Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Skechers Performance GO Run Razor Excess Multi Tester Review: Smooth, Efficient, Peppy, Light, and Reasonably Priced

Article by Mac Jeffries, Peter Stuart, Jacob Brady, Sally Reiley, and Sam Winebaum

Skechers Performance GO Run Razor Excess ($140)


Introduction

Sam: The Razor Excess is a very light, well cushioned, plateless yet at the same time highly rockered responsive shoe designed to bridge the gap between faster training and racing.


The Razor Excess has the same Hyperburst foam as the regular Razor+ and Razor Elite. It then changes things up with: 

  • 3mm more stack height of cushion 

  • a wider on the ground platform,

  • a rigid plateless rocker profile

  • a broader fit

The Excess comes in at just about 7 oz / 198g in a US men’s 9 and 5.7 oz / 162g, a remarkable cushion to weight ratio for a shoe with a 30mm heel / 26mm stack height. Unlike the Razor +, but similar to the Razor Elite, the Excess has a rigid rocker profile which is delivered without a plate as found in the Razor Elite.

Women's Color

I found the Razor 3 to bottom out at the heel when I tired, and while the Elite improved in that regard by the addition of a carbon infused plate, I found the ride quite punishing and limited to short fast efforts. I wear tested early versions of the Excess and knew then that Skechers had found the “secret sauce” to broaden the versatility, stability, and cushion of the Razor so I was eager to test the final production version. 


Skechers was kind enough to provide the RTR team with multiple pairs at no charge for this test.


Mac: Anyone who has read my reviews knows I have a special place in my heart for the Hyperburst of the Skechers (No T!) Razor 3 and the Speed 6. When the Swoosh was taking the world by storm 4% at a time, only lowly Skechers (and Reebok) answered the call by developing new midsole foams, while the industry giants tried to convince us that standard EVA was still superior (“never mind those World Record times you see on TV!”) Each has since carved themselves a niche in the crowded performance running shoe market.


Now, the weird thing about Hyperburst is that it seems to me to feel better the less of it there is. The Razor 3, 3+, and Speed 6 felt dynamic, lightweight, and snappy, while the thicker goRUN 7 and Ride 8 with their softer Hyperburst felt mushy by comparison. The Excess is Skechers’ third attempt to create the perfect balance of cushion and bounce in a thicker Hyperburst midsole. Am I pumped? Yeah, I’m pumped :-) 


Peter: So do we just call everything Razor now? I kid--sort of. There’s the Razor 3, The Razor 3 +, The Razor Elite, and now the Razor Excess? I guess it’s better than “Kind of like the Razor but with a little more cushion”--admittedly not a great name. 


Like Mac, I loved the Speed 6 and the Razor 3--and the Razor Elite is the below the radar gem from last year. That shoe is so fast and fun! Anyway, I didn’t love the Razor 3+--at least not as much as the Razor 3--so I didn’t know what to expect when the Razor Excess showed up. Just two very light shoes in a plastic bag...

Jacob: Skechers has been pumping out new models with lightweight mono-mesh uppers and Hyperburst midsoles over the past year and a half. Many have been within the Razor line, following the huge success of the Razor 3, the first shoes to feature Skechers lightweight, springy, supercritically manufactured Hyperburst midsole foam. The Excess takes the base Razor design, adds a few millimeters of stack height to the forefoot and heel, widens the midsole platform, and adds a rockered geometry. Despite the increase in height and width, the Excess keeps a very light weight, as is the case with most Skechers performance shoes as low and lowering weights season to season is always a primary design goal for Skechers.


Pros: 

  • Midsole/Ride: among the best in the industry; cushioned and dynamic: Mac, Peter, Sam, Jacob, Sally
  • Extra Forefoot Width: Mac
  • Cushion to Weight Ratio (: Mac, Peter, Sam, Sally
  • "Super shoe” performance & weight to cushion ratio at a reasonable price ($140) Sam
  • Unique smooth, stable, cruise along ride/geometry: Jacob, Sam
  • Excellent snow/ice traction: Jacob

Cons: 

  • Thin shoelaces may bite through the thin tongue: Mac, Peter, Sam, Sally
  • Non-removable Insole: Mac, Peter, Sally
  • Extra midfoot/forefoot room coupled with plastic bumper=potential pinch spot: Peter,Sally
  • Name; I thought “Excess” was a BAD thing?: Mac 
  • Thin, roomy pliable mono mesh upper cries for a wider wrapping or stretch gusset tongue or maybe underlays to help secure lower volume feet Sam, Jacob
  • Slightly softer Hyperburst might increase versatility for training & give more rebound Sam
  • Runs very cold, not a winter running shoe for my easily frozen feet: Jacob,Sally
  • Loose heel hold: Jacob, Sally 

Tester Profiles

Mac is a former 275 lbs American football defensive lineman who took up running at age 30. Now, at 6’4” (193cm) 200 lbs (91kg) , he has PRs of 19:19, 1:33:xx, and 3:19:xx. He runs 50-70 miles per week.

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

Jacob is a runner and general endurance sports enthusiast. He runs a mix of roads and trails in the Portland, Maine area. He has been running every day for two and a half years and averages around 50 miles per week. Jacob races on road and trail at a variety of distances. In the past two race seasons has done several marathons and shorter (≤ 50km) ultras and mountain races. He has a PR of 2:51 in the marathon and a recent half TT PR of 1:18. In addition to running, he does hiking, biking (mountain/gravel/road), surfing, and nordic skiing. He is 25 years old, 6 ft / 182 cm tall and 155 lbs / 70 kg. You can check out Jacob’s recent activities on Strava here.

