17 January 2014

road review - skechers GObionic trail

you may know by now that i'm a big fan of skechers performance footwear.  it started with the GObionic, then the GOrun 2.  upon recommendation to wear trail shoes for winter running here in the often tundra-like region of barrie, ontario, canada i took full advantage of a sale on amazon.com to avail myself of a pair of GObionic trail shoes.

i consulted my trustworthy facebook group of running shoe geeks with regard to sizing and the consensus came back to order the same size in these as i had in my current GObionics.  shoefitr had fed back to me a variety of sizes based on the shoes that i plugged into its calculation engine, and without a consistent result i wasn't 100% confident about sizing it based solely on its recommendations.  but i have to say that when the shoes first arrived, i thought that even the geeks had steered me wrong - the 9.5s that i ordered felt much too snug.  i was later to discover that that was because (a) there's a difference in fit of a trail vs. a road shoe and (b) the 4mm drop insole was much thicker than i needed it to be.  i was able to size the GObionic trail up properly with a simple swap of insoles (from my GOrun 2, which i wear without the insole anyway).

to date i've logged maybe 80km or so in these shoes - enough to give a review a whirl.  
  • fit - although initially confused by the feel of the shoe when i donned them, i quickly came to appreciate the cradling of the midfoot and the still more-than-sufficient roominess of the forefoot.  had i not traded insoles and decided to stick with a 4mm drop, i think that i may have been better served by taking a half-size larger in the gobionic trail than what i wear in the gobionic.
  • aesthetics - the orange and extremely luminescent yellow colourway is hot, baby!  decent reflective markers on the toecap and heel collar too - all meaning that in just about any light conditions you can see these bad boys coming!
  • weight - at just around 8 oz. this is definitely what i like in any kind of running shoe.  not heavy enough to interfere with the stride cycle - and i have other shoes that i can use if i want to include real hamstring work with each turnover.
  • customizable drop - as noted above, 4mm or 0mm are your options and both are doable with this shoe.  i still have preferences for no heel-to-toe differential, but didn't quite want to go insole-less with this pair.
  • outsole - i believe that for my purposes - currently winter running, and then moderate trail running in the spring/summer - the lug design is sufficiently aggressive and resilient.  i've read other reviews commenting that the durability of the resalyte compound is a little less-than-desired, but i won't really know until i hammer out some more miles in them.
  • upper construction - the materials feels decently airy without being so porous or thin that you can see right through them.  i understand that they also work well to filter out bits of debris, but are not reported to be conducive to be particularly weatherproof.  here i just have to say that i've tested these in up to 25cm of fresh, wet snow and did not have a soaker until i plunged my foot into a cleverly disguised pothole, full to the brim with sub-zero brine-water.  add to that my favourite skechers feature ever - the integrated tongue - and i don't think that i'll have a problem seeing the winter through in these.
  • laces - the only thing that i really don't like at the laces that comes with the gobionic series.  they just feel cheap - not to mention that i'm not a fan of round laces either.  after the insoles they were next to be changed, swapped out for oval laces (retrieved from my failed nike shox turbo oz experiment).
check out the video comments below!

given that these are now the frontrunner for my limberlost challenge race-day shoes, i'm giving the skechers GObionic trail a four-and-a-half feet rating.

try them out yourself and let me know what you think!


  1. Those look like great shoes- I wouldn't mind trying a pr of those out one of these days.

    1. as you can tell i highly recommend them erin! it certainly doesn't hurt that they're pretty much bargain-priced on amazon.com ...

    2. How do you order them from Amazon? I've tried entering in an order for the GoBionic 2 but they don't allow them to be shipped to Canada. Which is frustrating since they aren't available yet here either.

  2. I've been doing my winter running in New Balance Minimus Trails and they work well, but will probably need a new pair soon...might give these a shot.
    I've been sceptical on Skechers but have seen so many positive reviews on them lately that I'm tempted to try them out. I'm considering the GoRun's so will scour your blog to see if you reviewed yours...

    1. hey mike - you can read up on my GOrun 2 review here: http://rendezvoo.blogspot.ca/2013/08/skechers-gorun-2-road-review.html. i'm also toying with the idea of checking out the new balance mt 110, as they're also very inexpensive to come by and runblogger's poll listed them as the #2 trail running shoe of last year.

  3. Love the video! Now I can picture you when I read your blog. Great idea. I have never tried Sketchers but I may now give them a go when I need a new pair :)

    1. thanks for reading crystal! i'm surprised at how many people have not discovered how great the skechers performance division is - definitely worth a whirl!