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Perfect for training and racing with surprisingly good grip. watch out for stones stuck in sole though...
I first ran in a pair of the Skechers GoRun 4 on a warm summer’s day, in an off-road 5k race. Being a runner, I know very well how important it is to break into running shoes before a race or strenuous run in them, however I was pleasantly surprised as I emerged out of the race with not a hint of a blister or any lesion to my feet. I had never run in a previous model of this particular shoe, but after having read reviews of what it’s preceding shoes were like, I saw Sketcher’s had substantially upped their game and produced something special in the GR4. My first run was one of those where everything feels right, my speed was good, I felt about four stones lighter, and my legs seemed to forget it was their job to tire.
Since, I have regularly run in these shoes on every surface possible, and run many different styles (from 200m sprints in track training to 10 mile runs on and off road) and have found the same satisfying results for every one of my runs.
The slightly thicker midsole of the 4th GoRun means it is slightly heavier than the previous versions, at 221g for a size 9. So, despite the slight increase in weight, it is still a pretty light shoe. However, despite the thicker midsole, the sock liner (3mm forefoot, 7mm heel) can be removed to uncover a finished foot bed underneath.
The upper of the GR4 is a compromise between breathability and strength, so has a double layer of mesh, the inner being more open to compliment strength and breathability, and the outer more tight, which does a good job of keeping out any debris or dirt. This outer mesh is effective at keeping out even the finer material you may come across when running (particularly off-road) however it does compromise the breathability of the shoe, and after an hour or two of running a desire to take the shoe off starts to take over. The fabric is stretchy but durable, and moulds well to the foot, and the inside of the shoe is well padded so I’ve experienced no issues with slipping at all.
One big change between this and previous models is the QuickFit Portal, which was introduced as a new filter. This hole in the back helps pull the shoe on quickly, and to me seemed like a fairly unnecessary addition as I imagined that its positioning would cause rub to the back of the foot. However, after many runs over various terrains, not once did I experience this but quite the opposite – this structure of the shoe complimented the fit of it and made it an even more comfortable design.
As earlier mentioned, the GR4 gains a bit of thickness in the midsole, and this gives the sole more cushioning compared to the GR3. I have regularly used these shoes for two/three months now, and little or no cushioning has been lost from the sole and the sun still fells as good as it did on day one. Also, one problem that I have experienced with previous running shoes and has been resolved by Skechers is that there is a midfoot bump which can be uncomfortable when doing speed running.
This makes it a perfect shoe for hard-surface running, and I have found it exceptionally good for training on hard tracks as the shoe grips well to the track surface and gives a smooth, comfortable run.
One problem with the soles of the GR4 is that they seem to have some durability issues, as the rubber is very soft, and if regularly running on tarmac the soles seem to degrade at a considerable rate. Also, I have found the sole of these shoes is fairly rigid, as I personally enjoy running with a more flexible shoe, but this issue is really down to personal preferences.
I am known by friends and family to be very unsure about my purchases, and often I’ll spend weeks debating whether I’ve made the right decision after buying a new pair of running shoes. However, after acquiring these, it took one run for me to realise that for me, these shoes are near perfect. The faults I have found in it are minor, but I find most of the boxes have been ticked by these shoes, and Skechers have produced a fine weapon ready for use in any race or training
“Skechers GOrun 4 is the next generation of transitional running shoes. Designed for speed with innovative performance technologies to promote a midfoot strike while offering cushioning and impact protection.”