Sally is a lifelong runner and mother of five who ran her first marathon at age 54, and has now run the past seven Boston Marathons and one Chicago, with a 2017 Boston PR of 3:29, good for 8th in her age group. Along the way she has raised over $240,000 for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital running with Team Eye and Ear. A relative newbie to road racing, she has achieved All-American status in the 10K (44:04) and 5K. To commemorate her 60th birthday she ran the NYC Marathon in November finishing 2nd in her age group with a PR time of 3:28:39.  Sally is a compact (petite) runner at 5’2’’ and 105 pounds.

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 48 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 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he isn’t indulging in to many New England IPA’s.



Stats

Approx. Weight: men's 7 oz / 198g (US9)  /  women's 5.7 oz / (US8)  

Samples: 

men:  6.77 oz  / 192g  (US8.5), 8.2 oz / 234 g (US12)

women: 5.7 oz / 162g  (US8)

Stack Height: 30mm / 26mm (4mm offset)

Available March 2021. $140


First Impressions and Fit

Mac: Nothing screams “wear tester sample” like opening up that brown delivery box and seeing… shoes! No shoebox, just “hot off the mold and lasting” thrown directly into a delivery box, letting me know I am maybe the second human to ever touch these. Also conspicuously missing are any garish graphics on the upper, hinting that the infamous “SPEED” logo may be gone from the Razor line forever. 

Instant Notables: The toebox definitely appears wider than the Razor 3 or 3+. The graphics are modern and flashy without being gaudy. It feels crazy light, especially for how thick the midsole is. 


The Goodyear rubber outsole is hopefully here to stay; it was a welcome upgrade for the Razor 3+ from the Razor 3. The laces, unfortunately, look a little flimsy and have the very short end pieces that make relacing difficult. 

My 13.5E feet slid into these size 14s much more happily than they do into my Razor 3s. The extra 10mm of width (I was right! They ARE wider!) under the metatarsals is immediately noticeable; these are definitely designed to allow for some foot swelling on longer runs. 


One personal complaint: I hate a glued-in sock liner in place of a removable insole. I don’t need orthotics, but I do like to mix and match insoles… and some people NEED to use their own custom insoles. I feel that Skechers is needlessly complicating a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. 


Peter: Light shoe, simple design, decent looking, Goodyear outsole. Hmm, I think this is going to be a great shoe! I’ve run lots of long runs in Razor 3, but yeah, I could use a little more cushioning. Let’s go!

Sam: A simple upper design, vibrant but not overdone colors the Excess clearly says “speed” but doesn’t shout it. 


Not to worry. Not going casual in the photo above those are the Tracksmith Run Commute pants and the run was a stout (for me) 7 miler at 8:13 average pace with a fast closing miles. But they do look good with khaki.


The fit is true to size, comfortable and roomy (for Skechers Razors and also for most performance oriented shoes)  although my narrower lower volume right foot could use more front of mid foot lockdown. The pliable softish (slightly more pliable than prior Skechers mono mesh uppers such as in the Razor Elite and Speed Elite) has no overlays or stretch gusset tongue or the broader wrap around tongue we have seen in recent such uppers from others and I think could use such a tweak to help those with lower volume feet.


Jacob: The Razor Excess looks fantastic in its blue and pink sleek single-piece mono-mesh upper. It is dramatically lightweight in hand. On the whole it looks similar to many recent Skechers, having the same outsole pattern paired with a translucent mono-mesh upper. 

The rocker is striking and when placed on a flat surface the shoe touches the ground at just a single point and can be easily rocked back and forth. The foam is low density but not overtly soft to the touch and the shoe overall is interestingly rigid. It doesn’t readily hit a breakpoint when bending in the hand.


On the foot, the feel is ok but sizing is a bit off with a pointy toe box and slightly to much length. My heel also sits loosely and is not locked in. Despite the extra roominess it is still on the narrow side in the toe box like most of Skechers performance shoes. It isn’t a poor fit at all but is a bit imprecise. From the initial try-on I don’t expect it to be problematic, though. Underfoot the Hyperburst midsole feels medium firm and doesn’t have much sink-in. The rocker is notable even just standing around. It seems like a balanced versatile midsole overall.

Sally: I have not run in a lot of Skechers, so I don’t have the historical context that these other guys have. But I love a light, quick, responsive neutral shoe that has enough cushioning for my “mature” foot. Right out of the bag (note, they arrived in a plastic bag, no box) they looked like my kind of shoe. Love the colorway, and wow, we are talking light in terms of weight.


When I first tried on my usual women’s 8, they seemed long, as though not at all TTS. I ended up having to wear very thick wool socks to fill the shoe (and my feet are narrow), and I was glad I did so because I needed the thick sock for warmth. FIrst impressions also had me concerned about lockdown, as my foot seems to move round a bit in the front of the midfoot and the heel.  Let’s see how they perform on the run!


