Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Skechers Performance GORun Razor Elite Hyper Multi Tester Review: Very Light, Plated, Race Strength

 

Article by Peter Stuart, Derek Li, Joost de Rayemaeker, Ryan Eiler, Michael Ellenberger, Jacob Brady, and Sam Winebaum

Skechers Performance GO Run Razor Elite Hyper ($160)


Introduction

Peter: So many Razors! Why is there a Razor Elite coming you may ask? Wasn’t the Razor 3 sublime enough? Isn’t there a Speed Elite? Isn’t there a Razor+? Yes, Yes and Yes. You would be forgiven for wondering if the world needs yet another Razor! 


The Razor Elite takes some of the best aspects of all of the aforementioned shoes and turns them into....A completely amazing race and tempo shoe. It’s light, it’s comfortable, it has hyperburst, it’s got a carbon infused plate, it’s stable, it’s fast, it’s forgiving and it is really, really fun. 


Sam: The Razor Elite is a super light weight, at about 5.6 oz / 159g carbon infused plated shoe with a generous full stack of 27mm heel / 23mm forefoot (same as Razor +), a mono mesh upper and Goodyear outsole.

Did you catch that weight and stack? Remarkable and about 1 oz. less in weight than the Razor +.


The plate is a carbon infused plastic and unlike the more pure short race Speed Elite does not have side winglets and the shoe  more flexible thus more closely resembling the flex of the excellent Skechers Speed TRL or the Saucony Endorphin Speed’s plate. 


The weight and plate indicate race shoe, the stack points to plenty of cushion for training as well. Where does it fit in is what the team set out to find out?


Derek: I am a big fan of the original Razor 3, having owned 2 pairs on my own dime, and using them for a whole bunch of intervals. The upper fit me really well and the cushioning was just right for something I could use for short intervals. That said, there is always room for improvement, and in 2020, if it doesn’t have some sort of plate, it just doesn’t get into the cool crowd. So here in the Razor 3 Elite, we have the same great midsole, but with a lighter minimalist upper, the all important plate, and an improved Goodyear rubber outsole. The price has jumped to $160, putting it in the ring against one of the hottest shoes of the year in the Saucony Endorphin Speed. How will it stack up? Let’s find out!


Joost: This is the 4th pair of Razor: 3 iterations I run in and I’ve been a fan of all of them. Like Derek, I bought the first two pairs myself and absolutely love them. Not that they weren’t without faults, but the feeling of that nice slab of Hyperburst underneath your feet while running with a smile on your face was worth the niggles I had with the upper and sizing of the original. The upper in the Razor + Hyper was a hit for me, so I was looking forward to what they had done with the Elite in terms of upper and with the addition of a carbon infused plate in the forefoot. It’s a mixed bag. Read on.


Michael: I’ve gone from 0-60 (or, more properly, 0-3) in terms of the Razor line; I had never tried a pair before the recent past, and have quickly tried the Razor+, Razor 3 “Zee-bruh”, and now Skechers Performance latest and greatest - the Razor: Elite. I have to say, I love how they kick out a wide variety of really competitive, high-end options. Any runner can find a pair of Skechers that works. 


The Razor: Elite (or just “Razor Elite”) is a fun, flawed model, that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend - but does have a place in many runners’ lineups. Let’s dig in.


Jacob: Woohoo, another novel, fast shoe from Skechers. The Razor Elite is similar to many of Skechers recent releases, notably the Razor+, Speed Elite, and Speed 6. The design language, outsole design, and upper matches the Speed Elite and Speed 6. The midsole mold is identical to the Razor+ and Razor 3. However, the Razor Elite includes a forefoot “carbon-infused plate”! The plate in the Razor Elite, unlike in many racing shoes, is not for propulsion and encouraging speed, rather, it’s for stability and protection. The Razor Elite is the lightest shoe in the Razor line so far, even slightly lighter than the Speed Elite. In comparison to the Speed series, the Razor Elite is marketed as a trainer/racer rather than a pure racer.


Stats

Approx. Weight (unisex sizing): 5.6 oz / 159g (men’s US9) 

Samples: 

Sam: 5.43 oz  / 154g men’s US 8.5

Joost: 162g left/163g right (5.71/5.75) men’s US 9.5

Derek: 162g / 5.7oz men’s US9.5

Ryan: 161g / 5.7oz US M9.5

Jacob: 183g / 6.5oz US M12

Stack Height: 23mm / 27mm, 4mm drop. Glued in sockliner. Midsole stack 19mm / 23 mm

Available Late October.  $160



Pros:

Michael/Joost/Sam/Jacob: Very light

Michael/Joost: Hyperburst!!!

Peter/Sam: Very light for substance. Comfortable. Non-intrusive plate. Great laces. 

Sam/Derek: At faster paces the plate helps mitigate the “low and soft” feeling 4mm drop and minimal rear outsole rubber of the regular Razor

Sam: Dynamic propulsion and stable toe off from the plate. “Usual” wonderful Hyperburst foam spring and response.

Derek: Surprisingly bouncier than the regular Razor3

Derek: Very good lockdown with thin socks at true to size, excellent racer fit

Joost: Very nice, thin laces.

Ryan: Unbeatable cushion/weight ratio

Ryan: Race-strength lockdown

Jacob: Easy to run fast in

Jacob: High energy return—gives back all I put in


Cons:

Michael/Ryan/Sam: Fit issues near big toe, and too low of a drop at 4mm.

Michael/Ryan: Bleeding graphics

Michael/Joost: As with most Skechers Performance shoes, half a size small for me.

Sam: Still a somewhat low feeling soft heel. More heel rubber and/or drop would perfect.

Derek: Would appeal to more gait patterns with a higher 8mm drop

Joost: Blister inducing narrow at the forefoot.

Jacob: Uncomfortably narrow in the forefoot

Ryan: Harsh upper material

Peter: none.


Tester Profiles

Peter lives in Austin, Texas and has been a sub 3 hour marathoner as well as a 1:25 half marathoner in recent years.


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.


A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.  More recently he has solo time trialed the 2020 super shoes, often sub 15 minutes for 5K.

Ryan decided to forego his Wall Street job to be a gear junkie, and is currently the fledgling entrepreneur behind his company, Bridger Helmets.  Most days, you'll find him loping along the Charles River in Boston.  Of all the places he's run, Central Park NYC and the New Hampshire coast top his list.


