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Skechers GOrun 7+ Hyper Multi-Tester Review

The Skechers GOrun 7+ is an incredibly versatile performance trainer receiving a big update in the upper from the previous GOrun 7. The shoe features a circular knit upper, an incredibly plush yet responsive midsole, and a flexibility driven outsole lead with a pod design, rather than full contact outsole.


Specifications (per Skechers Performance)
Weight: 7.7 oz (size 9)
Stack Height: pending measurement
Drop: 4 mm
Classification: Performance Trainer

HIGHLIGHTS

David: Lightweight, responsive, and yet plush enough to tackle a long progression run? The Skechers GOrun 7+ could very well be the answer to all of the above. Weighing only 7.7 oz, this performance trainer can really get it moving while still having enough structure for training. One major highlight for this shoe is a new circular knit upper that breathes well and holds the shoe's structure more intact than the previous GOrun 7. More on that below.

Nathan: The GOrun 7+ is a versatile shoe which has a responsive and springy ride that can handle both pace and distance. A successful upper update is secure and comfortable, topping off a fun-riding midsole. This is a unique shoe in that it may feel plush on step in feel, but it rebounds so well during runs and when picking up the pace.


FIT

David: The GOrun 7+ does fit true to size with an overall snug fit through the midfoot. The forefoot and heel are of normal width and the shoe runs normal length as well. In the original GR7, I ran a half size up, but my normal 9.5 is perfect in the new GR 7+ model. The circular knit upper is a game changer for this shoe. It breathes incredibly well, but still holds the shoe together in a way where the remainder of the shoe stays stable. In the original model, I found the upper had a little too much give to it, making the foot occasionally land awkward or translate under lateral or torsional forces. The GR 7+ also features a tongue rather than a one piece upper through the dorsum of the foot. The tongue holds the foot down better, and does a good job of not putting too much pressure through the top of the foot. I am very happy with this upper.

Nathan: The GOrun 7+ fit true to size for my men's size 9. There is a slightly more narrow midfoot to help with security for tempo days, but nothing that caused any sort of irritation. Plus, the circular knit upper is a wonderful combination of flexible and secure. You will see there are reinforcements to the upper throughout the inside of the shoe, which prevented any stretching over time that can typically be experienced with knit uppers. In addition, the toe box has ample room, and the upper allows for it to accommodate slightly wider feet. The only issue with the toe box is a quicker taper towards the front than needed, which could pinch the toes for some. The thin tongue is very comfortable and stays put during all sorts of runs, both tempo and long distance. This upper is nothing like the knit upper of the Max Road 4 thankfully (I didn't run in the GOrun 7, so I can't compare to that).



RIDE

David: Smooth, fast, and responsive. The GR 7+ features one of the smoothest rides out there. The shoe features a 4mm drop transition and includes a small heel bevel in the rearfoot and features the M strike technology in the shoe. The outsole and midsole are similar to the original GR 7, but I will recap. The hyperburst midsole is plush, yet still very responsive. The outsole features a pod design to contribute to flexibility through all of the rocker points throughout the gait cycle. The result is a silky smooth ride that loves to pick up the pace. In a lot of ways, this is what I was hoping the ride of the MaxRoad 4 would feel like.

Nathan: With the shape of the rocker/beveled outsole being so similar to the MaxRoad 4, I fully expected to have a tough time with this shoe (the MaxRoad 4 was so clunky for me as a heel striker). However, this simply wasn't the case. The first thing I thought when I ran in this shoe was, "all hyperburst is not created equal". The GRR8 and Speed 6 are on the more firm side, the MaxRoad 4 was bouncy yet soft, and now the GOrun 7+ is springy and responsive. The difference in the feel seems to lie within how much hyperburst exists in addition to the outsole pattern. In this case, there is a moderate stack height combined with a very flexible outsole, whereas the GRR8 and Speed 6 have a "full" contact outsole. This combination in the GOrun 7+ produces a soft, springy, flexible ride. The heel bevel did not make heel strike too clunky (although still was slightly abrupt during heel strike given how aggressive the bevel is), but I did still find the design pushes me towards a midfoot strike to smooth out the ride, which is the stated goal of the design and "M strike" (more on this in the "Thoughts as a DPT" section).

41 Miles: David


STABILITY

David: This shoe is definitely for someone who has a smoother strike pattern and intrinsic stability. The hyperburst midsole is very plush and covers the whole length of the shoe. The plush nature makes the foot and ankle work a little more to create a stable environment when running. The pods are more stable than I initially thought, but still is a little less stable than a traditional full length outsole, since the force of landing allows the shoe to contort, move, and shift to the type of ground it is landing on. I was happy that it held up well with turns and still held great ground feel for such a plush midsole.