Upper

Mac: The upper here is very similar to that of the Speed 6: a translucent (better wear some cool socks!) and rather stiff upper material. The difference is that the Speed 6 was on a crazy narrow last, so the upper felt somewhere between overly secure and restrictive. By contrast, the upper is much roomier here, especially in the forefoot. Although some testers have indicated that there may be TOO much room, I find - as someone with borderline wide feet - the fit to be absolutely perfect and a welcome departure from the bullet-shaped Razor 3 and Speed 6. 

I do take a small issue with the laces: they are very thin and feel flimsy, and the aglets (I had to look that up, lol) are only about half the length of those of most shoelaces. 


This may never be an issue, but if you like to relace your shoes, it will be mildly irritating. The thin laces only matter because the tongue is rather thin - these shoes are super lightweight, remember - so you may have issues with the laces digging into the top of your foot as you lace them up tightly enough to reign in the roomy upper. All things considered, these are small complaints, but they are still issues that certain potential buyers would want to know ahead of time. 


Peter: The upper looks good. The material is quite thin, but is a nice, durable feeling mesh. Remember knit uppers? so glad we seem to have moved back to mesh all around. There’s a graceful simplicity here and it totally works. I agree with Mac that the laces are a bit thin. They haven’t caused any issues, but I can see that they might because the tongue is also very, very thin. 










I feel like the tongue of the shoe could be thickened up just a little, which would also help with what is, for me, a slightly loose midfoot hold. The one potential problem spot on the upper for me comes from a combination of issues. 









There’s a glued in insole that is very thin. It feels fine, but the fact that I can’t replace it became a problem for me. I’ll explain. There’s also a relatively firm raised lip of midsole sidewall around the whole shoe that, I assume, provides some of the excellent stability. Unfortunately there’s a little bit of a pinch spot for me due to the very low insole and the relatively high wrap around. It’s not terrible, and hasn’t actually caused any major blisters, but it’s there. I feel just a little pinch on the inside of the arch of both feet. I added a curex insole--which solved the problem, but deadened the ride. If the insole had just a little bit of a lip on the inside of the arch it would be perfect. Again, I haven’t blistered, but at ten miles, my foot says “hey, two more miles in these and you’re gonna regret it”. I’m still working on a solution for this, because the ride of the shoe is undeniably great and I want to use them more. 

Jacob: Skechers performance has focused on producing remarkably lightweight shoes. The mono-mesh upper design—shoes using a very thin, translucent, plasticky, single piece of one-layer mesh—is a key contributor to the low-weight. Skechers has used a mono-mesh upper on many shoes (e.g. Speed 6, Speed Elite, Razor Elite) so it is no surprise to see it again in the Razor Excess. Unlike in the Razor Elite or Speed Elite, the mesh in the Excess is reinforced around the heel with a relatively substantial heel counter. The heel collar has light padding and is more built up than the sleek race-ready Elite. The tongue is still thin and perforated and even the laces very light. Despite the thin laces and tongue I had no issues with lace bite, which is surprising but great. However, the fit overall is a bit sloppy and doesn’t fit my foot anatomically.


I have enough room for most of my toes to splay and length is even a bit long. However my smallest toes are restricted a bit as the shoe is typically on the narrower side, as I’ve felt with most recent Skechers. This isn’t an issue while on the run, but contributes to my feet getting a bit cold due to a combination of no insulation (even with a thick wool sock) and restricted blood flow. The only real issue of the fit impreciseness for me is sloppiness around the heel. On my first few runs I could feel my heel migrating away from the heel counter. This led to some light rawness on my achilles and I’d have to slam my foot backwards every once and a while to reset my heel position. I switched to a loop lock lacing technique and this resolved the heel fit issues. Still, the fit while fine is the weak point of the shoe and an unfortunate damper on an excellent riding and performant shoe.


Sally: I love the simplicity of this upper. But I had a problem with the midfoot hold. It seems as though Peter and I had similar experiences here with a “pinch” sensation below the forefoot/insole on the medial side, which he astutely describes as an issue with a very low glued in insole combined with a high wrap around sidewall. 


He never blistered, but boy, I sure did! After after 5 miles on my first run I began to worry about the “hot spot” on the inside edge on the bottom of the ball of my foot, and by mile 8 I had a full blown nasty blister. Both feet! My first blisters since Chicago Marathon 2017 (a story for another time), and I run in many different shoes, thanks to Sam and RoadTrailRun. I gave the blisters one week to heal and callous, and then tried again with another thick sock, this one a Balega wool sock, and braved a 10 mile run. Felt great for a few miles, but that hot spot pinch sensation was still there, and the blisters reaggravated after a few miles. My husband says I am just dumb (his advice after the first run was to throw these shoes away). But the ride is so much fun, there must be a workaround!


Midsole

Mac: This is the litmus test, isn’t it? The one that really matters? We all know that Hyperburst is the real deal, but efforts at offering a thicker version of it have been polarizing. But before we get to that: what is it, anyway? According to creator Kurt Stockbridge, typical EVA foam is much like a loaf of bread: it starts as something solid, and as it’s heated, melted and injected, it expands into the desired shape in a mold. You end up with something that offers decent shock absorption - but low energy return - that is easy and cheap to produce. By contrast, Hyperburst is an EVA initial shape of the midsole that is infused in a supercritical with carbon dioxide and nitrogen, blowing up the EVA similar to the way a liquid would expand into a gas. What you end up with is a product that is still relatively cheap to reproduce - compare the price point of this $140 Hyperburst shoes to $180-$250 TPU and Pebax shoes, for instance - but is much less dense, while still more resistant to compression and gives much more energy return than standard EVA. 

