Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Skechers Performance MaxRoad 5 Multi Tester Review

Article by Derek Li, Jeff Beck and Peter Stuart

Skechers Performance Go Run MaxRoad 5 ($135)


Jeff: Skechers Performance MaxRoad went nuclear a few years ago when they introduced the Max Road 4 taking full advantage of their super bouncy and lightweight midsole material, Hyperburst. What had been a very solid and stable recovery shoe got explosive, making one of the bounciest shoes around. It wasn’t without issues, with many runners expressing their disappointment in the wool sweater upper, and personally I had a problem with the pod columns collapsing underneath my small toe on each side, causing major blisters in any run that went longer than two miles. A year later they “fixed” the upper, going with a more breathable and livable upper, but unfortunately (at least for me) the midsole didn’t change any and the blisters showed up almost before the sweat could. 

And that brings us to today - where the Max Road 5 has visually the same midsole, but they gave the shoe a carbon infused plastic H plate in the middle of the midsole, with the intention of giving the shoe a little more pop and a little more stability. Will the Skechers Performance high stack shoe live up to the hype? I’d encourage you to read on, but the short answer is “Bigtime.”

Peter: The Max Road 4 was a near miss for me. It felt a bit unstable, gave me some weird blisters, and was ultimately too soft for me to enjoy running in. It  reminded me of some other shoes that I felt like I should like, but seemed to sap some energy. While I love Hyperburst in the Razor line (and the new Speed Freek), it seemed unwieldy in the Max Road 4. Lo and Behold, the Max Road 5 is a truly excellent update. The folks in the lab at Skechers Performance figured out how to tame this big old slab of Hyperburst and it’s a really nice shoe. 


Lots of cushion for very light weight: :38/32 at  8.3 oz / 235g US9 Sam/Jeff/Peter

Very springy, soft ride now well stabilized by carbon infused H shaped plate Sam/Derek/Jeff/Peter

Combination of mid foot plate impulse and stability along with front flexibility increases pace versatility Sam/Derek

Upper now more than keeps up with soft high stack  Sam/Jeff/Peter

Great value at $135 for a “carbon infused”,  supercritical foam trainer  Sam/Derek/Jeff/Peter

Excellent cushioning/weight ratio and vibration dampening - Derek/Jeff/Peter/Sam

Great traction, holds the road well Peter


Front edge of the H plate is noticed on steep uphills. Sam

There is a certain percentage of runners who won’t give it a chance because of the brand. Jeff

Upper holds the foot really well, but takes on a fair amount of water in humid or rainy conditions


Official Weight: men's 8.3 oz  / 235g (US9)  /  women's 6.3 oz  / 179g     

  Samples: men’s 8.0 oz  / 227g US8.5 8.96 oz / 254g US10.5   

Men’s US9.5 8.75oz / 248g

Stack Height: 38/32, 6mm drop

Derek’s men’s US9.5 sample measured at 39/29 (maybe pre-production variance?)

MSRP $135. Available now including at our partner Running Warehouse here.


Tester Profiles

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.

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

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.

First Impressions and Fit

Derek: The MaxRoad 4+ was my 2020 recovery shoe of the year, and it would have made a strong case for best daily trainer, except that the heel felt overly low (and soft) and transitions felt labored at faster paces. Now the MaxRoad 5 comes packed with an H plate in the midsole and I am very keen to see how this improves the versatility of the shoe, and how it handles faster paces. The MaxRoad 4+ I tested had a muted grey color, so the new blue upper is a welcome change. Beyond that, the changes are actually not so obvious when you just put them on and walk about. The shoe is still very reminiscent of the MR4+ with a very springy underfoot feel. The heel does seem to sit a little higher and not compress so easily but that can easily change once you start running. 

In terms of fit, I would say it is essentially unchanged from that of the MR4+, being true to size, with decent width in the toe-box. All in all, I’m glad they didn’t change the basic fit of the shoe since MR4 as the general fit and volume was about right and would fit the vast majority of feet quite well. 