Nathan: Stability was not the goal of this shoe. The podular outsole creates a lot of flexibility and therefore the need for your stability to come through your foot and proximal stabilizers in the hip. In addition to the pods, the midsole is also soft, which requires more intrinsic foot activation to remain stable. However, there are some things that do help with stability. The first is the upper, which secures the foot well and doesn't allow slippage laterally. Second is the medial and lateral flares in the rear and fore foot. This provides a wider and slightly more stable platform. Finally, the lower stack height gives some ground feel and is more stable, given that the lever arm of the flares is shorter around the talocrural and subtalar joints.

SPEED

David: Identified as a performance trainer, the GR 7+ can get it moving. The hyperburst midsole provides a very responsive sensation, and this is coupled with a very light build of the shoe. Though the ride smoothens with pod design, the more flexible nature of the shoe may slow it down a hair. Don't get me wrong though, you can do tempos and workouts in these shoes. My favorite run to date has been a progression 14 miler that they worked perfectly for.

Nathan: This shoe was so fun to run in. Although it performed really well for a long casual run and a 3 mile tempo for me, my favorite runs were moderate distance tempo and progression runs. There is enough protection for the distance and spring in the midsole (and light weight), which makes it easy to pick up the pace.




DURABILITY

David: If used for long runs and workouts solely, the durability is prime. However if used for daily training, I am unsure it will last overly long. After 50 miles the pods do show signs of wear and I can see it declining further beyond 100 miles. The foam has maintained well and shows no sign of change in the ride. In my original GR 7's, I had lost a few pods after taking the shoes into some trails... thankfully I haven't lost any yet. The pods seem to be on there pretty good, so as long as they stay on there, the durability should last about as much as a lesser durable trainer.

Nathan: The podular outsole decreases the contact area and therefore increases the shear force through the areas that do contact the ground. This lead to earlier wear of the outsole than is typical for me. After 35 miles, I have notable outsole wear, even with the update of the rubber to GOODYEAR. Outsole should last at least 150-200 miles (for me at least...others may not beat up their outsole as quickly as I have with this shoe), which makes this shoe more suitable as a tempo day shoe rather than a daily trainer, which is what it is advertised as. The midsole feels great and has not worn down at all.

THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

If you've ran in a pair of Skechers, you've likely noticed a small logo on the bottom labeled "Mstrike", which stands for their midfoot strike technology. Per Skechers, the "Midfoot Strike technology promotes efficiency in each stride". If you've ran in a pair of Skechers, you've likely noticed that there is unique shaping to the outsole with either a bevel or rocker. The shape of the outsole truly does promote a midfoot strike, partially because landing on the heel with the current shaping is abrupt (as I've noted in this review and discussed in my MaxRoad 4 reivew).


In the last decade or so, partially related to the release of the book "Born to Run" and other factors, there has been a movement towards mid and forefoot running for a myriad of reasons. My goal isn't to dig into this discussion fully (and I do not fall into one "camp" or another on this), but just to examine one aspect. That aspect is the claim that running with a non rear foot strike promotes efficiency. Because of some biomechanical theory, it would seem plausible for this to be the case -- namely that non rear foot striking improves efficiency by 1. decreasing the impact peak during landing which causes increased vibration through muscles/tendons/bones, 2. increasing the sharing of load on the part of the calf musculature, and 3. possibly decreasing posterior horizontal shear force (which promotes deceleration) during landing compared to heel strike.

However, based on the current literature available, this just doesn't seem to be the case. A systematic review and meta-analysis (which examines all available studies on a certain topic and uses statistical analysis to examine the results) that was released in the Journal of Sports Medicine in 2019 studied the impact on running injury, efficiency, and biomechanics when people change their foot strike pattern (Anderson et al 2019). Let's just focus in on efficiency. Pulling together results from 53 other studies, it was found that running economy did not differ between habitual rear foot strikers and non rear foot strikers at slow, moderate, and fast speeds. Additionally, for studies that changed runner's foot strike patterns, there was at least a short term decrease in running economy for runners who were transitioned from a rear foot strike to a non rear foot strike at slow and moderate paces. This decrease in efficiency makes sense, as it changes the demands on musculature, and if you are used to one mode of muscle pattern use, your body will be less efficient in another.

