Dirty Runner: Skechers GoRun Ultra Review

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One of the best things about writing this column has been the opportunity I’ve had to build personal relationships with shoe companies.  The one that I work with the most is Skechers.  By now I should not have to convince anybody that they are a “real” performance running shoe manufacturer, so I won’t…  For me, the Go Ultra represents how open and willing they are to work with real runners to develop a product that will work in the real world.

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A little over a year ago I emailed my contact at Skechers about building me the “ultimate ultra-marathon shoe”.  I simply wanted to bounce some ideas off of him, but as it turns out my timing was perfect.  Another wear tester/team member was having a very similar conversation and Skechers had already been warming up to the idea of producing a highly cushioned shoe for (really) long distance running.  I gave them a list of what I would like to build.  Some of the things I asked for included Hoka-type cushioning, but with a more flexible and breathable upper.  I also wanted more traction and a more performance oriented fit.

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About 4 weeks later they sent me an email with a C.A.D. image of a new sole.  I was blown away at how aggressive it looked.  We talked a few times more and then I kind of forgot about the entire project.  Then one day, out of the blue, I received a package with an entirely new shoe.  It was a first run GRU (Go Run Ultra).  I really like what I saw, and was excited that the shoe had so many of the elements that I had asked for.  It was light.  It was flexible.  It had incredible traction.  It had a roomy toe box. It felt like running on a cloud.  I was impressed.  For me, the biggest surprise was how well they feel on paved roads.  Although they have one of the most aggressive tread patterns, the softer material feels extremely smooth on hard flat surfaces.  They are an excellent “road to trail” shoe.

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And now, after several revisions, the Skechers GoRun Ultra is available to the public.  Here are the specs:

Drop: 4mm (8mm with the included sockliner)
Stack Height: Forefoot 23/Heel 27
Weight: 9.5oz (claimed 9.5 mens.  Actual for 10.5 mens was 9.9)
Resalyte midsole/Resagrip outsole
Synthetic mesh fabric upper
Synthetic overlays for stability

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The shoe has 65% more Resalyte cushioning than the GoRun Ride model, and the Ride is a great feeling shoe.  The result is a shoe that feels like a Hoka.  But with more flexibility.  And more traction.  Oh yeah, and here is the kicker, it retails for only $80.

All is not perfect though.  Is it ever?  My biggest concern is with the “Vamp” material.  This is the piece of material that makes up the area over your toes on the top of the shoe.  It extends to become the tongue.  It is made out of a stretchy material that I find holds water longer than most shoes.  It drives me crazy.  And it drove me crazy on the Go Bionic Trail as well.

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I have talked with other Skechers users and testers who have zero problem with it.  As a matter of fact, the runner who had the most feedback on the GRU (Robert Youngren – read his post on helping design the GoRun Ultra) used them to run Hardrock this year and feels that it drains well.  I guess I’m a little like the “Princess and the Pea” when it comes to being picky about my shoes.

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One other thing that I feel is worth mentioning is the method used to create the tongue.  In order to create a tongue that doesn’t let any dirt in, Skechers simply uses the vamp material and extends it into a tongue.  It is stitched on the sides to the shoe, which creates an alternative way to make it gusseted.  For low volume feet like mine, it causes some bunching at the front of the lace area.  It is not enough to be felt while wearing the shoe, but I would like to see a more traditional way of building the tongue to avoid this issue and allow me to snug the upper even more.  I have this “bunching” problem with many other brands as well, but with the Skechers it is a bit more pronounced.  I am the only person I know of that has had this issue with this particular shoe, so if you don’t have low volume feet I wouldn’t worry about it.  I did find that the bunching was minimized by sizing down one half size (10 from my usual 10.5).  This model runs a tad large, so I suggest you size down the same amount if you can’t try them on to check first.

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Skechers Go Run Ultra

I think that Skechers has a huge hit on their hands with this shoe.  Many people who are interested in maximally cushioned shoes are hesitant to take the plunge when the cost is so high on many of the alternatives.  At only $80 they are one of the best values on the market.   If you want a shoe that you can run in day after day without getting beat up, you should really give them a try.

The Skechers GoRun Ultra is available for purchase at Shoebuy(get 20% off through 12/20 with code 20DECEMBER – $63.96 for this shoe!) and at Skechers.com.

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Comments

  1. Congratulations on participating designing a new shoe. That’s really very cool! If they ever get to Belgium I’d get a pair. Really like that sole – looks great and sounds like it works as well as it looks.

