/flexible shoe niche. If they can use their production scale to put them out at a low price, it might also lead to price reductions from competitors – I think a lot of the so called “minimalist” shoes out there right now are vastly overpriced.

Anyway, I decided to put aside my reservations, and agreed to have them send me out a pair of the Go Run shoes. I was pretty certain that I wouldn’t like them given their unusual midsole design – the sole is thickest under the midfoot – but I was determined to keep an open mind. When they arrived and I opened the box I was greeted by yet another unfortunate image:

Skechers Go Run Box

In fairness, the box was turned inside out, and the shoe in the image above is not the Go Run, so this may just be a generic box used for preproduction samples, but I can assure you that the guy in the image is not landing on his midfoot!

Here’s where things get interesting. After the initial contact about trying out these shoes, I received an email from Kurt, the technical lead involved with their design. Turns out that he was a long-time Nike employee, and was involved in the Nike Free project (though I don’t run much in the Frees these days, the Free 3.0 was my first “minimal” shoe and a longtime personal favorite). This was a nice change from my usually interaction with shoe companies (where I mostly talk to PR folks), and it’s the first time I’ve actually been directly in touch with someone involved with the design and construction of a running shoe for a large shoe company. Kurt has been surprisingly open and honest about the challenges that Skechers faces in the performance running niche, and it seems that he and a few others were only fairly recently brought in from places like Nike to build Skechers offerings and reputation in this area.

Skechers Go Run Lateral

My initial impressions when I first put the shoe on were mixed – the uppers are really, really nice, but I wasn’t crazy about the feel of the rockered sole. The best analogy I can provide is that it feels like a pair of Newtons with the forefoot lugs transplanted to the midfoot – there is a distinct sense of upward pressure just in front of the heel. This can be attributed to the fact that the midsole thickness is 14mm in the heel, 19mm in the midfoot, and 10mm in the forefoot. They feel quite strange, and a bit uncomfortable, to stand or walk in (same goes for Newtons – I can only run in them).

After collecting some initial thoughts, I sent the following email off to Kurt to share my first-wear feelings:

They just arrived today, just opened up the box and tried them on. Here are some initial thoughts just from putting them on and walking around the house:

-Upper is excellent, love that there is very little structure to it, and the nearly seamless internal lining is fantastic. Definitely seems like a shoe that could be used sockless (my preference). Very reminiscent of the Nike Free

-The built in sockliner is nice, very similar to the sockliner in the Saucony Hattori.

-I like the design of the tongue, and the fact that it is stitched to the upper

-Toebox is plenty roomy for me (wearing the size 10′s, which give me about a thumb’s width of space in front of my big toe), though some of the more minimalist runners may prefer more width up front. That being said, most hardcore minimalists probably won’t run in a shoe like this, so it may not matter much. I suspect that’s not your target market anyway.

The sole is definitely unlike anything I have worn before. Only shoe I’ve ever put on where I can rock backward off the heel, and it feels a bit awkward to walk in them. Best analogy I can come up with would be taking the forefoot lugs on a pair of Newton’s and sticking them under the midfoot. I’ll have to withhold judgment until I run in them, but definitely a different feel.

In general, I’ll admit that my view of a midfoot strike differs a bit from that promoted by the rocker concept. I define a midfoot strike as simultaneous contact of the heel and the pad under the fifth metatarsal. If you look at a pressure tracing for a midfoot strike, it starts right about where you have the midfoot pods on your shoe, but I think that’s because those tracings average out the pressure distributed simultaneously at the heel and under the fifth met. As such, I’m a bit skeptical of building up a shoe under the midfoot since it’s not so much that this is the spot at which you want to contact, but that it’s the midpoint between the actual contact points under the heel and forefoot. I think the phrase “midfoot strike” is actually a bit of a misnomer, and that “full-foot” might be a better descriptor of landing along that entire lateral margin simultaneously.

So, if I were to create a “midfoot strike shoe,” my approach would possibly be to put pods like you have under the lateral forefoot and under the lateral heel, or perhaps continuously under the entire lateral edge of the shoe. Having the pods under the middle puts pressure up under the front of the heel, back of the arch, and not sure how this will feel when I run in them (I’ll keep an open mind).

I tend to think we should encourage form like that adopted when barefoot or something close to that, and the sensation of rolling backward onto the heel doesn’t simulate what it’s like to be barefoot.

Without having run in it, I do suspect it will be hard to heel strike in this shoe, which accomplishes that goal, but I also wonder how well it will let the heel come down after initial contact is made further forward.

This shoe really feels to me like a cross between the Nike Free Run and the Saucony Hattori with a rockered bottom. If you took the upper of your shoe (one of the nicest I’ve worn), put it on a zero-drop sole (or even a 2-3mm drop) like that of the Hattori, and put pods for durability under the lateral margin of the shoe, you’d have a real winner that I think would gain a strong following. And, if you made that same shoe in kid’s sizes, I personally would be thrilled!

The last sentence of my email was one of my secondary reasons for pursuing this review – Skechers is a huge maker of children’s shoes, and since innovation in kid’s footwear seems to be lagging far behind that of adult footwear, they might be able to make some positive change in this area.

Anyway, Kurt and I have exchanged several additional emails about the design of the shoe, but I was quite honestly not initially anticipating that I would like running in them.

