Friday, February 28, 2014

Skechers GoRunRide3 Unboxing

Fresh from the 40-footer container, so to say. The GoRunRide3 were given to me when I collected the GoRunUltra after Chinese New Year. This is a refresh from the GoRunRide2 (in the form of Nite Owl) that was reviewed by me previously. If you want to know what the GoRunRide2 (GRR2) looked like, hop over to this link here : GRR2 Unboxing and Review. Unlike the GRR2, the GRR3 is not "glow in the dark". That said, the GRR3 is a totally different permutation when compared to the GRR2 in many aspects. Here is the unboxing.
Skechers GoRunRide3 
In recent months, Skechers has released shoes using better material that are better than the previous instalment. Improvement based on feedback from world known running blogger such as Pete Larson and US top marathon runner Meb Keflezghi. No less than that, regionally in South East Asia, some of us lucky enough to receive shoes seeding (sponsorship, review or local athletes) has provided feedback to help Skechers to improve on. As some of you may know, I've noted that GRR2 were (back then) the most plush among all the Skechers I've reviewed. The theme carries over with GRR3 as it is intended to be a cushioned trainer. 
Notice the newer material - unique 3D printed side details
First Feel
The sizing/fitting session at Skechers HQ allowed me the first feel of the shoe with socks. I took the US10 sizing, which is the same as some of the other Skechers I have. The toe box is wide, so no issues with tight front that requires a size up. When I tried the shoe for size, The thicker insole was not inserted into the shoe, giving me the 4mm feel. I then insert the insole just to confirm that the US10 will be a-ok for me as well. Seems the sizing is pretty good as the disparity with and without insole felt the same at least for me.
Custom fit  = without insole or with insole
The shoe comes with removable or customisable insole similar to the GoRun3 and GoRunRide2. Without the insole, it is a 4mm drop shoe. With the insole, it transform into an 8mm drop shoe. This "customisable" ride seems to be the theme for the Go-series with GoRunUltra having the same (identical) insole.
Smooth inner, allowing for sockless run or 4mm drop
Aesthetically, with the insole removed, Skechers has given the footbed the same treatment as GR3 and GRR2 with satin smooth feel. From experience (all 300km of it in the other two shoes), there is no hot spot or issues with the feet running on the inner surface of the shoe.
Cushioned and Structured
The "plushness" from this shoe comes mainly from the thicker add-on (insole). After running in the 8mm drop shoes, there is very little differences to the feel when compared to a 4mm drop shoe. So, it doesn't really bother me much. 


Sleeker profile compared to GRR2. Less bulky looking as well
One thing that I immediately noticed was how much the GRR3 looked like the GR3 - the sleeker cousin. The GRR2 was a bit on the bulky side due to the thicker cushioning but the refresh of materials has the GRR3 looking sleeker. 4-way mesh on the top with synthetic mesh on the side pretty much built the shoe on the upper portion. The use of synthetic overlay similar to GoRunUltra snug fit and structure to the shoe.
Non-stretch nylon on the toe box and the lacing down to the side, providing snug fit and support once you pull the laces.


Maintaining What Works
The pods at the sole were same as the GoRun series with a bit of additional changes to the tip of the toe that now looked like an additional crash-pad. Not entirely sure how this will aid in propulsion as it appear more of a design decision from Skechers to me.
That right. GoImpulse Pod
Like the other Go-series or Skechers Performance shoes, the M-strike comes as standard. The bump however, felt the same as GRR2 aka reduced (on paper) by 2mm. Perhaps it is also myself being used to the bump that function like the rocker-type of shoe (think see-saw).
Closer look at the front of the sole
The tongue of the GRR3 wasn't sewn down like the GRU, but it comes with a notch for you to lace through to hold the tongue up when you want to wear them. Not an issue for road-specific shoes as the chances of sand/grit getting into the shoe from the tongue will be minimal or at best, not going to happen unless you run offroad, or purposely run in a gravel road and kick up pebbles, literally.
Tongue not sewn down