  2. I actually picked a pair up to try. I’ve been thinking about branching out from my normal Brooks Ghosts, I’m actually planning on trying some trail ultra marathons next year, and I’m not entirely happy with my current trail running shoes. $55 for this is REALLY good timing for me.

  3. Awesome. Skechers seem to be putting out some impressive shoes. Shame that in the UK the Ultra retails for £84 ($136).

  4. Stephen Boulet says:

    Thanks for the review. I couldn’t pass up the $56 deal. I’m hoping to complete a 50 miler in May.

  5. I got a pair of these from the Skechers web site when they came out. I have 2 runs in them right out of the box…a 14 mile run and a 16 mile run both on pavement. These are GREAT shoes.

    I have tried the Hoka’s twice and each time by 4 miles I had knee pain in both knees and my legs felt like they were having to work twice as hard just to get a good turn over.

    I have to say that I also run in the Go run 2, Go Run Ride 3, and the Meb Speed. I do not work for or get any freebies from Skechers (But if someone from the company reads this, I will be more than happy to be a tester or get free stuff…. :-) )

    I could see the Ultra being a marathon shoe for me or at least a high mileage trainer and then dropping down to the GRR3 or Spped for a marathon. (I am fighting PF in both feet and so far on long runs the Ultra and the GRR3 are about the only shoes that let do high mileage with little pain).

    Give them a shot you can’t go wrong with these shoes.

  6. Wow, that’s a good deal! I have no interest in ever running more than 26.2 miles, so I think I’ll pass, though. I see Shoebuy also has the GoMeb for around $100 bucks. Is that a good price? Do you know of any other places I can find that shoe or the GoRun Speed or whatever the newest racing flat is? I bought a pair of the original GoBionics in the fall of 2012 and never really cared for them. I’m willing to give Skechers another shot, because everyone seems so crazy about them.

  7. Thanks for the heads up, free return shipping as well, nothing to lose so I’ll try a pair of ultras.

  8. Brad Patterson says:

    Great review Nate! Thanks for the heads up on the sizing too, I would not have known that I need to drop down a 1/2 size w/o your information. It’s really cool that you and Pete get to be integral participants in the design of the Skechers shoes, what a fantastic opportunity. Oh, and thanks for the great coupon code from shoebuy too, I ordered my pair to try them out!

  9. I love my Go Run 2′s, but I was looking for something with more traction for the trails. I had actually ordered a pair of GoBionic Trails and fortunately they had not shipped when I saw this article. I called and cancelled that order and decided to go with the Go Run Ultras instead. While I am not looking to run ultra distance, I run on some very rooty, rocky trails, and I think that this will be perfect!

  10. Great review Nate! And super photographs. I really like the Ultra. Truly no compromises for road or trail and that is hard to do. And the price is right as is the weight. I have also just reviewed them on my blog here link to samwinebaum.blogspot.com

  11. Interesting new design. How many miles did you put on them so far? And how did the traction feel on dirt/mud/other trail?

  12. Exciting, thanks for the review!

    How does the size of the toebox (both width and height) compare to the GoBionic, GoBionic Ride, and GoRun 2?

    I love the Bionic line, but it seems like their more-cushioned shoes lose toebox volume. I’m in the process of losing a toenail after running a marathon in my GoRun 2′s :(

  13. Really looks like a great ultra-shoe end great review Peter :)

    Skechers has become my favorite brand among running shoes but I live in Europe and for some odd reason its really hard to buy Skechers shoes (from the performance line) here :(

    Normally I size up ½ size in my ultra shoes because my feet swell (especially when it’s hot) so for me it’s great that they made it large in size and I think I would just stick to my normal size.

    Now I just have to wait for it to come to Europe or pay a lot in taxes to import it from the US…

  14. I like the 4mm drop option, but I wonder how much comfort would be lost if the sockliner was not utilized?

    • Brad Patterson says:

      Tony, I tried running in the GRU w/o the sockliner and did not like it at all. There are 3 distinct “segments” of the midsole/outsole and there are well defined “cracks” where these segments come together (or are slotted for a flex groove). This crack can be felt right under your foot as you run. I don’t find the one that is further back on the foot to be bothersome, but the one that is more towards the forefoot area is highly annoying to me, even after running for 2 or 3 miles.

