What caught my eye in the Runner's World review was that the GOrun shoes are designed to help with running form and it actually hurts when you heel strike. The idea of getting real time feedback from the shoes intrigued me. I was curious enough to stop by the mall to hunt down a pair to try on. After several tries, I finally found the Skechers GOrun at Finish Line and luckily they had one pair left in a size 6.
When I picked them up, I immediately noticed how light the shoes were... only 4.9 oz! Then I put them on and it felt like a perfect fit. I liked that there was plenty of room in the toebox but at the same time the rest of the shoe felt snug. Sometimes when I try on running shoes it feels like the heel is too loose, but that wasn't the case with the GOrun. Also, you know how sometimes when trying on a new style of shoe there'll be something about the construction that just rubs your foot the wrong way for whatever reason? There was none of that for me with the GOrun. For being a minimal shoe, I also liked that there seemed to be a decent amount of cushioning.
What makes the GOrun unique is that there's a "bump" under the midfoot area of the shoe, and then it has a lower heel drop (4mm) than traditional running shoes. These features are designed to encourage forefoot running. It did feel a little strange when I was just standing or walking in the shoes. It was almost like I'd have to lean back in order to distribute any weight onto my heels. But the bump wasn't really noticeable at all when I tried jogging around the store. The shoes seemed to fulfill the purpose of pushing me toward a forefoot landing. As for the Runner's World claim that it hurts to heel strike, I didn't experience any pain during my short test. The shoe design does make it harder to heel strike in general so maybe my form wasn't bad enough to the point of causing pain.
I almost always run with custom insoles, but the GOrun shoes don't have a removable liner. The shoes felt so comfortable that I didn't miss my custom insoles at all. Skechers claims that the shoes can be worn sockless. I did try the shoes without socks and while it felt okay, I'd still be worried about potential rubbing or chafing while running. But it could be just me being overly cautious because I had a bad experience going sockless in regular running shoes.
Overall I was quite surprised by how much I liked the Skechers GOrun. I was very tempted to buy them, especially since they were on sale for $70. (Regular price is $80.) What held me back was:
- I don't particularly like any of the colors that the GOrun comes in.
- I'm interested in the Brooks PureFlow but haven't been able to try them in my size yet. I want to see how they compare to the Skechers GoRun first before buying something new.
- I already have a pair of Newtons that still have plenty of miles left in them. They were free, so it's not like I spent $175 on shoes that I barely wear, but I don't really need another pair of minimalist shoes.
For now I'm willing to admit that Skechers was indeed able to create a quality running shoe with the GoRun, and they'll be under consideration next time I do decide to buy new shoes.