So, how does this thicker iteration work out? I will go into more detail in the “Ride” section, but I will give you a spoiler here: Skechers nailed it. 


Peter: Hyperburst is great, but it’s also a little fickle. There are some shoes with hyperburst that have a magical feel and some that just feel mushy and blah. The Razor Excess has harnessed the Hyperburst nearly perfectly. Again, that harder rubber wraparound outsole may be part of the reason, but I’m not sure. Suffice to say that there’s a nice amount of stack, a well cushioned shoe and ZERO mush. It’s as stable and smooth a ride as there is out there. 

Sam: The guys have described the midsole well. The feel is relatively firm yet as with all Hyperburst shoes a distinct springy sensation of “energy return”. It is not a bouncy feel but a sharper sensation of return. Credit to the many resilient bubbles created by the supercritical processing here. I do wish the Hyperburst flavor here was a touch softer and bouncier (although it must be said my recent testing was a just below freezing temperatures) especially as we also have a rigid rocker profile also in the mix here. I personally like a touch more softness and bounce with such profiles particularly at the forefoot but I would not go as soft as the Run 7 or Ride 8 that is for sure.

It is important to note that the Razor midsole and outsole geometry is rocker based. By this I mean the gait is direct along a firm rigid path from heel landing to toe off unlike the regular Razor which relies on flexibility at the forefoot for toe off.  The front toe spring is notable for its steep angle and the impulse is clearly felt at faster paces but maybe a bit overly aggressive for more mundane day to day paces for me. Unlike the Razor Elite, which includes a carbon composite front plate with 3mm less stack of Hyperburst  and there is no plate here, Skechers calls the geometry construction HyperArc. 


We have a construction similar to the ASICS Evoride and Noosa Tri 13  where the rigid rocker is created by the geometry of the midsole and outsole. I don’t miss having a plate here.

Top: Razor Excess                  Bottom: OG Razor 3

The broader platform (compared to other Razor) and 3mm more stack height clearly deliver more cushion than earlier Razor and more stability as well. 

Jacob: The two keywords for the Razor Excess midsole are Hyperburst and Hyperarc. The former is the line of midsole foam, a lightweight, low density, springy, supercritically formed EVA. The latter, Hyperarc, is a new technology for the Razor Excess. Skechers didn’t comment on what it is and it wasn’t even on the spec sheet, however, we believe Hyperarc refers to the significant rocker geometry used for the Excess.

The Hyperburst midsole in the Razor Excess is medium firm, slightly flexible, stable, and consistent. It feels light and though it does not have notable bounce, rebounds off the road quickly and without losing energy. Combined with the Hyperarc rocker geometry, a dramatic full length rocker, it leads to a very interesting ride.


Sally: No need to reiterate what they have all said. Suffice it to say this midsole makes for an enjoyable ride for me.



Outsole

Mac: Skechers’ recent partnership with Goodyear is paying huge dividends. The proprietary rubber of the Razor 3 was prone to slipping on wet cement and asphalt, but more recent offerings - notably the Razor 3+ - have completely resolved any slippage issues. I used to consider Adidas’ Continental outsoles the best in the industry, but Skechers’ Goodyear is every bit as good. I ran hard into some rain-slicked 90º turns and experienced exactly zero slippage. What’s more, the grooves of the outsole seem to compliment the midsole perfectly, hinging just under the metatarsal to provide a natural foot flex. 


Peter: Is the word “Goodyear” causing a placebo effect? Is this shoe actually grippier than previous Skechers rubber compounds (ask Meb, who famously ate it at the finish line in a pair of Speeds). Even if it’s a placebo, it works. They grip, they hold the road and they flex in all the right places. Update on the grip. I ran on very, very sketchy wet and icy roads this morning and the Excess held the road remarkably well. The combination of the very stable and wider forefoot and the goodyear rubber made nearly un-runnable conditions feel tame. 


Sam: Great grip everywhere, plenty of rubber coverage.

 I particularly like that the heel and midfoot rubber is now extensive enough to both prevent heel bottoming out (an issue for me with prior Razor) and also helps deliver great stability and full ground contact.

Jacob: The Razor Excess uses a few millimeters of Goodyear rubber in the same segmented configuration as many other shoes in the Hyperburst line, such as the Razor 3, Razor Elite, Speed Elite, and Speed 6 (each choose to forgo rubber in specific regions, the Razor Excess incorporates rubber in every possible location). There is exposed midsole but it does not contact the ground, except in the very front of the toe. Many shoes have a piece of rubber here that rounds up around the toe and it is not present on the Razor Excess, so I am seeing some wear here. It isn’t an area where wear matters much though.


The outsole does not get in the way of the midsole for ride and response and the shoe is quick moving and smooth. Also, the outsole has remarkably good traction on snow and ice which was a surprise but has been critical for winter city running here in Maine, USA.


Sally: I had the pleasure (or misfortune, depending on your perspective) of testing this shoe on icy, snow-packed Massachusetts roads, and this outsole stood up to the test. Great traction and grip! I am always impressed with a quiet outsole that lends to a silent ride (hint, hint, quiet down, Nike Tempo Next %!), but unfortunately I can not speak to the durability yet  because of these snowy conditions. Stay tuned. 



