Finding real performance shoes within Skecher’s huge catalog is like searching for diamonds in the rough. Skechers will sell nearly around $ 5 billion worth of footwear in 2019. A vast majority of that will come from the reasonably priced $40 – $80 price segment.
Skechers is a family footwear company first and running shoe brand second. Walk into any large Skechers store in a mall, and you’ll see families and teens shopping there. Chances are, you won’t even see their serious GoRun running models on the shelves.
Selling comfortable, lightweight, and fashionable footwear at affordable prices is their forte. If their sales growth is any indication, this business model is working extremely well.
Skechers makes nice running shoes but it’s just good PR for them and nothing else. Case in point – this guide features just four shoes. The combined annual sales from these models would be the equivalent of a rounding error in Skechers’s overall revenue.
But as far as their performance running line is concerned, Skechers has done an excellent job with annual product updates and maintaining consistency.
Our first Skechers review was that of the GoRun Ride 3. Subsequent versions and product extensions have retained the (desirable) characteristics which drew runners to the brand in the first place.
The foam materials have improved over the years and so have the uppers. The HyperBurst foam has transformed their performance running line by greatly reducing weight without compromising the ride comfort or transition efficiency.
There’s only one drawback of the carbonated EVA foam – the retail prices have gone up considerably. The cheapest Hyperburst running shoe costs $125 at retail and the more expensive models like the Razor 3 and Speed 6 are priced higher.
We have omitted the GoRun 7 Hyper from this guide. The GoRun 7 has an excellent ride because of the lightweight and responsive HyperBurst foam midsole. However, the upper fit and feel of the GoRun 7 Hyper leave much to be desired. As this guide is supposed to be a curation of the ‘best Skechers shoes’, the GoRun 7 Hyper doesn’t make the grade.
The Skechers GoMeb Speed 6 Hyper, the Ride 8 Hyper, and the GoRun Speed Trl Hyper have just been released so we lack sufficient wear-test data yet. Some of them should feature in the next iteration of this buyer’s guide.
1) Cushioned daily trainer: Skechers GoRun Ride 7
We reviewed this shoe nearly a year ago and appreciated how resilient and dense the new foam felt. The new midsole adds value to the GoRun Ride’s already versatile nature – there’s enough cushioning to last a marathon distance.
If you don’t want to run long distances, no problem at all – the Skechers GRR 7 is a comfortable daily trainer with absolutely zero mushiness.
The upper fit is spacious but fits long and shallow. This unusual fit isn’t something new for Skechers; the dual-insole set which allows the optional use of the sockliner causes it.
This is the last GoRun Ride version with a traditional EVA midsole, so stock up while you can.
2. Max cushioned trainer: Skechers GoRun MaxRoad 4 Hyper
On paper, the MaxRoad 4 Hyper is the successor to the MaxRoad 3 Ultra. In reality, it’s an entirely different shoe – in good and not-so-good ways.
What’s great about the new Hyper midsole is its performance-oriented cushioning and responsiveness while being very lightweight. However, you don’t get the deep, cushioney softness of the Ultra 3. Instead, a better rebound character and rocker geometry makes the MR4 a ‘faster’ long-distance shoe.
The upper is the weak link in the design. The fit doesn’t feel sorted as the excellent MR3 and can potentially irritate in some areas. It also runs warm – this isn’t a negative considering as we nearing winters, but we doubt Skechers had that in mind when designing the MR4.
3) Lightweight trainer/racer: GoRun Razor 3 Hyper
The GoRun Razor 3 Hyper isn’t a road-racer in the traditional sense. It’s got plenty of midsole underneath the snug-fitting upper; Skechers uses a carbonated EVA foam called the HyperBurst. So the Razor 3 is a racer with plenty of underfoot comfort which doesn’t punish your feet like a regular flat.
The Hyper Burst midsole is a definite step-up for the Razor series. It makes the shoe super responsive and lightweight – the Razor 3 weighs a mere 6.4 ounces.
4) Mild-support trainer: Skechers GoRun Forza 3
Skechers does most things differently than other brands, and its stability shoe is no exception. Even the last Forza did not use a conventional medial-post, and neither does the Forza 3.
The midsole co-molds three different foam densities to create a firm and supportive midsole. The upper gets the stability treatment too. The forefoot mesh has a conforming fit with the inner midfoot featuring a supportive mesh panel. The fit isn’t for everyone, so try before you buy.
The Forza 3 is worth considering if you want a supportive daily trainer without a conventional medial-post.
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