Friday, June 22, 2018

Skechers Performance GO Run Max Trail 5 Ultra Review: Radically Different & Awesome Riding...On the Right Kind of Trails!

Article by Jeff Valliere, David Henry, Dave Ames, and Sam Winebaum

Skechers Go Run Max Trail 5 Ultra
Introduction
Sam: I wear tested previous Skechers Performance trail shoes and found the trail side lagging the brand’s clear progress in road shoes over the last couple of years. I also wear tested the Max Trail 5. This is one truly radical new shoe. 

The original design did not change of a super cushioned and soft shoe with big lugs, a super comfortable sock like upper and a very lively dynamic ride helped along by a rock protecting stabilizing Hytrel plate, something did change big time along the way to production. The midsole foam changed from FlightGen to UltraFlight resulting in a whopping 2 oz drop in weight to 10 oz The change to UltraFlight also led to a yet more lively ride and a vibe that increasingly reminded me 
in many ways as the weight dropped of the road...Nike VaporFly 4%. Or as Jeff put it combine a race car engine and undercarriage with a luxury sedan cabin for an incredibly dynamic ride and speed with easy going up top cushy comfort that feels like it might struggle to hold on around the race track curves. The question to be answered in our test was: can a super cushioned, high stack, super light shoe with such a sock like upper support and hold up to the rigors of trail running on all kinds of terrain? Our testers in New Hampshire, Oregon, Colorado, and Southern California set out to find out.


Stats
Official Weight: US M9 10 oz /283 g
Samples:   US M8.5 9.6 oz/272g, US M10 10.6 oz/300g
Sample Overall Stack Height: 27 mm forefoot, 31 mm heel including 5-6 mm lugs.
$120. Available July 2018.


First Impressions and Fit
Dave: The fit in my normal size 9 is a tad long but a lot has to with the fact that the shoe is also a bit wide for me. The lacing system was a bit tricky on my foot from the get go via the welded mono mesh quarter strap. It’s very “floppy” in my opinion when lacing the shoe and honestly, it’s not even needed. I get where they were trying to be creative here, but it’s useless.  There are other ways to secure a solid snug fit, even when using the knitted ankle collar which I actually quite enjoyed. My question is how will this quarter strap hold up over time when exposed to high mileage, multi hour runs, weather and trail obstacles? It feels like it is barely attached, especially when you really need to tug on laces like I do to feel secure.


Jeff:  Aside from them being pink, I liked the look and feel of the MaxTrail 5 Ultra right away, from the knit upper, light feel, deep cushion and deep sticky lugs. Putting them on, they feel like slippers, especially with the sock like knit upper that stretches and conforms to your foot.

I was also not so sure on the rubber straps that make up the top lace eyelets, but they seem to work well, but I do question durability over time. The outsole looks somewhat narrow and curved for such a somewhat maximal feeling shoe and I also notice a bit of an excess of knit mesh upper over the toe box and question how adequate foothold will be in rough terrain or when cornering fast.
Sam: The fit was true to my size 8.5 if a bit big and wide for a trail shoe from the slightly stretchy upper with only minimal overlays. I think I could size down a half and wear thin socks. The fit is super comfortable and soft, quite unlike most trail shoes and many road shoes. Does this comfort approach actually work on trail is the question.  

The foot is securely if gently held, set deep into the midsole at the heel with walking around giving a pleasant, slightly bouncy sensation. Earlier versions had a less thick, more pliable quarter rear strap and I was pleased that Skechers beefed this up. Despite the foot sitting way down in the rear midsole, the knit collar needs some help holding the ankle and the strap is supposed to provide, reminding of a similar strap in the Salomon S/Lab Ultra, a shoe with no heel counter, although here we also have a heel counter. I think without the strap the connection between lace up and heel and lockdown would be tenuous at best without lots of dense padding as tenuous as it is the road Go Run 6, also a shoe with a knit collar.



David H: I too, as Sam did, had some involvement with the shoe early on so my ‘first’ impression was a lot earlier than this final version.  I haven't, however, given my size 13 foot been able to actually run a pair until now. Overall, the design and fit have a unique mixture of approaches all culminating in a true experimental trail shoe that is like nothing else on the market.  In my view, there are some good parts to Max Trail and some others that still need some work.

The look is striking with its neon safety pink with dark splashes and actually gets yet better looking with some splashes of real mud!