Jeff: I’ve never wanted to X-ray a shoe before, because this one is supposed to have a plate in it, but that midsole looks completely unchanged. But, a little bit of midsole twisting, and there definitely seemed like a little more structure - so my first impression was excitement. Derek is right, the fit is true-to-size and the toebox is really good. There’s plenty of room both vertically and horizontally, and because it’s a Skechers Performance, if you want even more room you can always take out the insole (SP puts a finished layer below the sockliner so you can run without an insole and still be comfortable), but I doubt anyone but the biggest Altra/Topo disciple will need more room up front. It’s that good.

Peter: Fit is true to size and roomy in the toebox. Step-in is plush and the shoe feels good. 


Derek: The upper now uses a new more conventional engineered mesh as the base material. Up front there is an internal toe bumper to keep things propped up, similar to what we had on the MR4+ except this toe bumper feels marginally stiffer. 

Along the sides of the shoe, instead of the horizontal stitching used in the MR4+, you have a denser section of mesh, reinforced by horizontal overlays running up the sides. While the base mesh is mildly elastic, this reinforced section does not stretch and serves to resist medial-lateral movement of the foot. As we move towards the heel, this is the part that is probably most similar to the MR4+. 

There is a semi-rigid internal heel cup under a substantial amount of padding that gives a very luxurious wrap around the posterior ankle and Achilles area. The pull-tab that was present on MR4+ has been retained here. 

The tongue still uses a suede section near the top but the meat of the tongue uses the same mesh material as the rest of the upper, plus some added padding for comfort. 

You will note that the eyelet placement is pretty similar to MR4+ in terms of spacing, but they have done away with the dual eyelet design in MR4+ and went with a more conventional eyelet shape for the MR5. 

The laces are still the same very elastic flat laces that were used in the MR4+. I did mention in my review of the MR4+ that I did not like lace choice there as there was just too much stretch going on during the run, and I think the same could be said for the MR5. As is, the fit is fine, but you do get a better lockdown if you swap them out to non-elastic laces. 

As mentioned above, the fit is true to size, and the overall volume of the shoe is essentially unchanged from the MR4+. Overall, nothing overly radical in terms of upper changes, and it still works fairly well. 

Jeff: Derek covered the build in incredible detail, and I’d largely agree with his assessment. The upper breathes well, and it is very high volume without approaching sloppy. I’m also impressed with the Goldilocks-level of plush/lightweight Skechers Performance pulled off. It doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap, nor does it go toward overbuilt and recall this is also a very light shoe.

It’s a fairly straightforward upper that doesn’t feel like it gets anything wrong. The slightly stretchy laces aren’t my favorite, but I don’t have a hard time getting solid lockdown with them (my slightly wider than D but not quite E foot may help that). The blue, orange, and white gives a little bit of a New York Knicks vibe, but not every shoe can be the New Balance RC Elite 2 with the Phoenix Suns colorway. The tongue isn’t gusseted, but I haven’t noticed that the tongue has any noticeable amounts of movement, so saving a little bit of weight was likely the right call.

Peter: The specifics are well covered above. I’ll add that the upper holds my foot really well. There’s a good amount of padding around the ankle collar and while the top of the tongue is quite thin--it holds the foot well and I don’t get any pressure spots. The lower ⅔ of the tongue is a more dense mesh. 

Most importantly, as compared to the Max Road 4, I’ve gotten exactly zero blisters with this upper. That’s a big improvement. It’s a good looking upper that does its job. My only ding on the upper is that the thick ankle collar and the lower part of  the tongue seem to hold a fair amount of water in either rain or heavy humidity. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s something to be aware of.


Derek: The last and shape of the midsole is unchanged from the MR4+ to MR5, but with the addition of the H plate, stack has increased by 1mm across the board from official stacks of 37/31 (6mm drop) now going up to 38/32 (6mm drop) in the MaxRoad 5. The firmness of the foam still seems unchanged as Skechers has opted to stick to its preferred 47C durometer for Hyperburst. 

