Saturday, February 03, 2018

Skechers Performance GO Run 6 Review

Article by Peter Stuart, Dave Ames, and Derek Li

Peter: Skechers Performance knocked it out of the park last year with the GO Run 5. It was light, bouncy and could handle any workout you threw at it. I went through at least two pairs and used them for everything from tempo runs to recovery runs. How does the 6 compare? Read on, reader, read on. 
Weight: US M9 sample 7.2 oz/204g, US W8 5.9 oz/ 167g 
Stack Height: 20mm heel/16mm forefoot, 4mm drop 
Features: Sock like bootie GOknit upper, FlightGen midsole, panametric web outsole
$105. Available now.
*stats from Running Warehouse here 

First Impressions and Fit
Peter: I took these out of the box and thought “uh oh, these are not going to stay on my feet very well”. I was wrong. The bootie is crazy comfortable and somehow holds the foot moderately well without much trouble. I just laced ‘em up and went for a run. They run true to size and look good. 

Derek: I liked the aesthetics of the shoe from the start. I too was a little worried about how the upper would hold up, as I have previously had mixed results with the likes of the Nike Flyknit Free. However, they seem to work just fine. You don’t really think about the upper once you put them on and start running. 

Dave:  Unfortunately, unlike the dudes above on our team, I had serious issues getting this shoe locked down on my foot.  The bootie construction just does not work well  with my narrow foot.  Is it a comfortable shoe?  It’s insane!!  Note:  I have struggled with all GO Run model shoes over the years from the 3,4,5 and now the 6.  The 3 and 4 were far too minimal and the 5 was far too soft, leaving me quite beat up in the knees, post run. I absolutely think Skechers Performance is making the best stuff on the planet right now for 2018, but the Run 6 just couldn’t work for me.  The midsole now FlightGen did get better on in the Run 6 and if I was locked in better I might find running in this shoe quite enjoyable.  It’s by far not as soft as the Run 5 (RTR review), even though it’s the same durometer or firmness in both, the FlightGen makes all the difference.

Note: All testers received a true to size pair of GO Run 6.
Peter: The upper is a sock-like GOknit bootie. It’s made of a breathable knit that has various densities to help hold the midfoot. The ankle collar, such as it is, is more like a sock that wraps around the base of the ankle. It doesn’t look like it will be super-secure, but I’ve had zero problems with slippage. 
This is partly due to a molded heel counter which helps keep the foot in place.The shoe is easy to slip on with the pull-tab on the back. There’s a nice simplicity to the design of this shoe that is a great step  in the right direction for Skechers. It is basically a two tone shoe with a vertical split about three quarters of the way back.

Derek: The really neat part about this upper is in the padded internal heel counter. It reinforced the heel in a way that plain knit could not and really solves a lot of the issues I experienced with a pure knit heel (eg Nike Flyknit Free, where the heel sort of collapses due to lack of structure, and LunarEpic, where the rear seam rubbed my heel and Achilles). The rest of the upper just worked well for me with appropriate shoe volume throughout. Compared to the GO Run 5 overall shoe volume was maybe a little more snug this year, but the difference in fit is not very significant. 

Dave:  Outstanding upper for a casual shoe for me.  With my narrow foot I could not fill the shoe out enough to get a secure fit.  Each stride felt sloppy.  I took 3 runs in this shoe total, honestly trying to give it a chance, but turned around and changed into the Ride 7 each time.

Peter:  The midsole is Skechers new Flight Gen™ material. According to Skechers the midsole is the same firmness and has the same dimensions as the GO Run 5 but FlightGEN has different characteristics. It’s light in weight, well cushioned and has some energy return. Flight Gen™ appears across the 2018 models, though it feels a bit different in each due to the durometer (firmness) spec of the material and the geometry and thickness of the midsole. The Ride 7 (RTR review) and Run 6 share the same durometer firmness while the Razor 2 is about 14% firmer by foam firmness spec. 

Derek: The GO Run 6feels very different to the GO Run 5 for me. It feels closer to the GoRun 4. While the GO Run 5 as soft and bouncy, especially in the heel, the GoRun 6 is firmer and you feel much less compression in the midsole. 

Dave:  FlightGen is just plain awesome.  But in the Run 6, it still feels soft and loses the snap that I get from the Ride 7.  I leave a run far fresher in the Ride 7 compared to the Run 6.

Peter: The outsole seems identical to the Run 5's. It’s a parametric web of blown rubber over exposed Flight Gen™ midsole. Grip is fine and durability (judging from the 5) gets up to about 200 miles. Not the most durable shoe , but fun to run in and inexpensive. 

Derek: I never had any issues with grip or durability with the GoRun 5, and outsole characteristics are identical in the GO Run 6.

Dave:  Same outsole pattern as the Run 5.  Durability issues (from years of selling it as a rep for them) plagued the Run 5.  However, I’m a firm believer that FlightGen combined with this outsole will return more miles to the runner.  I would personally beef up this outsole in the future so it can pull more miles.

Peter: I’m a little ambivalent about the ride of the GO Run 6  I loved the 5 and found it to be a super versatile shoe. The 6 loses just a little bit of the magic. I’m not sure why yet.  I LOVE the Flight Gen ™ midsole in the Ride 7, and I love the Run 5, so I’m not sure why putting Flight Gen™ on the Run 6 wouldnt turn it into a totally badass shoe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine. It’s an enjoyable and solid ride for a somewhat minimal shoe. I’m not unhappy any time I run in it, but it’s not quite up to the Run 5. I’ll run them side by side for the comparisons below. 

