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Skechers GORun SPEED TRL HYPER Multiple Tester Review


Trail racing shoes are a confusing bunch.  For those used to running on the road, many trail shoes sacrifice lightweight for protection.  Often trail shoes classified as racing shoes are quite heavy and may weigh as much if not more than daily trainers for the road.  There were a few exceptions to this (and by few we mean 2-3 at most) but now a new contender has entered the field.  The Skechers GOrun Speed TRL HYPER brings the incredible midsole material and Speed design to the trail.  A go fast racer over trail, grass and even road to trail with plenty of protection for long distances, our team had a blast putting this shoe through its paces.


Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 8.0 oz (men's 9)
Stack Height: not provided
Drop: 4mm
Classification: Trail Racer



HIGHLIGHTS

Matt: The Skechers Speed line comes the trail.  With a HYPER BURST heel, an injected nylon forefoot plate, great ground feel, awesome traction and a secure heel fit.  The Skechers GOrun Speed TRL HYPER is a true trail racing shoe that can still take you the distance.  This is a shoe that go as fast as you want on the trails while still providing enough protection for daily training.

David: The biggest highlights of these shoe come from the speed and ride of the shoe. Featuring a hyperburst heel and ULTRA FLIGHT/Injected nylon forefoot, the shoe is crazy responsive in the forefoot and smooth from heel to toe. At 8 ounces with a 4 mm drop, the SPEED TRL is a shoe that really wants to run fast, but is also okay with slowing down a little if you want it to. This shoe is incredibly versatile.

Nathan: This trail shoe stands in a class of shoes that is rare to find. Light, fast, responsive, and protective trail shoes. This shoe packs a fun ride that is more versatile than it may seem at first glance. Despite it's stripped down nature, it can handle almost any surface and most speeds for short and long distances.

FIT

Matt: The Skechers GORun Speed TRL Hyper fits fairly true to size in my normal size 10.  The heel and midfoot fit on the wide side for a faster shoe and the toebox, while it does stretch after a few miles, tapers a bit.  Despite the fit, the foot is locked in quite well by the Dynamic Heel-Lock system in the rearfoot.  A similar system found in the Speed XCR and XCS (review), this provides a great lock down without excessive pressure on the heel.  The TRL also features an asymmetrical tongue, which is integrated very well into the upper.  It further enhances the lockdown around the midfoot without causing excessive pressure.


David: The Skechers GORun Speed TRL Hyper fits true to size with a spacious toe box for a racing shoe. The shoe features the TPU mono mesh upper and heel lock system that is seen in their other new racer the XCR and XCS. The mesh breathes surprisingly well and keeps out moisture better than a lighter mesh upper. The Heel lock system does a great job of maintaining foot position and preventing slippage. One thing I noticed with the collar of the shoe, is that even though the heel is locked in nicely, the soft collar expands slightly. Because of this (though rare), I have gotten small twig fragments that make their way into the shoe this way. The mono mesh upper also seems to have a crease point in the medial portion of the forefoot near the seam that may make the shoe feel a little rigid and foldy (less fluid), but this seems to lessen with more miles. That may be my only criticism of the fit and upper, overall it great.

Nathan: The GORun Speed TRL Hyper fits true to size. There is ample room in the forefoot, but the heel lock system and lacing around the midfoot keep the foot very secure. The tongue is attached 3/4 of the way around, which helped not only with security of the foot, but also keeping small rocks from creeping in. If you haven't experienced it yet,  the mono mesh upper is firm upon first wear, but settles in over time and is extremely breathable. Despite how thin it is, I also found that it was protective against sticks and other elements that hit my upper when on trails. For a shoe that is more of a racing trail shoe, the fit is rather traditional, yet very secure.