Joost is a Belgian in his 50s living in Luanda, Angola, Africa, where he faces the heat, humidity and general chaos to run anything between 60-100 miles per week. He’s on a mission to win in his age group in the 6 marathon majors and has completed half of his project, with a 2:26:10 PB in Berlin in 2019 at 51. He ran in primary school, but then thought it would be a lot cooler to be a guitar player in a hard rock band, only picking up running again in 2012, gradually improving his results. His Strava is here:https://www.strava.com/athletes/reimaka


Michael is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, with an interest in patent and intellectual property law. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). He recently finished 2nd at the Chicago Half-Marathon in a PR of 67:43, and was the top Illinois finisher in the 2017 Boston Marathon (2:33:03, 82nd overall). He recently secured a 2:31 marathon PR at the Austin Marathon.


Jacob runs a mix of roads and trails in the Portland, Maine area. He has been running every day for over two years and averages 50-60 miles per week. Jacob has run several marathons and shorter (≤ 50km) ultras and mountain races in the past two seasons, with a PR of 2:51 in the marathon. In addition to running, he surfs, rides (mountain/gravel/road), and nordic skis. He is 25 years old, 6 ft / 182 cm tall and about 155 lbs / 70 kg.


Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 63 with a 2018 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 just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 163 lbs.


First Impressions and Fit

Peter: Did Skechers send me an empty box? Nope. It’s a ridiculously light shoe. The Razor Elite is a great looking shoe. The Chevrons down the side look good, the color scheme is great and they don’t say “SPEED” down the side. I didn’t mind the “SPEED” on the Razor 3, but these just look cleaner. 


The fit is race day snug. They are not a super roomy shoe, but they fit true-to-size for me--especially if I wear a thinner sock. First run was a fartlek workout and they were pretty thrilling right out of the box. 


Sam: Light, Light in hand and seemingly impossibly well cushioned given its stack for the weight,


The mono mesh upper is very thin and fishnet like in look and feel but also pliable and foot form fitting if for sure not soft. 

It is as Peter says a race type fit but in no way a suffocating or overly ratcheted down fit as the materials are so thin and pliable if nonetheless not particularly soft on the foot. The fit is true to size for me. The only noticed try on and fit issue is a touch of pressure from the fairly thick but not stiff medial toe bumper extension.over the big toe,


Derek: It looks fantastic in this combination of colors. As others have already said, it is incredibly light for its stack height. Step in feel is snug and very comfortable for its rather minimalist upper. It runs true to size for me. I wasn’t expecting much difference in terms of underfoot feel but even walking around, the foam somehow feels a little springier than the regular Razor 3. The forefoot doesn’t feel particularly stiff through the toes, with just a touch more snap than the regular Razor 3. So far so good. Time to push the pace!


Joost: I’d gotten used to the SPEED lettering of the original Razor: 3, and there were a couple of colorways that actually looked quite good to me. I remember seeing the original and thinking to myself: “What on earth was the design team smoking when they came up with this upper”. The elite version looks great with smaller lettering and a very nice pinkish midsole that will definitely get people’s attention. Putting them on was easy enough, and I had a little space in front of my big toe, so theoretically a very snug race fit with no slippage of any kind, but like the original Razor: 3, it is just a couple of mm too narrow in the toe box for me. Depending on the socks, it would definitely give me a blister on the outside front of my big toe for anything over an hour or so of running. If you have duck feet like me, it might be wise to size up half a size.

Ryan: If I leave these out to dry on my porch, might they blow away? It may be a strange question to come to mind, but it’s a legitimate one with shoes this light. The feeling of a well-cushioned shoe with less mass than I’ve ever worn made for a giddy first few miles. The colorway matches its speedy specs, and as Peter noted, they look relatively clean for Skechers. I was concerned immediately by the pressure on my big toe, as Sam noted, as well as the low and flimsy heel structure. Because of the aggressive material used for the upper, this felt like it ran a tad short in my size M9.5.

Michael: I was excited (anything with that “Elite” branding sure gets my attention) when the Razor Elite arrived, but a little disheartened to see the same upper return (and, at first try-on, nearly the same fit) from the Speed 6. That shoe is electric - I’ve won a race and run a near-PR in them - but darn if they aren’t oddly shaped, with a massively uncomfortable overlay at the big toe. And, yes, that returns to the Elite as well and, like others, I would feel considerably more comfortable in a half-size up. Online buyers, beware.


Jacob: The Razor Elite looks awesome with its classic Skechers mono-mesh upper, this time with an orange theme. The strikingly orange/red HyperBurst midsole adds to the style distinction of the Razor Elite over the Speed series which have white midsoles. In hand, the shoe is insanely light—it makes sense as it has such a thin upper and airy midsole. There is a decent bit (27mm/23mm) of stack, though, so it is impressive. At 183g/6.5oz in my US Men’s 12 it is the lightest shoe I’ve tested, 7g/0.2oz lighter than the Speed Elite, which is the second lightest. As for the carbon plate, I can barely tell it is there. The shoe is still fairly flexible and there doesn’t feel like much is there when squeezing the shoe in hand. It feels like the plate, more of a “sheet”, is right below the insole, above the midsole (not embedded within like many plated shoes).


As for fit... Many of Skechers Performance shoes have had sizing/comfort issues: the RTR team found the Speed 6 too tight on the toes, the knit uppers of GoRun 7 and Max Road 4 sloppily loose, and there was generally inconsistent sizing between models. I went true to size in the Razor Elite and though snug in the forefoot/around the sites, the fit is fortunately decent and true to size—it is similar to the Speed Elite. I have an average width foot and the toe box area is tight but acceptable, especially for racing purposes. For those with wide feet, I’d imagine this would be very uncomfortable. Even for me the pressure on the sides of my outer toes lowers the enjoyment of the shoe and I can’t wear it comfortably with a thick sock. The only issues are in the forefoot, though, and the midfoot and heel is nicely locked in without uncomfortable pressure.


Upper

Peter: Skechers seems to have taken the best elements of some of their other shoes and combined them all into the Razor Elite. The thin monomesh of the Speed 6 is here along with the slightly more rigid heel collar of the Speed Elite. The result is a form-fitting and very breathable upper that holds the foot extraordinarily well. 

I’m particularly enthusiastic about the laces. Yes, the laces. The laces are very thin and they are pretty stretchy. While some might see this as a negative, it’s been totally positive for me so far. The laces make it very easy to dial in a nice solid fit while also providing just enough give that there’s no pressure on the foot anywhere. As an added bonus, I’ve done three speed workouts in the Razor Elite so far without double knots and they haven’t come untied at all. It’s a great, simple and elegant upper. Most importantly it disappears on my feet and has caused zero problems. Very, very comfortable. 


Sam: The use of a single layer mono mesh with no lining whatsoever instead of engineered mesh, no heel counter and minimal but effectively placed padding on the collars and tongue clearly saves weight. Of course the Elite is highly breathable and while I have not run it in rain should drain very well.

