Meaghan: Back in October of last year I got a surprise package from Skechers Performance: a brand new pair of ultra-cushioned, bright pink road shoes. I had no idea Skechers was working on these, but I was thrilled to test them out. It was love at first lace up. I’m now on my third pair of GOrun Ultra Roads and we’ve been through a lot together: training for Boston, attempting a marathon with the stomach flu and some of my fastest long runs.
Here is our full review of the GOrun Ultra Road (GRUR).
Meaghan: I’ll start with the knit upper, because… it’s the best. There is one substantial difference between the GRUR knit upper and the knit upper of other shoes I’ve tried (Nike Flyknit, Adidas Ultra Boost). The GRUR upper doesn’t violate your feet. It’s roomy. It’s a stiffer woven upper that offers ample room for your toes to spread out, both outward and upward. It provides the breathability of a typical woven upper with an added level of comfort. There aren’t any unnecessary overlays, but the knit is woven tighter in areas that require support. There’s a nice amount of cushioning around the collar and heel and the flat lacing system provides a secure fit. The midsole is a nice balance of soft cushioning with a responsive ride. It’s a much different feel underfoot than any other model from the GOrun line. The foam material feels firmer and dense. It seems to spring the foot forward. The outsole is structured with rubber pods under the forefoot and heel for traction and durability. I’ve probably put a couple hundred miles on the first two pairs (the most recent ones will get there soon) and they’ve held up extremely well.
Thomas: My first run in the GOrun Ultra Road was a hot one around 85º. I was running around a Quarry that had no shade and a long uphill section with steep elevation that lasts about three-quarters of a mile that I repeated four times. This usually sets up a shoe for a bad first impression. The run was taxing, but I was impressed with the shoes. These are a heavily cushioned trainer. The Ultra Road is stable while providing a soft landing. The midsole gives a little on impact, settles then becomes firm enough to keep the forward momentum. Unlike the GOrun Ultra, the GRUR is easier to keep a faster pace. I attribute that to a slightly less squishy midsole. Another feature that adds to the durability and quicker feel is the rubber pods on the outsole. They give the shoe a more grip during take-off. I am a big fan of the woven upper. The GRUR’s upper fits my foot better than any other Skechers shoe. They should convert all of their performance line to this treatment. I ran several hot runs and the mesh breathes well. Cleary it functions well, but the bonus is that the shoe looks pretty radical. This is the best looking Skechers running shoe since the original GOrun Speed (GOmeb) you know the one I am talking about, red in the front yellow in the back. Anyhow, the GOrun Ultra Road looks great. I don’t think those words have ever come out of my mouth when referring to Skechers. The GRUR also have shark teeth in the midsole. How can you beat a shoe that has shark teeth?
Meaghan: This is a whole lotta shoe, so it’s hard to get upset about weight. That being said, I’ve been spoiled by lightweight max-cushioned shoes (cough, HOKA Clifton, cough) so 8.2 oz seems a litttttle on the heavy side.
Thomas: Weight. The GOrun Ultra Road for a size 10.5 weigh in at 11.60 oz. For this much awesome ride, you are thinking that’s not that much, but if you are comparing the GRUR to the Hoka Clifton 2, the GRUR weighs almost 2 oz more. I really noticed the weight on longer runs when my legs started to get tired. On the positive side, this could make a good training tool by switching to a lighter shoe on race day. The only other knock I have is that the GRUR toe can get a little sloppy on tight turns. To be specific, my footing was not inspiring confidence when I was pitching downhill and taking a turn or when I would plant the toe to pivot into a turn.
Meaghan: The Skechers GOrun Ultra Road has a special place in my heart. This shoe helped me get to Boston and made it with me through 14 tortious miles of the Charleston marathon with the stomach flu. I love how the shoe looks and performs. It works for all distances and despite its larger build, it doesn’t slow you down. At all. Some of my fastest training runs (20+ miles) were in this shoe. I personally think the GRUR is one of the best shoes you can own for both marathon training and race day.
Thomas: This is a superb shoe for a soft ride. Whether you are running 3 milers or 300 milers the Skechers GOrun Ultra Road will get you there in comfort. Looking down at the shoes while you run, you will like what you see. The GRUR looks fast and the woven upper is slick. I would recommend the GOrun Ultra Road to anyone looking for a max cushion shoe. When making your choice I would compare the GRUR to Hoka Bondi 4. Try them both on and see which you prefer. For me, it would be a tough choice. Skechers nailed it with the shoe on its first release. I would like to see the shoe lose some weight on the next round, but overall this is a great shoe.
You can purchase a pair of Skechers GOrun Ultra Road here.
We interviewed Skechers 3 years ago and think it is time to revisit with Kurt Stockbridge, Vice President Performance Division Technical Development.
BITR: It has been 3 years since our first interview, what are your thoughts on how things have progressed for Skechers Performance?
Kurt: It’s going very well. We continue to focus on making a great running product, and momentum continues to grow.
BITR: How does your team decide what type of shoe to add to the lineup?
Kurt: Very simply, we look for opportunities where we can make a positive impact for runners. Believe it or not, I think our best decisions come from emotion or passion, as the original GO run did. We look at what’s in the market and pick our spots based on where we feel we can do even better. Our team gets fired up for these challenges and this is why we love what we do and are successful.
BITR: Any new projects coming up you would like to share?
Kurt: Not that I can share, but nice try, Thomas. Let’s just say that we’ll continue to expand our running line based on what runners tell us they’d like to see from us. The goal is to establish clear product silos with multiple offerings in each so that runners have many options to choose from based on their needs.
BITR: With so many runners adopting Skechers as a real option for running, do you still feel it is a challenge to get runners in the brand?
Kurt: Running is a challenging market to break into, but it keeps getting easier as we build awareness. However, it’s that challenge to prove ourselves that keeps us hungry and focused on making the very best running product possible. This motivating factor is one thing that continues to drive our success.
BITR: What is the best decision your team has made in the past 3 years?
Kurt: I think the expansion of our product line, our growing list of event sponsorships such as the Chevron Houston Marathon, as well as our expanding roster of athletes like Kara Goucher have all helped fueled the fire. They all indicate our commitment to the running community, which is making our brand and footwear more accessible.