Skechers GOrun 1 2 3 Comparison Review

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I have been a fan of the Skechers GOrun from their initial availability. In the few years since their introduction, the GOrun has gone through a couple revisions. So it is time to update my opinion and review of the Skechers GOrun. It is also illustrative to take a look at how shoe manufactures change features of their products for the better and for the worse.

Left to Right Skechers GOrun 1 2 3

Left to Right Skechers GOrun 1 2 3

A Tale of Three GOruns

I’m not sure of the exact dates, but to the best of my recollection, the Original Skechers GOrun (lets call it GOrun 1) became available in late 2011. The succeeding version 2 hit the market about a year later. Following the GOrun 2, version 3 became available another year later and is still the current version. Extrapolating into the future, expect version 4 late 2014 or early 2015.

Assigning a model year to each version

  • GOrun 1 (original) 2012
  • GOrun 2 2013
  • GOrun 3 2014
Left to Right GOrun 1 2 3 Label

Left to Right GOrun 1 2 3 Label

I picked up my first pair of the GOrun 1 in late 2011. It was not till late winter spring of 2012 when suffering some foot and ankle troubles that I discovered that the GOrun was, at least for me, the shoe that minimized my feet troubles. My review of the original GOrun written spring of 2012 is available here. It may be worth a quick look at the review for background information.

Left to Right Skechers GOrun 1 2 3 Outsole

Left to Right Skechers GOrun 1 2 3 Outsole

Skechers Magic Midfoot Strike Sole Profile or Hump in the Middle

Skechers really stumbled upon something revolutionary with their midfoot strike sole profile in the original GOrun. I’ve thought a lot about why this worked so well. Here is an idea, when you walk or run barefoot on a soft surface like sand, your foot makes an impression where the heel and fore foot is deeper and the sand mounds up under the midfoot. The original GOrun’s sole thickness mimicked this mounding up under the midfoot. This rocker like sole creates a gentle rolling midfoot strike. It is nearly impossible to heel pound and foot slap in the original GOrun.

The original GOrun feels a bit weird just standing or walking in. It is like standing bearfoot across a log or standing in soft sand. A lot of weight is in the middle of the foot, instead of the heel. The sole profile actually makes it difficult to put weight on the heel when standing. Most people complained about this feeling of a hump in the middle. It made the original GOrun unsuitable for anything other than running such as just walking or standing around. But once you started running, the magic of the hump made running a delight.

Thanks Skechers for Breathing New Life into my Running

I owe a lot of my running resurgence the last few years to the original Skechers GOrun. They allowed me to run again at a period in my life where chronic foot injuries were preventing me from enjoying running. The GOruns coached me into developing a lower impact running style and at the same time strengthened my feet. The Skechers GOrun was instrumental in allowing an aging (mid-fifties) runner like me to start setting PRs and feeling joy again while running.

Comparisons between the Versions

Version 2 Compared to Version 1

 

GOrun 1 Lined Inside

GOrun 1 Lined Inside

The GOrun 2 is significantly different than the GOrun 1. The most noticeable change is the removal of the thick midsole (the hump) under the midfoot. Skechers thickened the sole under the heel and thinned the sole in the midfoot. The GOrun 2 has a much more conventional feel to it.

The GOrun 2’s sole is also stiffer under the midfoot and heel area. The GOrun 2 fits a tiny bit looser and bigger than the original.

GOrun 2 Unlined Inside

GOrun 2 Unlined Inside

The GOrun 2 is also lighter. It looses weight by removing the liner that makes the GOrun 1 so comfy when not wearing socks. The sole is also lighter as it has less dense rubber material on the outsole. The 2’s sole does not wear as well as the 1’s, but the lack of deep lugs make the 2 less prone to the annoying problem of picking up rocks as the 1 suffered from. Unlike the original, the GOrun 2 comes with some very thin removable insoles.

