A while back, I was contacted by someone at Skechers. They had seen my quest to find the right running shoes and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a pair of their new GOrun minimalist shoes.
I have to admit, my first thought was, “Skechers? Really?” No offense to the brand, but I think of Skechers more in terms of leisure footwear or those strange-looking Shape-Ups shoes that I associate more with mall walkers than serious athletes.
Would they really have a good minimalist running shoe? I had hit all of the serious running stores in the area, and as far as I could remember, none of them carried anything from Skechers. At the very least, none of the salespeople had mentioned them, which is effectively the same thing.
I was going to delete the email and forget about it, but let’s face it: I love minimalist shoes and would try anything I could get my hands on. I did a little bit of research and discovered that their primary brand ambassador was elite marathoner Meb Keflezighi. Hmm, I thought. If they’re good enough for Meb, shouldn’t I be willing to give them a try?
So I took the plunge.
They arrived while I was out of town on a business trip. I got home late in the evening after 12 hours of cross-country travel involving planes, trains and automobiles. My feet and legs were still tired from running an 8K the morning before, and walking roughly 25 miles through New York City and Washington, DC in the span of five days. I slipped these on and uttered an audible “ooooohhhhh.” They felt good. Really good.
But of course, the real test of any shoe comes with the first steps. I never just dive in with a new shoe; they always get the short-distance test. I wore them to walk my son to school — 3/4 mile walking there, 3/4 mile running back. I was impressed. I took them to the gym for a treadmill session. Still good. I took them out on the road for a 5k run. They were excellent.
The GOrun shoes are extremely light at 4.9 ounces, lighter than the Nike Free Run+ 3 at 5.8 ounces (per the Nike website; Zappos reports them to be 8.0 ounces) or my Brooks Pure Connect at 6.5 ounces (per the Brooks website; Zappos reports them as 6.0).
They have an extremely flexible sole that bends and twists to conform to your foot and the terrain. The heel drop is a very low 4 mm, which feels like the perfect amount for me as a longtime minimalist wearer, and is reportedly the same as the Brooks Pure Connect.
As for fit, the length is comparable to Brooks Pure sizing, although I find that the GOrun has a much wider toe box to give your toes room to spread out. Fortunately for me, a wide toe box doesn’t mean a wide heel. My heel sits in a nicely supportive heel cup with a decent amount of arch support, which feels very good.
Overall, I’m thrilled to have these in my footwear rotation, and I’m seriously considering buying a second pair in bold and bright purple to match all of my other Team in Training gear. (As if I need more purple stuff….)
As a disclaimer, if you’re new to minimalist footwear, go slowly. Don’t buy a pair and then go out for a long run. Your body needs time to adapt to the different shoe structure, and your stride will automatically change as your body adjusts to more of a midfoot strike and your body gets a better feel for the terrain.
What are you running in these days? And have you stumbled across the Skechers GOrun in your local store?
* As mentioned above, Skechers provided me with the complimentary pair of GOrun shoes. They did not, however, influence this review; the shoes earned it on their own merits.