Showing posts with label 2ndSkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2ndSkin. Show all posts

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Skechers GoRunUltra Nite Owl Review

Been a while since I've blogged or provided a good update. Rest assured all is good and I've been going along well with family, work and training (in that order). Though it appear I am not working, as some that know me think (hey, he is on social media all the time, how is he working). Haha.
This post has been sitting in my "draft" for a month at least and long overdue. Maybe like 250km overdue since I've received the GoRunUltra Nite Owl from Skechers Malaysia. 


Being seen = potentially ensuring a safer late evening run
This is a follow up after the last unboxing of the Skechers GoRunUltra Nite Owl Edition. Along those mileage, the shoe has seen both road and trail action. Consistent with the GoRunUltra purpose, it is built to handle both on and offroad condition and it truly live up to it's name in terms of cushioning and grip. I brought this shoe into the trail during the Team 2ndSkin Trail Running Clinic about a month back. 
Look ma! No hand! Photos by Eugene 2ndSkin

First Feel
This updated GoRunUltra "feel" is the same as the original GoRunUltra that I've reviewed here. In my unboxing write up, I put up the differences between the GRU original and this Updated version. The biggest differences (not counting the Cool Glow In The Dark feature) is the upper synthetic material that make up the new mesh and overlay. 
Gripping all around. Photos from Eugene 2ndSkin
The feel of the dual-density sole is the same and the layout of the sole remains as well. I guess the philosophy of "why change something that work" holds true here. Despite the bulk, the shoe is surprisingly nimble and offer good protection. It is super flexible without giving the feeling that it does not offer sufficient support. I've raced this shoe (original) for Sabah Adventure Challenge and absolutely loved the fact that walking/jogging/running on hot gravel surface has never been more enjoyable partly due to the cushioning.
Dry terrain posses no issues for GoRunUltra. Photos from Eugene 2ndSkin
The toe box and sockliner remained the same as the original. So it is really (this time) about reviewing the shoe/revisiting the shoe again. 
Road Test
Almost 250km since I gotten the shoe, and likely will retire this on my Ironman Langkawi. I know the legs will appreciate the additional cushioning after the long day anticipated. 
Road test
Apart from the additional cushioning provided by the GoRunUltra, I've noticed that the new/refreshed material felt significantly cooler perhaps due to the lighter mesh on the top of the shoe. While I still sweat as much and the perspiration runs down to the shoe (as I run sockless and nothing soaks it up), the shoe doesn't feel sweat-logged and dries as quickly after I leave it for an hour.
If the shoe doesn't impress you with the technology, the color will
Similar to the original GRU, the toe box was more than generous without being overly roomy. I wear a triple-E wide leather/working shoe and those with similar predicament will know how difficult it is to find a shoe that suits you. Happy to report that apart from two other manufacturer (Brooks and New Balance), Skechers' range definitely caters for the wider-footer too.
Encouraged Mid-foot strike
The Skechers shoe promotes and help with the progression of mid-foot and forefoot landing/stride. More so after almost 2-years of unlearning and relearning how to run and keeping injury away, I am comfortable to say it comes naturally. So a word of caution if you are looking to change the way you run - the tools (shoes) is there to help, but you need to do most of the work (of landing correctly). Only then both will be in synergy. 
Runs are done mainly in evening as my Ironman Langkawi run will be after 5pm. Part of acclimatisation for the different heat and humidity. Make your training specific to your race.
Nite Owl Remain An Eye Opener
It is easy to see why. A short 30mins run outdoor before the end of day charge up the photo-luminescent material of Nite Owl and literally makes it glow like a road marker at night.
Not obvious under normal sunlight...until...
it goes into darker area
Friends with darkness, no less
As is from my phone camera
The lifespan of the Sole
The GRU sole has been reported to be fast wearing and that much is true. I've used both pairs of GoRunUltra and it has exhibit consistent wear at the sole. It was no difference when I compared it against my favorite GoBionic when I first got it about a year ago. It has passed the 600km mark (the GoBionic) and still in service for short (less than 30mins) run. The first pair of GRU has served me really well with about 400km mileage and still great - just don't take it out to tricky trails as the grip is not as good as it was; otherwise, it is still Go Like Never Before!