Version 3 Compared to Version 2

GOrun 3 Unlined Inside

GOrun 3 Unlined Inside

At first glance, the GOrun 3 appears similar to the GOrun 2. But there are a some significant differences between them. The first is the upper. Version 3 has a totally different system of overlays and upper stiffeners. The 3 is wider and sloppier in the heel and narrower in the fore foot than the 2. The 3 also has more curvature (sickle like) to the last. This makes it feel narrower as the little toe area of the foot feels crowded. Running in the GOrun 3 rubs the outside of my little toe creating a hot spot.

Insoles 2 Over 3 to Show Size Difference

Insoles 2 Over 3 to Show Size Difference

The outsole is pretty much the same. The 3’s removable insole is wider and thicker than the 2’s. The 3’s insole adds 4mm to the heel height. The GOrun 3 fits tight in the forefoot and loose in the heel. You may want to downsize a half size or so, or definitely try them on before you go buying and assuming they fit the same as the previous versions.

Summary of Version 1 2 and 3 Characteristics

Weight (All Men’s Size 9.5):

  • GOrun 1 (7.2 Ounces)
  • GOrun 2 (6.3 Ounces, 6.8 with Removable Insole)
  • GOrun 3 (6.5 Ounces, 7.2 with Removable Insole)

Fit:

  • GOrun 1 Fits True to Size
  • GOrun 2 Fits True to Size, Stretchy Upper, Slightly Narrower in Forefoot than 1
  • GOrun 3 Fits a Bit Large, Sloppy in Heel, Narrow in Forefoot than 2

Last:

  • GOrun 1 Straight, Foot Shaped, Narrow Heel, Wide at Ball of Foot
  • GOrun 2 Slightly Curved, Less Foot Shaped than 1
  • GOrun 3 Curved More than 2

Flexibility:

  • GOrun 1 Very Soft and Flexible Sole from Heel to Toe
  • GOrun 2 Soft and Flexible but Stiffer Under Midfoot and Heel than Original
  • GOrun 3 Similar to 2 but even a Little Stiffer in Heel

Upper:

  • GOrun 1 Soft Compliant, Lined Interior, Comfy Without Socks
  • GOrun 2 Stretchy Fore Foot, No Liner, Need to Wear Socks to Avoid Irritation
  • GOrun 3 Breathable Power-Prene Mesh, Less Supportive Overlays, No Liner, Need to Wear Socks

Outsole:

  • GOrun 1 Deep Lugs Pickup Rocks, Durable Rubber Pads
  • GOrun 2 Shallow Tapered Lugs Shed Rocks & Mud, Not as Durable as Original
  • GOrun 3 Same as 2

Heel to Toe Drop and Sole Stack Height:

  • GOrun 1: 3mm Drop, Stack: 13mm Heel, 16mm Midfoot, 10mm Toe
  • GOrun 2: 4mm Drop, ?
  • GOrun 3: 4mm Drop without Insole, 8mm Drop with Insole, Stack 15mm Heel, 11mm Toe

Why did Skechers Change the GOrun?

Simple answer: Skechers changed the GOrun, not so much to make a better running shoe, but to appeal to the masses and sell more shoes. It reminds me of Adidas and their “Feet You Wear” shoe design of the 1990’s. It was a running shoe with a convex rocker sole. It was designed from scientific principles, not fashion or feel. Like the GOrun, it felt different or awkward while standing around, walking or when trying them on in the store. But they worked great when running. I set my Ridge Run PR in a pair of Adidas “Feet You Wear” style shoe. Adidas scrapped the “Feet You Wear” concept and went back to making clunky stiff flat soled bricks that felt plush in the shoe store.

Skechers has done the same thing as Adidas did; take a great running shoe suitable only for running and make it into a mediocre running shoe that feels more normal when walking or standing. They took a revolutionary shoe designed by out of the box thinking, tamed it and put it back in the box of convention. I am the first to admit that I may be in the minority opinion thinking that Skechers ruined the original GOrun. There are many that think the GOrun 2 and 3 are vast improvements over the original, I am just not one of them.

