Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Skechers Performance GOrun 7 Hyper Multi-Tester, In-Depth Review


Article by Peter Stuart, Hope Wilkes, Jeff Beck, Mac Jeffries, Michael Ellenberger, and Sam Winebaum


Skechers Performance GOrun 7 Hyper ($130)
Introduction
Mac: I don’t know if you know this, but Skechers makes shoes that you can’t find at Payless. Like, real running shoes. Like, some of the best running shoes in the industry. ...I know, I thought the same thing at first. Here, have some Kool-Aid...
Hope: Skechers Performance might be winning the foam wars with Hyper Burst. Crazy light and crazy bouncy as the midsole in the stellar Razor 3, I was excited to see how it would translate to the GOrun 7. There’s a lot to love about this uptempo trainer, but it’s not without issues.


Peter: Skechers has been making a steady progression to running shoe Greatness. The Go Run Ride 7 and the Razor 3 were two of my favorite shoes in the past year and they continue to be really fun to run in. I was excited to see where this next version of the GoRun would, um, go. The short version is: There’s more to a running shoe than a great midsole.


Sam: Steady progress, increasing notice and accolades from serious runners Skechers Performance has methodically improved their run line with a heavy focus on innovative ,ever lighter and lively midsole foams season after season. With the Razor 3 Hyper and its Hyper Burst foam we experienced the next generation of midsoles from Skechers: a very light, zingy, and durable EVA processed in an entirely new way. The Run 7 uses exactly the same foam in exactly the same firmness as in the Razor 3 Hyper but with a different geometry and upper.


Michael: This is my first pair of Skechers (without a “t”) ever, and I have to say I’m impressed. I had tried on previous iterations of the GO Run and found the fit to be wonky - that isn’t entirely alleviated here (as I think most reviewers will attest to) but man, that Hyper Burst midsole is exceptional, and makes the shoe worth  trying, even with residual issues.


Pros
Mac: Midsole is fantastic, extremely comfortable shoe
Hope: Hyper Burst is quite possibly the best midsole compound available in 2019, featherweight for a trainer, flexible “only as much as you need” outsole
Derek: Light and responsive shoe.
Peter: Magical midsole, light shoe.
Sam: Light with a springy zingy midsole and plenty of cushion for weight, super comfortable on the foot at "rest".
Jeff: Midsole is fantastic, outsole has plenty of coverage to assuage durability concerns.
Michael: Hyper Burst, hyper awesome - this is the most “fun” trainer you can buy right now.


Cons
Mac: Midsole to upper hold is crazy loose and requires some creativity to get the lockdown right. Not a particularly great looking shoe, but reasonable people may disagree on that :-)
Hope: Too-stretchy upper makes lockdown a challenge, that “S” logo is still hard to stomach
Derek: The upper design makes it difficult to get good lock down.
Peter: Upper is a bit baggy, hard to lock the foot down without doing some lacing tricks and the shoe loses out on midsole/upper synergy due to the combination.
Jeff: The upper shape is awkward, toebox feels more narrow than it is, midfoot allows too much stretch.
Sam: The overly stretchy upper doesn't quite keep up with the speed potential of the shoe, even with lacing hacks.
Michael: The upper is a boot - but unless your foot is really tall, it’s not a great fit.
Tester Profiles
Michael is his 20’s and is a 1:07 half marathoner. He runs 50-60 miles per week, generally in lightweight trainers or racing flats at around 6:00-6:30 minutes/mile.
Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 61 with a recent 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the 1:35-1:41 range and trains 40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces in the 9 minute range. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 165 lbs.
Peter lives in Austin, Texas and is a sub 3 hour in the marathon in recent years as well as a 1:25 half marathoner.
Jeff Beck is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less.  Jeff runs 30 miles per week, both roads and desert trails in North Phoenix, Arizona. He has a PR's of 4:07 marathon and 5K at 23:39.
Mac is a former collegiate defensive lineman who runs to fill the competitive void left after school and to stay in shape. He is in his late 30s, runs 50-80 mpw, and at 6’3”, has come down from his playing weight of 275 lbs to a steady 205 lbs for the last 10 years. Jeff’s PRs are 19:30, 1:33:xx, and 3:23:xx; he also teaches and coaches XC & T&F.
Hope is in her 20’s and after several ultras is now more on the road. She has a marathon PR of 3:47. She trains about 50 miles per week with many of her runs in the (broad) 8:00-10:00/mile range. She is happy to hit 7:30 miles on tempo days.
Derek is in his 30’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:41 marathon PR.


GOrun 7 Stats
Official Weight 7.8 oz/221 g (men’s 9) , 6.1 oz / 173 g (women 7)
Production Sample US M9: 7.16 oz / 203 g
Sample US W9.5: 6.95 oz/197 g
Sample US M10.5 7.8 oz/ 221 g
Midsole Stack: 19mm heel /15mm forefoot
Total Stack Height: 25mm forefoot /29 mm heel, 4 mm drop, removable 4mm sock liner
$130. Available now at the stores at the end of the review.

First Impressions and Fit
Out Mac: When I took the GOrun 7 of the box, my heart sank a little. The SGR7H looks narrow (ended up being a needless worry) and not particularly eye-catching. Still, I was encouraged to see that generous slab of Hyperburst on another shoe, and I am happy to say - spoiler alert - that my overall experience was a hard-earned pleasant surprise. However, putting the shoe on raised even more red flags for me. Comfortable? Yes, but this isn’t some lifestyle shoe; it is a Running Shoe… and there is no way an upper this stretchy can be safe to run in… right? We will find out...
Hope: I’m grading on a curve here because Skechers Performance has produced some serious eyesores in the past (OG Razor, I’m looking at you). Classy designs are possible on a budget ($100 NB Zante Pursuit and the earlier Zantes are a good example), so I expect a lot more than this. That SP shares the same “S” logo as the regular Skechers line doesn’t help matters. Because of its aesthetics the GR7 doesn’t read as fast or special and it is both of those things! That said, the black pair with purple accents that I received is pretty smooth looking. I won’t be rocking it with jeans, but it’s a nice, understated colorway that highlights the simplicity of the model.

