I HAVE MOVED

After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.

Harold

Friday, February 6, 2015

Skechers GoRun 4 - 50 Mile Review


After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: Feburary 6, 2015

My first 50 Mile shoe review of 2015 and it is a shoe that actually is this year's model. Not something I got on discount because it is last year's model, wonders will never stop.

It is also the hardest running shoe review I have ever done and I have had to think about about this review for a while before I hit publish and have done several revisions.

Let me be up front about something. I am a Skechers GoRun (series) fanboy.

No I am not a social media ambassador or anything like that and have no unofficial or official connection to Skechers, other than I like their shoes and the way they feel. The only problem I have ever had with any of the GoRun line of shoes after the 2's is with their upper and how the sewn-in overlays bother my right foot's Tailor's bunionette, otherwise I love them.

Skechers GoRun 4's

Actually the Skechers GoRun 4 is a shoe that I have wanted to wear more than anyone will ever know.

I have anticipated running in this shoe since it was announced.

It seemed to be everything that I was looking for in a shoe...lightweight, cushioned yet firm, rockered bottom, minimal overlays etc.

So I bought this running shoe with some very high expectations and fell in love with it the first time I tried it at Granite City Running.

Photo by Seth Hasty - Granite City Running

From there, there has been a slow, but steady erosion of this initially torrid love affair.

When we first met, the looks were stunning, the ride fast and the fit was snug, but not too tight
.
Skechers GoRun4's when I first got them

However as we have spent more and more time together, while the looks are still amazing and the ride still feels smooth/fast, but that snug fit has become too confining and I need more space. I just am not being given enough room to comfortably do what I want, without thinking about what is going on.
Pricing/Availability

I paid full list price $100.00 at Granite City Running.



The GoRun 4's are part of Skecher's Performance Line of shoes that is making inroads to the shelves of Local Running Stores and is even now available at the Running Warehouse. They are what I consider a Performance Trainer, that I would use for my race day shoes.
How have they worked out for me?

I have run some very, very good workouts in these shoe, but I feel they are narrower than other Skechers shoes I have run in. Due to the weather outside I haven't gone much over 3.0 miles outside and only up to 7.0 miles on the treadmill in them.

Skechers GoRun 4's

While I am running well in the GoRun 4's, due to the narrowness in the toe box, I am not confident that they would do well on a longer run and have been hesitant to go any further.

Fit/Sizing

For consistent measurement purposes, I am a size 7.0 on the Brannock Foot measuring device and when you add-on a thumb’s width, it usually puts me in an 8.0 to an 8.5 in most running shoes. Below is a photo of the GoRun 4's and my thumb showing where my right big toe is inside the toe box to show how it actually fits my foot.

Just a thumb's width Skechers GoRun 4's

The GoRun 4's length is just about a thumb's width from the end and is how I want my shoes to fit length-wise.

Unfortunately, the GoRun 4's toe box - is in my opinion much narrower than the GoRun 2 or 3, my right foot feels "scrunched", enough that my size 8.0's GoRun 4's cannot be comfortably worn with the 4mm sockliner/insert in the shoe during a run.

Skechers GoRun 4's

Which takes away the softer feel that I do like with the insert in and makes the shoe feel much more minimal. Some runners will like the minimal feel, but I don't. This is a shoe that I want to use for middle distance runs, occasional faster long runs and as my primary light-weight trainers.

This over-snugness, it isn't quite tightness and since I took out the insert hasn't gotten to the discomfort or painful stage in the runs I have done so far - it is just something that is always there. However, I don't need extra distractions during a run and want a pair of shoes that disappear on my feet - the GoRun 4's in a size 8.0 do not do that.

When I got the size 8.0 GoRun 4's, I based it on how my 8.5 GoRun 2's fit (they were too long, but the width was perfect), so I sized down.

Now that the GoRun 4's are listed in the Shoe Fitr on Running Warehouse you can see that there has been some changes to the sizing and designs between the GoRun 2 and the GoRun 4 and they recommend going up a half a size.

Running Warehouse Shoe Fitter GoRun 2 versus GoRun 4

I put in a size 8.0 GoRun2 for comparison purposes. While it doesn't show a change in the width, I find the GoRun 4 feels to me, narrower than the GoRun 2, especially with the inserts in the shoes.

Personally I prefer the fit of the GoRun 2, they might be looser, but I put them on and forget about them, when I am running.

The size 8.0 GoRun 4's do not fit the way that I want them to. If I want to run with the inserts in I would have to size up to an 8.5 and hope that the toe box fits better, a size 9.0 would definitely be too long.

I just have to decide if I like the shoe enough to get a pair of 8.5's.

Feel (different from fit)

I run quietly like I do with most Skechers shoes, which is a good thing.

I love the ride of the GoRun 4 with the inserts in, it is a nice combination of firmness/cushioning and lightness that works for me, but unfortunately due to the narrowness of the toe box, I cannot comfortably wear the inserts and have to go without them in the shoes.

