Monday, October 15, 2018

Skechers Performance GOrun Razor 3 Hyper Review: Set to Shave Down PR's?

Review by Sam Winebaum, Dave Ames, Cheyne Inman, Hope Wilkes, and Peter Stuart
Editor's Note: We welcome Hope Wilkes and Cheyne Inman to the RTR review team. Hope is an ultra runner from Virginia now moving over to the marathon where she has a recent 3:47:40 PR. Cheyne is Southern California based. He has a PR's of 1:06:57 for the half and 2:25:38 for the marathon. See their full bios along with those of our other reviewers here

Year after year Skechers Performance continues to innovate with a focus on reducing weight and dynamic midsoles, producing shoes that are increasingly fun to run in and more lightweight than their predecessors. Continuing this tradition, they are launching the GOrun Razor 3 Hyper, an approximately 6.1 oz/ 174 g, 23mm heel/19mm forefoot (without 3mm flat sock liner), 4mm drop trainer/marathon racer. It will retail for $125, when it comes to market in November. Other colorways will be released over the next several months and timed for major marathons in mid-January, mid-March, and mid-April; namely Houston, Los Angeles, and Boston.

Shoe geeks may recall the Razor 2 (RTR review) weighed 6.8 oz and had a stack of about 18mm heel/14 mm forefoot (without sock liner) and was a fairly firm, dynamic, light trainer racer. The Razor 3 is intended to up the comfort game of the Razor for longer hauls and races. So how did Skechers add 5mm of cushioning front and back to the Razor, provide decent outsole rubber, outfit it with a durable, lightweight nylon mesh upper with 3D printed overlays, reduce the weight by more than half an ounce and deliver a well cushioned, responsive and springy ride?
A big part of the answer is its new Hyper Burst midsole foam. It is not conventionally injection or compression molded and is 15% lighter and 30% more resilient than their current mighty fine UltraFlight which succeeded FlightGen in current models, each time reducing weights across the line. We can't get into more details but the innovative process and foam plays a big role in delivering the weight and resiliency benefits. The stenciled shoe and process data on the photo above provides clues...and we see 47C which we assume refers to the durometer and 47C is a moderately firm midsole foam but firmness is never the whole story as there is specific gravity and other factors which make up the run feel of a shoe. Readers are invited to “interpret” the data above in the comments!

Skechers Performance clearly made big efforts to tune every aspect of the Razor 3. Kurt Stockbridge VP Development told us: “..we set out to achieve an extremely versatile, fast performance trainer/distance racing shoe (half to full) for fast and efficient runners. It was meant to be unique… to give it reason to exist, while appealing to and solving the problems for a fairly wide group of runners. Hyper Burst opened the door for us, since we realized we could add 5mm to the midsole thickness for more protection and response, and still achieve a weight roughly a half an ounce lighter than the Speed 4 and prior iterations. We felt the added thickness, while keeping the bottom net proportionally narrow… would help us achieve our performance and weight targets… and look and feel fast as well. We set out to appeal to both those who train fast and race distances fast, without being a racing flat as we typically define one.  "
He continued: "The same goes for the upper… we used light/strong materials common in racing flats, yet offered tongue and collar padding common in trainers, yet in a minimal way to save weight.  You’ll notice the sockliner is die cut to save 2 grams, for example. The lace, shorter aglets, monofilament strobel sock, sandwich mesh tongue padding... and minimal thick and cored out rubber not wrapping the toe…. all save grams.  We said all along during the development phase that “every gram counts” for the Razor 3 … and if you look at every square centimeter, you’ll see that it is well thought out, with this in mind. "
Our testers, with marathon times between 2:25 and about 3:50, put the Razor 3 to the test to see how it performs and if it met the product goals. Peter, Hope, and I tested the Speed production version. Dave, Cheyne, and I tested the famous “Zebraflage” version, a prototype and not final production specs. I note in comparing with one on each foot that the Zebra had a harder heel with some bottoming out which the production version fixed for me and Dave notes some upper issues with the Zebra not seen by the rest of us in production.

Catalog Weight: 6.4 oz US M9
Estimated Production Weight: 6.1 oz/ 174 g US M9
Sample (production) 5.86 oz/166 g US M 8.5
Stack Height: 23mm heel/19mm forefoot (without 3mm flat built in sock liner), 4mm drop
$125. First release November 2018. Unisex sizing.

First Impressions and Fit
Sam: My Razor 3 production sample, was half a size up from my normal 8.5, what Skechers had available and with heavy socks fits perfectly. In a next pair I would go true to size. Even at a half size up the fit is smooth, secure and pressure free with a fit closer to a performance trainer than race flat. I noted some changes in fit from the earlier “Zebraflage” sample I also tested. The production version has thin “aluminum” mid foot overlays whereas the Zebra had none with now notably and gently improved support there. The Zebraflage paint scheme essentially provided no support.
At the ankle and Achilles collar some welcome padding is added and the Achilles collar is slightly lowered. While the rear comfort is improved with the padding I slightly prefer the higher Achilles collar of the Zebra.

