Thursday, November 23, 2017

Skechers GORun Ride3

Since reviewing the original Skechers GORun Ride shoe about six months ago, the fast-moving American shoe company has released not one but two new versions and we’re now on the Skechers GORun Ride3. As such, I thought it was worth a quick little updated review.

While the changes between the GORun Ride and Ride2 weren’t much to write home about (from what I could see, the changes were very subtle and mostly to the uppers), the changes with the new GORun Ride3 are more dramatic.

The 4mm drop heel to toe remains the same (and is the same across the range, with the exception of the optional zero-drop on the Bionic shoes) and you’d still describe the Ride3 as a ‘neutral’ shoe. It fits in the middle of the Skechers range – more supportive than the lightweight GORun but less cushioned than the new ‘Ultra’ (I’m yet to get my hands on a pair of these).

Three generations of Skechers GORun RideLooks
Skechers have something of a penchant for loud colours – something of a marmite shoe! The Ride 3s I tested were electric blue with fluorescent yellow detailing. Not my favourite Skechers colourway, if I’m honest, but far from hideous and at least they stand out! What I do like is how easily they clean up after a mucky run.

Fit
As you would expect with a shoe that is designed to provide more cushioning that the ‘racy’ GORuns, the Ride3s are more built up and feel more substantial on the foot. The heel is certainly more built up than on the original Rides, which probably lends a little more support, but never feels over-the-top.
The upper is extremely comfortable, however, and I like the way the whole unit – tongue and ankle – comes together to hold the foot in place without feeling restrictive. As with other Skechers shoes, the toe box is deliberately quite wide. It may feel strange at first, but now I’m used to it I wouldn’t go back to a narrower shoe.

Something I did find quite noticeable is that the Ride3s seem to have a little more arch support than the original Rides. In my book, this is a good thing as it really helps prevent fatigue on runs over 10 miles. Closer inspection of the shoe shows the sole has more of a pronounced arch to it on the newer version, so I’m guessing this was a deliberate move by Skechers.

Performance
On the scales, the Ride3 is a whole 7 grams heavier than the original version (238g vs 245g, single shoe, UK size 9). Hardly noticeable at all. In fact, on the foot the Ride3s actually feel lighter. That’s probably because the Ride3s feel more similar to the lighter GORuns than the old Rides did – encouraging a nice mid-foot strike but forgiving poor form at the same time.

The tread pattern on the sole is similar to the old Rides, although with some subtle changes to the texture and placement of the ‘sensors’ (as Skechers likes to call them). The tread is shallower than before, which actually means the shoes do a better job of resisting the old habit of picking up gravel and small stones.

What is perhaps surprising is how good the Ride 3s are on a variety of surfaces. Okay, they struggle in wet mud but on pavement, gravel, hard trails and even snow (they’ve been my go-to shoe for running in Stockholm this winter – without any ice spikes) they grip and provide sufficient cushioning to be comfortable throughout.

Conclusion
For me, the Skechers GORun Ride 3 are a big improvement on the original version (and remember, I already liked the mk1 shoe). I find myself wearing them more than the lighter GORuns for training sorties now. For long runs they are invaluable, but you can also do shorter, sharper stuff in them too.

A case of evolution being a good thing.

Learn more about the Skechers GORun Ride3 on their website:  http://www.skechers.co.uk/