Fit is VERY roomy, but length is basically true to size in my W9.5.


Derek: I had really high hopes for this shoe after using the Razor 3. Step in feel was ok. First impression was how large and roomy the shoe felt. I didn’t quite get the bounce that I experienced with the Razor 3, but it was comfortable enough. The toespring felt very pronounced when I first wore the shoe and walked around. Looks-wise I wished they had gone back to a more traditional upper like in versions 4-5. This knit upper is a bit hard to palate for me.
Sam: Super streamlined with an all of a piece look, and in reality all it is an of a piece single knit stretch upper construction,  with hints of color from the non stretch webbing straps, high tongue, and knit collar, the GOrun 7 epitomizes the recently “popular” trend of such uppers. It is a trend now starting to fade with less stretchy engineered knits and mesh taking over. While this type of upper can fit many different foot shapes, especially wider ones and feet at "rest", to pull it off compromises often emerge. Tighter stretch knits (Nike Flyknit) support but tend not to be as comfortable as mesh, and more stretchier ones don’t support or do so awkwardly with all kinds of add on plastic piece saddles (Ultra Boost, Reebok Floatride Run) or straps (Skechers Max Trail) . 

Here we have an unabashedly stretchy knit upper with just the webbing bands for support beyond the different densities of knit. Try on is super easy and quick, these will for sure sell well for more casual use. But for this runner that easy of try on is a red flag.

Skechers has tried valiantly here, adjusting the knit just prior to production after our review pair testers, and we assume others, found the front over the toes overly voluminous and the length with the pointy toe, also a popular “silhouette”, overly long. We were sent new pairs more recently for this review. The production version is much improved for me even at a half size up, Skechers's test size.. I did not wear test the Run 7 but for just prior to production. I have tested many other Skechers, non compensated, as a shoe geek fascinated by the process and the opportunity to provide feedback along the way to production.
The bottom line on fit for me here is that with some tricks from Mac the stretchy fit is fine but leaning to the “comfort” easy going side and not the performance side. That is OK but a partial missed opportunity as the Run 7 makes a fine super, super light (barely over 7 oz) well-cushioned, straight ahead best, in the comfort zone of pace and distance run shoe. It could have been more.


Peter: I think they look great. Nice and understated, good color combo, S is tucked away. The fit is sloppy--length is fine, but overall hold on the foot is lacking. First impressions are good, if a bit guarded.


Jeff: I had the same reaction as Mac, there’s a lot to like about this shoe, but the front of the upper is concerning, and the sheer stretchiness of the rest of the upper is also troublesome - but, everything below the foot is absolutely top notch. Lengthwise it fits me true to size at 10.5 just perfectly, widthwise it gets more complicated.


Michael: I was actually extremely impressed, pulling on the GR7 - the upper is stretchy enough that you have to pull it open to insert your foot, but it fits snug about the ankle. My pair was also quite sharp looking, with a black/white/grey pattern laced with neon accents. This is a Skechers trainer I can get behind, and I imagine a lot of first-time customers will be swayed by the look and feel when they first pull these on.


Upper
Mac: OK, I am glad to get the bad news out of the way first, and I am also happy to report that I found a perfectly acceptable work-around for this uipper Here goes: Although the upper is extremely comfortable - zero pressure on my pinkie toe bone spur - there is just no way this upper is secure enough to allow this shoe to be anything more than a casual trainer / lifestyle shoe. The upper is simply too stretchy… BUT… I stubbornly wanted these shoes to work. The midsole was just too good to waste. After a few attempts to creatively lock the shoe onto my foot, I eventually had a Eureka! moment. The conspicuous little valleys carved into the midsole for flexibility reminded me of how I used to wrap my shoe laces around my soccer shoes in my youth. I tried it on these, and bingo! I had a winner on my hands. Zero lace contact with the ground (so no lace fraying), and suddenly very good midfoot lockdown combined with a very comfortable upper (the upper stretch completely cancels out the narrow-looking last - zero problems there). Game on! After two frustratingly careful runs at an easy pace, I now had something I could actually run in… and 25 minutes worth of tempo work followed by 6x200m under mile pace, I now know we have a winner here. UPDATE: I tried one other creative lacing system that works equally well; this one uses the de facto eyelets located anywhere you see yellow:
Sam: Thanks Mac! Glad our newest tester is a former soccer and collegiate football player with all kinds of fit tricks. This old pro is not to proud to take advice from youngsters and after a few runs “as is” with thick socks for my half size up pair and to try to compensate for the volume on my feet, one narrow the other medium wide which fits much better, I concluded that Mac’s lacing was worth a try. Now understand, the overall hold was much improved over the January early production as Skechers adjusted the fibers and overall knit in the machines. Lord knows how they do this as to the touch the earlier and current testers feel the same.
I did a Mac variation lacing through two top laces’ lower webbing loops. Immediately, I had far better mid foot support even with medium lighter socks. Next,  I will add another the third webbing loop to the mix. You got to do what you got to do to enjoy what underfoot is a superb ride! Turning and twisting on the run still stretches the upper. I just hope Skechers rethinks so much stretch in the future for this model and I am confident they will. The oh so comfy sock like fit here is to... sock like challenged to lock the foot to the platform.