The tongue is thicker than usual, which sort of remind me of the GoRunUltra. Doesn't bother me much but it has been a while since I come across a non-padded tongue similar to GoBionic and GoBionicRide. Perhaps the feedback from the other users is for thicker tongue?
Sexy curves
The heel portion is upturned and this minimises or help lessen the chances of heel striking on normal run. Again, I wish to reiterate that the M-Strike feature will encourage you to mid-foot strike, but won't change you from a heel-striking runner to a mid/forefoot lander. You will have to unlearn your running style and learn the best way to land - then the shoe WILL work in your favour. Having said that, my whole unlearning process was with the Skechers shoes with mid-foot strike, and I've successfully managed to run in a more efficient manner, thanks to Skechers.
Flexible!
I would like to see how other brands do this.
Talk about turning shoes to pretzels. Enough said.
Lightweight Despite the Bulk
Skechers rated the shoe to be 8.4oz for Men size 9, or about 238grams. My trusty scale scored a 230grams for US10. Perhaps it's time to get a digital scale and minimise these reading error eh?
about 230grams!
Anyhow, even at 240grams, the shoe is considered light for a cushioned trainer. Bearing in mind the additional material that goes into the Resalyte sole and the thicker tongue. 
Summing It Up
The GRR3 comes with:
- Resalyte sole that is actually memory foam
- GoImpulse pod that help distribute landing pressure and react to provide bounce and response
- M-Strike for that midfoot strike encouragement
- Ag-ion treatment for odor control (not that I have smelly feet)
- Lightweight 8.4oz for Men US9. Much lesser for women definitely

And with extras:
- Customisable sole 
- Newer materials that help to keep the weight down, while offering more cushioning and structure
- Swanky 3D print on the side, you see some pattern under the 4-way mesh
- Streamlined cutting and "takes away the bulk"
- Support for lateral movement  via synthetic like overlay on the side and more protection for the toes with the same synthetic overlay as protection

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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Onwards to Week 20 Ironman Malaysia Training

