Sunday, April 04, 2021

Skechers Performance GO Run Ride 9 Multi Tester Review: Finally! And it is Great!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Jeff and Stephanie Beck, and Jeff Valliere


Skechers Performance GO Run Ride 9 ($130)

Introduction

Sam: The Ride is what slots in  as the “daily trainer” in the  Skechers line up. The Ride 8 powered by Hyperburst tipped the scales at a very respectable 9.3 oz with a big 27/33 stack height so max cushion class in a daily trainer and for sure also  in the weight class for daily trainers, under 10oz for me. 


Skechers’ other trainers such as the pillared soft and fast Max Road, the Run and the light and lower Razor are, just let’s say, more fun but less “reliable” for day in day out training. And for me neither really was the Ride 8 a solid all around daily trainer even with its state of the art Hyperburst midsole. It was sort of the “Dad Shoe” trainer in looks and ride in the line up.  For sure light enough, its stiff mostly rockerless ride had it relegated to slower pace runs and recovery for me.


With the Ride 9 Skechers shakes things up. It sees a full 1 oz /28g drop in weight  to about 8.2 oz/ 233g US9 with one more millimeter of stack height on what is clearly a new and more flexible geometry and new Goodyear rubber outsole design. 


The heel midsole side walls appear to no longer wrap up and as far forward, the side walls are more sculpted and flared to I think reduce weight and to increase flex and improve transitions. At the road, we now have a new outsole design with flex grooves that go across the flex points. Gone is the dense if comforting and warm upper replaced by sleek engineered mesh.  Let’s see how they run!

Jeff: I’ve been a fan of Skechers Performance’s Hyperburst midsole material since its launch, but I haven’t quite found which shoe that uses it really works for me. From the Razor 3 to the Go Run 7/7+ to Go Run Ride 8 to the Max Road 4/4+, each shoe had some fatal flaw, usually for various non-midsole related issues. Would this be the SP that finally found a long term home in my rotation? Read on!


Pros:

  • Excellent cushion to weight ratio and more than 1 oz drop in weight with 1mm more stack Sam/Jeff/Stephanie/Jeff V
  • Increased fast pace versatility and effectiveness Sam/Jeff/Stephanie/Jeff V
  • Smoother faster transitions, more flexible, snappier and more responsive toe offs Sam/Stephanie/Jeff V.
  • Cushion to weight to cost ratio best around Jeff/Stephanie


Cons:

  • Might or might not be a con but no longer really the stable, bottomless cushion plod pace and recovery run shoe in the Skechers line up Sam
  • A touch more heel stability would be appreciated Sam
  • Toebox is good, not great (ie I’m grasping at straws) Jeff


Stats

  Weight: men's estimated 8.2 oz/ 233g (US9)   women's official  6.5 oz/ 184g (US7)

  Samples: men’s 7.94 oz  / 225g (US8.5) | 9.1 oz / 256g (US10.5), 9.1 oz / 257g (US10)

Stack Height: 28/34, 6mm drop

Prior version 9.03 oz / 265g US8.5

Available May 2021. $130. 


Tester Profile

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.

Steph is contributor Jeff Beck's better half, and is a former Fit For Mom/Run Club instructor. She splits her 20-30 weekly miles between the road and treadmill, and occasionally gets off road onto the trails around Denver. While Steph mostly runs for fun, she has run a handful of 5K, 10K, and half marathons, and her PRs are 23:03 5K, 49:28 10K, and 1:48:30 HM. She's run one Ragnar relay event, and swears it'll never happen again because of how much more she enjoys sleep than running at 3 a.m.

Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 30 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

Jeff V.  runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's. 


First Impressions and Fit

Sam: Sleek and modern in blue and optic orange the Ride 9 clearly departs from the sober “old sweater” look and feel of the Ride 8. The new breathable engineered mesh is clearly lighter and less dense than the 8’s mesh. This is a thoroughly modern upper that leaves behind the knit like upper of the 8.


The fit is true to size. With my usual 8.5 in the Ride 9 on my narrower foot and a Ride 8 in a US9 on my wider left foot (see the video review and A/B test run at the end of the review I found the fit to be equivalent. Most noticed was the increased over the toes volume and lighter feel there from thinner mesh and a higher firmer toe bumper and less knit over the toes as the Ride 8 had.


The volume of the Ride 9 and toe box width appears slightly lower but as the mesh is lighter with more give the fit works just fine for me at true to size. The fit is more performance oriented in the 9 compared to the 8 which had a dense, softer sweater like feel to it in comparison to the 9. 