If you are looking for a single person to thank for the “improvements” to the GOrun, start with Peter Larsen the run blogger. He claims to have had a lot of input in the design process of the GOrun. But the thanks (or blame) also falls on the consumers that complained about the feeling of the hump. And of course you can credit Skechers for seeking a product that appeals to a wider audience; not just serious runners.

How to GOrunerize any Shoe

Now that the GOrun no longer has the magic midfoot strike sole profile, is there anything I or anyone can do other than to scour eBay for old shoes? Knowing the magic comes from a rockered sole profile that is thicker in the midfoot than the heel or toe, you can try to modify your shoes.

Built up Insole Bottom

Built up Insole Bottom

One thing I have tried that works pretty well is to mimic the GOrun midfoot strike sole profile using a padded insole. I have cut up some old insoles and made a built up insole that is thick under the midfoot and thin under the heel and toes. Putting this modified insole in a conventional shoe makes them feel more GOrunish. This built up insole is not like an orthotic or arch support. It is thick across the width of the foot, not just the arch.

Built up Insole Lateral View

Built up Insole Lateral View

Built up Insole Medial View

Built up Insole Medial View

If you really want to modify your shoe to give it more of a rolling midfoot strike promoting sole profile, you can also grind or cut down the heel area. This has higher risk and requires more skill than just playing with padding an insole. Anton Krupicka made cutting the heels off your shoes famous.

The Sound of Sole Silence

A telltale sign of foot strike gentleness or impact is the sound made by your shoes when running. A great testimony to the efficacy of the original GOrun is that it is nearly silent when running as compared to more conventional shoes. The new GOrun 2 and 3 are quieter than most running shoes, but not as silent as the original. Next time you are at a road race, pay attention to the foot fall sounds you and everyone around you are making.

A Good Feel Skechers Story

Meb Running in Skechers Picture from competitor.com

Meb Running in Skechers Picture from competitor.com

I find the story of Meb Keflezighi, his life and running career rather inspiring. Especially his recent crowning achievement of winning the 2014 Boston Marathon in a PR at the ripe old age of 38 (nearly 39) and in Skechers shoes.

Meb has claimed that Skechers have improved his running and helped him to avoid injuries. He is paid to say that, but there may be an element of truth to it. I find it interesting that another aging American elite marathoner has also just signed up to run in Skechers. As an aging athelete, Meb has had seemingly miraculous success since becoming a Skechers sponsored athlete. It would be doubly miraculous if Kara Goucher experienced a similar resurrection of her career while running in Skechers that Meb has.

Conclusion

Over the years, I have purchased 4 pairs of the original GOrun, 1 pair of the GOrun 2 and 1 pair of the GOrun 3. My favorite of the GOrun trio is the original GOrun. The GOrun 2 and 3 are nice light trainers suitable for the road or track, but they lack the revolutionary midfoot strike sole profile that the original had. I doubt, I will seek out buying the 2 or the 3 and instead will scour eBay for the old original model.

Locally the only place to buy Skechers is Famous Footwear. This looks to be changing as Schnee’s plans to carry them. Although, I have soured on the newer versions of the GOrun, I have been enjoying trail running in the Skechers GObionic Trail.

In my opinion the GOrun 2 was the beginning of the devolution of the original GOrun. The devolution continues as Skechers really screwed things up with the GOrun 3 as they unsuccessfully messed with the fit. The 3 has a curved last, a wide heel and narrow forefoot. What the hell were they thinking?

Although I prefer the GOrun 1 over the 2, I have had some success training and racing in the GOrun 2. With added insoles with the mid foot padded, the GOrun 2 is a decent shoe and is a better trail shoe then the GOrun 1. I actually set a PR on the NS direction in the Wulfman Continental Divide Race using the GOrun 2.

