I have to admit, I never thought I would ever run in a pair of Skechers. The only Skechers I knew of had lights in them. I was skeptical when Peter Larson of Runblogger started talking about the GOrun trainers. Peter knows his stuff and reviews a lot of shoes, when Peter said that the GOrun was a legit running shoe, it was enough for me to believe. A few months later Skechers offered to send me a pair of Go Bionic trainers to review. Would I be able to be fair and leave my preconceptions about Skechers behind and give the shoes a fair chance? I wasn’t sure.
Here is what Skechers says about the GObionic
GO like never before in the Skechers Go Bionic shoe. This zero-drop, ultra-minimal performance running shoe features a design developed using advanced biomechanic innovations inspired by the human body.
exoFit construction upper reacts and moves like a second skin, surrounding the foot with supportive and breathable materials
Extreme Flexibility with roomy toe box and vamp area along with an articulated sole allows the toes and foot greater freedom of motion
Zero Drop design eliminates traditional heel lift so the entire foot remains low to the ground in a more natural position
18 Bio-Responsive Resalyte™ cushioning zones added to key flex points of the foot add protection without compromising responsiveness
Decoupled responsive zones linked by ligament-style connectors to permit increased plantar- and dorsiflexion for more natural movement and enhanced feeling
Super lightweight and responsive
- Ultra lightweight synthetic and mesh fabric upper
- Lace up zero-drop barefoot-style running shoe
- Stitching and overlay detail
- Lace-up front
- Padded collar
- Smooth comfortable interior for barefoot wear
- Agion® scent protection built in to combat odor causing elements
- Custom Fit – run with or without 1.7mm removable insole
- 11.5mm Resalyte™ shock absorbing midsole
- Water resistant midsole layer
- M-Strike high abrasion rubber traction pads on sole
- Weight: 6.0 oz. per shoe for a men’s size 9
My Thoughts after 81 miles:
I have never run on anything so light and flexible. The GObionic has the perfect amount of cushioning. My first run in the GObionic was around 9 miles. During the run I was surprised how good these shoes felt on my feet. The way the segmented sole connects with the pavement provides a true feel for the road and just the right amount of protection. No other shoe has provided the feeling the GObionic delivers when running. I was really amazed by these shoes, in a good way. I really enjoy the way these shoes move through the gait. The only shoe I can recall creating such an impression on me, was the Kinvara. These shoes are a must try for anyone that likes light shoes that lean towards the minimal side. Comfort and minimalism are not mutually exclusive.
While the ride of the shoe is one of the best I have experienced, the fit needed some work. With the stock laces that came with the GObionic, I was not able to get a good fit. The upper moved around causing my foot to slide around a little on uphills and downhills. It was more noticeable on the downhills when my toes would slide to the front of the toebox. I purchased a pair of Nathan LockLaces, and it took care of the issue. I would add an additional set of lace holes closer to the toe of the shoe. The bottom of the shoe is segmented which gives the shoe it’s amazing flexibility. On the downside, the segments picked up rocks. After every run I removed several rocks from the bottom, and I was running on roads. Lastly, the shoe is ugly. It looks like, well a Skecher shoe, not a running shoe. Their team should take a look at some of the materials New Balance, Brooks, Nike, Puma, and Saucony are incorporating into their shoes and make it look less like a skateboarder’s loafer.
The ride on this shoe is a great running experience, I really can’t compare it to any other running shoe. It is so flexible you can fold it in half with your index finger and your thumb. The shoe felt so light on long runs that I decided last minute to wear the GObionics during The Lehigh Valley Marathon, last weekend (Sept 8, 2012.) This is a fantastic shoe, and I think it will get better in the next generations. The biggest improvements should come from the upper. The minus points on the shoe are the three items mentioned above, of them the rock issue is the number one problem. As I was running the marathon, three miles in I got a rock stuck and it was driving me nuts! The big question I ask myself when I get a shoe to try is, would I buy this shoe after having a free pair? The answer to that question is a strong yes. I recommend trying these shoes. The closest shoe I can think of that kind of compares to the GObionic would have to be the New Balance 730, but they are still very different. The fact that I don’t like the way the shoe looks and I still like running in them says a lot about this shoe.
POST review update:
I Took the insoles out of the GObionic and went sockless to see how that feels on a 6 mile run. Super minimal feel while the foot stays protected. I could really feel the shoe’s decoupled responsive zones. I still prefer a sock to sockless running.