The only underlays (beyond some at front of midfoot) are the gray fairly thick but still quite pliable toe bumpers. Why so thick I am not sure and as they are welded or adhered through the mesh and a bit low up front are a result a bit of a bother on the big toe. Note you can see the design of my socks right through the mono mesh which is while very dense in weave in a ripstop pattern for the support it provides, actually has innumerable small holes for ventilation, draining and I assume also weight savings..

There are also  thin underlays seen as the solid non see through orange and white/gray  bands at midfoot on both the lateral and medial sides. They run from the last two lace holes to the rear while also angling forward with the medial extending slightly further forward than the lateral for I assume a touch more support there.

 

Derek: I’m a big fan of the unstructured uppers as seen in the Speed 6, Speed Elite, Brooks Hyperion Elite etc so I’m always happy to see another shoe sporting the ripstop upper. I think you can really see how a soft heel counter can work very well if you get the length right. I was between sizes for the Speed Elite and went with US10 over my usual 9.5 and in that shoe, I needed to have pretty high lace tension to avoid heel movement, which was exaggerated by the very stiff forefoot. Here, the perfect length means that with minimal lace tension, I get zero heel slippage, and excellent midfoot wrap. 


Overall, the volume of the shoe is lower than it was in the original Razor 3. People who found the Razor 3 too snug or narrow will not like how this shoe fits. The volume of the toe box feels a little bit less than the original Razor 3, and this gives the impression of a little bit more lockdown on the toes. It is not as snug as the Speed 6 (which to me may have been a little too snug across the toes), but noticeably snugger than Razor 3. That said, for people whom the R3 fit well, the Elite will likely give an even snugger performance/race feel. 

In terms of breathability, the ripstop material is excellent and does a great job. It doesn’t soak up any moisture so if you run in warm conditions, so expect things to get a bit sloshy by the end of the run.


I should point out that for the trial pair that I received, I did experience some running of the dye colors into my socks and staining my feet. It appears to be stemming from the suede fabrics of the heel counter, internal toe bumper, and the tongue. In this case, it was dark blue. I washed the shoe with soap once, and got rid of the excess dyes and that issue seems to have resolved. Hopefully this will have been addressed by the time the final production run goes out.


Joost: I agree with Derek: If you found the original tight, size up. Otherwise, the upper is basically the same super light mono mesh material with wonderful breathability as the Speed Elite. A nice pair of white Drymax socks has also gotten some of the ink of the suede pieces on them. Probably nothing that will make it into production runs of the shoe, but you might want to wear them with dark socks for your first few runs to be on the safe side.

The heel counter itself is just the right amount of a little cushion padding. It will keep your heel in place and not irritate your achilles.

The tongue has just enough padding to accommodate the very thin, somewhat elastic and short laces. They stay put, unlike many others out there.


Ryan: Weight savings was obviously the name of the game in designing every aspect of the upper. The ripstop material is very strong, snug, and unforgiving. The heel has a ring of padding to help with hold, but is otherwise unstructured. And the tongue and laces are about as thin as physically possible, although they work surprisingly well. 

Skechers’ tightly shaped toe bumper gave my big toe some trouble, which isn’t a problem I often experience. The harshness of the material seemed to exacerbate the problem, as it isn’t as willing to conform to the foot as a mesh is willing to. Midfoot lockdown is impressive, and the upper’s hold everywhere, save for the heel, is worthy of a racer-type shoe. I had similar issues to many of the other testers with the blue dye bleeding into my socks/foot. This is an upper hellbent on racing, and makes a few small sacrifices to comfort in being the lowest inertia shoe you might actually consider using for >10k.

Michael: The first thing I want to get out of the way is the bleeding because, cosmetic or not, it is a pretty substantial issue - these shoes ruined my socks at first wear. I went out to run a 10 mile progressive effort in them - more on that to come - and returned to find blue socks and blue feet, with some significant dye transfer across the upper of the shoe, especially on the medial side. 

We reached out to Skechers, and they indicated these were a pre-production version - I hope this  is  the case, because in such a competitive landscape, I don’t think it unreasonable to choose against a shoe because it will ruin your clothing, when there are, equally-good options that won’t. It’s a silly mistake that I hope Skechers clears up.


Besides that, as noted above, Skechers has gone back to this super-thin, nearly plastic material that breathes surprisingly well, and provides extremely good lockdown. If it wasn’t for the narrowness as it approaches the toebox, and that big-toe-overlay that cost me a toenail over the winter (on the Speed 6), I’d call it one of the best - but, after trying the Razor+, I’ve seen what Skechers can do, and I can’t help but wish they’d brought that same monomesh plus polyester more kint like upper over to the Elite.


Jacob: The Razor Elite uses Skechers thin, ultralight monomesh material. The laces are thin and light as well. There is minimal structure in the upper mesh, specifically, just a semi-rigid toe bumper and thicker plastic material reinforcing the midfoot (to increase security) and eyelets, and a bit of key heel padding to help with lockdown as there is no heel counter. 


As I mentioned in First Impressions and Fit, it's slightly narrow for me and tight in the toebox—my smallest toes became numb quickly on a cold night run. Thick socks enhance the issue. Security, however, is very good and effortless. It doesn’t feel tight around the heel/mid foot, like I’m not even wearing a shoe while on the run, but is still superbly locked in. Because of the narrowness and oddly great foothold I’ve been able to lace mine on the looser side for comfort. I've even been leaving mine tied and and slipping them on which has worked very well to keep the comfortable fit and is easy to do as there is no heel counter.



Midsole

Peter: So, yeah, Hyperburst is great--but there are varying degrees of great. For example, I love the implementation of HyperBurst on the Razor 3, the Speed Elite and the Speed 6, but am not as thrilled by it in the Razor 3+ or in the beefier shoes like the Max Road Ultra. It’s not bad in the more substantial shoes, but it doesn’t sing like it does in the Razor 3 et al. There’s something about the shoes that really lock you down to the Hyperburst that make for a more harmonious ride. 


The Razor Elite adds an ‘internal carbon-infused plate’ to the Hyperburst and the result is sublime. I’m not sure you’d know there’s a plate in the Razor Elite if they didn’t tell you--and that’s a good thing. This shoe doesn’t have the stiff, rocker type ride that many of the plated shoes have. It’s a much smoother ride and the plate seems to have the effect of stabilizing the Hyperburst foam and allowing for a tremendously efficient ride. This is, for sure, my favorite combination of foam and plated shoe out there. 


I’ll mention some others in the review, but the Razor Elite takes all of the good things about the Razor 3 and adds just a touch of propulsion and stability without sacrificing any cushioning. 