I like the "Speed" look which feels a touch retro in a 1940’s or 1950's fast shiny aluminum airplaneskind of way. Skechers tells us that shoes meant for racing and fast such as the Razor, Speed Elite, and others to come will share these design cues while performance training shoes such as the Ride and Run will have a more “lifestyle” aesthetic.

Dave: Skechers Performance is a brand near and dear to my heart. It’s a brand I worked for, know the design team well and shoes I have just had really good success running, year after year. It’s a brand that continues to make better shoes season to season, and honestly, I am not sure if there is a run brand that improves more, update to update, product line to product line than Skechers Performance. When I had the opportunity to test the Razor 3 Hyper Burst, I was pumped. Razor 1 was one of the best shoes I’ve trained in in over the last 10 years and the 2, while having a few issues for me with the upper, was a pleasure to run in as well.
My size 9 Zebra prototype is spot on in terms of fit. The upper works well in terms of feel, but I am having a problem with my left foot. It's almost like the last of the shoe is not matching up with my foot correctly. My left forefoot feels like it is being forced to the right, leading to what I think could cause a hotspot. I feel shifted to the right with my metatarsals in the left toebox. I have not caught any blisters yet but I do notice that the left shoe and improper fit is causing me to excessively pronate upon footfall. I was testing a prototype, so this could be a defect. I struggle with shoes in which I have to use the last eyelet, and this could be causing it as well. When not using the last eyelet the laces are too long and I do not feel locked and loaded. UPDATE: It’s still there after many runs. It goes away after a few miles, but makes the first mile or two awkward.

Hope: I’m pleased to be kicking off my contributions to RTR with my review of the Razor 3 Hyper. I enjoyed the original Go Meb Razor 1 in the garish neon green and blue. Light and firm underfoot, the R1 was a fun uptempo trainer for me. In testing the R3, I was looking for much of the same magic from the R1, but with more pop and a more pliable upper. Spoiler alert: that’s *mostly* what I found in the R3.

My men’s 8 production version is on the money in terms of fit. I have a thumb’s width of space between my big toe and the end of the shoe. Each shoe weighed in at an astonishingly svelte 5.89 oz (consistent weight is a sign of good manufacturing). On foot the R3 completely disappears. These are “how did they do that?” light.

Peter: My first impression was “hey, they finally figured out a way to use the Skechers logo and make it look good!” I’ve seen some people grousing about the graphic of the word Speed but I really like the way this shoe looks. I’m super happy to go back to a mesh upper instead of a knit. Out of the box the shoe is crazy light and looks good.

Fit has been a little bit of a process for me. My usual running shoe size fits my foot really well but I had some blistering on my first run. The toe-box was a little tight at first but has relaxed a bit. I was worried after my first run in the Razor 3, but subsequent runs have seen no blistering and have left my feet feeling good.

Cheyne: The Skechers GO Run Razor 3 Hyper Burst, is a significant improvement from its predecessor. I had a hard time finding a spot in my shoe rotation for the Skechers GoMeb Razor and GoMeb Razor 2 because they were too responsive to be my easy run shoe and not light enough to be my workout or race shoe. That has changed with this model as they weigh in at approximately 6.1 oz/ 174 g, and still feel surprisingly cushioned with a 23mm heel/19mm forefoot (without 3mm flat sock liner), 4mm drop. This shoe will be my new long workout/tempo shoe and should work great for many marathon racers.

Sam: This is a great upper which shows knits, traditional engineered mesh, etc. while they look great can add weight and provide uneven support challenges. Here the secret is a monofilament mesh. Instead of using multiple threads to create a fiber here each fiber making up the upper is a single nylon thread very much like a very fine fishing line in a very fine weave.
The upper, while appearing all of a piece from the outside, is actually engineered as seen in the photo above with light shining through it from the inside. One can see small more open surfaces for weight reduction and breathability alternating with tighter weaves for support, the three dark bands being the external overlays,
The front of the toe box gets some additional structure and height from a slightly tighter denser weave. The thin “aluminum” overlays provide just enough structure to wrap the foot securely being only slightly less pliable than the rest of the upper. The result is a deceptively simple and effective upper. This is one breathable fast draining upper.

Dave: Honestly, there’s nothing really fancy about the upper on the R3. It simply molds my foot well and gets the job done. Of course, with this being a prototype I got the pleasure of getting the funky Zebraflage stripes straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson acid trip. Kinda cool, actually. It does well in temps above 80 and ok with humidity. I never struggle with hot feet as is, but it is something I have been keen to pay attention to now a days with all these shoe brands using dense knits, I made note to pay attention to this. I could use more tongue on the R3. Because I have narrower ankles and because the laces are a tad long, I need to use the last eyelet. The tongue comes up short in wrapping around the stop of my foot.

