An Inside Look at the Skechers Performance Footwear Team

Raysse-StockbridgeFor the past year or so I have been in regular contact with Kurt Stockbridge and David Raysse, the core of the relatively new performance running team at Skechers. Starting with the original Go Run, I’ve now wear tested and have provided direct feedback to Kurt and David on at least 6-7 shoes that have either reached market or are still in development. The process has been both educational and incredibly fun – I’d previously had very little knowledge of how the design process works, and it’s a kick to give a piece of advice on a shoe and receive a pair the following week with your suggested changes incorporated.

Skechers-Go-Bionic3One of the things that has impressed me the most about the approach that Kurt and David have taken is that they have sought out advice from runners directly and have brought a number of us in as a core feedback group. Their goal is to make technical performance shoes for runners, and to gain a toehold in the performance running market. This has understandably been a challenge given the Skechers’ reputation of making mostly casual, fashion, and kids shoes (not to mention Shape-Ups!). But, they have been given a great deal of autonomy to do what they think is right, and in my opinion they’re off to a very strong start. For example, the GoBionic is a top option among zero drop, cushioned shoes, and the GoRun 2is a very solid improvement over the original GoRun. I spent a lot of time running in iterations of the GR2 this past summer, and hopefully will get a review up soon, as well as some discussion of the various iterations that were produced and how things were changed. I’m also now running in the trail version of the GoBioinic, and it may be the best shoe they have produced to date. A commercial version of Meb Keflezghi’s Olympic marathon shoe should also be out next year.

About a month ago my buddy Thomas Neuberger at Believe in the Run suggested the idea of collaborating on an interview with Kurt and David (and by collaboration I mean that Thomas did most of the work). Thomas wrote up a bunch of questions, I added a few of my own, and he has now posted the full interview on his blog. To get an inside scoop on what is going on over at Skechers, read the interview with Kurt Stockbridge and David Raysse at Believe in the Run.

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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. Kevin Schell says:

    What Pete is helping Skechers accomplish is commendable but why are they so ugly? Form and function can work together, can’t they? Skecher’s running shoes are objectively ugly. Aesthetically they are a mess. If something can be done about the cover I’ll stop judging the book. :-)

    • Pete Larson says:

      It’s all about individual perspective :) I think the aesthetics of the GoBionic could be improved a bit, but I love the look of the GoRun 2, and the trail version of the GoBionic looks fantastic. Same for the Meb shoe. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say :)

      —-
      Pete Larson’s Web Links:
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      • Kevin Schell says:

        I knew you’d say something reasonable. :-) I just have such a visceral response to the Skechers line which could be rooted in some residual animosity I feel towards a brand that appeared to be really good at stealing/slightly modifying every other shoe manufacturer’s designs in the ’90′s. These are the most “authentic” Skechers design I’ve ever seen. Maybe they’ll grow on me. I do agree that the Meb shoe is the best looking out of the bunch.

  2. Thumbs up for the interview. In my development to run with a mid / forefoot strike I’ve used the Skechers Prospeed, the Go run and the Go Bionic. The Prospeed is now only serves as a recovery shoe, but has served it’s purpose. the Go Run and the Go Bionic are used almost weekly and since the end of august I’ve run almost 200 miles in the Go Bionic, including two half marathons. The Go Run 2′s also look interesting, but there is an end to my budget to buy new shoes. Beside that, I live in the Netherlands and there are only a few stores nationwide that carry these shoes. I had to order both the Go Run and Go Bionic from Amazon.com

    I hope this shoe-line of transitional / minimal shoes from Skechers will also be available in Childrens size. the Go Run is now only available for girls. Other Skechers children shoes still look too bulky. With my children being age 1 and 3, there isn’t that much choice in flexible, minimal shoes.

  3. Stephen Boulet says:

    My rides have displaced the kinvara as my favorite shoe. Their weight is nearly the same (0.1 oz heavier) but my get much less lower leg fatigue with the rides.

  4. Hi!, I’ve a GOrun and I love them. Now, I want to buy and try a different GOrun version, but I can’t find the diferences: Could anyone explain me the diferences between “Original” GOrun and:
    GOrun Ride
    GOrun Ride Ultra
    GOrun 2
    ???

  5. Mark Morris says:

    I currently have 3 shoes in my rotation — Saucony Kinvara 2, Vivobarefoot Neos, and a pair of Skecher GoRuns. To my great surprise, the GoRuns are now my favorite, and my go to shoe when I’m running a race. If people will look past the history at Skechers, and give these shoes a chance, they may be as surprised as I am.

  6. As another of the Skechers wear testers, I’ll echo everything that Pete said here. It’s much like working with a small, nimble company that has big company backing. I’ve enjoyed every step along the way. I’ll also echo Pete’s sentiments on the Go Bionic trail version — right now my favorite and go-to shoe. Can’t wait to post up my review!

  7. Pete, is there any chance you could review the Go Run 2? I’m looking for a replacement for my original Nike Free Runs and I think these may work. Love to hear your thoughts on them.

  8. Christopher Babb says:

    I always picture Sketchers as a sort of big box casual shoe company that will occasionally throw out something mediocre but never specialized. Looks like that is actually changing, perhaps I will have to pay attention to Sketchers now as well!

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