As far as the underfoot feel goes, everything still feels like the familiar Hyperburst you love from that first taste in the Razor 3. That’s the good news. The better news (for me) is that the heel seems to hold itself up a bit better here than pretty much every other pair of Hyperburst shoes I have tested so far, sans the Speed Elite Hyper. That is to say, when you land on the heel, it doesn’t compress a lot, but instead goes down (subjectively) maybe 20-30% and then rebounds quickly with an oomph so you get a good feeling that you are being kicked off the heel and shoved onto the midfoot/forefoot quite quickly in the shoe, even at slower 8:00/mile paces. This is the big upgrade for me from MaxRoad 4+, where at slower paces the heel tended to collapse a little too much and you have to work to transition your weight forward. I am not sure how much of it is due to the H plate, as it’s not very clear how far back the H plate extends to the heel. It could well be that at that critical height of 38mm+ at the heel, there is just enough foam to minimize compression for my running style. 

Coming back to that H plate, if you are expecting to feel something akin to a carbon plate in there or even a nylon plate a la Endorphin Speed, you would be disappointed. The segmented nature of the midsole still confers good flexibility through the toe-box and conjures a fairly natural toe-off. That’s not to say that it doesn’t work. The shoe does noticeably transition faster and smoother than the MaxRoad 4+ (or any other previous MaxRoad / GoRun Ultra Road for that matter) so they did a good job there. It is just that it still feels more like a pure max cushion trainer with a focus on moderate to slower paces than a trainer that can handle uptempo. 

Jeff: No X-ray needed, this shoe definitely has something inside of it giving it a little more structure. I’m 100% in agreement with Derek, this plate does not give nearly the spring of so many of the current super shoes, but it does do an incredible job of not allowing the midsole to collapse - so that’s a huge win in my book. So that means we now have a Max Road shoe that’s super bouncy but also stable enough to log some solid mileage in. I didn’t notice the slow transition from the heel since I land on my midfoot, but from midfoot forward the superball bounce does enough of the heavy lifting. 

Peter: Yup, that H plate tames the big slab of Hyperburst just right. I was a little worried on the first run that the shoe might be a little too stiff/firm, but I felt it give at just about 10 miles--so don’t be surprised if they take a little bit of time to break in. After the first run, the midsole has run incredibly smooth and efficiently. The Max Road 5 doesn’t have the big bounce of the NB Rebel V2, but it is a more controlled and efficient feeling ride. 


Derek: The outsole is unchanged from the MaxRoad 4+. There is strategic placement of GoodYear rubber on the segmented sections of foam. If MR4+ durability is anything to go by, you should easily get 400 miles from the shoes. I would have liked to see the medial and lateral forefoot rubber get more continuous coverage for a snappier forefoot feel, but I get that Skechers prefer to keep this as a long run cruiser type of shoe.

Jeff: Agreed, the rubber pods do a pretty good job. As a heavier runner I may be overtaxing the shoe some, I can see some wear between the pods and some shredding of the exposed midsole around the rubber pods, but I don’t think it will lead to early failure. And that wear shows that the plate is doing its job, since I am still collapsing the pods on impact, but the plate is preventing the midsole from rising up and causing blisters with vertical oscillation..

Peter: The grip of the outsole is terrific. I’m a little concerned about longevity, as I’m seeing a fair amount of wear at about 50 miles into the shoe. A few of the pods are losing their first layer and looking a bit bare. See photo below. I’ll check back on what that means long term--it may just be cosmetic, but it is something to keep an eye on. 


Derek: The ride is that familiar springy lively ride you expect from the MaxRoad 4+, with a smoother transition through the midfoot. The heel feels taller with less bottoming out, but strangely doesn’t feel harsher. The rocker is still quite subtle in the shoe, and you get good flex through the toes, which makes slow miles really comfortable. It does seem to handle faster paces a little better than the MaxRoad 4+ but it still would not be my choice for any tempo runs. Overall, it makes for a good steady easy-medium pace cruiser. I would think of it as a slightly firmer, more stable version of the Nike Zoom Invincible. It definitely transitions faster than the Invincible for me.  