Skechers Go Run Medial

My first run in the shoes was a seven miler – in fact it was the run from which I obtained all of the data in my recent cadence vs. stride length post. As I ran down my street, I could definitely feel the thickened midfoot with each step, and I was concerned that it might irritate my plantar fascia. Certain – usually cushioned – shoes can trigger mild plantar fasciitis in my feet, which I think might be related to the fact that I’m constantly throwing vastly different types of shoes on them (a negative aspect of being a shoe reviewer!). However, as I continued the run, the sensation lessened to the point where I no longer really noticed it. I ran a variety of paces, from 10:00/mile all the way down to sub-5:00/mile for a bit, and the shoes felt surprisingly good – I was genuinely surprised.

Because the heel is cut away and is made of a very soft material, it’s very hard to land on it – Kurt indicated that heel striking in the shoe would likely lead to “bottoming out,” and I can attest that this is probably what would happen. The area under the midfoot feels a bit firmer than the rest, perhaps due to the outsole pods in that region. I found it rather easy to run on my midfoot and perhaps a bit on my forefoot in the shoes, and by the end of the seven miles I was pleasantly surprised by how they had performed. I was still a bit skeptical about the thickening in the midfoot, and I’m still not convinced that it’s a good thing for the long term, but it seems to aid in accomplishing the desired goal of promoting a midfoot strike.

Skechers Go Run Top

My one major issue on the first run was that I got massive blisters along my instep on both feet (1.5-2 inches long!). I ran sockless because the upper is designed to be used this way (as I mentioned in my email to Kurt, the upper is very nicely made), but the Hattori-like, non-removable sockliner is stitched along its margins in a way that caused a lot of abrasion (interestingly, the Hattori gives me blister trouble as well). I think this problem is solvable perhaps by adopting a sockliner style where the upper extends further down under the foot like in the New Balance MT110 (the other shoe I’ve been running in lately).

So, the first run was a mix of good and bad – the shoe performed a lot better than I expected, but the blistering was a problem. Yesterday I went for a second run in the shoes, this time with socks and a bit of Skin Strong lubricant applied generously to the blistered regions of my foot. I can’t necessarily say it was the shoes (the Fall-like weather certainly didn’t hurt!), but my run yesterday was the best I’ve had in months. I did a fairly hilly 10.27 miles at an average pace of 7:10/mile. Here are my mile splits: 8:11-7:54-7:25-7:07-6:56-7:01-7:06-7:04-6:42-6:24-6:12 (final quarter mile). My right foot was a bit sore in the first mile – I had strained something on a wild, lost in the woods, 9+ mile trail run earlier in the week – and I was concerned that the thickened midfoot sole would aggravate it. Fortunately, things improved as I warmed up, and continued to get better as each mile passed, and the socks and lubricant seem to have resolved the blister issue. For me to run the final few miles at the pace that I did was a bit of a shock – 10 miles is about as along a run as I have done since the Boston Marathon back in April.

Skechers Go Run Sole

I never thought or expected that I would say this, but I think I might really like these shoes (gasp!). The upper is stretchy, without any structural elements, and very soft internally – it’s very much like a cross between the uppers on the Nike Free Run and the Saucony Hattori. The sockliner is a thin, comfortable layer of open-cell polyurethane foam, again very reminiscent of the Hattori. The midsole is extremely flexible and fairly soft, and it has oustole pods under the midfoot and extending up the edges toward the forefoot on each side (this should help with durability). I generally like either a softish midsole (like the Saucony Kinvara, Brooks Green Silence, or Frees) or little to no midsole at all (think Vibram Fivefingers, Vivobarefoot, Merrell Barefoot), so this works for me, but will not appeal to those who prefer a firmer ride. The shoe is also nice and light, weighing in at 7.3 oz in size 10 on my scale (probably with a bit of residual sweat soaked in…). And, though I can’t quantify this in any way, I feel like the shoes give me a bit of additional spring – I’m wondering if the bit of additional upward pressure under the midfoot interacts with the plantar fascia in some way to help propel the foot off of the ground.

Skechers Go Run RearIt’s worth mentioning that the rockered bottom of this shoe does not act the same way as a rockered bottom in a firmer soled shoe. In the latter case, you typically land on the heel and then roll forward off the rocker (as I would suspect happens in the Skechers Resistance Runner). Given that it’s hard to land on the heel in the Go Run, landing on the midfoot will compress the thickened midfoot region upward, and cause the heel and forefoot to lower to the ground after midfoot contact (at least that’s the idea and sensation you get – will need to get some video and see what actually happens). I’m still not so sure that the shoe wouldn’t work just as well, if not better, with a midsole of uniform thickness from heel to forefoot (perhaps retaining the undercut rear portion of the heel), but as I said above I found them a lot easier to run in than I expected. My hope is that Skechers will experiment a bit as I think they have a workable product to base future designs off of. As I told Kurt in my email to him, I think a shoe with a Go Run upper and a zero drop, Hattori-like sole would be pretty darned nice (and even better if they made that shoe for kids…).