Ride

Mac: Yes. Just… yes. If you loved the Razor 3/3+, wanted a complimentary shoe with a tad more cushion, and were  left disappointed by the mushiness of the Run 7 and Ride 8, then rejoice: Skechers absolutely nailed this. I don’t even know what to say other than it’s awesome, and easily the best ride of any non-plated shoe I have ever tested. Never close to bottoming out, amazingly lightweight, and the same spring as the R3/3+ with zero mushiness. It’s a supercharged leprechaun riding a turbo-powered unicorn into a utopian sunset. If Goldilocks were a shoe, the three bears would never have to worry about undercooked porridge again. I’m not even going to check to see if that last one made sense, because I want to go out for another run in these bad boys. 


Peter: Mac is so excited!!! Yep, it’s a pretty great ride. They are not quite as much FUN as the NB Rebel V2, but they are way more stable and they’re lighter too. There is definitely a goldilocks vibe here. I know that we cry goldilocks every now and then--but this one is real. There’s enough cushion to get you through anything, with enough liveliness to make it fun. I took these out on a 2 mile loop and compared them to a couple of other shoes and it was illuminating. The ride doesn’t have the laugh out loud bounce of the NB Rebel or the Vaporfly or Next %, but it does have a smooth, efficient and peppy ride that is hard to beat. One other remarkable thing about the Razor Excess is that it is really, really fun to run uphill in. This may be due, in part, to the HyperArc rocker under midfoot. The rocker adds some support and guidance through the stride without feeling intrusive at all. It’s like a Razor 3 ride that pushes through the stride with a little less effort. 

Sam: I agree a great ride for tempo paced runs for me. They really shone at 8:30 per mile and faster where I really could activate the rocker. As the guys said, this is not a bouncy laugh out loud ride but a serious purposeful one and with great consistency. It is a decisive ride with noted spring from the Hyperburst and smooth impulse from the HyperArc  rocker profile. The shoe tracks straight and true stride after stride but without an overly prescriptive single “groove” as say an ASICS Evoride has or the bouncy hang on to your hat more free and natural ride of the Rebel v2.

Unlike prior Razor the extra cushion stack and broader platform goes a long ways to increasing the utility of the shoe and its underfoot comfort but I do wish the foam was a touch softer or the rocker less aggressive to mellow it a bit and give it more mellow run smiles factor.


Jacob: I had high expectations for the ride of the Razor Excess and it lived up to them, providing my favorite ride of a non-plated shoe in 2021 so far. It is a very, very nice cruising, just keep on keeping on, roll-along ride. The combination of light weight, quick to rebound midsole, and gentle rolling rocker creates a gliding feeling. It is totally different than a typical soft-foam plated cruiser where there is dramatic trampoline forward effect. That is not present in the Excess at all. Instead higher cadence and an easy transition is encouraged by the geometry/foam combination.

I did a variety of run types in the Excess. My first run was an unexpectedly fast (for me) 6:25 min/mi average for 11.5 miles with the finishing miles around 6:00min/mi pace. The Excess encouraged me to run faster than I planned and felt smooth, stable, consistent, and nicely out of the way while I was cruising along. I also did a relaxed, easy day run in the Excess (8.5mi at 8:30min/mi) and felt like the rocker helped me keep chugging along. My favorite runs were  two 8-10 mile, steady moderate endurance (~6:50 min/mi for me) pace. I feel like the Excess runs best when landing a bit back from midfoot where I can then feel the foam depth towards the heel and the full roll of the midsole. This is different from both the Speed Elite and Razor Elite which encourage and feel best with a mid to forefoot strike (the typical Skechers “M Strike”). Overall the Razor Excess has a connected, solid feel that is unique and works well without being too dramatic or muting the ground like a high stack, bouncy shoe.


Sally: I so wish the upper and fit worked better for me, so that I could join in this chorus of praise for the ride of the Razor Excess! I can vouch that it is indeed a special ride, especially being a non-carbon plated shoe that can compete with those super shoes.


Conclusions and Recommendations

Mac: I do have one last little complaint: The name stinks. “Excess” implies that there is too much of something, when in fact, it seems like there is the perfect amount of Hyperburst foam to serve as a long distance racer or a trainer compliment to the Razor 3/3+ or the Speed 6. I think “Skechers Razor Distance” would have made much more sense… but, alas, I wasn’t asked :-(

Mac’s Shoe Comparison Grid HERE

RIDE: just phenomenal. FIT: If I were nitpicking, I might like an upper that fits more snugly with a little more give - rather than the Excess’ comparatively rigid upper with a little more room - but I want to be clear in saying that the extra 10mm of width under the forefoot is a very welcome change, for me at least. VALUE: At $140 it will be less expensive and I expect it will last longer than most fancy foam plated shoes. STYLE: I don’t usually even comment on Style, as it is so subjective, but I feel the need to point out that Skechers is moving in the right direction here. They have offered some pretty hideous designs on some otherwise good shoes in the past, so these are a welcome offering. 


Peter: The Razor Excess is a terrific shoe with an asterisk for me. Were it not for the slight pinch in the arch caused by the combination of a touch too much midfoot room and a relatively rigid wraparound of rubber, this shoe would be 10/10 for me. As it is, it’s a 9.5. The ride is fantastic, the weight is hard to beat and the shoe looks good. The Razor excess doesn’t feel at all like a high stack shoe. It’s so stable that I think it runs like it’s lower to the ground than it is--all while being really protective. I’m still working on dialing in the insole to make it perfect, but the ride is so good that I’m willing to endure a tiny bit of discomfort. After a few days off from the Excess I ran them again today and had less irritation. It may not even be a pinch point, but just a rough patch of material on the arch. It’s not a big deal. 