Hope: I think I’m allowed to share that this is my second pair of the GR7. The good folks at SP sent me an near production shoe that fit about 1-1.5 sizes too big both in terms of length and overall upper volume. Even with that issue, I still loved the model and was sad to part with it. I’m very grateful that the SP team solicited feedback from RTR testers and adjusted the upper before production to help make this model as good as it can be. 
The production version of the GR7 solved the length issue, but as Mac says, the upper is just way, way too stretchy. This presents a problem not only because the upper can fold and pinch, but because a shoe with such a propulsive midsole needs to have a more performance-oriented fit. A lightweight shoe with wicked bounce that lacks a secure upper is a bit chaotic to run in. That’s not to say that it’s not fun, but I’d prefer a more controlled feel. As it is now, I might recommend sizing down to try to achieve a more precise fit.


Derek: I am not a fan of the upper. I think they should have made the upper lower volume, and maybe used a more elastic snug fit, failing which a regular conventional upper would have worked better for this shoe. I got it to work ok eventually, but it wasn’t something especially comfortable for longer runs. Once you increase the lace tension too much (to compensate for shoe volume) the material in the middle starts to bunch up and you get all sorts of pressure points on top of your foot.


Peter: Why is everyone so mad at engineered mesh? Can we all just admit that knit uppers aren’t as good?  Yup, the knit upper stretches like crazy. The lacing system doesn’t lock foot in well enough. I tried alternative lacing and it makes the shoe totally runnable, but for me it’s clear that we’re leaving the possibility of a nearly perfect shoe on the table. It’s frustrating. There’s another upper issue (see photo). The knit fabric around the ankle comes up relatively high--and it’s even more problematic at the front of the ankle.
I just got back from a long-ish run in no-show socks and the front of the ankle was rubbed raw by the material there. It’s as if there was a very long tongue.


Michael: I didn’t have any rubbing or chafing issues (even in Balega Hidden Comfort no-show socks), but I certainly agree with the sentiment that the upper is too voluminous. The length isn’t long - in fact if anything, my 8.5 was on the shorter side - but you’d have to have a really high arch or really large foot, vertically, for this to be the right shape for you. I didn’t try any other lacing techniques - I felt there was adequate lockdown as-is, at least for the easy runs I did - but I can appreciate where they may come in handy. It’s strange for a shoe this far into its life cycle (we are on the 7th version here) to have such weird sizing problems.
Jeff: The upper is the achilles heel of this shoe by a wide margin. My foot is just a little wider than a standard D, so I didn’t have nearly the midfoot lockdown issues that others experienced. I could pull the laces just a bit tight, and it gave me plenty of security, even to run at a 5K pace.
My issue is around the toe box, where Skechers used a material inside the upper to reinforce the rim all the way around the toebox, which took away the shoe’s ability to stretch. The profile shape is very similar to its sibling Razor 3 Hyper, but the Razor didn’t get any extra reinforcement. This toe box issue isn’t a deal killer, and the extra material disappeared when I started running, it just felt like a cramped front end. Like Hope, this was my second pair of GR7H, and my first pair was sized at least a full size up, possibly even 1.5 sizes. The second version of it is much better fitting, but both had the same issue with the toebox reinforcement.
Narrow footed runners won’t have any issue (at least up front), and if they utilize Mac’s creative lacing strategies, I think they’ll find a great shoe. For me, the upper limits the length I car wear the shoe before I’m nursing blisters, which is disappointing because it is such a fun shoe to run in.


Midsole
Sam: Skechers Hyper Burst midsole compound is a very light, springy EVA foam processed in an entirely new way which creates more consistent and resilient bubbles of gas in the foam as it cools from a supercritical state. This process reduces weight, and provides a very smooth consistent run feel with lots of zing. Hyper Burst delivers an amazingly light, dynamic, and pleasing ride.
Hyper Burst production also has the advantage of using less expensive EVA whereas others in the super light performance game are using more exotic materials such as PEBA (Nike Zoom X and Reebok Floatride foam) or TPU pellets (adidas Boost).  Hyper was first seen in the Razor 3 Hyper and will see its way into other Skechers Performance shoes in 2019. According to Skechers Run 7’s Hyper Burst foam is exactly the same compound and hardness as in the Razor 3. The differences in run feel come from the different geometries, outsoles, and layers under foot.

The Run’s Hyper Burst midsole plus board, cloth runnable layer, and removable sockliner adds up to a stack of 29mm heel /25 mm forefoot and looking at  midsole and outsole alone a stack of 19/15. Razor checks in at a total of 27/23 with 23/19 for midsole and outsole alone, Razor having a glued in approximately 3mm sock liner over its Hyper Burst midsole and a thin board.

Overall there is 2mm more underfoot in the Run yet less actual midsole foam with the difference made up by the sock liner, runnable liner underneath (similar to Razor’s), and below that Strobel board. All of this adds up to total of 10mm beyond the actual Hyper Burst foam midsole and outsole. Compared on the run, one on each foot GO Run 7 to Razor 3, GO Run 7 for me has a slightly softer ride and a slightly higher feeling heel with less shock transmitted. I tend to heel strike. This said the Razor is more precise in ground feel, more stable up front and more responsive overall. The result for me is a comfort, smooth easy run focus in the Run 7 vs. racing up tempo performance in the Razor 3. For sure the Run can go fast, but I found it performed best in a straight line and at more moderate paces given the upper.
Mac: I think I am in love. I will keep this short: Hyper Burst is awesome. Plenty of cushion, outstanding energy return, durability closer to Boost than EVA… if you haven’t tried these shoes yet because of the “S” on the shoe, it’s your loss, and enough people have been touting the Razor 3 that I no longer feel sorry for you at this point. Hyper Burst, Floatride Fast, and  Nike Zoom X are THE three midsoles on the market right now. Full stop.