Skechers Go Run FrontIn summary, the Skechers Go Run is not a shoe for hard-core minimalists. The toebox will feel too narrow (it’s average width, fine on my foot), and the shoe will be too soft underfoot for those who prefer a Merrell Barefoot or Vibram Fivefingers style shoe. However, I’ve been rather surprised by how much I have enjoyed running in this shoe, and unlike a few other shoes on my active review list, I’m actually looking forward to putting more miles on these. Time will tell as to how much I wind up liking the unusual midsole design, but I at least have to give the folks at Skechers credit for a bit of innovation – this shoe has a feel unlike that of any other shoe I have worn. Though it’s clearly not a barefoot-style shoe in terms of how it functions, it does seem to accomplish the goal of encouraging a midfoot strike. Is this a good or bad thing? Could be either I suppose depending on the person, and I hope they take a wiser marketing approach with this shoe and recognize the lack of certainty in the scientific literature about what is best for runners. Let’s not have another Shape-Ups mess. And let’s get some models who actually properly demonstrate what a shoe is supposed to do!

Skechers has a huge challenge ahead in trying to break into the performance running market, and the Go Run appears to be their first big step – it will be more than interesting to see how it is received. This shoe reminded me that keeping an open mind is a good thing, and sometimes trying something that you don’t think you will like can result in a pleasant surprise (boy do I sound like a parent). Oh, and my butt is more toned than ever (sorry, couldn’t resist, and needed to head off the inevitable commentary)!

UPDATE: With a new update to the GoRun now out, the original Skechers GoRun can be purchased for as little as $36 at Amazon.com.

The Skechers Go Run can be purchased in a variety of color combinations at Skechers.com – use code ENT15 at checkout for 15% off!

The Skechers GoRun is also available for sale at Zappos.

Running Warehouse: Great prices on closeout shoes! View men's and women's selections.
Amazon.com: 25% or more off clearance running shoes - click here to view current selection.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading your gorun review, even after I had already taken the plunge. I’m relatively new to running competitively, but am gradually upping the miles in advance of the NYC marathon this year. So I’ve stepped up my gear, avoided the commercial running shoes and was rotating through my Newton Gravities, Innov8 233′s, and NB MT10′s. When trying on the Newtons a while back and discussing various benefits and shortcomings of several models, I mentioned to the running shop owner that I had also been wildly happy with my GoRuns. The indignation was palpable. I got a grunt of utter disgust from him. I thought he might actually refuse to sell me the Newtons on principal. Fact of the matter is I’ve had amn incredible experience with them. Sure, they’d be awkward to walk around in all day, but on my longest runs…now between 12-15 miles…they’re the go-to shoe. I find that midsole built up portion really comfortable, and the degree to which I feel it is a good indicator of whether or not I’m slacking. I, too, got a good size blister on my first run in them, but after perfecting lace tension, they’ve given me no problem. Since over time Skechers will inevitably “improve” these shoes, I’ve currently got six pairs so I can enjoy them for a while. I’ll probably grab a couple more if the current version gets phased out and they start to be sold off at clearance prices. I’m glad you were able to give these shoes a fair hearing and overlook any anti-big-shoe-co bias.

  2. Any idea of the price point these are set for? It some point, it’d be worth it to buy them and zer-drop the midfoot myself…

  3. Have you tried the Gorun rides?  

  4. austin_tx says:

    Not a lot of updates around here.  I’ve had these for a couple months myself and done everything from speed work to 13-15 mile runs in them.  They are very comfortable and I agree with you (Pete) that the upper is maybe the most comfortable of any shoe I’ve worn.

    My gripes:

     - The tongue may be too padded.  It has a gel like substance, its a personal thing but it just doesn’t agree with me
    - The rocker bottom actually seems to cause me problems as my run goes farther.  I’ve transitioned to a natural forefoot/midfoot gait and my experience with these is that they allow my form to get sloppy since its impossible for me to heel strike.  Because of that I often find my form worsening as my run goes on.
    - I still will get frequent hot spots behind my great toe, even with socks.  The only other shoe I have this problem with is the Hattori
    - the soft sole gets VERY hot on a treadmill.  I did a 8-9 mile treadmill run in them and I could feel the heat into my feet
    - I find my toes really mashing against the front of the shoe on downhills.  I assume this is because of the rocker bottom and ramp angle it creates.  I haven’t had this issue with any other shoes since making a transition away from traditional shoes

    I’m not at all displeased with this shoe, I’ve just found that it has fallen out of favor in my regular rotation for other shoes I prefer more.  I have found myself becoming more comfortable with it as a recovery or casual walking shoe (if I can get over the fact that I’m wearing a skechers sneaker) and the rocker isn’t as bothersome as it was when first putting it on.

  5. Robert Osfield says:

    With the rocker and flexible sole it rather looks like the shoe will load your arch and outside mid-foot more than other shoes.  I can’t help but worry about over-use injuries because of this.  I suspect habitual heel strikers would particularly struggle as they’d end up significantly more dorsiflexed on landing through to mid stance before they eventually get their center of pressure over the midfoot to overcome the rocker.

    I do find it rather curious that just how far away for shoe designed for natural foot mechanics one can get without the wearer just rejecting them outright.  Reminds me of the section in Born to Run about the runner who wore his shoes on the wrong feet and still got along just fine.