Jeff: I was blown away at the first step in. Well cushioned, breathable upper, good enough toe box, modern geometry, incredibly light - I’m running out of boxes to check. While most Skechers Performance shoes of the last few years haven’t been great for me, I’ve had the sense that they were close ironing out the kinks and creating a shoe that just worked, as opposed to one that makes me think “I can make this work”, and their timing could not be better. Fit is true-to-size and it is one of the best SP toeboxes out there, though that’s a low bar. I’ve found myself sizing up in other models, just to get a little more room up front, and while I’m glad I didn’t size up here, Altra/Topo disciples will be disappointed.


Stephanie: I have to agree with Jeff, I was in absolute shock at how light this shoe is. This was my first time running in a Skechers Performance shoe and right away I really liked the spacious toe box and the great woven mesh upper. I felt like I was in my New Balance 1080s with their similar support, but when I started running it felt like I was just wearing socks, they’re so light. As for fit, I really like the width of the upper in the forefoot, but around the midfoot it was a little wide for me. Granted, I was testing a men’s shoe so if it was a women's B width I might not have the issue, but I only had to cinch the laces a little more than usual and they were great! 

Jeff V:  I was first struck by the sharp looks of the Ride 9, which was confirmed by nods of approval from my 10 year old daughters, as well as their friends who offered up “cool shoes!”.  The upper looks very modern and well ventilated, while the midsole looks well padded and plush.  Fit is true to size with a performance fit, but just enough wiggle room in the toe box.  Security is very good, nearly trail worthy, actually, the upper is trail worthy for light to even moderate trail use, though the smooth road tread limits that application for the most part.  Like Jeff and Steph, I too was impressed by the light and responsive feel of the shoe, even if just wearing in the kitchen.


Upper

Sam: The upper is a thin, soft, and pliable engineered mesh which sits above Skechers mono mesh as in their race type shoes in comfort while have none of the density, over stretch and often problematic fit issues of Skechers more knit type uppers including the Ride 8’ which did have a good fit for me,  

It is clearly less dense than the Ride 8’s particularly at midfoot where the Ride 8’s was stiffer and very thick. I also expect considerably better breathability.

The tongue is essentially the same with a thin padding under a suede like top lace up. Neither shoe has a gusset to the tongue and I was surprised that with such a light upper that Skechers maintained good midfoot lock down.


To maintain good front lockdown with the soft toe box mesh, the top bumper material and its firmness becomes a bit more substantial when pressed but is still nicely pliable and now raised for toe clearance. 

While it does not look like it in this photo both shoes are my standard US8.5

This change is a plus and also delivers extra room over the toes which is noticed as the Ride 8 had a softer toe bumper with a lot of dense mesh extending back further over the toes. The difference is clearly felt with one of each version on each foot as some pressure down over the toe from the 8 and far less in the Ride 9.

Jeff: I won’t retread Sam’s very thorough description, and I can’t disagree with any of it. This upper breathes very well, and holds the foot very well too. As I mentioned above, the toebox is pretty good, width wise, and its vertical stretch is appreciated. I didn’t examine the shoe too closely before logging some solid miles, and I was surprised to learn that it isn’t gusseted because neither tongue has moved off center more than a couple millimeters - and that was after a several hour easy run. The toe bumper is designed in a way that it is non-existent until you press on it, and the designers didn’t get too cute or stylish in the overall design. Instead they’ve brought out an incredible, if straightforward, design that doesn’t do anything incredible, but effectively gets nothing wrong. That may sound like a backhanded compliment, but I don’t intend it as such, and it’s quite the achievement.

Stephanie: I agree with both Sam and Jeff. This shoe has a beautiful upper. It’s soft to the touch with a great mesh weave to open up and let the forefoot breath and stay cool. The mesh upper offers a comfortable stretch for my bunions without any stitching or heavy material from the lace holes to add pressure or rubbing. I was running in a men’s 10.5 versus my usual women’s 11, but the overall fit was great, but I noticed I had to tighten the laces a little more than I’m used to, but it still gave me nice stability and comfort.  



Jeff V:  Sam covers the upper precisely.  I love the look and feel of the mono mesh upper, it is very comfortable, secure and well ventilated.  While running on roads, as intended, the upper provides a very good feel, secure and well vented without any extra material, very efficiently constructed and just enough room in the toe box for swelling and splay.  Security is good enough for light to moderate trail use even if traction is not critical.  The upper here is especially comfortable, flexible and minimal feeling, yet with excellent support and just enough padding without being overly so.



