Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Skechers GoRun3 Unboxing

YES. You read this right. The 3rd generation of the GoRun series and this came as a surprise to me when Team Principal of 2ndSkin called me up last Friday at 10am and told me to "get yourself to Skechers' HQ in Cheras, a container of shoes just came and a pair of GoRun3 has been delivered for you!".
My GoRun2 has clocked close to 220km and hardly half-way through. It was a good training shoe and offers just the right amount of cushioning without being too cushy and yet provide a good-ground feel. With the GoRun3 (GR3) just being released in conjunction with New York City (NYC) Marathon and worn by Meb last week. The one she wore is a limited (to 500 pairs worldwide) edition of GoRun3!
Can you imagine my excitement on (possibly) being the first experience the GR3? 
Unboxing The GoRun3
The GR3 came in the box similar to GoMeb or GoSpeed, and this perhaps is to be consistent with the association with Meb. I was told that this pair literally came out direct from the container and there was no local-centric marketing material in the box. 

Together with me was Nick Arthur, a runner with a blog here. He was there to collect the GR3 for himself and Jamie Pang (Malaysian RunBlogger) I was given a blue GoRun3 as the other color available was black - and the Marketing team knows I am all in for "bright" color. Thank you for the thoughts. I was surprised that the marketing has taken a new bold, more obvious step to promote the unique selling point (USP) of the GoRun series - a customisable insole that doesn't change the ride (4mm) heel drop.  the ability to go from 4mm to Zero-drop by just removing the insole. (apologies for the wrong info previously). With this approach, more will be aware of the potential of Skechers as the "intermediate transition" to help runner switch from traditional thick out-sole shoes to minimalist road-feel shoes. This will encourage transition from heel-striking to mid-foot landing/take off as well. 

Skechers Malaysia already know my sizing and from previous experience, it was spot on. I got a Size US11 and it fitted me the way it should. 
Happy with how it fits, I can't help but noticed the increased thickness of the sole, but yet maintaining the same 4mm drop (with insole). It definitely felt "taller", and that was confirmed by the marketing team as the main differences is the thicker Resalyte as the feedback from many runners pushed for a more profiled outsole.
I am of personal opinion that the GoRunRide series, with thicker, more cushioned ride will/should provide that. I will have to run with it to know how it will actually feel compared to GR2. I thank everyone and made y way back to the office (as contrary to popular believe, i do have a day job). Thank goodness for Motorbike, the whole journey to collect the GR3 from office to Skechers HQ and back did not take longer than my given 1-hour lunch break (which I took at 1.45pm that day).
Going back in the bike!
 Technology Details:
- Independent circular GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility and feedback for a more responsive running experience (standard)

- M-Strike Technology™ promotes a midfoot strike (standard)
- 7oz (US9) lightweight 
- Improved breathability and flexibility
Power-prene mesh for forefoot support and toe splay (new)
Custom Fit insole is removable for an even more minimal feel (standard, but now featured more prominently)

- Roomier Forefoot compared to GR2. Felt the slightly better "space"
- Resalyte™ Midsole - Proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact (standard)

- Progressive Flex midsole transitions from stable platform to forefoot flexibility (standard)

Nearly weightless synthetic and mesh fabric upper (New)
Nearly seamless flexible upper with lace up front (standard)

Flatlock stitching detail for seamless feel and lighter weight (standard)

Soft smooth fabric shoe lining for easy barefoot wear (standard) 
Blue with Lime streaks
First, let me try to bring/show some of you the changes or update compared to GR2. After all, this is a refresh/upgrade of the "GoRun" series.
Power-prene front and a hardier front toe protector
The Power-prene is the newest addition to the "next-generation" of Skechers GoRun shoes. Synthetic lightweight material that offers improved air-circulation and keeping the feet cooler. Somehow, with the Power-prene, the front felt more shaped compared to the fabric-centric build on GoRun2. The 4-way mesh is consistent with GoRun2, offering multiple movement ability while holding the feet as it moves.
Up-closer, Power-prene and the flatlock stiching. The 4-way mesh got a new update too
The next update is on the back of the shoe where the heel cup is more structured compared to the previous softer material. Essentially, nothing changed in terms of flexibility or pliability (and softness), it is just an addition of the plastic/synthetic like material giving it a bit more shape.
The more structured heel-cup
What this meant is that the heel cup would not go all the way down when you press/step on it, but to about 3/4 of the way. I do not have any issues previously with GoRun2 at the heel department and this update does not effect me in any way.
Pressing the heel down
If you noticed, the front of the GoRun3 is made using the same reinforcing material as the heel cup, which offers a more protective surface should you kick onto a road marker (typically in the middle of the road as reflectors).
Skechers maintained the design of the GoImpulse pods where it has been proven to provide traction and take off of the shoe. Mid-sole portion has not been changed and that meant it will not encourage stones/pebbles getting stuck during the run.

The sole
Closer look
I've received feedback that the GoRun2 (or the GoRun series) is not as hardy as it seems, notably with the sole appearing to wear out faster than it should. I agree to a certain extend but the wearing out of the pods has little or minimal effect on the shoe's performance. After using Skechers for the past 1 year, I can say that the wear-look is deceiving, as the Resalyte materials seems to hold up very well despite some (two to be accurate) of the shoes clocking in beyond 500km (additional 100km after I retired them, the GoBionic and GoTrail). I am monitoring these wear and tear on the shoes and noticed that it is not a matter of concern as long as the shoe is utilised as they should - for runs.
Those of you familiar with the GoRun series will noticed that the insole of the GoRun3 (like earlier explained) come separately packed with the shoe to highlight the "dual purpose" of the shoe. Do take note that (not seen in the photo below), the insole of GoRun3 is thicker than the GoRun2. 
4mm or Zero - choice is yours
straight to the point explanation

If you noticed in the photo below, even the tongue of the shoe got a fresh look. Instead of the thicker tongue, the GoRun3 comes with a thinner profile, thus lending better aeration and less sweat retention when you run sock-less. Also note the smooth interior that allows for sockless action. Hot-spots varies from people to people. I am keen to find out if the GoRun3 will provide a blister free ride. 
Zero Drop ready
Being spoilt by Skechers shoe lightweight-ness, I wasn't disappointed when this pair (claimed) to be 7oz or about 198grams for a US9 shoe (with insole). I got an US 11 and it weigh in at slightly above 200grams without the insole. This is consistent with the GoRun2 weigh in as well.
Just slightly over 200grams
The GoRun3 insole weight in(pair) at 40grams, which makes the shoe (per side) to be about 220grams for a US11 size.
with some margin for error lah
Looked like with the increased of material at the sole (thicker Resalyte) and more material at the heel and front (lending structure and abrasion-proofing) did not really put more weight on this edition. If any, the exclusion may just shave off a good 20 grams making it the lightest GoRun ever, rivalling the GoBionic.

More Photos
"S"kechers logo on the inner side of the shoe as well
Elevated/curved heel crash pad minimises the chances of heel strikes while promoting mid-foot landing
Close up of the interior. Skechers moved the size labelling to the side of the shoe and not under the tongue in this edition. Likely done due to the thinner tongue profile
Birthday Gift
In the past 11 months of being under Team 2ndSkin and collaboration with Skechers, last Friday was the very first time I went over to their HQ and see the team that has been more than supportive. 7 pairs of shoes in the past 11 months, all clocking no less than 350km, and retired 3 shoes already. This GR3 is pair number 8 from Skechers; and thank you for the Birthday present!

Next : Comparison with GoRun2 and Running Review

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