Skechers GOrun Maxroad 3 Ultra Review

I have mixed history with max cushion shoes.  I understand the concept, but have been wary due to the excessive cushioning almost always impeding my proprioceptive relationship with the ground.  I have discussed some of the biomechanical benefits and limitations previously here, but have found myself feeling sluggish and limited in most max cushion shoes.  The Skechers GOrun Maxroad 3 Ultra has been different.  Different in that I actually get spring out of the midsole, rather than sinking in to it, there is forefoot flexibility, it is lightweight and the toebox shape is great!  I have enjoyed training in this shoe and it has become my go to long run shoe.  The only thing I am confused about is the major name change, but that does not affect the ride quality of the shoe.


Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 8.2 oz
Stack Height: 31mm / 27 mm
Drop: 4mm
Classification: Lightweight Max Cushion Road Shoe


FIT/UPPER

The Skechers GOrun Maxroad 3 Ultra fits fairly true to size, if not slightly long due to the extra toebox room. I typically wear a size 10 and that's what I went with.  The previous Ultra Road (REVIEW) had a toe box that was a little on the snug side. The mesh upper allowed for some stretch, although it took some time.  The fit of the Skechers GOrun Maxroad 3 Ultra is no longer snug, but more voluminous.  The entire shoe fits wider, especially at the toe box.  This is due to both increased room as well as decreased density of the upper around the forefoot.  For those that like toe splay, this is a great shoe.  The heel and midfoot also fit slightly wider and this was definitely a shoe I suggest lace locking.  The knit upper is extremely soft against the skin. There are no major overlays present and the molded heel counter holds the foot well without putting excessive pressure on the calcaneus or achilles.  This is the kind of upper that can be worn sockless easily, however due to the wider fit I opted for socks to take up some extra room.  


RIDE/MIDSOLE

The updated ULTRA FLIGHT midsole gives a very bouncy and soft ride.  Throughout the midsole, the ride is consistent no matter where you land thanks to the single density of foam.  The heel drop of the Skechers GOrun Maxroad 3 Ultra is listed at 4mm and that is exactly how it feels.  Thanks to the M-Strike, the heel bevel and toe spring provide some support for the rockers of the foot, particularly the forefoot rocker.  The forefoot has excellent flexibility thanks to the grooves that run laterally, which combined with the toe spring seems to minimize stress on the achilles while allowing the ankle to roll through the gait cycle.  The sole is very smooth and works best for road.  I have used these on trails, but caution that they work best on road or very well groomed trails.  The gap in the midfoot does a great job of picking up rocks.  So stick to smooth surfaces.


STABILITY

Thanks to the wider last of the Skechers GOrun Maxroad 3 Ultra, the stability of the Skechers GOrun Maxroad 3 Ultra is decent in the forefoot.  The wider front provides both a stable landing and toe off.  The heel and midfoot are not any more stable than other shoes thanks to the very soft and bouncy ride of the ULTRA FLIGHT.  As you get tired, the extra protection feels great to cushion from the pounding.  However, for those needing stability, this is on the neutral end of running shoes and you may need to add an over the counter orthotic or choose something like the Forza 3 (REVIEW).


SPEED/USE

The bouncy and lightweight ride works very well for some uptempo work, but the softer feel detracts from high speed workouts.  Instead, the softer bouncy ride works best for protection over long runs.  The 8.2 oz weight could easily make this a marathon racer for those who want a very lightweight ride with a high amount of cushion.  So it could be used for speed, it is just that the soft cushioning lends itself far more to long mileage.


DURABILITY/OUTSOLE

The durability is fairly average for a Skechers Performance shoe.  While I am seeing far more wear at the posterior heel and lateral sole than I would like, the ride has remained just as bouncy as it was when I first wore them.  I attribute this to the to the ULTRA FLIGHT midsole, which has lasted for extended periods in every shoe I have tried.  Thanks to the maintenance of the ride, I expect this shoe to last for the traditional 300-500 miles.  People who land softer will be able to get FAR more miles out of this shoe, but people who chew through outsoles (like myself) will be in that 300-500 mile range.


THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

From my experience, individuals who change to shoes with thicker midsoles (ie max cushion shoes) tend to change which lower extremity strategy they are using.  Lower extremity strategy refers to whether an individual is using the ankle, knee or hip as their primary stabilizer or area of propulsion.  Each individual may utilize a certain area more than others due to differences in strength, flexibility or motor patterns.  We have discussed the three rockers of the foot (heel, ankle and forefoot) that help maintain forward momentum through the gait cycle.  Thick midsoles usually have poor flexibility and relay on a rockered shape to help artificially provide each of these mechanisms.  This means the ankle can do much less work as the shoe is already doing it.  If these artificial mechanisms are present, an individual may decrease the work from their ankles.


If there is decreased work from the ankle, there may be increased work elsewhere.  This may mean a switch to a knee and/or hip strategy, which could be a great thing for individuals with or recovering from ankle issues.  I have hypothesized that many of my older runner patients have gravitated toward max cushion shoes is due to increased loss of ankle and great toe mobility.  With rockered soles, now they have something to assist them with the forward transition.  I have also utilized this to help with gluteal facilitation and hip strategy use in those having a hard time using their hips.  Sometimes this works very well, other times it may cause an increase in the use of a knee strategy in very quad dominant athletes.  As with human variability, it may or may not work for you.


This does NOT mean you should just switch to a max cushion shoe if you have some form of an ankle injury.  If those shoes work for you that is wonderful, but if you do not fix the problem, it will lead to problems elsewhere.  Rehab your issues, don't just put band-aids on them.


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

The Skechers GOrun Maxroad 3 Ultra is for those who like max cushion on the road but want a lightweight and bouncy ride with a wider fit.  This shoe works great for long runs or long uptempo mileage on roads.  Some may find this makes for a great marathon shoe if you need some extra cushion with bounce over a long race.  The wider fit will lend itself better to those with medium to wide feet or those who like extra room in the toe box.  The soft upper will keep your feet happy and blister free.  This shoe is definitely worth a look, especially to experience the ULTRA FLIGHT midsole.

GRADING

Fit/Upper          8/10
Ride/Midsole    8/10
Stability            6/10
Speed                6/10
Durability          6/10

Total Score: 68%  - Worth a look!

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Dr. Matthew Klein, PT DPT  OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Kaiser SoCal Manual Therapy and Sport Fellow

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Skechers Performance for sending me a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. I put at least 50-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 85 miles on my pair. My views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, I am currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.


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Comments

  1. Thanks for your review! As someone who has been with Hoka since Day One (Bondi B), I could not thank Skechers enough for picking up where the former left off. I'm on the R2 right now, glad that the R3 is NOT different.

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  2. Matt - thanks for the timely review... The Ultra Road 2 is on clearance now (~$60) since the Maxroad 3 Ultra just dropped. Is there a significant enough difference that you'd choose the M3U over the UR2, regardless of price?

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    Replies
    1. Good question Michael, did you get any answer yet? I also use the R2 now and I'm trying to understand any major difference with this newly named M3U. I work in Marketing myself so I understand branding/name changing may sometimes occur without significant product change lol, so which is it here???

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