    Finally I do have to wonder, how easy would it be to just slice off the rocker with a knife/saw ;-)

    • Pete Larson says:

      Robert,

      Yes, that’s exactly what I told them. It forces you to load the lateral mid foot in a way that never happens either barefoot or in almost any other shoe. I do worry about the potential long term effects of this from an injury standpoint. The sensation does go away while running, but like you suggest, I think a heel striker would be more severely punished in this shoe. What worries me most is that they are going to make this shoe in scaled down sizes for kids, which to me is a really bad idea for the growing foot – I told them that I would not buy it for a child if it had the thickened mid foot, nor would I personally use it for anything besides running (much like Newtons, which I would also not buy for a kid if they had lugs under the forefoot).

      Pete

      • Good news… the kid’s team is planning on having a uniform thick midsole.  Thanks, Pete!   Also, glad to report that we have had no reports of plantar or overuse injuries whatsoever in the Go Run since testing began back in late January… for what it’s worth.    

        • Robert Osfield says:

          Any chance that Sketchers will make an adult shoe with a uniform midsole?  This would result in a shoe that is much closer to not interfering with natural foot mechanics.  This is the shoe that runners will want.

          • Pete Larson says:

            I can see the marketing! Nike pioneered the “barefoot shoe” concept with the Nike Free, but they didn’t take the concept to its logical endpoint by putting out the Free 0.0, a shoe that truly mimics barefoot function by being lightwieght, flexible, and zero drop. That last step is important as it encourages a runner to adopt a foot strike more like that seen in barefoot runner. So, Skechers hired members of the Nike Free design team to take the final step that Nike wouldn’t take, and they produced the shoe that minimalist runners really want….

          • Robert Osfield says:

            This shoes isn’t really zero drop though… thanks to it’s rocker sole it has two separate non zero drops – from midfoot to forefoot and midfoot to heel. 

            I would guess the crazy soles on previous Sketchers shoes will be a turn-off to most runners that are interest in minimalist shoes, so keeping that feature albeit in toned down form isn’t going to be great marketing tactic. 

            It’s feels to me like because it’s a Sketechers shoe they have to have the rocker simply because it’s been their traditional marketing angle, rather than actually going back to basics and building a shoe that is genuinely based on natural foot mechanics. 

            The sad thing is, is that while they have partially responded to growing mimialist trend that haven’t fully listened to the needs of runners.  I’m sure a zero dropped Nike Free would be a hit, and I’m sure that this Sketechers shoe would be more successful without the silly rocker sole.  It’s real missed opportunity for them.

          • Pete Larson says:

            Robert – oh, I wasn’t referring to this shoe. I was referring to my wish that they would make a shoe with a similar upper that was in fact zero drop – if they did so they could preempt Nike so to speak.

            I agree with you on the rocker concept – seems like it is a Skechers trademark design, not necessarily the best design for the intended purpose. I find the same thing with a lot of the other companies – they have to find a way to incorporate a trademark technology even if it’s not really needed in a shoe. Take the Mizuno Wave plate – the Ronin would be a great racing shoe if they made it 4mm drop without the wave plate, but they have to go and stick that hunk of plastic in there because it’s what Mizuno is known for. If you put a big wedge of plastic under the heel, then you need some cushion on each side to cover it up. So you just keep adding to the shoe. Same with Asics and their “gel.” Can’t remember who it was, but someone once told me that one of the reasons why heels on running shoes have gotten so large is because they have to be large to fit and accommodate all of the “technology” inside of them. My feeling is that if you want to make the best possible running shoe, forget the fancy “technology” and just make the best shoe for the intended purpose.

          • Pete Larson says:

            If Nike put out a zero drop Free 0.0 it would be a huge hit I think. Sketchers could get there first with a comparable type shoe in a zero drop Go Run.

            On Wednesday, September 21, 2011, Disqus <

        • Pete Larson says:

          Excellent! I feel pretty strongly about this as I’ve spent most of my academic career studying cartilage and bone development (albeit in frogs). I hesitate to put a child in any shoe that has the potential to alter the normal pattern of bone or soft tissue development by applying forces where they are not usually found, particularly since kids will be wearing the shoes all day at school. Look forward to seeing what they have come up with, and I have a few potential wear testers in my house if you need them. Both of my kids are in the Merrell Barefoot shoes right now and they love them.
          Flat and flexible is the way to go with kids shoes in my opinion.

          Sent from my iPad

      • The shoe looks like it’d be very difficult to heel strike in it. Still, in this video from Skechers introducing the GoRun, you can see a lot heel striking:

        link to youtube.com

        At least at 0:08, 1:07 and 1:09 it looks like heel striking to me. There’s also many forefoot and midfoot strikers on the video, but apparently the shoe doesn’t magically make you a midfoot striker.

  6. Surfing_vol says:

    I find it interesting that you didn’t compare these to Altra Instincts, which are zero drop but also have a “bulge” in the midsole.  Any thoughts, Pete?

    • No bulge in the midsole of Altra Instincts.  Flat as a pancake.  You may be feeling mile arch support with the “support” footbed, but they are even across the entire length of the shoe. 

    • Pete Larson says:

      Didn’t notice the bulge in the Altras, but the two shoes are very different. The Skechers is narrower, softer, and a lot more flexibile, and the midsole design is completely different.