Note: This pair of Skechers GoRunUltra in NiteOwl variation is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is retails for RM449(men) and RM429 (women) in Peninsular Malaysia and available in all stores. Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Skechers GoBionic2 Review

Sorry for the long silence and the reason for that was the travelling and the mountain of work waiting as I came back to work on Monday this week. As some of you already know, the unboxing of the Skechers GoBionic2 was done last week when I was in Houston. Let's jump straight into the shoe's review. It will be a quick one, just like how the shoe made me run.
Houston, We have no problems.
Fitting : No socks and with sockliner
I took US11 for this version though I am ok with US10. Somehow, my feet has grown over the year and perhaps this could be attributed to a more free-fitting shoes that has my feet splayed upon landing. Wearing minimalist could had contributed to expanded feet, perhaps? Having said that, the sizing was great for me. The fitting was familiar when compared to GoBionic. The toe box was great allowing all digits to move freely. There was no immediate feel of any protrusion that may add to potential hotspot, but we will only know when we takes it for a run.
Immediately after checking into hotel. Lines from compression thigh still visible
The flexibility as provided by the 18-individual pods were great. Sole wise, there is no differences between the GoBionic and the GoBionic2. I've mentioned about this in the previous unboxing write up. The 4mm drop due to the sockliner did not bother me much. It did lend some additional cushioning and did not change much of the static feel.
Ready to pound Houston Pavement
As I've been running sockless due to necessity as it is tough to get affordable (read : cheap) socks and the extra laundry needed after every run. Also, i find wearing a socks lend me more blisters than not wearing one. If you love your socks with your shoes, do remember that this review revolves around no-socks scenario. If you wear socks, please do try the fit with the socks you will be using with the shoe as I've came across cases of others asking me why their feet felt numb after a while wearing "Brand X". Diving deeper, we concluded (including him/her using other socks or run sockless and loosen/tighten laces as appropriate) that it is bad fitting. 
Fast shoes
The review continue with me running the shoe in Houston Downtown area and into the Sam Houston Park, alongside the Buffalo Bayou Walk that has extensive running and cycling trails in excess of (imperial unit) 20miles in a loop. 
I maintain that the best way to see a country is by running.
What I was looking out for in particular with the GoBionic2 are:
- consistency with the responsiveness to GoBionic
- hotspot or friction points
- heat dissipation from new materials
- differences with support/glove-like feel of the shoe
Lift it up high, land under navel, kick back to butt, repeat.
Consistency with Responsiveness to GB
The shoe shares the same sole design and material. This one is hard to miss as the GB feel was there - which was why I love this model a lot. It is thin enough to run and responsive enough to provide feel upon landing and take off. Sufficiently padded for that minimalist feel, and yet cushy just about right as long you are not stomping your feet.
Discovery Green Park
Hotspot and/or friction points
Non was felt on the days i ran there (4-days). The insole being thicker than the original did provide a much better feel to the run. This is subjective and dependent on how much you sweat in the feet though. I've taken notice that someone that sweat a lot (and by that I meant drenching the shoe every run with sweat) may have more issue of blisters due to softer soaked/wet skin against shoe's material. However, this will be true for any shoes, not just GB2 specific.
Hot (35deg C), but lower humidity made it more bearable
Heat Dissipation from New material
I will not lie and tell you I felt no differences between the old and new material. The biggest differences is perhaps visual as the material inlay of the GB2 somewhat show a more "permeable" and "breathable" surface. Maybe I did not run fast enough to get or feel some wind in my feet. Or it could be me already accustomed to the wonderful materials of Skechers and it will be easier to spot a less breathable material. Do i make sense here?
The pavement were wide. You can run all over without worrying being ran down by car
Glove Like Feel? Support?
Despite being lightweight, GB2 offered adequate and sufficient support for the run. I do not feel the shoe moving sideway or being slipping to the front or back. It was snug and glove like without being restrictive. No complains here. This does felt very right - and compared to GB, a good improvement (as my GB is very very worn out already)
Midfoot landing and forefoot landing possible (if you trained for it)
Bottomline:
- lightweight. This pair is so light it will be silly to weigh it to verify.
- snug fitting.
- cooler newer upper design and material lend a more contemporary feel instead of the shoe looking "canvas-sy" when compared to GB.
See the running pose?
What could be better
- The sole is the same material and has the same pattern where the wear-pads are. Previous experience tells me that certain area around the midfoot-heel and the front foot outer toes will take more beating and wears out faster. Perhaps more resilient materials at those spots will combat the wear and tear better.
Goodnight Houston! (pic taken at 8.30pm..and it's still bright!)
Note: This pair of Skechers GoBionic2 is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair of GoBionic2 is not available yet and the version you see is meant for seedling and feedback purposes. It is expected to retail for RM399 and is available at all Skechers store in October 2014. However, it will only be available for men at this point of time. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Skechers GoBionic2 Unboxing