Hope: My production pair did away with the acid trip stripes of the prototype "Zebraflage" in favor of a simple mesh: dense on top to keep out dirt, and open underneath to allow air to circulate.

Hold the shoe just right and you can see daylight through the upper. The two sides of the mesh form a perfect marriage of structure and breathability. The R3 upper molded to my foot and felt comfy right out of the box. There’s room for me to flex my toes, but my midfoot still feels reasonably locked down (not a race-like fit, but I don’t expect that out of a near trainer). This upper is nothing flashy, it just works. “Nothing flashy” also applies to the silver paint job on the R3 -- it’s not reflective. I often run in low light conditions, so the lack of reflectivity was disappointing. If Skechers were to make this cosmetic choice a functional one and it’d be a real winner. I noticed that the tongue was short, but not so short that it interfered with the fit for me. Using the rear set of eyelets would be a challenge.

Peter: The upper on the Razor 3: Hyper Burst is simple and effective. It holds my foot really well, the mesh is plenty breathable and it has relaxed just enough over of a couple of weeks so that it fits like a glove. It’s an upper that’s so nice and dialed in that it might be tempting to take it for granted--but don’t! It fits well, feels great and laces up without any fuss.
Cheyne: The upper on this shoe is a big part of why I like it. Like others have mentioned, it is simple yet efficient. I like how it feels like one locked in piece of material around my foot, with no unnecessary overlays.
Two features I really liked on the upper were the toe cap and the tongue. These may seem like minor details, but they really add to the structure and comfort of the shoe. As Sam mentions above, the toe cap has good form to keep it looking nice while also giving it volume and room around the toe box from the engineered mesh weave.
The tongue is a nice mixture of speed and comfort. It starts with a soft padding over the metatarsals to keep from the laces pinching your foot while pulling tight, and it transitions to a sleek track spike style tongue at the top to cut down on weight and give it that fast feel.
Sam: The Razor 3, and many future Skechers Performance shoes, will have the new Hyper Burst foam midsole. It is not conventionally injection molded and is 15% lighter and 30% more resilient than their current mighty fine UltraFlight.. I found the midsole to be relatively firm but not harsh with springy characteristics that are not of the bouncy variety but more subtle and controlled. It is not as soft and bouncy as Zoom X in the Vaporfly and Pegasus Turbo or as dense feeling with a distinct firmer rebound as the Flight Foam in the Reebok Fast and Fast Pro both the Nike and Reebok having their own varieties of PEBA foams. It is slightly less mushy and dense feeling than the fine Fresh Foam in the Beacon.

Here there is sensation that those tiny bubbles seen in the foam are providing some sprightly zing to the ride. Although I would agree with Hope below, that there is some squishiness to the ride it is not a soft energy sapping feel at all. Although the heel is lower feeling, maybe as much to do with thin outsole rubber there as the midsole than I would like, and particularly at slow paces, the ride is never harsh. The forefoot is particularly fine. Much more stable than Ride 7, well cushioned and smoothly dynamic but without a distinct spring effect as we are dealing with a single slab of foam here with no plastic mid to forefoot plates and add-ons or much rubber thickness. I thought initially that the relative firmness, particularly the heel would beat me up as the feel is closer to a race flat for sure than trainer, but low and behold the day after a slower tempo eleven miler my legs felt just fine although my joints were sore.
Dave: Hyper Burst is the real deal. I’ve had the opportunity to test it out in some other, shall we say “unnamed” shoes for 2019 and man, it’s going to be the real deal. Unfortunately, in my initial Zebraflage R3 prototype, it is lacking a bit of the pop I have felt in other shoes with Hyper Burst I wear tested, I’m not sure it lives up to the snap that the R1 and R2 brought to the table. I’ll fast forward the story a bunch here and tell you my first pair of prototypes were a dud. So scratch everything I just said. The initial pair would NOT get itself out of the heel and failed to transition well from heel to toe, literally at any speed. I let Kurt Stockbridge of SP know this and immediately he sent me (why he’s the best in the biz) a new pair of the the Zebra prototype. Whatever was wrong in the first pair, immediately went away. Sam: I too had an initial dud prototype.  It had a very firm bottoming out heel and poor transition. The production version with a tweaked midsole formulation largely solved the issue. Running one on each foot the difference was very clear.

Dave: I ran 4 hours out of the box in the new pair (I’m prepping for Ultra and couldn’t get to the mountains) and it was a outstanding experience! Extremely smooth upon heel touchdown and via the combination of M Strike and Hyper Burst, you move swiftly through mid load to an explosive toe off, immediately. I know R3 is labeled as a speed day type of shoe, or a shoe that you will continually reach for to do Fartlek work in, but I found it to be great at any speed. This speaks volumes of how nicely this midsole technology works and how I can guarantee it will also work with all SP shoes going forward! Where does it really shine? I had one of the best high output Vo2 Max sessions in it, ever: (7 x 5 mins hard/4 mins easy + 4 x 400m on tired legs for leg speed - - This was a workout that mixed the 5 mins segments on the road and the quarters at the oval office. Don’t let the track scare you, Razor 3 hauls!