Hope: It’s been said on the site before and I’ll say it again: Hyper Burst is the real deal. Don’t sleep on Skechers Performance because you don’t buy that Skechers makes serious running shoes or you’re embarrassed to be seen in them. You’d seriously be missing out. Hyper Burst is so light it’s silly. This shoe has a thick slab of midsole foam and clocks in under 7 oz in a women’s 9.5? Unreal. It handles easy paces well and really shines when you stomp on the gas.
Derek: Initially I had no idea the Run 7 was so much lower in midsole stack than the Razor 3, and I could not figure out why the ride was so much less forgiving but it all makes sense now, looking at the stack numbers. I have to say, stack aside, it feels like the Hyper Burst foam used in my Run 7 is a few notches firmer than that in Razor 3. There is less of a bouncy feel to the foam here, and more of a firmer stable feel.


Peter: Hyper is the real deal. It’s a great, light foam. I haven’t put these back-to-back with the Razor yet, but first thought is that they’re a little firmer feeling. I found the GoRun 6 bottomed out, and I didn’t love running in these. This midsole is loveable. Pair this exact midsole with a better fitting upper and this would be an undeniably great shoe.


Jeff: Add me to the chorus singing Hyper Burst praise, because it really is great. Lightweight, well-cushioned, bouncy and not mushy, they’ve nailed it. What’s more, I’m excited to see what Skechers continues to do with the material, because out of the gate with this shoe and the Razor 3 Hyper, they’ve done well, but what happens on the fifth or sixth iteration? I think this is going to be what it takes to put Skechers over the top for a lot of people, especially as they get their uppers ironed out.

Michael: How many superlatives can we have in one review? Hyper Burst is awesome. It looks, visually, like a 3D-printed material; it’s almost a honeycomb or fibrous structure up close. But when running… I really think this is the most lively, most fun trainer out there in midsole alone. It even beats my old favorite, the Zoom Fly FK. Just exceptional ‘bounce’ out of the Hyper Burst technology.


Outsole
Mac: All of my runs so far have been on very wet asphalt, and the outsole performed admirably. Traction is great, and the pods on the bottom give ample coverage without any loud slapping or too much added weight. I believe the different colored pods under the midfoot are slightly firmer than the pods under the heel and toe, which just screams, “land here!” Definitely an improvement over the Razor 3, as the grip on wet asphalt is one of the R3H’s few weak points.


Hope: As I said in the pros and cons, there’s the exact right amount of outsole on the GR7. The small rubber pods keep weight low and flexibility high while offering adequate grip. Good stuff. Not sure if this belongs in the outsole section since it’s perhaps related to midsole geometry more than anything, but I do also like the M-Strike curve that encourages landing on the midfoot and forefoot.


Derek: This outsole seems to work OK. Not especially good but not slippery like some of the newer shoes with exposed midsoles. I have to say, given it’s very basic appearance, the rubber does seem to hold up very well to wear and tear. The nice interlaced patterns of the outsole are still very clearly visible at 100+ miles for me.


Peter: This a terrific mix of rubber and exposed midsole. Feels great, holds the ground well. Pretty ideal.
Jeff: Enough rubber to protect the midsole and allow it to be a good long term trainer, but not enough to reduce the shoe’s flexibility or feel overly heavy. I haven’t encountered anything but dry conditions, but I’d be shocked if the tacky rubber didn’t keep things predictable on any wet surface.


Michael: The outsole was fine by me. I like the patterning on the bottom - why add excess rubber where the outsole won’t touch? - and found the grip to be sufficient. I have some concerns of durability, based on the feedback of previous generations, and the apparent depth of the rubber here, but over several dozen miles, I haven’t seen any discernable wear.

Sam: The outsole performed just fine with plenty of grip and no evidence of accelerated wear.
TOP: Razor 3 Hyper BOTTOM Run 7 Hyper
It is thicker than the more plated outsole of the Razor and more podular in nature making it more flexible and easy going than Razor but also a touch less stable up front and less responsive and snappy while more cushioned overall. The heel outsole midsole combination feels slightly higher in the Run and it is by 2mm overall taking into account all the elements and is something I welcome. I felt Razor, with its thin rubber over, recall, the same firmness Hyper Burst foam, felt lower and firmer in keeping with its speed focus vs. the training focus here.

Ride
Mac: The ride is sensational at Easy, Marathon, Half, and Tempo paces. When I got faster than mile pace, I wanted something a little firmer, but I can see myself doing over two-thirds of my mileage in these shoes. The M-Strike rocker shape of the bottom of the shoe encourages a nice toe-off, and - I am not sure if I mentioned this - the midsole is just fantastic. Point for the GR7H.


Hope: As you can probably guess based on my gushing about Hyper Burst, the ride is good, but it’s somewhat limited by the baggy upper. The midsole is bouncy, light, and smooth enough that I’d consider racing in the GR7, except the upper makes my feet feel kind of all over the place. When I’m really hauling, I want a shoe that offers a locked-down feel. It’s a shame that SP put this go-fast foam on a go to the grocery store upper. In fairness, I haven’t tried any lacing tricks besides heel-lock lacing to improve the fit.

Peter: See what Hope said. I agree completely.