More Pictures

Here are some more pictures that verify the measured weights. I stuck them down here in this post to keep them from cluttering up the data above.

GOrun 1, 7.2 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 1, 7.2 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 2 6.3 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 2 6.3 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 2 with Insole, 6.8 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun 2 with Insole, 6.8 Ounces (Mens 9.5)

GOrun3, 6.5 Ounces (Mens Size 9.5)

GOrun3, 6.5 Ounces (Mens Size 9.5)

GOrun3 with Insole, 7.2 Ounces (Mens Size 9.5)

GOrun3 with Insole, 7.2 Ounces (Mens Size 9.5)

 

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About Bridger Ridge Run

The Bridger Ridge Run blog is an information portal for all those seeking to learn more about the Bridger Ridge Run event held every second Saturday of August in Bozeman Montana. This blog contains notifications about important registration dates and deadlines, history of the event, training advice and other stories and entertaining tidbits of information about the Bridger Ridge Run.
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23 Responses to Skechers GOrun 1 2 3 Comparison Review

  1. Thank you so much for this article. I bought the original GoRuns about 4 years ago and it was after years of foot problems, the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve had in over 20yrs! I’m gutted that the new versions just don’t feel the same as I thought I’d final found my holly grail. Recently bought GoRun 400 but they feel too ‘squishy’ and unsupportive without the bump, but I’m going to persevere and try the insoles tip you suggested. Will also message Skechers to ask for the originals back. Feeling really frustrated by all this though, but it’s some relief to know I’m not the only one.
    Cheers.

  2. Joubert says:

    I’m on my last pair of original GoRun’s 😦 Has anyone found a solution to this problem?? Is there anywhere I can find anymore? I just ran a half in the GoRun 2’s and I had to stop at mile 7 cause of foot pain. I just want the originals again. I’ve also tried a few other shoes. Nothing is the same. I emailed Sketchers today asking if there is anyway I could get my hands on the originals or pay extra to have them made. I doubt ill get a satisfying results. My last option is making the Vibram 5 Fingers my everyday shoe. They are the only other shoes I like, but I have to be careful not to run too much too soon. I have more freedom with the GoRun’s. Suggestions?

    • Dennis says:

      I personally switched to the zero drop Newton shoes and never looked back. Very stable shoe. Altra also makes a zero drop if more comfort is needed. Worth checking out.

  3. DrAG says:

    I also agree with you despite me not using the gorun to run but to work.now i found the gowalk 3 gogomat better in term of cushioning for me.but agree that gorun 1 was better than the rest

  4. I am actually glad to read this web site posts which consists of lots of useful information, thanks for providing these kinds
    of statistics.

  5. Michael says:

    When I discovered Gorun 1, I not been able to run for years, and walking was difficult due to heel pain (fasciitis). After wearing them for a few weeks my heel pain was gone and light running was possible. When they were discontinued I tried 2s, which were terrible. So I bought as many pairs of Gorun 1 as I could find on eBay. I now have 10 pairs, including one that is a half size small (but fine without sox). Hoping they will last me at least until someone comes out with a no heel contact alternative. Very frustrating that Skecher could not see the value in keeping the original line going.

    • Dennis says:

      Michael – agreed !! I sent Skecher a e-mail regarding the downfall of the GoRun and got back a form letter from someone who really could not care less. VERY disappointing. I have since gone to Newton’s Sir Issac shoe, which I believe is in the discontinuation phase. I too have multiple pairs (3) and right now they are at a very cheap price from what retail was (paid $49 for a $150 shoe). Would love some GoRun 1’s again, but that won’t happen.

  6. Adrian says:

    Dude, your assessment of Go Run is exactly the same as mine. Weird to stand in, great to move quickly in, no more knee pain. And subsequent models went back to being bland shoes.

    Thanks for your insights into their evolution and why it happened. I guess money talks.

  7. Tina says:

    Hi read your article
    i am a fan of Skechers too and especially the Original Go Run
    Do you know where I can still get the Original go run shoes?

