Skechers GORun Speed

GRSThe Huh GOWhat Huh?

Dude, you are NOT writing a review on Skechers!  You are NOT!

Yes I are, and you’re gonna like it.

I haven’t written a shoe review in a while, so if my spelling is off, or if my grammar or sentence structure doesn’t meet the DSM-V standards, well then I do humbly apologize.

I know, I know.  Skechers are those shoes that the next door neighbor kid wears when he’s dropping his skate board onto the rear bumper of your LL Bean Subaru or some shit.  Or that shoe that your mother-in-law wears because she thinks they are going to make her more fitter or more shaped up or something.  I would’ve never, ever thought that Skechers would make (at the very least) decent running shoes and even if they did there was NO way that I’d ever be seen wearing them in public because I’m that kind of a dick.  There ain’t no way that Skechers are gonna make legit running shoes.  Ain’t no way.  Well, well, well, guess what?  Your mom’s legit.  And so is the Skechers GORun line.  It’s the real deal.

The fine folk at Skechers hooked me up with various pair within the GORun line, and I’m not afraid to admit that each of them is now in regular rotation.  Some more so than others.  Maybe you’ll remember but probably not that I have this silly superstition that I don’t like to run in the same shoe on consecutive days.  I just don’t.  Also, I won’t run in the rain.  I mean, I will, but only if I’m already out on a run when it starts to come down.  I won’t step out of a dry house into a rain to go run.  I don’t know why, shutup!  I’m weird like that.

But on occasion and when I find a shoe that I reallyreallyreally like, I’ll wear it over and over and over, sometimes for nearly a whole week and then when I decide that maybe I should wear one of the other, I don’t know, 32 pair I have in the closet, I feel kinda guilty for leaving the new pair at home and I have to promise them that I’ll buy them a yogurt after we do a slow ride through the neighborhood or some shit so we can still be cool.  A couple of the shoes that Josh and Kurt over there at Skechers sent me have been seen on my feet so often that I’m probably gonna hafta do a Facebook relationship update or something.

I’ll write about the GORun 2 (GR2 if you’re nasty) in the future, but for now I’m gonna deliver the goods on the GORun Speed, which is the race flat, and which you’ve seen on the feet of the best American marathoner of the last decade, Meb Keflezighi.  (Don’t try to argue that point, just don’t.  Olympic medal and WMM win trumps PR.)  The GRS are gonna be hard to find, since they’re in limited production, but they’re one of the best race flats I’ve ever seen, nomesane?  They will remind you of the old FILA racer from back in the day, the one that had the carbon fiber plate and that all sorts of Kenyans wore back when FILA made running shoes.  Those FILA were maybe the best I’ve ever seen, and the GRS are pretty much right there with them.

I like my shoes with a firm ride.  I mean, like, firm.  Firm like almost hard.  A firm midsole makes me feel fast and since I’m not, that’s a huge thing.  And something tells me that firm is better for the body.  I don’t know why.  It’s intuition.  I just don’t think marshmallowy is good for you, running shoe-wise.  It’s like soft mattresses.  Like firm mattresses.  When you sleep on a firm mattress, you get in bed thinking I don’t know, it’s kinda firm but then you wake up and turn on the NPR and Israelis and Palestinians are making out and throwing keg parties together.  And when you sleep on the marshmallowy mattress you go to sleep thinking that you’re all luxury and royalty and shit and then when you wake up your back hurts like somebody drove the fucking space shuttle directly into your spine.  There was that Robbins and Waked study in 1997, the one with the gymnasts and soft vs firm landing surfaces and all, but I don’t care about studies.

The GRS are firm.  Firm and responsive.  And by firm I mean that holyshitthesearefirm!  They’re almost Adios 2 firm, for a more contemporary reference point.  And so when I put them on for the first time, I got the happy chills and there was a rainbow inside my house and my younger kid slept through the night.  Shit was right on.  I immediately sent an email to Kurt and Josh and Pete over at Runblogger.com and told them I’d found the holy grail of running shoes and that I was so excited that we (the GRS and me, we) were gonna run away together and start a commune on an island at altitude with endless rolling dirt roads and a 400 meter dirt track (baller!), massage and chiropractic were free and everyone would cook organic food for each other and we ran in kilometers because the math is easier and nobody wore fucking GPS watches or took gels.

Not everyone likes a firm shoe, and I get that, so they’re definitely not the shoes for everyone.  And they’re pretty narrow in fit, so if you’re Flinstonian in foot shape then these won’t work either.  The plus side of the upper is that once you strap it on, it pretty much disappears on your foot.  It’s supposed to, so that’s a good thing.  I’ve got a relatively narrow, flat, flexible foot and have had no issues yet, though I haven’t done two hour runs in them, and that’s kind of the test I think.  Also, I don’t like my shoes tied particularly snug, with a little bit of play in the laces–just enough to hold them on my foot.  And since we’ve had really nice spring weather until now, I’ve been running in them sockless, which is a good way to tell if a shoe fits well because if it doesn’t you’ll get maha blisters and bleed all over your new shoes and have to walk home.  So far, so awesome.

I’m not big on technologies and such.  The fewer, the better, inmyveryhumbleopinion.  Most “technologies” we find in running shoes really only do a couple of things:  1.) Give the marketing teams something to spooge over and to 2.) completely fuck up the performance of the shoe.  But I’m speaking in general terms.  There are some technologies that are pretty legit–the Adios 2 have a lot of stuff in it, and it is one of the best shoes available, period–but most of them are really just silly.  The GRS are pretty tech-free, which is cool, and the one thing they do have in there really seems to work.  A carbon fiber plate in the midfoot of the midsole adds some responsiveness to the ride without feeling obtrusive.

The Skechers people tell me the midsole has a 4 mm offset, if you care about those things.  I really only notice lower offsets when I get tired, later in the run.  I don’t bang my heel as much and feel like I’m just a little cleaner, mechanically speaking.  I don’t know the science behind all that, but I know what works.  For people who race, there are probably few shoes better; and for people working on their mechanics, the GRS could be a great tool to help focus on running tall, light and relaxed.

When I find a shoe that I reallyreallyreally like–and I reallyreallyREALLY like the GRS–I want the company to build an entire line of shoes around that one.  Kinda like what Mizuno did way back when with the Wave Rider, except different.  With the GRS, we could make a shoe with a little more room in the upper, broaden the midsole a bit, maybe make it one notch softer, with a couple millimeters more foam, and you’d have the greatest training shoe in the history of running shoes.  It’s part of my commune idea:  Everyone is running in a couple variations of a few different models of the best shoes and no one gets injured and we don’t wear socks.

If you can find them, and if they fit your foot, and you like a flat with a high firmnessicity, the GRS will make you change your political and/or religious views.  They’re the real deal.  You’ll run fast.  So fast.  And you’ll solve the Middle East conflict and live on an island.  It’ll be awesome.

4 responses to “Skechers GORun Speed

  1. Ditto that. John, you’re a unique talent – how can anyone write so cool a piece about something as banale and uninteresting as a sneaker? Brilliant. Chapeau, m’sieur.

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