Skechers 2016 #getyourmilesin

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 Demongets ever fasterslice_skechers_k&k4
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 – Reinventedslice_skechers_k&krideThe 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 Kingslice_skechers_k&kforza
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.

In Summary
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!k&kduo.jpgOverall, 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!kat_skechers_16-4_web

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Skechers Performance = Speedy Feet!

Our 2015 race season was planned to accommodate a late season build – racing the New York City Marathon on Nov 1st, then taking on the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii from Nov 27-29th

We chose to do a progressive build towards the November targets by pacing some friends in a few half marathons, racing the 5150 in Tremblant, as well as doing two half Ironmans in September – all for fun and fitness. The ‘lead-up’ races brought in some focused speed-work, and were planned to land right in the midst of our final build phase.kat_skechersjoy_web
The great thing about the variety of races and mileage we laid out was that it gave us a perfect opportunity to thoroughly test various models of the Skechers Performance lineup – both in training and race settings. Shoe rotation is a great tactic for injury prevention, so being able to switch pairs often – especially for those ultra-long two-a-day run sessions, was a major bonus for us this year!

So, after logging several training and race miles in 2015 thus far, here’s our impression of the Skechers Performance lineup:

GOrun4 – The Speed Demon
If you are looking for a speed-demon, then the GOrun4 is for you. It’s lightweight, fits like a glove, and offers enough cushioning to easily take you into the Half Marathon distance.  We love the heel cup design – it’s flexible and thin so doesn’t even feel like it’s there – and the ‘Quick-Fit’ portal makes slipping these on quickly in triathlon transitions a breeze!  The GOrun4’s feature a flexible ‘Resalyte’ midsole and rubber ‘pods’ on out outer edges for durability.  We love their grippy traction on the road, as well as the 4 mm drop, offering superior fit and function.

In the races we’ve done this year, the breathability and drainage capabilities of the GOrun4’s have surpassed our expectations.  We’ve raced in a variety of conditions, from hot humid 41C weather at the Canadian Iron113, then pouring rain and 15C at the Demi-Esprit – every time the GOrun4’s performed beautifully.

Strada – The High Performance Trainer
If you prefer a little more cushion and stability, The Strada takes the support level up a notch, offering an excellent shoe for longer training runs and marathon distance racing. The Strada is built with more dense foam on the outsole as well as a combination of Resalyte and Resagip for a firmer ride. It features an 8mm drop, and feels excellent on flat roads where you can incorporate everything from quick sprints to longer tempo runs.

We love the stability of the Strada, which has become our ‘go-to’ shoe, covering all the bases from traditional trainer right into race-day performer.

Ultra Road – The Endurance Junkie 
After testing in the Ultra2 model for most of last season, and loving its cushioning comfort,  along came the Ultra Road this season, which took things to a whole new level for us.  This model instantly became our ultra-distance favourite. 

Right out of the box, the fit and feel was exceptional, offering great cushioning and a responsive ride. The Ultra Road features a Resalyte sole, with firmer outsole, making for a very responsive take-off for those times when you are looking to pick up the pace! With its  durable woven upper and no seams or liner, it performs great in the heat, providing exceptional breathability and water drainage.

Our first ‘test’ run was a 6 hour city jaunt, and the shoes offered great support and a very   comfortable fit. At the end of our long test run, we both looked at each other and said, ‘Yup, we can keep going in these!’ 

We LOVE the Ultra Road and they will definitely be our 2015 Ultraman World Championship shoe of choice!

In Summary
All of the Skechers shoes in the Performance lineup that we have run in were extremely comfortable on the inside – no stitching, excellent drainage and great breathability. The upper is very flexible so the shoe feels unrestricted, and paired with the stock ‘flat-wound’ stretch laces, the tongue always stays in place.

It’s a great feeling for an athlete when your gear becomes ‘one’ with you and it just seems to ‘disappear’ – it’s there, but it’s not. That’s exactly what we’ve found in the lineup, and with such a broad choice in the series, there’s a shoe option for everyone! Where ever it may be, from trails, to twisty roads to all out track sprints, we’re driven by excitement every time we lace up and head out the door!

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