Midsole

Sam: The midsole is Skechers Hyperburst. If you have never experienced Hyperburst it is the  OG supercritical processed midsole foam. In the case of Hyperburst the compound is an EVA. The final midsole shape is created not by injection but  by expanding a smaller form or shape of the midsole into its final size. 


The result is a very light for the cushion midsole with high resilience and a noted spring to the foam and a quick feeling energy return. I say spring and not bounce as there is a difference for me with spring having a quicker sense of return if one that is not as dramatic in feel. 


Note that some other supercritical processed midsoles such as in New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 and RC Elite have more bouncy characteristics as does Nike’s ZoomX in the Invincible Run and Puma’s Nitro. All of these state of the art light foams, including Hyperburst, are lighter in weight and can “return” more energy than standard EVA, TPU, or EVA/TPU blends. 


In the Ride 9 (and 8) we have a 47C durometer or firmness foam the same firmness as the Razor and slightly firmer than the Run and Max Road. The midsole feel is not super soft (or bouncy) but returns energy consistently and quickly with that previously described springy feel. The shock absorption is not quite as forgiving as the Ride 8 due to the changes in geometry but is quicker in rebound feel, snappier overall and more suited to the varied paces of daily training,


The basic stack heights are on the surface quite similar to version 8 with 1mm more stack height to 28/34 for the Ride 9. This said the geometry of the midsole (and outsole) is changed, and for the good I say, if one is looking to the Ride 9 as an all around daily trainer.

The Ride 8 had a more built up (and in my testing slightly more stable) rear of the shoe. Almost block-like and very forgiving in its deep cushion and stability. The Ride 9 slims this profile down with less bulky and maybe a touch lower and shorter rear bucket seat side walls, more sculpting and flaring. 


While not quite as recovery run plush and stable in landings as the Ride 8, the new arrangement gives the shoe a noted quicker transition off the heel helped along it  by a bit more rear rocker, small holes into the side wall and likely also the new outsole design. And all of this new midsole geometry for sure helps reduce the weight (along with upper) that solid ounce.

The front midsole area is yet more “radically” redesigned. No longer a very stiff shoe with barely any rocker and a big pillow of front cushion, the Ride 9 midsole (and outsole) now flexes due to flex grooves into the midsole and in  the new outsole and what now  looks like a longer and more aggressive front rocker profile. No such flex in the 8 and not much rocker either.


Ride 9  is maybe a touch less cushioned in feel up front but clearly is more responsive and quicker feeling when I ran them side by side one on each foot.


I found the Ride 8 to be fine for slower runs but I really struggled to move it at faster paces due to its stiffness and at the heel a block like somewhat rear weighted feel. 

The upper and outsole also can play a role in increasing flexibility and response and the new upper which is so much lighter and more pliable clearly plays a key role in that as does the new outsole pattern.

Jeff: Reading through Sam’s comments I was about to start a fight in the comments section - not bouncy? Really? But as I continued to read, I got it, because maybe it isn’t bouncy as much as springy, but either way, it’s got a lot rebound as you go through the gait cycle, and while it’s similarly fun to the Nike ZoomX Invincible, it is a very different experience. There’s a firmness that I really appreciate every time I put these on, but we aren’t talking about a 2011 Mizuno firmness. There’s the secondary action of the rebound (spring/bounce/etc) that keeps you coming back. I have to imagine that the geometry (there’s a bit of a rocker to help toe off) and the flexibility in the design both play a part in that. I didn’t experience any of the instability and excessive friction of the collapsing pods in the midsole of the Max Road 4/4+, and I was amazed at how much more lively it was than the similarly designed Ride 8. Some design philosophies seem to happen in a vacuum, but it seems like Skechers Performance is paying attention to what folks are saying, and this shoe is a product of that.


Stephanie: I one hundred percent agree with Jeff. Getting into these shoes for the first time I felt like I had stepped into my Invincibles. As I started to walk I noticed it didn’t have the same spring in the forefoot, like the Invincibles, but it still had a nice cushion without feeling like too much. It was when I broke into a run and then intervals is when I really felt how great this shoe really was (more on that later). 


Jeff V:  Again, Sam nails the Hyperburst midsole well and I find the Ride 9 to be responsive and well cushioned, though a touch on the firm side with a very smooth, consistent and stable ride with a nice slightly rockered feel at toe off.  While somewhat firm underfoot, my legs never feel beat up after longer, faster runs, even on cement paths, as the Hyperburst dampens shock quite well.  The flex grooves help with flexibility and integrate very well with the outsole, adding to the smooth ride and appeal.