Now...it needs to be noted that 1. despite having 53 studies, there is still limited evidence towards all these things and we will always be learning more and 2. they did not look at long terms changes in efficiency after switching a foot strike pattern. However, given that current evidence shows no difference in efficiency between habitual rear and non rear foot strikers at all speeds, it is likely not worth taking the time to transition for efficiency alone.

This brings me to why I wanted to hit this topic in regards to Skechers. First, I'm not saying they need to abandon their ways, nor are they wrong for designing their shoes in this way. All I'm doing is calling into the question  the claim of "promoting efficiency" and suggesting that there is a world of heel strikers out there (a large majority for that matter, particularly in recreational runners), that are having a less than optimal running experience in their shoes because of the design to promote a midstrike pattern. Maybe something to consider, and I'm always open to hearing more on their rationale to push the M-strike technology. I love to learn.

REFERENCES
Anderson L, Bonanno D, Hart H, Barton C (2019). What are the Benefits and Risks Associated with Changing Foot Strike Pattern During Running? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Injury, Running Economy, and Biomechanics. Journal of Sports Medicine, online journal access.


RECOMMENDATIONS 

David: The GR 7+ is a shoe I am very impressed with. I love the new upper and have minimal recommendations. Though true to size, I think the forefoot could be widened out slightly to prevent rubbing in medial or lateral aspect of the shoe. The other recommendation for this shoe I have is the M strike feature and rocker point position. I find it to be pretty far posterior towards the heel (though still midfoot) where the emphasis of landing and midsole thickness is greatest. The landing can be awkward at times when really turning up the pace because of this. If the rocker point is moved slightly forward with midsole thickness, and potentially a longer more gradual bevel, this may clear this up. Otherwise the shoe is really smooth and a pleasure to run in.

Nathan: There is so much to love about this shoe, and one main recommendation...which is going to contradict(ish) David a bit. This difference is likely due to the reality that I am a heel striker and he is a mid to fore foot striker. Anyway, in relation to what I wrote in the "Thoughts as a DPT" section, I would reconsider the structure of the outsole to make it even more versatile and less rough of a landing for those who heel strike. Reducing the heel bevel would likely do the trick, but I'm sure shoe design is far more complicated than that. One other thing that could benefit this shoe would be decreasing the taper and widening the shoe at the end of the toe box.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

David: The GR 7+ is for someone looking for a shoe they can run fast in for long workouts, but still train in if they have to. The shoe provides a really smooth ride at faster paces and is plush enough to use for really long runs as well. The user of this shoe should be relatively sound mechanically though, for there is not much stability built into this shoe. The new upper is a game changer for this shoe though and I think a large variety of runners will like this shoe and the ride it provides.

Nathan: The GOrun 7+ is a shoe to add to your shoe rotation as a true performance trainer for tempo and longer progression or steady longer tempo runs. It is meant for those with a stable and efficient gait who don't need a stable base underneath. For those who like a softer and springy shoe, this is a light, fun, and comfortable option.

GRADING
David
Fit                     9.75/10 (upper fits very well. Forefoot could be widened slightly to prevent rubbing)
Ride                  9.75/10 (smooth at all paces, though midfoot rocker could be shifted slightly forward)
Stability            8/10 (midsole and pods make the shoe unstable. ground feel and upper help maintain)
Speed               9.75/10 (pod design may take a little speed out, but very fast trainer/workout shoe)
Durability         8.5/10 (foam is very durable, outsole not very. maybe about 200 miles expected)

Nathan
Fit                     9/10 (-1 for taper, high marks for new upper)
Ride                  9/10 (-1 for heel bevel/Mstrike that makes heel strike abrupt)
Stability            8/10 (-2 for flexibility, marks better than MaxRoad 4 due to flares and ground feel)
Speed                9.75/10 (-0.25 for softer ride that decreases top speeds)
Durability         8/10 (-2 for quick wearing outsole, high marks for hyperburst durability)

Total Score: 88.75% (D: 9.15/10 N: 8.6/10 )

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for the DOR Comparison Review: Skechers GOrun 7+ vs. Skechers GOrun 7!


TESTER PROFILES:
Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs of 3:54 1500m, 14:56 5k, 31:06 10k, 1:08 for half marathon. He typically runs 40 to 50 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Dr. Nathan Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 19:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:33 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 8-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon.



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 or Central Wisconsin area, we are currently taking clients for running evaluations.

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 *** 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 36 miles (Nathan) and 50 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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