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Skechers GOrun Ride 9 Multiple Tester Review


     The Skechers GOrun Ride 9 continues upon the highly successful neutral daily training model that Skechers received a lot of praise for in the last few years. The shoe is a genuine update with a new upper, midsole durometer, and outsole coverage. The shoe still rides very similar to the Ride 8 in many ways but is noticeably softer with more bounce through the forefoot. It is also noted that this continues to be the official training shoe of Edward Cheserek. 


Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 8.4 oz / 238 g (men's size 9), 6.5 oz / 184 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 34 mm / 28 mm
Drop: 6 mm
Classification: Lightweight Daily Trainer


RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Skechers GOrun Ride 9 returns as a lighter daily trainer with a softer ride, dramatically improved durability and a slightly more structured upper. The weight drops to 8.4 oz, yet provides a softer and less aggressive feel than its predecessor. The ride is very flexible and smooth thanks to some deeper flex grooves and a mild but full length rocker. The upper is flexible and normal width, although it fits somewhat close to the foot. The result is a shoe that is perfect as a lightweight recovery day shoe for those who want a slightly softer ride that can still up the pace a pick a little if necessary.

David:
The Skechers GOrun Ride 9 is a daily trainer in the neutral category that offers daily mileage durability with a touch of responsiveness and lightweight. It is more plush than its predecessor while also providing a more bouncy ride. The shoe overall provides a very pleasing and protective ride for daily miles that can also pick up the pace if it is asked to.

Nathan: The Ride 9 is a solid update to the 8 for me, creating a smooth heel landing and overall transitions with a better outsole construction. This shoe continues with a very soft platform with a lot of soft protection underneath. The plush nature may be the main reason this shoe will be loved by some and may cause issues for others. This is also the most roomy toe box of the Skechers' runners, accommodating more foot types. The softer Hyperburst is soft for daily miles but does have a bit of bounce for some pace changes. 





FIT (LENGTH / WIDTH / COMFORT)

Matt: The GOrun Ride 9 fits me very true to size, if slightly short in my normal US men's size 10. The fit is very normal/average width throughout the length of the foot. The heel is slightly wide, featuring a flexible heel counter. The heel collar is padded with a decent amount of cushioning between the heel bone and the counter, so this is a great shoe for those with sensitive Achilles tendon insertions. The midfoot has a normal volume, but responds very well to the laces. The tongue is not gusseted, but is attached to the laces. I have not had to lace lock the shoe secondary to the great ability to lock the laces down in the midfoot. However, due to the slightly larger volume in the heel, I would suggest lace locking this shoe as my feet have been sliding forward. This contributes to the feeling of the shoe being slightly short, so I would consider lace locking them. The forefoot fits slightly more anatomic, with just enough room for the ball of the foot of someone with average width feet. The toe guard at the end is flexible, but is thick enough that those between sizes should size up as there is mild a risk of chaffing. I personally only had some mild rubbing when I tried to run in this shoe sockless, so I would not suggest that. The mesh is very breathable and flexible. Locking the laces down helps, but while the upper fits close in the midfoot and forefoot, the flexibility decreases the security slightly. This makes this shoe better for those with average width to slightly narrow feet looking for a shoe that handle handle normal and beat up/slightly swollen feet.

David:
The fit of the GOrun Ride 9 is pretty dialed in for a daily trainer. The width of the shoe throughout would definitely fall into the "normal" category to potentially a little narrow. The hold through the midfoot is great and the heel security is done really well. The toe box is normal width as well with just enough room for toe splay. There is a toe guard present that tapers off pretty far into the forefoot that might irritate some feet, but I had absolutely no issue. The mesh upper is lightweight and breathable while also providing really good security. It is almost like a baby between the Celermesh of Adidas and the sandwich mesh upper of HOKA Rincon. I really like this upper personally for my own foot. 