Hope: Even though it doesn’t necessarily translate to how a shoe feels on the run, I like to do a little squish test of the midsole. Let me tell you, Hyper Burst is very, very squishy. Between the light weight, the visible air bubbles, and the extreme squishiness, I was expecting a dead, marshmallowy feel underfoot. I was happily surprised by how springy the R3 feels. Gone is the responsive snap of the R1. The bounce of the R3 made for a friendly ride at a variety of speeds, but it really shone when I picked up the pace. It’s lively without being out of control. M Strike kept me landing comfortably on the midfoot, even when I turned on the afterburners going downhill (prime time for me to heel strike).
Peter: The midsole is the name of the game here. This shoe is light with plenty of cushioning and plenty of feel. It’s a great combination. I love that Skechers is pushing to find lighter materials that provide a great road feel.

Cheyne: The midsole of this shoe is fast yet forgiving. I normally use a separate shoe for my warm up and cool down and for my workout or race. I was able to comfortably warm up and cool down in this shoe while also feeling the explosiveness of the shoe during my workout. It does a great job of serving the purpose of being a versatile shoe, but if I were to use it as a race shoe I would want to firm it up a bit to the point where I would not want to warm up or cool down in it in order to rest my legs.

Dave: The Razor was a bit slippery here in SoCal for wet sidewalks from sprinklers and loose sand along the beach paths. This is one area Skechers has struggled with in their road lines over the years. I would take an extra few fractions of ounces on this thing (because Hyper Burst is so powerful) to get a bit more of an aggressive outsole. It also has trouble rounding corners compared to the R1 and R2, as I am not as comfortable and confident in the R3 when at high speeds cornering. If this is truly going to be a rocket ship for me, it needs a bit of an alignment. After the 4 hour run the outsole already was showing some abrasion.

Peter: The outsole on the Razor 3 has a good amount of rubber, especially relative to its weight. There are similarities between the Razor 3 and the NB Beacon, but I expect the outsole durability to be less of an issue on the Razor due to the rubber. It grips the road really well and holds corners and grips wet pavement.

Hope: I agree with Peter about the outsole. The R3’s grip inspires confidence. It even handled a slick oil spot after a rainstorm with no problems. Durability and grip so far compares favorably against Saucony’s crystal rubber and Adidas’s Continental rubber — both pricier compounds usually applied to full coverage outsoles. Also hugely important for me: the R3 is quiet! No slapping, no weird clicking on flat indoor surfaces.

Cheyne: I was very impressed with the level of grip this outsole offered while also keeping the weight down. It seemed to have rubber in all the right areas without adding unnecessary parts to the shoe.

Sam: The outsole is thin but to date has shown zero wear even in my usual places. If need be ShoeGoo should hold well here. While I think it has just the right thickness and coverage upfront for a smooth and fairly responsive take off, at the heel I think it could use more thickness to give us heel strikers a bit more pop and stability, particularly at slower paces. Wet pavement grip is excellent but wet road paint proved slippery and this is not really a surprise as there is almost no profile to the outsole.

Ride and Performance
Dave: Beautiful ride. Powerful, smooth and silky and just a really pleasurable experience to run in at all speeds for me. I get a really good sense of feedback from Hyper Burst and that allows me to be quite in tune with my biomechanics. This shoe should be ideal at the Half Marathon distance, but if you can handle a little less underfoot, the Marathon will look good on the R3 as well. It is great for all types of workouts and don’t be afraid of the track! I can see it being perfect for me at the 15K to 10 Mile distance.

Peter: The Razor 3: Hyper Burst is about as close as I’ve gotten to a shoe that rides like the Vaporfly--with a caveat. The Hyper Burst just FLOWS at speed. Every time I’ve done pace work or fartleks in it I’m blown away by how good it feels from Marathon pace down to 5k pace. The ride doesn’t feel quite as special when doing slower miles. It seems to transition just a hair more clumsily when I’m going slow. I’d race in the Razor and would certainly think it would be enough shoe to get most runners through a marathon.

Hope: Again I agree with Peter. I’m heavily considering the R3 for my “A” marathon this fall. It’s buttery smooth thanks to that single slab of midsole foam and doesn’t interfere with my gait. The M Strike midsole design should keep my form mostly in check when I’m suffering during the late miles. In my testing I’ve noticed that plodding uphill efforts feel easier than usual in the R3 (I expect I can thank the super-light weight for that), but as Peter noted, the transition is a touch slower. The real magic happens when I push the pace — the R3 loves to fly. I might prefer it at speed over the Vaporfly for its more stable heel design and less harsh forefoot transition.
Cheyne: The ride on this shoe is smooth and fast. I felt that I could get up to fast paces efficiently in this shoe while not leaving me beat up after. The no frills upper keeps the weight low and moves with your stride.
Sam: This is a ride best taken a tempo and above paces. That is where the Razor shines. Despite more than adequate cushion, especially in the forefoot, the ride is focused on speed and getting off the heels where things are firmer, and that is OK as after all this is a long race "speed" shoe. It is not a race flat type ride with lots of toe spring off and it is also not a great ride at slow paces for me. When run in its range the incredibly lightweight, zingy Hyper Burst midsole and its cushion make it a fun, fast shoe.
Conclusions and Recommendations