Recapping the past 19weeks of training. Hardly believable. This week mark my 20th week of training consistently in my quest to my 4th Ironman race. Of course, this training serves as a basis for me to work on a better fitness level apart from tackling the Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya, Sabah Adventure Challenge Ultra Trail (multi-days) and the Xterra Malaysia World Championship Qualifier. These are my A-list races. Many has asked me why am i putting myself through this endless training. Some predict a superb finishing time ahead as I've "trained this hard".
Week 19
19 weeks and a total of 3400km covered. I've spent no less than 127hours training and that works out to an average of 1hour per day. This 1-hour represent 4% of my daily time. Many of us spent this 1-hour in the toilet per day. You can't blame me if i felt under trained. The bulk of my training comes during the weekend where I will have more time and opportunity. It is at time at the expense of family time. Balancing sports and family is tough, as if having a 9-to-5 job is already a chore to begin with.
Week 19 Weekend
Bigger mileage over weekends
Last weekend was no difference. Trying to put in more training. It started with a quick 20km ride on the trainer - as a tribute to the Ultegra 6500 that was given to me by a friend to encourage me when I got my first roadbike in 2007. It powered me through 3-Ironman and it was time for me to re-flash it and give the bike a new leash of life.
The 6500
I sent the bike over to Edwin (Joo Ngan Son) for the work - the crank, the chain and the 10-speed cassette will go into the training wheels. The rest of the groupset (i got a complete 5700 105 groupset from Chris, at a good price) will be used as I slowly build a steel frame I have in store, which I inherit from another friend Kok Aik (he sold it to me so cheap it's obscene). This is how the bike drive-system looked like with the new crank, cassette and chain.
Woohoo!
12-25 setup. Great for climbs. Beyond 21 cogs now!
This upgrade gets me excited as I remember back in 2009, I was envying those with the newer, lighter and stiffer cranks. Those of you that ride on older version of bottom bracket and cranks will know how they flexes under fast acceleration and you will literally feel the bottom bracket moving slightly under hard pedalling. The 9speed to 10speed doesn't bother me more as the additional is just on the climbing gears. It is "good to have" as at least I may be able to ride up hills easier. 
I did a few other tweaking - having ridden my Orbea Ordu the past 19 weeks for training, I am very comfortable riding in the aero TT position. I decided to drop the bar a bit lower to achieve a better position. Yes, it is all about comfort and efficiency. So, work to stay in aero position if you intent to use a TT bike in your race.
Setup since I restarted training to "ease" into Aero again
Drop 1 full inch
My next project is to replace the 90mm stem with a 32mm stem. That would bring the cockpit closer to me and allow a steeper seating position favourable for TT bike; that is if my fitness and body allow me to sit in that position at 90% of the 6hours I will be cycling. For the record, I got the bike back the next day, eventhough Edwin say he got it done by the end of the day - I was looking for excuse NOT to spin in the evening as a mean to allow my body to rest. 
Immediately after the spin session, I sent the kids to skating classes. Wifey had her earlier 15km run with Pat Ee and Between 9am (when the daughter has class) to 10am (so I can rush back to get my son for his class at 11am), I went into Kiara. I love trail running! I was lucky that day as Charles (Frew) were heading in as well. Nothing beats having someone to run with especially if he or she is faster than you! On my way in, I bumped into Razman and Kimbeley. :D
Awesomely fast
The GoRunUltra was put to it's pace that day without insole (making it a 4mm drop) and in the trail fully. Wait up for the part 2 review of the shoe.
Faster!
We ran the usual loop around Bukit Kiara and bumped into more friends along the way. This time, into Winston and Mike Phoon as they make their way up Kiara for some Mountainbiking training.
Super fast on the bike
Charles and myself decided to take Bar-A-Kuda and then continued to Sungai Trail, which JLN renamed into some name that doesn't reflect what the trail name is.
Trailing Charles now
The additional 2km gave me a good workout and I had to say goodbye while Charles continue to run the 2K and 4K loop by himself. Here is a short video of us running down T'n'T - a fast technical downhill sections with a few twitchy switchbacks that even when running down, requires fast leg work. Enjoy.

View in HD if you have the bandwidth

Saturday continue with attending Kak June's daughter wedding and the kids back to their skate classes in the afternoon. As the bike wasn't there, I had no excuse to cycle in the evening. :) Much has been accomplished as well, apart from sports and family. My daily commute motorbike get a service in between those hours! Talk about time management and collaboration of timing with wifey!
MountainBiking Sunday
I am bad at mountain biking and this is compounded by me wearing clip shoes. With the feet stuck to the pedal, reflexes required to put feet down or move feet about for balance is taken away. 
Much Improvement needed!
For the 12km effort of riding Bukit Kiara, it took me no less than 90minutes. I officially run faster than I bike in Kiara! Enjoy part of the ride below in HD. You can see why Kiara is a favourite among many MTBikers with the single track and technical trails.

View in HD if you have the bandwidth

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Skechers GoRunUltra Review Part 1