      To make matters worse for me personally, I have trouble with the stock sketchers insole as it is very thin and flimsy towards the the front toe edge. This flimsyness caused bunching and rolling underneath my toes as I ran. I am currently experiementing with insoles from different shoes to see which combo works best for me. I used an insole from a pair of Brooks Cascadia for a 16 mile run with pretty good success. I also tried the insole out of a pair of Mizuno Precision 13 on a 15 miler this past weekend. The Mizuno insole seemed thicker and more padded which I thought would be good for comfort, but I ended up getting some hotspots on my toes so I think the extra thickness might have pushed my foot up too much and cramped my toes a tiny bit.

      I don’t mind a bit of experimentation, but the fact that I actually HAVE TO rip out the stock insole and use one from another pair of shoes annoys me and kind of sends me the message that this shoe isn’t the highest quality build (do I dare say cheap?). I know tons of people that love it, so perhaps I am an aberration.

  15. These had to go back for me. The midfoot bump was just way too high for my feet. The back of the heel is very very soft, just an odd feeling shoe.

    • Did you run in them or just try them on?

      • Paul Joyce says:

        Like Sam, the Ultra felt strange when I first put them on. I had never worn a Skechers shoe with the mid foot bump before and they felt unusual. However, the strange feeling largely went away when running in them and, while I am not blown away after my first couple of runs, I like them enough that I think they will become a regular part of my shoe rotation.

        • Yes, you need about a mile on the run and the bump goes away.

          • Was concerned with wear and tear considering the EVA outsole and sent them back without putting any outdoor miles on them. I’ve worn the GR1, Bionic, and GR2 Ride before. The bump in these was similar to the GR, more obtrusive than the GR2 Ride, but it was really the feeling of landing on my midfoot even when walking due to the extremely scalloped/soft heel that set me off. I don’t exclusively run in anything, there will always be some walking involved.

  16. About sizing and the “bump.” First, I did not size down, and I think the shoe feels great. 10.5 in Brooks PureFlow and 10.5 in these. Fit is almost identical. Second, the bump might be caused by the sock liner. When I first put them on, I really noticed the bump; after walking around with them for awhile, I noticed it less. Then I remembered that the sock liner in this shoe is raised. Once I took the sock liner out (and replaced them with those from my PureFlows), they were much better. I would also note that the bump is noticeable when standing, but not when running.

    For those who are interested, I’m sitting here now with the Hoka Rapa Nui 2 on one foot and the GoRun Ultra on the other. GRU is a bit softer (not much), and the fit is much more comfortable than the Hokas. The toe box is da bomb — very comfortable for those with wide-ish (or swollen) feet. It also has very few seams and is much more flexible. The Hoka seems stiff, and I’m pretty sure the tongue would cause blisters over the long haul (always a weakness with Hokas in my experience).

    In my opinion, the GRU feels like a more heavily-cushioned PureFlow with trail lugs. I like it, and I think it will be my new go-to ultra shoe.

    • Nick Bradley says:

      That’s funny … I’m doing the same thing.
      Wearing the same size in each – US11.5.
      Both are great in my opinion. The Rapa feels more responsive. The GRU more cushioned. The Rapa is narrower, more dialed in. The GRU is very wide in the toe box and very comfortable. I think there’s a place for both in a 100km+ race.
      I agree with other comments here about the GRU’s durability. I’ve been wearing them on both road and trail and the road miles are eating up the lugs.

  17. I very much appreciate all the RunBlogger reviews and rely on them heavily. I just got a pair of Skechers GoRun Ultras and am both very happy and very sad.
    I’m happy because I took them out for my first run and did 13 miles on asphalt and they felt great. I’m sad because when I turned them over I saw that the outside of the heel on the sole had worn away as if it had 300-400 miles of use on it, not 13! I estimate this to be 6-7mm wear in just one 13 mile run!
    I’ve posted pictures here:
    link to mediafire.com

    Have you heard of this kind of problem with anyone else?
    Do you know how Skecher is in making good with defective shoes?
    I just sent an email to them, so we’ll see what kind of response I get.
    I hope this was just an isolated manufacturing defect as I really like these shoes.

    • I have seen similar things on my pair after 10 or so miles of road use. For that reason I’d say they are pretty much a trail only shoe if you tend to scuff the heel area. The exposed foam and rough asphalt do not get along well on this shoe. My guess is Nate’s (who wrote the review) miles have been almost entirely on trails. I’d contact either Skechers or the retailer you bought them from and see if you can return them or exchange.