Solid job by the team at Skechers Performance yet again. I’ve said this before, but I am not sure there is a brand out there that improves their product line year after year with and continually brings it and with each new season Yes, everyone wants to say they improve, but do they really? Without naming names but sorry, new knit uppers and chunky heavy midsoles aren’t improvement. I’d pull the R3 for the runner looking for a smooth ride, for uptempo workhorse and or the runner who just wants a bit less on their foot that is plain and simple, and is a joy to run in. I know it’s labeled as a speed shoe (hence the wording, which conflicts with the Meb Speed line?) - - but don’t let that fool you. I think runners of all abilities will enjoy the R3!
Dave’s Score: 9.5/10
-0.5 for lacing. Not exactly the locked and loaded fit I completely want

Skechers continues its winning streak here. The Go Run Ride 7 is one of my favorite shoes of 2018--or any other year for that matter. The Razor 3 Hyper is a little rocket ship. It feels great, it runs fast, and I think it will be an even better race shoe than the original Razor was. It’s a win already--and may be the last great shoe of 2018 or the first great shoe of 2019. Great work by all at Skechers! I just a/b’d this razor against the Razor 2 and 6 other race shoes and it is top of the class for sure.
Peter’s Score: 9.9/10
-.05 for slightly tight toe box
-.05 for lack of reflectivity.

Skechers Performance knocked this one out of the park. They’ve put a no-nonsense upper that gets the “structured mesh” concept exactly right on an almost impossibly light midsole designed to encourage proper form. The result is a shoe that feels good at slower paces and positively great at faster paces. This is a superb Swiss Army knife of a shoe — it can do it all, and I expect it would work well for a wide variety of runners.
Hope’s Score: 9.8/10
-0.1 for lack of reflectivity
-0.1 for short tongue (beware if using the heel lock lacing method)
I have now used the Razor 3 in one race and countless workouts and easy runs, and it will definitely maintain a spot on my line up. While I will be utilizing it as my long run and tempo shoe, I think that many people would benefit from using it as their next racing shoe or fun run slip on.
Cheyne’s Score 9.7/10
I liked the lightweight and cushioned feel, but I would have prefered the midsole to be a little firmer and more responsive for racing.
Watch Cheyne's YouTube Razor 3 Review 
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The amazing headline here is that the Razor checks in at barely 6 oz and provides a dynamic, springy and fun ride with more cushioning, especially in the forefoot, than most any “race flat” and the Razor 2. Hyper Burst is an outstanding new midsole and when combined with the simple two slab construction of single midsole and outsole materials leads to a very reasonably priced high performance shoe with a great ride. The mid to forefoot feel and transition is particularly smooth, comfortable and “reliable”. The "simple" monofilament upper is outstanding in its secure but non constraining fit and breathability, so glad Skechers is moving past “knit” in its Speed shoes. The feeling here, top to bottom, is one of suprising lightness and not just from the scale yet at the same time with decent substance as well. Despite the stack height, it is also clearly a shoe that feels and performs best when the pace picks up and where the foot strike is more mid to forefoot. At paces slower than 9:20 or so the heel is felt more than I prefer for slower running. But after all this is a faster shoe and will not be an easy days, daily trainer or recovery days shoe for most. It is the kind of shoe I will race for a 10K to half but likely not a marathon as I prefer more heel to toe drop and cushion for the later miles.
Sam’s Score 9.7/10
-0.3 for “low” or firm feeling heel that doesn’t quite match/balance with the sublime forefoot feel. Moving some of the forefoot cushion to the heel, add 2mm more foam to the heel, and/or add more heel rubber thickness and this might perfect the ride and increase the shoe’s versatility and range. There is no magic in a 4mm drop as we have here, most race shoes have considerably more drop.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Razor 2 &. Razor 1 (RTR review)
Dave: R1 was my favorite Razor of the series. And honestly, I’m gonna stick with that statement. I don’t know it just worked well with me in every aspect of running. But you better believe with Hyper Burst, the R3 us right there with it. Just a different feel a few years later. Razor 2 was a solid shoe, but struggled in the upper department for me. I had trouble lacing it to get that locked and loaded fit.
Cheyne: I see the Razor 3 as a big step up in Performance from the R1 and R2. Runners who liked the first two versions will like this shoe, but they may need to use it more on race day and less on easy runs than they did before.
Sam: Razor 1 and 2 were not my kind of shoe. Overly firm, lost between race flat and light trainer. Razor 3 being so light, and springy with more forgiving cushion is a vast improvement for me.
Peter: I just pulled out the R1 and R2. I was a big fan of both--and ran a marathon in the Razor 1’s, but man oh man does the Razor 3 feel like a step up. Again, it’s not as versatile for every day easy miles--but it’s a terrific speed and race shoe.
Hope: I can only speak to the R1 having skipped out on the R2 (so many shoes, so little time). I enjoyed the snappy ride of the R1 and wasn’t too bothered by the stiff woven upper with its loud neon colors. Snappy responsiveness is missing from the R3, but that doesn’t mean this shoe has any less pep to it. I think a broader group of runners could enjoy the bouncy feel of the R3, so it just edges out the R1.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Skechers Performance GoMeb Speed 5 (RTR review)
Dave: R3 all day. I really dug the Speed 2,3,4 and 5. But they weren’t enough shoe to do longer and volume workouts in. The Speed 5 was, and is, great from 5K to 10K, but it’s not enough to take me longer. I also struggled its lacing scheme. It put a ton of pressure on the top of my foot. R3 for the Win.
Cheyne: I do not see these shoes in the same category, although I have run many marathons in the Speed 1-5, I see it as a much more aggressive shoe than the Razor 3. I think the Razor 3 is the racing flat for runners who did not think they could wear a racing flat.
Peter: I agree with the above. The Speed 5 is surprisingly forgiving for a race flat, but I’d almost certainly not take it past a half marathon. The Razor 3 is heading out for 20 with me tomorrow.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon (RTR review)
Dave: Man, this is a tough one, but I gotta give the nod to the Beacon. It’s one of my top 5 shoes of 2018. The Razor, because of its November release now makes the list, but it will sit below the Beacon. I gotta say my foot just really loves the Beacon. Is the new Fresh Foam GC midsole compound better than Hyper Burst? No. But my strides are smoother in Beacon, which is why it gets the nod from me.
Hope: The R3 is a bit more lively and a lot more breathable. I prefer the more flexible mesh of the R3 over the woven upper on the Beacon, but I have put a lot of training miles on the Beacon and enjoy its somewhat more relaxed fit during long runs. A rotation of just these two shoes would be dynamite.
Cheyne: The Beacon is my go to easy run shoe right now, and I do not think I could say that for the Razor 3. The Beacon feels too sloppy for me to do a workout or race in, while the Razor 3 feels locked in and loaded at fast paces, but not as soft as the Beacon at easy paces.
Sam: The Beacon adds a couple millimeters of heel drop and cushion and sits on a wider heel platform giving it a wider range of run options for me, including as a near daily trainer. It is also easier going and slightly softer with a bouncier slightly mushier ride. It does not quite have the secure upper of the Razor or the zing under foot but close. While super light at about 7.1 oz it is a full ounce heavier than the Razor and I actually notice this.
Peter: Train in the Beacon, Race in the Razor 3!