RIDE

Matt: The ride is very unique both for Skechers and for a trail shoe.  The midsole is fully HYPER in the rearfoot, providing nice cushioned and responsive landings.  The forefoot features ULTRA FLIGHT and an H-shaped injected nylon plate for stability, protection and propulsion.  The forefoot is firmer, but protective.  The ride is fairly close to the ground, so proprioception is high.  However, the combination of HYPER and the forefoot plate provide plenty of protection over long miles.  The shoe has a little more weight in the forefoot thanks to the ULTRA FLIGHT and plate, so many may feel like there is a little nudge to land farther forward.  However, the HYPER rearfoot is very forgiving and responsive, especially when running fast downhill.  The Speed TRL HYPER does have a decent rocker design, especially in the rearfoot, so landings and toe are are especially smooth.


What surprised me was that the GORun Speed TRL can handle door to trail outings.  While excessive running on the road may put the outsole nubs at risk for early wear, I have used these for 14 mile and 20 mile (accidentally) road runs and the sole, while firm in the forefoot, works decently on road.  With the HYPER heel, the GORun Speed TRL can handle some road outings, but would not be my first choice for road only.  For trail running it is on the top of my list.


David: This may be one of the most innovative rides out there. The shoe can run fast, slow, technical, and everything in between. The hybrid midsole is a chance that Skechers took that pays off in this shoe. When racing, the shoe has great ground feel and responsiveness with the ultra flight and nylon plate forefoot midsole.  Over the course of an ultra, technical course, or even some trail halves it is very difficulty to stay on the forefoot. This is where the hyperburst heel/midfoot midsole saves the day. When tired, descending a climb, or just a heel striker, the hyperburst midsole creates a cushioned and smooth transition into that responsive nylon plate. Even when you are tired you feel fast and motivated by the shoe. The ride itself does lend more to the firm side, but totally capable of running on roads in between trails or during transitions as well. I have done 6 milers all road and it just feels like a firmer trainer, whereas that firmness comes more alive in the trails. This is definitely a trail shoe, but it can also go on roads if needed and that is nice.

Nathan: The ride of this shoe is so unique, I don't even know where to start. Let's start with the drop: 4mm. Because of the rocker sole, when I put these shoes on and simple stood in them, it honestly felt like the shoe had a negative drop to it. This definitely changed when transitioning to running, but felt more like a zero drop shoe. That said, the full hyperburst heel made heel strike more than possible, and actually felt a bit cushioned. Then comes the transition to the forefoot. The rocker sole makes the transition smooth, and by the time you are at the midfoot, you are riding on ULTRA FLIGHT and a nylon plate. The transition to the more firm material leads to a responsive, quick, stable, and protective toe off. The ride was consistent at all speeds, and only became more responsive at higher tempo.

STABILITY

Matt: The Skechers GOrun Speed TRL is a neutral trail racing shoe.  I was initially concerned about the narrow midfoot design but found that from midfoot forward the Skechers GOrun Speed TRL is extremely stable.  The injected nylon forefoot H-Plate provides gentle guidance up front and feels very stable.  The plate does extend into the midfoot, which helps to provide a little stability over the slight narrowing there.  This is a fairly neutral shoe though, particularly at the heel.  Luckily the rocker role does help transition the runner forward and the firmer sole further provides stability.


David: This may be the most nimble stable neutral racing shoe (I know, lots of conflicting words) out there. The nylon plate creates an innate rigidity and stable forefoot when landing on it whether it be sand, rocks, or grooves. The shoe doesn't have much torsional give, which is really nice for a trail shoe. The lugs create a good deal of traction and have helped me with steeper turns in single track trails. Due to the hyperburst midsole in the heel, heel strikers may feel a little less stable than described above, but luckily they designed this shoe to have a rocker quality, and so that will save the stability ride a little bit. For a neutral racer, I am happy with the stability on trails. 

Nathan: The Speed TRL Hyper is a neutral racing shoe. The thing that does make this shoe feel more stable on rocky terrain is the nylon plate and the wider toe box for a racing shoe. Otherwise the shoe does not hold any specific stability mechanisms, which is typical for a racing shoe. I found that this shoe rode best on less rocky dirt surfaces (or crushed gravel trails), grassy trails, and even did quite well on the road. Given its bend towards speed, this would not be my go-to for technical trails.


