Monday, March 24, 2014

Skechers GoRunRide3 : Full Review

Virgin GRR3 Run
Been almost 3 weeks since the unboxing review was done here. The Skechers GoRunRide3 (GRR3) hasn't hit the market as this review was written, but it will be "soon". As I've mentioned in the first posting, this shoe is "different" from the usual GoRunRide series. It felt like a total revamp of the series and it has some good and not too good points. Read on for more.
The Fitting
I got the US10 sizing and tried the US11. A size up (11) was too large and a size down (US10) was "just nice". I removed the insole and it was better when it comes to the fitting. Having a shoe too big is as bad as a problem of having one that is too tight. Compromise was reached with me deciding not to run the GRR3 with (the removable) insole.
However, do not be fooled with the opinion above as the shoe has roomy toebox. My toes were able to spread out without any restriction. This was similar with my feel with the GoRunUltra (GRU) as i've reviewed them here, noting down the similarity when it comes to the fitting.
Super soft
First Feel
Wearing the GRR3 the first time for a short run to feel the bounce and the shoe's reaction to sudden change in direction. As this is the version of Skechers close to traditional trainers (aka cushioned running shoe), my intention was to feel for lateral flexing as I run and move to the left and right in sudden direction change. Think or imagine how a rugby player "side-step" as they run. Why this? Because running on road has it's hazard, like potholes and animal dropping. Also the need to move away from vehicles coming too close. I may not had written this before, but all shoes I been reviewing goes through the same test. I want/need to know and be confident I can get out of the line of fire safety. That said, the GRR3 passed with many steps to the side in flying colors.
Padded (very) tongue
The tongue of the GRR3 is very padded. It felt like I put a cushion on the top of my feet and then lacing it up. That made the top really comfy. My initial worry was it will be hot due to the padding, but as the mileage started to roll in, i did not feel any different from the GRR2 (NiteOwl) or the GR3.
Infact, I thought I was wearing a thicker GR3.
Awesome clear sky (3 weeks ago)
The GRR3 is a 4mm drop shoe. With or without the insole, it stays at 4mm. The heel felt thicker as with the mid and the front of the shoe. Living to it's name of a cushioned trainer, the bounce and cushioning gets addictive. However, despite being a 4mm drop shoe, the thicker sole made me feel as if my feet is moving to the front as I run. After almost 100km over the past weeks, it felt that way, but it depends on how snug you tie the laces and fit the shoe on your feet. As I am predictable, I've have the tendency to bunch up my toes (imagine gripping your hands into a knuckle) and tie my laces. That way, I know I will have space to move my toes without having the top of my feet being overly compressed by the laces (this is a tip ;-))
Thicker outsole
You would had noticed that the M-Strike of the Skechers shoe is very pronounce and with the back heel portion to be more curved (upwards) that other traditional trainer. This actually (again) promotes mid-foot landing for better running efficiency and injury prevention. Locking out your knees while running is bad for your running form (and knees ultimately).
Front crash pad different from the usual Skechers
Run - Without Insole
My run on GRR3 has only been based on sockless and insole-less. While it is different from how I've approached it previously, I do not see myself with either socks or insole when running with this GRR3. The inside of the shoe were smooth. The velvety insole made it nice to run without socks. No loose thread or protruding parts on the insole that will cause hotspot.
Lifting up the legs - working the hamstring
The GRR3 was completely different from what I experienced from GRR2 NiteOwl. The GRR3 were more streamlined and as light as a GoRun series. The cushioning were a bit lesser compared to GRR2, but more than a GR3. After running almost 30km in them, I swear I can't really tell the real differences between GR3 and GRR3 apart from the thicker insole. But perhaps, that was the biggest differences, and that was the reason for the GRR3 as a separate model. I guess I've answered my own question.
GoImpulse Pods
The GRR3 performed as I would had expected. Cushioned when it should be and agile when required. The famous lightweight-ness of Skechers shoes are something many shoe manufacturer will envy. At 100km, The GoImpulse pod showed some wear and tear, but nothing extraordinary to raise any alarm. 
Encourages mid-foot strike via M-Strike. Legit.
As many of you know, my running route is predictable. On some days, I have a mix of trails and road. And yes, the GRR3 was also put through the trails in Bukit Kiara. I would say it held up pretty well and the lateral movement (see why i tested it? because I wanted to have option to use them for hybrid running surface). The only drawback is that the shoe do not have a protective layer between the sole and the insole, which made every single protrusion on the ground to be felt. I now have good appreciation of the GoRunUltra and the GoBionicTrail features. The grip were a surprise as it held on well. Only on a few occasions it did not grip as well as I wished. Condition such as loose gravels is hard to predict and it could be inherent in many other proper trail shoes anyway.
Lift them up!
A little not too good
In the first 40km of usage, I had blisters forming on both feet, same spot on both legs. It could be two reasons - the fitting or the shoe is not "seasoned" yet. Past 50++km, the blisters did not happen anymore. That was about the only not too good I experienced. Been a while since I had any (blisters) wearing Skechers.
Verdict
- Cushioned as expected to be
- Surprisingly light for a "cushioned" shoe. For the record, this is 20grams lighter than GRR2 (260grams)
- less bulky = less clumsy looking
- may induce blisters on earlier usage. Could be due to my feet's shape and shoe's shape?

Note: This pair of Skechers GoRunRide3 is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is not launched yet. No pricing available at point of writing, but should be the same RM399 for men as indicative pricing. 

Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.

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