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Kinvara 10 (RTR review soon)
Sam: The Kinvara 10 has a denser more conventional riding midsole. It is somewhat firmer and more responsive. It's heel feel is consistent with no bottoming out no matter the pace. unlike the Razor 3's. It's forefoot is less springy and silky smooth feeling but more flexible.  The uppers are quite similar in fit with the Kinvara's somewhat more substantial including a bootie and thicker mesh. The K10 is more stable overall underfoot and from its upper and would be a better marathon choice for me with Razor a better 10K to half shoe. The Kinvara 10 can also easily be a daily trainer whereas the Razor 3 is more a fast day shoe for me.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Nike Zoom Streak 6 (RTR review)
Hope: Very different shoes. I’d give the ZS6 the edge in races <10k for its locked-in fit and great road feel since I like a lot of responsiveness from a race shoe at shorter distances.
Sam: Can’t stand the Streak 6 for anything over 10K and find it hard and harsh to run workouts in. The simpler, smoother, more forgiving construction of the Razor 3 is much more to my liking.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Nike Zoom Elite 9 (RTR review)
Hope: The ZE9 was a shoe I wanted to love, but didn’t. Blocky and overly firm for me. The bouncy, smooth R3 is much more fun to run in.
Dave: I was really a fan of the Zoom Elite 9...and still am. But man, once R3 came along, along with Beacon and Kinvara 9, it started to take a back seat. I just liked a tad more under my foot when doing longer volume stuff. Take it to the track and the Zoom Elite 9 shines.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. New Balance 1400v6 (RTR review)
Dave: Different categories for me. 1400v6 is a racer, whereas I still look at the R3 as a lightweight performance trainer, with all the aspects of a racer and can and should be used as one as well! There is no doubt that the R3 packs a more explosive punch underfoot via Hyper Burst that the 1400v6's RevLite. I kinda use them on different days. I like the R3 for Tempo work because it’s smoother at T pace, but if I need to rip out some 600m repeats, I’m all about the 1400v6. Honestly, I can sit here all day and make this sound confusing, so own both!
Peter: It’s weird how different shoes can feel when they are ostensibly in the same category. These are both lightweight race shoes, but running in them back to back they feel really different. The 1400 are firmer and give more ground feel while the Razor pack more spring and cushion. For faster stuff and track work I might choose the 1400, but I just did 10k pace work on the track in the Razor 3 yesterday and it was SO, SO SO, FLUID. The 1400 has proven to be about 9/10’s of a marathon shoe for me (as in at mile 24 I wish I was in a different shoe). I think the Razor 3 can go the distance, easily.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Reebok Floatride Run Fast (RTR review) and Fast Pro (RTR review)
Dave: Now we’re getting into the meat and potatoes! Two absolutely damn fine shoes right here. Different shoe, different day. Longer volume stuff in the R3 and shorter stuff or track work in the Fast (and obviously Fast Pro!) - - Hands down guys and gals, these are some of the best shoes on the market right now! Wanna go fast, you’re looking at 2 companies doing it better that most everyone else right now! Ok, Nike has 4%, but they’ve laid duds with ZF knit and Peg 35, in my opinion.
Sam: For me the Fast is a more versatile shoe. It’s half ounce heavier weight still puts it well under 7 oz. It is not as silky smooth in the forefoot area as the Razor having more of a spring flex point but is more stable and has a welcome “higher” heel given its 8mm drop vs 4mm for the Razor. Upfront the Razor has more cushioning and a smoother transition. Disagreeing somewhat with Dave, the Fast is easier on the legs as a “trainer” for me due to the PEBAX midsole and flared heel landing while being able to race as well. The Razor leans more towards faster workouts and shorter racing. It is more responsive and lighter and the upper fits me slightly better and with less fuss. The Fast Pro is less cushioned than the Razor overall but far snappier and a full 2 oz lighter. Interestingly its heel cushioning, while thin, is not ridiculously far from the “heavier” Razor’s while its forefoot is not something I would want to train in regularly but is a rocket when taken fast while the Razor’s protects better and flows more easily.