SPEED

Matt: I used the Speed TRL HYPER for my unprepared attempt at Mountain Racing at the Mount Baldy Run to the Top race (4000 ft elevation gain over 6.8 miles).  I managed a top 10 finish which I credit a great deal to these shoes.  On uphills, the Speed TRL HYPER is one of the lightest trail shoes around and the nylon forefoot plate helps propel you forward and upward.  On downhills, the HYPER heel provides both protection and responsiveness.  I feel totally comfortable running 5:30 pace miles on XC courses as I do running fast on uneven terrain.  The lighter weight combined with the security of the heel lock also makes this shoe incredibly agile on difficult terrain.  I have run a 4:40 mile downhill and was completely comfortable.  This is an extremely versatile shoe and would be my first choice for any trail race or run.  To be honest, it has my go to shoe for every trail run since I received it.


David: The SPEED TRL is incredibly versatile. At 8 ounces the shoe can be fast, slow, nimble, and comfortable all at the same time. I was curious to test out the shoe at faster paces and was able to run consistent 5:20-5:30 miles in cross country style courses and upper 5 minute miles in tempo like efforts. In trails I've gotten it to high 5 and low 6 minute pace throughout single track and winding trails as well.  Thanks to the hyper heel, when I started getting tired it took the burden of the landing and helped me maintain that responsive feel through the plated forefoot. This is as fast as a true trail shoe gets.

Nathan: I had a blast trialing this shoe. I ran a casual run with a friend at 9:30-10:30 min/mile for over 10 miles, and also did tempo runs at sub 6 min/mile. Felt great in both scenarios. I was surprised at its versatility in terms of speed. Could easily work for training runs as well as your racing days out on the trail.


DURABILITY

Matt: The use of GOODYEAR rubber in many Skechers Performance shoes is drastically improving the outsole durability.  Despite a 14 mile and 20 mile run on roads (which I thought were going to be trail), the GOODYEAR outsole has remained intact despite almost 70 miles of use.  There is some  wear on the outsole lugs and the three non-GOODYEAR lugs are trashed, but overall the outsole is doing well.  The upper despite being very dirty, has no signs of wear despite all the aggressive miles I have put on these.  As these are trail racers, I would not normally expect to get more than 300-500 miles out of these, but these are holding up so well some people may be able to push past that mark. 

David: The GOODYEAR outsole and use of lugs creates a very durable outsole for the new trail racing shoe from Skechers. Running through trails, rocks, and even roads, it really shows no signs of breaking down at just shy of 40 miles. The plate in the forefoot helps preserve the ULTRA FLIGHT foam, also with no signs of breakdown. The Hyperburst foam in the heel and midfoot also is preserving the ride and not breaking down either. One region that may be vulnerable though is the medial portion of the midfoot. This part of the hyperburst foam is exposed, and when running in sharp rock environments, it may get cut at a little (this happened to mine). This does not change the ride or the integrity of the shoe though, it just might be nice to have it covered in future versions of the shoe.

Nathan: I've been enjoying Skechers' improvement in outsole durability (maybe excluding that of the MaxRoad 4 Hyper). The GOODYEAR outsole not only provided good traction on the trails, but it has held up very well. I've had no issues with the HYPERBURST heel or nylon plate changing and the ride feels just as good, if not better, than day 1. Some of the exposed areas of foam on the outsole (primarily the interspersed lugs in the forefoot) have seen some wear, but nothing that has compromised the integrity of the shoe or poses long term issues.


THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

I am a big fan of the speed and stability provided by the H-Plate design.  The Skechers GOrun Speed TRL Hyper utilizes an specially shaped plate that provides a high level of stability in the midfoot forefoot.  I believe (but have no data to prove this) that this design provides both propulsion and mild resistance to lateral motion in both medial and lateral directions.  The plate is surprisingly large and extends from the posterior midfoot all the way to the end of the forefoot.  Given extensions along medial and lateral sides of the sole, there feels like In a way, this creates a somewhat similar design to the guide rails seen in a few other brands, but without extending past the midsole and without having to be classified as a support shoe.  The GOrun Speed TRL is not a stability shoe by any means, but the level of guidance it provides has been high over long fatiguing runs.  Particularly those who like forefoot stability will enjoy this shoe.

-Matthew Klein PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT


RECOMMENDATIONS 

Matt: The only recommendations I have have are focused at the front of the shoe.  I highly suggest a little less taper at the toe box to give a little more space for swelling during longer races.  I also would consider changing the sole to a full HYPER BURST midsole.  The firmer forefoot works very well, but I really enjoy full length HYPER soles for racing like the Razor 3 HYPER (review) and Speed 6 HYPER (review soon).

David: My recommendations for the SPEED TRL are pretty minimal. I would like to see the collar surrounding the ankle to have less expansion (so nothing gets in the shoe), a more fluid mesh in the forefoot/seaming so the shoe doesn't feel like it is folding, and to have the hyperburst midsole that is exposed covered.

Nathan: For what this shoe is made for, I think it hits the mark in almost every category. Two small recommendations. The first may be more personal preference. As referenced, the 4mm drop with the rocker sole make this feel more like a 0 drop shoe (again, which some may enjoy). I'd love to see this shoe with a 6 or even 8mm drop while keeping the rocker shape. The second would be to synch up the collar around the heel slightly to keep more small rocks out. I found it loosened over time.


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: For those looking for their next trail racing shoe or for the road runner transitioning to trail races while still wanting a light fast ride, the Skechers GOrun Speed TRL Hyper is for you. A true racing flat for the trails that still offers enough protection and toughness for longer miles.

David: Anyone who wants a fast racing flat like shoe for the trails or lightweight shoe to train in trails. The shoe is highly versatile, but definitely lends itself more toward the specialty of racing or faster training. 

Nathan: If you've been enjoying trail racing and want something that can run like a performance trainer/racing flat but still handle high milage, this is a great shoe to add to your rotation. This shoe can function as a road to trail shoe and provide the versatility for workouts, racing, and training.

GRADING
Matt
Fit                    8.5 /10 (-1.5 for tapered toe box and extra rear room.  Fantastic heel lock system)
Ride                 9.5 /10 (Fast, responsive, but versatile ride.  -0.5 for only half HYPER sole)
Stability           9 /10 (High level of stability from H-Plate, -1 for narrow midfoot)
Speed               10 /10 (This is one of if not the fastest trail racing shoe)
Durability        9 /10 (-1 for lug wear, upper doing very well despite aggressive use)

David
Fit                     9/10 (Collar expands and may let twig fragments in, forefoot has a rigid fold at seam)
Ride                  10/10 (Regardless of type of foam, its fast and transitions well for all foot strikes)
Stability            9.25/10 (Hyper heel takes some stability, no posting, but lugs and plate save stability)
Speed                10/10 (Incredibly fast, workouts in dirt/grass, fast in turns and technical terrain)
Durability         9/10 (Exposed hyperburst prone to tears in rocks, lack of lugs in midfoot)

Nathan 
Fit                     9/10 (-1 for stiffer upper and loosening collar)
Ride                  8/10 (-2 for rocker sole combined with 4mm drop, high marks for smooth and responsive)
Stability            9/10 (-1 for narrow midfoot)
Speed                10/10 (so fast for a trail shoe)
Durability         9/10 (some wear of the exposed lugs, midsole receiving highest marks)

Total Score: 92% (M: 9.15/10  D: 9.45/10 N: 9/10 )

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.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
PhD Candidate APU: Rehabilitation and Movement Science
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Skechers Performance for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 35-50 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently we have 69 miles (Matt), and 36 miles (David) on our pairs. Our 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, we are 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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