Sam: Hyperburst foam with a carbon infused plate is a great combination for uptempo running. The Hyperburst midsole stack of  23/19 (plus the glued in 4mm sock liner) provides plenty of heel and forefoot cushion while the plate provides a stable, not totally rigid and quite friendly propulsive effect. The plate,, as it is not full carbon, has some flex and appears to extend from just behind the Goodyear logo back quite far, at least in its effect if not actually, as there is a flex point back at about lace up. 

The midsole (foam and plate) feel is springy and well cushioned. This is a midsole that begs to be run fast rather than at slower paces. The 4mm drop, relatively soft heel (foam and thin outsole) makes me want to strike further forward off the heel as with all Razors but here the comparative stiffness and inclusion of the plate provides a more stable platform for a mid foot landing noticeably mitigating the low feel of a regular Razor. Still not ideal for me or I think design wise as it appears all plated shoes in my experience benefit from higher drop (around 8mm or more)  to drive the foot down and forward.


Those who ran the very much short race feel Speed Elite with an identical stack height but a “winglets” shaped plate will find a less aggressive feel to the forefoot here, a feel smoother and more cushioned with less drop in and pop effect. Is the only difference a flatter plate with no winglets I don’t know but the Razor Elite overall has a more versatile midsole that is for sure!


Derek: The carbon infused plate is not as noticeable here as in other such shoes. In many ways it is like the NB FuelCell TC in that the plate is not very stiff, so you still get a more natural flex through the toe joints, but with a bit more snap back than if there were no plate at all. It would also appear that the plate accentuates the bounce of the HyperBurst midsole a little especially through the forefoot, likely because there is flex and rebound of the plate with each step, as opposed to other carbon shoes where the plates are stiffer and serve more to preserve the forefoot rocker through toe off. The overall feel is that of more cushioning than the regular R3, which was unexpected for me, because we tend to get harsher shoes once you embed a plate in the midsole. 

Ryan: If you read “carbon infused plate” and expected a board-stiff version of a Hyperburst midsole, you’d be in for a surprise. As compared to the Razor +, which has the same midsole but lacks the plate, the forefoot of the Elite is a touch more stable and responsive. It certainly doesn’t scream “plate!” though, but rather chaperones the Hyperburst to deliver a more behaved toe-off. The plate does not extend to the heel, preserving its characteristic Hyperburst attributes at the rear. 


Cushioning is very noticeable both in the heel and the forefoot, and provides a rubbery kind of rebound energy which I think most folks will enjoy. I do wish this shoe had 4mm more drop, as its small offset,, paired with the soft Hyperburst. coaxed me into striking further back toward my heel than I typically would.


Joost: The combination of stack height and Hyperburst in the Razor series is the best there is to give you the lightest possible shoe, with incredible responsiveness. Contrary to Peter’s experience, I couldn’t really feel any difference between the Razor 3 and the + version of the shoe. The Elite feels a little different underneath the forefoot because of the carbon infused plate. If you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t suspect there’s a plate in the shoe, since it’s still quite flexible if you try to bend it. Only compared with the other versions can you feel the difference. It’s just that little bit more stable. You can feel the difference especially at faster paces. I did some marathon paced running and a couple of strides and running fast is what this shoe is meant for, even though it also feels great at slower speeds. One way you can tell there’s a plate in the forefoot, is that you don’t feel little pebbles or stones as much when you land on them. In terms of stack height, I couldn’t tell the difference between the 3 versions I have. I put them next to each other, and they are exactly the same height.

Michael: I think Ryan has said it well already; this isn’t a shoe I expected when I read the spec sheet prior to running it. And, even after a few faster sessions, I’m still not sure I’d put money on it having a carbon infused plate, setting the truth aside, except that in comparison to the Razor+, you can feel something distinctly firming up the launch as you progress into faster paces. It’s not aggressive enough to be a racer for me (more on that later), but I do appreciate the slightly stiffer midsole compared to the overly-mushy (in consideration of the drop) setup in the R+. And of course, it’s Hyperburst - I’ve written enough praise about this material to be a marketer for Skechers but really, it’s the most engaging and energetic midsole in the game right now, and a surefire bet to save any trainer or racer, regardless of what else it has loaded up.



Jacob: The Razor Elite uses a single slab of medium-stack HyperBurst midsole with a forefoot “carbon-infused plate”. HyperBurst is a lively, springy, low-density, lightweight foam that has been a critical component of Skechers Performance shoes over the past two years. In the Razor Elite, HyperBurst has great energy return, moderately soft cushion, and provides a balanced, peppy ride. It’s springy and quick to pop off the ground into the next stride, but stable and not overly soft and bouncy. It strikes a nice balance of cushion, energy return, and stability. The carbon infused “plate” is less of a plate and more of a sheet of material above the midsole in the forefoot. The forefoot is still flexible with the plate, but the plate moderates the flexibility and makes the foot have to do less stabilizing work. It also provides protection and limits the amount a single toe can compress the midsole alone. The effects overall are far from striking—definitely less so than any other shoe I’ve run in that was advertised as “carbon-plated”. However, the Razor Elite feels great underfoot and is a joy to run in, so the unnoticed plate is not a bad thing!

Outsole

Peter: The outsole is pretty much the same pattern as the Razor and the rubber has been upgraded to a GoodYear™ rubber. It’s a textured rubber that grips the ground really well and after more than 30 miles on the Elite I don’t see ANY wear at all. There’s some exposed hyperburst throughout the outsole, but there isn’t any wear there either. Traction and feel are great. 


Sam: No complaints at all for any of the Goodyear rubber Skechers is now using. There is plenty of coverage if thin here and more than the Speed Elite which actually weighed about 0.4 oz more. The outsole pattern is very similar to the Razor + leaving out that model’s medial patch and about 1 oz in weight. I do wish for thicker heel coverage for reducing any sensation of bottoming out and for wear. 


Derek: Although the rubber design is the same as the R3, I think GoodYear seems to add more durability to the mix, as I have seen a little more durability and even tackiness to the rubber in the GoodYear models. I see the GoodYear addition as a significant improvement over the previous compound. 


Ryan: From my mileage, the Goodyear rubber has demonstrated fantastic traction, even in the wet, and feels nicer than most under foot. If it’s the same compound as they used on the Razor +, durability may be in question, but for the first 25 miles they seem to be holding up well.


Joost: The Goodyear rubber is a great addition to this shoe. It provides better traction and should last a lot longer than the original.


Michael: Not much to say. I only was able to put 23 miles on my pair (with sizing and sock-staining concerns playing a role), but in either wet and dry conditions, I had no problems here, and think durability won’t be a concern. 


Jacob: The Razor Elite outsole uses five pieces of segmented Goodyear rubber. The rubber is tacky and fairly thin, but substantial enough to give more of a feeling of durability than the unbranded rubber in the Speed series. The arrangement is the same as the current Razor and Speed series. There are two wells near into the midsole near the heel which allow for easier compression and a softer feel in the heel.


