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Skeckers Speed Beast Review: Value Racing
By Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor

The breadth of options for high-stacked speed day and racing shoes continues to rise. The progression for Skechers has gone from the Speed Elite to the Speed Freek and now to the newest and highest-stacked option, the Speed Beast. We are also starting to see shoes in this higher-stacked category starting to become more of a versatile long-distance trainer crossover than simply a pure racer. Let's explore where the Speed Beast sits and who it may work best for.

Skechers Speed Beast
Price: $185 (launching late March)
Weight: 8.8oz, 255g (men's size 9), 6.8oz, 193g  (women's size 7)
Stack Height: 40mm, 36mm
Drop: 4mm
Classification: Long-distance training and racing


The Skechers Speed Beast is the newest high-stacked, stiff-rockered option from Skechers with a few unique elements compared to many of the other options on the market. This includes a lower drop (4mm), a removable insole, an accommodating fit, and a thicker rubber outsole. This poises it to fit into a hybrid long-distance trainer and racer category that operates off of a balanced (yet slightly aggressive) stiff rocker.

: ASICS Superblast, Faster HOKA Bondi X, Lighter ASICS Glideride


Many top-tier racing shoes sport a minimalist upper that has a somewhat snug and streamlined fit. This isn't exactly the case with the Speed Beast. The upper is a moderately thin mono mesh upper and very secure through the heel and midfoot with a very solid lock-down. The tongue has minimal amounts of padding, but the lacing system is well-distributed so it is easy to lock down the laces without causing irritation on the foot. There is no heel counter, but the side walls and some of the padding give some structure to the heel. As you move forward, the toe box opens up quite a bit, even more than other models in their line such as the Razor 4. Therefore, the overall fit is true to size with a secure heel but some room for splay in the toe box. The upper does a nice job securing the foot on a higher-stacked platform. The material itself has mild stretch and a thickness that seems quite durable for training use.


The Speed Beast midsole consists three components: a thick (40mm-36mm) slab of Hyper Burst Pro, a carbon-infused forefoot plate, and the removable insole. Hyper Burst Pro is a new compound from Skechers that debuted in the Razor 4. It is a supercritical TPU foam that offers a slightly firmer ride with only a little bit of pop. What gives this shoe its character is the geometry and the stiffness via the plate. It is a fully-rockered platform that is balanced from front to back with a little more aggressive rocker in the forefoot. The forefoot also has a bit of a toe spring, so for those with hallux rigidus you will have to see if the amount of toe spring would hold your toe in too much extension for you. This rocker is what gives the shoe its propulsive feel for picking up the pace. I've done multiple fartleks in this shoe and have brought it faster than my 5K effort pace without wishing I had something on my feet. At the same time, during longer tempo efforts I could start to feel the 8.8oz weight. Since the foam is overall firmer and the rocker is balanced, I also have used it for easy long runs and was able to find a really nice rhythm. I think this shoe sits best as a long-run performance trainer. It can give you cushioning for longer runs without being too aggressive but is ready for faster efforts due to the geometry and bit of pop from the foam. It's also a benefit to have the thicker rubber outsole to add some durability for training.

This shoe feels categorically different than other racing shoes on the market such as the Endorphin Pro 3, Next% 2, or Adios Pro 3. It is more similar to other high-stacked/rockered trainers like a (lighter/faster) Bondi X, (lighter) ASICS Glideride, and ASICS Superblast. It has much less pop than the Superblast, but some of the higher floating feel. At the $185 price point, it is a versatile option for those wanting a higher stacked, rockered, and low-drop training shoe that can easily perform on race day.

I suppose I should mention Arch Fit. The insole that is included has build-up of foam along the medial arch. However, for me, it provides an annoying pressure and flattens out once running, so it is slightly annoying and adds no benefit.


The Speed Beast is a bit of a conundrum when it comes to stability and whether it works for you will depend on what type of structure you need. On the plus side, it is equipped with a firmer foam, medial and lateral sidewalls, and a wider ground contact platform (particularly in the forefoot). However, it also does not have a heel counter, is high stacked, and the heel sole flare isn't quite as large in the heel. Therefore for those who like to have some additional structure in the heel, this shoe doesn't quite provide it. The forefoot, on the other hand, is very stable thanks to the full-width plate and wider platform. Another consideration is the rocker. The forefoot is mildly aggressive, so you have to be able to control the forward propulsive feel of the shoe.

Thoughts as a DPT: MOVE, SHAKE, AND DROP (Really just drop)
By Senior Contributor Nathan Brown

Drop is the difference between the amount of stack height in the heel of a shoe in comparison to the amount of foam in the forefoot of a shoe. This is measurement is done statically with calipers. In the case of the Speed Beast, it is a 4mm drop (40mm in the heel and 36mm in the forefoot). The important thing to remember is that, as I just mentioned, these are static measures. These measures do not take into account the compression of the foam, the landing pattern of the runner, or the rocker design. 

For rearfoot strikers, considering the amount of compression that the foam undergoes is important. For a softer foam like Zoom X, there is a significant amount of compression. This means that once you load the heel and start transitioning forward in a shoe like the Vaporfly, the difference between the heel and forefoot may be closer to 4 or even less. The dynamic drop is going to be lower than the static drop. Another example could be the Metaspeed Sky. With a 5mm drop, significant foam compression in the heel can lead to a 0mm (or negative) dynamic drop depending on how you land. I think that this is why many (not all) of the high-stacked "super shoes" are using 5mm+ drop. The designers want to avoid putting people in a situation that could put unnecessary stress on the calf musculature, especially in a shoe that is meant to maximize performance by decreasing overall demand on the body.

Rocker is the other factor. If a shoe has a balanced or earlier stage rocker, the listed drop may be lower than what it feels like. This is the case in the Speed Beast. It is listed as a 4mm drop, but it feels more like a 6-8mm drop (in a good way in my opinion). 

The Speed Beast is a lower-drop shoe, which can pose the risk of creating excess work on the calf if the foam compresses so much that it moves to a negative drop. However, due to the firmer foam (which doesn't compress excessively) and the balanced rocker, it functions like a slightly higher drop shoe, avoiding this potential issue.


First is kudos. Skechers released the Speed Freek for $200. Now we get the Speed Beast, a higher-stacked shoe with increased comfort and durability for $185. I think this more accurately reflects the current market. Yes, you have Hyper Burst Pro, but just putting "Pro" a the end of something doesn't make it extra special -- and I think that Skechers did a good job identifying this and putting it in a price point that reflects the materials used. I think that I'd love to see Skechers work with a company to create a shoe with a PEBA-based foam. They do a really nice job with geometry but could create a racing shoe that is truly a competitor in today's market with a more special foam. Finally, I think that Arch Fit could be done and away with. 


The Speed Beast is a high-stacked trainer/racer option that is best for those who prefer a balanced rocker, a slightly firmer ride, and a shoe that can double for training and racing. It won't be the best option for those who do not do well with toe spring or those who need a structured heel, but it has a stable forefoot for longer runs. It comes in below the price of some of the other super shoes, so it can be a more affordable option if you are looking for a trainer/racer but don't want to jump above the $200 mark. The removable sock liner and lower drop are also unique and could suit people who want to place their own insole in the shoe.


Fit: (Very secure heel and midfoot, comfortable with tight lock-down, durable)
B+/A- (Solid versatility and performance for longer efforts and many workouts)
Stability: B (Less heel structure, solid forefoot)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Well integrated rocker and foam with the lower drop)
Personal: A- (Nice for long runs and interval workouts)
Overall: A-


Skechers Speed Beast
Price: $185 (launching late March)

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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.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Skechers 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 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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