Upper

Dave:  The virtually seamless flat knit upper is sweet!  Skechers Performance continues to improve year after year in the upper department and they are one of the best in the run game right now at it!  Even though the shoe is a tad wide on my foot, it molded to my foot nicely after a few runs. I had it up on the trails of the Santa Monica Mountains last weekend, with temps in the high 80’s, and it was cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce (The Beastie Boys)  
The air and drainage vents in the midsole as well as those punched into the upper near the last lace allow for this. If you were to get it wet the Max Trail should drain itself.
Jeff:  Fit is true to size and I really like the sock like feel. Despite the excess material over the toe box, overall fit, comfort and security far exceeds my expectations and overall comfort is about as good as it gets.  
My foot is in the shoe in the picture below.
I know I have a somewhat slim foot, but that is a lot of extra toe box width, and height coverage!  Tightening the weave and bringing all that volume in would be nice, but then would it fit as many people?  Not sure.  I do get some foot slide when running more extreme terrain, but even with that much extra room, still not bad.  Always room for improvement.
The toe bumper is somewhat minimal, but seemingly adequate and integrates seamlessly with the upper.  Lacing is secure and it is easy to achieve proper snugness on the first try without ever having to re-adjust.  
The heel collar is low, but secure and well padded with good support.
Despite the upper exceeding my expectations however, I still find limitations in it’s performance.  It holds my foot reasonably well most of the time, even in rocky technical terrain, where even at quick (but no all out efforts), I only experienced a few times where the upper was not holding me as well as I needed and I got a bit of ankle roll, but found it minimal and a slow enough roll, that I could pull out of it (though I do have very strong ankles). The most significant issue I had with upper security however was running down moderate gradients, on smoother terrain where I could really open up my stride and pick up some speed (sub 7 min/mi - sub 6:00 pace).  The harder, more stridy landings at high speed, with some gradient (and especially off camber trail) and cornering at high speed had my foot sliding forward and side to side in the shoe. Enough so that I was developing heel blisters and my ankle tendons were a touch sore from working extra hard to stabilize my constantly shifting foot.
David H: Jeff covers many of my issues with the upper.  My foot fits more like the picture of his and I felt that the biggest issue is downhill security on steep grades or at higher paces.  While I’m a fan of knit uppers, I think the main issue with this upper is that there is no tongue and no way to really cinch the upper enough to address the insecurity without really bunching the whole upper and getting too much pressure on the top of my foot due to the lack of any tongue or padding.  This was the most glaring issue in my mind and as I’ll share below, the biggest drawback to an otherwise super unique riding shoe. More security! My mantra for almost any shoe is security=comfort. For a shoe specifically meant for ultra trail running this is paramount.

Sam: Jeff, David and Dave have described this radical upper well. It is incredibly comfortable and pressure free and more than adequate for moderate terrain trail use at moderate paces and fast, fast paces on the flats. It worked perfectly for me on moderate, non highly cambered or highly technical smoother terrain but I felt slightly more tenuous as terrain got more technical and steeper. I had no issues with front of the foot hold and had minimal bunching as my foot is decently wide, but do agree with Jeff that pinching the upper with my foot in it shows extra material just below the last lace up.  As for the knit collar,  I am not a fan and especially in a trail shoe, despite their debris catching potential. The vertical knit patterned cuff is not padded or supported so the support starts down lower, and even then could be denser.  While the foot does sit far down in the rear midsole I could use a more support higher up. 


The quarter strap, while thankfully beefed up from earlier prototypes as I suggested, could be beefier and stiffer yet. 
LEFT: Max Trail RIGHT:                                        RIGHT: Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2018
Why not attach it to the upper and move it so it ends slightly further forward as the Salomon S/Lab Ultra's rear strap does in the photo above, connecting at the second lace hole with the Salomon's last lace hole connecting to the top of a more substantial ankle collar. While heel stability is fine it is that always tricky area between ankle and lace up that could use a bit more work here.


Midsole
Dave:  Ultra Flight.  Man, what can I say about it?  It’s basically a beefed up, long hauler of a midsole that is made for a trail shoe.  It feels just a good as the FlightGen midsole in 2018 road shoes from SP, and allows you to have some good solid cush underneath, while never losing “trail feel” which is tremendously important to me when cruising single track.  Your brain needs the feedback on the trails and Ultra Flight gives you that, while also protecting your feet during those long days of Ultra training. Combine Ultra Flight with M strike technology and each and every stride lands perfectly midfoot forefoot for me.  Lateral stability was an issue in older generations of the Ultra Trail, but Max Trail is secure as ever! I never once felt under confident on descents, rounding corners, rocks or roots, etc.
Jeff:  The midsole is the highlight of the Maxtrail 5 Ultra for me, providing an outstanding blend of cushioning and response without sacrificing trail feel.  The Maxtrail 5 Ultra is springy, providing a ton of bounce and get up and go, even on my slower, more sluggish days, I just feel like running fast in these shoes.  Protection underfoot is very good and I feel somewhat uncaring about how much impact I am landing with on rocks, roots etc… and my legs feel relatively spared after long and hard downhills.