Outsole

The outsole while remaining excellent Goodyear rubber sees significant changes in design.

It is now segmented the way the foot flexes and moves. While I felt a touch less mid foot and rear stability with the elimination of the large heel to midfoot piece and the changes to the midsole’s rear geometry those moves clearly allows the shoe to transition better than before.


Upfront, the pattern and flex grooves work well with  the foot, both longitudinally and across the shoe, pretty dramatically changing the toe off from a stiff rockerless one to a considerably more agile one. In the Ride 8, slow paces were fine but as soon as you really stepped on the gas the stiffness really got in the way of progress.


I have run on both wet pavement and dry and the grip is very good. Wear is non-existent to date and broad pads should distribute the wear very well over time.

Jeff: There’s lots of rubber, 

Good flexibility too, 

Minor exposed foam.


That’s right, we’ve got an outsole haiku. There’s lots of rubber, really everywhere you want it to be regardless of your foot strike or pronation proclivities. They segmented it well, so that that much rubber didn’t hurt the performance of the shoe. Traction is top notch, and durability seems solid, though I will be curious to see how wear patterns form in time. My first few GRR9 runs were on the treadmill, and I put zero wear on them, but once I started logging outdoor miles I started seeing wear on the ridges around the rubber sections. I don’t think it's cause for concern, as much as something to keep an eye on. Looking at Sam’s picture above, the Ride 8 outsole seems like a relic from a different era, this has been a big leap forward in just a year or so.

Stephanie: Sam and Jeff did a great job outlining and describing the shoe’s outsole. It’s very simple in design, but there is nice traction, great support, and great flexibility. After several runs and speed work in these shoes, the only real wear and tear is on the orange lines around the outsides and inside the forefoot where you flex your foot.


Jeff V:  I appreciate the mostly full coverage rubber outsole (less small strips of inconsequential exposed foam), as it performs very well as intended on pavement, cement and gravel paths, feeling substantial, yet not over done and integrating well with the midsole.  Thus far, durability seems average.  

There is enough tread depth to provide adequate grip on crushed stone paths and minimally technical trails, but obviously it is not intended for off road use.


Ride

Sam: The ride is smooth and very consistent. The combination of Hyperburst and the midsole and outsole geometry ensure that. I was able to easily handle all paces from slow recovery to moderate daily training (8:30-9:00 min miles). Due to an injury I have not run faster tempo or intervals but believe they will be handled with ease, unlike the Ride 8 which I struggled in at any pace faster than 9 minute miles due to its stiffness and lack of rocker.


Jeff: Sam nails it. This shoe works at all paces with an incredibly smooth ride that makes you want to run more. It wouldn’t be my first choice for 400 meter repeats, but if that’s what I brought with me to the track, I could complete that workout in this shoe without major complaint. I really think it shines for the day-in-day-out easy miles, and they’re a great shoe to have on your feet for group runs, so if someone picks up the pace you can hang. Really impressed with what they’ve done this year.


Stephanie: Again, Sam and Jeff are spot on. This shoe felt great during my warm up run and felt even more amazing during some intervals. My first few intervals I actually felt like my running form flew out the window, but I realized that the shoes were so light I was lifting my legs higher than usual because my body was used to putting out that bit of extra power to pick up my speed. Once I realized that, these shoes and I flew! I had never had a shoe “disappear” on my foot like that before, my mind was blown. After some decent miles in these shoes, my legs and feet felt great!


Jeff V:  The ride is smooth, steady, stable, predictable and reasonably responsive.  Definitely not the quickest shoe out there, but can easily handle faster paces even if it is not my first pick for running fast.  Cushioning is a touch on the firm side, so not the most plush option out there, but is plenty sufficient for mid length runs.



Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: At 8.2 oz/ 233g in a US9 with a big 28/34 full stack height, the Ride 9 is a lot of shoe for its weight and may lead the daily trainer class in cushion to weight ratio and certainly leads with lightest weight . Now definitely a daily all around trainer due to its more flexible quicker moving geometry, it for sure moves away from its more ponderous stiffer predecessor- a sort of light Dad Shoe trainer and a more recovery slow runs shoe for me. I expect Skechers to fill that slot with something but in the meantime we now have a true, less “idiosyncratic” very light and comfortable daily training option. 


While it may lose a touch of stability and cushion feel over the Ride 8, it becomes far more versatile and now is a clear competitor to others in its class of more traditional flexing trainers such as the Pegasus, Saucony Ride, ASICS Cumulus, Brooks Ghost, and New Balance 880. It is somewhat lower drop than those at 6mm  but is far lighter than any of them. The Ride 9 really  shows what Hyperburst, applied head to head in this class of shoe, can do not only for weight reduction but for a springy ride feel.  A solid, very solid highly cushioned daily trainer at a very light weight. 

