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Skechers GOrun Horizon Vanish 2 Multiple Tester Review

      The Skechers GOrun Horizon Vanish 2 continues the lightweight racing line for Skechers Performance. Major updates to this shoe include the inclusion of GOODYEAR outsole in the pod design as well as some touch ups throughout. The midsole utilizes ULTRAFLIGHT which is a much firmer durometer than Hyperburst but is still very lightweight and will work pretty well for those who like a more traditional racing flat feel when they turn up the pace. In an age of high stack height cushioned racing shoes the Horizon-Vanish 2 provides a traditional racing flat feel while still integrating some new age components like beveled geometry and upper integration. 

Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 5.5 oz (men's size 9)  4.4 oz (women's size 7)
Stack Height: 29mm / 25 mm
Drop: 4 mm
Classification: Racing Flat


Matt: The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 is a traditional but wonderfully lightweight racing flat with some new age twists. A snug fitting but super minimal upper provides surprisingly good upper security, while a thick (for the weight) but flexible ULTRAFLIGHT midsole provide a snappy ride. Best for 5k races for most people and farther if you are looking for a snug fitting minimal shoe. The Horizon-Vanish 2 returns with a whole new upper and updated outsole rubber, refining this super light short distance road racer.

The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 is a lightweight racing shoe that will attract the appeal of those who like a minimalistic and firm design that many shoe companies just are not making any more. The shoe features an update to the outsole with GOODYEAR rubber pods and what feel like are some small changes to the volume of the upper. The shoe is an incredibly lightweight, firm, yet flexible shoe that can be used well for workouts and for racing. 


Matt: The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 fits fairly snug/narrow and feels a hair short in my normal men's size 10. This shoe is a racing shoe and certainly has a performance fit. The shoe is snug throughout the full length. The upper has been updated to the mono mesh upper used in the Speed Elite Hyper (REVIEW). It is super light, but very durable. The heel is extremely nice and fits very well. It is snug, but has additional padding and no heel counter. The additional rearfoot padding sits very well against the foot and can be used for sockless running. The midfoot has additional reinforcement that works well with laces to lock the foot on the platform. It is already snug, but can be secured more. The toebox is much more narrow and feels like a track spike. I had to wear thin socks or go sockless to make sure I had enough room and had no issues with blisters despite the snug fit. The toe guard is much more minimal than the original version and feels much nicer against the foot. There is still some structure, but not enough to cause problems. Overall a super light, thin (but durable) and performance (narrow) fit.

The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 definitely has a performance and racing fit throughout. The shoe is normal to narrow width throughout and utilizes a non stretch translucent monomesh upper similar to the Skechers Speed Elite Hyper. There is no heel counter but the material is reinforced nicely enough to keep its structure and still provide heel security. The midfoot feels wider than the previous version but still has a nice hold. The toe box definitely leans on the narrow end, but is just wide enough to not cause any problems for me, though I think it could be widened out a little. The tongue is suede and very lightweight and still comfortable. The laces have some stretch and texture to them and hold up well. There is a toe guard present but the material is a softer felt/suede type material that is more comfortable than plastic but still maintains the shape and volume of the toe box. If you have run in the Razor Elite, this is a pretty similar construction of the upper overall. 


Matt: The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 is a lightweight racing flat meant to go as fast as you can. There is a full length ULTRAFLIGHT midsole that sits on the firmer end throughout. The midsole does have some responsiveness to it and responds very to higher speeds. The ride is fairly smooth thanks to the heel bevel, flex grooves and smooth toe off. The firmer ride, lightweight, snug fit and flexibility make this shoe better for short intervals. Using this shoe for 400s or hill repeats was great, but for anything longer I would want a little more room in the toe box. There is surprising amount of height to the midsole (29 mm / 25 mm), so I have been able to use this shoe for many recovery runs when I want something as light as possible. Most people however will use this shoe for 5k races and short interval workouts.  While the outsole design is supposed to be for flexibility, the outsole pods do provide good traction and durability on both road and very mild trail. This may be a great option for SoCal Cross Country athletes on dirt/road courses or anywhere else spikes may not be the best option. The outsole pods are actually decently durable for a 5k flat, although after 21 miles I am starting to see some normal wear in the posterior lateral heel. Thus I would expect slightly above average durability for a traditional racing flat. There is a 4mm heel toe drop that I almost did not notice. The flexibility and toe spring do unload the calf muslces a bit, but this is a lower drop racing shoe. Overall, those who like super light minimal shoes but want a tiny bit of cushion will feel right at home in the Skechers Horizon Vanish 2.