Traction is excellent on dry asphalt and solid on wet asphalt. As many shoes are, it is a bit sketchy on wet paint lines, but not disastrous.


As for ride, the Razor Elite outsole both mutes and stabilizes. It leads to a soft pop feeling and less of a hard snap.



Ride

Peter: I’ve run the Razor Elite at easy paces, marathon pace, half-marathon pace and 10k pace. It’s been smooth and enjoyable at every pace. It’s nice and forgiving at slower paces and does well for fartlek workouts. At race paces the Razor Elite feels amazing. I’ll have to do some longer runs to see how it holds up over 18-20 miles, but so far I think its got potential to be a great marathon racer. 


It’s as fun a ride as I’ve had all year. The Razor Elite are so light on uphills that you don’t feel them. They love to go fast and fatigue is really low. There’s a little bit of “green silence” magic in these shoes (for those geeks who remember those). While they don’t have the moonwalk bounce of some of the other plated racers (NB, Nike, Saucony), the Razor Elite have an exceptionally good ride. Fun and fast. 


Sam: The ride here is best suited to faster paces and a more mid to forefoot strike. Sure you can run slow in them but at least for me the relatively soft heel with lowish 4mm drop is not the best combination.  As with prior Razor for me when tired I do prefer more heel substance. 


Pick up the pace and the combination of plenty of lively forefoot cushion and the plate’s propulsion is smooth, notably stable up front for such a light shoe, and dynamic. I would easily pick them for a 10K race and potentially a half on a flat course, uptempo, and road intervals.


Derek: As Peter and Sam have said, the shoe is ok at slower paces, but really shines at fast paces. 

I especially like how smooth and propulsive it is at 5K+ pace, where I am up on my toes the whole way, and the plate adds a bit of extra snap to the already excellent responsive R3 platform. As I mentioned earlier, the R3 Elite somehow feels more cushioned than the regular R3 for me, I think partly because the plate gives the forefoot a little bit more rebound and snap even at slower paces, as long as you are loading the forefoot. I’m not sure I would use this shoe for longer races as it is still a relatively minimal shoe by modern racer standards, but it would make for a very good mile-5K racer for me. In essence the R3 Elite takes what was good about the R3, and improved on it in a way that did not drastically change the dynamics of the ride. To me that’s a good thing, as it already has a huge loyal following for the R3. 


To me the main drawback appears to be a relatively narrow spectrum of utility, and that is borne more out of the lower heel-toe drop of 4mm for me. Were the drop a little higher, I think it would appeal to a wider audience, and for me personally, might work for longer distances. The longer the distance, the more likely I will migrate to a more midfoot or relative heel striker pattern, and with the geometry of this shoe, I just don’t see myself sustaining the right gait to engage the plate for anything longer than a 5K. 

Ryan: Hyperburst provides an undeniably smooth ride, especially when paired with its minimal and soft rubber outer. Transition onto the toe is aided by the plate, but not drastically so. The ride somehow manages to feel mellow and buttery, yet impossibly weightless and racy. It’s a fun, versatile ride that’s far more forgiving than any <6oz shoe I’ve ever worn.


Personally, I wouldn’t use these for anything longer than a 10k, given the harshness of the upper and the shoe’s minimalist structure. For a distance racing shoe with a soft midsole, I’d expect a larger drop to encourage me to lean a bit further forward. I think I’d be able to run more comfortably and quicker with a more robust construction both around and under my foot. I heartily agree with my fellow reviewers that this shoe feels far more purposeful at faster paces.


Joost: Fantastic ride for basically any speed you want to throw at it, but it really shines when you pick up the pace and feel the responsiveness and the spring in your step from the Hyperburst foam. Combined with the very low weight, it’s a joy to run fast in.


The plate adds just a little bit of stability. I’m not bothered by the 4mm drop and actually enjoy the M-strike, since I land on the outside of the balls of my feet when I run. It’s a pity the toe box isn’t a little more forgiving. This limits the shoe’s use for me to a maximum of 10K racing. More than that would probably give me a blister from the toe bumper.


I’ve been using the Razor: 3 and the Razor + as a sort of antidote from running in plated shoes, in order to give my feet some work. The lack of rigidness actually makes my feet feel better and more recovered the day after a long run or a long session in a plated shoe. Letting your feet move more naturally is a good idea for everyone. 


I was a little apprehensive when I first heard there was a plate in the Razor Elite, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the supershoe plates out there. This plate is actually still quite flexible and adds a little stability under your forefoot and lets you bend your metatarsals where they’re supposed to bend. There was no need to worry about the plate getting in the way of a great shoe. It actually makes it better at faster paces.

Michael: While I agree with others - the Razor Elite is best run up-tempo - I have to caveat that by saying that it certainly isn’t the best up-tempo shoe out there, even at this price point. I don’t want to jump to my Conclusion section too quickly here, but while I appreciate the Elite at faster clips, I think the way this shoe would have truly succeeded would be by doing it all - being a terrific easy day and race day option. Instead, I, too, found it a little flat (both literally, regarding drop, and in feel) at slower paces, and that low drop similarly excludes it from being a go-to 20 mile progressive long run option. It’s stuck somewhere in the middle. 


What Derek said - “the main drawback appears to be a relatively narrow spectrum of utility” - is exactly what I am struggling to say. It’s fast, but just not quite the dynamic option I had hoped - especially for a shoe Skechers considers to be an up-tempo trainer or racer. I had hoped this would strike a broader appeal than the Razor+, but instead it's gone narrower.

Jacob: The Razor Elite ride is defined by effortless speed, comfortable cushion, and an insanely light on-foot feel—shocking light given the nicely cushioned heel. The plate does not have a dramatic apparent effect on the ride. This is not a curved, spoon-shaped, full-length plate like a typical plated super shoe where the plate is for propulsion. In the Razor Elite it just gives a stable, less flexible feel to the forefoot. It also adds protection and I think makes it easier to lock in to a pace, though these effects are minor.


From my testing it is clear that the Razor Elite is designed for speed—it’s easy to run fast in and feels smooth at fast paces. I ran my fastest mile of 2020 (5:21) at the end of a 5 mile decent workout without even realizing. It’s not advertised as “just” a racer, but I prefer it to the stiffer and less comfortable Speed Elite for any distance and feel faster in the Razor Elite as well.


Interesting, all my test runs were surprisingly fast-paced, even when I wasn’t planning to do any speed. I was actually unable to do a “slow” run in the Razor Elite, even when I had done a 3.5hr hike a few hours before after a week of training. 