Skechers GoRunUltra (GRU) has been unboxed by me in this blog entry here. Head over for some photos of the shoes when it was still new and not used for any runs. Being the most cushioned Skechers to date, I was eager to try it out. Many of you would know that the GoRun3 score high on my list for a cushioned ride (for being a GoRun series). With this GRU in the shoerack, it is at least 65% more Resalyte cushioning compared to the GoRunRide series - and that simply meant more plush ride (my experience with GoRunRide is with the NiteOwl).
The Fitting
Upturned heel - M-Strike enabled. Midfoot strike for the win
It took me about 10minutes to decide if i want an US10 or US11. With some variation to the fitting of the Skechers shoe recently due to material upgrades and also more support overlay, size US11 was too large upfront for me and US10 was tight on the top of my leg. Knowing the insole to be thicker, I decided that I will run sockless and will experiment with different Skechers Go-series insole (from the thin GoBionic to the thickest GoRunUltra and GoRun3, which share the same insole profile). It wasn't a gamble I took, but an informed decision based on my knowledge of my feet. Good thing the GoRunUltra has wide toebox. US10 fitting allow me to put in 1-finger behind and still has about 1/2inches in the front. That sealed the deal.
GoLikeNeverBefore
First Feel
For my first test, I ran with the insole. This is 8mm drop setup. Putting on the GRU made me taller. It is a very conscious kind-of-tall as I've been wearing flats over the past 13-months. The claimed additional Resalyte (which is memory foam) felt great under the feet as it provided the claimed cushioning. Toes were cleared from the front of the feet and the fitting without socks were great. I did not need to loosen the laces more than I thought I should. The shoe upper was snug. If there was a thing, it was how the left side felt funny - as if there was a lump/bump somewhere on the heel. I removed the insole and check - none. Maybe I've became the case of "princess and the pea" after all these Skechers-pampering.
From (car) door to Tarmac
The chance for me to take the shoe for a run came when I need to send the kids to Sunday school. With about 50mins to spare (have to give myself some leeway in case the class finishes a bit earlier than expected), I will have to cover as much distances as I possibly could. More so, it was my BRICK Sunday - having cycled on the trainer for a full-hour before the kids woke up. 
Kicking the feet up high to recover faster for the next feet stride
I started near the old Muhibbah Restaurant in TTDI (Rahim Kajai) and begin to run towards Jalan Datuk Sulaiman via Burhanuddin Helmi. First 500m felt great with the shoe being very eager to bounce with every step. It is as if it has a life of it's own. Sort of like the Newton Third Law of motion. 
In Lembah Kiara
I turn left and head towards Rasta and turn right into Jalan Datuk Sulaiman (JDS). Ran the short slope up and the shoe did not sink under sprinting up the hill towards rich man area of Changkat Datuk Sulaiman. I then turn right and ran along JDS6 and turn into Lembah Kiara Park next to Kiara View Condo. I wanted to see how the shoe sole will react to smoother park pavement that can be slippery sometimes.
The shoe sounded "squishy" and I suspected it was the aggressive lugs and progressive flexibility coming into play.
Downhill and caught myself heel striking to control the speed of descent
Sprinted up the slope and charged downhill towards the smaller loop in the park. The shoe went where I pointed it and took in all the bumps in form of sand, gravel, stones i stepped on. Yes, the Park is under renovation and it wasn't hard to step on something not meant to be there. 
"offroad" by the side of the park pavement
I then transitioned into the grassy area next to the pavement. The squishy sound disappeared. I then ran on the pavement again and it came back. Confirmed my initial thoughts that the aggressive sole contributed to the sound. No issues with this actually. Just personal observation as I want to run like a (silent) Ninja.
Into Kiara Trails!
Running from tarmac to trail was an easy transition for me. Made even better with the GRU. I was apprehensive. What if the sole fail to do what it's supposed to do and I go tumbling all over, hurting myself or getting the protruding peg-marker by JLN poking through me as I fall and die a horrible death?
Dry trail made the surface trickier as the sand grains made the surface slippery
OK, that is just the drama part of me. Kiara is safe really. Monitor lizards and Python usually will run and slither away when they sense human presences. Back to the trail!
I took the Office and Overtime loop. a short 1.2 to 1.3km run through fast switchbacks and faster flat trails. Good mix of sudden drop and downhills, coupled with the need to quickly jump over a few slopes. As i gain more confidence about 100m into the Office, i knew I can push it a bit more. My usual "time trail" to cover the Office and Overtime is about 7.5minutes, which meant I will run it between 5:00 and 6:00 pace. That Sunday, with the GRU, it was done the same way. 
Skimping over loose rocks
The thick sole and the Rigid Resagrip played it's part well. Stones and protrusion on the ground was felt, but minimally when compared to GoBionicTrail. Do bear in mind that GBT is an out and out trail shoes with a stoneguard/kevlar-like insert between the sole for protection and dispersion of shock/sharp edges. 
Photos taken with JVC Adixxion XA2. 60fps burst photo!
Running in the trail brings the kids out of me. For that short distance, I felt the rush and the GRU just keep bringing it on. The bounces of the GRU and it provides good feedback and surefooting. Did I feel the bumps and stones? It did despite it being 8mm drop. I am now wondering what 4mm would feel like. It could be a full trail run with GRU soon!
Was I flying?
Checking for heel strikes - none. :D