Sam’s Score: 9.31 / 10

Ride: 9.35(50%) Fit: 9.1 (30%) Value: 9.5(15%) Style: 9.3(5%)


Jeff: I’ve reviewed a few shoes that seemed like there were very few things wrong with them, but they still weren’t all that impressive - this shoe is impressive. Skechers Performance dialed in the geometry/flexibility/stack height of the midsole to create a truly fun running shoe. While it doesn’t have the same squish and rebound that the ZoomX Invincible I’ve been raving about for the last few months has, it does have a similar fun to run in quality, with a much lighter shoe and tag, and some extra stability. This is the most versatile shoe SP has put out, and if I was a one shoe for all runs type of guy, this would be at the top of my list. 


And while most of the praise for this shoe is midsole/ride focused, they didn’t botch the upper, make the toebox too tight, or glue on the word SPEED in 72 point font (personally I don’t mind it, but the complaining about it got really old about two years ago) - and those are all elements that killed an otherwise great shoe in the past. In this case, they got the midsole and ride absolutely dialed in, and the rest of the shoe they didn’t get wrong. You can’t ask for much more than that.

Jeff’s Score 9.55/10

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


Stephanie: Even though this was my first run ever in a Skechers Performance shoe, I have to say my impression of Skechers Performance has completely changed. These felt so amazing on my feet, super lightweight, well cushioned outsole, and good stability. I typically wear a women's 11 and in this case I was in a men’s 10.5 and it never felt clunky or too much. I really like the overall look and aesthetics of this shoe. It’s beautifully seamless and airy. My feet felt cool and comfortable through my runs. The only downside to this shoe is that it doesn’t have the forefoot spring like the Invisible, however Skechers has still done an amazing job making this shoe a blast to run in. This has possibly become my go to shoe for speed work.   

Stephanie’s Score 9.35/10

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


Jeff V:  I find the Ride 9 to be a very solid day to day trainer with a very good balance of light weight, comfort, cushion, smooth ride and response.  They are just as well suited for slower paces as they are pushing the pace. Whilethe Ride 9 is light and can go fast, I find the sweet spot for this shoe to be moderately paced runs for 60-90 minutes in duration.  T


he upper here is fantastic, as it is very comfortable, secure, well ventilated, flexible and modern, integrating very well with the shoe overall and with no break in period.  The look of the vivid blue/red colorway we received for review is also visually striking, two of my favorite colors playing well in a sharp, but not overdone combination.  As an added bonus, my daughters have recently taken up tennis and the Ride 9 has become my go to shoe at the tennis court, providing very good lateral support, stability and grip for those quick moves on the court.  


In a perfect world, I would appreciate a little softer cushion and a touch more response at toe off, but I am nitpicking here, as the Ride 9 is an excellent all around daily trainer with an amazing cushion to weight ratio.

Jeff V’s Score: 9.53/10

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



Watch Sam's Full Video Review with A/B Test Run to Ride 8 (9:30)


Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


Skechers Ride 8 (RTR Review)

Sam: Extensively covered above. Bottom line:  the Ride 9 moves from a recovery easy run shoe to a more general daily trainer while losing over an ounce in weight and gaining 1mm in stack.


Jeff: I enjoyed the GRR8 more than most, but it was definitely an easy day exclusive. The 9 gets better in every aspect for me, and makes even the slow runs more fun.


Skechers Max Road (RTR Review)

Sam: The heavily pillared softer Max Road is more fun (and faster)  at faster paces but at slow paces its heel is low and very soft and its ride awkward (it has softer Hyperburst). It’s upper...while improved in the + version just needs the Ride 9’s upper to really lock the foot to the bouncy sometimes unstable pillars.  The Ride is a more versatile daily trainer. 


Jeff: The pillars/pods and softer midsole make for an extremely bouncy and almost out of control fun shoe - but with my heavier size (200+ pounds), landing style (midfoot), and gait style (supination) I get matching pinch blisters in any run that lasts for 20 minutes or longer. I love the shoe, but it hates me, and that just doesn’t work. Even ignoring the blisters, the GRR9 is much more versatile and stable, only slightly sacrificing the fun.


Skechers Razor + (RTR Review)

Sam: Stepping down in stack and cushion the lighter Razor or Razor Elite have the same firmness of Hyperburst and are the uptempo and even racing companions to the general training Ride 9, something  Ride 8 never really  was for me. I do think the Razors would be improved with the 6mm drop of the Ride 9 even at the cost of some additional weight.


