Shoe Reviews

Skechers GOrun 4 Review

Skechers GOrun 4

The Good

Thomas: Best GOrun yet, period. End of review. That would be too easy, but it is the best GOrun yet. It feels light at 8.6 oz. for a size 10.5, however the GOrun 3 weighed only 7.6. This would normally be a big negative. Lighter is better, right?! GR4 still disappears on your foot during the run. The gait of the shoe is smoother and the “M-strike” bump finally seems to be tamed. The heal of the the GR4 is slightly wider adding stability to the shoe. The ride of the GORun 4 just seems more stable than it’s predecessors. The cushioning is so dialed in, soft enough for comfort, firm enough for speed. The upper feels sock like and breathable. The structural overlays are welded on for a nearly-seamless construction. Without a doubt one of the top 5 shoes I have reviewed in 2014.

Meaghan: There is a special place in my heart for the GOrun 3; it holds my marathon PR in Charleston. With that said, the GOrun 4 is a pretty fantastic update.  The woven mesh upper is structured with a few stitched and welded overlays. The overlays add some nice support to an upper that is otherwise super flexible. It fits my (wide) foot perfectly. Skechers added some padding to the tongue, which helps keep it in place. They kept a similar lacing, but added a very unique feature: the Quickfit portal. Basically, they’ve cut a hole in the heel to help pull up the shoe and get out on the road faster.  To be honest, this didn’t do much for me. I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t find a huge need for it either. The outsole still contains a relatively soft landing, but it doesn’t feel sloppy. It’s just a nice, comfortable, well-cushioned shoe.

Jenny: Holy overhaul.  I wasn’t even sure I was looking at the same shoe–thank goodness the name was printed on the tongue or I’d have wondered…

Skechers went to TOWN on the GoRun4.  Super sassy new look with a fresh upper and revamped outsole.   The first thing I noticed was the houndstooth upper.  Who uses houndstooth print on a running shoe?!  SKECHERS…and I likey.  It works for them.   Pink and orange…they’re a yummy combo.  I know it’s beside the point but I don’t have many shoes (and I have a $hit-ton) that have orange in them, so these hold a special place in my heart.  

Moving onto the muy importante deets…the upper is like butter.  Seamless overlays have replaced previously stitched reinforcements and the upper just feels softer to the touch.  It’s almost fabric-like and not “meshy”–slightly forgiving but not messy.   There’s a small area of stitching on the midfoot but it’s much thinner than the GoRun 3 and virtually unnoticeable.   This version also seems to have a lot more reflectivity–something I look for with my predawn schedule.

Let’s get to the underfoot.  I’m a Kinvara (save the 4’s, because my not-so-fat-foot blew through them in 40 miles) LUH-hu-hu-ver.  Anything that can even come close to my beloved K’s is A-OK in my book.  The GoRun 4 felt really familiar and mimicked Powergrid cushioning used by Saucony.  They may have been a skosh softer but, man, are these a similar feel.  Because of exposed EVA on the outsole, these likely have a similar lifespan as the Kinvara 5 (which isn’t crazy high mileage).  There are a few reinforced lugs on the medial and lateral sides of the forefoot and a couple towards the heel but for the most part, it’s EVA baby (biggest contribution to it being so lightweight)!  The price point is the trade off.  Penny per mile, I believe they work out similarly.

I’m sure there will be mixed reviews about this added feature, but the GoRun 4 has a “Quick Fit” cutout on the back.  This allows for easy slip-on and surprisingly, I really dig it.  I don’t always untie my shoes when I take them off (stop…I know), so if I’m throwing them on quickly, this really helped me slide the heel up without crushing the integrity of it’s structure. 

Did I mention the laces?  Strangely enough, I really pay attention to laces.  I love em flat–I think they stay tied better and lay nicer.  These were not only flat but also a great length (48″) and I was even able to double knot them.

Stein: The GoRun 4 fits great, with a wide toe box that is super comfy. The upper is made of a thin stretchy material with transparent welded overlays around the front edge of the toe box that give it some structure. The rubber outer sole sports a great balance of flexibility/softness/structure/firmness. Every run feels fast (and is fast!) and it’s always easy to start grooving without thinking about foot issues; in other words the GR4 just seemed to disappear. The heel counter is near-perfect and my heel felt secure without having to over-tighten the laces. I did not use the QuickFit Portal to put the shoes on with my finger – but was unnoticeable regardless.  Slightly elastic laces easily tie tight and stay that way.

The Bad

Thomas: I don’t know if it is a southern California thing or just an ugly thing. The shoe looks good in motion, but is kinda crazy with it’s colors and 1980’s Patrick Nagel shattered geometric shapes. I dream about redesigning the way Skechers shoes look more than any other shoe brand. If they could get the look to match the feel of these shoes we would have a real winner. The shoes are a little wide in at the base of the throat, I get what is now standard in the Skechers line up for me, a pucker in the fabric of the shoe. It is also a look thing more than a performance thing.

Meaghan: I love the fit and stretch of the upper, but I think the mesh is a little too tightly woven in some areas. I could use some more breathability on the super warm days.

