Great news! There is a new running shoe mid-sole cushioning technology in town, and this could just take the battle to the likes of Nike, Reebok, New Balance and Asics, to name a few. We are talking about Skechers, and their new Hyper Burst lightweight foam that sits under your foot in the new GoRun 7. The GoRun 7 is also, by far, the company’s best running shoe in a very long time. It doesn’t really hurt the pocket too and is priced at Rs 9,999.
There is a lot to like about the Skechers GoRun 7 at first glance. Skechers has been upping the game in terms of the design for a while now, and this is truly a step forward. The knit upper is right up there with what Nike offers for instance, in many of their shoes. The advantages are almost instantaneously experiences—it is light, offers great breathability and gently wraps around your foot. Gently being the keyword, and this doesn’t wrap around as tightly as you might expect. This is sock-like, but better in a way. The lacing system can help you get a snug fit if that is what you need. The GoRun 7 can be had in the Navy and Lime or the Blue and Orange colorways, and safe to say, both look quite sophisticated with a hint of youthfulness to it. At 221 grams, the GoRun 7 is quite lightweight for a running shoe. It is great to have a lightweight running shoe with absolutely no heft so to speak of.
It is the Hyper Burst foam that I was the most interested in. This midsole has a rather unique cell structure, unlike most EVA soles. There are pods on the outsole for additional cushioning and shock absorption. Since the material is made to expand using heat under pressure, it is significantly lighter too. The foam runs all the way down from the midsole to the outsole, and that is strengthened additionally by rubber pods with insert pillars strategically placed through the entire length of the outsole—these are also matching the color combination of the knit upper, such is the attention to detail. These rubber pods are designed to enhance the grip on uneven surfaces and wet surfaces—we got a bit of the latter since it is that time of the year in North India, and the GoRun 7 simply went about as if nothing has changed. These rubber pods will come in handy if you change direction at speed during your runs, particularly on slightly slick surfaces.
Chances are, you will be left in absolutely no doubt about the hard work and thought that has gone into developing the Hyper Burst foam for the midsole. It is rather soft and springy, and the lightweight nature does mean you can run that much longer without your feet getting tired. One does get the distinct feeling when wearing the GoRun 7 that speed is what really matters in life, but as it turns out, these shoes are equally adept at longer runs and not just short bursts. The responsiveness from the cushioning under your foot is quite noticeable whether you are walking, jogging or running. While the feedback from the running surface filters through nicely, at no point does the harshness of an uneven surface or the jarring impact of a hard landing every really filter through. To be plush yet robust is a very difficult balance to get, but Skechers seems to have got that spot on with the Hyper Burst in the GoRun 7.
But what is the competition? The Skechers GoRun 7 go up against the Adidas Alphabounce 2 (around Rs 9,999) and comes up trumps in almost every aspect. The GoRun 7’s mesh upper offers significantly better ventilation than the seam-sealed upper of the Alphabounce 2, which should be very helpful particularly when running in the warmer weather. The Hyper Burst foam is superior to the Bounce mid-sole cushioning of the Alphabounce 2, at least in my humble opinion, and does the balance between cushioning and responsiveness very well. Nothing at this price point comes close. And last but not the least, the Skechers GoRun 7 weighs 221 grams while the Adidas Alphabounce 2 tips the scales around 340 grams—lighter is better, without any arguments.
The Skechers GoRun 7 is also competing against the Reebok Sole Fury TS (around Rs 9,990). Here also, the GoRun 7’s knit upper would be more comfortable in my opinion than the neoprene upper of the Sole Fury TS, though the material which Reebok has used is certainly better to wear than a thicker and seam-sealed upper. There is a split EVA midsole which has its advantages in terms of flexibility and the Graphlite plate adds rigidity to the entire package as well.
It is hard to find fault with the Skechers GoRun 7. This is one time when Skechers have ticked off everything on the checklist—the design and good looks, reduced weight, a high quality knit upper and a fantastic Hyper Burst foam under your foot. The balancing act has been achieved, quite brilliantly.