Derek: I didn’t like the ride of this shoe as much as I thought I would. Again, maybe my expectations were sky high coming off the Razor 3, but the Run 7 ride felt kind of meh by comparison. More ground feel (due to lower stack) and a firmer midsole contributed to a less lively ride for me that works well only over a narrow medium effort pace range for me. It is a shoe that left my big toe joint feeling sore on easy runs. Something about the shoe beats me up more than eg NB 890v7 for easy runs. I think this may in part be due to the overly pronounced toespring up front as well. The toespring leaves my big toe joint in a near permanent hyperextended position throughout the gait cycle and prevents me from toeing off properly. Very strange sensation as I do not have such issues in other high toe spring shoes eg NB Zante. The longest run I did in the Run 7 was 18 miles and my feet were sore towards the end even though I averaged a cruising 7:25/mile pace.
Sam: A smooth, easy, decently cushioned ride for the low, low overall weight. There is more forefoot stability in the Razor but less cushion. At the heel the additional rubber makes the heel feel decently 5mm unlike performance oriented Razor which is firm and lower feeling . Clearly GO Run 7 is more cushioned than Razor 3 for me, but less responsive and precise top to bottom. The ride here is for easier fun days with maybe some short bursts of speed thrown in. Given the upper would not daily train in it but what a fun ride to mix into a rotation.  
Jeff: This is one of those buzzword-filled shoes (snappy, smooth, bouncy, etc), and that’s a great thing. This shoe is incredibly fun to run in. It isn’t overly cushioned, but it is well-cushioned, and I think that is what most runners are looking for. I would agree with the others, it isn’t the shoe I’m thinking of for an upcoming 5K (that will likely be the Razor), and it isn’t the shoe I want on my feet for a recovery run after a long day, but most days of the week are easy miles, and that’s where this shoe works.


Michael: My only real hesitation about giving this a full recommendation on the ride is not a fault of the cushion or support of the shoe, but (as we’ve seen) with the upper. Despite the GR7 being everything my fellow reviewers have said it is - light, snappy, enjoyable - I am not fully confident that I’d pull these out for a tempo run, and that hesitation is from the lack of lockdown alone. I will be trying the new lacing trick from Mac soon, and hopefully that alleviates this concern, but my recommendation - which is a strong one - is limited to slower runs only, for now. And on those, you’ll absolutely adore the GoRun 7. I just hope the upper can be fixed - either by me or by Skechers - and make this a perfect shoe.


Conclusions and Recommendations

Mac: What started as disappointment has turned out to be a great experience: I plan on putting in a ton of miles on this shoe. That said, runners shouldn’t have to use so many brain cells to get a shoe to fit properly. I imagine that a large minority of runners will return these shoes to Skechers because there is just too much room in the upper, and I worry that this could send confusing signals to the decision-makers at SP. But, if you can get this thing to fit right - whether it just fits you better than it does me, or you use my “soccer-lace” method, or you just duct tape it to your foot - I predict you will get hundreds of miles of sheer enjoyment from these. Sadly, if this midsole and outsole had even an average upper, it would be an early candidate for Shoe of the Year.
Mac: Overall: 7.8/10: Ride: 10, Fit: 6, Value: 7, Style: 6.
Ride is a thing of beauty. The fit is just sloppy - like 3/10 sloppy - but actually performed better than average once I implemented the “soccer tie”. Value: Hard to give super high “Value” marks for a $130 shoe, but I guess that is just the way shoe prices are headed. Still, great performance and expected longevity for the price. Style: These are not my taste at all, but my wife likes them, so I settled on “just slightly above average” :-)

Hope: I want to tell you to go buy this because I want SP to keep producing models with Hyper Burst. Here’s where I’m at: I wouldn’t have purchased this women’s 9.5 because of the fit issues, but now that I have it, it’s going to be in my rotation even though the fit is off. A long run shoe with room to accommodate foot swelling and that’s light enough to not weigh me down? Yes please. For those of you considering this model, I’ll strongly suggest that you try it out on a treadmill at your local running store. You’ll fall in love with the feel and the ride and you’ll have access to a range of sizes so you can get closer to your ideal fit.
Hope’s Score: 7.8/10
-2 for cavernous fit
-.1 for lack of reflectivity
-.1 for price -- the midsole is worth it, the upper is not


Derek: this shoe works well for people with high volume feet, and who can tolerate using a low stack shoe for longer runs. For this demographic, the shoe just might work well as a daily trainer, which I presume the Run 7 is now poised to be, given the existence of the Razor and Speed models in the lineup. I do not recommend it for people with narrower feet or who are looking for a daily trainer version of the Razor 3. The trainer version of the Razor 3 is probably the upcoming Max Road 4 Hyper and not the Run 7 for me.
Derek’s Score 7.5/10
-1 for overly high shoe volume
-1 for average-feeling midsole ride
-0.5 for price. It’s the same price as the Razor 3. No question which is the more versatile shoe. For $130 I really want a more unique underfoot experience than what the GR7 has to offer.


Peter: I had very high hopes for this shoe and the result is a mix. I love the midsole, but feel the combination of a great midsole with a baggy upper leaves me a bit disappointed. I think Skechers is onto a truly great midsole material and I’m sure they’ll get it dialed in with great uppers soon. If you have a wider or more voluminous foot you’ll be in love. If you have smaller feet, you may want to wait for V8 or go ahead and get an extra pair of Razor 3’s.
Peter’s Score:  7/10
Upper issues (ankle irritation, baggy upper, overly stretchy knit, ineffective lacing system).
Jeff: It is a tale of two shoes. On one hand you have one of the best midsole/outsole pairings I’ve ever run in, mated to a problematic upper in a variety of ways. Runners with narrow feet have to McGuyver all kinds of ways to keep the shoe on, and runners with wide feet will experience issues up front. And with all that said, it is still a good, if not great, shoe that has tons of promise for the future.
Jeff’s Score 8/10 Ride: 10, Fit: 5, Value: 9, Style: 7
The ride is unbelievably good. The fit is almost unbelievably bad (when you have wide and narrow footed runners both claiming the other will like it, that’s problematic). I think it is a good value for $130, this runs nearly as well as shoes that cost $50-120 more, and has minimal durability concerns. Looks are fine, but not revolutionary.