    • I got a pair for 10K road running and found that they have worn very quickly (too quickly). I would expect runners to last months not weeks!

      They are great runners but they are now put away for emergencies and trail runs

      • The Ultra is a trail shoe and isn’t built with road durability in mind.

        • I just completed my first 50 miler trail race done on bridle trails. They worked out great. I saw numerous people with smaller toebox shoes at the aid station with seriously messed up toes. I can’t understand these why people aren’t jumping on large toebox shoes like these.
          Would love some like these for road running.

  18. Brad Patterson (@patterbt) says:

    I just got my GoRun Ultras a little while ago and tried them out for my first test run on the treadmill last week. I did about 3 miles in them, and have one concern that I wanted to ask Nate & Pete & any other owners about: Have you had any problems with the front part of the sockliner curling up (or more specifically, curling under)?

    I ran the entire time on the treadmill with this strange feeling in the front of my left shoe, under my toes, that I couldn’t figure out. When I finished the run, I took off the shoe and pulled the sockliner. The troublesome shoe had somewhat bunched and curled in the front part of the sockliner (under my toes) so that it was not lying flat. I am hoping that this will flatten out, but the material of the sockliner in the front is VERY thin and VERY flimsy and I am worried that this curling will continue in the future. What has your guys’ experience been with the sockliner?

    **BTW, I am fine with pulling the sockliner out of one of my other pairs of shoes, I just think it is dumb to HAVE TO do that with a brand new pair

    • I’ve had that problem with every pair of Skechers (3 prs of Go Bionic, 1 of Go Bionic Trail) I’ve worn.

      • Brad Patterson says:

        Bbo,

        If you had the same problem with all of your Skechers, have you pulled out the Skechers sockliner and replaced it with one from a different shoe brand? Or do you just pull it out completely and go liner-less?

        I tried to pull out the sockliner and see what that feels like in the GRU, but I could feel a distinct “crack” in the part of the midsole that was contacting my foot when I flexed it. If you stick your hand in the shoe and run it along the material that makes up the bottom part (under the sockliner), you can feel two of these “cracks” running side to side across the shoe. I think it is where Skechers broke the midsole into 3 distinct sections (toe to heel) in order to improve flexibility. Whatever it is, I don’t like that feeling at all and won’t be able to run in the GRU sans sockliner.

        So far, I am unimpressed with the build quality of the GRU. I hope it performs a lot better once I use it out on an actual trail.

        • I just remove the liner. I did not keep the GRU because of the midfoot hill (see my post below) but linerless with socks (never sockless) works fine for me in the Go Bionic shoes. I can feel some irregularity because of the flex grooves in the sole, but that does not bother me. I mostly use Balega enduro socks, and they have just enough density to minimize rubbing on the seams.

          • Brad Patterson says:

            As a followup to my previous post, I replaced the Skechers sockliner with one from another pair of shoes, and they feel real good out on snowy roads so far. I have only done about winter runs in the 5-7 mile range so far, but am thinking about busting them out for my long run this weekend.

    • Have not had this issue, not sure about Nate but think he probably would have mentioned it if he’d experienced it.

  19. Nate and Pete,
    Thanks for the review. I always find the reviews here helpful.
    Is there any plan for a Go Bionic version of the Ultra (as opposed to the Go Run)?
    I ask because I tried on the Ultra and they are not going to work for my feet. I love the Go Bionic and GoBionic Trail. I would love to have an extra-cushioned version like the Ultra or Skechers vision of the Hoka, but that very pronounced midfoot hill (it’s way more than a bump to my very low arched feet) is extremely uncomfortable. Totally unlike the GoBionic shoes. I’m glad Skechers continues to innovate and work with you guys, but I had to send these back.

  20. Martin Tanner says:

    I have 2 runs (14 miles total) in these shoes and so far really like them. But I was suspicious about the 4mm drop claim (8mm with sockliner). I know that the sole thickness is a function of several variables including where you measure and (for shoes with rounded outsoles like this one) how the shoe is angled, but with my caliper I can’t get anywhere close to 4mm/8mm. My best measurements are that the heel is about 30mm thick without the sockliner and 38mm with. The toe is about 22 and 25. So I’m getting 8mm drop without the sockliner and 13 with … quite a difference. Of course at some level it doesn’t matter much … bottom line: I like running in this shoe enough to keep it in my rotation, but I do wish there were defined standards.