    • Have you tried on/run in the Instincts? I’ve got some 200+ miles on my Instincts, and have never felt, nor seen, any “bulge” in the midsole.

  7. You may be too young to remember Nike Terra TC but all my sub 2:20 marathons I run in them.
    While writing an article about GoRun for Examiner I was imagining how they may feel. Besides an obvious rocker line of ShapeUps and Nike Free/Reebok Real Flex(pods) flexible outsole, I can imagine a springboard effect of Nike Terra TC (phylon)

  8. Zmechanics says:

    Love reading the site…

    It is important to question all the details on a running shoe.

    This Go Run shoe is not a copy of Free or any other style.  It does share some of the same principles as does all running shoes.

    Im glad you opened your mind and kept your review objective.

    I have Innov-8, MR-10, Asics 2170, Green Silence NB, and frees.  The GO RUN shoe really speaks to your body once you put it on and take the time to feel it out.

    I transitioned from traditional cushion to mid-cushion to minimal shoes along with better form and I had a moment similar to yours and other runners, this shoe glides itself at a certain moment.

    Its the 1st real aim at running performance by Skechers, I have 2 pairs and I’m enjoying my road running experience.

    Its a great minimal , breathable, comfortable running shoe.

  9. You spent way too much time pontificating about this, that and the other thing, and should just get to the review. No one really cares about your preconceived ideas on a particular manufacturer, or your email interaction with the company rep. I had to scroll past 12 paragraphs just he read your enlightened review of, “I might just like these shoes”. Wow, I’m sold… 

    • Pete Larson says:

      Nobody required you to read this…

    • Slim8589 says:

      Man, what an arse. Who on the planet forced you to read the review? Please take your anger management issues elsewhere.
      Have just bought a pair of these shoes and am looking forward to trying them later today, when the temp drops below 40°C

  10. I finally ran in a pair of GOruns I purchased a month. I recently learned how to land on my forefoot and have been running in a pair of VFF Bikilas and VBF Evos. Running in these were interesting.  They felt narrower on my feet initially, but that sensation went away about ten minutes after my run. I still managed to forefoot strike on these, but when my foot flattened out, my feet almost “bounced” upwards quicker than with my more minimal shoes. Walking on them immediately after the run left my arch area hurting a little, but that went away after two or three minutes. I’ve been wearing my GOruns all day since this morning…the sensation of walking has been strange due to rockered sole.  All-in-all, I liked running in the shoe and will add them into a regular rotation.

  11. I run dogs in agility and currently run in NB Minimus shoes, I tend to run very heavy off my heel and wanted to change shoes ..the lack of any cushion in the NB does concern me a bit as I have one bad knee. Wondering if the Go Run shoes would give me a softer impact while still allowing me to run off the midfoot?

    • Pete Larson says:

      I wouldn’t recommend this shoe for a lot of stopping and starting, more for continuous running as they are not great to stand or walk in.

  12. Pete, what is the sizing like for this shoe? I wear 8.5 on the Kinvaras. What size do you think I should get?

  13. I meant to type “darn” – oops.

  14. Timandjanet says:

    I wish you would just get to the point. I’m going with you like them… Maybe not so longed winded next review.

  15. Jim Hansen says:

    I have been curious about these shoes and am up for a new pair. Is the sock liner removeable? I saw that when Meb wears these he no longer uses orthotics. I have a pair of lightweight orthotics for functional hallux limitis (there is a dropout on the orthotics under the 1st MTP joint). I would need to use the othotics and I think the rocker sole would help my toe-off as well, but I am wondering also if the rocker sole would help or hurt my foot plant as when I keep my knee straight, my left foot everts out to the side.

  16. I’m a bit late on this… Thanks for your review.  I’m curious how the shoe will hold up to a full training process for a marathon.  The soft sole has me concerned about durability.  What do you think?

    • Pete Larson says:

      Hard to say, we all wear down shoes a bit differently. I don’t have enough miles on mine to comment on durability.

  17. François Tissandier says:

    Pete, they have updated the image on the box, or maybe they chose a different one in Europe. It’s better than the one you got, even if still far from perfect :

    link to blog.tiptopshoes.com

  18. Skechers has no credibility with me because of the lack of science behind the product.  Examples are the Shape Ups that are for weight loss and the Go Runs as minimal mid foot striking (see video: link to youtu.be  

    • Pete Larson says:

      Do you hold that same standard to all shoe companies? There’s very little published science behind most of what gets put out there. Assigning shoes according to arch height, pronation control, etc. are all good examples. Does the Mizuno wave plate really help? Is Asics Gel better than Brooks DNA? Is a 12mm heel lift really ideal?
      Sent from my iPad

  19. Jackmeeoff69 says:

    Pete I really think you need to think about this post.  This shoe is a flat out copy of the Nike Free.  This Skecthers doing what they do being totally unoriginal and coping a well established product that was created by a real brand.  I my self would think twice about adding to there cause.  The worst part is they act like they really designed something new, they even have a video of the VP of Advanced Concepts talking about the product.  This makes me SICK.  Something needs to be done about Skecthers, it is getting a little unreal did you here about BOBS the TOMS copy???  When true innovation is rub in the mud for the sake of sales things need to be stopped.  Again Pete I would really think twice about posting such things.  I enjoy your site alot when I saw this I was very upset, and honestly started questioning things

    • Pete Larson says:

      Walk into any shoe store and all you see is shoes that are basically clones of one another. I’d venture that the Go Run and the Free are more different from one another, at least in sole design/feel, than say the Asics 2100 series, Brooks Adrenaline, Nike Triax, Saucony Guide, etc. It’s the nature of the business – copy what sells. Look at the Vibram Fivefingers – now we have Fila Skeletoes, Adidas Adipure Trainer, etc. Furthermore, the Reebox Realflex is more a Free clone than the Skechers shoe, which has quite a different sole design.

