First Impressions: Skechers GoRun Ultra R2



Skechers has had a few years to evolve as a brand now, and while their shoes have been a little hit and miss for me, they have come out with some really good models so far in 2017. I was very impressed with both the GoRun 5, and the GoMeb Razor as trainers. As far as maximalist shoes go, I did not have the best of luck with Skechers as the shoes somehow did not work great for me.

Previous maximal models I had were the original GoRun Ultra v1, and the GoRun Ultra Road v1.
The GoRun Ultra caused me to develop hot spots under the balls of my right foot, and the Ultra Road v1 while very cushioned and soft, was in fact a little too soft and energy sapping for me for most runs.

Stats
Heel stack: 30mm
Forefoot stack: 26mm
Drop: 4mm
Weight: 240g (8.466oz) in US9.5 including insole

UPPER AND FIT
The shoe fits me true to size, although like many Skechers models, I could conceivably go down a half size here, as the shoe has a very generous overall volume. The shoe uses a seamless knit mesh for the upper, which is fairly inelastic and thin. If you have used the GoMeb Razor before, the mesh is quite similar; it is rigid but not uncomfortably so. Some synthetic overlays are used to make up the relatively soft toe bumper, but this is sufficient to elevate the toe box to create good height there. Similar overlays are again used in the midfoot to generate some rigidity and support, but with the colour schemes employed, they are rather difficult to make out. A semi-rigid heel counter, with a quick-fit pull tab, rounds out the heel. Overall shoe volume is high, and the toebox is sufficiently wide to provide plenty of toe splay. The heel collar and tongue are not overly padded and contribute to a medium-high volume fit in the ankle and heel.

This shoe comes stock with semi-elastic flat laces, and combined with the high shoe volume, makes for a relatively relaxed fit. The shoe is very breathable despite the knit upper, and caused me no issues running in warm and humid conditions, even if the knit does tend to get a bit heavy when soaked with sweat.  










MIDSOLE
The Ultra R2 uses a very generous amount of their new 5GEN foam in the midsole. This is the same compound used in the GoRun 5, just a lot MORE of it, without much weight penalty. Additionally there are a 4 drain holes (2 on each side) in the midfoot to drain water. I can see the utility in this for ultra running, with the midfoot being the lowest point in the shoe due to the rockered design, but I mainly like it more for providing a little extra ventilation for the shoe. One of the big challenges of maximalist shoes, in my opinion, is tackling the issue of heat build-up in the very thick midsole foam during the run, and these drain holes also serve to dissipate heat a little.

Another notable feature is the vertical cut-outs in the forefoot midsole, both at the top, and at the bottom, which presents as grooves in the webbed outsole.




OUTSOLE
The outsole uses a similar webbed rubber configuration as the GoRun 5, but with the added feature of the grooves described above.
The combination of the grooves in the outsole and the vertical cut-outs in the midsole is a crucial design element that allows an otherwise very thick slab of EVA foam, to flex very naturally in the forefoot, and makes a big difference to the overall ride of the shoe.








RIDE
This is the all-important part, isn’t it?

The ride is very smooth and bouncy without feeling sluggish from all that cushioning. I used this shoe mainly for easy runs, but put it through the occasional harder long run as well, and it has performed very well overall. The shoe exdues very good cushioning, vibration dampening and bounce. It might not be the best shoe for a fast paced long run, but for something controlled and aerobic, it definitely handles the job well, especially if the terrain is hilly and requires a little more cushioning for the downhills.  I think a big part of the equation is that the 5GEN foam in this shoe feels just a little bit firmer than that found in the GoRun 5, such that it does not bottom out when you slam down hard on it. Bottoming out an issue I faced with the GoRun Ultra Road v1, and I was glad that they addressed this very nicely in version 2. Another nice feature as mentioned above is the forefoot flexibility, something that I find quite rare in maximalist shoes, and which I have only found to work fairly well in the Hoka Clifton. I feel that a certain degree of forefoot flexibility is important for a more comfortable stride in a shoe meant for daily use and long runs, and they have managed to achieve that here.

An added benefit on the outsole grooves in this shoe is the wet grip. I know wet road grip has been something of an issue with the current webbed outsole rubber design, and I feel that somehow by adding the grooves in the forefoot, the pressure points on the outsole rubber because smaller and that created for better grip on the road. It seems like such a simple way to add grip and reduce weight at the same time, yet I wonder why they do not use this for their faster models. Perhaps the addition of grooves compromises the snappiness of the forefoot in those shoes, but in my opinion, the improved traction is well worth it. 

CONCLUSIONS
A very good all round shoe for easy mileage and long runs. Probably my long run shoe of the year, if only they would bring it into the Singapore market. I had to get mine online as I grew tired of waiting for Skechers Singapore to bring it in.

Score 9.5/10
-0.5 for fit being a little too relaxed for me, but this is a really minor detail!

It is an excellent shoe, and a must try for people who find shoes like the Hoka Clifton a little too soft, too narrow, or getting a little too heavy.

I got mine online at shoes.com, but I'm hoping Skechers Singapore will carry them soon.

UPDATE: This shoe is now retailing in Skechers Singapore outlets for S$169. They usually have some sort of discount going on so worth checking it out now!

Comments

  1. Thanks for share this post and keep share for Sports Shoes Its valuable and nice information .Thanks for sharing it.

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