Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Skechers GO Run Speed Beast Multi Tester Review: 6 Comparisons

Review by Michael Ellenberger and Joost De Raeymaeker with Sam Winebaum and Sally Reiley

Skechers GO Run Speed Beast ($185)


Sam: The Speed Beast represents a significant new direction for Skechers Performance. It is their first modern geometry, super cushion and it features Hyperburst Pro, a new supercritical TPU expanded form foam. 

Many will recall that the original Hyperburst foam, a CO2 expanded form foam, was one of the first supercritical foams around the time of Nike ZoomX and delivered fantastic rides in shoes such as the super light Razor series.

Here we have a giant 40mm heel / 36mm forefoot full stack height in shoe weighing about 9.5 oz in a US9, so competitive if not superior in stack to weight ratio with shoes such as Endorphin Shift 3, Nike Invincible Run 3, and ASICS Nimbus 25 with only the $220 Superblast beating it in weight but not pricing.

To go with the new foam, Skechers brings into the mix its carbon infused H plate up front and here in the more aggressive form such as found in the Razor Excess, the ArchFit sockliner and HyperArc geometry (effective for me for a change). 

And of course we have Goodyear rubber outsole here in a fuller coverage than usual.

The upper is a poly monomesh sandwich construction with a broader toe box than usual for Skechers or at least it seemed and felt to me. 

Big stack, low drop, rocker based shoes can be challenging to run effectively for me at slower paces. I was curious to see how this shoe said by Skechers to be an option for the 3:30- 4:00 hour or so marathoner and for general training would perform.  My video review is here. Read what my faster colleagues Joost, Sally and Michael thought of this new foamed max cushion ride from Skechers.


New supercritical TPU midsole foam is bouncy, plush, and decently responsive: Sam/Michael/Joost/Sally

Effective, no bottoming out smooth flowing to toe off big stack low drop geometry: rocker, outsole coverage Sam/Michael/Joost/Sally

HyperArc and ArchFit, plate all work well together at slower paces as well as faster : Sam/Sally

First time I have actually felt HyperArc and ArchFit work moving me forward from midfoot: Sam

Super cushioned 36/40 stack long run to daily training ride : Sam/Michael/Joost/Sally

Fine racing choice for the 1st time and 4 hour plus marathoner

Mono/Poly mesh upper is smooth and soft fitting but at the same time supportive without overlays or gusset tongue : Sam/Joost/Sally

Broad toe box works well for my narrower feet : Sam/Sally

Plenty of durable outsole coverage which also helps stabilize : Sam/Joost/Sally

Wild colorful aesthetics simply look fast (or so I was told quite often) - Sally


Between racer (great foam and quite aggressive plate) and trainer (weight) : Sam/Michael/Joost/Sally

If for training, wish for a slightly less aggressive carbon infused H Plate: Sam

ArchFit still isn’t quite there, for me: Michael/Sally

4mm drop could use a “boost”: Michael/Sam/Sally

Still fits narrow/small for wide feet: Joost


Estimated Weight: 9.5 oz / 268g US9

  Samples: men’s  9.25 oz  /  262g US8.5, 9.81 oz / 278g US9.5

women’s 8.3 oz / 234 g (US W8)

Stack Height: men’s 40 mm heel / 36mm forefoot, 4mm drop

$185. Available March 2023

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Michael: Love it or hate it, you’re going to notice the Speed Beast - this shoe is big and (more importantly) bright! Seriously, even the photos don’t do justice just how loud this shoe is (aesthetically - unlike, say, the Tempo Next%, it’s not particularly loud underfoot!). 

I found my usual 8.5 to be the right size, and in general, was satisfied with the fit and feel of the shoe. When I added a heel lift insert (to help my ever-nagging Achilles), I did find the toe box to be slightly cramped, but that’s also a me-problem, and not a shoe problem (but, if you’re someone who usually adds their own insole, take note. The insole is also glued here, but easy to pull up!). But.. once again, I had slight issues with Skechers’s ArchFit (or, perhaps, just the shape of the shoe through the midfoot). It wasn’t giving me blisters, fortunately, but it was a bit uncomfortable, and caused me to stop and re-tie my shoes once to adjust for some hot spots. A deal-breaker this is not, but it’s also not what you want.

Otherwise, the upper is nice - besides being colorful, I thought the mesh material was adequately ventilated, and I had the chance to run them in the 50s, 20s, and (okay, indoors) 70s F, all during February! No issues with the upper here; it’s perhaps a little more plastic-y than I’d prefer, but it’s not a detriment.

Joost: I got the shoes really late here in Luanda and I’ve only been able to run about 30 miles in them so far, including 15k race in some of the most brutal conditions I’ve ever run in. 