Peter: I liked the Reebok at first, but find myself returning to it less and less. Side by side there’s no comparison--for me the Razor 3 feels better on my foot, transitions better and is far less harsh on the forefoot.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Nike Zoom Vaporfly (RTR review)
Sam: The Vaporfly gives me the higher drop, cushion and spring I like in a race shoe for 10K and above. For a 10K, the Razor 3 becomes a good option for me as it is lighter, I am less on the heels at those paces, and its ride is dynamic enough.
Peter: The Razor 3 is the only shoe I’d put on the same planet as the Vaporfly. They are both light with tons of cushion and spring. I found the stack height on the Vaporfly to be a little problematic running on heavily cambered streets. I also found some collapse towards the medial side of foot over long miles which resulted in some chafing on the inner side of knees. I haven’t run a marathon in the Razor 3 yet, but will have some more long miles on them very soon.
Hope: I love the Vaporfly, but only use it on race days (or for the rare training run when I really need some good mojo) since it’s hard to come by. I ran a marathon in it late last year and enjoyed the light weight and propulsive forefoot in the race’s early miles, but found myself wishing for more responsiveness and stability from the heel during the later miles. Given the much more affordable price and full-length Hyper Burst midsole (which provides consistent cushioning and responsiveness throughout for me), I would give the nod to the R3 even though I haven’t put it to a full marathon test yet.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Adidas adios Boost 3 (RTR review)
Cheyne: I would compare the Razor 3 to a lighter, more cushioned Adidas Adios. I have always liked the Adios as a long workout/marathon shoe, but I do not think it is light or responsive enough for the shorter races. I feel the same way about the Razor 3.
Sam: The adios Boost 1 was my go-to racer up to 20 miles for several years. The Boost 3 made things overly soft and heavy. Much prefer the Razor 3 to the 3 but still have a sweet spot for the 1's fit and lively firm forefoot and cushioned heel.

Razor 3 Hyper vs. Nike Pegasus Turbo (RTR review)
Peter: Am I the only person out there who likes the Turbo? These shoes actually have a fair amount in common. The Turbo feels more like a trainer, but the cushion is somewhat similar. I like the Peg Turbo a lot--though it’s a little harsh on my forefoot as I run long in it. I prefer the Razor 3, but the Peg Turbo would make a fine training companion.
Hope: I don’t hate the $180 Turbo, but I found the fit sloppy up front and the upper, while comfortable, entirely too thick and hot for late summer training. The Peg Turbo’s foam feels ultralight (it’s got some of the genes of the Vaporfly 4%), but not especially responsive. The R3 is a more comfortable go-fast shoe at a much more reasonable price, making it the clear winner for me.

Skechers Performance Razor 3 vs. Altra Escalante (RTR review)
Hope: The R3 and Escalante are comparably smooth with lots of giddy-up. Both help me land on my forefoot. R3 gets the edge for its more structured upper that helps the ride feel controlled even at speed and for its 4 mm heel-toe offset that’s easier on my calves than the zero-drop Escalante.
Dave: I am still to this day trying to like the Escalante and Escalante racer. Just not enough under foot though and I’m too beat up from all the miles in my life for zero drop, unless it’s on trails. Razor 3 gets the big win here. Escalante is damn comfy to kick around in, though doesn’t look the coolest.
Peter: Escalante is not enough shoe for me. Very different feel on the forefoot with the R3 winning all day long.