Sam: As Jeff and Dave have said this is an incredibly well cushioned and dynamic midsole. Softer than just about any trail shoe I have ever run, stable underfoot, impeccably rock protected and best of all with plenty of dynamic spring especially on smoother harder surfaces.
Unusually for a trail shoe or really any high stack shoe other than... the Nike Vapor Fly 4%... the medial midsole side walls are deeply carved out. At first look this would spell stability trouble but here on all but the steepest downhill terrain or landing dead mid foot on a sharp rocks it spells a very dynamic transition and toe off along with great climbing ability and upper issues aside great stability.  The stability, rock protection and dynamism is largely provided by the Dupont Hytrel plate which runs from rear of mid foot forward. Skechers tell us it is carved out at the 3d and 5th Flanges to reduce weight. The plate, unusually in my experience, is embedded somewhere higher above the outsole than usual as pressing the outsole between the lugs one feels softness. The soft part leads to great ground conforming contact and feel as well as fine not very slappy road manners despite the big lugs.  On the negative side, the softness at the edges of the outsole leads to accentuating the stretch of the upper and some sliding and instability if landing on the edges running downhills at high speed. Again sort of like the Vapor Fly's road manners on uneven pavement and steep downhills...
The heel and rear of the foot is deeply embedded into the midsole side walls and includes a plastic heel cup which makes the underfoot stability of the shoe there rock solid. 

David H: I mostly agree with the others about the midsole. It is a highlight and strong point of the shoe. The Hytrel plate in particular was something I advocated for something to set it apart and is the main reason it has the stability it does, snappier ride and handles uphills (even steep hiking grades) well.  Its position near the top of the midsole is one of the unique elements that is not present in most shoes but I think will be more and more critical if shoe companies want to have well cushioned shoes that also run more nimbly and confidently on technical terrain.  One other feature that was not mentioned is the plate does extend in a narrower profile all the way back to the front of the heel which will also help with foot fatigue on longer ultras, as well as giving the shoe more torsional stability on uneven terrain.


Outsole
Dave:  I live in SoCal, so 95% of my trails are very dry.  I did not have a chance to test in mud, so hopefully others can chime in from our crew here at RTR.  But the trails here do give me a lot of vert. The 6mm lugs grip like a mofo! I wish I had the opportunity to take it back east to test in moss and wet surface, but out here in Cali, it’s a beaut. I have had the opportunity to also run over 20 miles on hard pack trail and/or road and the Max Trail is great!  Sometimes you take a trail shoe on pavement and it’s a mess from the get go. Here, you don’t get that with MT. It feels just as good on the roads as it does on the trail, making it the perfect Ultra shoe for those trail races that are a mix of trail and fire road, and pavement.


Jeff:  The outsole has deep lugs with a malleable, somewhat sticky rubber compound that provides excellent traction on most surfaces, rock, steep dirt, off trail, pea gravel and performs reasonably well on solid surfaces like pavement, rock, hard packed dirt roads and trails.  Aside from some minor stream crossings, I have not had the opportunity to truly run in wet conditions, but limited testing indicates good wet traction.
Roughly half of the lugs are filled with a Resagrip foam core, which I assume is an attempt to provide stickier grip, save weight and soften landings, but I am seeing some noticeable degradation after just a few runs of not only the foam core, but the surrounding rubber.  
If you run on softer, more forgiving terrain, I suspect it will be much less of an issue, but if you run steep, rocky rough terrain, tread wear will be a serious consideration as it seems the softness of the midsole, the big lugs and the soft lug cores all conspire to wear more rapidly than many outsoles.

Sam: More unique stuff at the outsole level. Many of the big 5-6 mm lugs have soft orange Resagrip cores I think contributing to the incredible shock absorption and all terrain smoothness on the run. These rock gripping cores are clearly less wear resistant than the black rubber and introduce a potential point of failure if caught sharply. I have run less technical terrain than Jeff and slower for sure on steeper downhills and even quite a bit of road. Quite frankly I am amazed at how good this massive outsole feels on harder surfaced terrain and of course in sloppier stuff there is tons of grip.