    • Zmechanics says:

      your telling him to rethink his review about a specific shoe…, do I see ” jackmeoff69 ” as your post name ??

      your post name puts real questions into the minds of other kids & families that may see it as perverted…

  20. Ljohnson says:

    It’s a fu**ing shoe dumbass.Thanks for congressional report.

    • tsk, tsk. Aren’t we testy today! Listen here Mr. Crabby Pants, you didn’t HAVE to read it all. Pete is doing us all a favor as far as I am concerned. It’s a GREAT review. If you can’t say something nice… geez

    • No need for rudeness. Some people with bad Knees appreciate long reviews sometimes ou can skip to the bottom if you know how to use a mouse/mousepad. .

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read it and leave a comment, nobody required you to do so!

    • Must be the guy that didn’t get Meb to re sign to a Nike contract last year!

  21. Steven h says:

    Well this was a lot of information that I may or may not wanted. Scketchers is the only brand of shoes for me because they last, are comfortable, and look good for the money. Not mention a USA company

  22. I also was shocked I was willing to give these shoes a chance but they have become my go to running shoe and I am running some of my best times in them. I love this shoe!

  23. Nicholas Pang says:

    I was told Meb will be running in these :)

    • Ahh, yeah, Meb! We just go on a first name basis since we know each other so well ( and we’re running equals).  

      Uh…..who is Meb, and who would name their kid Meb.   Those are some cruel parents.  This Nicholas Pang cat is just ridiculous… :):):):):):):)

      • Nicholas Pang says:

        From site:
        Elite Marathon Champion MEB KEFLEZIGHI
        “The skechers GOrun model is a lightweight shoe that is great for an efficient foot strike. I ran my 10-mile tempo with these shoes today and I felt fast!”

        • Meb must really need the money. The day we see him run a marathon in those Skechers will be a very cold day in hell.

          • He ran NYC in them. Beat his past NYC best (when he won in 2009) by two seconds. He said he wore the GoRun for the race, and that they made about 20 pairs special for him with custom fitting.

          • Isn’t he a bad heel striker?

  24. Sharons1971 says:

    I have recently started running and have had a lot of trouble with my achillies tendon, I have spent a lot of money on different running shoes and have found that the Go Run are the only ones that I can run in without any pain, I think that it is the lower heel, I love mine

  25. I bought them a few weeks ago and love them. The fit is great. I was having foot pain for the past few months that has been dissipating since wearing these running shoes. I am going to have my son try a pair because he has major foot problems and this will probably illeviate some of him foot pain. I am not a runner and have been wearing these for everyday footwear. I definitely would recommend them to anyone.

  26. Steve Fines says:

    Hey,

    Four months have passed and I was thinking of trying a pair of these.

    Looking over the web I see a lot of 4 month old posts that are “good first impressions – I’ll report back later after some use”.

    But not so many “I’ve been running in these for four months and here’s what I think…” posts.

    Do you know of bloggers who have written about their actual miles in  these?

    thanks.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I would say my opinion of them has not changed from what I wrote here. I’ve actually been doing some wear testing to provide feedback on new and prototype designs based off this shoe, so not many additional miles on the original.

  27. As a triathlete in his mid-50s with more problems than any endurance athlete should have to cope with (missing L5-S1 disc, bowed legs, flat feet, asthma), I may have a minor insight concerning the elevated midsole.

    When I got serious about cycling as part of triathlon, the harder I ‘hammered’, the more PF pain I got, combined with calf fatigue that felt worse than my quad fatigue.  Triathlon guru Joe Friel (founder of Training Bible Coaching) investigated ‘mid-sole’ cleat positioning, with great results from those able to adapt to it.

    I moved my cleats back as far as they would go (without modifying the shoe), and the difference was night-and-day.  My calf effort dropped to near zero, and I was able to produce greater power for more miles with less perceived effort.

    One could easily theorize that moving the cleat back would increase mid-sole stresses, resulting in greater PF discomfort. And with my history of PF issues, that was a real concern.   Yet the opposite was actually observed!

    I suspect something similar may be happening with the Go Run midsole, making me very interested in trying a pair.  When my disc failed two years ago, I had to become a forefoot runner to permit my calves to provide lots and lots of cushioning between me and the road.  As I built speed as a forefoot runner, I found I had to allow my heel to briefly make light contact with the ground to reduce knee torque (to keep me in proper alignment).

    My hope is that the elevated Go Run midsole would me with provide two distinct benefits:

    1. Earlier midsole contact would reduce calf effort while still providing adequate spine cushioning.

    2. The early midsole contact may also reduce the need for my heel to touch, permitting me to more easily maintain an aligned stride.

