Monday, November 25, 2019

Skechers Performance GOMeb Speed 6 Hyper Race Report Review- Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10K

By Michael Ellenberger

After some sizing confusion and a dearth of racing (first time since February!) I was finally able to test out the new Skechers Performance GoMeb Speed 6 Hyper (SPGMS6H… eesh!) at the 2019 Lincolnwood Turkey Trot in titular Lincolnwood, IL. 

My training had been consistently inconsistent, between beginning a new job and some early winter weather, but I had at least managed to put in a solid couple weeks leading up, averaging only about 35 miles per week across 6 runs. Hardly stellar numbers, but I had tried to do at least a tempo or interval workout each week, and take my recovery days easy (something I’ve always struggled with). 

Fortunately, I was able to pull out the 10K win in 32:45 (stopped my watch a few seconds too late) and managed some substantial negative splits, despite some hurdles (described below).
I’ll get some quick hits about the Speed 6 out of the way first (and note that all of this should be considered supplementary to our terrific multi-tester review from October). Yes, the sizing is wonky, but no, it’s not as bad as you might think. I think the fabled Running Warehouse “go up a whole size” is overblown. I’m a consistent 8.5, and while the 8.5 was too small (even for racing), 9.0 provided a comfortably snug fit, and I experienced no issues over the 10K race. 
I wore the Coros Apex for the race, which I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with - love, because it’s a well-constructed and premium watch at a fair price; hate because I don’t love the interface (Garmin’s buttons remain superior to the digital knob).
Speaking of which - the Speed 6 Hyper was a perfect 10K shoe. I was choosing largely between the New Balance Fuelcell 5280 (too aggressive for a comeback race - I made the right choice there), the Hoka One One Evo Rehi (an older but solid option, for sure), and Adidas Adizero Adios 4 (one of the most underrated shoes on the market, in my opinion). I wanted to check out the Speed 6 Hyper, and am glad I did. I absolutely loved the Skechers Performance GoRUN 7 Hyper from this spring - it sold me on Hyperburst, and Skechers as a brand. In the Speed 6 Hyper, 

Skechers has locked down the fit of the upper, added an injected Pebax midfoot plate, and added a Goodyear rubber outsole. The only “knock” I have against the shoe is the stiff plastic heel counter, which makes slipping it on, well unlike “slipping” and more like “tugging,” but does contribute to that snappy turnover and easy pick-up and put-down at high speeds.
The race itself played out perfectly. While I’ve run 31:27 post-collegiately (and a 1:07:43 half), I was unsure of where the fitness would put me here - I had planned on opening around 5:30 and seeing what the field was like. Unfortunately, the 5K and 10K started together, and there was no differentiation of the races until over a mile in, so I was forced to up the pace a little to stay near the lead pack, unsure of whether they were my competitors, or diverting into the shorter option. 

Surprisingly, a large portion of the lead runners turned left, towards 5K, instead of right towards 10K - generally in road races, the longest race is the most competitive - and when the races split, I could tell I was running third: nearly tied with second, but a solid 25-30 seconds behind the leader, who had slipped ahead unnoticed in the chaos. Because I notice these things, the 2nd place runner was wearing an older Hoka flat - the Tracer? - and the leader the Nike Pegasus 36. Maybe that should have been a sign.

The race remained like this until about 3.5 miles - the leader a good deal ahead (the course had several turns as it snaked up-and-down neighborhood streets, so we were always well-aware of how the leaders were set up), and another runner and I trading 2 and 3. Around 3.5, I decided to try and make a move - I was feeling considerably better than I had expected, even though our splits had been continuously in the low 5:20s. I pulled around #2 on a short corner and tried to put some space in-between us. Now just me and the leader, some 20 seconds apart.

The final 3K were, as you might expect, a blur - but perhaps not for the reasons you expect. I continuously closed on the leader (Mr. Pegasus) and caught him at about 5 miles. Right then, the 10K course merged back with the 5K course… unfortunately at a point when the 5K had been running for 25+ minutes, and those remaining on the course were walkers, joggers, and strollers, strewn entirely across the roadway. Even with a lead bike calling everyone to move out of the way, I consistently had to dodge, shout, divert 10 feet left and right to avoid the masses (many of whom were wearing headphones and thus oblivious to what was happening). I had no idea if I had successfully gapped my competition because I was afraid to look back, for risk of running head first into someone. 
This didn’t let up all the way to the finish line and even when I crossed the line, I did so with 4 or 5 other athletes wide - there was no separate tape or finish line for the 10K over the 32-minute 5Kers.
Alas - while the race was a logistical mess (and a hard recommendation for anyone looking to run fast), I can strongly recommend the Speed 6 Hyper to those seeking a 5K/10K (or even half-marathon) racer. I previously gushed over the Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro (RTR Review). That love has certainly not gone away (it’s an insanely impressive flat) - but I think the Speed 6 hyper is an all-around more accessible and more robust shoe. I would be very hesitant to do longer workouts in the Run Fast Pro, for fear of wasting my legs. Not so in the Speed 6 Hyper. 

