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Skechers Gorun Razor Elite Multiple Tester Review

The Skechers GOrun Razor series has been a unique set of shoes. Light and fast enough for racing but with enough cushioning for training (for many), rumors started to emerge that a plated Razor was in the works. Your patience has been reward as yes, the Skechers GOrun Razor Elite is finally here. This shoe is a racing specific Razor that shaves off a full ounce of weight off while including an updated upper as well a carbon infused forefoot plate. The Razor Elite is light, fast, and very quick at toe off when pushed to racing paces.  

 

 
 
Specifications (per Skechers Performance)
Weight: 5.1 ounces (Men's 9)
Measured Weight: Men's Size 10: 5.8 oz
Stack Height: 27mm/23mm
Drop: 4mm
Classification: Carbon Plated Racing Flat


HIGHLIGHTS

Matt: The much awaited plated Razor has arrived. The Razor Elite features a forefoot carbon infused plate, a very light synthetic upper, a 5.1 oz weight (men's size 9) and plenty of HYPER cushioning for fast running and racing. This combination  provide a unique 5k/10k racer for most with enough cushioning for protection from miles and enough responsiveness to go really fast.

David:
It is here! The Razor loses more weight and adds responsiveness in the creation of the Razor Elite. This carbon plated racer is a low profile and low stack racing flat that offers really good cushioning for such a low profile racer. The shoe is essentially the baby of the Speed Elite and the Razor with the non stretch mesh upper of the speed elite and carbon plate, and the midsole build of the Razor. The creation is a wonderful blend of responsiveness and protection for both road racing, and dare I say track racing for 5k/10k. 


 

FIT

Matt: The fit of the Razor Elite is very snug and fits very true to size if a hair short in my size 10 (mens). The slightly short fit breaks in with a few miles as the forefoot is quite snug and features a toe guard to reinforce the anterior aspect of the upper. This is a little uncomfortable at first for someone with a normal to slightly wider forefoot, but it did break in. This is a 5k/10k racer after all. I had some rubbing initially on my medial and lateral does, but despite the intensity of the workouts did not develop blisters. The midfoot and heel are also snug and despite no heel counter or major overlays, actually locks the foot down quite well. I was very concerned initially as there was no last eyelet to lace lock the shoe, but did not have too many issues with slippage once my nerves calmed down. The upper does take some time to break in, but seems to stretch just a bit to accommodate my foot. For those that want a little more room, a half size larger would not hurt. For those that want a locked in, racing fit, stick with your normal size. The heel does have additional padding despite having no heel counter. This does provide some extra cushion and lockdown, although all of us noticed that this padding seemed to bleed into our socks during longer efforts.

David:
The fit of the Razor Elite is very dialed in. There is no wasted space in the construction. The shoe is overall snug throughout, though still allows some room for swelling. The heel has no heel counter like in the Speed Elite, but is reinforced well enough to still hold its own with structure and stability. The midfoot hold is really good. The toe box has enough room for toe splay with a toe guard up front. There was some rubbing and pressure noted on the toe guard when running fast and with longer mileage, but this never resulted in significant irritation. Overall the Razor Elite is true to size with a more snug performance fit. If someone wants a little more room to play with a half size up should still work. One random thing is the coloring of the shoe has a tendency to bleed onto your socks after a lot of sweat gets into it... not a deal breaker, but do expect some stains on your socks (no stains after wash). The tongue is incredibly light with a thin suede and built in breathing holes scattered throughout it. The laces are stretchy and helps with lockdown.



RIDE

Matt: The ride of the Razor Elite is similar to the Razor + and Razor 3, with some subtle differences. The lighter weight is one of the most notable differences as is the extra pop from the forefoot plate. There is a 4mm drop, however this was less noticeable with the plate and toespring as there is a very smooth and fast toe off present. As the plate is carbon infused, it isn't impossibly stiff, but certainly adds rigidity to the forefoot. With the combination of plenty of HYPER midsole height, the plate really engages when you run faster. This gives this shoe some versatility with slower or uptempo pace, but again it shines most when running fast. The heel, with the HYPER and heel bevel, provide a smooth landing and transition. The plate combined with the lighter weight and slight rocker provide a fast, aggressive, yet still cushioned ride. The HYPER provides plenty of protection underfoot and does not bottom out no matter how hard you hit the ground. The HYPER isn't the most bouncy foam out there, but is certainly responsive and fun. If you are running easy, the shoe will go easy with you. If you want to run hard, that is where the Razor Elite will shine. The lighter weight becomes especially evident at higher speeds as it feels like there is nothing holding you back.