About 18 months ago, I was given my first pair of Skechers shoe. It was the GoBionic that has opened up my thoughts on a shoe that I've often chided to be linked to a pop star. Fast forward to June 2014, I've been spoilt by the collaboration between 2ndSkin and Skechers and has on my end all the opportunity to test out new shoes, sometimes not even out in the market yet, and to provide feedback to Skechers Malaysia for potential improvement. I am still counting my blessing as I am writing this. Today, I am sharing with you seedling pair (aka not in mass production yet) of what will be known as GoBionic2.
Excited
GoBionic2 Unboxing
Here is a quick look of how GoBionic, the original first generation looked like.
Read the Skechers GoBionic Unboxing Here
And this is how the new GoBionic2 (GB2) looked like.
Completely different outlook
You would agree with me it was a complete makeover for the GB to be GB2. The differences were almost two different shoe at first glance. That is until you flip them over and it kept the same 18-individual pods that conform to your style of running.
18-pods
Other similarity are the sewn down tongue and the super light weight feel. Do bear in mind that this shoe I obtained is a seeding pair and not a production pair, meaning the finishing is not as nice and for sole purpose of testing.
Major Refresh
If you remember my review for GoRun3, the upper material known as Power-prene. The Synthetic lightweight material offers improved air-circulation and keeping the feet cooler. The flexibility allow the feet to splay upfront on landing offering the same feel and stability as GB.
The 4-way mesh continues to the side and to the rear similar as GR3 which offers better ventilation with added flexibility and control. It is amazing what this rather flimsy-light shoe can do. Those wearing the GB will know what I meant.
The tongue is now slightly more padded (anything from not padded to something is padded) and I love the new feel that you do not feel the laces that much when strapping up. It also allow a bit more tightening for more secured fit. The lace runs asymmetrical, meaning it is slanted and this correspond well with how our legs are shaped.
The heel cup has a bit more structure where it is not as soft like GB. Pros and Cons for this and we will find out when I take the shoe out for a run or two. But I will concentrate on the unboxing experience first.The last changes from the original is at the insole. Previous GB insert is light and thin, adding nothing more than just a "paper" like insole that serves it's purpose. The new one is thicker, and transform the shoe from Zero Drop to 4mm drop just by putting in the insole. I say this is awesome as we will have the ability to customise the feel - and that was what Skechers wanted from the Go-series Performance shoe : something for everyone.
Sole - from 0mm drop to 4mm drop
Weight wise, the already light GB2 claimed to be slightly heavier when compared to the GB. For me, a light shoe with a bit of "fat" is still a light shoe. Impartial to it as what is more important is how it feel on the run. That will be something I will cover in the next review entry.