Jeff: It’s funny, some shoes Derek and I don’t see eye to eye on, but this one really seems to run the same for both of us. And that’s to say it’s a really fun shoe. You could run fast in them, but it can get a little unwieldy, they really shine when you just cruise at your easy pace, or slightly faster than your easy pace. And I kept thinking of the ZoomX Invincible, very similar bounce, but this is just a little more stable and roughly two ounces lighter.

Peter: The ride is smooth and efficient with a good amount of cushioning. It is fun, but not laugh out loud fun. More, “gosh, I really enjoy running” fun. They aren’t wildly different from the Ride 9 , but I think I enjoy the Max Road more. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Derek: I tend to do my easy runs in the 7:40-8:30/mile range, and these take up a good 70-80% of my mileage. I’ve averaged over 80 mpw since March’21 so the fatigue is starting to spill over day-to-day now and in the MaxRoad 5 I see a shoe that I reach for when I’m feeling a little sore or stiff and just need to clock the miles for the day to pad that total. For these runs, softness and vibration dampening are the main priority, and if the shoe can “assist” me as much as possible, I wouldn’t say no. I don’t necessarily want the absolute softest or highest stack marshmallow, and I don’t want something too unstable because I don’t want to think too much about my balance. When you think about it, the list isn’t that long. FuelCell TC sits near the top, and so do the Puma Deviate Nitro, Nike Tempo Next%, Saucony Triumph 19, and Adidas Prime X. In terms of softness, only the TC and Prime X are softer than the MaxRoad 5, and only the Triumph doesn’t have some sort of plate. If I want something that really accommodates the slow trots while still letting you open up on the downhills, the MaxRoad 5 arguably is the best of the bunch here. 

The weight of the MaxRoad 5 is also very respectable, and I think the 1/3 oz weight gain over MaxRoad 4+ is well justified with the higher stack and the H plate, but most importantly because the ride is better! 

If there is a gripe, I would say that the upper is somewhat overdone in terms of materials. If the Adidas Prime X and and Nike Tempo Next% can have such thin uppers for significantly heavier shoes, I don’t see why Skechers wouldn’t do a ripstop variant upper for the MaxRoad. I also mentioned it before with the MaxRoad 4+ but I think they could use 1 more row of eyelets for the laces, and they absolutely should use inelastic laces for this shoe.  

Derek’s Score 9.03 / 10

Ride 9.3 (50%) Fit 8.5 (30%) Value 9 (15%) Style 9.5 (5%)

Jeff: Two years ago I fell in love from the first step of the Max Road 4. I could get past the sweaty upper, that bounce was something special and I wanted more of it. Then I ran two consecutive miles and the burning underneath each of my small toes was hard to ignore. I put some serious miles on them across more than a half dozen runs (hooray for long embargo times to allow for healing!) and literally every single run resulted with me having matching blisters underneath my small toes, and they weren’t mild blisters. 

Repeated with virtually identical results in the MR4+, the Venn diagram of me being a A) heavier runner who B) midfoot strikes and C) supinates was enough to create a constant failure state as the midsole had way too much flex in the wrong place for me. 

But that’s all a thing of the past, the MR5 H-plate was the cure I needed to be able to run in the shoe as much as I wanted without guaranteeing issues. Unlike Derek my easy pace isn’t 7:40-8:30 (more like 10:30-11:00 as I’ve gotten slower with the move to Denver; I blame both the elevation and my stupid achilles tendonitis) but even at my slower pace this shoe just cruises. I can’t get over the bounce-to-weight-to-cost ratio, this much cushion at sub 9 ounces in a US 10.5 for $135? If you like a bouncy shoe, I don’t know how you beat that.

