In the midst of testing the GRB FitKnit after the unboxing and it has been good so far. The GoRunRide3 (GRR3) ride is predictable and did not differ much. The cushioning and road feel were the same for me at least. OK, maybe it is a bit better perhaps because it is new (and hence the bounciness).
My usual size for Skechers is US10 or US11, depending on the cutting as some like GoMeb or Speed is known to have narrow toe box (and for that I went US11). My feet may had grown slightly over the past year and I requested for US11 from Skechers HQ. 10 is ok, but 11 would allow me to test the shoes out with the insole, and perhaps socks.
This shoe was fitted with socks in the morning and that was a good choice going with the US11. Again, as general rule of thumb, always ensure 1-finger spacing at the back of the shoe between your Achilles and the shoe collar. Bear in mind that when you run downhill, your feet will slide in front and you need those space else you may end up with painful toes, or toe nails that may fall off after a long race.
US11, at first feel, was great. Superb toe room without being overly roomy. Pull up the laces tight and the shoes just wrap up the feet like gloves. And it did felt like "gloves". The claimed seamless construction gave the shoe inner felt like you were wearing a socks (to be describing it correctly as gloves is for hands ;-)). It was tested without the insole placed inside and from experiences with Skechers' shoe, I know I have room to play with the insole.
The GRB is a 4mm drop shoes, same as the GRR3. For those new to the term, what this really (drop) meant is the differences in height between the front/midsole and the heel height. Traditional running shoes are heavier stacked/height at the back, which lends to the possibility of the heel striking or landing first when you run.
I am running without socks and with the insole as I enjoy the more cushioned feel and to allow for a more accurate representation of how many would use this shoe.
As the ride, as I mentioned, is same as GRR3, hence this review will try to share as much as I "felt" with the new FitKnit.
For this test I looked for the route that has a mix of well paved surface, slippery surface and uneven surface; just to feel if the knitted material effects the lateral movement and support.
Uneven surface : I started the run on the uneven surface that is the bicycle lanes in Taman Tun. The route has never been re-paved since it was built in the 90's. Roots of trees that lined the main road and non-maintenance created a trip-galore route. Nothing better than this short 500m from the Mosque to the junction of Dato Sulaiman to test quick changes in direction.
Verdict: Good feel. Minimal lateral movement. Good support on arch. No instances of the shoe sliding under landing. Gets more confident to bounce around after a while. Changes in direction is good with positive grip. Cushioned Resalyte absorb pretty much the loose gravels and root-bumps under the feet upon landing.
I set my JVC Adixxion XA2 to capture images and video of my run to see what and how the shoe will moves under normal run. Took me a while to capture a good 5 seconds and going through the video yields good images of how the shoe actually moves with my feet as well. The picture on the right shows how the toe area/forefoot were firmly attached to the ground while the metatarsal (top of feet) were free to move without restrictions. What appeared to be the GRB losing shape was actually how the GRB allows the feet to move as naturally as possible. Paved road: Predictable surface provides an opportunity for speed work. The power transfer were good as I increase the stride.
Verdict: The lateral movement due to the faster stride did not change significantly from the 5:00-5:30 pace I ran earlier. What was evident was the insole sliding a little as I push off more forcefully. This could be because the shoe was still new.
|is that heel striking???|
Running In Park
Running in TTDI park provides good mix of elevation. This will allow me to see how the GRB holds up with the uphill push and downhill charge.
Verdict: On the uphill push, the shoe did exhibit slight lateral movement. I must try to tie the laces a bit more snug and verify again. Otherwise, the FitKnit perform as claimed (support and lateral movement).
|GoImpulse pods similar to GRR3|
The run were short and did not allow me to check for any potential hotspot (blister forming spot). The fitting and the seamless inner does felt promising for a longer run. The FitKnit did not make the feet felt hotter than the other Skechers that I've worn.
I've been asked to consider wetting the FitKnit and run with it to test for color run and how well the material expel water. A shoe that is waterlogged is bad and will certainly causes blisters to the feet. I am up for that challenge.
|Hill repeat with GoRun Bolt|
If there is one thing, the color (currently Red/Black or Navy/Grey) may not appeal to those wanting a more colorful pair - but that is not a bad thing either, as there are many out there that love (and long) for a subtle colored pair, that allow them to blend in as a casual wear and takes off the next moment as a performance shoe.
I will update here again, once I get the chance to wet the shoe, and run in them. Stay tuned!
Note: This pair of Skechers GoRun Bolt FitKnit is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is launched this week (today!). Retailing at RM419 for men and RM399 for women (Semenanjung). RM10-20 more for East Malaysia.
Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.