Photo Credit: Adn Sports Photography

Sitting here next to a pair of Nike Vaporfly Next% 2 at our entrance, they look enormous. Enormous and incredibly bright. They were an instant success here in Angola with the local runners, so Skechers are definitely on to something. 

The step in is easy and the Speed Beast fits comfortably, although like any pair of Skechers since the Razor 3, just a little too snug for me. 

They are a little wider than the other offerings, but if you have wide feet like me, it might be best to size up half a size. I didn’t get a blister in the 15k I ran in them, but I think I would have if the race was more than a half marathon. The weather conditions probably also had to do with that fact, since we had a dew point of 80F that day and the sun was beaming down on us at the same time. The 4mm drop didn’t give me any achilles’ issues, but at slower paces (more than 7 min/mile) I got the feeling that my foot was sitting at the tip of a huge amount of heel, which is actually true. At faster paces up to around 5:20 min/miles for me, that feeling largely disappears and the shoe starts to shine.

The upper is well made, reasonably ventilated and made of 2 layers of mesh stuck together. 

There are some thin plastic reinforcements around the eyestay and the eyelets themselves and also a strip that goes back from the top to the heel area and coincides with where the heel padding is sewn into the upper. 

The heel padding is fairly minimal, but enough to keep the heel from sliding. 

The tongue is not gusseted and a thin affair kept in place with a loop for the laces near the top eyelets. There is minimal padding in the upper half of the tongue, but I didn’t experience any lace bite. The laces themselves are quite thin and have a little stretch in them. As for the heel cup, there’s no further reinforcement, apart from the padding and the top part of the midsole.

As far as Archfit is concerned, I really appreciate that precious little bit of support under the arch since I had some midfoot issues at the end of 2019 and 2021.


Michael: We’ve long praised Skechers’s Hyperburst midsole compound, but also noted that it hadn’t been iterated on in years, erasing much of the “wow” factor it once had as a supercritical midsole. Enter Hyperburst Pro. Now, Hyperburst Pro was also on the Skechers Go Run Razor 4 (review here), which I ran in but didn’t formally review. I like it much better here. 

The Razor 4 had a bottoming-out problem (basically, you feel like you’re pushing through the entirety of the midsole and through to the ground. No such issues here - the midsole is clearly thick (40mm of stack!), but it’s also sufficiently firm (and enough of it to compress without bottoming out) that you get a quality bounce with no hint that you’re hitting the pavement. I’ll address it more in the Ride section below, but I really think the midsole is the star of this shoe.

And the plate? Well… I’m not wowed. As described further below, this shoe absolutely has bounce and cushion, but it doesn’t really have a propulsive feeling underfoot. There’s spring, but it’s upwards, rather than forwards (which makes it a great trainer - just not exactly a racer!).  

Joost: Ahh, Hyperburst. My king of foams is being phased out in favor of this new blend of the year. Like Michael said, a change was about to come, since the wow factor had largely disappeared. That happened more because of the competition, who released increasingly good supercritical midsole foams. Also like Michael, I did run in the Razor 4 without reviewing it formally. They didn’t feel as magical as the Razor 3 to me and also gave me blisters right on my first run in them. 

Not so here. The sheer amount of Hyperburst Pro in the Speed Beast makes it a very different experience, but you have to speed up to really feel the rebound. You also need to put a decent amount of power into the midsole to really feel the effect of the winged carbon infused plate and like Michael stated, the rebound is more vertical than forward oriented. It probably plays an important role in stabilizing the 40mm of Hyperburst Pro at any speed. The Hyperburst Pro itself feels somewhere in between New Balance FuelCell and ZoomX in terms of firmness to the touch.


Michael: Really great outsole here, kudos to Skechers - whether you race in this shoe or not, it’s hard to find a plated, race-ready shoe that also has a durable outsole. Skechers has added one here, and I ran it in both snowy and post-snowy (i.e. very wet and melty) conditions with absolutely no issues. This would be a no-brainer for winter and early spring workouts, when you can expect some standing water and slick elements. It’s that good.

Joost: Ever since Skechers went with GoodYear outsoles, they’ve been outstanding, both in terms of durability and grip. This one is no different. As far as geometry goes, the forefoot has some longitudinal cutouts in the outsole and part of the midsole. This might add a little lateral flexibility, but more importantly probably leads to some weight saving. 

In the heel, there’s a much more pronounced V-shaped groove going from the heel to the midfoot (which in turn is disconnected from the forefoot). This adds some decoupling and stability in the heel area.

Sally: I echo what Michael and Joost have said: this is a great outsole. It does everything right, from durability to grip to flex to quiet footstrike. And no gravel catchers! Goodyear rubber quality and simply a very top notch outsole. Well done, Skechers.


