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Skechers GORun Razor TRL Multi-Tester Review


After the huge success of the Skechers GOrun Razor 3 HYPER and Razor +, Skechers is expanding the Razor line to the trails. The Skechers GOrun Razor TRL features a full length GOODYEAR outsole with a traditional lug design and a newly designed upper for the trails. The upper is more reinforced with a lot more structure to take sharp turns or potential blow outs. The shoe still comes in a lightweight package that is cushioned and responsive because of Hyperburst. 


Specifications (per Skechers Performance)
Weight: 8.0 oz / 227 g (men's size 9) 6.3 oz / 179 oz  (women's size 7)
Stack Height: 32 mm / 28 mm
Drop: 4 mm
Classification: Performance Trail / Trail Racing Shoe


RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Skechers Razor TRL is a lightweight trail running/race shoe that combines a rugged new outsole and tough upper with the design of the Razor +. The HYPERBURST midsole provides additional softness and responsiveness on both road and trail. The upper is soft yet tough, providing snug yet comfortable security. New flexible lugs provide mild traction on a variety of surfaces. The Skechesrs Razor TRL is a great option as a shorter distance trail racing shoe, a decent road to trail option and will be great for those wanting a little less shoe in a soft package.

David:
The Skechers Razor TRL is a lightweight trail running shoe that can dabble in both training and racing. The Hyperburst midsole is cushioned yet responsive. The upper is much more reinforced than past Razor models. The outsole is now a full length GOODYEAR lug design. Due to some reasons talked about later in this review the Razor TRL seems to be more of an all terrain Razor rather than a stand alone trail shoe for me however. 




FIT (LENGTH / WIDTH / COMFORT)

Matt: The Razor TRL fits true to size in my normal men's US size 10, although the toe guard makes it feel slightly short. The upper fits snug from heel to toe, although the mono mesh and polyester reinforcements do stretch. The forefoot does taper thanks to the sturdy but flexible toe guard. This is noticeable, takes some time to break in and can cause some irritation with longer runs. The upper is very comfortable against bare skin except at the toe guard, which is why I would suggest wearing socks. The midfoot has additional overlays that lock the foot in very well. The tongue is free floating except for being locked in by the laces and is very thin. I have had some slight slippage at the tongue with turning, but it evens out fairly quickly. The upper is padded very well for a shoe of this style (performance/racer). There is a heel counter that comes fairly far forward on the medial and lateral side, but I did not notice it due to the heel collar padding. Breathability is actually fairly decent, although I have not been able to test this shoe in hot temperatures yet. Overall this is a snug, soft but comfortable upper that fits a tiny bit short due to a thick toe guard, but keeps the foot on the platform.

David:
The Razor TRL fits true to size in my normal mens 9.5. The upper is reimagined from the original Razor models to be more reinforced and provide greater security for the trails. The upper does a pretty good job of reinforcing througout. The shoe has normal width to slightly wide in the heel, normal if not slightly wide midfoot, and a normal to slightly narrow forefoot and toebox. The shoe lacing system locks the shoe down decently, but I did have some translation through the midfoot. The toebox is lined with a toe guard and runs a little narrow which could make for some irritation for those with a wider foot medially and laterally through the toe box. The length of the shoe is dialed in and should not give any problems. The upper material itself is a thicker reinforced mesh with some overlay for structure. The material is pretty comfortable throughout and did not provide any irritation separate from fit in specific regions.



PERFORMANCE (RIDE / SPEED)

Matt: The Skechers Razor TRL is a stiffer Razor with lugs. For those who have run in the road Razor, the midsole is set up similarly with full length HYPERBURST. The ride is very soft throughout the length of the shoe although it firms up a little at the forefoot. There is only slight flexibility to the sole, with a more significant stiff rockered ride. The toe spring is more significant in this model thanks to the stiffness. The heel bevel is decent, but landings are very soft as the HYPERBURST compresses. The compression of the HYPERBURST does make the 4mm drop feel a bit lower, so those with Achilles tendon sensitivity may need to be a bit careful. This is however offset somewhat by the stiffer toe spring. The Razor TRL is best for well groomed, non-technical trails. This shoe can certainly pick up the pace and has very good ground feel, but the softer midsole makes this shoe unstable when you need quick feet. Additionally, rocks are very noticeable, particularly when attempting to run fast downhill. I have had some minor stone bruises from nontechnical trails. The responsive midsole does work very well on hard packed dirt and road. This shoe can be used well for fartleks, intervals and trail tempos due to the lighter and responsive midsole. However, while there is plenty of cushioning and the Razor TRL feels like a Razor with slightly better grip on the road, the outsole nubs will get destroyed. This Goodyear outsole is very durable and I have not worn through it like every other Razor, I completely destroyed the nubs at the heel within a few runs. I certainly used this shoe on the road more than I should have (>20 miles), but know that while this shoe will transition between surfaces well, those nubs wear out quickly. That has not impacted the ride and I have not worn through the outsole even after 35 miles, so I would expect a much higher number of miles out of the Razor TRL compared to other Razors. 

