after being underwhelmed by the GOMeb Speed 3 i backed off on some of my expectations for the other '2015 gen' shoes from my friends at Skechers Performance Division. my impressions didn't initially change when i unboxed and tried on the latest iteration of the cornerstone GORun shoe, the GORun 4. it felt flat (what happened to my beloved M-Strike midfoot rocker?!?), a bit clunky and well-removed from the speedy feel of the GORun 3 to which i've shown much love on the roads.
alas, i'm not too proud of a person to recant.
having persevered in including the GORun 4s in my shoe rotation, i'm now happy to say that they are a staple in my key-workout arsenal. although they still feel flatter to me and the fact that i perceive some additional stiffness to the outsole thanks to the 'power pillar' configuration under the arch area, they've managed to produce the kind of 'pop' that does seem to translate into a quicker turnover and stride.
to pick them up they feel like a light and fast shoe as well. the official line on them is that they weigh in at 7.8 oz for a men's size 9, but my good ol' starfrit kitchen scale puts them in at just about the same weight for my men's size 10.
i'm surprised that these aren't floating above the scale
plus i love the colours - they just scream "lookout, comin' through!"
the neat little feature that probably draws the most attention on these shoes is the Quick-Fit portal located up by the heel tab area. it's a basic cut-out that allows for a quick-and-easy yanking on of the shoe by looping your finger through the gap - the initial impression is that it facilitates a quicker transition for all of those triathlete-types who want to minimize the time spent going from bike-to-run, but honestly it just feels cool to do it anytime that you're donning the shoe. it's well-constructed so there's no fear of ripping that sucker straight off and it seems to keep that tab area soft so there's no abrasion issues on the achilles (even for a guy with a honkin' huge achilles tendon repair scar).
now for a quick word on the GR4's sister shoe - the GORun Ride 4.
the "Ride" series from Skechers Performance has proven to be an incredibly versatile and excellent shoe. again, my initial thoughts before trying out the GORun Ride 3 was that these shoes would be a bit 'plush' for my liking. they looked bulkier and had enough stack height to make me think that this line was targeting the 'easy-going' runner.
boy, was i wrong.
this model is essentially the if-i-only-had-one-pair-to-take-with-me running shoe. it's light enough (at a listed 8.4 oz in men's 9s) to enable rapid turnover for tempo runs and intervals and it provides sufficient cushioning for long runs (i've tested it to 27 miles at a time). i'm also crazy about the fact that the GRR4s incorporate a super-breathable upper material (which feels like it is a close cousin to the FitKnit tech used in other Skechers shoes) that is soft to the touch and extremely comfortable as it conforms nicely with every footstrike.
so pretty and soft!
the Quick-Fit portal is also present on the GRR4 - and while i'm not sure that this presents itself as the same kind of sell-feature as it does on the GR4 (just because it doesn't seem to me to be a racing shoe) it's still adds a cool factor and helps with sliding into the shoe.
don't they just tempt you to stick a finger in there ...?
even looking at the tongue padding can differentiate the plushness
after all's said and done i'm happy to give both the GR4 and the GRR4 a solid 4.5 footprints on the rendezvoo scale.
and if you are inclined to watch me fumble a camera and two pairs of shoes at once (!) check out the video review here:
*** disclaimer: i was provided with the GORun 4 and GORun Ride 4 by Skechers Performance Division (Canada) but was not obligated to provide a positive review. all opinions - however poorly expressed - are my own.