Jeff’s Score 9.95/10

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

Peter:  As I said before, my first run in the Max Road felt a bit stiff--but they’ve broken in very nicely. They are a terrific daily trainer and long run shoe. Very comfortable, relatively light, well-cushioned without being mushy--and a lot of fun to run in.  I’d highly recommend them to anyone who wants to get out and run some miles this summer and fall. A terrific training shoe. Very stable, reasonably bouncy and a solid value. 

Peter’s score: 9.5 No big issues with the Max Road 5. I’d like a slightly less absorbent upper, and I’m a bit worried about wear on the outsole, but a solid daily trainer and companion for long miles. 

12 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Skechers Performance Go Run Max Road 4 and + (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in MaxRoad 4, 4+ and 5. In terms of overall, fit 4+ and 5 are very similar in fit, with the 4+ upper feeling a bit softer especially at the toe-box. MaxRoad 5 has a more supportive upper with more focus on overlays on the medial and lateral sides. The big difference is actually the midsole H plate in the MaxRoad 5. This really improves transition and makes the heel feel less flat. MaxRoad 5 is definitely the better ride. 

Jeff: I’m a 10.5 in all three. Very similar fun ride, but the 4 upper was a little toasty, and both the 4 and 4+ midsole collapse created some major problems for me. The plate update to the 5 is one of the best updates I’ve experienced in some time, well worth it to give the new one a shot.

Peter: The big difference for me here is the lack of blisters in the Max Road 5 compared to the 4--and the slightly firmer, and more stable ride. Max Road 5 a big improvement for me. 


Skechers Performance Go Run Ride 9 (RTR Review)

Jeff: I’m a 10.5 in both. I raved about the Ride 9 when it came out, and it’s still a regular part of my rotation. It’s hard to ignore the similarities, and not just visually with the largely identical colorways. Ultimately this feels like comparing the Tesla Model S (Ride 9) to the Tesla Model S Plaid (Max Road 5). Both are great, but one of them is nearly over the top it’s so great (yup, super bouncy is the shoe version of 1.99 0-60 time). I think the Ride 9 is easy to recommend, with good, but very controlled bounce, while the Max Road 5 is for the runner who wants that extra bit more of cushioning and bounce.

Peter: I think these are pretty similar, but I find myself reaching for the Max Road more often than the Ride 9. It’s got a little more wow factor. 

ASICS Novablast (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both models. The Novablast has by far the more relaxed fit and is about a quarter size longer than the same sized MaxRoad. The key thing here is the Novablast having a softer foam, and a higher heel-toe drop. While the Novablast feels more forgiving underfoot, I generally prefer the more solid rebound of the Hyperburst in the MaxRoad. The MaxRoad feels like a smoother and faster transitioning shoe versus the more flexible and softer ride of the Novablast. Overall, I like MaxRoad 5 for better versatility and as an easier shoe to maintain any pace in. 

Nike Zoom X Invincible Run (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. My comparison here will be quite coloured by the fact that the Invincible gives me hotspots under the balls of the big toe, which is put down to excessive pressure on that area due to the very soft midsole. I get them to around the 5-6 mile mark and by the 8th mile, I am just about ready to run barefoot the rest of the way home. 

Fit-wise, Invincible has the more relaxed toebox but midfoot and heel fit are about the same as the MaxRoad 5. Invincible definitely has the thicker and softer ride. For me at 135lb, the Invincible is more cushioned, but a much more ponderous ride where transition can be quite slow if you land far back on the heel. Overall, I prefer MaxRoad 5 for being a more agile and versatile ride.

Jeff: I’m a 10.5 in both shoes. Out on the road I kept thinking that the MR5 was softer, but on an A/B test, it’s clear that the ZoomX Invincible is actually softer and a little more cushioned. However, it isn’t by much, especially when you consider the 2+ ounce weight and $45 price difference compared to the Max. While there is slightly more toe room in the Invincible, the Max Road’s upper is more breathable. I enjoy running in the Invincible a little bit more than the Max Road, but only for the first mile or two. I don’t get hotspots like Derek, but I do find myself a little more all over the place. The bounce in the ZoomX with not even a stabilizing lasting board in the mix  has less control, while the little bit firmer Hyperburst is more dialed in. Factoring in the cost difference, I have to give the win to the Max Road 5.