The Razor Elite is unique in the way it encourages speed compared to a traditional carbon-plated racer (e.g. Nike Vaporfly, Saucony Endorphin Pro...etc). The traditional plated racer locks me into a form and directs movement to reduce fatigue and optimize efficiency—usually, there is a high rocker involved as well. While the Razor Elite does push me to run more midfoot/forefoot than I usually do, otherwise the flexibility and unstructured upper made it feel closer to not wearing a shoe at all, like I could do whatever I wanted. This vibe does make it a better trainer than a stiffer, aggressively rockered racer, but the Razor Elite doesn’t suffer in the racer category because of it.


Another great feeling the Razor Elite gives that adds to its ability to move fast is that it feels like all the energy I put in directly moves me forward. This isn’t a sensation of a long compression of soft foam then a trampoline rebound; just land then pop off.


Conclusions and Recommendations

Peter: The Razor Elite is everything good that Skechers has done with the Razors and the Speed Elites all put into one incredible shoe. I would highly recommend these for anyone who likes a light fast shoe to do tempo or race work in. The plate is non-invasive and there’s  magic here. They also look terrific. The toebox is a tiny bit tight--especially in thicker socks. I did a very hilly 14 in them this weekend and they were great, but my toes took a little beating on the downhills.

Peter’s Score 9.5/10. 

My white socks came out multi-colored!. Also the toe box is a tiny bit tight--especially for longer runs or socks on the even slightly thicker side. 


Sam: Skechers has often told us that reducing weight over time and model generations while providing improved cushion through yet more innovative foams and a dynamic ride is job one. 

Here they have delivered a remarkably light 5.6oz speedster. I say speedster as while some may be able to daily train in them, i think they are best reserved for most runners’ faster days and shorter races. The use of a somewhat flexible carbon infused plate over 100% carbon is a smart move leading to a non obtrusive more forgiving plated ride with essentially all the snap and none of the harshness of pure carbon. 


It is not a super cushion marathon focused race shoe or a “race flat” category shoe but it is clearly a lighter and more cushioned shoe, with few if any weighing less in either category  and onne that sits squarely between the two categories. 


While the incredibly light weight for cushion stack is a huge plus, I do think this shoe with a touch more drop and heel rubber thickness, even at the expense of a touch more weight (still under 6 oz I am sure) would be yet better and a better value and could become the ultimate lightweight all around fast shoe in a runner’s quiver.

Sam’s Score: 9.1/10

Ride: 9.0 (50%) Fit: 9.4 (30%) Value:8.5 (15%) Style: 10 (5%)


Joost: If the Speed Elite and the Razor: 3 were to have a baby, this would be it. A great combination of weight reduction, an incredible foam, a little bit of plate and a fantastic ride, only let down by an undersized toe box.

Joost’s score 9.3/10 (Ride 50%, Fit 30%, Value 15%, Style 5%)


Derek: This is a significant improvement on the regular R3 that rightly justifies its Elite title. I think fans of the R3 will love it, but may need to be wary of its even snugger fit vs the R3. It is not the most versatile speed shoe to me as I think the low drop may limit its utility for longer races for many people. At the current price point, it may suffer against the likes of the Saucony Endorphin Speed for its lack of versatility, as a speed trainer. That said, as a short distance racer, I think the way the plate works in this shoe is more natural and perhaps a little more easily adopted for most runners than the Uber aggressive Speed Elite Hyper.

Derek’s Score 9.61 / 10

Ride 9.3 40% Fit 10 40% Aesthetics 9.5 10% Value 9.4 10%


Ryan: This is a purpose-built shoe that largely achieves what it set out to do: provide impressive amounts of energetic cushion at an even more impressive (lack of) weight. It’s plenty of fun to feel such a low amount of inertia when pushing the pace, but they’ve made a few compromises here, in my opinion. Don’t be misled by the “plate” moniker -- this is not an ultra-rigid super-shoe competitor, but rather a more versatile 5-10k racing shoe for those who love Hyperburst and/or the Skechers fit.

Ryan’s Score: 8.4 /10 

Deductions for fit around toe, low/unstructured heel, bleeding dye, unforgiving upper material.


Michael: There’s something about Skechers Performance over the last couple years that had my hopes sky-high for this one. Heck, even despite myriad shortcomings - an upper that bleeds on you, if you can get your foot to fit in it; a drop that’s too low for a truly dynamic ride; a plate that doesn't give you that classic carbon-fiber boost; a platform that’s limited in the paces it can really handle - I still think the Razor Elite is a fun offering that many blue-stained runners can find joy in. But it’s not the shoe I had hoped for - if the Speed 6 fits your foot, I think that’s a better option. If you want a dynamic trainer that you can run fast in, I think the Razor+ is a better option. I wish the Razor Elite had taken the best of those two and combined them - but it’s not quite there.

Michael’s Score: 8.4/10


Jacob: The Razor Elite is an incredibly lightweight, fast, marvel of a trainer/racer. It has a comfortable, stable but high energy return ride and a secure, out of the way fit and is flexible and protected underfoot. It is easy and fun to run fast in. The only issue is discomfort due to toe box narrowness, but it hasn’t brought down any of my runs.  It will likely be unwearable in the winter, though, as it is thin/runs cold and my toes can’t fit in comfortably with a thicker sock.


I will use the Razor Elite as a 5k/10k racer and a workout or cruising-day trainer. It has the cushion for any distance racing but there are better higher-stack, leg-saving options for the half marathon and above.

Jacob’s Score: 8.93

Ride: 9.5 (50%) Fit: 8 (30%) Value: 8.5 (15%) Style: 10 (5%)



Comparisons  

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


Skechers Performance Razor + Hyper (RTR Review)

Ryan M9.5: This is an interesting, almost scientific comparison, in that we get to take the Razor + Hyper, add a composite plate up front, change the upper material, shave a few grams here and there, and witness the effects. While Hyperboost provides its lovable, bouncy energy in both midsoles, these two shoes end up feeling like they were made for completely different purposes. 


I noted in our RTR review that the Razor + Hyper feels as close to a slipper as a running shoe has felt to me, and I stand by that. Compared to that shoe, the Elite feels like a 0% body fat, RedBull-drinking ripper that’s made for 5k pace -- and only 5k pace. The upper material has a lot to do with this opinion, since the mesh on the Razor+Hyper is friendly and supple, whereas the ripstop material on the Elite does everything it can to hold your foot in the places it wants to.


While the Razor + Hyper’s midsole is a bit too supple for my liking (it’s 100% Hyperburst), I’ve used it comfortably for long, mellow 20 mile runs, which is something I wouldn’t dare try in the Elite. The plate located at the forefoot of the Elite does a moderate amount to help stabilize the midsole and provide additional energy at toe-off, but I wouldn’t call the effects drastic. Use the Razor +Hyper for fun, relaxed recovery runs, and bust out the Elite to mash the throttle for no more than a half hour at a time.


