Monday, September 23, 2013

Skechers GoBionic Trail Unboxing

Skechers Malaysia has been generous and arranged for a pair of brand new trail shoe model for me to try ahead of the launch in Malaysia. I previously written about GoTrail here and here and here. This pair of new trail shoe will replace the GoTrail.  Some of the shortcoming of the GoTrail were noted in my previous write ups. Most notably how the back of the shoe actually collapsed after about 200km of trail usage. While that was not expected, but I have came to the conclusion that the GoTrail advantage of being a light trail shoe has it's disadvantage in the "structure" department, which has contributed to the observed collapse. Do bear in mind this does not change the shoe's performance at all. For the record, the GoTrail is still in service (for training/spare) and now coming to 300km mileage. I brought this up and provide feedback to Skechers Malaysia and apparently they listened. So, somewhere about a month ago, I was informed that a replacement is coming and it has only been "launched" at selected (five to be exact) shops in USA!
The GoBionic Trail
The teaser with less than hi-res photo fishing for color choices
Taking the Minimalist approach and riding on the GoBionic platform, the new trail shoe is known as GoBionic Trail. At time of writing, I've clocked no less than 25km over the long weekend running exclusively using this GoBionic Trail. For purpose of breverity, lets all call it GBT.
US11 GoBionic Trail - In Orange. Click here for larger image
Immediately after the Men's Health/Shape Run (that Skechers was the sponsor), I was told by Ivan and Adeline, the good people in Skechers that my GBT is "in the sky and to land soon". It then happened two days later. I drove to the outlet at 1Utama to collect it. As the shoe requested is already "my size", there were no trying needed and I must say it was quite a gamble for me. 
What if it's too big? or Small?
Too late.
I was told that this unit was flew in specially for my advance testing. And my task was easy - use it. Sound like a good bargain if you ask me. I will be running in the trail anyway, so a new set of shoe would not hurt.
What we have here is a "refreshed" look of a minimalist trail shoe. GoTrail itself is a minimalist (4mm drop) and the GBT went one down to ZERO-drop capability. That is bare-foot minimal approach. Denoted by the 2-in-1 tag, the GBT comes with a removable liner to customise for a 4mm or 0mm ride. I say that is a good approach to act as both intermediate and bare-foot shoe.
Going Minimalist with their Marketing too. Keeping the icon to 4-features.

As I never had an-orange shoe, i thought this will fit right into my arsenal of tools for run. More so I have an Orange bike (TT- Orbea Ordu) and a matching Orange Helmet and Orange (Orbea) cycling Jersey and bibs. Vanity aside, I would say that this color is the new "yellow".
Nicely wrapped
As usual, the inner lid of the box has all the marketing and features explained. Going with the GoBionic concept, the out sole has a newly designed aggressive lugs that are multi-directional.
Looking good.
Here are the features, zoomed in. Self-explanatory. Will add comments where needed.
4mm and 0mm drop by just removing/adding the liner.
Custom Fit.

The original outsole of GoTrail known as GoImpulse is already aggressive enough and offer superb grip in Malaysian trail. I can't wait to see how this new multi-directional lugs will hold up.
ResaGrip - as seen on the GoTrail and other shoes.
NEW : StretchMesh - an upgrade from the neoprene like material.
NEW : WaterShed Mesh - promise to drain water quickly. Previous GoTrail was water resistance to a certain extend

Go Series are all M(idfoot) Strike shoes. Used and verified it helps and I have since grown to love the "bumps".

NEW : Rock Diffusion Plate. Lightweight and tested/proven to help minimise sharp/pressure point (when i ran in them)

NEW: The Aggressive Lugs that are Multi-directional claimed.