Michael: First, I want to highlight the negatives (because hopefully it’s clear that this is quite an excellent shoe!). For me, the most obvious shortcoming is the 4mm drop. I’m not usually a “drop matters” shoe person (the 4mm AlphaFly v2 works just fine for me, for example) but I think it’s a miss in the Speed Beast - it accentuates that lack of forward pop, and instead keeps the shoe in that middling between-trainer-and-racer nebulous. 

My second knock is that plate that as I mentioned above - Skechers has packed a carbon-infused H-Plate here, and while it does seem to provide some rolling sensation, it’s not nearly as effective as it was in their previous Speed Elite (very aggressive) or Speed Freek (medium aggressive) options. Actually, of those three, I do think the Speed Beast is the all-around best option yet - it’s just not quite the top-shelf marathon racer that I was hoping for and as Skechers says upfront it is not really intended to be for faster paced runners .

Of course, I’ll quickly reiterate the good, too - the cushioning here is superb, and I think we’ve all come around to appreciating that it isn’t a plate that makes the shoe, but the interaction between the midsole foam and the plate. Skechers has done that well - not perfectly, but adequately - here. Moreover, I do think this shoe works very well for a long run or “medium run” trainer - for someone like me, who often runs in that not-quite-easy-not-quite-tempo pace range, it’s quite a valuable pick. I just wish it looked a little more… subdued.

Joost: The ride of the Speed Beast is quite different at different speeds for me. At easy paces, I felt the whole time like I was really at the tip of a very big shoe (as I wrote in my first impressions) and could really feel the enormous heel weigh me down a bit. 

When picking up the pace, this feeling changed completely and when racing (although at far from top speed due to the weather conditions), I could really feel the rebound of the midsole/winged plate combo. 

Photo Credit: ADN Sports Photography

It still didn’t feel like a real race day shoe, but it gets really close. It’s probably a great option for those longer runs with some tempo work included. I can’t really feel the HyperArc doing its magic, but that might be because of my footstrike or gait.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Michael: I’m happy to report that Skechers is improving its lineup, and in my book, the Speed Beast is probably its best new offering in the past year. I had been slightly dubious - after seeing the same ol’ Hyperburst rolled out, model after model - that we wouldn’t see too much iteration come out of the Skechers Performance group. Fortunately, the Speed Beast erases that doubt. Is it perfect? Clearly not; it’s not a shoe I would race in, and even for those who want to, I think it could stand to have a slightly more aggressive platform (plus, I think the look is a little extreme, though that’s personal preference). But the Speed Beast is very good - my favorite Skechers in quite a while! - and a great sign for things to come.

Michael’s Score: 9.4/10


Joost: I agree with Michael. The Speed Beast is the best Skechers I have had on my feet in quite a while. Hyperburst Pro works well in this shoe, and while it’s a little too big and heavy for a real marathon day option for me, it’s a really great training shoe and could be a great option for as Skechers says the about 4 hour marathoner.  For those on a budget, at $185, it could easily be both racer and trainer. 

The upper seems sturdy enough and the GoodYear outsole should last you many hundreds of miles. I’m very curious about the shoes Skechers has lined up for us this year. If the Speed Beast is any sign, we’re in for a great lineup. Unlike Michael, I’m going with my Angolan friends in the looks department. They look amazing!

Joost’s Score: 9.3/10 (9.5 Ride - 50%, 8.5 Fit - 30%, 10 Value - 15%, Style 10- 5%)


Watch's Sam Speed Beast Initial Video Review (7:08)

6 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Skechers Max Road 5 (RTR Review)

Sam: Softer and less stable, no real contest here for me, Speed Beast is Skechers new max cushion trainer/racer option. While essential to stability I wish for a flexible nylon type plate in both as the carbon infused H Plate is a bit too rigid and disconnected from the rest of the midsole.

Puma Deviate Nitro (RTR Review)

Joost (M9.5 in Both): I’ve refrained from reviewing the Deviate Nitro 2 so far, because the tongue in both shoes has completely fallen apart after 125 miles (admittedly, with copious amounts of sweat and heat while I was on the equatorial island of São Tomé in November.) The ride of the Deviate Nitro 2 felt a little more square to me than in the first version, making it an almost excessively stable shoe for me. The Speed Beast is a lot more fun to run in.

NB FuelCell SC Trainer (RTR Review)

Michael: The SC Trainer was a non-starter (well, technically I did run it, but it didn’t last more than a few attempts) because of a strange, heel cuff chafing issue that plagued many of us. Still, I ran enough miles in it to know that (somewhat perversely) the Speed Beast is a softer, better cushioned, perhaps even more gentle option, whereas the SC Trainer has a firmer, more distinct rocker to it. They’re both really quite nice trainers (if your ankles can handle the NB), but I actually prefer the Skechers!

