Saturday, February 2, 2013

Skechers GObionic Review



What They Say:

Details:

·         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
·         Named 'Editor's Choice' by Runner's World UK - October 2012

Construction:
·         Ultra lightweight synthetic and mesh fabric upper
·         Lace up zero-drop barefoot-style running shoe
·         Stitching and overlay detail
·         Lace-up front
·         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 in a men's size 9


What I Say:

(Disclaimer: Media Sample) First some general observations of the Skechers minimalist offerings. I have put a good many miles in the Skechers GOrun to the GOrun Ride and now the GObionic. I mention them in that order because I believe there is a design continuum. The Skechers GOrun and GOrun Ride incorporate cushioning innovations to draw the runners attention to a mid foot plant. With the GOrun this is somewhat more pronounced than the GOrun Ride. This makes for an interesting run, but overall I think this design feature is a positive one. It first directs your attention to your midfoot, but does so in a subtle manner. Once out on the run the sensation seems to magically dissipate, still there as a reminder on form, but not so much as to distract from the run. I liked the feeling I being out in these shoes but was intrigued when my friends at Skechers let me know that the new Skecher GObionic would evolve from its predecessors and reduce the sensor technology. These shoes were designed with the renown world class marathoner Meb Keflezighi’s input.

The Skechers GObionic are an incredibly light shoe. Pulling them from the box I was immediately pleased with how they felt in my hand. Taking a walk in them around the house gave me confidence these would wear wonderfully over the long run.

The fit of the GObionic is very positive. They slide on comfortably and have just enough cushion to provide a bit of bounce but are not squishy. These are not minimalist in regard to sensing the pavement. Yes, they provide good flex to the terrain with each foot plant, but you wont be feeling each pebble or twig. They are zero drop so they promote a nice, even natural stride. And they also look great. But now to get them out on the road.

I have had these out on multiple runs, long and short. For weeks these were my go to shoes (more on that later) as I just loved the way they felt. My feet were cushioned for comfort but the platform was solid and flat enough to maintain an even foot plant. I never experienced any hot spots and the mesh upper provided wonderful breathability. And being so very light they wore well over the course of the long run.

(I now digress) Throughout last spring I was dealing with some ligament/meniscus pain in my left knee. This is an ongoing issue but had become worse as I ran out of the winter months. At that time I was training for a second attempt in June to finish my first 50 mile ultra. I was not messing around with caring for my knee and was spending less time enjoying my blog related shoe review rotation. But throughout those long training miles the GObionic was a constant companion. And come race day they carried me through many of the 50 miles I FINISHED! Thank you Go Bionic!!!

All of that is to return to my earlier comment about these “were my go to shoes.” I still return to the GObionic routinely. But I have been going through several motnhs where I am leaning more to minimalist offerings that have very little cushion. The shoes I now prefer offer most of the positives of the GObionic but with a bit less cushion and bounce. But I want to be clear this is just a preference for THIS runner. I am absolutely sold on the qualities of the Skechers GObionic. And they remain one of my top favorites for design and, well, just being a plain fun shoe to run in.

I have learned recently that there is a new design coming from Skechers, the GO Run Speed. I will provide some general details provided by Skechers below. But what most intrigues me is the sense that these shoes will share the qualities I love of the GObionic but have a more solid sole.

“The shoe weighs 6.9 oz…. is a 4mm drop and features a seamless construction.    The plate is made of Delrin from Dupont… light and highly resilient (an engineering grade TPU even used by the US Military in some of their tank suspension systems).    The forefoot is 14mm thick, heel 18mm… thick (high due to Meb’s personal preference).  The shoe is highly resilient, intentionally stiff with little slop…  built to go where you point it. “

I really look forward to checking out the “intentionally stiff with little slop” aspect of the GO Run Speed!

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