Nathan: Unlike David's experience, I find the GOrun Ride series to be roomy and somewhat wide in the toe box, while still locking down well in the midfoot and heel. Compared to its predecessor, the fit is more true to size (I found the 8 to be sloppy) and holds the foot well on the platform overall. The only fit issue that I had was that the mesh stretched a bit through the midfoot, so in later miles I had to lock it down. I'd suggest using a lace lock technique if you have average to narrow feet. I appreciate the slightly anatomically shaped toe box with a structured toe guard which provides nice volume. Overall this provides a very accommodating fit with a somewhat breathable and comfortable mesh. 



PERFORMANCE (RIDE / SPEED)

Matt: The GOrun Ride 9 features a softer more relaxed ride than its predecessor. The HYPERBURST is softer throughout the length of the shoe, providing a protective bounce no matter where you land. There is a solid and long heel bevel that makes for super smooth rearfoot landings. The transition is fairly quick and smooth thanks to flex grooves throughout the length of the shoe. These increase in number at the forefoot, which when combined with the moderate toe spring provides a very smooth toe off. The flex grooves are deeper than previous and make for a smoother and more relaxed ride. The rocker (M-Strike) does make the shoe feel very efficient. This makes the GOrun 9 best for daily training, long runs and recovery runs. The Ride 9 is light enough to be used for workouts, but the softer HYPERBURST bottoms out a bit with more compression. This does give it a unique amount of ground feel when the pace picks up, but I would rather grab the Razor, Speed or Speed Elite for faster efforts. The outsole is noticeably more durable than almost any previous Skechers Performance shoe I have tried. I am especially hard on shoes and I have 97 miles on my pair with barely a dent in the Goodyear outsole. I have started to fray the mild exposed HYPER, but I am very impressed with durability and expect a large number of miles out of these.

David:
The Ride 9 certainly provides a fun ride for a daily trainer. The shoe has a noticeable bounce to the midsole without being overly soft. The shoe rides softer than say the Razor or Ride 8, but not so soft that it feels like the MaxRoad or GORun series. The outsole does have a heel crash pad and still utilizes the M strike technology seen in most Skechers shoes. The transition from the heel to midfoot is pretty comfortable with a semi flexible forefoot. The transitions throughout are smooth and the outsole provides good traction on most surfaces. It can also be noted that the flex grooves on the ride 9 are deeper and do provide a little more of a natural transition than the previous model through the midfoot and forefoot. All in all the Ride 9 provides a really nice balanced transition ride that has plenty of protection and a little bit of bounce. The heel is also beveled a little better in the new version and feels really nice when accompanied by the crash pad.

Nathan: The most accurate word I can choose to describe how this shoe feels is soft. It does have some bounce to it, but feels like a highly cushioned trainer with a high amount of stack that provides a lot of protection. For me (personal preference alert) the platform was so soft that I felt my feet having to work to stabilize on the platform and they would get sore on medium to long runs (10+ miles). Additionally, this shoe also gave me blisters in the ball of the foot. This won't happen for everyone, but for me the foam was soft enough that its compression led to sheer on the side of my foot and development of blisters. 

That said, many people will really appreciate how soft and light this shoe is for how much stack exists, and the ride can be quite fun. Compared to the 8, Skechers really refined the geometry well. The 8 had a more abrupt heel bevel, but this one is more gradual and is very smooth for landing. The new outsole construction and toe spring are also aiding in an overall smooth ride from heel to toe. The higher stack does make the shoe slightly on the stiffer side, but does have some flex in addition to the geometry that allows the shoe to roll forward well. Overall a much better and smooth ride than version 8 that sits on the soft side.



STABILITY

Matt: The Skechers GOrun Ride 9 is definitely a neutral shoe. There are no major stability elements. The rocker and flex grooves do provide a smooth and forward directed ride. There are very small side walls on each side of the heel that add to the nice transition forward at heel strike. The midfoot is not the most stable due to the softer HYPER and slightly narrow shape through that section. The forefoot has some slight flare, which combined with the nice flexibility provides a decent roll forward. The upper, outside of tying down the laces, isn't the most locked in. Thus those with more neutral or very mild stability needs will do best in this shoe.

