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Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper Multiple Tester Review

    After years of rumors and sneak peaks, the Skechers GOrun Speed Elite HYPER is finally available to the public. This shoe has a special place in my heart as I used a version of it during my first (surprise) marathon at LA 2019 and during the 2019 CIM race without any issues (despite being under prepared for both!). A full length HYPER BURST midsole combined with an awesome visible carbon infused forefoot winglet plate and a super comfortable and minimal upper. Of the carbon fiber shoes out there, the Speed Elite HYPER is on the faster end of the spectrum.  With enough aggressiveness for 5k racing but plenty of stability and cushioning for longer races, the Skechers GOrun Speed Elite HYPER is a unique shoe.


Specifications (per Skechers)
Weight: 6.0 oz (6.3 oz men's size 10)
Stack Height: 23mm / 19 mm
Drop: 4mm Drop
Classification: Racing Flat



HOW DOES IT FIT?

     Matt: As with most racing flats, the Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper fits on the snug but consistent side.  In my size 10, these fit very true to size.  Unlike our review of the Speed 6 (REVIEW) you will not need to change sizes. The translucent mesh is breathable but wraps and supports the foot well.  There is a little bit of give at the forefoot but not too much with the mild reinforcement around the toebox.  Overall the fit is snug up front but not narrow.  The midfoot opens and has a bit more room. The thin laces do lock down the midfoot and foot in general very well. However they are on the thinner side, so don't pull too tight or they may cause too much pressure. The heel has no heel counter at all but is reinforced with additional cushioning around the heel collar to secure the foot.   The heel fits on the narrow side, which does help lock the foot in.  I have not needed to lace lock any of the versions of this shoe, including the final production model. For with sensitive achilles or heels looking to avoid hard heel counters, this is the perfect shoe for you.

     David: The Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper fits true to size with a snug spike like feel brought to the road. The Speed Elite only comes in full sizes at this time. As someone who wears half sizes, I had to come up to a size 10 from my normal 9.5. Luckily I did not have any problems. The laces and tongue do a good job of securing the foot when laced down, even a half size down. They are on the thin side, so just make sure to not make the top overly tight to avoid any potential chafing. The heel collar is a continuation of the mono mesh upper with some padding and a slight curve to prevent achilles irritation. This does a good job of providing just enough of a hold on the achilles while still allowing a little movement. With the half size up the toe box is a little roomy but still snug enough for a racing shoe to prevent any translation of the foot with awkward clippings or landings.


HOW CUSHIONED IS IT?

    Matt: For such a light racing shoe, the HYPER BURST does a great job of providing cushioning. The heel especially feels responsive and cushioned. HYPER BURST in this amount (ie racing shoe) does not feel overly soft but certainly is cushioned and protective. The lower to the ground ride provides a balance to the cushioning. Even with the lower ride, the amount of cushioning never feels like it bottoms out, even towards the end of marathon distance races or runs. The cushioning level in the forefoot is more firm thanks to the forefoot carbon infused plate. The increased firmness up front will take some getting used to if you are a forefoot striker. For heel strikers, the HYPER BURST in the heel provides plenty of cushioning and the carbon fiber plate rolls you forward nicely as you transition forward.

     David: At 6.0 oz, it will be hard to find a racing shoe with this much cushioning and responsiveness built into it. The cushioning does vary throughout the components of the shoe. In the rearfoot/heel is where the most cushioning is built in with HYPER BURST midsole, with the firmer forefoot featuring the carbon infused winglet plate. What I like about the this shoe is that there is no wasted space in cushioning. The shoe is just cushioned enough to take you the distance, so it has a forgiving landing but is not overly plush. I have done a 10 mile tempo and the shoe felt great cushion wise the entire way. I feel more than confident I can take the shoe into those 26.2 mile efforts. The forefoot still has some cushioning to it, but the winglet plate can definitely be felt. As someone who does land more midfoot/forefoot, I noticed the plate nearly immediately. It is most likely my foot strike, but I seemed to feel the lateral portion of the winglet most when landing on the ground. As Matt stated, it might take a little getting used to, but once I was about 2 miles in I forgot about it and fell in love with shoe.