Technical Specs :

Details:

  • GObionic Engineering: 18 bio-responsive zones on outsole
  • Zones are fully articulated to move with your foot for a more natural feeling
  • Resalyte™ Cushioning: 10mm of Resalyte™ absorbs impact and offers comfort
  • Engineered to promote a midfoot strike
  • Zero drop heel design
  • Power-Prene on upper provides breathability while maintaining structural flexibility
  • Thicker insole than original Skechers GObionic for added support and stability
  • Optional Custom-Fit insoles adds even more support and cushioning
  • Weight: 6.5 oz. per shoe in a men's size 9
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Construction:
  • Ultra lightweight mesh and synthetic upper
  • 4-way stretch mesh panels
  • Reflective detail
  • Agion scent protection for barefoot comfort.
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Next : Running In Houston With GoBionic2

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Skechers GoRunUltra NiteOwl Edition Unboxing

Skechers GoRunUltra has been in store for the past few months and I've used it past 250km to date specifically just for trail running and shorter run on the tarmac. If you missed the review and unboxing of this model, head over to these links:
Skechers GoRunUltra [Unboxing][Review 1][Review 2]
My last use of the shoe was at Sabah Adventure Challenge 2014 where it clocked no less than 80km over 3-days back to back. Cycled through a full dry-wet-dry condition over different type of terrain and soil condition. While clearly worn off at the sole, the shoe is still serving me for my runs in the trails and road. 
part of product testing (and torturing)
Then there were talk about "If The Trail Shoes comes with NiteOwl version". Imagine the shoe glowing in the trail or the darker/shadier part of the trail. It would be cool, isn't it?
And It Happened
I received a message last week asking me to head over to the HQ as there is a new stock of shoes arriving and the NiteOwl now comes in GoRunUltra and GoRunRide3 variant. Instantly, I could not resist to request for the GRU Niteowl. 
Hoot!
As it turned out, the new Niteowl now comes in different (color) glow. It was previously blue as seen on the GoRunRide2. Now, the additional would be Green and Fuchsia (pink). Ready for the Green RunUltra?
A Quick Unboxing
I was too excited that the GRU Niteowl came right out of the box the moment I got home. On the first impression, you will not noticed anything different compared to the existing GRU.
Glow, in capital E(xcitement)
That is until you take a longer look and realised that the shoe's material has been changed at most parts except the dual-density sole. Starting with the top layer of the new GoRunUltra, the material appears to be thinner and more cloth-like, lending even more flexibility. I am awaiting confirmation from Skechers on what they are naming this material.
The GoRunUltra NiteOwl
The 4-way mesh of GoRunUltra
 The side synthetic mesh and overlay too, received a refresh of new material.
More mesh-like to promote air circulation?
Original GRU with the closer mesh-like material
Essentially, there was the only differences (not counting one GLOW in the dark). The sole is the dual-density material that offer both stability and support. The Rigid Resagrip offers the stability while the softer midsole layer offers support. The design of the GoImpulse sensor or pods were the exact same. Other features of the shoes between the non-NiteOwl version and this is the same. M-Strike and integrated sewn down tongue just to name two obvious same.
Old (left) and New (Right)
One of the key issue is that the GRU pods doesn't seems to last too long. The wear and tear looked extreme when compared to the other model. I am not entirely sure if this is true or otherwise but I did noticed the differences especially the forefoot area. I have clocked about 250km on the older (red) GRU.
See the wear in the old shoe?
The grip or traction in the trails, however were the same as day 1 if you ask me. Seems the function of the pod to grip/provide traction did not diminish despite the seems like high wear rates. Perhaps there are material refresh for the GRU NiteOwl, and I can only tell once I put the shoe through the usual running route and abuse. 
A 360 view of the GRU NiteOwl
The GRU NiteOwl has Glow in dark material at the appropriate places such as the front, side, the back (heel cup) and the tongue. Reflective material was placed in the same location as the original.
Charging it under the sun
view from 7'oclock position
Back of Heel. The "Nite Owl" is reflective
The Tongue
The Glow
Ready? The photos will speak for itself. This was taken inside the home's slightly darker corner in mid afternoon, after leaving the shoe under the sun for about 2-hours. Photo as it is taken using my hand phone at approximate ISO1600 and 1/14s exposure.





Next: 
To be tested side by side in a run, soon?
Note: This pair of Skechers GoRunUltra in NiteOwl variation is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is retails for RM449(men) and RM429 (women) in Peninsular Malaysia and will be available in all stores this week. Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.
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