Sam: With Mac's tricks I got the upper to work just fine for me, even at a half size up. This said the stretch knit upper here will limit the Run 7 to shorter distances and more moderate paces for me. And that is the intended focus of the shoe from what I can tell, easier comfort running with some lifestyle use on the side. Despite its state of the art midsole and super light weight it is not a high performance racer or trainer as the Razor 3 is. Those with high volume feet will get a better fit for sure but the stretch will still be in the mix when you push the pace. That is a shame as the oh so light weight, zingy Hyper Burst ride and the overall feel (slightly softer, slightly higher heel feel) is more to my liking than the popular Razor 3. 
Sam's Score: 8.6/10
-1.0 for overly stretchy upper
-0.04 for value as utility will be limited for me and I suspect others. 

Michael: It’s still springtime in 2019 and we’ve had a lot of exceptional trainers. There are certainly shoes I like better aesthetically, and shoes that have better fit, but the GoRUN 7 is, as Jeff mentioned, the most superlative-laden. It is snappy, it is bouncy. It’s a shoe that I’ve texted my friends about, to see if they’ve tried it. Unfortunately, the upper is, well, a huge component of the shoe, and it sharply holds this one back. If you try the GoRun 7 on, and take it for a test run, you’ll love the midsole. It’s unquestionable. But pay careful attention to the fit and the upper. It may work for your feet, but Skechers needs to do (another) overhaul before they’ve reached perfection.
Michael’s Score: 8.9/10. 
-1.0 for the fit; -0.1 for value and durability concerns.   

Comparisons

GOrun Razor 3 Hyper (RTR Review)
Mac: Razor 3 (I gave it an 8.7) has the same great midsole with less weight and far superior upper. Run 7 performs better in slippery conditions, but this is an easy one: Razor 3.
Hope: The Razor 3 doesn’t suffer from any upper issues. I ran a fall marathon in them and when everything else went wrong, the shoes didn’t. Razor 3 all day.
Derek: Razor 3 all day for me. Bouncier, more cushioned, better performance fit, lighter.
Sam: Run 7 was more cushioned in my side by side one on each foot test. Its heel, given the 2 mm additional stack made up of removable sockliner plus inner runnable liner, strobel board plus thicker more complete outsole felt higher and pleasantly so compared to Razor’s lower firmer more performance oriented responsive and precise overall top to bottom feel. Razor is lighter in weight at approx. 6.2 oz / 176 g vs the still admirable 7.16 oz / 203 g of the Run. While not "bad" for a comfort easy miles oriented shoe the Razor’s upper is clearly superior even for easier running. Razor's ride and utility is clearly focused on faster running and racing while the Run is a bit lost as to broad utility for me.
Jeff: I really appreciate the little extra underneath the foot in the GR7H compared to the Razor, but the Razor feels like a purpose built shoe that is better fitted for that purpose. Go Razor.


GOrun 6 (RTR Review)
Derek: I have to say, I am probably going to be in the minority that somehow enjoyed the ride of the GR6 more. The GR6 is an overall more versatile and cushioned shoe, albeit also suffering from issues of a poorly executed upper. If the feedback on the uppers of the GR6 were anything to go by, Skechers have somehow managed to take a step back, because as relaxed as the GR6 fit was, the GR7 is noticeably worse, and this is not something you want in a performance shoe. The main improvement I can see in the GR7 is the better outsole grip and durability with the new square pod design.


GOrun Ride 7 (RTR Review)
Mac: The Go Run Ride 7 (7.2 for me), to me, was the shoe that changed Skechers from a brand that was trying to be a serious contender into one of the most innovative companies in the industry today. The upper is better - but still pretty stretchy - in the GRR7, and it is priced under $100. The GR7H has a far superior midsole and traction in wet conditions. I would spend $130 on the GR7H before I spent $95 on the GRR7.
Derek: GRR7 is generally more my cup of tea than the GR7. Softer, bouncier with a simpler straightforward fitting upper if somewhat basic in design. Factor in the price difference, and I think many people will be headed to the factory outlets for the GRR7.
Jeff: Every few months I put another run in my pair of GRR7 hoping that this will be the one that makes me appreciate the shoe, but it just hasn’t landed for me. While the GR7H has issues, I think it is a big step forward from the GRR7. The midsole material, ride, and outsole are massive quads q, and the GRR7 upper has its own issues (mostly heat, and for a Phoenician, that’s a real issue). I think GR7H has the upper hand.


Reebok Forever Energy (RTR Review)
Mac: Very different shoes, and I expect the comparison is here simply because they are both very innovative midsole produced by quasi-outsiders to the industry. Forever Energy (I gave it a 9.1) is only $100 (outstanding value!) and offers a much firmer - yet still springy - ride, similarly good wet-traction, and better performance at the fastest paces than the GR7H. Two different tools for two different needs, and glad to own both.
Derek: both are on the firmer side as far as bouncy shoes go, and I do find the Energy much more performance oriented with a good snug fit. The Energy is also noticeably more cushioned, though also noticeably heavier. Nevertheless, I think the Energy is an overall more versatile shoe that can handle a wide range of paces. Again factor in the $30 price difference, and no question the Energy wins hands down.
Peter: The forever energy is a great example of what’s missing in the GoRun. The midsole is probably not as amazing as Hyper is, but the synergy of the upper and the midsole makes for a shoe that is overall more enjoyable.
Sam: Far more versatile, lower cost, almost as energetic although heavier, the Forever Energy has a similar feeling energetic next gen midsole foam with a more stable outsole and upper.


