Just as we began to ramp up our spring training miles for the 2016 Boston and London Marathons, the newest models in the Skechers Performance lineup arrived at our doorstep! Given the excellent performance of the 2015 models, we were excited to see what changes the team had incorporated into in the newest incarnations.
As soon as we opened the boxes, it was obvious that Skechers has been taking serious strides in product development – listening to us as runners and what we desire in a shoe. Throughout the line, they continue to impress us with extremely comfortable, lightweight shoes, geared towards a performance purpose.
Immediately apparent was the integration of breathable seamless uppers, and re-engineered features in the sole construction. We were excited to get laced up and head out the door, so here’s our take on how each shoe fits in with our run objectives this season.
GOrun4 – The original ‘Speed Demon’ gets ever faster
When we first tested out the GOrun4 last year, it was clearly our ‘speed-demon’ of choice for the 2015 season. It surpassed all of our expectations and performed beautifully in a variety of conditions. We raced in this model at several Half Ironman and Half Marathon events and did all of our speed work in these. It provided a great overall race/performance fit and feel, and was light as air. This was a model we thought couldn’t get any better, but when we tried out the latest version, we knew why it had become the 2016 Runner’s World Editor’s Choice.
The new GOknit mesh one-piece upper is soft and seamless, providing a smooth sock-like feel, and comfortable and supportive fit. The re-designed flexible ‘Resalyte’ midsole provides perfect amount of cushioning balanced with impact protection. The modified outer edge ‘pods’ add durability and we found them to have a new super grippy type of traction that translated to straight-line speed!
This is an incredible shoe, and with a 4mm drop that promotes a mid-foot strike, ‘Quick-Fit’ portal and flexible heel-cup for quick transitions, this will remain our preferred mid-distance race shoe.
GOride 5 – ReinventedThe GOride 3 was the first Skechers model we tested back in 2014, so it’s been remarkable to see how the team at Skechers have developed it over the past two years. This shoe has always been comfortable right out of the box, and the next generation of the GOride doesn’t disappoint.
In addition to a completely new seamless upper, with breathable side panels and more stability, we found the redesigned sole to have more cushioning and greater impact protection. The shoe also felt much more responsive, thanks to the new ‘Resalyte’ compound, and GOimpulse Sensors on the outsole, which offered flex and grip for a very smooth and responsive run experience. It also offers generous space in the fore-foot, so more room for your toes to spread out a bit. It also incorporates the 4mm heel drop design, and promotes a mid-foot strike for fluid transition and stride efficiency.
The GOride has always been an extremely comfortable shoe, almost disappearing on your foot, so the new GOride 5 will be our mid-distance ‘go-to’ training shoe when the runs are longer and we’re looking for maximum comfort.
Forza – Stability/Distance King
The same comfort found in the GOride and GOrun’s can be felt at the heart of the Forza, with this model offering superior stability and a well cushioned ride. The Forza also incorporates a breathable seamless mesh upper and two-part Resalyte midsole, for a very smooth heel to toe transition.
It features an 8mm drop, and we found this shoe to be super-lightweight with an excellent response right out of the box. The heel cup on the Forza is moulded and well-padded for a more traditional style fit as well, so it really hugs your foot.
The Forza is a great choice for those looking to transition into the Skechers brand and like a traditional style of running shoe. Comfort and stability come together in this lightweight performance machine, making it our model of choice for long training runs.
All of the Skechers shoes in the Performance line are extremely lightweight and super comfortable on the inside – with no stitching and great breathability. The upper is very flexible so the shoe feels unrestricted, with no hotspots or pressure. The re-engineered soles offer more cushion and traction with a nice mix of stability where needed. As a bonus, we absolutely LOVE the stock ‘flat-wound’ stretch laces!Overall, these shoes offer exceptional performance in and impressive lineup of models, especially if you add the Ultra Road into the mix! Skechers have taken things to the next level, and tailored their Performance lineup to cater to all running styles and distances.
As we log longer mileage over the summer, we’ll be extensively testing the Ultra Trail model as we gear up for a double crossing of the Grand Canyon this fall – stay tuned!