More of this on 4mm, i promise!
The trail portion ends as I exit the park connector and I headed back to my car (and kids) via Jalan Abang Haji Openg, then the Bike route along Jalan Datuk Sulaiman. It is back to the tarmac and that allowed additional information on how the shoe felt after about 6km of mix surfaces.
Underutilised bike route of Taman Tun

Hot weather of February
The GRU did not give me any hotspot or blister. With every Skechers I own, I am more confident with the fitting and running without the socks. Either my feet has gotten used to the shoe, or callouses has form at those usual hotspot (wide feet curse). The initial thoughts that the tongue is thicker and thus hinder breathability did not show in the short 8km run. I believe a longer run using this would be able to show how the GRU will provide continuous cushioning and responsiveness. 
Lift your legs up when running!

Last 200m

Thumbs up!
Hope this review on 8mm, without socks help you to have a virtual feel of what this shoe offer. For me, it is still too early to conclude. I intend to run it without insole and sockless, in the trail. It will be interesting to feel if this will be a good potential shoe for my upcoming Sabah Adventure Challenge and Xterra.
Later!
This will not be the only review for GRU. Stay tuned, more to come as I put different combination to work. 
Verdict After First Run
- Cushioned without feeling heavy
- Initial thoughts that 8mm may be too high. I ran with full 8mm and it was good.
- Sure-footed grip.
- Very responsive and flexible outsole.
- Noticeable squishy noise on tarmac. May go away after breaking in past 50km?
- Capable of speed. Sustained a good 5:00 tempo pace on average and registered the usual 4:30pace for 2km on slopes. Question is : How fast can you hold?
- Truly a Door-To-Trail shoe. Or Trail-To-Door. This shoe is dual-purpose in a large (no pun intended) sense.
- Forgiving on those hard downhill. I hammered downhill on the park pavement and had to apply (heel) brakes to slow down. 

Note: This pair of Skechers GoRunUltra is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is retails for RM419 (men) and RM399 (women) in Peninsular Malaysia and has been made available in all stores since February 16, 2014. Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Skechers GoRunUltra Unboxing

