Monday, 18 November 2013

GO Ahead, Make your Choice

Team 2ndskin, being partners with Skechers Malaysia for the year of 2013, are Skechers Performance Series Ambassadors. Since the start of the year, the team athletes have been wearing the range of Skechers Performance Series shoes, modeled by the GO range series. The team has been “pampered” by an excellent range of shoes from the cushy GoRun Ride early in the year, to the GoBionic Trail that eats up beaten tracks like a mountain goat. On our team blog, we have also been reviewing the wide range of Skechers Performance Series shoes and giving our honest thoughts on the subject. With that, naturally comes the question that I have been fielded numerous times since the start of the year.

“Which Skechers Performance model is suitable for me?”

I have given my feedback and thoughts personally to those who have asked me, either face to face, via social media or even on messaging systems. With the same question coming up again and again, I thought it would be best to share my recommendations here so that when you walk into a Skechers store, you already have an idea of which model to look for and try out, based on your running style and current type of running shoes you wear. Please do note that all recommendations here are purely based on my personal experience in trying out the different ranges of Skechers Performance Series shoes and in not an official recommendation from Skechers themselves. Also, I will only be discussing the shoes that are currently on the shelves and older models that are discontinued from production shall not be addressed. 
So many to choose from
The Categorization
Before we hit straight into the discussion about the shoes, I would like to first make some categorization so that you (the reader) can see best where you fit in and make a more informative choice.
Shoe model: Tells you what model this is
Shoe type: Tells you in general what type of shoe this is and its suitability
Heel to toe drop: Tells you what the difference in height from heel to toe is
Shoe fit: Tells you in general terms how the shoe fits
Shoe build: Tells you in general terms about the structure and build of the shoe
Shoe mileage: Recommends the average mileage you will get out of the shoe
Shoe highlights: Quick highlights of the selling points of the shoe
Shoe description: My personal view of the shoe and what I would recommend it for
OK, without any further ado, let’s GO! (pun intended)

GoRun Series:
Designed for speed
Shoe model: GoRun 2
Shoe type: Road shoe. High mileage trainer. All purpose shoe.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe
Shoe fit: Averagely wide forefoot. Snug lacing.
Shoe build: Comparatively more structured than the rest of the Go series. Lightweight trainer. Midfoot bump in original GoRun is not as pronounced here.
Shoe mileage: At least 600km of tarmac. I’m up to about 450km and shoe shows excellent wear. Original GoRun lasted me close to 800km.
Shoe highlights: Lightweight, encourages mid-forefoot strike, well built, value for money in terms of durability and wear.
Shoe description: I fell in love with the original GoRun, and I still love the shoe. This revision to the GoRun has given it a new outlook, and in my opinion has increased the built but retained the lightweight benefits. It is an all purpose shoe, capable of long training runs and also fast races if you just want a “one shoe that does everything option”. In my case, I use it for my long (and short) training runs and reserve the GoSpeed (more of that later) for races.
Recommended for the runner who is transitioning from traditional structured/cushioned shoes to a more minimalist style shoe and for those who want a shoe that does everything from 10ks to full marathons.
If you are currently wearing a pair of stability / structured shoes from other brands, then this is the shoe model you should consider.

 Go like never before
Shoe model: GoRunRide 2 / Night Owl
Shoe type: Road shoe. High mileage training shoe.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe
Shoe fit: Averagely wide forefoot. Nice wraparound at the heel area.
Shoe build: The most cushioned and structured shoe in the Go series of shoes.
Shoe mileage: At least 600km – 800km of tarmac.
Shoe highlights: Lightweight, promotes mid-forefoot strike, soft cushioning absorbs impact well, value for money in terms of durability and wear.
Shoe description: This is the choice of Go series for the runner who has just started running and requires a bit more cushioning to adapt to the rigours and stress of running on road. On the other hand, it works as well for those who take their weekly mileage very high and require a pair of shoes that gives ample cushioning and support to the joints during recovery runs and more relaxed efforts. However, that’s not to say this shoe is not built to go hard and fast. All Skechers Performance series shoes are lightweight and designed for speed too.
Recommended for the runner who requires structured/cushioned shoes and is looking for a high mileage running shoe built to last. Shoe of choice for those who are currently wearing cushioned shoes or shoes with more than 6mm drop.