The day after my first race-effort in 10 months, I feel fresh and motivated to get back out there. At $140, I think the Speed 6 Hyper is a good purchase for anyone looking for something to slot under the Vaporfly both in price and in ideal race-distance (and yes, I saw plenty of pink and green Next %s on the start line - I still am yet to lose to a pair!), and I’m extremely excited about what is to come from Skechers Performance in 2020. 

adidas adizero Adios 4 (RTR Review)
A friend and I were recently discussing how, in the age of carbon fiber racers, the Adios remains an absolute underdog. While the A3 was narrow (even on my narrow foot), the A4 is non-carbon-flat perfection. The Boost material gives it enough bounce to carry you to a marathon and - without being superbly light - the Adios 4 is competitive as a 5K and 10K racer. But the Speed 6 is new, and undoubtedly terrific - so how do they stack up? I would take the Adidas for anything over a half-marathon, and for a shoe that won’t beat up your legs over tempo runs or workout days. But for pure racing at 13.1 and down, I think the propulsion of the Speed 6 gives it a (slight!) advantage. 

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro (RTR Review)
The Run Fast Pro was $250 of extravagance - undoubtedly one of the highest dollar-to-ounce racers in recent past, but with performance to back it up. You could tout the Reebok from a mile to a half and have success (though, while I ran a big PR in the Pro, my calves were sore for days). The Speed 6 will handle 13.1 better, for sure, but anything under is a closer call - if you can spend the cash, the Reebok is a great choice. For those on a budget, I don’t think you’re leaving much on the table by picking up the Skechers. 

Hoka One One Evo Rehi (RTR Review)
The Hoka was one if my favorite racers of last winter, and primarily because of its simplicity - it was just light and flat, in an age of technology. While that hasn’t changed - the Rehi remains one of the “purest” racing flats - I think the Speed 6 is the same concept, but refined. Yes, there’s some sort of “plate” here, but it’s not nearly as hyped (or expensive) as Nike’s Vaporfly or Skechers upcoming (and much hyped!) Speed Elite. At a discount, the Evo Rehi certainly won’t do you wrong - but at full price, I’m taking the Speed 6. 

Read our Speed 6 Hyper Multi-Tester Review HERE

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.

The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Anonymous said...

Hi Michael, it's Davis - just realized you're the one who wrote this review!

I'm not as fast as you, but have had the exact same experience thus far. These shoes definitely show their beauty when the cadence picks up at above 190 - I'm sold on Hyper Burst! About to deploy the Speed 6s for a 1Mi/5K turkey trot. And guess what, the 1Mi will be done using the 5280s ;)

John said...

I don’t think it’s fair to call the race a logistical nightmare. It’s a neighborhood Turkey Trot. That automatically means you’ll get slow runners, walkers, families, strollers, etc. Perhaps if they started the 10k first and gave those runners a head start would clear some of the clutter, but it’s not an elite road race. It’s a Turkey Trot; there should be some managed expectations. Even as a back of the packer, I dealt with a lot of runners clogging the way in this race. But that’s my lot in this running life as a slower runner.

At any rate, congrats on the win and thanks for the insight on the shoes.

Michael said...

Davis - terrific! I think the 5280/Speed 6 is one of the best combinations I can imagine for handling any race under 26.2. Especially if you work in track races (one of my goals for 2020), it's hard to think of a better combination. Now, just wait until we're blown away in 2020 by the NB Fuelcell Racer and Skechers Speed Elite...!

John - understood, and maybe it's charged language, but the race has also been around since 1976. All they needed to do (and all the lead bike was attempting to do) was mark the far right side of the road for "to finish - 10K" with cones and leave the remaining 2/3 of the road for the 5K. Especially for a race that is going to allow headphones (which unfortunately seems to be most these days), it's dangerous for both parties (and the bike) to have runners of vastly different paces sharing a road when once can't hear or see the other. Still, I think you're ultimately right - it's just not the race for me, and I'll try and find something different next year. Chicago, for all its perks, has a strangely mediocre road racing scene!

Michael said...

Michael: I'm currently using the Adios 3 as my racing shoe, but was thinking of trying the Speed 6 because of what I've heard about Hyperburst. Do you feel the Speed 6 is enough of an improvement over the Adios to warrant purchasing a pair? I love the responsiveness of the Boost midsole and am on a grad student budget so don't want to splurge on the Speed 6 if it's not significantly better.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Michael,
Michael Ellenberger added 3 comparisons to his article above, including adios 3 and 4
Sam, Editor

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