Which completely (in my mind) changes the feel of the GoRun 4's, they move from a comfortable light-weight trainer to more of a speed flat/race day/minimal running shoe style. Which is fine, because I need a pair of shoes for speed work and to be my primary race day shoes.

I know that I can run fast in these shoes for up to the 10K distance.

Skechers GoRun 4's

However, in the back of my mind I still think/believe that at some point this snugness that is always there, if or when it will turn into discomfort or pain, which causes me to be hyper-aware of what is going on with my feet, versus focusing on running hard.

I want to put my shoes on and forget about them - the GoRun 4's do not meet that expectation due to how they fit my right foot in the toe box. This is a specific to me problem and how my foot is shaped - probably not how others see the shoes.

Sole

The outsole has some wear points, in the usual spots for me. I toe-off so there is some wear at the front of the shoe and when I run slower, I heel strike more and there is some wear there. Otherwise the sole is holding up the same as my experience with other Skechers GoRun models and I can expect to get rid of the shoes, before the outsole is worn out.

Skechers GoRun 4's

Skechers M-Strike technology works for me and the way I run.

I like it.

Yes, it is still there, but barely noticeable and it seems to be getting less with each new edition of the GoRun series, which is based on feedback that Skechers is getting from their wear-testers and others. I wonder if in their continuing to move to more of a "mainstream" i.e. flatter style of running shoe, if Skechers will continue to move away from the M-Strike technology or at least de-emphasize it to the point where most people will not even feel it.

I hope not and if they do, it will be...too bad, because I liked the feel of the M-Strike technology. Although many others did not.

Skechers GoRun 4's

The sole design did surprise me at how well it handled snowy conditions and I wouldn't hesitate to run in sloppy weather for a faster workout or race in the GoRun 4's.
Upper

I love the looks of the Orange/Blue upper, it is very visually appealing. I love the Coast Guard colors.



Before I got them, you know when you look at them on the shelf, one of my concerns was the sewing of the underlay from the laces to the sole unit and how it would affect my Tailor’s Bunionette. I wonder if the sewing of the underlay to the upper is part of what is affecting the feeling of snugness on my right foot and bothering my right foot?

Skechers GoRun 4's

The Quik-Fit hole in the heel, serves no purpose to the way I use the GoRun 4's. The only thing it does is provide water, snow, grit and sand another access point into the shoe, when I run outside in them. Kind of useless if you ask me, but they didn't.

If Bennie Chewed Up These Shoes Today, What Would I Do?

To be honest, I just don't know.

The Reality is that

This is a shoe that I wanted to love and did initially love.

Unfortunately, the more I ran in them, the more I found that the changes to the sizing/narrowing of the toe box became distractions. I run well in the GoRun 4's and like the shoes a lot, but they do not disappear on my feet.



The big questions are:
  • will the 8.5 still be too narrow,
  • how much does the sewn-in underlay affect my Tailor's Bunionette and
  • if it will become slightly too long?

In other words, will a pair of 8.5 GoRun 4's disappear on my feet or will they have continue to bother my Tailor's Bunionette?

Skechers is creating a running shoe with the GoRun 4 that will compete with any other brand's shoe in this category. It is a shoe that is lightweight, flexible, cushioned yet firm and very comfortable.

I believe that most runners will love the Skechers GoRun 4's, especially if they are running in them for the first time or if they had tried them before and didn't like the wide toe box (sloppy fit) or bump in the sole - they are a great shoe.

At the same time, (at least from my perspective) is Skechers moving away from the very things that drew the GoRun series to me? The wider toe box, noticeable rockered sole (M-strike technology) and fewer sewn on overlays (series 2 had much less sewn on overlays than editions 3 or 4 have).

I am a Skechers fanboy and readily admit it...I love the way Skechers shoes feel running (quiet, cushioned, yet firm enough, lightweight and guidance from the M-Strike tech) and work for me when I am running in them - as long as they don't bother my Tailor's Bunionette with the sewn-in overlay/underlay on their uppers.

But for me...I am at a crossroads with the GoRun 4's and maybe Skechers newer lines.

Do I like these shoes enough to go ahead and get the 8.5's and hope that they fit better in the toe box?

Running Warehouse GoRun 2 size 8 versus GoRun 4 size 8.5

Or has Skechers changed the GoRun line so much, in their attempts to have more mainstream shoes, that they have moved away from the original reasons that set them apart from other shoes in this category - for me.

Have they changed to the point that they have become another very good light-weight trainer, in a sea of similar shoes and I could choose another brand's shoes and be happy too.

I just do not know right now...the more I have thought about it, the more I wonder.

But damn I do still love the way that I run in them.

So I don't have any answers right now on what I will do next. My GoRun 4's are working well enough that I will just keep running in my Skechers and see where it goes from here.

I am no longer in love, but I still really like the GoRun 4's. That is what was so hard about writing this review.

Disclosure of Material Connection: These shoes are a personal purchase from Granite City Running. The opinions I have expressed are my own and your experiences with this product might be different from mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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