I see less scuffing than Jeff, but still some, and minimal wear of the actual rubber lugs to date after more than 25 miles of a mix of smoother forest surface with roots and rocks trails and road (see picture below). 


On almost all the full black rubber lugs I can see all of the fine original patterning. So for moderate surface terrain, at moderate speeds wear should be decent but on mountainous terrain with sharp rocks taken at speed one should expect to see below average durability as Jeff and David H. note.  

David H: The shape/footprint of the outsole on the ground is also another important feature in this shoe.  It’s a strong trend these days to have wider footprints to outsoles and most max cushion shoes fill in the arch area as well.  The MaxTrail does not and it really makes the shoe feel so much more nimble that it otherwise would.  That said, while I agree with the others that it does provide decent traction on a variety of surfaces, I also have the durability concerns.  After only a few runs my outsole looks more like Jeff’s having done a more mountainous outing in Montana with steep and rocky terrain.  I also agree that the softness of the lugs, while making it really smooth on easier terrain and even road is a detriment on more technical terrain where one has to edge or corner more drastically.  I can feel the deformation which is not ideal.  It wasn’t super bad, but is one area that could be improved.  The Resagrip midsole material in the middle of some of the lugs, while a good idea, is going to be a durability concern...mostly it is just going to look bad as they wear down since I don’t think it will cease to function well for quite a few miles but I wouldn’t be surprised if those red foam pieces are nearly gone on my shoes well before the rest of the outsole is showing significant wear.


Ride
Dave:  Smooth, smooth and more smooth.  Perfect heel to toe transition via M Strike, the Hytrel plate and Ultra Flight. I noticed a quicker, more efficient gait.  Cadence was increased which is important in trail running. My legs felt fresh as a daisy post run.  Max Trail has become a serious contender for my No Name 50K in Santa Monica mountains this November and Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile in Texas, February 2019 for me.


Jeff:  I’m with Dave, these are the epitome of smooth and transition very nicely at any pace, from heavy legged plodding up steep hills, to uptempo work and race pace.  They climb very nicely, not quite as springy at toe off as a shoe like the Brooks Mazama or even the Mafate EVO, but they do inspire me to go fast uphill and really cruise fast on the downhills and flats.

Sam: Comfortable, soft, fun, fast, very smooth and dynamic are the words that come to mind to describe the ride when the going is relatively mellow in steepness and technicality. A big smile trail cruising shoe! The ride is very easy on the legs and has a great combination of soft bounce and springy response from the Hytrel plate. I does not have the decisive snap and response of the EVO Mafate firmer midsole and fuller contact coverage outsole but delivers a more muted bounce and a more pronounced transition and toe off dynamism from the plate and midsole geometry. There is a distinct sense of moving me rapidly forward, up and away reminding me more than a little of the VaporFly road shoe, a la trail, with also a softer more gentle feel than almost any other trail shoe I have run.


David H: The whole shoe combines to provide a very unique trail ride as the others attest to. It is light, fast, soft and smooth.  These are all good things!

Conclusions and Recommendations
Dave
A perfectly executed trail shoe, built for the long haul!  It can be used as a general trail cruiser just getting you out the door for a few miles, or better yet, for the Ultra scene.  It’s that versatile. My only issues are the lacing via the quarter strap. That can be ditched. I would recommend this shoe to any runner looking for a positive trail experience where you are not thinking about your shoes!  Put it on, lace it up and let 'er rip.
Dave’s Score - 9.25/10

-.75 for quarter strap and a bit wide on my foot.

Jeff 
Despite my reservations about foothold at speed and tread durability, I find myself reaching for this shoe on most runs outside of the times I am looking to push hard downhills where I am likely to experience foot slide and instability.  The MaxTrail 5 Ultra is an outstanding all day shoe due to it’s comfort, cushion, responsive get up and go and light weight. I would highly recommend this shoe as a long distance trail trainer, ideally for moderate terrain, but it does surprisingly well in technical terrain as well.  The Maxtrail 5 Ultra makes for a great ultra race shoe for all of the above reasons, as long as you are not running top speed on the downhills where the foot slide could become an issue.
Jeff’s Score - 9.4/10

