Recently Skechers made a splash in the competitive running landscape with its sponsored Olympian – Meb Keflezighi. Meb not only finished first at the 2012 Olympic Trials in the marathon event, he also won it with a new personal record - wearing Skechers GOrun! Prior to Meb’s victory, I know many people, myself included, used to associate Skechers with casual, budget foodwear. Although one can still argue today that perhaps it wasn’t the shoes that resulted in Meb’s stellar performance – one inescapable implication here is that Skechers is getting aggressive and ready to take tackle the performance running shoe market.
I wrote a review of the GOrun detailing its features and sharing my running experience with it. What I would like to elaborate here in addition are my observation and thoughts on its sole in the following 3 categories:
The main idea behind the circular protrusions at the bottom of the GOrun is proprioception. In theory, these independent cylinders are designed to offer an enhanced sensory feedback under the foot to supplement GOrun’s philosophy of natural running. Although I find the sole does offer that responsive road-feel as advertised, I’m not entire sure if this is due to GOrun’s thin and stiff sole – or these sensors are truly functional.
After 120 miles of running in the GOrun, I’ve noticed only a slight bit of wear on the outsole, particularly in the medial side of the foot underneath the big toe and arch. There is also some plastic deformation in the forefoot area, which I suspect is predominantly caused by the way I run. The high-abrasion rubber pods (red dots) hold up very well to show almost no wear or deformation.
In general, I like the “rocker” design of the GOrun not because it corrects or alters my foot strike – I’ve always been a midfoot striker. But rather, I find the added thickness of the sole in midfoot area to be ample in cushioning. My own measurements revealed the distribution of thickness of the sole is 10 mm in forefoot, 19 mm in midfoot, and 14 in heel. However this could also serve as one of my few complaints (the other being minor irritations in the upper) about the GOrun. To me, the pronounced thickness in the midfoot area exerts more impact force under my arch than that of flat soles – especially near the end of a long run. My speculation is that perhaps the rounded sole rather counteracts the natural collapsing mechanism of the arch. Additionally, this effect is amplified by the relatively hard, stiff midsole material.
After some conversations with Skechers, I was glad to find out that they are receptive of criticisms similar to mine; they are thus making appropriate modifications in their upcoming models in the GO line. Let me give you a small preview of these shoes.
From what I’ve been told, Skechers is preparing to launch 2 models soon to offer more variety to accommodate different runners and help with their transition to natural running. The first shoe is the GO bionic, which features a zero-drop in heel and a lighter weight than the GOrun. The GO bionic will be more “minimal” than the GOrun and extremely flexible in that it resembles the Nike Frees I recently reviewd.
On the other hand, Skechers is also adding a more padded shoe called the GOrun Ride for those seeking a higher and thicker alternative to the GOrun. The GOrun Ride will have a 4mm drop from heel to toe, a bulkier sole over all, and a heavier weight.
These GO bionic and the GOrun Ride are to be released in summer 2012 to join the already fierce competition in the scene of natural or minimalist running footwear. Stay tuned for my review on these shoes. For more on the GOrun, please check out my other post on iRunnerBlog.
What do you think of my article about the GOrun? Would you consider giving it a try? What would you like to know more about the GO bionic and the GOrun Ride? Please share this post and leave a comment below.