Joost: They are both definitely siblings. I personally prefer the + for most workouts, since I really like the flexibility of the midsole, but for a 5k or 10k, I would definitely go with the Elite for its added stability and lighter weight. The Elite just adds that little extra snap.


Michael: As noted in my review, I strongly prefer the upper on the Razor+ to the Elite, and - while the platform of the Elite is snappier and more engaging at faster paces - I’m not sure the Elite improves it enough to make it a worthwhile choice for me. I’ve run several faster progressions in the R+ without issue (despite its slight lack of stack and drop). I’m taking the Razor+ - and hoping that next year’s Elite is the best of both worlds.


Peter: I’m the outlier here. I think the upper of the Elite holds the foot to the midsole much more securely and therefore provides a more finely tuned and enjoyable ride. I like the 3+ fine, but they feel a little sloppy to me. The Elite feels like a racing machine. Elite, Elite, Elite!



Skechers Performance Speed Elite (RTR Review)

Peter: Lighter, less aggressive in plate effect, far more versatile and lighter except maybe for fast 5K racing, the Razor Elite is clearly superior. I do love the Speed Elite more now than when I originally tested them though. Just ran a mile time trial in them and they were great!


Derek: I wear 9.5 in the R3 Elite and 10 in the Speed Elite (mainly because Speed Elite does not have half sizes). I do find Speed Elite to be the faster shoe for me, but it mainly loses out to the Razor in terms of outsole grip. For racing purposes I prefer the Speed Elite; for speed workouts I think the R3 Elite is better as it doesn’t feel as awkward at anything less than race pace, unlike the Speed Elite where the rocker feels unnatural once you slow down.


Joost: The Razor Elite is superior to the Speed Elite for me. I also wear a 10 in the Speed Elite and tested a 9.5 in the Razor Elite. Both would give me blisters for anything much over 60 minutes of running, so it’s not a length issue, but has something to do with the upper being just too narrow and the toe bumper rubbing where it shouldn’t.


Michael: I will take the contrary position - while the Speed Elite undoubtedly needs a little more cushion to become a marathon powerhouse, I think the firm and fast plate, coupled with a sufficient amount of Hyperburst (if a small portion) make the Speed Elite a faster and more fun ride. If I was going out to do 20 miles easy, I would take the Razor Elite, but for what I think most people will be considering these for - racing! - I think the Speed Elite is a better choice.


Jacob: I prefer the Razor Elite for all use cases. I found the Speed Elite ride overly stiff, hard to lock in to, and uncomfortable except at high speed. The Razor Elite is softer, smoother, more free-feeling, and feels easier to run faster for me. Both shoes fit similarly, being locked-in but slightly too narrow in the toebox.


Skechers Performance Go Meb Speed 6 (RTR Review)

Peter: I loved the Speed 6, ran a 10 mile race and a few half marathons in them. I found them to be smooth and fast. The Razor Elite retains many of the same qualities of the Speed 6 (including being pretty snug) and improves upon them. Turnover is just as quick, ride is slightly more forgiving but also more stable. I ran a 10k race in them this morning and the Razor Elite just hummed through the race. The Plate, while very unobtrusive, provides just a little more snap and a little more pop than the Speed 6's. If you liked the Speed 6, you'll love the Razor Elite. If you hated the Speed 6, well.... 


Derek: I wear US9.5 in both models, though I probably would be more comfortable using US10 for the Speed 6 for longer events or training. In terms of fit, the heel and midfoot volume are very similar. The R3 Elite has a slightly more accommodating forefoot shape so your toes don’t feel as cramped but it’s still a pretty snug fit that I don’t think can be solved by sizing up. In terms of ride, the R3 Elite feels a LOT more cushioned with a bouncier and smoother transition. I would really only choose the Speed 6 over the R3 Elite if I want something a little more minimalist feeling, and if I prefer a zero drop or near zero drop type of shoe. Outsole performance is quite similar between the two shoes. 


Skechers Performance Razor 3 Hyper (RTR Review)\

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both models. The R3 Elite has a snugger fit, but I would not change size for this. If it doesn’t fit at true to size, don’t get it at all, as theheel may slip at a larger size. I consider the R3 Elite well worth the extra $30. The plate really adds a little more dynamism to the ride that is not immediately obvious until you start picking up the pace.


Joost: I actually got a pair of 9.5 in the Razor: 3 and offered them to my brother for a family race. I then got a pair of 10 and I got along better with them, although the larger size changes the ride a little. It feels less dialed in. If I were to get another pair of Razor Elite, I would probably also get a 10. That being said, the Elite is worth the extra $30, as Derek said. Lighter and snappier.


Michael: Limited experience here, as I’ve just begun to break into the zebra-patterned Razor 3, but my early impressions do suggest the Elite may be a more worthwhile choice, if only because the Razor lacks that snap that a plate - even if not full carbon - can help provide. Firming up the midsole, as the Razor Elite has done - goes a long way.


Watch Joost's Comparison Video Razor Elite, Razor +, and OG Razor 3



ASICS Metaracer (RTR Review)

Smm: The heavier (1.5 oz but still sub close to 7 oz) Metaracer is more refined in fit, bouncier, more pleasant and higher drop in stats and feel at the heel, and is not quite as cushioned up front or maybe more accurately stiffer. Substitute the carbon infused Skechers plate for the pure carbon in the Metaracer and it would be no contest. Given the $45 price differential and despite its thinner rubber the Skechers is a better value in the super flat category but not quite as elegant a shoe in looks and ride.


Derek: I wear US9.5 for both models. This is a tough tossup for me. The Metaracer has less ground feel and is more aggressive and feels more “assistive” in fast running, but the R3 Elite has the noticeably bouncier forefoot ride. I think forefoot strikers will prefer the R3 while natural heel strikers will appreciate the geometry of the Metaracer better. 


Michael: Not a hard choice on my end - the Metaracer has a smoother, more even ride. Do I wish it was a little softer, or had a little more FlyteFoam? Basically always - but the ASICS integrates the plate superbly, and I’d be nervous to line up against a runner in the MetaRacer if I was “only” wearing the Razor Elite. Looks don’t hurt, either.


Reebok Floatride Run Fast (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both models. I am one of the few who wasn’t very blown away by the ride of the Run Fast. The midsole feels a little lacking in the bounce department, and while plenty responsive, tends to lack the dynamism that I look for in a modern racer. The R3 Elite is by far the better overall shoe; lighter, bouncier, smoother, and feels way less harsh even at recovery paces. 


Joost: I’m a big fan of the Run Fast. It’s definitely a lot harsher, but the upper beats the Razor hands down.