David:
The Skechers GOrun Razor TRL was pretty underwhelming for me. The hyperburst midsole is still nice and soft while still having a bounce and some responsiveness to it. I just wasn't convinced of its ability to do well in the trails. I felt unstable throughout when I was in really uneven footing and I still felt the rocks underneath me. The shoe was not designed with a rock plate, but even so, the rocks are still pretty noticeable for a shoe without one. The upper security is very okay and I did have some torsional translation when running through technical terrain. The shoe almost runs more like an all terrain Razor rather than a genuine trail shoe. The shoe does do good on fireroads however. If you like the Razor and just need a little bit of traction the Skechers Razor TRL can definitely deliver that. My main drawback on the Razor TRL is stability through slanted, winding, or technical terrain. 


STABILITY

Matt: The Skechers GOrun TRL is a neutral shoe and has very few, if any, methods of stability. This is not a shoe I would suggest to anyone that even needs mild stability. While the slightly stiffer ride and more prominent rocker make it more stable than the normal Razor, on soft trails, technical terrain, rocky trails or anything outside of road or hard packed trail, the soft and narrow is is very unstable. The HYPERBURST does not have any additional internal methods of stability, in contrast with the plates in the Razor Elite (REVIEW) or the Speed TRL (REVIEW). The sole is also fairly narrow, which means less surface area for contact with the ground. This might be fine for someone that is nimble on their feet with stable ankles, but for someone like myself, this limits the shoe to shorter distances. The lugs also do not grip as well as I would like on anything but the mildest of trails and also get worn down fairly quickly. So overall, those without any stability needs or who are sensitive to methods of stability will do well in this shoe. 

David:
The Skechers GORun Razor TRL is not the most stable trail shoe out there. It is indeed more stable than the original Razor 3, but not enough to win points in the trail shoe category. In the upper there was certainly some translation through the midfoot and difficulty getting great lockdown. The midsole is very soft and has a lot of give to it when it has to accommodate to other terrains. Because of this the shoe actually can feel a bit sloppy in trails that require a lot of turning or technical terrain. The lugs provide decent traction on fireroad, but don't do much when presented with a situation that involves a lot of boulders or loose rock. The lugs do great with packed down dirt surfaces, but falls short when presented with softer surfaces like sand, mud, or thicker grass or even loose rock. Overall I was not very pleased with the stability of the Razor TRL when testing it in the major trails in my area. Traction is great in tight packed dirt trails, but otherwise struggles in softer surfaces or in really rocky conditions. 



THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

Matt: We talk frequently here about how stable footwear is. The understanding of this term "stability" has evolved over the last few years. Stability now does not just refer to posting (ie additional thicker blocks of midsole that may resist foot motion) but to many components that best guides the foot through its preferred movement path. What exact method may work best with each person will vary. Some methods may stiffen the sole, others may actually increase flexibility in certain areas to facilitate motion. It depends. I (Matt) tend to look for shoes that are more stable but have a balance of flexibility in the right places to allow for forward momentum. I can run in a variety of shoes but tend to prefer firmer shoes as my body needs more feedback from the ground to determine what my joints are doing (my proprioception or body sense needs some work). That however is unique to my mechanics and will be different for each person.  A different person may find that shoes without additional stability methods may be preferable. Some people are quite sensitive to anything that influences or restricts motion.

    However, in the case of a trail shoe, there needs to be natural elements that make the shoe stable. Trail surfaces are inherently variable and unstable. There is little to no consistency in surface structure and the terrain can change in a second. Soft dirt or mud provides great shock absorption, but are unstable due to slippage, traction issues and more that even the best lugged trail shoe may not be able to tackle one hundred percent of the time. Which is why many trail shoes tend to have wider outsoles, which provides more surface area. The more surface contact, generally the more stable a shoe is. This is especially true for those with higher stack heights. The higher the stack height with a narrow base, the more like a teeter totter the shoe becomes. Thus a shoe with a higher stack combined with a soft sole and narrow base may be decent for road, but will not be optimal for varied terrain.

    Surface area and width of the sole are important elements that can effect the stability of a shoe. In this case, the concept of stability goes beyond just the foot and ankle, but how the foot and shoe interact with the ground. Shoes with a wider base tend to be more stable, while those with narrow bases tend to be less stable. Trail shoes generally tend to have wider bases for that exact same reason. The recent surge in max stack height shoes has also required that the foundations also become wider to offset that possible "teeter-totter" effect in the frontal plane (side to side).

   The Razor TRL does decently with the increased stiffness of the outsole and the thicker upper. While this is a great shoe for well groomed trails and cross country running, the narrow soled, "road" last limits its ability to handle more technical trail. Skechers may want to consider widening the sole not to create a stability shoe, but to further enhance ground contact, stability on naturally unstable terrain and increase the versatility of the TRL to be able to handle more difficult terrain. The potential is there to create a lighter trail racing shoe at or below 8 ounces. This is rare and may set this shoe up in a unique position as a cushioned middle distance trail racer.



RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: I want to echo David's sentiment below. The Skechers Razor TRL is an all terrain Razor. It can work well on a variety of surfaces, but doesn't really excel at any of them except well groomed, non-technical trails. My major suggestions are focused on the sole with a minor comment about the upper. The sole is far too soft for trail and may benefit from some internal stabilization (like a plate) or slightly lower stack height. A plated rock guard would be helpful to protect the feet from stones. The problem with the lower stack height is that there may be even more exposure to rocks, so even firming up the HYPERBURST may be an option. The narrow midsole may benefit from a bit more width. This could be easily solved by widening the midfoot part of the sole just for more ground contact. Finally, the lugs may benefit from being multi-directional and larger. This may assist with durability, grip and security on more surfaces. While the toe guard is somewhat flexible, it tapers the forefoot and causes some mild chaffing. If there is any way to keep that external and make the internal aspect stays soft and non-intrusive, that would go a long way toward improving the fit and comfort of the forefoot.

David:
The Skechers Razor TRL is essentially an all terrain Razor. The shoe seems to fall short of a stand alone trail shoe. I think one thing that could really benefit the Skechers Razor would be either deepening the lugs and making them multi-directional for traction in looser footing or adding a rock plate for more stability and protection in rocky terrain. The upper could be secured a little more through the midfoot but overall was pretty good. The shoe comes off a little soft and unstable for heavier trail conditions but with some improvements could be the real deal.


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: The Skechers GOrun Razor TRL is a stiffer, lugged, more durable Razor 3 that can handle a variety of terrain. The upper is snug and soft with the exception of the mildly obtrusive toe guard. Additional midfoot overlays lock your feet in well. The soft HYPERBURST provides cushion on both road and trail, but is a bit unstable on rocky or technical terrain. The outsole lugs provide decent grip, but not enough for more aggressive trails. An option for those who want more cushion during cross or someone wanting a Razor they can use almost anywhere. The Razor TRL has enough cushion to handle middle distances on trail/road but is light enough to pick up the pace for workouts and shorter trail races.

David:
The Skechers Razor TRL is a modification to the original Razor 3 and Razor + line that can go into different terrains. The shoe can be utilized a lightweight all terrain shoe on fireroads and light trail. The shoe does come off a little bit unstable in technical or rocky trails but does pretty well in runnable trails. The shoe functions more as a training shoe for me but is light enough to incorporate some racing in more runnable trail situations.


GRADING (SHOE CATEGORY)

Matt
Fit: B (Comfortable, snug upper. However, the toe guard narrows the forefoot and causes some chaffing)                     
Performance: B (Responsive HYPERBURST midsole in a lightweight package for a trail shoe. Transitions between trail and road well except for lug durability. Below average traction on anything but well groomed trails) 
Stability: C (Fairly poor stability for a trail shoe. Will work well for those who are sensitive to any form of stability) 
DPT/Footwear Science: B- (Good attempt to stabilize with stiffer outsole/midsole. However having a soft sole on top of of this combined with a narrow last adds instability) 
Personal:  B (This shoe has high quality materials, but the instability does not work for me to use the Razor TRL for anything but short distance trail runs on well groomed, non-technical trails. A good light hiking shoe though) 
Overall: B- (A snug, performance trail shoe / trail racing shoe that will work best for those who do not need stability and want a snug fit with a soft, responsive ride)              


David
Fit: B+ (The upper of the shoe is not bad. There could be a little more reinforcement in the midfoot and a little bit more space in the forefoot width for toe splay)                    
Performance:  
C+ (As a daily training shoe that can handle some light trail the shoe can do pretty well, but as a trail shoe the shoe really only runs well in light trail conditions for me. The shoe is very unstable and you can feel all of the rocks underneath you.) 
Stability: 
(Soft midsole, narrow platform, shallow lugs, the Razor TRL is not a very stable trail option especially in rocky or loose footing conditions.) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  
C+ (The full contact outsole helps, but the combination of the narrow platform and soft midsole make for a really unstable shoe in trail conditions, the 4mm drop is fine but the design of the shoe could be greatly improved) 
Personal:  
(I loved the Razor 3 and +, but this shoe is highly unstable with very mediocre traction for technical, soft, or rocky trails. It is an all terrain Razor, rather than a genuine trail shoe.) 
Overall:  C+ (The Skechers Razor TRL is essentially a Razor 3 that can dabble in some other surfaces, but is not a strong stand alone trail shoe)              

Interested in the Skechers Razor TRL? Check out Running Warehouse here. Using the link to purchase the Razor TRL helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!


VIDEO REVIEW



In this clip from our upcoming special episode on the Skechers Razor line (stay tuned), Nathan and Matt go over their impressions of the Razor TRL.

FURTHER READING

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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. 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

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 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. IG handle: @nate.docsofrunning

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

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.

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