  21. Great review I trust your insight and got a pair 2 weeks ago, love them! Alternate them with my hoka Kailua. Both great shoes and serve a purpose in my race schedule. Plus can’t beat the price

  22. Hi, thanks for your reviews, I’ve been reading a couple of them and am gaining some insight.

    I have a bit of a low arch and have the condition of over pronation. Would like to know if Skechers are suitable for runners like me? I am also a beginner.

    Currently, I own a pair of asics cross-training shoes but thought I might need a pair more specifically designed for jogging, one that has a lighter weight.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Overpronation is not a condition, unfortunately it’s been portrayed that way for many years. It’s simply a movement pattern and unless it’s been examined clinically and has been found to possibly be related to an injury history I would not worry about it. A good Skechers shoe to start with might be the GoRun Ride 3: link to shoebuy.com

  23. If you were to compare these shoes with the cushioning of the Hoka Stinson, Bondi, or Rapa Nui, which would you say it comes the closest to? I wanted to like the Rapa Nui but it wasn’t enough cushioning for my bad knees. I’m looking for something to match the Stinson or Bondi at a lower price.

  24. I bought a pair of Ultras as a winter shoe. I have done 3 or 4 runs in them and they have not disappointed. Most shoes get hard in the extreme cold but these are still quite soft even at 10 degrees F. The uppers are mesh but I got them a half size large and wear Seal Skinz socks over wool socks and my feet are fine. These shoes fill a niche in that they have a low heel delta but thick cushioning. The tread doesn’t hold onto rocks as badly as most outsoles do and the toe spring isn’t too high. They are the only shoes I use to run outside in freezing conditions.

  25. How is the heel counter in the Ultras? I prefer to have no heel cup or a soft heel counter (go run 1, go run ride 3, nike free). I love the go run ride 3, how is the ultra in comparison?

  26. How does the bump in the GRU compare with the bump in the GR 2? I wear orthotics due to high arch, and the bump in the GR 2 pushes the orthotics into my arches.

  27. I just purchased this shoe and love it for it’s lightweight but highly cushioned design. It’s hard for me to find a shoe that agrees with the bottoms of my fee this much! I however am having some pretty significant problems with the top of my foot and the bunching and pain from the laces and tongue. Not only does the tongue bunch but the material is so thin the laces cut into the top of my foot. I am going to try to tack a second padded tongue to the existing tongue to add some protection. I just stuck it in there on my last run and it helped. I think if they made a better pleat and padded the whole tongue a little more like they do the part that sticks out, this would solve the issue. This is a good shoe and with some tweaks on the next version could be outstanding.

    • Martin Tanner says:

      I have exactly the same issue Julia. There’s one place where something (bulky stitching is my best guess) on the side of the tongue was bothering me so much that I re-laced my shoes, skipping the nearest eyelet. That makes it bearable, but other than that issue, I LOVE these shoes. I still rotate shoes, but they’re my default.

      • I know a few people who have cut the stitching next to the tongue and it has fixed this issue. Not sure exactly how they did it.

        • Martin Tanner says:

          Thanks Peter … good to know! I’ve been considering doing that but was going to wait until I have more miles on the shoes so if I ruin them it won’t be a total loss. Right now I’m at 175 miles on these and still love them (thanks a lot for the review Nate!). Other than the tongue issue, they are sock-like comfortable and the mid-foot bump feels great to me (or rather I don’t really feel it anymore but it seems to spread out the impact of my fore- to mid-foot strike over a broader surface which makes my feet feel better. They do wear faster than my other shoes, I’ve probably worn off about 3-4mm at the balls of my feet (50/50 dirt and paved running) so I’m guessing I’ll get a little more than 200 miles out of them, but for $80 I can’t complain. Training for a marathon in 2 months and right now this is the shoe I would use.

          • Martin Tanner says:

            Correction: measured the wear with calipers and it appears that even in the most worn spots I’ve only lost about 1mm to 1.5mm of tread

  28. I’m really enjoying these shoes. I’m primarily a Brooks PureGrit runner (for trails) and Brooks PureFlow (for roads). I was looking for some more cushion for long runs, and thought I would try something besides Hokas (I generally had a positive experience with Hokas years ago), as I wanted Hokas without the Hoka price. Also, Brooks doesn’t have a highly cushioned trail shoe yet (yes, I’d like to try the Transcend on the road).