Peter’s Score 9.5/10 

fit is a tiny bit sloppy at midfoot and I have a pinch in the arch area due to small glued in insole and rubber bumper. 


Sam: No plates or no astronomically high price tag here for top notch performance uptempo training and racing. Just lots of dynamic rocker riding, well cushioned (if a touch firm) springy speed here with a remarkable cushion stack to weight ratio.  I found it ran best at tempo paces and faster but can handle and be comfortable at slower paces as well  if you like a well directed rocker type ride.


At barely 7 oz for a 30/26 stack height, by stats and performance it competes very well indeed with many of the far more expensive new era plated racer trainers. At $140 it is a very solid value. The styling says “speed” for sure without shouting it. The upper could be tuned a bit for better midfoot lock down for narrower feet and I wish the ride was a touch softer.

Sam’s Score: 9.25 /10

Ride: 9.25(50%) Fit: 8.7 (30%) Value: 9.7 (15%) Style: 10 (5%)


Sally: Skechers has created a shoe with a super fun fast ride that can compete with the more expensive plated super shoes but at a fraction of the cost. I personally had major issues with the fit, struggling with midfoot lockdown ( I have narrow feet, so perhaps that exacerbates the problem?) and getting serious blisters each run from “hot spots” caused by pinching under the medial side of the ball of my foot. The fit challenges and discomfort were enough to color my overall impressions of a shoe that otherwise is a great ride!

Sally’s score: 8.5 /10

Ride : 9.5 Fit: 6.3  Value: 9.75   Style: 9.0


Jacob: The Razor Excess is another hit from Skechers. It has a unique, enjoyable, fast, cruising ride. The ride is among the best ever—interesting and performant. It helps me run fast unexpectedly and keep moving well at all paces. It isn’t remarkably similar to anything else I have tested. It works well from easy to upper endurance paces and I’ve liked it best when running relatively steady as I can get in a rhythm and cruise smoothly and quickly. I have also really appreciated the unexpectedly great traction on snow and ice this winter while testing.


As is unfortunately common for the RTR team from Skechers performance, for me and several of our team, the Razor Excess also has minor issues with fit. I’d still imagine the Razor Excess would work for the majority of runners, though it is one I would recommend trying on before buying. For me, the fit will prevent the Razor Excess from being one of my favorites of all time. 


I would recommend the Razor Excess as a general purpose trainer to all runners looking as a fun and lightweight cruising shoe. The ride isn’t overly dramatic that it gets in the way, so it can run well at easy paces and up to around half marathon race pace for me. I don’t feel like it is as smooth at faster paces than HM race pace perhaps as my strike shifts further forward I don’t activate as much of the rocker. Overall, it is a fun and unique shoe that I’m glad to have available. Fit issues will limit its use, but when I do choose it, I’m sure I’ll always have a great run.

Jacob’s Score: 8.75

Ride: 10 (50%) Fit: 6.5 (30%) Value: 9.5 (15%) Style 9 (5%)


Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


Skechers Razor 3 (RTR Review)  & Razor 3+  (RTR Review)

Mac: The Excess and the Razor 3/3+ are all phenomenal shoes. Go with the Razor 3 if you have a narrower foot or are looking for a short-mid distance racer; pick the Excess if you have a wider foot or are looking for more of a lightweight trainer or long-distance racer. 

Peter: Not a huge fan of the 3+. The 3 is lovely. The fit is a little more dialed in (and a little more restrictive) and the ride is a touch speedier. 3 is the racer, Excess is the trainer (that you could race in). I think the Excess could work for more people. 


Skechers Max Road+ (RTR Review)

Sam: Totally different kinds of geometry and rides. Max Road is far more flexible and considerably softer and bouncier and is less stable whereas Excess is firmer and rocker based and more stable especially at the forefoot but also at the heel. Both a lot of fun at faster paces for me when I could get off get heel and really activate the front pillars while some of our other faster more mid foot striking testers liked it for recovery type runs. Be aware that Max Road also had some forefoot issues for some of our testers so reading its review linked above is recommended.

Razor Elite (RTR Review)

Peter: I love the Razor Elite. It’s a terrific shoe for track work and for races up to half marathon for me. It’s a plated shoe in which the plate is almost completely transparent--it just provides snap to the ride. The Razor Excess is a worthy training partner to the Elite. It has the Hyper Arc, which adds some rigidity without the addition of a plate. It doesn’t scream “rocker” the way some other rockered shoes do--it’s just smooth, smooth, smooth. While the Razor Elite feels like a race-car, the Razor Excess feels like a high-end touring sedan--smooth and like you can go forever. 

Jacob: Just like Peter, I love the Razor Elite. It is a fast running, shorter (<10) workout and racer for me. I just ran my first timed mile in a few years and chose the Razor Elite. Compared to the Razor Excess, the Elite is softer, more flexible, and less cushioned. It is more free-feeling in ride and has excellent light bounce/energy return that gives back all that I put in. It feels like it runs well no matter how fast I go and favors a midfoot strike. The Excess is more rigid, stable, and the Hyperarc rocker is a dramatic difference over the flatter Elite. The Excess is light and quick moving but it doesn’t feel like a racer—it has worked best for me as an endurance to tempo steady pace cruiser. The Razor Elite and Excess make a good pair and if they both fit well it would be helpful to have both.