David:
The ride is really similar to the Razor with some subtle yet prominent differences. The heel and midfoot is really similar with the forefoot being the main difference. The forefoot plate is initially a little hard to feel, but really comes alive as the pace picks up. The hold on the foot with the updated upper and lacing makes the shoe very dialed in and you can feel every aspect of the road underneath you in a good way. The 4mm drop is true, but the transition points on this shoe are very quick and make the shoe feel fluid and not aggressive. I am really happy with the forefoot plate when the pace heats up, for that was my one problem with top speed running in the Razor + and 3 Cloak. For how minimalist the stack height is compared to other carbon plated racers the shoe is actually really forgiving and soft. Protective with subtle responsiveness. The shoe also only weighs 5.1 ounces in men's 9 and almost feels weightless when picking up the pace and letting the legs fly. The Razor already gave the runner one of the most fun rides out there, but the plate gives a snappiness to the shoe that is sublime. Fun and fast are the first two words that come to mind for me. The ride isn't quite as bouncy as some of the other "super shoes" out there but is much lighter and natural feeling while keeping the weight significantly down. I feel like I am rambling but I want to compare this to the Speed Elite real quick. The shoe feels similar in softness and protection but with a less prominent forefoot plate and toe spring. The shoe feels less aggressive and more flexible, yet equally responsive. Where the Speed Elite thrives off of rhythm and toe spring, the Razor thrives off of individual pushing and feedback. In a 5k situation I'm leaning Razor Elite. 10k distances and longer would just depend on what the runner likes in their ride in racing situations.



STABILITY

Matt: The Skechers Razor Elite is a neutral shoe an does not possess any traditional stability measures. However, the geometry and plate do provide very gentle guidance. The plate in the forefoot creates a very stable toe off and forefoot without being rigid. I tend to perform extremely well with forefoot stability and found the plate really stabilizes the HYPER (similar to the speed elite). The heel bevel is actually offset to the lateral side and does a great job of gently guiding in rearfoot landings. There is no heel counter and the upper is extremely flexible. However, the upper locks the foot on the platform surprisingly well, especially with a lack of an additional lace hole. Overall this is a stable ride for such a lightweight neutral racing shoe.

David:
The Razor Elite only weights 5.1 ounces and doesn't have any formal stability measures. With that said it is really stable. The upper is locked in and doesn't allow any translation of the foot in any situations. The outsole is sticky to the road with Goodyear and offers great traction. The forefoot has a carbon infused plate that stabilizes the forefoot through toe off. The bevel works well and the shoe has just enough toe spring to keep the transitions smooth and quick. You're not going to find many shoes this stable at that same weight class. This is a minimalist build racer and arguably the most stable thing you can find for under 6 ounces.




SPEED

Matt: Of all the shoes that I have tried in recent years, this is the fastest. The Razor Elite is light, very responsive and meant to go fast. The HYPERBURST cushioning does provide enough underfoot to be used during short warm ups and cool downs, but the shoe overall is meant to go fast. I have used this shoe for sprint work, fast intervals and tempo runs. It shines most when hitting faster paces, although has enough cushioning for longer races. The plate in the forefoot engages most when you get up on your toes, making the Razor Elite best for mile, 5k and 10k races. There is enough cushioning for half marathon racing, but some many need a but more structure and cushioning over longer distances like the marathon (where the Speed Elite shines). The cushioning is plenty as mentioned before and is forgiving when you fatigue.  For me, this will be my 5k racing shoe whenever in person races return (here in Southern California).

David:
I said earlier that fun and fast are the words I would use. I have taken this from everything sub 4 minute mile pace up to 8 minute mile pace. I had an 8 mile tempo run where I alternated miles between 5:12 and 5:50 miles and the shoe felt smooth and fluid the entire time. I did track repeat 1k's at 4:35 pace and 300m at sub 60 second paces and the shoe responded. This shoe is quick. When you want to push it it is there and ready. This is potentially the easiest shoe to kick in at the end of a race for me (outside of track spikes). I recently did a 5k time trial and the 2 shoes I had in mind were this and the Nike Alpha Fly Next%. These are two very different shoes, but this is just a testament to where this shoe lands in terms in racing capabilities. With how minimal the shoe is, it would really depend on what a runner likes for longer road races like half marathon and full marathon, but the shoe can make it the distance just like the original Razor. 


DURABILITY

Matt: The addition of GOODYEAR rubber has dramatically improved the outsole durability. I have almost 30 miles on my pair and have little wear even on the posterior lateral heel. The HYPER tends to last a while and has not compressed at all with almost exclusive hard workouts. The upper has zero signs of wear and despite being so thin, is still supportive and without wear after the number of miles on them. I did have some ink bleed from the heel into my socks during a few workouts, so do not wear white socks with these. Outside of that, this is probably the most durable racing flat that is so light and has a plate. I expect this to last at least as long as a lightweight trainer and far more than most 5k-10k racing shoes.

