Friday, August 02, 2013

Review : Skechers GoTrail Last Hurrah

I ran Bukit Kiara alone last Saturday. Nothing special about it other than I have maximum of an hour or 60minutes to make the full use of my workout. Running trail is a perfect way to teach the body to reacts to changes in surface condition and strengthen the core. I ran bare-torso that day as I forgotten to bring a change of clothes and only a towel. The run was also to mark the Skechers GoTrail last run from competitive races and thus, will now onwards be used as a training shoe.
Just me and you (and the shorts, and camera of course) on Saturday July 27, 2013.
I've clocked about 155miles or close to 250km with this shoe in competitive condition with the most demanding races on the Hash Challenge and the Sabah Adventure Challenge. Both were long distance trail races where the shoe were exposed to what the jungle/forest/trail in Malaysia could throw at. Bearing in mind of these conditions that the shoe was placed through:

  • raw trails during Hash Challenge and Sabah Adventure Challenge including immersion in river/water throughout the day
  • crusher runs for at least 10km during Sabah Adventure Challenge under hot sun placed the shoe sole to extreme condition
  • Used for cycling league of Xterra Malaysia and subsequent open rough sandy route of the Xterra run.
  • Various hard run in different trails in Klang Valley. 
  • Tested on tarmac as part of the run to check for "hybrid-ability" as some trail races includes portion of tarmac area.
While most of us does have our favourite trail shoes and some of us swear by certain outdoor brand, the point noted in this extended review is really based on my own personal experience and usage. No doubt the shoe can still take another (max) 150km, just that certain condition of the shoe, perhaps due to abuse made me "retire" this for competitive use.

The Going Out Review
I first wrote about GoTrail in March 6, 2013. I received the shoe late February and It changed my thoughts of a lightweight trail shoe with super flexible sole to be used for outdoor purposes. I was used to very structured heavy sole trail shoes and I still swore by one of them till today. The opportunity with Skechers came and I had the chance to put them through their paces. I thought it will be a tough switch. Going from 10++mm drops to 4mm drop. That is like going from platform shoes to barefoot.

Coming fresh from reviewing a similar minimalist trail shoe by another manufacturer, it was obvious that the benchmark of that shoe were used when I reviewed GoTrail

To recap, I was impressed with the lightness, the traction and the quick drying property of the GoTrail. No shoe I've worn, even the known technical trail shoes by a certain manufacturer provided me such comfort and surety when compared to GoTrail. 
The shoe in February/March 2013. Brand new.

I have been notorious for wearing out shoes faster than I can buy or receive them. I blame it on the high mileage run training I put myself through and this GoTrail is the second shoe from Skechers that I am retiring (After GoBionic). Consider my review of these shoe an accelerated review of how it will serve you for a year or two. Till Saturday, the GoTrail, apart from cosmetic damages and the collapsed heel (the cup at the heel), performed as expected like from Day 5 (because that was when I first hit a sharp rock that bruised my little toes).
Held the camera near-butt level and took a few action photos. This one turned up well!
The short 6.5km run was completed in 45minutes and in my book, a very SOP Bukit Kiara run - Hard on the uphill section and Harder on the downhill - both had the assurance of the ResaGrip providing all the traction and the change in direction confidently. I ran without socks that day - much like how I wear them on every other outing. Keeping things really minimal helps to make the run faster. 
Bare torso run. 
Wrapping It Up
From the 5 months of using over 250km, these are some of the points that I believe will help the team to improve for future model (GoTrail2?) and also to show the actual condition of the shoe after the races and run. 
  • The shoe's Agion silver treatment did not last as long as i hoped for. The shoe started to smell after about 150km most likely due to extended immersion in water body during the few earlier races. I had to rinse/soak the shoes in the water after each run. 
  • The heel collar could use some structure. This is a want and don't want if you ask me. I love the softness of the heel collar, but it sort of turned softer after 150km. TO be honest, I am not sure to classify this as a pro or con as despite the condition, it did not effect how the shoe fits. It is just one of those Obsessive Compulsive Disorder thingy I have to have things in order, maybe.
  • The neoprene material on the front of the shoe could use some thicker/revised material. I remember kicking hard, twice on stones and tripping a few times on branches and it could had contributed to the small wear/tear as per photo below. 
    But it is still functional. 

  • Perhaps a removable liner? This could had helped control the smell with a washable removable liner
  • Despite all that, the ResaGrip sole impressed me most. The lugs were still soft and supple despite having a few section shave/cut off due to sharp edges. It still holds traction really well and the footing were good. For this reason alone, this shoe will be used for training purposes only from now onwards.

  • Durable Sole
    More photos
    I know we all love photos, here are more from the Hash that i helped to set up. The condition of the shoe can be seen closer.
    Immersed in Water
    Wet, and sexy
    ResaGrip sole still performing as it should
    Fitting is still near perfect despite the cosmetic damages
    For The Win!
    Will I Buy This Again.
    I've found the shoe that fits and suit my trail running style. Yes. I will buy this for my own personal use once I am not part of Skechers collaboration again.

    Note: This pair of Skechers GoTrail is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair of GoTrail retail for RM399 and is available at all Skechers store.


    1. i am willing to pay only 30 sen / km on shoes, 50 sen is a bit on the high side... the only way i can get ROI is if i use it slightly longer than required

      1. P5 - many other trail shoe doesn't last this long and stay this light. I guess we can't win all the time. But having said that, this shoe is not retired fully yet. It is still being used as a training shoe - which I am hammering about 10km of trail/week. :)

    2. I've gone through all the GoTrail review post and this got me really excited. I have been running road for 4 years and transitioning to trail this year. Thanks for the reviews.