The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 utilizes ULTRAFLIGHT instead of Hyperburst. So those expecting a midsole feel similar to the Razor or Speed Elite will not find that here. ULTRAFLIGHT is a lot more firm with much less give, but still provides a good amount of protection throughout and decent responsiveness. The shoe does not have much bounce but does have a nicely integrated heel bevel and toe spring coupled with a flexible midsole. This is a very different racing shoe in the Skechers lineup and technically the lowest price point. The design is similar in some ways to traditional racing shoes, but different in that has more flex grooves and flexibility with the pods and a higher stack than most shoes in a similar weight class. The shoe feels really nice in rhythm at nearly all fast paces. The flexibility does take away some snappiness but I was still able to click away 64 second 400's in these just fine on the track. On the road the midsole definitely feels pretty firm and will probably function more as a 5k to 10k type racing shoe for most people. This could be a nice bridge for those who want a lightweight racing shoe for short distance races, but don't quite want to go down to really aggressive low stack options. For me this shoe is a really nice training companion for workouts because of its flexibility and protection, but I'm not sure I would pull this out when there are other shoes like the Razor Elite, Alpha Fly, or Rocket X to pull from to race in. This could very well be a great starter racing flat for someone though. 


Matt: The Horizon Vanish 2 is a neutral 5k racing flat. There are no traditional methods of stability. However, there are a few methods that provide inherent stability. The beveled sole, particularly at the heel does help facilitate forward motion. There is also some mild sole flare laterally and medially. However, the taller midsole with the podded outsole should in theory decrease stability to excessive flexibility. However, the pods seem to provide better traction instead of extreme mobility and there is less flexibility than expected. The pods actually work well on dirt as well, so I agree with David that while this is a neutral shoe, it will be stable enough to use on XC courses for people who need light stability at most.

For being such a lightweight racing shoe the Horizon-Vanish 2 is actually pretty stable. The podular outsole makes the sole more flexible and technically less stable, but ULTRAFLIGHT is much more firm than a lot of the other foams out there and does not deform in shape as much. The rocker design of the shoe is integrated pretty well and keeps the shoe moving linearly. The upper provides pretty decent security overall for as minimalistic as it is. The GOODYEAR outsole also helps with traction and resistance to slick surfaces. The pods almost help a little with traction as well when running on softer surfaces like grass and dirt as well. The shoe loses a little with the pods, but this is stable enough to race cross country races in my opinion. 


Matt: Given the popularity of using other technologies right now, the Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 is now more unique as a very lightweight 5k racing flat. Standing with only a few other models like the Nike Streak LT 4, Saucony Type A9, Adidas Takumi Sen and the Hoka Rehi (REVIEW), these shoes are different in that they sit close to the ground with lower heel to toe drops. With less structured shoes comes a few strength and mobility requirements to ensure an injury free transition if you are not used to footwear like this. There are three basic requirements I have for patients wanting to wear this kind of footwear for the first time. The first is to be able to do 25 full single leg heel raises with good form and controlled rhythm. With a lower drop and minimal shoe, the ankle has a great deal more work to do than many of the highly cushioned, rockered shoes that most people are wearing today. 25 single leg heel raises is what is considered to be full strength/endurance for the calf muslces (manual muscle test) and prior to wearing this kind of footwear. Given the calf muscles are the main contributors to support and propulsion during the running gait and have to provide that much more of each with a minimal shoe (Hamner et al., 2010), I suggest you be able to do AT LEAST that many on both legs. The second requirement is to have at least 15-20 degrees of ankle dorsiflexion. As mentioned, these shoes have lower heel-toe offsets/drop. With a lower drop, unless there is an extreme amount of toe spring, you are going to need to have enough ankle motion to progress over your foot during running. So to avoid compensatory motions in other areas, this amount of motion is important! The final benchmark of the basic requirements is to be able to balance on one leg with eyes closed for 30 seconds. This demonstrates that the individual has good proprioception, or body awareness. Given that there is less cushioning in these shoe models, having good body awareness is key to know where you are placing your foot and how hard you are landing. If you can do all three of those things, you may be ready to run in a shoe like this. The even more important thing is to transition slowly. This type of footwear requires much more work from certain lower extremity muscles. Like anything, if you transition slowly, your body will have time to adapt (without injury).


