I tend to do a bit more mileage on the road in the winter and for the past few years I have exclusively been using barefoot-style shoes or racing flats for this purpose. This year I thought I’d experiment with something a little bit more cushioned for longer excursions and I settled on the Skechers GOrun 2 which has received great reviews elsewhere.
Some readers may have spotted something strange in the first bullet point above………. yep it’s the fact that the shoe has an overall heel-to-toe differential of 4mm but it’s actually significantly thicker in the midfoot. This ‘bump’ which Skechers refer to as ‘M-Strike technology’ is designed to promote a midfoot strike and was apparently much more pronounced in the first version of the shoe. This feature was by no means universally popular in the original GOruns so they have reduced it in the V 2.
The shoes on test are actually the GOrun 2 ‘Supreme’, which is more or less identical to the standard version with just a couple of cosmetic changes to the upper that do not make any difference to the performance.
As I have touched on above, for the last few years I have done all of my road work wearing shoes with very little cushioning, like Vibram Fivefingers, Vivobarefoot and Mizuno Wave Universe 4 racing flats. The GOrun 2’s are therefore the most cushioned shoe I have had on my feet for a long time and my experience of them may therefore be a little different to someone who is used to wearing ‘conventional’ shoes .
The GOrun 2’s felt great as soon as I put them on my feet. The interior is very comfortable both with and without socks and I found the fit to be ‘true to size’. Initially, the stretchy material in the toe box took a bit of getting used to and it almost felt like I hadn’t done the laces up tight enough so I found myself playing around with tension quite a bit but I soon got used to this characteristic.
The fit of the shoe is actually quite snug and the forefoot isn’t that wide but the stretch material does a good job of allowing your toes to splay. The rest of the upper doesn’t give much at all so this means you get a secure-feeling shoe without your toes being squished. I think this is a really clever design feature and its gets around the problem of the baggy feeling that you sometimes get with shoes that are designed to promote natural foot function.
The shoes also come with a thin removable insole and other reviewers have discarded this because it bunches up in the shoe. I haven’t bothered using it, mostly because it’s so thin that I can’t imagine it would make any real difference and the GOruns are plenty cushioned for me without it.
Straight away, the Gorun 2’s felt soft and cushy. Even though the 11m stack height in the forefoot is still pretty small when compared to most running shoes, the soft foam provides quite a bit of shock absorption. The ‘Goimpulse sensors’ are supposed to increase propreoception and I was quite skeptical about this before using the shoe. It turns out that their positioning make the lateral edges feel quite a bite firmer than the middle and this gives the shoe a positive and responsive quality without compromising the cushioning.The Goimpusle pods also allow the shoe to be much more flexible than it would be if there was a full rubber outsole.
I was also interested to see whether I would feel the ‘bump’ created by the thicker sole at the midfoot as most reviewers seem to have said that it isn’t noticeable in the GR 2. My foot tends to strike somewhere around the front of my midfoot, although not totally on my forefoot. This meant that my natural stride seemed to miss the bump out to start with, especially when running quickly. However, if I modified my gait to land in a definite midfoot strike, I could really feel the additional cushioning that is provided by thicker section of midsole.
For me, this gait change tends to happen naturally on longer, slower runs so it didn’t cause me a problem under these conditions. However, on shorter, faster runs I felt like I was subconsciously changing my gait to almost look for the bump and I didn’t entirely like the way that this felt. This made me think that other reviewers who have said they can’t feel the bump may have more of a definite midfoot strike than me.
So, whilst I have slightly mixed feelings about the M-Strike for my personal style, it does ‘work’ and I think it would be excellent for natural midfoot strikers looking for a long-run shoe, or for heel strikers who are trying to transition to their midfoot. I suspect It would be slightly redundant for those who run with a forefoot strike. For my tastes, the GR2’s are a bit too soft for racing at shorter distances and I would save them for events above half marathon.
The GOrun 2 has some really innovative technology and I applaud Skechers for doing something different. The ‘M-Strike’ may not be perfect for everyone but overall it’s a fantastic transitional shoe or a long run shoe for midfoot strikers with feet that are conditioned to minimal footwear. They are also available in other colourways that are slightly more understated than my green pair
Do you have any experience of the GOrun 2? Do you have a question? Please leave your thoughts below!
This product was purchased by the author
So, whilst there are a lot of things I really liked about the GOrun 2, I found that after a while I had to accept that I just didn’t get on with the softness of the midsole and the ‘bump’ doesn’t agree with my forefoot/midfoot gait so I ended up selling them. However, I still maintain that they are an excellent shoe for midfoot strikers (or those wishing to develop one).