Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Go-to GoRun

I started running regularly in 2012 using the Skechers GoRuns, and because of that, my shoe preference has been towards lighter ones with not-too-much padding, and heel to toe drop of around 6 mm or less.

I love the GoRuns, because they feel "cushiony" while retaining a very thin outsole and feather-weight. While training for my first marathon, I encountered no problem with the GoRuns, including the couple 25 km or more long runs in them. I used the GoRuns for the inaugural BII Maybank Bali Marathon, and halfway through it, I pulled my left hamstring on a steep downhill. I'm still not sure if it was the shoes, my lack-of-control going downhill, or all of the above. Though I finished the marathon (barely), I became quite wary of using the GoRuns for runs longer than 20km.

Just when I thought my love affair with Skechers was coming to an end, came the GoRun Ride. I'm fortunate to have multiple shoes in my rotation, and so far, the GoRun Ride (GRR) has been my "Go-to" shoes, when I'm unsure what to put on. Here's the brief review:

The Skechers GoRun Ride, in Black and Red

FIT: I have wide feet, and this plays a lot into my shoe choice. Most shoes (including the GoRuns) only come in regular D width, particularly in Asia. With normal width shoes, I need flexible and non-constricting uppers, and in this regard, the GoRun Ride stands out. Being used to the GoRun, stepping into the Ride version has a "coming home" feeling to it, albeit a more cushioned one. With the GoRuns, you can feel the middle bump, which was not a problem for me but others have found to be a big negative. This GoRuns' "rocking" feeling is not an issue with the Ride. In four words, the GoRun Ride is "snug-but-comfortably-roomy."

TOEBOX: I have separated this into its own review category, because a generous toebox is very important for me. I like to feel my toes having the freedom to "splash and splay" within the confines of the shoes (aided by 5-finger socks). The GoRun Ride,with its flexible uppers and generous forefoot area, is excellent in this regard.

RIDE and COMFORT: at 235 grams per shoe (25 grams "heavier" than the GoRuns), the Ride is still crazy light, and, crazy comfortable. I have always found the Resalyte materials in the original GoRun to be the perfect mix of light yet cushioned. With this iteration of the GoRuns, the ride has turned from cushiony to confidence-inducing comfortable, as in no trepidation to pick up speed, or go uphill or downhill when the occasion calls for it. There is none of that rocking motion, and the extra cushion gives you that extra confidence in your strides (you can see the difference in the outsoles shape, between the Go Run and the Ride in the following photo).

TECHNOLOGY: I am always wary about shoe-related "technology," as I believe that the primary "technician," i.e. the runner, is the most important part of the endeavor. The GoRun Ride again promotes the mid-foot strike sensors, which presumably help your feet land on the middle part of the shoes. Has it worked for me? Based on the wear pattern from the photo below (taken with the GoRun Ride having more than 100 miles on it), my strides are landing more towards the outer right part of the shoes (for the right foot), anywhere from the midfoot area towards the heel portion of the shoe. Just as importantly, I am not feeling pains other than regular aches, after long runs in the GoRun Rides.

CONCLUSION: With the taller stack height, the GoRun Rides are missing that close-to-the-ground feeling of the GoRun. There is still good feedback from the road, but the original GoRun is better in this aspect.

Other than the "less-than-total" road feedback, the GoRun Rides are pretty much great shoes to run in. I think they look good (beauty is in the eyes of the beholder), and I took it for the ultimate test, journeying through Singapore at the inaugural Craze Ultra (78 km / 48,5 miles).

I rode the Ride (sorry can't resist) through that CrazeUltra ordeal safely. Except for a busted toenail (due to, ironically, too much anti-chafing powder in the socks), my feet and legs escaped unscathed, and, most importantly, injury-free.

The biggest test of all would be the "wallet-test," and there are two pairs of the GoRun Rides on my shoe rack. In summary, yes, I like to ride this particular rendition of the GoRuns.


  1. Wow, thanks for this review!

    I'm just coming off two pairs of Pure Cadence and looking for something more comfortable, and I had a hard time choosing between these and GoRun 2s. Ultimately I went for the Ride as it feels more comfortable on my forefoot, which suffers from an on-and-off turf toe. But the GoRun2 is SO comfortable and snug I actually felt a little sad that I didn't buy it haha.

    Would you recommend the GoRun2 for someone who is new to minimalist? The ground feel is still a little disconcerting to me at the moment.

    1. The GoRun series' Resalyte midsole does seem more comfortable than the Pure Cadence's midsole. When I run in the Ride, I feel my feet are well protected, without the cumbersome bells and whistles of normal cushioned shoes. The GoRun 2 is also great, with slightly more ground feel (which, from your description, may not be a plus point for you). If you are new to minimalist, the GoRun Ride should be the almost-perfect shoe with its low 4mm drop. Enjoy!

  2. Go Run Ride has this odd feeling in my inner heel area, almost like the middle bump from Original Go Run was moved to that small area.

    I want a flat shoe in terms of left and right of my foot, not necessarily zero drop(front and back). Do I have Go Bionic as my only option? Or Go Run 2 is OK?

  3. The GoRun 2 feels flatter than the GoRun 1, but may be "similar" to the GoRun Ride in terms of built. From your description, the zero-drop Go Bionic may suit you better. Or, perhaps, the new Go Bionic Ride may be worth trying, with more cushion (I haven't had a chance to try them yet). Please let me know how it works out.