Skechers Razor Excess (RTR Review)

Sam: The Razor Excess, unlike the flexibleRide 9, has a rigid profile geometry relying on its rocker for propulsion while Ride is a more traditional flex shoe. With a 30/26 stack height and 6mm drop  it is somewhat lower stack than the 34/28 Ride 9 but well cushioned and 1oz or so lighter at a very light for stack 7oz. It shares the same Hyperburst firmness foam with Ride 9.  Its ride is more aggressive, firmer, and snappier given its rigid profile and rocker. I personally wouldn’t daily train in the Excess. It makes a good shoe to pair with the Ride 9 as the uptempo and even longer  race Skechers.


Hoka Mach 4 (RTR Review)

Sam: Mach 4 is very similar all around and about the same weight, with Mach a touch lighter, but with a lower overall stack height. It is a bit more stable at the heel. In terms of ride the Ride 9 is a touch livelier/snappier and faster feeling given Hyperburst vs more standard EVA plus rubberized foam midsole as outsole layer with Mach 4 somewhat smoother in flow.


Hoka Clifton 7 (RTR Review)

Sam: With a lower stack at 29/24 the Clifton weighs about the same as the Ride with a softer more traditional compression molded EVA midsole. Amazing what newer and supercritical processed compounds do for shoe weight…Clifton is a touch bouncier and softer in feel but is less stable. I find it is best run at faster paces off the heels while Ride 9 handles slower paces a bit more steadily.


Saucony Ride 14 (RTR Review)

Sam: Considerably heavier at almost 10 oz with a 32/24mm stack height so more at the heel and less at the forefoot than Ride 9, I prefer the more noticeably responsive  and somewhat more stable forefoot of the Ride 14 and its higher drop but the 2 oz weight difference and livelier springier Hyperburst is not possible to ignore in what are very comparable shoes...and the Ride 13 was my 2020 daily trainer of the year.

Jeff: Sam breaks it down well, but I didn’t have stability issues with the GRR9, so I’m happy to go with the lighter and springier Skechers - and I too raved about the Ride 13 and 14. 


New Balance 880v11 (RTR Review)

Sam: Another similar trainer with a lower 32/22 stack height, 2mm less at the heel and a big 6mm less than Ride at the forefoot and 1.5 oz more on the scale,  the Fresh Foam 880v11 runs similarly and is a bit more stable.  As with the Saucony Ride,  its foam is not as exciting although if you prefer a touch of softer bounce vs the more taut spring of Hyperburst it may be the way to go. 


Nike Pegasus 37 (RTR Review)

Sam: This match up is closest when considering the women’s Peg 37 with its softer React, lower air pressure Zoom Air pod, and lighter upper and overall weight than the men’s. The Peg has a smoother flow but not quite as much forefoot cushion. Looking at the men's, the highly noticeable higher pressure Air Pod upfront in the Peg is not for everyone. If you are heavier or with a strong mid to forefoot strike it may be a more dynamic ride than the Ride for you. I will also say the Peg, particularly the men’s, makes a fine and likely better than Ride 9 light trails shoe due to the Air Pod and its more profiled and lugged outsole and its far denser and heavier upper than the Ride 9’s.


Jeff: I only ran in the men’s version, but as a heavy midfoot striker I’m the use case example Sam is talking about. I will definitely agree with him that the Peg outsole is much more dynamic on light trails, I prefer the GRR9 for any other circumstance. I’m not normally a weight snob, I’m happy to add an ounce or two if it means better cushioning and performance underneath the foot, but in this case the much lighter Skechers Performance is a much more fun ride for me, more versatile, and much more effective cushioning.


Nike ZoomX Invincible Run (RTR Review)

Sam: Measured spring for the Ride 9 vs. wild bounce for the Invincible with its light ZoomX foam. The Invincible is yet more cushioned with a giant 37/28 stack so 3mm more at the heel than the Ride and I appreciate those extra 3mm as well as the extra drop given the soft midsole. It weighs a solid 1.5 oz plus more but in this case that is really not noticed.  The Invincible is for sure more fun but  in the context of a do anything any pace or workout daily trainer it may be less versatile and less stable than the Ride 9, leaning more towards more basic daily miles.