Skechers Speed 6 (RTR Review)

Mac: Nearly identical to my sentiments above: Go with the Speed 6 if you have a narrower foot or are looking for a short distance racer; pick the Excess if you have a wider foot or are looking for more of a lightweight trainer or long-distance racer.

Peter: Speed 6 is a racer for sure. I wouldn’t daily train in it. I’d use the Excess for pretty much anything. Love both. Excess for versatility. 


Skechers RUN 7 (RTR Review) & Ride 8 (RTR Review)

Mac: Not a fair comparison. I include both of these because they both attempted to offer a thicker slab of Hyperburst than what was found on the Razor 3. However, the product came across as mushy with the Run 7 and Ride 8, whereas the Excess just nails it. 

Peter: What he said. 

Sam: Mac got it right. Softer Hyperburst than Excess and no rigid rocker profile (or for that matter no effective rocker in the Ride 8)  is not the best recipe. This said  the Ride 8 is a safer bet for most for daily training miles.


New Balance Rebel V2 (RTR Review) and Hoka Mach 4  (RTR Review)

Peter: The Rebel V2, the Hoka Mach 4 and the Skechers Razor Excess are going to be hard to beat as three of my top shoes of the year, so far..  Wow, what great shoes. I took all three of these out for back to back 2 mile loops to get a direct comparison. The Mach 4 has been a steady, long haul comfortable favorite of mine for months. I’m up over 200 miles on them and they haven’t felt bad on a single mile. That said, they are a little dull when directly compared to the Razor Excess and the Rebel V2. The ride of the Excess is livelier than the Mach 4 and the Excess is a lighter and more nimble shoe. I’d say Excess over the Mach 4--and that’s with me still loving the ride of the Mach 4. The Mach 4 is, by far, my favorite Hoka. 


The Rebel V2 and the Razor Excess, while both are terrific and super fun shoes--are actually pretty different feeling on the foot. The Rebel is bouncy, feels very cushioned and almost a little too wild. It takes a minute to tame it and work with the shoe--sort of like riding a horse that’s just a tiny bit wild. The Razor Excess, on the other hand, is smooth and stable. It’s pretty responsive, but not as exciting as the Rebel. But boy oh boy is the Excess smooth. The Razor Excess is very easy to settle into a groove with and they just totally work WITH my body to make a smooth, efficient feeling stride. Honestly, whichever of these I have on at a given moment is probably my favorite. If I HAD to choose 1….well I don’t.


Sam: Peter describes the “dilemma” here well. All three are awesome, all three are different in their approaches to light shoes with plenty of cushion that deliver fun and performance. Rebel v2 the somewhat wild, flexible,  bouncy soft fun and fast shoe, Mach 4 the more training focused do anything contender with a very stable heel and a combination of flex and rocker. Excess is the most resolutely and directed rocker based faster run (and race) shoe of the three.


Jacob: All three are all fantastic riding, modern trainers with race potential—top-of-the-line non-plated shoes. Despite being a big fan of soft and bouncy midsoles, I like the more subdued ride of the Razor Excess the most out of these three. Both the Mach 4 and Rebel v2 are much softer and bouncier than the Excess. The Mach is a bottomless cushion blaster and the Rebel v2 is super soft and flexible. The Excess is more connected to the ground, feels more stable and lower, and is the lightest (though the Rebel is only a bit heavier). The Rebel and Mach are more comfortable and secure on the whole which helps me pick them over the Excess, even though the Excess has my favorite daily cruising ride. The Mach feels notably more cushioned and would be my pick for longer (15+) mile runs. The Rebel has a fun ride but doesn’t feel as directed, fast, or easy to cruise in as the Excess or Mach. Like Peter and Sam concluded, they’re all awesome and different.


ASICS Evoride 2  (RTR Review) and ASICS Noosa Tri 13  (RTR Review)

Sam: The two ASICS are similar in ride approach utilizing a non plated rocker. The Noosa Tri is the lighter of the two coming in at just under an ounce more in weight but with the same underfoot platform ( I did find the Noosa slightly softer than the Evoride though). The ASICS ride is slightly softer but less dynamic in return. The Noosa has a simple light (although more substantial than Excess’s and heavier ) upper and pulls it off with more security than Excess while the Evoride upper is dense, far more supportive and I think somewhat overbuilt for purpose.  If your purchase is for uptempo running with racing in the mix I would definitely lean towards the Excess. If you want a touch more versatility for training the Noosa or Evoride.


Saucony Endorphin Speed  (RTR Review)

Jacob: An interesting comparison as both are modern uptempo trainer/racers with some type of rocker geometry. The ride differs significantly with the Endorphin Speed being softer, bouncier, and feeling more cushioned (it is several millimeters higher in stack height). 


Hyperburst in the Razor Excess is subdued and plain compared to the PWRRUN PB + plate of the Endo Speed. The Razor Excess HyperArc rocker dominates the ride, giving an enjoyable smooth cruising feel. The Endo Speed also has a rocker variant, Saucony’s Speedroll technology, but it is less pronounced and more just part of the overall package than the ride-defining Hyperarc of the Razor Excess. 


