Friday, July 19, 2019

Skechers GORun Ride

It has taken me quite a while to get round to writing this particular gear review. Not because I'm lazy (although some would argue I am!), but instead because it's actually taken quite a long time to form a definitive opinion on the Skechers GORun Ride.

Part of the problem has been that I've become such a fan of the Skechers GORun2 that I don't often wear anything else! But without negating the rest of the review, it's fair to say that the GORun Ride is a shoe that grows on you.

Marketed as having a similar feel to the GORun2s but with around 25% more cushioning, the GORun Ride is a little heavier than the GR2 (although still anything but a "heavy" shoe) with a noticeably thicker sole and a slightly more bulky appearance.

Compared to many of the "everyday" trainers from other manufacturers, it's still a pretty slender lightweight shoe and is still best described as neutral. Like the GR2 there is no traditional heel cup and the sole features the Skechers "sensor" pads - which to me are just circular treads, but you can't argue with the smooth ride they deliver.

Sliding the GORun Ride on shows that, compared to the GR2, the fit comes up ever-so slightly large. Nothing that can't be fixed by wearing a thicker pair of socks.  The shoe is extremely comfortable on the foot and (like the GOTrail I already reviewed) can be described as glove-like.

Heading out the door for the first time, I could feel that the shoe was a little more built up than the GORun2 (both shoes share a 4mm drop) but otherwise the feel was very familiar. This in itself gave me my first issue.  On the road, the GORun Ride didn't initially feel noticeably "softer" or more cushioned than the GR2. And that left me wondering why you'd have both in your closet.

It wasn't till later runs that some of the benefits of the GORun Ride became evident. The first time was when I wore them on a local gravel / dirt trail. The ground was too dry to need the GOTrails and having previously run the path in the GORun2s, I knew my feet would feel every stone under foot (they are a racing shoe, after all). So this time I opted for the GORun Rides.  And for the first time, the shoe made sense - softer than the Trails and more cushioned than the GR2s.  Perfect, in fact, for dry trails and uneven ground.

The next time the GORun Rides stood out was the day after a long hard run in the GR2s.  My legs were tired from the previous day and my ankles a little sore (that's more down to me than the GR2s). So I opted for the GORun Rides for the next day's recovery run and they felt great - familiar enough that I didn't have to change my run style, but with enough cushioning to take the sting out of hard Tarmac surfaces. Suddenly that extra 25% cushioning was noticeable.

For me personally, I've become a firm fan of the GORun2 (I haven't tried the Speed/Meb or Bionic yet!); it remains solidly my favourite shoe in the Skechers range and won't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. I count myself as lucky to have the GORides to fall back on when my  legs are tired or I've had a hard training session previously. I definitely think they are a great shoe, but if I could only afford one pair, I'd take the GR2.

That said, I do think the GORun Ride has its place and would probably better suit heavier runners or those who haven't yet tried moving to a featherweight racing shoe - it bridges the gap nicely between your "average" running shoe and a racer.  If your pockets are deep enough, I think the GORun Ride is an excellent "everyday" training shoe (or dare I say it, a "recovery" shoe?!) while you keep the GR2 for speed work and racing.

If you're used to much heavier, more structured trainers - and you're nervous about switching straight to a minimal racer like the GORun2 - then I'd recommend trying the GORun Rides without hesitation.  Likewise if you already have racers and struggle to find an everyday shoe with a "racy" feel but added comfort, look no further.