Hoka Clifton 8 (RTR Review)

Jeff: I’m a 10.5 in both. My first Clifton in about five years, the 8 has a smooth ride with solid cushioning. I have found it narrow, not just in the forefoot but at the midfoot as well, and the ride isn’t nearly as dynamic as the Max Road 5. While it does cost $5 less, it weighs 17g more with noticeably less cushioning. While it sounds like I’m dunking on the Hoka, it is a really good shoe, but for this matchup, the Max Road 5 is a truly great one.

Peter: I sink into the Clifton and it robs me of momentum and energy. The Max Road 5 does not have that issue. Max Road 5 all the way. 

Hoka Mach 4 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both models. Mach 4 has a somewhat longer and narrower fit compared to the MaxRoad, but I would definitely go for the same size in both models. Mach 4 has a noticeably flatter feeling heel (read: low drop) where the MaxRoad feels more like 8mm and the Mach feels like 5mm or lower, regardless of official numbers. Mach 4 has a softer and bouncier feel than MaxRoad, but the lower stack gives the shoe more ground feel. Mach 4 will be better for tempo runs, but I think most people will find MaxRoad to be a better cushioned daily trainer or recovery day shoe. 

Peter: Oof, gotta run them back to back. Will get back to this comparison. Love the Mach 4 though. 

Puma Deviate Nitro (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Deviate Nitro fits marginally longer and looser than the MaxRoad. Max Road definitely has the softer ride, but the DN’s higher stack and carbon plate make it an overall more special ride for me with a smoother, more assisted transition. DN has a tricky heel fit, but if you can get it to work for you, the DN is definitely the better shoe for all purposes except recovery runs.

Jeff: I’m a 10.5 in both shoes. I’d put myself in the category of runners who is still trying to get the Deviate Nitro to fit me properly. I find myself feeling really beat up after every run in them, especially around the ankles, which is a new experience for me. I like what Puma has done underneath the foot, the midsole and plate work very well together, and when worn A/B against the Max Road 5 the difference in plate feel at toe off is staggering. I’m also impressed by the outsole of the Deviate Nitro, it’s super grippy and durable. But the upper is really problematic for me, with a much more narrow toebox and I had to get creative with the lacing to free up room to pull off a runner’s loop to try to reduce heel slip. I think if you can get the fit down the Deviate Nitro could be a great shoe, but the Max Road 5 is much easier to dial in.

Craft CTM Ultra (RTR Review)

Jeff: I’m a 10.5 in both shoes. The Craft is roughly the same stack height, but with a much firmer ride, a more substantial outsole, and a super flimsy upper. I enjoyed everything beneath the foot of the Craft, but the upper’s inability to keep my foot on top of the shoe was a deal breaker for me. Max Road 5 all the way.

Peter: I’ve been running these head to head. Craft is more efficient, firmer and a bit faster--but the Max Road 5 holds my foot WAY better. I’d give the edge to the Max Road 5. 

New Balance FuelCell TC (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both models. Fit-wise, the TC will run a little longer and looser, and many people do size down for it. The TC is the overall better ride for me, with a bouncier and smoother ride. That said, I would prefer the MaxRoad 5 for recovery runs as it has the more natural feeling transition without the carbon plate. 

Jeff: I’m a 10.5 in the MR5, New Balance sent an 11 for the TC review, and it fits a little baggy. The TC is definitely softer, but with the full fledged plate it has much more of a spring, while the Max Road 5 has a much better fitter upper and more bounce to it. The added sink-in followed by spring forward of the TC is fun, but it also puts a little more wear and tear on me, especially in the hips. As a supinator I appreciate the lateral flange along the outside. If you are running for speed, the TC is the better choice (I used it for a covid-inspired around the block half marathon - 43 laps!) but for easy days I think the Max Road 5 runs better.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel 2 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The 2 shoes actually fit quite similarly, with Rebel being perhaps a touch lower volume at mid-foot. Both shoes have fairly similar rides in terms of bounce, with Rebel 2 being somewhat softer, and having more of a noticeable forefoot rocker feeling. MaxRoad has the stiffer forefoot, but the lower stack of the Rebel will make it a better option for tempo and speed efforts. If you are a lighter runner, you would probably prefer Rebel 2 as a daily trainer, but heavier runners will appreciate the higher stack and denser bounce of the MaxRoad 5. It’s a really close call, but Rebel 2 wins for me.