Fit of the Speed is much better for me, being true to size, soft, comfortable, and well held. Both shoes are good choices for an endurance to tempo mid to long run or shorter workouts. The Speed has the edge in speed and ease of running fast for me especially at above HM race pace, but is a bit more awkward at slower paces than the Excess. If I had to pick one, I’d go for the Speed, mostly because of fit.


Nike Zoom Fly  (RTR Review)

Mac: I have tried the Zoom Fly 3 and the SP Fast. Both could have used a touch more width in the forefoot, which the Excess provides. The Zoom Fly ride feels overly structured, almost as if running on rails, where the Excess gives you more freedom in your gait. Also, I posit that the Excess is more versatile - doubling as a lightweight trainer and LD racer, whereas the ZF fits more solidly into the trainer category for me. At $20 cheaper, the Excess is an obvious call for me. 


NB FuelCell RC Elite (RTR Review)

Sam: New Balance’s top end long racer has a  bit more cushion at the  heel (2mm)  and less at the forefoot (4mm)  with a 32mm/ 22 mm stack. It has a smoother easier flow for me in large part due to the higher drop with its carbon plate hardly noticed with a more cushioned heel. Both shoes can serve as racer and  trainers and both weigh close to the same with the RC 0.3 oz heavier. At $225 the RC is considerably more expensive which while I prefer it overall certainly gives pause. 


Hoka Rocket X (RTR Review)

Mac: This is an interesting one. The standard-ish EVA of the Rocket combined with a carbon plate? Or, the plateless but rigid rocker Hyperburst of the Excess? Both are a joy to run in. The deciding factor here for me is longevity, and Hyperburst is just so much more compression-resistant than Hoka’s midsoles in my experience . If I am spending my hard earned money on only one of these, I am taking the Excess, especially since my foot is a little on the wide side. 

Sam: I find the rides quite similar here in their decisive firmer approach. Both shoes have nearly identical stack heights with the Rocket X having the same 30mm heel and one millimeter less at the forefoot at 25mm. At $140 vs. $180 the Excess is also half an ounce lighter and is  a better value and even  with no carbon in the mix the Hypeburst and HyperArc geometry is more than competitive with a springier midsole feel if not quite the carbon impulse of the Rocket X. The Rocket X upper is superior in its hold and comfort with a softer more pliable mesh well held by a gusset elastic tongue if not quite as roomy upfront as Excess.  


361 Flame (review soon)

The Flame, also releasing in March, is a carbon plated racer and (I think trainer too) with a PU midsole processed with nitrogen which has a more pneumatic slightly less springy but more forgiving feel compared to Hyperburst.  About 0.8 oz / 23g heavier than the Excess it has a less somewhat less aggressive rocker that I found was easier to toe off decisively and at least with my run style (more a heel striker) to run faster. It has a moderately softer midsole, and a no fuss superior mono mesh upper with sufficient room and the mid foot overlays missing from the Excess to lock the foot.  As with the Excess it is very stable compared to other shoes in its class. At a very fair $160 vs. $140 for the Excess and considerably less than other carbon racers it is a yet better value than the Excess. 


The Razor Excess will release in March 2021. $140

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received fly RTR or the author for this review from Skechers. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
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8 comments:

amadeus303 said...

Great write-up as always guys! Is the Excess intended to be a replacement for the Maxroad, or simply another offering (e.g. Horizon Vanish vs Speed 6)?

Also, how would you compare this to the Endorphin Speed? They seem like similar shoes to me. The Endorphin Speed is my current long run shoe, and I'm eyeing either another pair or the Excess as its replacement.

Sam Winebaum said...

Thanks Amadeus!
Totally different kinds of geometry and rides. Max Road is flexible and considerably softer bouncier and less stable whereas Excess is firmer and rocker based and more stable especially at the forefoot. Both a lot of fun at faster paces but be aware that Max Road also had some forefoot issues for some of our testers.

The Endorphin Speed is compared to Excess in the comparisons section above.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our index page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Unknown said...

I'd love to see you guys review the Reebok Floatride Energy 3. They're just £60 (with a 20% pop-up website discount) on the Reebok website in the UK, and I've been amazed at how much I've enjoyed them.

It'd be great to know how you feel they stack up against the crazy-priced shoes, and whether you think it's justified!

Jeremy said...

Great review.
It's really a shame that Skechers shoes are so gard to get in Europe.
Had the GoRun3 but didnot really liked it as a running shoe (used it as an everyday shoe after 100kms).
Had the Razor (the first one) and it was such a great shoe.
It has last around 600kms and ended its life with a memorable Swim-Run event during they performed almost flawlessly (grip on wet surface was...fun :) )

Hoping Skechers will get a nice distributor for Europe soon....

Buck said...

Hi Sam, how does the Excess compare to those in the Puma Nitro range?

Yuksel said...

I am looking for a shoe to take me between 13 to 20 miles and right now it seems it is either the Puma Nitro range, the Glideride 2 in 2E or this.

I generally run slower paces and occasionally like to do uptempo runs. Which would you recommend for a forefoot striker?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Yuksel,
Based on what you describe I would lean towards the otherss. Excess really is best run fast and for most not the 13-20 mile distances. I would first lean Puma Vecocity Nitro but if you want a very directed consistent kind of prescriptive feel with plenty of cushion Glide Ride
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our index page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Yuksel said...

Hi Sam,

Thank you for the reply.

Appreciated.