Derek: I actually found the GO Run 5 a little to soft after a while. The soft heel sort of slowed the transitions down a little more than I would have liked. The shoe also bottomed out a little at faster paces for me. With the switch to FlightGen in the Run 6, they somehow also decided to firm up the shoe a little, which to me was a good thing and gave it a faster and smoother transition. It also made the heel feel a little more stable, which I think heel strikers will appreciate. Given that the Ride 7 has taken up the mantle as the soft pillowy shoe in the range, it makes sense that Skechers would not want the Run 6 to feel soft as well. I’ve put this shoe through a faster tempo run and a slow easy run, and it has felt fine for both runs. There are better options out there for racing, and long runs, but for a daily trainer, I think this is a decent option. 

Dave:  Far too soft and too sloppy an upper to be a solid training shoe for me.  I’m just a really big Ride 7 fan right now.  For the runner who likes a bit of a softer feel and has an average to wider foot (and can fill up the shoe better) I think the Run 6 will be a solid go to.  As will all the Run models over the years, it’s a freaking rocket ship - - if you like it soft.

Conclusions and Recommendations
Peter: The GO Run 6 s a really interesting upper update that falls just a bit short of what the previous model felt like for me. My guess is that due to the changes in the upper, the foot feels a little less locked down to the mid/outsole and therefore the ride isn’t quite as dynamic as the GoRun5.  I’m going to be doing more miles in the Skechers Ride 7 this time around. If you want a little less shoe and want it to be super comfortable, this may be a great shoe for you.

Derek: Fans of the Run 5 may be disappointed if they were looking for something similar in the Run 6. The Run 6 is firmer and a snappier ride, with an interesting upper that does a decent job. It would work well for fans of the GO Run 4, or people who liked the GOmeb 1, but wanted just a marginally softer ride. 

Dave:  As a former run sales rep for Skechers, I’ve seen the evolution of the line over the years.  Year after year a new shoe comes out or one is significantly updated (this year the Forza 3 and Ride 7) and they trump another in the lineup.  Last year's Run 5 was far better than the Ride 6.  It’s not that the Run 6 is a bad shoe, it’s just not for me and I am far more interested in the pure snap of FlightGen and Ride 7 (best FlightGen and shoe combo in their line IMHO) - - Skechers Performance and product developer Kurt Stockbridge are doing amazing things.  They listen to the feedback in wear testing and actually apply it to the next generation of shoes. So...long story short…..I personally would direct the runner to the Ride 7 and the eventual GOmeb Speed 5 for racing, coming out soon!

Peter 9/10
A solid minimal trainer but -.5 for slightly sloppy fit and -5 for a ride that doesn’t totally live up to last year’s model.
Derek 8.5/10
-1.0 for somewhat uninspiring ride, compared to its predecessor
-0.5 for an upper that works ok, but maybe should have stuck to a more traditional approach for a more performance-oriented feel. 
Dave 8/10
-1.0 for not being able to run in it (amazing upper, just doesn’t work with my foot type)
-1.0 durometer could be firmer due to the fact that it can still add firmness and still not be the Razor 2


Skechers Performance GO Run 6 vs. GOrun 5 (RTR review)
Peter: Okay, just ran these with one on each foot. The GOrun 5 feels like it pushes through and off the ground better. The outsole material may be a hair softer on the 6, but I suspect that the culprit is the sock-like upper. I’m not sure that my foot is as connected to the rest of the shoe in the GOrun  6 as it is in the 5. The good news is that the Razor 2 and the Ride 7 have you covered and you won’t miss the GOrun 5.

Dave:  GOrun 5 felt more like a trainer and I could at least pull some miles out of it from time to time.  Run 6 has a completely different construction and is unrunnable for me.  Go back to the old design!!

Skechers Performance GO Run 6 vs. NB 1400 V5 (RTR review)
Peter: These are both really comfortable, but for me the 1400 is a better all around shoe. Snappier and feels more connected to my feet.

Dave:  I love a firmer shoe so 1400v5 for the win.  

Skechers Performance GO Run 6 vs. Under Armour HOVR Sonic (RTR review)
Peter: The HOVR Sonic is a firmer more traditional trainer. I like both, but would do longer runs in the HOVR Sonic. 

Skechers Performance GO Run 6 vs. Nike Zoom Elite 9 (RTR review)
Derek: Both have similar-feeling heels, but the Elite has a slightly bouncier feel in the forefoot. Otherwise both shoes have similar ground feel for me. The big difference is the upper. The Elite 9 has a performance fit, while the Run6 has a more relaxed comfort fit, with a bit of the Athleisure feel to the upper. As a running shoe, I think I still prefer the Elite 9. 

Dave:  Zoom Elite 9.  It’s fast and uber smooth.  I don’t need that much softness like in the Run 5 when going fast.

Skechers Performance GO Run 6 vs. Skechers Performance GOmeb Razor (RTR review soon)
Dave:  I love a firmer snappy shoe and Razor 2 gives me that.  There is much more return coming from the Razor 2, than the Run 6 for me.  The flat knit upper on the Razor 2 locks my foot in really well (though a tad too wide, still)

Reviewer Bios
Peter Stuart is a late 40's avid LA based runner with recent sub 3 hour marathons and sub 1:25 halves.
Dave Ames is the Founder and Head Coach of Ame For It Run Coaching, a nationwide run coaching business, training athletes of all ability levels from 5K to Marathon. He works at staying sub 3 hour marathon fit. 
Derek Li is a family physician who lives in Singapore. He has been running marathons for the past four years with a 2017 marathon PR of 2:41 and a 2018 1:17 half marathon PR. Derek is focusing on  a bid to run all the World Marathon Majors. In his free time, he likes to review running shoes and related products at his blog Running Commentary.

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