    • Dennis says:

      I agree. I have looked for the original Go Runs for awhile now and no luck. My originals help cure my planter fasciitis problem and I still wear what is left of them. I am using Newton Issac’s a zero drop shoe, but not as good as the GR1 around the house.

  8. I have been looking for the all-black GoRun1 shoes in my size for the last several weeks with no luck. They were the best, most comfy sneakers I have bought in the last 30 years, when my favorite was Reebok (which are now less cushiony than they were back then). I had worn my GoRuns to work every day for over a year but, alas, the area near the big toe ripped a little, so I need a new pair. If anyone knows where I can by the original GoRun in black, women’s size 8 1/2, please let me know. Next time I will buy more than one pair.

  9. clint says:

    great review. I’m not sure what is up with skechers. Couple years back I got some ‘gotrail’ shoes, and loved them. Then I got ver2, which i think they renamed ‘gobionic trail’ which were… just ‘ok’ but lost some of the original’s magic and had several changes that were for the worse. now, as far as i know, they completely dropped the trail shoes altogether, and there hasn’t been a ver3.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Aha! Massive stash of GoRun 1 shoes here in the Skechers factory outlet – lurid colours, but box fresh:
    http://www.skechersoutletonline.com/mens-skechers-gorun-charcoal-orange-shoes-usa022-p-161.html

    • Thanks for the tip. But, when did the prices jump up so much? For an outlet, these prices are high. The current sales price of $90.00 is now 40% more than the original retail price. Ridiculous…

      Surprising that most of the original colors are still available in a good selection of sizes.

    • Randy says:

      Has anyone ordered and received shoes from this site? It doesn’t look quite legit.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Could not agree more. GoRun1 was the best but then people “bump” complained. From a marketing point of view, I don’t blame Skechers although it is kinda sad. Can a running shoe company not make and continue to make a shoe out of pure integrity? I then tried GoRunRide 2 for long runs. This is an awesome shoe even without as much “bump”. And durability is still pretty good. I have GoRun3 and GoRunRide3. I find they are just as wearable and comfortable. Problem is, absolutely no durability. The stability pods are just too thin. Much thinner than on the Ride2 and Run1. Go figure. I will likely continue to run in Skechers because I cannot find a suitable replacement. I know the sizing and I have to shop online because the choice in-store where I live is pathetic. I am open to suggestions though. Thank you.

  12. Linda says:

    I feel the same way. I loved the first Go Run. I haven’t found a shoe I really like since and I don’t even run! I hate that they pick up every little rock. I found your blog when I was googling shoes comparable to Go Run.

    • Patty says:

      I totally agree. I loved the original GOruns even though I’m not a runner they felt like they were made for my feet. Very frustrated that I can’t find anything similar.

  13. Flaming June says:

    You mirrored my thoughts exactly. In addition to your above mentioned advantages the original also came in extra wide widths! I had experienced one injury after another before discovering GoRuns – and purchased 7 pairs of them. I have now gone through all 7 pairs and cannot find any wide widths on e-bay. I purchased the GoRun 3 (in men’s since no more wide width) – but it left my toes bruised and my foot in pain after 8 miles. I am near tears trying to find a replacement. Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated!

  14. Anonymous says:

    thanks for your post. as I love the GR2, I now need to replace them, as I feel the mileage taking its toll. (how many miles did you get out of them?)
    The GR2 were a great fit for my flat feet, so I will probably buy all remaining GR2’s in our local store, as the 3 won’t suit with a narrower toe box and wide heel.

    happy running steven

  15. Anonymous says:

    I recently bought GoRun original..Earlier I was sceptical about my purchase but now I am glad I made that choice 🙂

  16. Lily says:

    Yes, Skechers ruined GoRun – formerly the best running shoe known to man…

  17. Jason says:

    Great comparison – thanks! I’m about to try out my first pair of Skechers so this was interesting!

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