An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Skechers Go Run All-Season

Skechers Go Run Ride All-Season
When the Skechers Go Run first came out in late 2011, I was very impressed with them. Those impressions led to a relationship with Skechers as a wear tester for models under development. They've had some very good things in the works, and I'm eager to tell you all about them. In time... I'm constrained by non-disclosures to keep things under wraps until the company gives the nod.

Last May, I was sent a pair of the Go Run with a new All-season upper. I was instructed to put them through the paces, and report back...

My first run in them was a bit of a failure -- NOT a failure of the shoes, but a failure of my preparation and better judgement. First, I had forgotten to bring an extra pair of socks with me to wear after my lunchtime run. So instead of going without socks after the run (not a problem, really), I opted to go without socks on a run with new shoes... As many readers will know, I'm not always known for making the most long-sighted decisions.

Sure, I used to run sans socks ALL THE TIME... back in college. And even a few years ago I did all my running sockless. But that was several years ago (and in the case of college, MANY years ago), and my feet have grown accustomed to wearing socks inside my shoes.

So about 3 miles into a run where I was LOOKING for wet things to run through, I started to develop a blister. Two, in fact. But I can't blame the shoes! They held up against every attempt I made to soak them via puddles and tall, wet grass. And the blisters were in places where I've had them before on sockless runs with virtually any shoe. Nothing wrong with the design of these shoes.

And that was about the time the local weather started going into summer mode. "Dry". Or at least raining less, enough less that I wasn't running in the rain. Hmm... Okay, gotta put the real testing of these shoes on hold.

So a few months pass, September rolls on by, and about mid October the weather gets Pacific NW seasonal again, meaning rain. I've had plenty of opportunity to put the All-season aspect of these shoes to the test in the last couple months, and I'm happy to report that this material does live up to the claims: water stays out. Not only that, but after so many muddy and wet runs, they still look as new as they day they arrived at my door.

The upper material is stiffer than the original Go Run, and it makes a little "pop" noise as the material creases and straightens over the toe area. This also makes the toe box seem a little narrower, but not so much that it causes issues.

In every other way, these shoes mimic all the things I like about the original Go Run -- smooth transition from forefoot strike to mid-stance to toe-off, no rearfoot structure to force the foot to do things it doesn't want to do, and flat inside to let the foot do the work (and get stronger in the process). As with the original Go Run, they feel utterly goofy when walking, but these shoes aren't made for walking (yeah, they're called the Go RUN for a reason, eh?). Once running, that goofy feeling disappears.

On the Skechers website, the All-season upper is offered on the Go Run Ride, which is a slightly more beefed-up version of the Go Run, with slightly less rocker to the midsole, but all the other good aspects of the Go Run.

Would I have these as my only shoe choice? Maybe if I lived in an area that rained 12 months of the year. In warm and dry weather they are a little hotter on the feet. But for rain and winter weather, these are the ones I reach for. And it does that a little bit in the Pacific NW.

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