Jenny: These shoes STINK (or they did)…not from my feet are rotten but because of the materials used–like chemical-y.  When I opened the box with several pairs of shoes and left the room, there was a noticeable odor of, for lack of a better word, “plastic”.  It dissipated over time but it lasted several days.

I still say Skechers runs large.  Although, this round maybe not quite as much.  I ran in the 7.5 and it was every-so-slightly short but the 8 probably would’ve been a little large.  Guess I’m just a 7.75 in this brand.  I did read that the sockliner is removable, something I didn’t try–that would definitely have given me the extra needed length.

Stein: Not much bad for the GR4. I’m not totally sold on the high-contrast orange/blue color scheme but they are flashy and fun. On longer runs I have a tendency to heel-strike a bit and the soft heel area of the sole seems particularly susceptible to wear.

GOrun

Conclusion

Thomas: This is a great shoe. If you aren’t over the “Skechers” thing yet, you are missing out. Some shoes beg to be picked for a morning run. The GOrun 4 is that shoe. It promises smooth fast miles in comfort and it delivers. I highly recommend this shoe for anybody that runs and has feet.

Meaghan: While it seems like a complete overhaul of the shoe – Skechers hasn’t taken away from the heart of this shoe. It’s still a fantastic daily trainer that works for all kinds of miles: short, long, fast or slow. At 6.25 oz for a women’s size 7, you really can’t ask for a more perfectly-cushioned, lightweight option. This shoe will definitely be in my rotation all winter. Who knows, maybe I’ll even take them back to Charleston with me in January.

Jenny: Altho, my all-time faves are still Kinvaras, these are a ridiculously close second.  I have already rotated these into the mix voluntarily…not just for the sake of review.  I think Skechers did a phenomenal job on the updates and am excited to throw on some new Meb’s now…

Stein: The GR4 is a great shoe. Light, flexible and responsive. I have the GoRun4 in my shoe rotation now and would feel confident racing them at any distance.

16 Comments

  1. Great review! I was on the fence about the GR4, compared to the GR3, which I love. Now I feel I can go forward with the GR4! Just one question. When are they being released? Thanks!

  2. I am back racing in Brooks after a brief love affair with Sketchers and from the comment on heel ware I doubt that I will move back, which is such a shame.
    I have my favorite GoRun3’s in my training rotation but moved away after trying GoRunUltra, which was a fantastic shoe, but had to be retired after just 242 km. due to excessive heel ware.

  3. So it took Skechers 3 iterations to go from something unique (the original Go Run) to an almost perfect clone of the Kinvara. So much for the diversity in running shoes…
    Sorry about being cynical, but I loved the variety in shoes there was a few years ago. It looks like alle the shoes nowadays are becoming similar. Similar in weight, width, cushioning, ride. I think I miss the minimalism trend.

    1. Jenny felt it was similar to the Kinvara, I think it is closer to a mix between the Altra One 2 and the Kinvara. It isn’t a clone, but we try to give a reference for where the shoes fall into the mix.

  4. Great review. Looking for something new to mix with the standard Kinvara’s for my shoe rotation. Thanks.

    By the way, Jenny J’s writing/review style is amazing.

  5. Thomas, you’ve encapsulated everything I’ve ever thought about the Skechers Performance Go Run # series… great performer, ugly as sin. The Go Run 4 is a Monet – looks great from afar, but up close she’s a mess!

  6. “So it took Skechers 3 iterations to go from something unique (the original Go Run) to an almost perfect clone of the Kinvara. So much for the diversity in running shoes…”

    Well said, Rudy.
    Well said.
    I purchased 7 pairs of the original GoRuns. Loved them! After trying the GoRun 3s, I abandoned Skechers and moved on to the Altra One Squared.
    I’m sad to see such a great designed compromised into mediocrity.

  7. i was a big believer in the GR4 initially and even purchased a second pair but after a 21 miler in cold conditions i experienced the first problem with my achilles in my 40 years of running. in fact, both achilles are trashed and i have missed 2 scheduled marathons and am a recovery mode of RT tape usage. i am blaming the achilles tab and “Quick Fit” hole. the tab is fits too high and pinched my achilles on the sides. also, the hole caused the tab to collapse onto the achilles pinching it from above as well. finally, the hole allowed the extreme cold to stiffen the achilles and become more sensitized to the pinching of the tab. in conclusion, i cut into the tab on both shoes attempting to correct the situation (discovering one of the shoes had NO padding at all above the cutout) but not successfully. i have thrown the shoes out and continue to use the other Skechers. totally bummed as the shoes ran well and except for the tab would have been an excellant trainer.

  8. This is my favorite running shoe ever, tired with the 1st generation GoRun Ultras. Incredibly cushioned yet extremely responsive, light and flexible. I keep waiting for the cushion to break down so I can replace them but haven’t needed to. So far, the outsole is holding up well. The design isn’t the best and for whatever reason Sketchers continues to hire what appears to be former Lisa Frank designers for creating these hideous patterns but I can’t complain when I can get these shoes for cheap on the internet and enjoy the best running experience possible.

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