    On a “price per mile” basis, I just can’t think of another shoe that comes close to the Brooks Ultra (I found these shoes on Amazon.com for $50- perhaps mispriced).

    I’m not sure what tongue issue people are having. I’m not having any fit issues…they fit me true to size.

    These are light shoes, to the point where I don’t automatically go to my PureGrits if I know it’s going to be a fast session on the trails with friends…..as I know I’ll do just fine in this shoe.

    Only issue I’ve had is the mud stuck between the lugs after runs in wet conditions.

    • The tongue issue seems hit or miss, not sure why some people are having problems but have had 4-5 tell me about it.

      • Martin Tanner says:

        I think it’s 2 things: First, variations from shoe to shoe in how the tongue is stitched … I have one spot on my left shoe where there just seems to be more stitching/material than elsewhere. And the right shoe is much more comfortable. I’d be tempted to say that this is a quality issue but the rest of the shoe seems quite well put together. The second thing is that it probably is more of an issue for people with low-volume feet, like me, where things can bunch up more. But even with that issue, overall I love these shoes.

  29. hollyoak says:

    Thanks for the review. Was planning on using them on the road to put in a lot of miles but I’m a bit worried about the reported wear on the asphalt shown above. Was that a defect or is everyone seeing that after a few weeks? Thanks!

    • Martin Tanner says:

      hollyoak … I think it depends. I have 175 miles on mine and have lost about 3-4mm of the sole (where the balls of my feet are). I have used them 50/50 on road and dirt. I’m about 170 pounds so not terribly light, but I have worked hard to “tap” the ground lightly when I run so I’m definitely not scuffing them hard with each step. I figure 200 miles is pretty decent for the price ($70-80)

      • Martin Tanner says:

        Correction: measured the wear with calipers and it appears that even in the most worn spots I’ve only lost about 1mm to 1.5mm of tread

  30. I almost bought a pair today for mainly road running but I have the same concern after reading the reviews about premature wear. Would GOrun ride 3 be a better choice for asphalt running? Also feels like the arch bump is less pronounced in gorun ride 3, would you agree with that?

  31. Thank you,very helpful review. I almost bought a pair today for mainly road running but I have the same concern after reading the reviews. Would GOrun ride 3 be a better choice for asphalt running? Also feels like the arch bump is less pronounced in gorun ride 3, would you agree with that?

  32. I have PF in on foot and am a valet runner at a Atlantic city casino. Would you recommend these sneakers,GOrun Ultra Lt, for this job. I am on my feet and run and walk for a total of 40 to 41 hours a week. I use to wear Asics. They discontinued the one that I use to wear. I’m having a hard time finding the right sneaker.

    • Tough question, not sure how they’d feel for long-term casual wear as there is a thickening under the midfoot that feels better running than walking to me. Maybe check out the Skechers GoWalk? Very popular line of shoes for casual wear.

  33. gary dempster says:

    I really like these shoes, I find them to be 95% as cushioned as the Hoka Bondi B’s that I have, but also lighter and a lot more flexible, which allows for a tighter fit, while still having plenty of toe room. I like the Bondi B’s too, but they are so squishy and loose-fitting, I find them difficult to wear on trails or fast runs. The skecher ultras can go fast, I even wore them for a 10k race that was a mix of road and trail, when my legs were sore from an earlier mid-week trail race. I ran the 10k in 39 minutes, for what it’s worth, and felt much less beat up than if I had worn normal racing shoes.
    I have been using the skechers ultras mostly for road runs, as I find them to be slippery on the trails in my area (hard pack with loose dirt on top). I have been using Hoka Rapa Nui for long trail runs, and the Skecher Go Bionic Trail for faster trail work/trail races. I love those too, and found all the skechers from this blog (I have a 3rd pair, the go bionic, which I use as street/work shoes, too minimalist for me for road use). I totally love the roomy toebox and am addicted to this now, no more narrow toe boxes for me!
    As far as the tread wear, I have something like 150 mi or so on the ultras now, and they are wearing down, but no more than the Hoka Bondi B treads are, and they cost twice the price (more than twice, actually, cos I got the ultras on sale). Plus the ultras are black and don’t look like clown boots. I don’t think the tread wear is really a problem, as, similar to the hokas, the material itself is grippy, and lord knows there’s plenty of it on the shoe! I could see these going for many hundreds of miles before needing replacement. No material or upper problems for me so far. I run without the insole, as they are too small with it in (I ordered 1/2 size small as you recommended), so they are, effectively, zero drop cushy shoes, which is awesome. I find them comfortable without the insole, I don’t notice the tread gaps while running. Thanks for turning me on to these shoes!