The product reviewed in this article were provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
Comments Questions Welcome Below!
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Unknown said...

I ran with Cheyne in college and he is the man! Always informative and knowledgeable and he helped me a ton with training. Also his love for running is unrivaled.

Anonymous said...

Have you also tested the Speed Elite 6 and, if so, how do the shoes compare?

geomaz said...

Amazing shoes-Thank you -once again,for the fantastic review.Are we going to see soon thiw new material hyper burst in other skechers models like the new ride 8 [?]

Sam Winebaum said...

Thank you Geomaz. Yes Hyper Burst foam is planned for many Skechers models and although I do not have specific info about Ride 8 but guess yes there too. Sam, Editor

Derrill R said...

Hi Sam,
What are your thoughts on the Razor 3 vs Ride 7? I'm know they are in very different classes but thought I'd ask since the Kinvara was compared above. Running in the Ride 7 now and have really enjoyed them.
Thanks to your and your team for a thorough review as usual.


Anonymous said...

The Razor 1 was my favorite marathon training shoe last year (ended up racing in the Speed 5). I don't hit the pavement as much these days but still love the Razor. I might have to give these a shot when I need some new road shoes.


I just bought these at the NYC expo and took them out for a 4 miler pushing my two 4yr old twins. This is a nice shoe, buttery smooth whether picking up the pace on forefoot and or slower from heel to toe off. seems to disappear on foot. Great weight for good turnover. I'm torn in using these for this Sunday over my Nike Zoom Streak 6 which is also a great long distance shoe. HMMMM. decisions to decisions

Lorin said...

Thanks for this.
What would you go for ? Zoom fly Fk or Razor 3 for a marathon?

Luc said...

I have Skechers Gorun Ride 7 size 12.5.

Should I buy the razor 3 size 12 or 13?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Lorin, Personally I would go Zoom Fly Flyknit as I need some heel toe drop and a firmer more stable heel. Depends on your pace of course and own run style. I am a 3:40 marathoner these days. If you are down in the low to mid 3's or below and/or a more mid foot striker who stays that way to the end then Razor.
Sam, Editor

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Luc,
Tough to say. I was half size up from normal and with thick socks had a comfortable fairly roomy fit. If you are on the lower side between 12 and 13, wear thin socks, and like a more performance fit probably 12 as the upper will adapt some given it is so minimal. If you wear thicker socks and want a more relaxed fit 13. It really depends. I found Ride 7 quite snug at my true to size.
Sam, Editor

Marduk said...

Any thoughts about this shoe vs NB 1500v4 in terms of cushioning, stability and fit?
Can't wait to get my hands onto R3 in Europe!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Huge fan of the great work yall are doing. Odd question: how would you compare the forefoot cushion/softness to the Peg 35? I know they're different types of shoes but this one can seem to "do it all", and I was hoping the cushion would be a bit softer than the Pegs. Thanks again!

reagan said...

Sam. The shoe is sold out in my size 10.5. I plan to buy it if it becomes available again. However, I would be itching to get the Go Run Ride 8 if it has Hyperburst or the Go Run Razor 3/4 with a carbon plate.I would also consider the Go RUn RIde 8 if it had the hyperburst combined with a carbon plate.The bottom line I that I'm looking for a shoe to run Boston this spring and am frustrated I don't have something a good as the Nike Vapor FLy I purchased the VP but the knit version didn't work for me. My foot just moved around too much in it when it hit the pavement.Do you think either the Razor or the GoRUn RIde will be available with a carbon plate and the new foam prior to Boston 2019?

Anonymous said...

Do you think are more faster the nike zoom elite or the skechers razor 3?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Not an easy question as depends.. What are your race distance and paces is a key question? In general terms for a short race 5-10K I think the Zoom Elite 10 will be faster. For longer Razor 3 but... you need to be fore to mid foot striker as the heel I find is quite soft. Actually the Zoom Elite 9 heel is similarly soft but the Razor cushion is overall superior especially upfront in my view for longer distances
Sam, Editor

AndyHyde said...

Recently got a pair of these after reading the reviews (thanks again team RTR!!). Struggle to get skechers performance shoes in the UK for some reason, but they had these. I love this shoe. It runs so smooth once you hit tempo and above. I'd pick this to race a marathon in a second.

Clark_Y said...

Hi all,
Great review once again. I recently bought New Balance Fuelcell Rebel and have been using Rebel as part of my rotation with Peg Turbo 2 and Peg 36. I really enjoy Rebel and find Rebel does give me the energy return whereas Peg Turbo 2 is hard work. It would be great to hear your opinions on Razor 3 vs Fuelcell Rebel please.
Best, Clark