HOW DOES IT RIDE (TRANSITION)?

     Matt: For those that love the Razor 3 but want a lighter and more stable ride, this is your shoe. The ride is cushioned in the heel but with a fast toe-off as you hit the forefoot plate. The 4mm drop is not as evident as one would expect.  I can transition from higher drop shoes to the Speed Elite without issue, which may be due to the stability of the plate and toe spring. As with most Skechers shoes, there is a gentle rocker to the sole.  The heel has plenty of a bevel, providing smooth landings and the forefoot does have enough toe spring to accommodate the stiff plate. The plate provides a smooth ride in the forefoot and helps push you forward. It takes very little energy to moving forward in this shoe thanks to the toe off.  This makes it very easy to get into a rhythm, which allows this shoe to extend itself over longer distances.  So overall the ride is very smooth for such a low to ground feel, however it can be aggressive in the front when you need it to be.

     David: The Speed Elite features an incredibly smooth ride and will work for a lot of people. The 4mm drop does not feel as aggressive as it may initially sound due to how Skechers has built this shoe. The heel is beveled and has the most cushioning in the shoe, which will help those with a heel striking pattern feel more welcome in a racing shoe this fast. The midfoot is nearly seamless with the nice drop into the forefoot plate. The forefoot carbon infused winglet plate is very stiff but also feels smooth thanks to the toe spring build into it. From wherever you land, the shoe has build a rolling rocker nature built into it and really helps with establishing a rhythm. I think the Speed Elite has good amount of ground feel thanks to the plate and firmness up front. The aggressiveness of the shoe is perfect for pretty much anything half marathon or longer (could make a case for 10k). I will talk more about the use of the shoe in the speed section of the review.



HOW FAST IS IT?

  Matt: The Skechers GOrun Speed Elite HYPER has a very fast ride.  The lightweight ride (6 oz) combined with the aggressive forefoot plate make for a great 5k shoe, and the smooth ride makes it great for marathon racing. Most people will use this shoe for the 10k to half marathon and beyond with a bit more experience. This shoe feels best at all paces and the plate becomes more apparent the faster you go. This is different from most other plated racers (minus the Hoka Carbon Rocket and the New Balance 5280) in that the shoe isn't overly cushioned. There is enough heel cushioning to be forgiving over longer faster miles, but the plate in the forefoot is aggressive enough that when you get up on your toes, it feels like a track spike for the road. It is not common to see a shoe that is smooth enough for longer races but aggressive enough for middle distance races. I have used this shoe from the 5k all the way to the marathon successfully and it provides a different ride at each distance. During intervals and sprints, the plate shines and it is easy to get on your toes.  For longer tempo runs, steady states or longer races, the HYPER BURST midsole comes into play for protection.

     David: For a marathon designed racing flat, this is about as fast as it gets. I made sure to really test this shoe among varying paces, and this is what I found. 10 mile progression at 5:44 average with 5:30 finishing; amazing. The cushioning and responsiveness held very well and the rhythm was very easy to establish over the road. Then I took it took it to the track running 4:55, 4:45, and 4:30 pace over varying distances. The shoe felt good at controlled paces (10k ish) but did start to feel like a little too much shoe at the 5k paces (though it will run the pace just fine). For 10k and above, I think this shoe is a great option, and if someone likes a little more cushion on the shoe, then it will also work for 5k. From 10k and down, it will depend on the type of the runner. The shoe is light enough to go run a mean 5k in, but usually people who like to really turn on the jets over 5k like a lower to the ground aggressive shoe. Staying within the Skechers Performance line, this is where the Speed 6 Hyper fits in. Thanks to the hyperburst midsole cushioning, and the aggressive carbon infused winglet plate, this shoe is crazy versatile and can race 5k to marathon for those who like cushion, but I would lean more 10k/half marathon to marathon.


HOW STABLE IS IT?

