Saturday, December 26, 2015

Skechers GoRun Ultra R review

The Skechers GoRun Ultra R is the newer version in the Ultra variants. The design focuses on road running, it has a lot of features reflecting the previous variant Ultra2. The key differences mainly lies on the upper fitknit material and also the improvised outsole which looks more durable. I use Ultras mainly for my LSD and my recovery runs, for speed works and intervals I run in Skechers GoMeb 3 or Skechers GoRun 4. I have about 300km with the Skechers GoRun Ultra2, the outsole has shown significant wear especially around the forefoot area. Most likely I will retire them in a few months' time. Thanks to the collaboration between Skechers Malaysia and Team2ndSkin, I was given a pair of Skechers GoRun Ultra R for my training. 

Unboxing the Skechers GoRun Ultra R, extra laces given. The male version has a few colour choices and I opted for this green and blue one because I do not have this colour in my Skechers shoes collection. My first short run was done inside Suria KLCC like I always do before deciding which shoes to pick. First impression, this is a heavily cushioned shoes! 

Before writing this review, I ran 33km in total under all kind of Malaysian weather. Here are my findings =)

The upper is more structured due to the strategically knitted upper, the knit gets denser for areas require more support. The GoRun Ultra2 has a stretchier upper and also feels more roomy with the spandex like material, doesn't mean the GoRun Ultra R is not roomy. The GoRun Ultra R is just fine for me because my feet is not that wide. The spacious toebox allows me to spread my toes freely while enjoying the breathability of the knitting, perfect for long and hot run. I did my run in socks because the knit is a bit too rough for me to run sockless.

Closer view of the upper. Denser knit for areas that demand for more support. 

The midfoot area is also as breathable as the forefoot upper with the big S glued to the surface. M Strike rockered bottom ease the transition between foot strike and toe off. 

The kind of breathability that second to barefoot. Picture taken in the morning, sun light went through the knit. For weather like Malaysia, this feature is perfect to keep the feet cool and dry. Sweaty feet is the cause of 50 cent sized blisters. 

Fat tongue, similar to GoRun Ultra 2. If the tongue was made thinner with softer material, surely can shave off some weight. At the end of my run, the tongue did not bunch up to the side. No issues. 

Heel cup cushion is generous, love the snug fit. The reflectives are awesome features for night/morning run. While standing still, the heel area feels "empty" under the outsole and I feel the rockered sensation. It's time to get going and stop standing still!

Instead of exposing the EVA material, the newly structured rubber pods are placed at higher wear areas for better durability. 26 pods in total for abusive runs! Being a forefoot runner, the outsole is softer at the forefoot than midfoot because the orange pods are harder than the green ones. I have confidence that this shoes will last longer than the Ultra 2. 

What makes the Skechers GoRun Ultra R so maximally cushioned is because of the dual density Resalyte material. The outsole has a heel drop of 4mm due to the 30mm heel and 26mm forefoot outsole. The blue material is softer and the green is more bouncy. Although it looks almost the same as its variants, I find the responsiveness is much better than the Ultra 2. At the end of my run, I noticed that my Ground Contact Time is slightly higher in this big bouncy cushion shoes compared to the other performance range Skechers shoes.

Another contributing factor to the marshmallow cushion is the cushioned sock liner! The holes on it helps to flush out drenching water quickly. The removable sockliner gives runners more option to run with or without it for the desired cushion. 

Here is the most interesting part of this shoes, the holes at the side of outsole. The soaking water will escape from this super smart drainage system. How could the water be channeled out? Let's check it out. 

Hidden water tunnel like the Smart Tunnel under the sockliner =p To confirm the hypothesis, I did another test.

I let the tap run for a minute and captured this photo. Water flushed out through the smart tunnel. The heel cup and the tongue was slightly wet, the rest of the knit area did not retain water at all. 

Overall, I love the GoRun Ultra R for the cushion and breathability. It feels big and heavily cushioned, just like most of the cushion shoes in the market. To get this amount of cushion, it has to compensate on the speed and weight. Cushion shoes are just too sluggish for speed, but I need the cushion for my joints! Every shoes are designed with different purpose. The design looks catchy and I love the moderate responsiveness, it'll be my top choice of gear in weekend LSD. If I were to race any distance below a full marathon, I will definitely go for something more responsive and light such as the GoMeb Speed 3 or GoRun 4. In my opinion, GoRun Ultra R is meant for less technical courses because it was built with neutral cushioning resulting in lesser lateral stability. 

Get a pair of Skechers GoRun Ultra R if you think it is the right choice of gear for you. It is available in Skechers outlet retailing at RM 499 for Men and RM 469 for Women models. Sign up for the membership card upon any purchase more than RM350 to get more discounts in future. 

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