  34. Great shoe…I clock 30km per week. I have ran 20km on this shoe. Overall it’s a fairly light weight trainer. It also easier to maintain my midfoot strike Esp when I get tired. Surprisely I don’t get any knee pain after the run. I always have a little knew pain after my normal run. But 2e is abit roomy for me. Great job sketches!

  35. I bought these shoes for my first ultra (northface100) in Australia. I wanted something nice and cushioned but still flexible. My best comparison for these shoes are saucony viratas on steroids.
    I used them for the 50k ultra and they were awesome. My only issue is the tongue could be a bit more plush and come up a little higher.
    They are also nice and soft on the roads, with enough flexibility for putting on the speed. I will probably use them for my road shoe going forward whilst I train for NY since my kinvaras are starting to hurt my feet and my viratas kill my calves when the distance goes too long. Will be interesting to see how durable these are

  36. Frederick says:

    Looks like an interesting shoe. You described it earlier as better for trail running as the outsole wears quickly on the roads. If so, which Skechers model is best-suited for ultradistance/high-mileage ROAD running? Thank you.

    • A GoUltra Road is in the works. In the meantime, maybe the GoRun Ride?

      • Cash Coyne says:

        I’m glad to hear about the GoUltra Road. I think I had a total of about 40-50 miles on my first pair which were mostly run on the road. On my second pair, I probably got 100-150 miles by keeping it 90+% trail. In both cases, I declared them “done” when the nub wore off so much, they impacted my stride and you could see the hole in the bottom of the shoe that they used to fill them when being manufactured. I weigh around 200, so bigger than the average runner, however, I’m about 6’6″, and have a slow cadence, so my foot hits the ground less often than most shorter runners in the same distance.

        I love the feel of the GoUltra, but I need some durability. Plan to check the Altra Paradigm when my LRS gets them in.

      • Frederick says:

        Thank you, Peter. I’ll look into them.

    • Brad Patterson says:

      Frederick,

      I have run with the GoRunUltra v1, which is currently being sold, as well as the V2 model which is under development. I have well over 100 miles on both the GRU1 and GRU2, with about 75% of the miles of each being on roads. I would say that the initial outer material of the outsole (maybe a millimeter or portion of?) wear off quickly, but the main part of the lug is holding up well. I know that other runners have many more miles on them on the roads, and say that they have worked and lasted for over 500 miles for them. The outsole material is very soft and will wear down, but there is also a LOT more material there to work with as opposed to most road shoes.

      And to add to the complexity, Skechers IS currently working on a Road Ultra shoe. I expect to receive my first round wear tester sample near the end of June. I can’t recall what the planned release date is for the Road Ultra, but it is for sure at least a few months off.

      • Frederick says:

        Excellent. Thank you for the input and the foreshadowing about the road ultra shoe. I’ll be on the lookout for it.

        • hollyoak says:

          Same here, hope we get some news on the GRU Road quickly!

          • Wow, exactly what is needed. I just wrote to Skechers with my “suggestions” to improve the shoe. One was to lose the trail tread (solved with a road shoe), two, was to add the “wear nubbies” included on the GoRun2 and 3, and the RIde or something better. Three was to leave the tongue unsewed at least on one side and four was to “consider” adding a little stability in a heel cup. I only have 150 miles on my GRU and on one heel the trail tread lug is completely worn away into the main meat of the outer sole.

  37. New “version” OF GRU?:
    link to runningshoesguru.com

    • Just a different water-repellent upper.

      • OK thanks! I thought it was a new version of GRU with even more cushion and stack height!

        Good to know is the same great shoe but made for colder days!

        The only think I miss is a more breathable version of “original” GRU (for summer/hotter days).

        BTW, I ran the Ultra of Andorra this summer (link to andorraultratrail.org) with this shoe… Great shoe for that kind of Ultras!!!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] all accounts, this is also a great shoe. Pete Larson over at RunBlogger endorses it and Robert Youngren helped with the design, but offers up a really honest review of […]

  2. […] account on the GoRun Ultras, how he helped with the design. I read Pete Larson’s (over at RunBlogger) take on it, and have been chatting with fellow shoe geeks on Facebook and decided it would be a […]

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