David:
The Ride 9 is a neutral training shoe and therefore is not meant to crush the stability category. The shoe does have a little bit of sole flaring in the rearfoot and forefoot which helps a little bit. The shoe has a full contact outsole that helps with some rigidity and traction to increase stability. The upper also locks down pretty well and helps with uneven terrain or tighter turns. The transition points are pretty smooth throughout the length of the shoe that helps with stability as well. The midfoot region of the shoe could probably be refined a little bit better either with lockdown or sole flaring since I did have some minor translation in that region.

Nathan: Higher stack and softer foam are a nice recipe for a truly neutral shoe without much stability built in. One piece giving some guidance is the outsole construction with exposed foam through the middle of the heel to midfoot, providing some guidance to the foot to stay centered. Additionally, the smooth ride also helps with stability as it isn't trying to throw you forward or backward at any point like some other shoes with bevels or toe spring. But again, a neutral shoe.



THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

Matt: We have talked extensively about rockers, heel bevel and toe spring on this website. Several extremely high stack height shoes have been debuted recently and it has become apparent that the ride isn't just about whether these rocker components are present, but to what degree they are present. Skechers has been fairly good about rockers, although they call this M-Strike. The M-Strike smoothed out for a few years, but is now more apparent.

Looking at the profile of the sole, the midfoot is mostly what is in contact with the ground. This means an early toe spring and a long heel bevel. The long heel bevel means the contact point of the sole to the ground is more forward compared to where the foot sits. Skechers claimed in the past that this tends to move the contact point forward during landing. Hence when M-strike, ie "Midfoot-Strike" was named as such. Whether or not this actually occurs is up for debate and will also depend on the foot contact angle (ie how dorsiflexed or plantarflexed the ankle is at foot contact). However having that longer heel bevel seems to smooth out contact and create a super smooth rolling sensation. This is better than the very short and abrupt heel bevels, which often feel like there isn't one there at all due to the abruptness of the curve. So the angle and length of the curve need to be optimized to create a smooth ride.

This same concept is true for toe spring. If the spring angle starts too late, the forefoot often feels like you are hitting a speed bump because instead of providing a smooth roll forward, your foot will tip at the last second. This is much more apparent in max stack height shoes, but is even more important with that footwear type given the limited sole flexibility. The summary here is that you cannot just look at whether there is a bevel/toe spring, but rather how much there is. How much you need will depend on your unique biomechanics, but is something to think about when it comes to finding shoes that ride and match well with your body.




RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: The Ride 9 is very different from the Ride 8. I think this transition is appropriate given how aggressive version 8 was and now version 9 feels more like a trainer. My suggestions for version 9 however are both for the upper and sole. The upper is very nice and comfortable, but isn't the most secure. While it is nice that so much weight has been knocked off (8.4 oz in men's size 9), I think a bit more structure around the midfoot may help security in that area. The midsole is nice, soft and has a smooth role. However, the softer ride means that the Ride 9 leans toward a recovery day shoe and loses some of the previous versatility for picking up the pace. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as previous versions had some overlap with lighter models in terms of use. The biggest drawback is that the midfoot is a little less stable. My suggestion is to take out the middle piece of Goodyear rubber at the anterior midfoot to create a bit of a guideline through the heel and midfoot. The Goodyear pieces on each side will provide a bit of contrast and should improve the stability without too much change to the ride.

David:
I really liked the Ride 8... and I really like the Ride 9. The shoe is a different shoe though. My main recommendation is to refine the midfoot a little better with either upper security lockdown, sole flare through the region, or increasing the cross sectional area of the platform and outsole to increase the stability a little more. Otherwise I was really pleased with the shoe.

Nathan: I appreciate the updates to the Ride 9, and for those who like a softer ride it's a great lighter weight option. My biggest suggestion is locking down the midfoot through the upper a bit more so that the foot doesn't slide forward (which also may have contributed to my blister issues). There could also be some more sole flaring in the midfoot to stabilize the platform slightly, but that would add some potentially unwelcome weight. Otherwise I also agree with Matt about extending the exposed foam through the middle of the shoe up to the forefoot a bit more. 



WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: The Skechers GOrun Ride 9 is a soft, neutral, lightweight daily training shoe for mileage, easy days and recovery days. The shoe is very lightweight thanks to a drop in weight, but still has plenty of soft HYPERBURST midsole for protection. The softness has some mild bounce to it, which combined with the flex grooves and M-strike make for a very smooth ride. The upper fits close, but is fairly flexible. So those with normal to slightly narrow feet will be at home here. The GOrun Ride 9 moves toward the trainer side of the spectrum and will go nicely with a pair of Razors (REVIEW), Razor Elites (REVIEW) or Speed Elites (REVIEW).

David:
The Skechers GOrun Ride 9 is a neutral daily training shoe for those looking to log daily mileage in a traditional shoe that has some new age bounce and softness to the midsole. The shoe is also pretty lightweight for the daily training category. This shoe feels like a bridge between those that like lightweight trainers with responsiveness, but still want structure and durability associated with daily training models. The shoe can do a little bit of everything but definitely lines up more with daily training mileage.

Nathan: The GOrun Ride 9 is a solid update to the 8, with a much smooth geometry and overall softer ride. For those looking for a soft trainer that offers a lot of underfoot protection, this could be a solid option to check out, particularly if you have normal to slightly wider feet. 


GRADING (SHOE CATEGORY)

Matt
Fit: B (Breathable, slightly closer fitting mesh upper. Could use a bit more security in the heel/midfoot. Some foot slide, so consider lace locking the shoe)                   
Performance: A- (Very smooth, rolling ride. Nice bounce from HYPERBURST with a ride on the softer side) 
Stability: B (Decent stability for a neutral shoe, but some instability through the midfoot  Offset slightly by rocker) 
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (The full return of M-Strike means a much longer heel bevel which creates a much smoother ride. Kudos for centering the heel bevel rather than having it medially biased like the last version.) 
Personal:  B+ (Great smooth ride for recovery runs and easy days. Great transition that could use a bit more upper security. Wish the ride had a bit more versatility for speed like it used to.) 
Overall: B+ (A great, smooth ride with a close fitting but flexible upper. A lightweight neutral trainer with mild softness and some bounce)              


David
Fit: A- (Slightly unflexible in forefoot, some space through the medial midfoot, mesh is nice however)                    
Performance:  
(Really smooth transition points throughout, and good responsiveness for a daily trainer) 
Stability: B+
 (Overall pretty good, but some instability through the midfoot especially with the soft heel transition) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  
(The Ride 9 is a traditional neutral training shoe with an updated midsole that has some bounce, but nothing overly innovative.  I do like the use of the deeper flex grooves and crash pad though) 
Personal:  
(I really like this shoe. It isn't anything overly fancy but the ride is balanced and has a hint of softness and bounce. The ride is fun but not so much that I only want it for special occasions.) 
Overall:  A- (A reliable neutral training shoe that is lightweight, mildly soft, and provides a nice balanced ride with bounce)  

Nathan
Fit: (Very nice toe box, but midfoot was still  a bit sloppy and could be further locked in to improve security)                   
Performance: B+ (Very soft and plush, maybe a little too soft and could slog a bit and demand more from the feet, smooth transitions) 
Stability: B (higher stack and soft platform make for a truly neutral shoe, but not wicked unstable in any region) 
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (The bevel is much more appropriate and smooth and the somewhat anatomical toe box fit is a bonus) 
Personal:  C (Many people will really like this shoe, but just too soft for me, led to some foot soreness, and led to blisters) 
Overall: B (Soft, light, neutral daily trainer)                 

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FURTHER READING

Compare
Skechers GORun Ride 8
- See the differences in last year's model
Saucony Ride 14 - Saucony's equally reliable everyday training shoe
Hoka Mach 4 - More uptempo trainer from Hoka that's getting all the buzz
Skechers Razor Excess - Also recently dropped by Skechers, a versatile trainer out of their Razor line
Puma Velocity Nitro - Puma's brand new trainer is light, smooth, and protective

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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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