Nike Zoom Streak (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in the R3 Elite and US10 in the Zoom Streak. The R3 Elite is the better and more forgiving shoe, while also feeling bouncier and snappier at all paces. The Streak may have better grip especially at the forefoot as it has softer blown rubber up front.


New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon 3 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both models. These are 2 very different shoes to me. Beacon is more of a cushioned cruiser than I would not choose for speed work, while the R3 Elite is almost a pure speed shoe. Horses for courses, as they say.

Peter: Not a good comparison I agree. But they are my two favorite shoes of the year so far. Get both!!!


Hoka Rincon 2 (RTR Review)

Peter: The Rincon 2 is a good distance shoe that can pick up paces. It’s good and was my go to for much of the summer. The Razor Elite is about ⅓ as much shoe (by appearance) and it’s a speedy little tempo day and race day shoe. Again, these are pretty different shoes. If you want more foam and a little less excitement go Rincon 2 (though they run narrow). If you feel like feeling fast, go Razor Elite.


Saucony Endorphin Speed (RTR Review)

Sam: The Endorphin Speed is over 2 oz heavier but still sub 8 oz,  considerably more cushioned by stack and in feel yet given the weight difference not radically more so and also propelled by a non full carbon plate. It is an 8mm drop shoe vs.4mm for the Elite, a drop I prefer. It is a more versatile shoe for sure at about the same price, leaning training with some racing while Razor Elite leans more racing and some training.  


Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Same price point here! Endorphin is way more cushioned and has a more aggressive rocker with geometry more amenable to a wide variety of foot strike patterns, but it is also significantly heavier than R3 Elite. I think the Endorphin Speed makes for a good daily trainer that can double as an excellent long distance racer. R3 Elite would be the way superior short distance racer maybe even up to 10K (vs Endorphin Speed), but is less versatile and probably wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice as a daily trainer.


Peter: Not too much to add here. I agree with the above for the most part. I love the Speed as a trainer and for some fartlek or tempo work--but I’d race up to a half marathon in Razor Elite for sure. 


Jacob: The Endorphin Speed is much more comfortable as well as more cushioned. It is also much heavier, though still lightweight given the high stack height. As the others have noted, the Speed is more on the trainer side and the Razor Elite is a superior, snappier, faster-feeling racer.


Brooks Hyperion Tempo (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 for both models. The Hyperion Tempo is the more cushioned but firmer of the 2 shoes, with less noticeable bounce to the ride. The R3 Elite is significantly faster for workouts but is less amenable to longer runs compared to the Hyperion Tempo, which I have taken for moderate pace runs up to 20 miles. Hyperion is also much more durable with loads more outsole rubber. I see the R3 more as a specialist speed shoe, and the Hyperion Tempo more as a lightweight trainer. 


Michael: Derek has said it all well (and gone to the point of my Razor Elite review, which is its specificity instead of generalism). But ultimately, this is a tough call - the upper on the Brooks is better (if similarly narrow), but the midsole and spring of the Razor Elite aren’t to be taken lightly. I’ll pretend for a moment the dye-bleeding issue is fixed, and recommend the Elite in the showdown of fast n’ light do-it-alls!


Saucony Endorphin Pro (RTR Review)

Peter: Similar feelings with the Pro and the Saucony Endorphin Speed. Both are great for long runs, Pro is even better for speed. For shorter stuff I’d go with the Razor Elite, for longer or hillier I’d go Razor Elite. 


Jacob: The Endorphin Pro is much higher stack, stiffer, and bouncier—a completely different feel. For short, fast running such as workout and <10k racing, the Endorphin Pro feels unnecessarily built-up compared to the Razor Elite and I would definitely choose the latter. For marathon racing the Endorphin Pro has more cushion and more fatigue-reducing effect so it would be preferred. As a shorter-distance speed trainer, the Razor Elite has a more comfortable ride. 


New Balance Fuel Cell RC Elite  (RTR Review)

Peter: This is tough. I really love the RC Elite. I’d race a marathon in them tomorrow. They have the weird moon bounce of the Vaporfly, the cushion of the Saucony Pro and a killer fit. I really love them. That said, I keep doing my speed work in the Razor Elite instead. Just having more fun in them right now. RC is one of my favorites this year, but the Razor elite is a snappier and more fun shoe for short races.

Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no charge for testing. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Endorphin Speed is 8 mm drop, not 4.
One of my all time favourite shoes is Reebok Run Fast because it is so versatile. I have never had a road shoe with such wonderful grip. I have raced in it on gravel, moderately technical, dry trails and dry grass. Surface versatility is something you rarely mention in your reviews.

BDClark said...

I had the blue & white Razor 3's and the tongue left a blue stain on my white Injinji socks, so I'll be surprised if the staining issue is fixed in the production version.

kiwirevo said...

Seems like it'll be quite similar to the Salomon Slab Phantasm.

azer89 said...

I'm curious. Can you remove the sockliner to add more volume? The ones in Vaporfly Flyknits can be removed quite easily, this would expose the stitching that connects the midsole and the upper but it never become an issue for me.

Anonymous said...

How are these compared to the Skechers GoMeb Speed 6?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi azar99,
The sockliner appears very well glued in and not just a few spots of glue but I suppose could be removed.
Sam, Editor

Derek Li said...

Thanks for the input. I think this is something we can work on for future reviews. Personally, I hardly run off tarmac at all but I’m sure some of the others can comment on off-road performance. And yes the Reebok Run Fast has excellent outsole grip.

Derek Li said...

I wear US9.5 in both models, though I probably would be more comfortable using US10 for the Speed 6 for longer events or training. In terms of fit, the heel and midfoot volume are very similar. The R3 Elite has a slightly more accommodating forefoot shape so your toes don’t feel as cramped but it’s still a pretty snug fit that I don’t think can be solved by sizing up. In terms of ride, the R3 Elite feels a LOT more cushioned with a bouncier and smoother transition. I would really only choose the Speed 6 over the R3 Elite if I want something a little more minimalist feeling, and if I prefer a zero drop or near zero drop type of shoe. Outsole performance is quite similar between the 2 shoes.

Peter S. said...

Razor Elite vs. Skechers Speed 6
Peter: I loved the Speed 6, ran a 10 mile race and a few half marathons in them. I found them to be smooth and fast. The Razor Elite retains many of the same qualities of the Speed 6 (including being pretty snug) and improves upon them. Turnover is just as quick, ride is slightly more forgiving but also more stable. I ran a 10k race in them this morning and the Razor Elite just hummed through the race. The Plate, while very unobtrusive, provides just a little more snap and a little more pop than the Speed 6. If you liked the Speed 6, you'll love the Razor Elite. If you hated the Speed 6, well....