-0.3 for excess upper over toe box and associated lack of foothold resulting in some foot slide at speed.
-0.3 for tread durability
Sam 
This 10 oz marvel is clearly a radical trail shoe with great personality. It is super fun to run and appropriate for many but not all trails in this first version. When the going is straighter and smoother, flat or moderately steep up or down you will fly in wonderful softly foot hugging, bouncy and dynamic fashion. Every run in this shoe has been wonderful as there is a special sensation, reminding me of the VaporFly, when you get in its smooth groove. The incredibly comfortable upper will accommodate wider feet and long mileage. The upper can be a challenge for narrower lower volume feet and on rougher steeper terrain and high speed steeper downhills where the softness underfoot, the not as secure as it could be knit heel collar and strap, and the extra material in the toe box can get overwhelmed by twisting forces.
Max Trail is a fast, smooth, and comfortable "trail running" cruiser. It is also excellent on the road as a long run or recovery shoe. It is likely not as good in upper stability and outsole durability used as a "mountain running" shoe as many others. Bottom line: for trails that are smooth, moderate in grade and technicality, the Max Trail 5 is about as much fun, dynamic and comfortable as any trail shoe I have ever taken out.
Sam's Score 9.4/10
For smoother, moderate grade, non technical trails taken at any pace the Max Trail would be close, very close to a perfect 10 for me. This said the issues below limit its versatility.
-0.3 for need for more substantial ankle collar to lace up support and overall excess upper stretch on more technical terrain. 
-0.3 for outsole lug durability on rougher rockier terrain, where because of the upper issues I would likely chose a more suitable shoe anyways.

David H.

I may be extra hard on Skechers here, but it is because I know what they can do and are doing.  I’m an ardent supporter of their team and approach to shoe design in large part because they are willing to take risks, evolve and put something truly unique out in the market.  The Max Trail 5 Ultra is no exception to this radical approach and I love it!  For moderate trails it is a super fun shoe that feels like nothing else out on the market. That said there are some issues that need to be addressed for it to really shine like it could.
David H's Score 8/10
-1.5 for upper insecurity, design and bootie construction.  The upper is a huge issue for me on this shoe and while I like the attempt at a unique bootie design, it just doesn’t give the needed security for a shoe with the capability and ride that this shoe has.  This minimal bootie design works on a shoe like the Go Run 6 (which is only 6 oz, lower stack and for roads) but just is not enough structure for more aggressive trails (which the shoe is otherwise well suited for)
-0.5 for the mid-lug midsole wear down and outsole being a bit too soft and deformative for technical terrain.

Comparisons

Skechers Performance Go Run Max 5 Ultra vs. Hoka One One Torrent (RTR review)
Dave:  My 2 current favorites right now in the trail game.  Looking for a bit more underfoot, go with the Max Trail.  Looking for more of a true trail racer for shorter distance races, or speedwork/Fartlek/Tempo on the trails go with the Torrent.  For mega long distance running, Max Trail is far more lively and produces more snap via the Ultra Flight midsole. Long story short…..own both.  They both will serve a major purpose in your trail arsenal.


Jeff:  Max Trail is more lively, but the Torrent can handle faster paces if used in technical terrain and is more stable, in part due to a more secure and structured upper.  The Torrent is also more durable. For longer stuff not at top speed, the Max Trail would be advantageous due to the deeper cushion and springy midsole.

Sam: The Torrent is clearly superior in technical terrain. It's upper is both roomy and more secure than the Max Trail's. It is lighter yet and has impeccable all terrain grip. If rock dancing and steeps is in the picture and the run is shorter, no question the Torrent. For more mellow terrain and longer distances for sure the Max Trail .


Skechers Performance Go Run Max Trail 5 Ultra vs. Hoka One One EVO Mafate (RTR review)
Dave:  Both in more of the maximal trail category, they both ride real nice.  However, the Max Trail transitions quicker from heel to toe for me and the stacks are a tad high on Mafate EVO, causing me to be a bit less aggressive rounding corners and in rocks and roots, etc.  Max Trail for the win.


Jeff:  Mafate has a more secure upper, so does better for me at top speed, though has a higher stack and if you tip it over, you are less likely to roll out of it as is the case with the Max Trail.  Mafate has a slightly more durable outsole.

Sam: Agreeing with both Jeff and Dave here. The Mafate while also having a roomy upper is more secure with less upper stretch but could use a bit more foot hug and stretch. Its on the ground platform with no medial carve out and firmer midsole foam is slightly more stable. Overall it is more responsive if a bit stiffer and less smooth running. Max Trail sheds mud better, is softer and more dynamic at toe off ,and despite its limitations on rougher terrain has bigger overall smiles and is a more comfortable, fast and fun shoe for me on more mellow terrain.