Skechers Malaysia has been ahead in Asia to launch new models after new models. What was shown to me about 2-months ago, the Skechers GoRunUltra (GRU),  has finally arrived in Malaysia and I was lucky to be among the first few to receive these newly launched running gears as it lands. Sometimes, these items are still in the 40-footer container. Talk about being delivered immediately upon arrival. Previously, I've worn the more cushioned GoRunRide2 Nite Owl and find it very nicely padded. 
Cushioned and as fast
So when I received a call from Eugene, the Team 2ndSkin Principal, to go to the Skechers Malaysia HQ and get the GRU, I was naturally excited. I was also told that a unknown date-to-release GoRunRide3 will be passed to me. More of that later!
Go Like Never Before
GoUltra - US10. Red/White
I first saw the GRU when it was a "sample" (with holes at the bottom to prevent it from being sold as a legit shoe). It was chunky by Skechers GO-series standard and it promises to "ride like a full cushioned shoe while allowing contact with ground". I've work cushioned shoes before and I am still wearing one for training (Brooks Ghost5). They are typically high on the "drop" and nothing else than 13 to 15mm. The elevated ride sort of throw you off-balance once a while on uneven surface. That is how injury to the ankle (twisted or torn ligament due to accidental fall) happens. Hence, the popularity of minimalist or zero-drop shoes. It put your feet on "neutral", so to say. So when the GRU was presented to me, I was naturally skeptical.
"Why would Skechers, after all these while working on minimalist shoes, going maximalist?"
"Isn't going thicker counter of what mid-foot strike is about?"
I had many questions in my mind over what this edition will do...So, until I take it out for a run, perhaps we unbox first?
The Unboxing
I really like unboxing new shoes. Something about it always make me felt guilty to wear them out for a run. The (volatile organic compound VOC) smell, the feel of a clean virgin shoe and the nicely packed and wrapped up box. First look on the shoe is the fiery color. Red on white sole. It sort of remind you of the Salomon Sense, which is the top of the range trail lightweight shoe.
Chinese New Year Red
To start with, the GRU is the most cushioned shoe I ever run in the past 18months. GoRunRide2 was very cushioned and the GoRun3 continues the trend of cushioned-minimalist, if there is a term for that. When placed amongst the other Skechers, this is the "big boy". Thick. Soft. And It look fast just standing.
4-way mesh on the top for flexibility. GoBionicTrail material on side for lightweight and structure
For a shoe this bulky, I was impressed by how light it was. The US9 comes in at 8.7oz or 250grams and the pair of US10 I got was just pipping the 9oz mark. How is this impressive? The lightest Go-series is the GoBionic, which runs in at 175grams or 6.2oz. For almost 80% (estimated) more cushioning, that is just additional 75grams - or 5-spoon of sugar (to sweeten the deal). 
About 250grams or 9oz
The official press release for GRU says it is 65% more cushioned that GoRunRide model (260grams). If you put the maths together, you will realised, despite the additional material used to raise the amount of cushioning, the GRU comes in lighter than the most plush Go-series (before GRU debut). This exhibit material and technology being used really well with each new model that Skechers releases.
Door-To-Trail
I was confused when i flip the shoe over and saw that the sole are not the typical GoImpulse-sensor layout (but known as Rigid Resagrip), but rather aggressive lugs which reminds you of Brooks Cascadia 7. I was naturally skeptical as my best experience with Brooks Cascadia were ver 5, and wifey uses the 7 previously (before going over to Skechers). In other words, Skechers has produced a "hyrid", which I was then told the correct term for this is Door-To-Trail. 
Aggressive Sole
The ribbing in between the lugs are too soft to offer any grip. It could be there for cosmetic purposes only. The lugs, however, felt pretty sure on first touch. I did try to compress it and it does to an extent. My only worries is how fast it may last if used as an out-and-out trail shoe. I will need to remind myself that this is a NOT a trail shoe. Door-To-Trail!
Closer look of the lugs
The GRU is a 8mm drop that can be converted to a 4mm drop by just removing the insole. Yes, the insole itself lend a full 4mm to the ride. Made possible by the thicker heel crash pad and thinner front. The same insole is used in the GoRun3, which I've customised the GR3 with my GR2 insole for more "road feel".