Jeff: Now I get Sophie’s Choice. But seriously, these are easily my favorite two shoes of the year thus far, and while they have some similarities when viewed from 30,000 feet, they get there differently. Both shoes have incredible rebound, the GRR9 bounces back faster, and has a firmer landing, while the Invincible bounces back more and is a much softer landing. I haven’t had stability issues with either, but could see how one could, especially with the Invincible. Invincible has a better toebox and ultimately more protection. GRR90 is $50 less and the better part of two ounces lighter. For me - these two shoes are likely to be in my regular rotation for months to come as the best 1-2 punch daily trainer I’ve ever had. If I had to choose one, GRR9 for the versatility, Invincible for bouncy fun.


Stephanie: These two shoes have definitely found their place in my heart. The spring that these two bring to the table is unlike any other shoe I’ve run in. They make running feel fun. They feel great on my feet, have great aesthetics, and make my feet feel well supported. For easy miles I’ll favor the Invincible, but for faster runs, the Skechers would be my pick.


ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 (RTR Review)

Sam: The venerable Cumulus 23 is in this matchup because if you end up  pining  for the more recovery easy run oriented ride of the Ride 8 it can provide a great alternative, albeit a heavier and higher drop one at close to the same stack height as the Ride. It is on the soft side with plenty of cushion, response, and flexibility.   

The GO Run Ride 9 will be available May 2021
Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review from Skechers. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Wondering how this compares with the Puma Velocity as a daily trainer, as it has similar midsole material (Nitrogen infused)? Thanks

Yuksel said...

Hi Sam,

As a wide 2E person, I was wondering if these would fit me or will they be offering a wide version?

Thanks in advance

Greg S said...

I found that Skechers typically fit like hokas, a little too narrow in the widest part of foot. Are these now wider as I would always get pinching

Jeff said...

Hi Anonymous,

I don't have the Velocity, but I do have the Deviate, so same midsole material. It's similar in feel, but I think Hyperburst has a little more rebound to it, even with the plate in the Deviate.

Hi Yuksel,

Perhaps Sam has some knowledge about width, but I think there is a chance - the Go Run Ride 8 is offered is wide, so hopefully they do the same here.

Hi Greg S,

I'm with you, though I've found SP have a little more room than Hoka further forward, which is where Hokas give me issues. Are there a couple shoes you can think of that work for you widthwise? We may be able to give a fit comparison.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
How do you feel it compares to the Endorphin Speed? Thanks!

Sam Winebaum said...

HI Anonymous,
While close in weight the Speed is plated and a rocker type uptempo and nice racing shoe while the Ride is not and more general training focused. They would actually make a good pairing!
Sam, Editor

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Greg S said...

Jeff,

Would say most nikes are good width wise (except zoom fk3), xodus 10, and the new balance marathon shoes (with black dot outsole).

Jeff said...

Greg S,

I can work with that. I grabbed my pair of Xodus 10 and calipers. At the widest spot in the mid/forefoot, the Xodus 10 is 114mm wide, and the GRR9 is 119mm wide at the similar spot. Granted, that's the midsole platform and not the upper, but I'd be shocked if you had issues with the GRR9 if the X10 fits you well. Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, don't hesitate.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Like a comparison to the Puma Nitro Velocity, thanks :)

Asai said...

Hello Jeff/ Sam,

Could you elaborate a bit more on the toe box? I've been having a hard time finding some daily trainers which have a toebox as roomy as the NB Propel and the review makes it seem like it's "wide" but on par with the Mach 4. My feet are between a normal and a wide (doh!) and is a 14 US lengthwise but actually between a 13.5 and 14 in EU (double doh!) so finding comfortable pairs which aren't zero drop are proving to be almost impossible.

I've tried the Salomon Sonic 3 balance and the Hoka Mach 4 and found both of them narrow up front with a sharp pinching sensation when I try to run. I've found the Altras to be extremely roomy but the zero drop is too harsh for my Achilles at this point. I've been looking at the GRR9, NB Rebel v2 (please NB, just fit! ) and the Topo Cyclone. Do you guys think any of these would fit?

Do you guys have any other shoes you'd recommend which are going to be used for slower paces (9-13 minutes)? if both the above options don't work.


Asai said...


Hello Jeff/ Sam,

Please ignore my previous message. I realized that I didn't provide enough information so I tried giving it another shot:

Could you elaborate a bit more on the toe box? I've been having a hard time finding some daily trainers which have a toebox as roomy as the NB Propel and the review makes it seem like it's "wide" but on par with the Mach 4. My feet are between a normal and a wide (doh!) and is a 14 US lengthwise but actually between a 13.5 and 14 in EU (double doh!) so finding comfortable pairs which aren't zero drop are proving to be almost impossible. I usually run 3-8 miles about 4 times per week at around 10-13 minutes per mile in hot TX summers, if that helps.