Peter: Rebel V2 is in contention for my favorite shoe of all time. The Max Road 5 is really good, but it’s not quite the Rebel V2 for me. The Rebel is bouncier and more fun--though far less stable. 

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 (RTR Review)

Jeff: I wear a 10.5 in both. The More v3 might be the pinnacle of pillowy soft shoes, but it doesn’t have any spring or bounce to it. When reserved only for the easiest of easy days (or perhaps recovering from an injury) the More shines, but when worn across from the MR5, it feels lumbering and a few generations behind. Save the $30, get the Max Road 5.

Brooks Aurora-BL (RTR Review)

Jeff: I wear a 10.5 in both. Brooks’ limited edition near prototype shoe with their latest midsole, DNA Loft v3, lines up very cleanly to the Max Road 5. Lots of bounce, a solid stable platform, and lightweight (though still a bit heavier than the MR5), this is the most exciting Brooks we’ve seen in some time. In the A/B test, the Brooks has a wider toebox (though the MR5 allows some stretch to even it out) and they have about the same bounce (but you can feel the more substantial Brooks midsole underneath - it’s solid midsole instead of pods). The extra wide heel of the Brooks makes it even more stable, but it comes at quite the cost premium. Is it worth the extra $65? Maybe. The extra cushioning under foot is no joke, but then, $65 extra is nothing to sneeze at either. This is one matchup that I’d strongly urge you to try both shoes on, ideally against each other, and see if the extra cushioning is worth the cost.

Watch RTR Editor Sam's MaxRoad 5 Initial Video Review (10:02)

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Anonymous said...

How does the MaxRoad compare to the Triumph 18? Thanks!

Sam Winebaum said...

The most important thing is the Max is almost 3 oz lighter. T18 is more plushly cushioned but the weight is hard to get past. Sam, Editor

Christopher Colangelo said...

How does this compare to Adios 6 and Boston 10?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Christopher,
I have not yet run the adios 6 to compare but I can say the Boston 10 has a higher drop, has more overall cushion but is firmer and is a rigid rocker shoe whereas the MaxRoad 5 has a flexible toe off with behind more rigid from its plate but not totally rigid as Boston is. MaxRoad is also considerably lighter and that is felt.
Sam, Editor

Bruno said...

Im surprised that nobody compared it with the Razor Excess, wich I’ve been using for long runs. How would you compare them? Thanks

Anonymous said...

How would the Max Road 5 (or even the Go Run Ride 9) compare to the Brooks Hyperion Tempo? I’m really torn between choosing one of the three.

Feel said...

Max Road 5 vs Velocity Nitro?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Compared to Hyperion Tempo the Max Road is softer and more flexible with more cushion. Some of the same applies when icomparing Tempo to Ride 9 which I would say sits between Max Road and Tempo. Tempo is best used for... tempo while the other two lean more towards daily trainer for me especially Ride 9 which lao has a higher drop than Max Road 5 so can also handle slower paces a bit better if you run more back on the heels then, as I do.
Hi Bruno,
Razor Excess could be the uptempo or even race companion to Max Road. It has firmer Hyperburst and a rigid rocker profile compared to the MaxRoad's more flexible approach.
Hi Feel,
Velocity Nitro has a more stable firmer heel due to its EVA insert and a similar softer forefoot. Uppers are similar in fit. I would say Velocity as a result is a somewhat more versatile daily trainer while MaxRoad is more fun
Sam, Editor