Despite the fact that Meb Keflezghi won the 2014 Boston Marathon in them and despite the fact that they’ve been playing with the big boys and girls in the running shoe game for years now, there are still plenty of people who haven’t gotten their feet into Skechers Performance running shoes yet. Whether that’s because they just haven’t had the chance or because they don’t want to be seen wearing what was until just a few years ago, strictly a fashion brand (endorsed by none other than Kim Kardashian). In fact, our own run category manager (who’s writing this review with me), Lori, had never run in them and had her own reservations despite my enthusiastic endorsement! Without any further pretense or ado, I’d like to introduce you to the latest (and best?) iteration of the GOrun, the GOrun 5 from Skechers Performance.
Since it first launched way back in 2011, the Skechers Performance GOrun has had as the basis of its outsole [sic] the company’s GOimpulse pillars. Now, however, for the first time, these pillars have given way to a more developed outsole without sacrificing flexibility or weight.
In the above image you can see the sole of the GOrun 4 and the series of circular bits which are the GOimpulse pillars. The green circles are pieces of rubber strategically placed in high-abrasion areas since the white is exposed Resalyte (Skechers’ foam/rubber compound). As we look at the image of the GOrun 5 below however, we can see that the outsole has been entirely redesigned. First, rubber plays a much more prominent role with the colored, parametric web being made of the stuff and placed in high-abrasion areas (and a lot more liberally too since not everyone wears in small zones).
Both Lori and I found the durability of the outsole of the Skechers GOrun 5 to be very solid, showing minimal wear after ~35 miles in the shoe for each of us. The amount of rubber on the outsole being much greater than previous generations of this shoe provides a much wider opportunity for durability, regardless of how you land. We also both found traction to be very good on pavement, whether dry or wet. On snow and ice, as you’d expect, there wasn’t much traction to speak of since the outsole is so smooth.
With the outsole [sic] having a pretty significant overhaul from the GOrun 4 2016, so too does the midsole. The midsole material in the Skechers GOrun 5 remains the same material with the brand’s 5GEN Resalyte cushioning but the design any layout are very different. In this shoe the walls of the midsole actually remind me visually of the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante quite a bit and Lori agrees. There are a series of convex polygons around the perimeter though I’m fairly certain they’re simply for aesthetics rather than a functional part of the design. For drop nerds out there (like me) this shoes comes in with 18mm of stack in the heel and 14mm in the forefoot for a net drop of 4mm.
The midsole material itself – 5GEN – is a fantastic combination of cushion and bounce. To me, this has always been one of the hallmarks of Resalyte, but it’s even more present in the feel of this particular foam. I’ll get into this more in the RIDE section below but for now let me say that both Lori and I felt like the midsole of the GOrun 5 was ready to go right out of the box and the feel has remained consistent over our testing period.
The upper of the GOrun 5 continues the relatively recent (as in, only in the last year or so) addition of a knit upper to the Skechers arsenal with their GOknit material comprising the body of the upper. The circular knit is a single piece of material that takes cues from other knits on the market by being breathable without sacrificing security or durability. It allows more open areas of the mesh which don’t need much in the way if reinforcement to be more lightweight while easily integrating a more beefed-up knit in places that need it. The laces in this shoe are held in place by reinforced, knit gillies for the bottom three eyelets while the top two are punched directly through a reinforced bit of the upper. In the past integration of this model, all of the eyelets were built right through the upper and I saw no issue with that so I’m a bit unsure as to why this change has been made.
Internally the upper of the Skechers GOrun 5 has a very smooth and uniform feel which makes it a good option for the no-sock-wearing runners out there. Surrounding the midfoot there is also an internal support strap that is made from a microfiber and is directly integrated into the main upper body. The air mesh tongue is topped by two “tongue-position keeper straps” which are meant to do what their name suggests. However, since these small pieces of elastic are attached to the throat of the shoe and not to the tongue itself, I’m not really sure how they work. The heel counter is well-shaped but nicely flexible and is topped with a well padded, but not overly so, collar. If you recall the Quick-Fit feature from the Skechers GOrun 4, it is still present on this shoe though it has gone from being what was a hole cut through the top of the heel to a tab stitched onto the back of the shoe in a more traditional application. I don’t use heel pulls very often so it isn’t much of a change for me but Lori did mention that she was aware of the tab brushing her Achilles from time to tim though it never resulted in any real discomfort.
The upper of the GOrun 5 is a fantastic application of knit material. While some of the stretch of other knits on the market are not there, the breathability of this material as well as its well-designed fit make it very comfortable and durable.
The fit of the Skechers Performance GOrun 5 is pretty simple and straightforward, which both Lori and I love. For all intents and purposes it remains largely unchanged from the GOrun 4 2016 though the knit does feel a bit more open and airy while (ironically) feeling more close-to-the-foot without being constricting. These do only come in a standard width (D width for the men and B width for women) but I’d recommend trying them on, even if you have a wide-ish foot since there is some play in the upper that MIGHT accommodate you.
I mentioned above – as well as in basically every other Skechers review I’ve done – that I love the ride provided by the Resalyte material and the ride of the GOrun 5 continues to stand out to me. In fact, this being Lori’s first experience in a pair of Skechers Performance running shoes, she was blown away beyond any expectation.
First, cushion is such that people who like a firmer ride will get a lot of what they typically want while at the same time, those who want cushion have got it (and if it’s not enough, both tastes can easily find what they’re looking for in the Skechers Performance line). It’s also worth mentioning that the GOrun 5 has dropped a wee bit of weight to an even 8 ounces in my men’s size 11.
The ground feel is solid though the foam doesn’t make it hyper-sensitive. The bounce of the ride is the thing that stood out to both Lori and I. Much of the time, shoes that have cushioning lack the energy response that we like to see but the GOrun 5 walks that line with a ton of success.
As I mentioned above, this was Lori’s first experience in Skechers and while I tried to warn her against it, she went in with some trepidation. Once she got running though, she was completely wowed at just how good these shoes are. For my part, I really like the new design of the shoe and think that a bump in sole unit durability is something that will appeal to a lot of more budget-conscious runners. Speaking of budget, the Skechers GOrun 5 comes in at a well-priced $100 (although we have found it for about $70 in some of the links below!).
For a trainer/racer the GOrun 5 delivers across the spectrum. It’s a shoe that can go fast or simply throw down some cruiser miles. If you’ve not gotten your feet in Skechers Performance shoes before now, it’s about time you at least tried them on and went for a jog around the store.