about 10grams
The inner part of the GRU with sole removed is smooth and velvet like. Save for the stitching on the side, I foresee this to be able to be neutral if worn sockless (and no blisters, hopefully). Removing the insole sort of free up the space inside as well. Hence this contributed to some tricky fitting if you are buying and testing. Many I know that received the GRU went 1-size up (Nick and Jamie, not sure about Deo). I stick to the same US10 I take for the other GoRun series with wide toe-box (except Speed where i went 1 size up due to tight front).
Should be alright for sockless. But will confirm later.
Unlike the other cushioned, structured and controlled (motion) shoe, the sole were surprisingly flexible. With the insole in place, it is normal not to be able to fold it up like when the insole removed.
No camera trick. 
With the insole, I can still bend it up to 75degrees (the above shows a 90degree fold). The above is really t show that despite the heavier cushioning, it is still surprisingly flexible. This will allow the feet inside to move and splay as it lands. From experience using Skechers shoes, this allow for more "grounded" feel, as any uneven surface will see the sole "wrapping" around it, ensuring better shoe-surface contact, lessen the chances of slip and fall over uneven terrain. Skechers call this Progressive Flex Zone. Skechers score big on this.
Red-Lime color with White sole
The GRU has a dual-density layer built which provides both support and cushioning. The Rigid Resagrip™ outsole engineered to provide the right amount of support while the softer Resalyte midsole (memory foam!) provides cushioning. With the customisable 8mm to 4mm drop, you essentially get a maximal cushioned shoe that provides minimalist feel. However, please be aware you WILL be standing taller. Stack height is 23mm forefoot and 27mm heel, which gives the 4mm drop. Add in the insole, it goes to 8mm. Traditional running shoes, esp the cushioned shoes are riding higher and has larger drop by minimum of 13mm to 15mm drop (so your heel is on the higher side by that amount of height).
GoRunUltra vs Brooks Ghost 5
You can see from the photo above, the Brooks Ghost 5, which was my main shoe (and still in service for those training days) before I switch to Skechers is noticeably taller and thicker. The visual above would provide the reader a better comparison of the ride height. 
Heel and Front profile
The GRU continues to promote the M(idfoot)-Strike and the heel cup is curved upwards and the bump in the midsole will encourage landing and taking off correctly. However, the bio-mechanic of good running (strides, landing, taking off, injury prevention) differ from person to person. One must remember that wearing a shoe that encourages/promote front foot strike or midfoot strike will not work if we do not unlearn and relearn how to run. Be informed there is no miracle shoes that will change your running strides. Key point is "encourage".
Material Updates
Mix of materials
The GRU utilises a mix of Synthetic and mesh fabric upper that will provide both breathable and stability with strategically placed overlay. The toe front has been fitted with synthetic material that will protect the front if you use it for trails. Reflective strips are seen on the front and the back (S logo is reflective). 
Inner side view of the right-side of shoe
The side stitches pattern will remind you of the GoRun3. From my usage of the GR3, the show is supportive enough as claimed and I do not see how the GRU will be any less with similar use of materials.
The tongue is intergrated/sewn on
Like most of the Skechers shoes, the tongue has been integrated or sewn on. I begin to appreciate it more as it help to stop small stones or sands from getting into the shoe from the top in the trails or on dusty roads. The tongue has been made wider as well, so it "wraps" the top of you feet, providing more comfy feel. Of course, one may argue it will reduce breathability - I am monitoring it as I ran with it already (in the review next).
Flat shoelace
Lastly, this may be missed by many, the shoelace provided with the GRU is flat. There is merit to this as the flat shoelace actually secures better that rounded laces. Love the details to the laces that has the same red-lime color as the shoe (than boring monotonous color).

Here are the official specs to the GoRunUltra from Skechers site.

Men's Skechers GOrun Ultra Running Shoes

Discover the ultimate in cushioned running with the SKECHERS GOrun Ultra LT shoe. Designed for Ultra Marathon running with more Resalyte shock absorption than ever before.

Details:

  • Cushioning Ultra Marathon running shoe design
  • 65% more Resalyte cushioning than Skechers GOrun ride shoes
  • Provides runners with the enhanced cushioning and support to help protect joints and limit fatigue in longer distance runs
  • Dual density layers offer the stability and support the advanced runner needs
  • Cushion and comfort that all runners will appreciate
  • Rigid Resagrip™ outsole engineered to provide the right amount of support
  • Soft midsole layer provides cushion effect
  • Progressive Flex Zone provides flexibility and firm support
  • Aggressive traction control GOimpulse sensors on outsole allow for superior control on any terrain
  • 6mm heel drop height
  • Promotes a midfoot strike
  • Weight: 8.7 oz. in a men's size 9

Construction:

  • Synthetic and mesh fabric upper
  • Synthetic overlays for stability
  • 4 way stretch mesh for added comfort
  • Side S logo
  • Lace up front
  • Soft fabric shoe lining for barefoot wear

Note: This pair of Skechers GoRunUltra is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is retails for RM419 (men) and RM399 (women) in Peninsular Malaysia and has been made available in all stores since February 16, 2014. Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.

Next : Wait up for the full review from Door-To-Trail, literally!
more to come

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