At the beginning of the year I was asked to review some new shoes: the Skechers GOrun2. Typical of the sieve-headed fool that I am, I’ve only just realised that the write-up has sat on my computer like a sullen emo at a Barry Manilow concert*. So here it is, better late than never…
Shoe report: Skechers GOrun2
I was very excited about testing the Skechers GOrun, as I’d recently dipped my toe into the lightweight shoe pond (not an actual pond) with their cousins, the Skechers GObionic and was keen to see how they compared. Although I’d been pleased with the GoBionic and harboured visions of them transforming me into a shining barefoot warrior, the initial headiness of romance had faded a little after I lost patience with the transition process and went back to my old, more cushioned, shoes. That’s where the GOrun2 came in – a slightly less minimalist shoe with some intriguing design features. Skechers aren’t a brand traditionally associated with running shoes and I can never resist a plucky underdog.
On the day they arrived I opened the box excitedly.
I then closed the box, staggered around for a bit rubbing my eyes and saying “gaaah”, found some sunglasses and opened the box again.
The red/lime version is a tad bright. When I say “a tad”, what I mean is that I first opened the box a few weeks ago and I can still see their outline when I close my eyes. Okay, so maybe a slight exaggeration, but I think it’s fair to say that this particular colourway might be a bit garish for some tastes. For instance, when my wife first saw them she was a little bit sick in her mouth. But I loved them, and did a little internal happydance (real word) when I realised they hadn’t sent one of the more inoffensive designs.
Don’t like the colour? Wait until you’re stuck headfirst in a snowdrift with just your feet sticking out as the rescue helicopter circles overhead looking for you. Then we’ll see who’s laughing**
I wore the shoes around the house for a while before actually taking them out for a run; partly to get a feel for them, and partly to annoy my wife. I was instantly bowled over by how comfy they were. A roomy toebox contrasted with the overall snug, secure fit of the rest of the shoe, and they had a slipper-like feel to them. I couldn’t bring myself to look over to the corner of the room, where I knew my Brooks Green Silence (which I’ve always lauded as the comfiest shoes on the planet) would be eyeing me with a look of simmering jealousy and betrayal.
Of course, the proof is in the plodding, so it was soon time to hit the streets. Over the last few weeks I’ve thrown these shoes at various types of run, from speedy interval sessions on the treadmill to tempo runs to steady 6-7 milers to legging it away from that angry busker.
The first incarnation of the GOrun boasted a distinctly curved “rocking horse” sole which, it was claimed, would promote a midfoot strike. This always struck me as a little bit gimmicky, similar to the ill-fated Nike Pogo of the late 90’s which featured a series of 18” steel springs on each sole***. I’m happy to say that while the GOrun2 still boasts the same midfoot-ness, courtesy of M-Strike technology, it’s gone about it in a much more elegant and unobtrusive way than its clunky predecessor. A huge improvement.
After my experiences with the zero-drop GObionic, I foolishly expected the 4mm heel drop of the GOrun2 to feel like running on comfy pillows by comparison. I quickly learned that you can’t fit many cuddles into 4mm, and that these shoes demanded a little more respect. Consequently, the first few runs felt a bit clumsy and jarring rather than the effortless glide o’er pavement and trail I’d been hoping for. A few runs later, and I’m starting to “get” these shoes. I feel like I’ve broken in a wild mustang and I’m now starting to reap the benefits of a faithful and insanely capable steed****.
Long story short: These shoes are a bit of an adventure.
- Distinctive design
- Lightweight, breathable and insanely comfortable (that counts as one pro, honest)
- GOimpulse sole delivers the goods – grippy and responsive
- Umm… Distinctive design
- A little unforgiving if you’re used to more cushioned shoes
- The underdog brand may attract derisive sniffs from shoe snobs
* Not to be confused with a sullen emu at a Barry Manilow concert. There’s no such thing – those crazy birds love a bit of Bazza. **Well, you won’t be, obviously. You’ll have a mouthful of snow. *** Not really. **** The metaphor ends there. Be warned that if you try and feed your shoes sugar lumps, everyone else in the park will think you’re mental.
Important endy bit: Skechers kindly sent me a pair of these shoes to try out. I didn’t receive any payment or other incentive for this review, not so much as a scone.
All words are my own, although I’m not sure this is something I should boast about.