     Matt: Thanks to the full width forefoot carbon fiber plate, the Speed Elite HYPER is one of the more stable racing flats. Although there are no true stability measures, the plate along with the forefoot EVA encapsulation of the HYPER does a fantastic job of stabilizing the forefoot and preventing any frontal plane motion. This is further stabilized by the EVA side walls underneath the plate the encapsulate the HYPER in the forefoot. These act like very subtle posts and because they are on both sides of the shoe, serve to guide rather than force you in any direction.  I generally need some stability and I have used this shoe during both of my marathons without issue. For those that need tons of heel stability, this may not be your shoe given the lack of heel counter and softer HYPER BURST in the heel. However, there are subtle raised medial and lateral sidewalls of HYPER in the heel, which does add to stability and lock down.  For those that need stability in the forefoot, the Speed Elite HYPER is the most stable lightweight racing flat design on the market.

     David: I was really surprised to see how stable this shoe is. The winget design of the plate seems create a nice guiding motion through the center of shoe and prevents any frontal plane rotation in either direction medially or laterally (inside/outside). The heel is "stable enough" which works well for me. There is no heel counter and slight heel shank in the shoe, complimented with medial and lateral walls of HYPER BURST midsole. So the instability of no counter and shank, is stabilized by the walls. I really love this design, but for those who need a lot more heel stability built in the shoe, this may be bad news. For those who need forefoot stability, look no further because the winglet plate and side walls really stabilize that foot while still allowing natural motion.


HOW DURABLE IS IT?

Matt: The outsole of the Speed Elite HYPER features Goodyear rubber in forefoot and heel with an exposed HYPER midfoot.  Durability is not perfect as I usually wear through the heel in 50-60 miles.  However I have taken versions to >150 miles and they still perform well even when I chew into the HYPER midsole.  The midsole remains very resilient and the plate loses very little pop even with time. This is a racing shoe and is not the most durable out there in terms of outsole wear, however like most Skechers shoes, the midsole will continue to last even when you burn through the outsole.

David: 15 mi, 3 on track

David: Durability is not perfect, though this shoe is designed for PR racing. If only used for special race day treats it should last you some time. With 15 miles on the shoe so far, the GOODYEAR portion of the outsole is still holding up good, with some wear beginning to show on the HYPER portions of the outsole (to be fair, tracks destroy outsoles). I could see this shoe lasting a few solid marathons and halves with the projection of 150 miles from Matt above pretty accurate in my books if used on the road. HYPER BURST has held well in this shoe so far and has held well in other models as well. With the addition of the plate, I don't see this smooth ride or midsole breaking down anytime soon.


THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

    The carbon infused forefoot winglet plate in the Skechers GOrun Speed Elite HYPER is similar in design to the Speed TRL (REVIEW). However, the Speed Elite has a far stiffer and stable forefoot even with the full length HYPER midsole. Like the TRL, the plate extends so far medially and laterally it is visible from the outside of the shoe. In regards to plate stability, physics is key. The wider a platform, the more stable it is. This combined with the closer to the ground ride as well as the EVA encapsulation of the forefoot (but not too close) is what contributes to the highly stable ride in the forefoot, which is very important for efficiency of motion during the propulsion phase of the running gait. The EVA encapsulation is very interesting as it acts like very subtle medial and lateral posts in the forefoot.  These are not very firm, so they provide further stability and guidance through toe off. This provides a wonderful balance for the softer HYPER and will allow a larger variety of runners to use this shoe due to additional stability. Overall, this is an incredibly stable racing flat and I am very impressed with the design utilized in the final product.