Skechers Performance Go RunMax Trail 5 Ultra vs. Altra Superior 3.5 (RTR review)
Dave:  Completely different end of the spectrum for me with zero drop, low profile vs. maximal, but both are in my rotation.  Superior for shorter softer ground trail work and Max Trail for hard pack West Coast trail is how I use them. Again, nice to own both!  No one really wins out here.


Skechers Performance Go Run Max Trail 5 Ultra vs. S/Lab Ultra (RTR review)
Jeff:  MaxTrail 5 has more plush cushioning, a much more accomodating fit and is more responsive, it would be my certain pick for anything more than 4 hours.  The S/Lab Ultra however has a more secure fit in technical terrain and is a more durable shoe, particularly the outsole.

Sam: Despite its very narrow front sides of the toe box, the rest of the Ultra's upper is perfection for me. Super secure and comfortable. Underfoot, while the Ultra will handle the roughest of terrain where the Max would struggle with the S/Lab Ultra we have a firmer ride, shallower lugs, and in contrast to Max a more muted not particularly dynamic forefoot feel and less snappy transitions. More serious business possible with the Ultra if its toe box works for you, more fun and flat trail speed and comfort in the lighter softer Max.



Skechers Performance Go Run Max Trail 5 Ultra vs Salomon XA Elevate (RTR review)
Sam: A tough match up here. The XA Elevate outperforms the Max on both technical and road type surfaces. Very stable and responsive, Elevate is on the firm side and quite a bit firmer than the Max. It's upper is a picture of stout yet decently comfortable support. For everything in between those two extremes, the Max Trail is more fun, softer, faster and smoother but overall the XA Elevate is a more versatile and durable single shoe option.

Skechers Performance Max Trail 5 Ultra vs. Peregrine 8 (RTR review)
Jeff:  The MaxTrail is lighter, quicker and has a more responsive midsole with better bounce and all day cushion.  The Peregrine 8 however has really become a well cushioned all day shoe with a secure, yet forgiving enough upper for longer distances.  The outsole of the Peregrine 8 is far superior in both traction and durability.
Sam: The Peregrine's upper is super secure yet comparably roomy. It has tons of great softer traction over a firmer midsole. Peregrine is superior for all day technical terrain plodding but gets bogged down compared to the Max by its greater weight and conventional midsole geometry when the terrain smooths out and the pace picks up.

Skechers Performance Max Trail 5 Ultra vs. Altra Timp (RTR review)

Sam: The Timp is considerably heavier but has a super fun ride. You will get a more voluminous upper than even the Max but a sloppier one that doesn't inspire much confidence for me on downhills, even less so than the Max. The Max is more versatile, lighter, and faster.
Available July 2018
Reviewer Bios
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.  A formally competitive runner in High School and College, Dave focuses the majority of his time now on his athletes, but maintains the love for running and racing by keeping sub 3 Marathon, fit. 
David Henry is a entrepreneur, endurance coach with CTS (https://trainright.com/coaches/david-henry/), husband and dad to 3 children.  He has run distances from short road races up to mountain 100 milers totaling around 40 ultramarathons over the last 8 years and has tested hundreds of shoes over that period. 
Jeff Valliere is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall, at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times, finishing 2d Masters in 2015. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the Colorado 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several.   
Sam Winebaum is the Editor and Founder of RoadTrailRun. He has been running trails and roads and run shoe and tech geeking for 45 years. As he turned 60 in 2017 he was thrilled to clock a 1:35.24 half as well as 2 days after his 61st birthday a 3:40 marathon.  He also runs trails in rocky rooty New Hampshire and smooth Park City, UT. 


The products reviewed in this article were provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
Comments Questions Welcome Below!
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4 comments:

rms said...

Dave mentioned he's size M13, can he post the weight of his size please?

Stewart G. said...

Thanks for the detailed reviews as a long time Skechers user I am currently enthralled with the Ride 7,on the road, and very much looking forward to this new trail shoe!

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for putting this together! very helpful in making my decision to continue with the skecher's gotrail type shoe (I have the woman's Ultra 3 which are in desperate need of replacement). My only critique is maybe getting a woman involved in reviewing trail running shoes, as our shoe design is slightly different than the men's. :)

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous, Indeed! Our key women’s trail shoe reviewer Shannon Payne has been injured but is hoping and has started to run more.
Sam, Editor