Skechers is the official performance shoe collaborator for Team 2ndSkin. Eugene has experience using the Skechers GoRun series and he has cycled through GoRun, GoRun(m) and now the GoRun2. This is his review.
Skechers: GoRun2 vs GoRun Review
I have been running in a pair of Skechers GoRun since April of 2012, way before Skechers performance Malaysia came into the picture with Team 2ndskin. I must say that I am a running shoe fanatic, and that at any one time, I have more than 5 pairs of “active” running shoes at my disposal. Throughout 6 years of running, I have tried most of not all of the major brands of running shoes; from Nike to Adidas to Newton and K-Swiss, a few pairs of Brooks and New Balance and even Inov8 flown in from the US. Honestly speaking, Skechers was never on my radar of running shoes to try, as I had always had this image of them associated with lifestyle shoes, bright and colourful lifestyle shoes. All that changed when I read on the internet that Meb Keflezighi was on Skechers’ sponsorship cards. So I did some googling. And I did some more googling. Turned out that every piece of article I read about the Skechers GoRun had nothing but positive reviews, so I had to sample it for myself. Stepping into Skechers’ outlet at 1-Utama (for the very first time in my life J ), I picked up a yellow pair of GoRun, fondled it, twisted it, twisted it again, bent it in all sorts of contortions, slipped on a pair of US10 and I have been sold ever since.
Fast forward 12 months, and I have just picked up my 4th pair of Skechers last week; the GoRun2. For the record, my 3rd pair (the awesome offroad GoTrail which I logged 60kms at MR25 and 40kms at Gunung Nuang) and this pair of GoRun2 are sponsored by Skechers Malaysia, in collaboration with Team 2ndskin for 2013. You may have read numerous reviews of the GoRun2 on the internet, but here, let me give you a personal opinion on the comparison of the GoRun2 (GR2) with the GoRun (GR). Note that I have run in 2 pairs of GoRun(s) totaling >1,200km and have practically worn them to the core. Another important thing of note is that I am no expert shoe reviewer, so I will leave the technical mumbo-jumbo to those who are well-heeled in this matter, so to speak. My review below is more of a personal experience and how I feel running in these shoes.
|Can’t wait to hit the road with these|
First up, the GR2 is just as flexible as the GR in that its independent foot pods and GoImpulse sensors allow for the shoe to be flexed, bent and contorted in ways that you never thought possible with traditional running shoes. Retaining the 4mm heel drop similar to the GR allows traditional running shoe wearers to transition to a more minimalist experience without the immediate “culture shock”. Personally, I prefer 4mm drop minimalist shoes compared to the 0mm drop ones as although I am a mid-foot / forefoot striker, I feel more comfortable with a little bit more cushioning than having too much road feel from the zero drop shoes. The GR2 tagline reads: Designed for speed. That automatically tells you that this shoe is lightweight, very lightweight. My bare open Teva sandals pales in comparison in the weight department compared to the featherweight GR2. There have been many comments and reviews that the GR midfoot “bump” is too obvious and there is difficulty walking in them. Personally I never had this complaint, and I have walked many miles in the GR without having that conscious feeling of having a “bump” at the midfoot area. The GR2 seems to have addressed this “issue” as the midfoot is less conspicuous now compared to the GR, but it still maintains the rocker-like structure.
|I personally love shoes with the tongue stitched to the upper. Fast transition.|
The tongue is stitched to the upper like the GR and I really love shoes that have this feature as it makes slipping them on a breeze.
The New and the Improved
The above is where I feel the similarities end. Don’t get me wrong, the GR2 doesn’t feel like a totally new shoe compared to the GR, but I feel there are quite a number of improvements to justify it being not just an updated version.
|New GR2 has GoImpulse Sensors spread out|
The GoImpulse Sensors are now more spread out away from the midfoot, to allow for more distribution of pressure and contact. This I feel will help those who tend to land further upfront towards the forefoot, instead of directly on the midfoot. The cutaway of the heel structure will still ensure that the wearer doesn’t heel strike and will tend to land on mid/forefoot.
|Get stuck no more|
Another gripe from the GR was that the deep outsole pods tend to attract small pebbles and muck to get stuck in between the pods. GR2 has addressed that by making the pods shallower and the construction should prevent (or at least reduce the likelihood of) any foreign objects from sticking to your outsole for a free ride down the road.
|Flat-lock stitching in contrast colour.|
The GR2 is flat-lock stitched (just like our Team 2ndSkin shirts … LOL) to reduce chafing and abrasions. This is important if you like to run sockless as it reduces the rough surface contact between shoe and skin.
|With or without. Your choice.|
One of the major improvements to the GR2 over the GR is that the insole is now removable for a more customized fit. This is extremely important I can tell you as the first time I slipped into the GR2, my feet felt a bit constricted. I have wide feet I must say and the same sized GR2 felt a tad tighter than the GR that I have been running in. Upon removing the insole, I felt comfortable once again and my feet could splay out and stretch with enough room within. One thing of note is though, the toebox / forefoot of the GR2 does feel a tad narrower compared to the original GR.
|4-way stretch upper mesh above the toes|
Allowing for more forefoot play, and giving the toes more room to splay out upon contact with the ground are the hallmark characteristics of good minimalist running shoes. The GR2 has incorporated this characteristic into the upper mesh above the toes at the forefoot area by using what they call a 4-way stretch mesh. By comparing this to the GR, I can say that it is indeed more stretchy, but the drawback is that it feels more like a lycra mesh and is not as well ventilated as the GR. I have not worn the GR2 for a midday run or under hot weather as yet, but I feel that they could be a tad warmer to the feet as compared to the GR’s.
|Reflective highlights built into the front and rear of the shoe.|
Finally, for early morning runners like me, who are sometimes out the door at obscene hours; the GR2 comes with some reflective accents at the front and rear of the shoes. Nothing too fancy, but serve their purpose nonetheless. However, I would advise early morning runners to not just depend on the reflective highlights on your shoes, but to also incorporate some additional reflective materials to your wear when you go out in the wee hours. I generally wear bright coloured clothing and always throw on a reflective ankle strip in the form of my Road ID.
|GR looks a bit curvier with a more prominent midfoot bump|
I have mentioned at the start of this blog post that I am a running shoe freak. What that also essentially means is that I like to try new shoes. And throughout history, I have always bought a different brand or model of shoes when my current pair wears out. Inherently, I like to try new things. On top of that, I have never felt so at home in any pair of shoes that I have run in, to the extent that I bought the same pair again.
Until the Skechers GoRun came along, that is. After the first yellow pair I had hit 800kms, I spent my hard earned money on ANOTHER pair of green GR’s. And I paid the full price for it. No discounts. No sponsorship. That itself tells you how highly I rate the GR.
Next is to see if the GR2 lives up to my expectations. At the moment of writing, I have just logged an 8km and another 10km in them. So far so good. Skechers is here to stay.