Mystery Mountain Marathon

Mystery Mountain Marathon
Post Race

Friday, September 20, 2013

Skechers GObionic minimilist trail shoes

Its been forever since I wrote here....I think I'm going to start back up with this fall's races.
Here's a real quick review of a new trail shoe I was able to test out.

A Nice Ride

Skechers GObionic Trail Shoes

                I would be lying if I said I wasn’t skeptical upon receiving the Skechers GObionic Trail Shoes from my friend Christian Griffith.  As most trail runners are, I am sort of a shoe snob and generally stick to my favorite brand and style.  My favorite brand isn’t Skechers and I don’t usually run minimalist, so this shoe was starting with its back up against the wall.

                Upon my initial inspection, I found a pretty sharp looking shoe.  The upper is fully synthetic material.  I received a pair in a Charcoal/Blue color scheme, which I liked.  I believe there are 3 or 4 more different color schemes available.  I immediately noticed how light they were, which I expected as they are billed as a minimalist shoe.  I also saw a fairly aggressive looking sole.  I immediately couldn’t wait to get them out on some technical trails, although I also had the memory of some painful runs in other minimalist shoes once I put them to work on technical rocky trails. 

                For my first run I chose a short (5mile) rolling trail that had numerous roots and rock gardens strewn throughout.  It was hot and humid.  Upon putting the shoes on I noticed that they were very comfortable.  Skechers touted a ‘Second Skin’ feel to the upper, and they were right.  I kicked the ground a few times, and then off I went.  I hit the trailhead and some golf ball sized gravel and instantly winced.  I had remembered feeling everything underfoot in other minimalist shoes.  I instantly noticed that these felt like some of my more padded and substantial trail shoes that I normally wear.  That made me smile and then I took off.

                Thud!  I caught a root.  Crunch, caught a rock.  I stayed upright, but began to look down at the shoe.  It was then that I noticed the enormous toe box on these shoes.  I am not used to running in a shoe like this, and I was catching things on the trail that I normally wouldn’t.  I forged ahead keeping in mind that I had to pick up my feet a little more, thankfully these shoes are so light that it wasn’t a problem, but I slowed my pace.  Upon completion of the run I loved everything about these except for the larger toe box.  I wondered if I could get used to it.  Otherwise, they seemed light as air with a bunch of cushion for a minimalist shoe.  I also noticed less lower leg fatigue than other comparable shoes.

                I waited 10 days before I used these again, as I had a race the following weekend and didn’t have the guts to try something totally different race day or in recovery.  The next couple of times I wore these I went on longer, but less technical trails.  After the first three miles I got the confidence to really ‘open up’ these shoes, and I flew!  I had no issues with the toe box and I continued to notice the nice cushion.  I also found the sole very aggressive, which I liked.  The material on the upper portion of the shoe acts as a moisture wicking fabric and pulls the sweat away from your foot.  It’s clearly evident as I could actually see the outer getting wet. 

                My final run to date in these shoes came yesterday.  The shoes were broken in by now (about 30 miles), and I chose Jeep roads with a baby jogger.  I never noticed that the shoes I had on weren’t my normal trail shoes.  I literally flew across the trails with no issues.  I REALLY loved these shoes on the fast and flat trails. 

                All in all, I like these shoes.  It is a minimalist shoe for the non-minimalist runner.  Everything I want in the minimalist style; lightweight and aggressive with enough cushion to have a comfortable ride.  I give these shoes my seal of approval, which might not go that far, but at least I am a seasoned ultra-runner.  I don’t know how long it will take me to wear these shoes out, after close to 40 miles they show no signs of wear, but when I do I just might buy another pair.  The shoes appear to be retailing at about $80 bucks, so the price tag isn’t bad either.  Good job Skechers!


Ryan Cobb

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this review, ryan! amazon has the GBT for $40 right now, and i think that based on your comments it's well worth giving them a shot at that price!