David:
The Razor Elite is one of the most durable minimalist racing flats you will come into contact with. It's basically the Razor 3 midsole with a Goodyear outsole and some modifications in the upper. It will last through training miles, workout mileage, and racing mileage. Expect normal training shoe mileage, which is much more than most racing flats will give you. 


THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

Matt: The use of a forefoot plate is quite efficient not just for propulsion but from a biomechanics standpoint. During the gait cycle, the foot needs to loosen up during landing to facilitate shock absorption and stiffen up during toe off to provide a stable place to push off from. The Razor Elite features plenty of soft HYPER cushioning in the rear to provide a nice place to land (if you are a rearfoot striker) and the plate at the front facilitates that stiff stable place to toe off from. There are obviously many other variables at play here, ie the many other joints of the lower extremity that contribute to shock absorption, stability and propulsion. Which is why looking at the foot in isolation misses the large picture of how things actually work. However, matching the plate location or characteristics to the changing functions of each part of the foot is a great way to facilitate mechanics rather than force them. This is something that is very present in the literature right now regarding stability, as we often find the foot will keep doing its own thing no matter how your try to force it. Although this is just theory right now, it would be interesting to research the effects of a full vs partial plate on lower extremity biomechanics. Or stiffening up certain parts of the shoe, which is really what plates do.
 


RECOMMENDATIONS 

Matt: This is my favorite 5k-10k racing flat. Skechers Performance has done a great job overall with carefully crafting this shoe. My only suggestions would be to open up the toe box just a bit, add an extra lace hole for security and fix the upper bleeding issue. Outside of that, I think this is one of the best 5/10k flats on the market.

David:
The Razor Elite is a phenomenal racing flat. Every detail is well thought out and executed nearly to perfection for it's purpose. I like the upper change and overall construction, but do feel that the toe guard could either be thinned or the shoe slightly lengthened. I didn't have any chafing issues, but did feel the pressure up front especially in late miles in longer efforts. Other than that... this is quite the competitor to other racing shoes at 5k/10k distances.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: For those seeking a super light 5k/10k racing flat with a carbon infused plate but still want some cushion, the Skechers GOrun Razor Elite is the shoe for you. At only 5.1 oz with a forefoot plate, responsive HYPER cushioning and a snug fitting minimal upper, this shoe will go fast. This is not a high stack height racing shoe, but a moderately cushioned, plated, fast shoe for those who want to test themselves at shorter distances. Many people will be able to take these for longer distances, but most will find these most at home over the mile, 5k and 10k. This is a welcome hybrid of recent technologies to provide something unique over shorter distances.

David:
This is a racing shoe for those who like the lightweight racing flats that seemed to have disappeared. This is essentially a hybrid of the traditional ultra light road racing flat and the new soft carbon plated racer. At only 5.1 ounces the Skechers GO RUN Razor Elite offers a truly elite experience when picking up the pace at shorter distances. It is definitely capable of longer race efforts, but will depend on what the runner personally likes at those type of endeavors. This is what happens when the Razor loses a full ounce off of weight and adds a carbon plate while keeping the same midsole. The hype is real but just be ready for a minimalist racing flat. This is a very different shoe than the other high stack cushioned racers out there. Ultimately this an elite racing flat that caters to those who like a lightweight minimalist build.

GRADING
Matt
Fit                    9 /10 (Snug but secure ride. Toebox definitely on the snug side and upper bleeding into socks)
Ride                  10 /10 (Typical Razor ride but faster. Responsive cushioning, smooth landing and toe off)
Stability            9 /10 (Plate stabilizes HYPER foam very well, particularly in forefoot)
Speed               10 /10 (Extremely fast, light and responsive at sub 6 oz. Mile, 5k and 10k shoe)
Durability        10 /10 (extremely high durability for such a light racing flat)

David
Fit                     9/10 (rubbing and pressure on the toe guard, bleeding on the socks, otherwise good)
Ride                  9.5/10 (pressure on the toe guard at running longer distances, otherwise SMOOTH)
Stability            10/10 (Find me another shoe under 6 ounces this stable.)
Speed                10/10 (You could run a road mile in these. Track 5k. It's fast)
Durability         10/10 (Again... find me a sub 6 ounce shoe with the lifespan of this shoe)

Total Score: 96.5% (M: 9.6/10  D: 9.7/10 )

Thanks for reading!

TESTER PROFILES:
Dr. Matthew Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 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 shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up.

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 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

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 35-50 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently we have 29 miles (Matt) and 20 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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