Matt: The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 fills continues to stay strong as a lightweight 5k road racing flat. While progressive given the super light upper and surprising amount of midsole for such a light flat, I do have a recommendation. Like David, I would like to see a little bit more room in the toe box. There was definitely some pressure on both sides of my toes that did not go away as the shoe broken in. Other than that, given the niche of where this shoe sits, I wouldn't change much else.

Overall the Horizon-Vanish 2 is a great racing and training companion for the price point. My main recommendation would be in the fit and the upper. I think the toe box would still be good to widen out a little since I still felt some pressure both medially and laterally when taking some turns. The shoe is so lightweight there really isn't a way to further reduce weight. 


Official launch colorway for the Horizon Vanish 2. Photo provided by Skechers.


Matt: The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 is a very lightweight, decently flexible, slightly firm and snug fitting 5k racing flat with a bit more midsole underfoot than other options. The upper is very comfortable and minimal and should fit best for those with medium to narrow feet. The midsole is a bit more firm but can pick up the pace for those who want to. The sole is slightly rockered, providing a nice transition as the pace picks up. Given the more minimal design, most will find this best for racing or workouts below 5k distances. However with an appropriate transition and strength/mobility work, some will be able to take this shoe farther. Especially those who have experience running in minimal shoes or racing flats like this. For those wanting a solid racing flat for a $100 that will do well on short road and cross country courses, check the Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 out.

The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 is a firm yet flexible racing shoe that provides a good amount of protection and decent responsiveness throughout. The shoe is pretty unique for its weight class. For being so light the shoe is flexible and protective, but still firm like a traditional racing flat. The Horizon-Vanish is almost like the perfect starter racing flat to introduce to someone who is not familiar with racing shoes. The geometry will work for most people, but the midsole might be a little firm on the road for some. This will be a 5k/10k racing shoe for most people, but a training/workout companion for others (like me). The shoe moves quick though and is a pretty nice racing option for the price point. I think I would still elect for the Razor Elite if the budget allows, but again this is a fun and lightweight racing option. 


Fit: B (Narrow toe box will be best for those with normal to narrow width feet. Great lockdown without use of heel counter and comfortable heel collar)
Performance: B+ (Protective for how light the shoe is. Firm and flexible. Best for short interval workouts and races) 
Stability: B (Average stability, although a fairly good transition and good grip on a variety of surfaces) 
DPT/Footwear Science: B (More stack than normal for a shoe in this category. Geometry works well providing a smooth transition. High quality outsole and upper. Toe box is more tapered than it needs to be.) 
Personal:  B+ (My kind of shoe. Super minimal, but still enough cushion for some miles for those used to minimal shoes. However, toe box is narrower than it needs to be. Would consider for a low key 5k, but faster options out there, especially the Razor Elite (REVIEW)) 
Overall: B (The Skechers Horizon Vanish 2 is a great option for those wanting a minimal shoe or road/mild XC flat for the high school or experienced minimal athlete)              

Fit: A- (Narrow toe box with some creasing near the tongue, otherwise lightweight and reinforced well throughout, lockdown is good)                    
(This shoe is all you, protective, but firm and flexible, this is why I really like it for workouts, but I think there are better racing options out there) 
B+ (ULTRAFLIGHT is firm, GOODYEAR has good traction, geometry done pretty well, pods reduce some stability) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  
A- (For a budget racing shoe, the geometry and midsole integration is actually really good, the outsole is their higher quality GOODYEAR traction, and the upper is similar to the Razor Elite. A solid shoe for the price point) 
(This is a really nice training companion and workout shoe for me, but I don't think it wins me over enough to seriously consider for racing with all of the other options out there. The midsole isn't nearly as responsive as some of the competitors.) 
Overall:  B+ (The Horizon-Vanish is a good shoe, but not a great shoe. The foam is not the most responsive out there but the geometry is smooth and the platform is flexible. For a firm riding racing shoe, I think the protection and geometry will work for a pretty good amount of people. The midsole and snappiness of the shoe is what falls short to some of the other competitors out there)          

Interested in a pair of Skechers Horizon Vanish 2? Check out Running Warehouse hereUsing the link helps support our work at Doctors of Running! Thank you so much.  


Skechers Horizon Vanish v1 - Compare with last year's model!
Asics EvoRide 2 - Fast and efficient Guidesole with a comfortable, daily training midsole
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Thanks for reading!

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. IG handle @kleinrunsdpt

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 to 70 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.

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

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

***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 systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our 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.


Hamner, S., Seth, A., & Delp, S. (2010). Muscle contributions to propulsion and support during
      running. Journal of Biomechanics, 43(14), 2709. 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.06.025

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