Yesterday, I had my first opportunity to go for a spin in the recently released Skechers GORun 2. While it will be be another week or so before I get 50 miles or so in them, I thought I'd share my initial thoughts. It was a great day to give them a proper tussle as I was in line for a 2-a-day speedwork/threshold day, so I'll talk about the two runs separately. But first - the shoes:
My practice generally is to put new shoes on, dink with the lacing, and wear them around the house for a little bit to bond with the shoe. One thing was noticeable right away - the midfoot bulge. Admittedly, this was the exact thing that turned me off from the Go Run 2's older sibling, but I had read & seen enough to know that most have agreed that the bulge is not awesome for walking, but is decent, if not nice, for running. I reserved my judgement, and boy I'm glad I did. If I hadn't, I would've missed out on one of the most fun days of running I've had in a while. (special thanks to Pete L. at Runblogger.com for providing these shoes - they were provided free of charge as media samples directly from the manufacturer)
As a regular Newton wearer, I know that shoes built for running don't always cut it for other uses. I also am aware that some shoes are designed for a particular kind of footstrike, and the Go Run 2, in my opinion, would fall into that category. So, admittedly, me being picky about the midfoot bulge is a little hypocritical - I'll own that. Here are the parameters of my AM workout:
1 mile at 7" 6 X 2" intervals with 2" of rest between. Intervals were at 9 mph and rest was at 7.5 mph. Finished with 1 mile at 7:15" with some light jogging to cool down. 5.7 total miles in.
Almost immediately I noticed that the heel cup and collar around the ankle was lower than I was used to (more on that it a bit), so it felt almost like a racing flat. As reported, the midfoot bulge was completely a non-issue almost immediately, and I felt fast. This particular workout is a 'go-to' speed workout for me, so I've done it in my Saucony Mirages, Newton Distance, and now the Go Run 2, and if I had to describe the things felt, I would say it was one of the most liberating runs I've had in a while. With Newton's lugs, you have to constantly be aware of your form and footstrike. Believe me, there are times that connecting with your body during a run is essential, but it was nice to have the technology of a shoe not feel so 'bossy'. The Go Run 2 felt light, super responsive, and having long and narrow feet, the upper had plenty of room up front for my feet to do what ever they wanted to.
PM Workout: 7.3 mile steady state/threshold run done at a 7:50/mile pace.
If liberation was the theme in the morning, the citizens in the Go Run 2 were lining up behind John Hancock to sign the Declaration of Independence at night. It was cold out with a steady 15 WNW headwind, but all I could think about is how much fun the run was. My dailymile reflection used the term 'buttery' to refer to the performance of the shoe. Again, everything just felt fast. The shoe grabbed the road nicely and for as messy as the Newtons can be on corners, the Go Run 2 was the opposite. I made sure to try to accelerate at every opportunity - paying special attention to spots where I would've slowed in the Newtons, and the Go Run 2 didn't disappoint.
Under foot, the Go Run 2 offered a nice mix of protection and cushion, but at all times I felt that I was in control of the run. I did start to develop a hot spot on the outside of my left big toe, but that was due to a seam in my sock, and not from the toebox crowding my foot. Remember that lower profile ankle collar I spoke of? Here's where it was an issue. At about mile 4, I actually felt like I was starting to run out of the shoe. If I had one criticism about the fit of the shoe, it would be a better, more sock-like fit around the ankle. I wouldn't have wanted to lace them any tighter.
When I pulled into the driveway after my 13th mile of the day, I felt satisfied. The only other discomfort that I felt was due to me and not the shoes. My AM speedwork was on an indoor track (20 laps = 1 mile) and the sharp turning at a 7" pace really took its toll. I'll take a couple days off before the weekend - I'm planning a 19 miler on Saturday and a 6-8 mile recovery on Sunday.
Overall, so far so good. Not a bossy shoe, but I'll have to do a much longer run to really be able to sign off for sure. However, this is an unexpectedly capable shoe and at the Skechers price point of $80, it would be hard to not mix this shoe into the rotation. At a 4mm offset, plenty of ground feel with just enough protection, I have definitely fallen in 'like' with this shoe.