Endorsed by an Olympic Medalist
Shoe model: GoRun Speed / GoMeb
Shoe type: Road shoe. Racing shoe.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe
Shoe fit: Narrow forefoot. Snug lacing.
Shoe build: The stiffest shoe in the series. Low to ground feel. Very lightweight. Secure heel cup, personal opinion is the mesh upper of shoe is the most breathable in the series A stability carbon plate provides the additional stiffness to the shoe.
Shoe mileage: Estimated about 300 – 400km of tarmac. I’ve done about 130kms in the shoe and they are holding up great.
Shoe highlights: Lightweight, encourages fast cadence, good road feedback feel, very breathable mesh upper.
Shoe description: This is my choice of shoe if I want to go fast (as fast as my feet can take me that is). Everytime I put this shoe on, I tend to run faster than my normal training routine. It makes you do that. I would say this is the official racing shoe (in traditional terms) under Skechers Performance Series.
Recommended for the runner who is used to running in traditional racers and lightweight minimalist shoes. The choice of wear if you are looking for a pair of shoes for race day.

GoBionic Series:
Minimal Never Felt So Good
Shoe model: GoBionic Ride
Shoe type: Road shoe. Minimalist classification.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe with removable insole. 0mm drop heel to toe without insole.
Shoe fit: Very wide forefoot. Low to ground feel. Soft heel cup.
Shoe build: Sneaker like flat sole with good ground feel. Internal stitching seamless and good to go sockless. Front end wide for good toe splay.
Shoe mileage: Estimated at 400km. I am up to about 150km on this shoe and I use it for all purposes. 10km runs, gym workout sessions and even walks in the park.
Shoe highlights: One of the few shoes in the Skechers Performance lineup that allows you to have a choice between 0mm and 4mm drop by removing the insoles. This is the more cushy update to the original 0mm only GoBionic. Shoe works well without socks and is breathable.
Shoe description: This is my personal all purpose shoe for everything from runs to indoor gym sessions and even for travelling. Love the barefoot feel and never had blisters from running sockless. There are no circular pods on this shoe, but have squarish individual structures that allow for the flexibility of the shoe as well.
Recommended for the runner who is transitioning from 4-6mm drop shoes to 0mm drop type shoes. It allows the runner to get the barefoot experience without the immediate harsh feel of running in 0mm drop shoes (before adaptation occurs).
This shoe is slotted right in the class between minimalist to barefoot.
Back to Nature
Shoe model: GoBionic Trail
Shoe type: Offroad trail shoe.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe with removable insole. 0mm drop heel to toe without insole.
Shoe fit: Averagely wide forefoot. Holds the foot well all-around.
Shoe build: For a lightweight trail shoe, the GoBionic Trail surprises with its structure. It has a robust sole with multi-directional lugs for better grip and has average ground feel. The mesh upper feels durable to the touch and looks to be able to withstand the wear and tear associated with offroad environments.
Shoe mileage: Good trail shoe mileage of about 600 – 700km..
Shoe highlights: The GoBionic Trail has hydrophobic treatment which repels water. At the same time, it dries up pretty quickly if the internals of your shoe gets drenched. It is also an excellent road-to-trail shoe in that it does very well on tarmac surfaces as well giving you enough cushioning on hard road surfaces. Shoe is also equipped with their Resagrip outsole which increases durability.
Shoe description: I had the original GoTrail to run in before and one thing I found about the original shoe was that it didn’t really grip well on wet/slippery surfaces. This update to the original incorporates multi-directional lugs which I tested to be more effective on slippery rocks and mossy surfaces. Another thing which impressed me was the insoles were ribbed at the underside, to create resistance and reduce slippage incidents when worn.
I will be getting more mileage in the trail shoe in the next couple of months with a few trail races slotted in, but initial test runs in them seem very favourable.

I hope that the above views and recommendations are able to allow you (the reader) to make a more informed choice when selecting the model of choice at a Skechers store. No worries though, you can always approach any of us at Team 2ndskin to ask us more about the range of Skechers Performance series shoes to get a better idea of what would suit you.
Go try one pair out today!