Carrying over the success of the GoBionic
In Images
The features above is nothing without supporting images and I know all of you are not expecting any less of this. Enjoy these purpose-captured images so you can relate to what you read above. 
The 2-in-1 custom fit insole/drop
One thing i noticed is that the insole for GBT is more aggressive. Likely to lend grip when this shoe is used in the terrain where extreme movement will happen.
Ribbed - for pleasure(?)
Next is the newly designed multi-directional ResaGrip. The design is simple and it does looked familiar, just I can't remember where I've seen it before. Skechers went with the logical "square" instead of "GoImpulse circle for this trail edition. I am expecting (and had experienced, yea, this is a spoiler to my full use review) better grip in the trail. Anything less would render this edition to be just about "look".
Widely spaced lugs ensure quick-self cleaning ability. No mud between the lugs = more grip
Upon close inspection and relating it to the other Skechers I have, the lugs looked like a copy of the GoBionic and GoBionic Ride!
Now I remember! GoBionic!
Having progress from the neoprene-like material of GoTrail, the 4-way mesh offered flexibility that are more structured. 
4-way StretchMesh up close
The side has been given a different profile where it claimed to be able to shed water faster and prevent a water-logged shoe (yes, I will verify this soon)
WaterShed Mesh on the side to the back
Some notable carry-over from the Go series are the sewn-tongue that allow for quick entry/exit and also prevent sand/gravel/stones from sneaking in from the tongue of the shoe. Though this doesn't stop these foreign-nuisance from infiltrating via the opening at the ankle.
Sewn-down tongue
The GoBionic lacing system were carried over with the round lace that allow for quick secure lacing as well. I've not found a reason to change it to my DIY stretch-lace since using GoBionic. 
Secure. Sure.
The notable improvement were at the back of the shoe where it is now more structured compared to the GoTrail. Like i said, the advantage of a soft-heel cup was also the Achilles heel of the GoTrail after 200km usage. This has been mitigated with a more structured heel-cup in the GBT.
Added reflective strips too!
Unseen in the GoTrail is reflective strips at the back and front of the shoe. Now, my OCD for these features are complete (I like reflective things, but that doesn't explain the shiny pants due to over-ironing).
Front of GBT. Rubberise toe-bump to protect the sensitive bits.
The GoTrail I've been using was US11 in size. So it would be interesting to see how the sizing actually matches up. I've gotten the GoTrail to be US11 as well. This said, the weight saving between GT ad GBT was about 10grams. I say that is rather impressive for a more structured shoe that includes a sock liner.

About 250gram or 8.8oz
This doesn't come up too different when compared to the bench marked US9 at 8.0oz or 226grams.
Lightweight indeed

Removing the sock liner, it reduces the GBT to a Zero-drop shoe and at the same time, reduces the weight by a further 10grams.
Lighter gets lighter-er

240grams now! 8.4oz
Seems the claim that US9 to be 8.0oz could be very true. That would put it on par with other minimalist that are lightweight.
Feature carried over from GoTrail
The GBT comes with build in Ortholite insole (build in as Zero-drop) that is breathable and inhibit odor. With Agion treatment, bacteria that causes foul smell are kept away from the shoe, longer. Do bear in mind that these treatment doesn't last forever especially with how the shoes is being used (by me).
More images
Golden Orange Hue

The "M" denoted Midfoot

Structured and more supportive - without the additional weight

Removable liner

Sewn-down tongue
I did a few video-review of the shoes when it was used during the 25km. As luck has it, the content has been wiped out when my laptop crashed. Anyhow, do expect refreshed video captured in Full HD using the JVC Adixxion XA1 in the blog soon.
Next : Full Review (but here is a spoiler taken with my other camera that I forgot to focus - damn!)

Note: This pair of Skechers GoBionic Trail is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair of GoBionic Trail retail for RM369 (Women) and RM399 (Men) and is available at all Skechers store from September 20, 2013 - 2 months ahead of the planned launch!


  1. Hi, thanks for the reviews. Do you have any experience with Salomon? could you pls provide brief comparison between Skechers gobionic trail & Salomon? thanks

    1. Hi!

      My only experience with Salomon was back about 11 years when I first taken part in adventure race. From my very limited experience and confirmed by friends using them back then, the Salomon has tight fit and very structured. Wider feet people like me will feel constricted.

      I have tested and owned trail specific shoes such as New Balance (the model no more in production, the issue with NB is continuity), Brooks Cascadia 5 (which was awesome. No experience with the other Cascadia such as 7 or 8, but I know 6 has much to improve on), The GoTrail, which till today still serves me as a training shoe and today, the newly added GoBionic Trail.

      I hope one day I will be able to pit Salomon Sense and GoBionic Trail - the price is very much different but I am comparing it against the weight factor to be fair.

    2. Hi, could you pls elaborate a little bit, what do u mean by Salomon shoes being "very structured"? Tq

    3. Hello again!

      Structured in the sense that it is harder/more supportive at the critical area like heel and arch. Can work for some that requires pronation control but demerital to those that are seeking a wider range of movement. If you ask me, structured shoe is good if you have pronation problem. Being structured also lend more weight to the shoe.

  2. Thank you for this review. I was surprised when I watch the video. I went and tried both Go Trail and Go Bionic Trail last night but was reluctant to get the GBT coz scared it might not have the kind of grip that I wanted. In comparison for both, the GT seems like it has a better grip and easier to bend. But this video definitely prove me wrong. I'll go through the GT reviews first and hope that I could then make my decisions. On another note, both the shoes are selling in Kota Kinabalu for RM379 retail price.

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