Joost (M9.5 in both): Unlike Michael, I’m a huge fan of the SC Trainer. I’ve got well over 700 miles on my pair and they’re still going strong. I also don’t agree with Michael in the softness department. The Trainer feels a lot softer to me (maybe it’s the new vs 700 mile old foam). I definitely agree with the rocker. The rocker of the trainer is what HyperArc could be. My vote goes to the New Balance.

Saucony Shift  3 (RTR Review)

Michael: The Speedroll geometry in the Shift line was (to me) a game changer in what a max-cushion trainer can be - propulsive and fun, while not sacrificing support underfoot. The Speed Beast is a bit more lively than the Shift 3, and undoubtedly a faster performer. I do think the Saucony is softer, if that’s what you prefer, but I’d take the Skechers head-to-head.

Joost (M9.5 in both): The Shift 3 never felt like an easy shoe to run in for me. I had the impression I had to labor to get it moving. This doesn’t happen at all with the Speed Beast. I would have to size up in the Skechers for longer runs though. The NB fits well in my size.

Sam: Agreed with Michael. I too found the Shift 3 quite laborious to move along (especially at slower paces)  and have no such issues with the Speed Beast.

Nike Invincible Run 3 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Speed Beast is lighter (close to 1 oz lighter) and livelier than the Invincible which with its new outsole and lasting board becomes a more stable trainer than its wilder early versions. I do miss the higher drop of the Invincible for slower paced efforts where I tend to heel strike more.  While ZoomX is still super fun, airy and springy it is much more masked away by the outsole and geometry in the Invincible than the bouncier Hyperburst Pro in the Beast.

Endorphin Speed 3 (RTR Review)

Joost (M9.5 in both): The only Speed 3 I’ve run (and haven’t formally reviewed yet) is the Shield version, which is not the greatest option in the tropics. I do enjoy running in it for runs up to an hour.. After that, breathability really becomes an issue in the heat. It also has a friendlier ride than the Speed Beast, but for efforts between fast training and racing, the Speed Beast is the better option.

Tester Profiles

Michael is a patent attorney and graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). Michael’s PRs include a 67:43 half-marathon (Chicago Half-Marathon) and 2:22:18 marathon from the 2022 Chicago Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.

Joost is a Belgian in his 50s living in Luanda, Angola, Africa, where he faces the heat, humidity and general chaos to run anything between 60-100 miles per week. He was on a mission to run and win in his age group in the 6 marathon majors and got his 6th star at London in 2023 with a 2:26:10 PB in Berlin in 2019 at 51. He recently won his M50 AG at the 2022 Chicago Marathon in 2:29 and in 2023 won his AG in London in 2:36. Only Boston, so far, escapes him for an AG win at the 6 Majors. He ran in primary school, but then thought it would be a lot cooler to be a guitar player in a hard rock band, only picking up running again in 2012, gradually improving his results. Please check out Joost's coaching service here

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 was Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range, if he is very lucky, training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run or nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Women's Speed Beast available now from Skechers HERE

Men's coming March

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

Your purchases below help support RoadTrailRun and are much appreciated. Thanks!

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Europe only: use RTR code RTR5ALL for 5% off all products, even sale products 


Men's and Women's SHOP HERE
  • 10% Savings Every Day*  5% Back in Rewards Cash
  • Test Run Shoes 90 Days Worry Free
  • Crazy Fast, FREE Shipping

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's and Women's SHOP HERE


Find all RoadTrailRun reviews at our index page HERE 
Google "roadtrailrun Shoe Name" and you can be quite sure to find just about any run shoe over the last 10 years

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by Following RoadTrailRun News Feed

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun


70's Teen said...

How does the ride compare to the similarly-stacked Asics Superblast?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review! Now if you could stop that retard from reviewing ski boots this site would get back to awesome.

JP said...

It's always interesting to see different opinions .. like for the SC trainer in the comparison above.
Personnally, I'm with Joost, I think SC trainer can be a great shoe depending on what you want.
It's a quite unique shoe, there is nothing like it on the market currently.
It's super stable compared to Prime X Strung (both shoes being over the 40mm stack height limit).
I fixed the heel cuff chafing issue by cutting a small piece of the heel cuff near the tongue.
I still prefer the Tempo Next to these shoes for summer but both are great during colder months when the Next pods get stiffer due to colder temp.

Anonymous said...

so is there anywhere to buy these in a mens size 12 or have these shoes been shelved because the 'beast' name was similar to a brooks shoe?