New Balance 890v7 (RTR Review)
Derek: the 890v7 feels closer to the ground, but the foam is a softer durometer, and the package is overall more flexible. I much prefer the ride of the 890v7 as for some reason it doesn’t beat me up as much for longer runs. The 890 also has a better performance fit despite also using a knitted upper, and responds much better to pace pickups. For speed work and racing, I would go with the 890v7 over the GR7. It doesn’t hurt that the 890 is now one of the nicest looking shoes of 2019. Fit wise, the 890 is slightly narrower across the board, but still quite generous by NB standards.


Hoka One One Mach (RTR Review)
Hope: The Mach is pretty good, but the GR7 is better, even with the fit issues. Ride is livelier and feels more “traditional” than the maximal Mach.
Derek: the big difference here for me is the forefoot cushioning. The Mach2 has a lot more forefoot cushioning than the GR7. Both are generous in fit volume though, the Mach has a noticeably wider footprint compared to the GR7. Both shoes are on the firmer side. I would say pure forefoot strikers will prefer the Mach as the forefoot experience is superior in terms of bounce and liveliness. If you have wider feet, the Mach2 will probably fit you better too.


Nike Lunar Racer
Derek: the Lunaracer has a special place in my heart as I made my debut marathon in it, and I still have 2 brand new LR4’s in storage. The GR7 feels lower to the ground compared to the LR, though both have very similar degrees of firmness and bounce once you get up to race efforts. I prefer the overall fit of the LR (both v3 and v4) as it is more performance oriented compared to the GR7. The GR7 wins in terms of outsole grip though, grip being the main weakness of the LR.


New Balance Beacon (RTR Review)
Mac: This is a tough one. I love the New Balance Beacon (I gave it a 8.6) and I am on my second pair (and plan on buying at least one more when they go on closeout in prep for the B2). Both shoes have soft, springy midsoles. The GR7H will have better resistance to compression and probably feels better at Long and Easy paces, while the Beacon performs better at Tempo to CV pace, although both can be used for both. At gunpoint, I would pick the Beacon, for the sole reason of the uppers, but this is a push for me.  
Hope: The Beacon is snappier. Fresh Foam is very different from Hyper Burst, so it’s hard to compare these two. I’d prefer the lighter GR7 on tired legs, but otherwise I’d choose the Beacon for its comfortable yet secure upper.
Derek: for me, the Beacon is more of a easy-medium pace shoe, while the GR7 is more of an uptempo only shoe. The differences in terms of vibration dampening and ground feel are quite apparent the moment you run in them. Not really an apples to apples comparison here.
Sam: In my one on each foot test run the Beacon had a denser somewhat firmer ride, with slightly more shock transmitted, and a more snappy response especially at toe off with less of the spring feel of the Run’s Hyper Burst foam. Beacon is slightly more stable upfront. Beacon’s upper is considerably more secure, broader feeling way up front but shorter overall in length than either Run or Razor with some toe jam felt at my true to size.
Jeff: This is a tough matchup. The Beacon fit and upper are so much better, and while the Beacon midsole and ride are both outstanding, the GR7H runs so much better. Ultimately, I’d favor the Beacon for the zero drama upper and great midsole vs the problematic upper and amazing midsole.


Nike Epic React Flyknit (RTR Review)
Jeff: Nike’s upper Flyknit upper isn’t perfect, but is a big step forward here. While React is a great new foam, I don’t think it holds a candle to Hyper Burst. Comes down to what matters, a better fitting shoe or a better running shoe? I’d give the nod to the GR7H, but just barely.
Michael: These shoes, if combined, may be my dream. I love the upper on the Epic React - it’s snug, but not constrictive. While I enjoy the React system, as Jeff notes, Hyper Burst is considerably better. An Epic React upper on a GoRUN 7 midsole would be perfect but for now, I’d take the shoe that’s more comfortable to wear: the Nike.
Sam: For me no question Hyper Burst delivers a far more enjoyable and dynamic ride than the kind of dull but light React foam in the Epic. I appreciate the additional flexibility of the Run compared to the Epic React which I find flat feeling at midfoot. All of this said the Epic React is a more versatile shoe overall


Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit 2 (RTR Review)
Michael: Unlike the Epic React, the Zoom Fly FK seemed to be the perfect combination of upper and midsole. The Fly is a terrific shoe for long runs to race day, and while Skechers’s Hyper Burst material is my preferred midsole, the Fly FK is an all-around more competent shoe. A wise consumer would try them both - if the upper of the GR7 works for you, then by all means, take Skechers. But for the rest of us, the Nike is just a better fit, despite the Skechers tech.
Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any ideas why Skechers are found at every rinky-dink shoe outlet in America, but Skechers Performance is only found online (as far as I know)?

Anonymous said...

Did no one run without the supplied insole? And how does it compare to the Go Run 5 in terms of cushioning / midsole feel?

I skipped version 6, but have the Go Run 1, 2, 4-2016 and two pairs of the 5. The last one is/was my favourite marathon racer for 5 road marathons (until I ran sub 3 in the Altra Escalante Racer earlier this month). And I used it always without the suplied insole, like I do with the GRR7 and the Razor 2.

Sam Winebaum said...