   The lack of a heel counter is one of the highlights of this shoe for me. As someone with sensitive calcani (heel bones), finding a racing shoe without an aggressive heel counter is rare. The Skechers GOrun Speed Elite HYPER does this by still having padding around the heel collar (which does help lock the heel in although minimally), a great lacing system that locks the forefoot down, slightly raised medial and lateral HYPER midsole sidewalls around the heel and a snugger fit. I have had no chaffing issues or problems turning using this shoe and part of this is the sidewalls as well as the stability from the plate. This is a great example of why not every shoe needs a stiff heel counter. Some people do very well with these devices for stability, others will continue to have excessive foot motion with them. As we see more companies moving away from posting for support, the use of sidewalls has increased (as seen by Brooks, Nike, Adidas, Hoka and others). This can be utilized for guiding motion as well as helping to lock the foot into the shoe. It is exciting to see companies try so many new methods of stability, fit, lockdown and more which provides something for everyone. People are different and even foot mechanics within individuals may be different.

Several of the prototype version

RECOMMENDATIONS/WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

    Matt: The current design of the Skechers GOrun Speed Elite HYPER makes it my favorite racing flat to date. The forefoot carbon fiber plate makes for an extremely stable ride up front. The lack of any heel counter takes all pressure off my calcaneus (heel bone) while still providing a good lock down (I am biased in that I believe heel counters are overrated and there are better ways to stabilize the heel). The weight is very light while providing enough cushioning for my biomechanics up to the marathon. My only issue is that I wish there was more Goodyear rubber on the outsole for durability.  Although I have taken several pairs into the 150 mile range after chewing through the outsole, a little more rubber coverage might add a little more durability and traction.

    For those looking for a super fast, stable and surprisingly cushioned 5k to half marathon shoe for most, the Skechers GOrun Speed Elite HYPER is going to be one of the fastest out there. For those used to more minimal rides, the elites will be able to take this to the marathon and beyond. A slightly snug upper without a heel counter still provides a solid lock down while a carbon fiber infused winglet plate provides a high level of propulsion and stability up front. I am excited to see this come to market and highly suggest trying on a pair if you can. In the age of overly cushioned shoes, the balance of cushioning and speed in such a lightweight shoe is fantastic.

     David: What a time to be alive. With all of the new technology and advancements in footwear, this is another shoe that will be on the "top shelf" of the racing game. As with everything, there are always small things that could be looked at with the microscopic eye. I only have 2 small recommendations for the shoe. I think the shoe is light enough that it could get away with a full contact outsole to increase durability a little bit and the other is on the lateral portion of the winglet plate. The plate seems to be pretty prominent on the lateral aspect and is can be felt especially when the pace heats up. It's not enough to be a deal breaker though and is still an amazing marathon flat on the market.

    For those looking for a racing flat with a little more substance to tackle the half or full marathon distance while still not giving up responsiveness or stiffness, this is a great option. It feels like a marathon track spike, which doesn't make too much sense until it is on your feet.  The shoe is cushioned, but not overly plush. It is a true racer in every aspect of the word and I would highly recommend giving it a try if you see it in a running store.


GRADING

Matt: Fit/Upper        9.5 /10 (-.5 for snug forefoot, bonus for security without a heel counter)
Ride/Midsole  10/10 (HYPER and plate combo amazing)
Stability           10/10 (Stable ride, especially in mid to forefoot)
Speed               10/10 (Fast at whatever pace you want)
Durability        8.5/10 (-1.5 for exposed HYPER midfoot, still decent for a racing flat )

David:
Fit/Upper        9.75 /10 (-.25 snug forefoot but good half size up, bonus for no heel slippage)
Ride/Midsole  9.75/10 (combo of HYPER and plate is great, landing more firm on lateral plate)
Stability           10/10 (VERY stable forefoot, surprisingly stable heel w/o counter or posting)
Speed               10/10 (for a MARATHON flat, its the real deal, but can still tackle 5k)
Durability        8.5/10 (-1.5 for exposed HYPER midfoot, bonus for midsole/plate durability)

TOTAL: 96% (M: 96, D: 96)

TESTER PROFILES

Dr. Klein is a 145 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k, 1:11:11 for the half marathon and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-90 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up.  IG handle: @kleinrunsdpt

Dr. 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. 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.

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
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 35-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 120 miles on my first pair, 82 miles on my second pair and 43 miles on my third pair (Matt), 15 (David) and 25 miles (Nathan). 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, 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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