    How do I get my hands on a pair?  Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Pete Larson says:

      I do sometimes get PF pain from certain shoes, usually cushioned shoes, but have not had issues with these yet. Would be interesting to see how they work for you.

  28. Been checking out your blog for a while and was glad to read your reviews about the Kinvaras. (I love my new ones). And now, you just may get me to try a pair of the skechers go run. I guess Skechers now is like the Saturn cars from the early to mid 1990s. Nobody took them seriously when they first got in the luxury car market and now they make a pretty decent car. Maybe Skechers will have the same success. 

  29.  I was intrigued when I first laid eyes on the Skechers Go Run shoe, but like you, I was very skeptical. I have been working on changing my form to more of a mid-foot strike for the past 4 months and have wanted to try more of a minimalist shoe. Based on your comments about the shoe I went out this morning and bought them…thought I’d give them a try. I just took them out on a short 3 mile run and I have to say…I am impressed! They do feel somewhat strange to walk in but fine when I’m running. I know I will need to work this shoe into my training very slowly as I’ve been wearing a stability shoe for some time. I noticed it was MUCH easier to run with proper form without having to “concentrate” with this shoe. Thanks for your review!

  30. Dave Abbett, PT says:

    Hi Pete,
    The only comment I would make is that I would hesitate putting too much material under the lateral border of the shoe as this may promote excessive pronation if unbalanced with the medial border. Just a thought.
    Thanks
    Dave

    • Pete Larson says:

      I think the thickening is the same on both sides, but there is definitely more pressure under the lateral midfoot when you run in them. The feeling tends to go away with time, but I’m sure the pressure is still there.

      • Dave Abbett, PT says:

        Yes I would agree that the body accommodates to the pressure but I agree that the pressure remains. I would be leery of the long-term effects of this type of pressure as it probably reduces natural motion in one way or another.

  31. Gabrielle Bedell says:

    Hi there,
    Pete, I just want to let you know that I too am a running shoe freak, and I love the super indepth reviews you do. Please keep up the good work.
    I received a pair of these shoes for free as part of promotional package, otherwise I would have NEVER though twice about running in a pair of Sketchers!! I am amazed at how much I ended up liking these shoes. I am currently dealing with a bout of good ole’ plantar fasciitis, and it seems that because of the midfoot strike encouragement, these are the only shoes I can run in that don’t seem to make it act up on a run. I usually rotate through Saucony Kinvara 2′s, Nike Free’s 3.0 and Brooks PureConnect. I am not entirely comfortable saying that these shoes are the cure all for my foot issue, as I am doing a number of other things to alleviate my PF (icing, massage, stretching, the usual), and my PF could just be on the outs anyway, but I really do enjoy these shoes. I am thinking about purchasing a second pair and I think my Nike Free’s just got replaced in my shoe line up. plus I can do track workouts in them without getting rocks in all those grooves! I was very hesiatant about just walking around in them after the Shape-Ups debacle and given my foot condition. They definitely weird to just walk around in. To anyone considering this shoe, I would say keep an open mind. I am pretty impressed with them. Suprisinly Sketchers hit a home run with this shoe, and I really wish them well and hope they continue.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks Gabrielle! I feel the same way, the shoe really surprised me. I’ve had a number of people mention that they seem to help with PF – might be something about the sole construction. If you haven’t tried it yet, foam rolling the lower calves can help with PF – hurts like heck at first, but gets better as they loosen up.
      Pete

  32. So it seems that very cold day came :-D MEB KEFLEZIGHI ran the New York marathon in these ones. 2:09’13 on last Sunday. 

  33. Iv tried these sketchers but they are uncomfortable for my balls. With the nike citius, on the foot strike, my balls freely move around where they like,however with the sketchers, on each foot strike, my balls are driven down towards the ground. Cant recommend.

  34. Too much to read , either in the article and on the forum. But yes, one guy said we do not need all that sorry about mail and so. I mean, Mr writer, do you need that to build credibility ???
    Also, at the end of the article, we learn where we can buy it and this is not, as a 25 years sports journalist what i call credibility.
    We went to try these Go run in a shop today : all we want to know is what are they exactly for and is there a problem with the fact that you cannot really walk withit or wthout going a bit backward.
    So all in all (sorry for my french) I do not think this is a good review. Sorry about it !

    • Pete Larson says:

      Nobody requires you to read it, it’s there for those who want detailed reviews, and there are plenty who do. And this is a blog, what works here is very different than in the journalistic world. My credibility is based on open honesty and relationships with my readers. I put purchase links at the end of every review I write, good or bad, just as other major media sites advertise companies whose products they review. The difference is that here you might actually read a negative review.
      Sent from my iPad

  35. Mary L. Simrin says:

    Thanks for this review. I’m pleased to read it as I like to walk/run on the treadmill, though having been a dancer traditional running shoes felt awkward as dancers usually don’t strike with their heels. I just picked up the Go Run shoes today. I’m nearly flat footed, but the support with the mid support might be my ticket especially since I prefer mid to front landing. After reading your review, particularly since you didn’t think you’d like them, I’m excited to put them to use. Peace, Mary (^_^)

  36. After years of gaining weight and laying it out on the couch, I recently got back into healthy living and exercise. As a teen, I loved to run – gods I loved to run. And I picked it up again recently.