HI Anonymous,
I did not run without the supplied sock liner. I have a feeling due to the stretch knit upper and its volume that it would be overly voluminous that way unless someone had a very wide high volume foot. On the contrary to removing the supplied sock liner adding a thicker but firm one might help here with fit. I think you might find a closer experience in the Razor 3 for racing to Run 5-a shoe I must admit I found very firm. Well done on your sub 3!
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

I have a Hyper 7 on foot as I type this and all I can is what were Skechers thinking? The upper is not good at all. I have tried some of the lacing techniques (shouldn't have to do this on a $130.00 shoe) and they help some but not enough. The shoe is long also. I was expecting so much more and really disappointed. Ok sorry for my rant.

How do you think this would compare to the UA Sonic or Sonic 2? The Sonic 2 looks really nice and I have seen some good reviews on it.

Any way great job to all the reviewers, really in depth review. Keep up the fantastic work.

Marc

Mac said...

Anonymous 1 - Yes, I took out the insole, put my foot in, laughed, and then removed my foot and put the insole back in. Shoe be stretchy :-)

I will tell you what, though: I would be interested in trying out a shoe that is a half - or full - size smaller, just to remove the insole. (I actually tore the "non removable" insole out of my Razor 3... the soft Hyper midsole with nothing else under your foot is a great mix of cushion and lively energy return.)

Kuz said...

I really wanted this to be good but the upper seems like a suspect. I enjoyed the fit on GoRun Ride 7 from last year but even then, the upper is too stretchy and doesn't provide enough hold especially when the roadside turns into berm. That aside, can't wait for the GoRun Ride 8 and i hope they improved the upper with some overlays.

Rudy Kaptein said...

@Sam & Mac: thanks for the reply! Now I am a person with wide feet (think Altra and Topo), so all the remarks about the sloppiness of the shoe make me think that this could be a good shoe for me! For me the GRR7 is only usable without insole (only just wide enough and high enough over my feet / toes). That's the reason I doubt if the Razor 3 will fit my feet. Only 1 brick store in the Netherlands of which I am sure they carry the complete Skechers Performance line to find out though...
The Go Run 5 is one of the more soft shoes in my collection (along with the original Escalante with a thin insole to prevent it from being too soft), so I guess I'm used to a different part of the cushioning spectrum :-)

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Rudy,
They may work well for you. Do review Jeff’s comments about the toe box.
Sam, Editor

MechaDriver said...

Assuming length is not an issue, do you think going down 1/2 size would help with the upper lock-down?

Sam Winebaum said...

It might help with length but doubt lock down as the issue is the stretch and your particular foot shape. The lacing tricks really helped me A thicker or doubling sock liner might help. Sam, Editor

Luc said...

Sam,

Well the goride8 be the perfect shoe with hyperburst AND a good fit?


Greetings
Luc

Anonymous said...

Love the midsole, clearly a flawed upper. I will recomend to wait for next generation.
My take on my first hyperboost experience, this is what #boostlight should feel like. Sketchers should sell their midsole technology to Adidas, the hyperboost with a sub2 upper will be the real vaporfly alternative. We can not allow 250 usd shoes to become standard. They are awesome but I will cheer loudly for the real vaporfly killer if it manage it to do it with a 130-150 price tag.

Great review and thanks for the lacing tip. It does help.

Anonymous said...

I "raced" a half in the GR7H over the weekend... (didn't know about it until the Tuesday the week of, and got a free entry, so essentially just used it as a fast-ish long run). Figured that as long as I didn't care about the race and it wasn't costing me anything, I may as well try out something new.

I gotta say, the shoes did great. Granted, I am using bungee laces and weaving them all through the side webbing to get a good lockdown, but they were fine for a Half. Good cushion, great energy return... two sections where you just bomb downhill (abt 500ft of climbing and descent over 4-5 miles), and they protected me really well. I don't plan on using them to race in anymore - still prefer the Razor 3 and Floatride Fast - but I will definitely use these on both Long and Tempo runs.

bill brewer said...

Reading the complaints about the upper, I can totally understand. I have the GR6 and attempts to get the upper snug without cutting into the foot with the laces is fruitless. A tongueless knit upper designed as "one size fits most" is a bad idea, and best left to athleisure shoes. The knit upper on the GR Ride7, which has a tongue, is great. The Razor3 has a tongue. I don't know why they went with this upper for what was formerly their "flagship" running shoe. I think I'll pass on the GR7 unless it shows up in my local Skechers outlet at $30, like my pair of GR6, and GR5, and Ride7...

I'll be impatiently waiting for the Hyperburst versions of the Ride and the MaxRoad.

Unknown said...

These have finally gone on sale in the UK (unlike the Razor 3) and I managed to get a pair at 50% of RRP. I've put about 30 miles on them now over 3 runs at easy / steady pace including a hilly 13 miler. I haven't experienced any issues with the upper lacking a secure hold on my foot which has been promising. However, on today's 13 miler I did end up with a blister at the base on my left big toe (the right was quite warm in the same place too). I think this might be because the lack of structure in the upper allowed by foot to spread to the point where the outside of my toe was overhanging the edge of the sole although the insole did feel slightly rough and out of place in that area too. I also experienced the to give rubbing with short socks as one of the reviewers mentioned. I've run all my long runs and two marathons in Skechers shoes in the last 12 months and never had a toe blister with them just minor heal blisters after a marathon so it's a bit of a concern in the shoe I was hoping to use for those runs going forward.

I was really looking forward to seeing what the fuss was about the Hyperburst foam. I was actually surprised that it isn't as bouncy as I expected, it certainly doesn't feel as bouncy as the Reebok Forever Energy (although unfortunately I find them so uncomfortable on my feet they've been consigned to leisure use). That said, they seem to have done a great job of leaving my legs feeling fairly fresh despite the pounding they took on some steep descents. I'm withholding judgement for now as I'm hoping the blister issue will resolve itself after a bit more use and wearing different socks.