Shoes which worked: NB Propel (Size 14 US Standard. Best fit so far. ). Ride ISO 2 ( Size 14 US standard. Step in comfort felt heavenly! ). Can't find either anymore easily.

Shoes I've already tried: Salomon Sonic 3 Balance (Too narrow near forefoot)
Nike Run Infinity ( Narrow in midfoot )
Hoka Mach 4 (Narrow in forefoot. Decent in mid-foot)

I've tried running in the above 3 shoes and have a sharp pinching sensation when I try to run near the mid-foot and forefoot. I've found the Altras to be extremely roomy but the zero drop is too harsh for my Achilles at this point.

Shoes I'm considering: GRR9, NB Rebel v2 (please NB, just fit! ) and the Topo Cyclone ( Queasy because it's firm but if it's the only choice....... ).

I'm very aware that these shoes are much better uptempo but I've read they aren't bad at slow paces either. Full confession, I don't know if 10-13 minutes per mile is slow or recovery pace. Do let me know if I'm looking at entirely wrong category of shoes! I'll have to order online anyway so any pointer would help!

I wouldn't mind trying out Asics (Dynablast / Novablast) or Saucony ( Ride/Endorphin Shift/Speed ) but my local store doesn't have most of these models and I'd REALLY want to avoid having to order so many shoes to just try and return if I could avoid it.

Also, does it make sense to purchase shoes that are 2-3 years old like the Propel and Saucony RIDE Iso 2 if I can find them? I've read that foams lose their properties within a couple of years even if they aren't used. Is that correct?

Apologies for the long comment. I've been a regular lurker on the site and the lack of good running stores in my vicinity and my contrasting and expensive experiences with well reviewed shoes like the Mach4 and Balance feels frustrating.

Thanks,
Asai

Jeff said...

Unfortunately I haven't run in the Propel, Ride ISO 2, or Mach 4, so I can't give any direct input there. However, I reviewed the next version of the Ride, the 13, and it's toebox is similar to the GRR9, but I'd favor the GRR9 toebox just slightly. There's a little more room, maybe a millimeter or less, and a little stretch, and together it works well.

I also didn't run in the Sonic 3 Balance, but I did review both the Sonic 3 Accelerate and Sonic 3 Confidence, and found both those toeboxes adequate to good, so if the Balance is too narrow for you, I'm going to guess you like a slightly wider toebox than I do. In that case, the GRR9 may still work for you. I don't find it cavernous up front, but there is room. It is definitely wider in the midfoot than the Nike React Infinity. I put about 80 miles on my pair, waiting for the pressure in the arch to get better, and it never did.

Have you considered the Topo Ultrafly 3? It isn't nearly as firm as the Cyclone, it isn't zero drop, and it's toebox is likely everything you are looking for.

Don't overthink what shoes are marketed for purpose wise and what you use them for. A few years ago the elite marathon shoe was the adidas Adios Boost 2, and I used them only for track days with my local running shop's club - and if I ran more than 4-5 miles I paid for it. And there a number of well cushioned shoes billed as "easy/long/recovery" trainers that I use a daily trainer. Figure out what works for you, not what other say it should be used for.

All of the ASICS or Saucony you listed are great, but I'd really only recommend the Ride or the Endorphin Shift as an easy daily trainer.

Don't sweat the age, 2-3 years isn't a concern unless they've been kept in a garage in Phoenix. Sure, there might be some slight midsole degradation, but in that short of a time, I don't think it'd be noticeable.

No worries about the comment, my apologies for the delay. I wrote a reply earlier, but the internet ate it and it didn't go through for some reason. If you have any follow up questions or if I missed something please let me know.

Asai said...

Thanks a lot for the quick response, Jeff!


The comparison between the Ride and the GRR9 is extremely timely and useful since I was having a serious look at the Ride a few hours ago! The UltraFly3 totally skipped my mind when I was considering my shoes. From the looks of things, it seems to be an ideal fit for everything I'm looking for.

Thanks for answering the rest of my queries as well! Hope you have a wonderful week ahead! :)

Jimmy said...

Hi Sam,

How would you compare the Ride 9 cushion feel to the Reebok Symmetros in terms of softness and depth for easy runs? I enjoyed the Ride 7 for easy runs and the Razor 2 and 3 for speed, but the 8 was too firm and stiff for easy running and too heavy for speed. I find the Hyperburst shoes responsive but not sure they work well for easy running which is 50 - 75% of my runs.