    Problem was, the shoes I had made my feet tingle, and I lost my stride/balance/cadence/whatever it is a lot. I saw a few ads for the Sketchers Go Run, and was intrigued by the mid-foot strike. I hadn’t heard of that before.

    I bought the Go Runs. First few days were SO awkward, with those pod things putting pressure on my arch. Made that part a bit tingly, though the rest of my feet felt good. Only took a week before my feet adjusted to a mid-foot strike, and in that time, my distance/speed/cadence/what have improved tremendously. Granted, that’s on the treadmill (not really ready for roads or trails at the moment, looking forward to it though).

    You’re right, can’t walk with them, but I find I like the idea of having strictly running shoes. I’ll probably stick with these shoes for some time.

    tl;dr – I think these shoes are amazing for beginning runners. They’ve helped me out tremendously.

  37. Alex Fierro says:

    I bought these shoes about 1 month ago and they felt weird walking around in them.  Then I took them on the treadmill and they felt pretty good.  I took them on a Physical Fitness test and I increased my run by 1 minute per mile.  They propell my feet forward.  They make me run on the middle to front of my foot (off my heels).  I tried on the super light weight Nike and Reebok running shoes when I first bought these.  Those were ok in the store and maybe they are great in the street and on a treadmill but I only bought the Go Runs. 
    I never associated Sketchers with being a known running shoe maker but I love these.  I’ve been in the military for 18 years and so far these are the best shoes I’ve ran in.

  38. I spent today’s run thinking that the Somnio Nada was the shoe for me and then this darn site puts up another that I want to try.

    With the Newtons I always felt too much on my toes – will be fun to see if this one has the formula a little better.

    And there is a picture of Meb on their site endorsing the shoe.

  39. annonymous says:

    Curious for more info, I dropped by the official Sketchers GOrun website and watched a very brief video.  After the video was over, I was offered a video titled something like “hot girlfriend in underwear and sneakers”.  You’d think they’d have more sense than having Youtube host their video content on their homepage. Poor form.

    • Same thing happened to me. That’s what happens when you hyperlink YouTube on your ‘official’ website. (Video was a bonus for me, though.)

  40. Shanonmc says:

    I am waiting for my GoRun’s as the store had to order the right color/size combo, I am not a runner, I tried these on for a walker, as I have flat feet, bunions, tendonitis, and rheumatoid arthritis, and the instep support felt great for me.  The room across the toe was great, they were soft on my poor feet, yet they had the form on the bottom, like I have never felt before.

  41. I for one like your long in-depth reviews so don’t let the haters phase you. I finally decided what to try for my first zero-drop shoe a few weeks ago and chose the GoBionics, due in large part to your in-depth review on it. I think I’ve decided my sweetzone is 4mm-8mm, now, but still find the GoBionics great as a weekly technique trainer to keep away the severe (SEVERE) heel-striking and the resultant knee/shin pain that kept me from running most of my life. I also just purchased a pair of GoRun 1′s to try out since they seem to be dropping the prices in anticipation of the GoRun 2′s. I really like them and agree with your review, right down to the instep blistering issue. I think in my case I just need an actual men’s size 6 instead of having to settle for a narrower women’s model (Skechers, ignore your market demographics data and make men’s size 6 or make a D-width for women’s, please. I’d buy like, five of them if that’d help balance out your profit margins).

    I’m also seriously considering the GoRun Ride for my first half-marathon, but am awaiting your review of the GoRun 2′s to compare (I already tried the Rides at the store and like them, but I can wait…). I can’t believe I actually turned into a Skechers fanboy after years of hating on them, haha. I even recommended the GoRuns to my friends who are experimenting with midfoot striking.

    So yeah, Skechers, if you’re reading these comment threads, all I have to say about Mr. Larsen is: THIS GUUUYYYYY

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks John! I like the GR2s a lot, would seriously consider them for my next marathon. My buddy Nate also does wear testing for them and he prefers the Rides, but it has too much cushion for my taste. I hope to have a review up before the New Year.
      Sent from my iPad

  42. I bought a pair of Gorun 4 months ago, they wold be perfect if it wasn’t for 1 fatal flaw: blisters in instep just behind the ball of the foot. I tried new insoles new socks but nothing seems to work. Unfortunately I haev to give up and buy a new pair or go back to my old running shoes. Pity!!

    • Was it the GoRun 1? I had the same problem with the insole removed, but have not had the issue with the GoRun 2.

      • Yes indeed it was. your comment is interesting, no issue with go run 2 therefore? Also did you find a solution for gorun 1? I tried to change insoles but still had a blister which arrives uninvited after about 30 miniutes, frustrating as I like to run around 50 mins per session.

        • The GoRun 1 has a different sole than the 2 and 3, more pronounced midfoot “bump.” Not sure if that might have something to do with it, but I’ve only had blister issues in the GR1 without the insole.

  43. Jakob Heitz says:

    I have Achilles’ tendon problems. The rocker action is awesome. Much less force required by the Achilles. The foot just rolls off the heel almost by itself. I can run again. They ought to sell it just for that. Other shoes kind of slap down after a heel strike. The slap causes the impact that travels through the knees, hips and back. The gorun rolls, smoothing out that impact. Yeah, it’s strange, but it works for me.

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