Skechers Shoe Review: The Trail Truth

After cranking out several races with a personal best in the marathon, 10-mile (PR & 2nd best time) and posting my 2nd and 3rd fastest times in the 13.1 distance, using various shoes from Skechers Performance Line (GObionic Ride, GOrun 2, GOrun Meb speed), it is time to recover a bit. Well that recovery lasted for about a week before I was invited to pace at the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run. Luckily, the friendly folks at Skechers recently just sent me a pair of the new GObionic Trail just in time to get a couple of runs in them before pacing an exciting 20 final miles to the finish on the Western States Trail in Auburn, CA. With a fourth shoe being put into the mix the current mileage for each shoe is as follows:

  • GOrun 2 – 376.8 miles
  • GObionic Ride – 214.1 miles
  • GOrun Meb speed –  252.3 miles
  • GObionic Trail –  41.9 miles

This week’s shoe review will only feature an in-depth look at the GObionic Trail. The other shoes being reviewed are still holding strong as each one is adding up their mileage.

GObionic Trail

nothing beats a fresh pair of shoes out of the box

Right of the box the shoe offers a wide toe box and for those of you that have followed my review on the Skechers shoes know that width is a major concern that I have when it comes to running shoes. Skechers provides the width I need without having to special order a wide shoe, this is convenient in the if I ever have to walk into a Skechers store I know that I can buy a shoe off the shelf and it will fit. Before taking the shoe on the dirt, grass, gravel and various routes, I gave it a pretty inspection right out of the box.

 The Skechers explains the GObionic Trail as follows:  

“Our nature-inspired design is now built for the great outdoors. The new Resgrip outsole features multi-directional traction for superior control over uneven surfaces. Plus with added impact protection, this is the foundation for responsive running without boundaries.”
The shoe also offers a “2 in 1 custom fit”, one option is by keeping the insole in for a 4mm drop which also provides protection and cushioning, the other is removing it for a “zero-drop barefoot-like experience”. I am opting to keep the insole in the shoe for added cushion while running trails. Along with the custom fit the GObionic trail also is very light as the Men’s size 9 only weighs 8.0 oz. Unlike the GObionic Ride, this sole is one piece which prevents gravel or anything else getting stuck in and in between various parts of the sole. 
So after giving the shoe a quick wear around the house to see how they fit, I was fortunate enough to have a chance to wear them on a rainy day in June here in Sacramento. The rain damped some of the dirt pathways around one of the routes I normally run around my neighborhood, so this gave me a chance to test the shoe out on pavement, gravel, wet roads, puddles and through some mud. The shoe provided me traction and kept me from slipping and sliding around on the wet roads and through the mud unlike a road shoe would be able to provide me. With a wide toe box the shoe performs great on wet ground as it disperses the weight along a larger surface area to prevent sinking into the mud. This first run wasn’t a short one either, I took them out on a 10-miler to see how comfortable the shoe would be. Right away I could also feel the comfort that the shoe provided.
first run completed with a little puddle splashing and mud
A few days after taking the shoes out on another run, I unexpectedly was asked to pace a friend for the final 20-miles of Western States, for this run, I took a chance to take a shoe out on the road that had only about 20 miles on them before pacing a friend on his target race. This pacing duty was unexpected because one of our other friends rolled his ankle during the week and was unable to take it to the trails by Saturday evening. 
hanging out after Western States 100
Taking the shoes out on the Western States Trail would be a good test to see the overall quality of the shoe, because running from 9:30PM until 1:56AM, I would probably not see everything on the course due to limited light from my flashlight and headlamp. I will be honest I lucky I had these shoes as I kicked tree roots, stumbled on rocks and even stepped on some soft ground. This pacing duty would also make me spend the most mileage and time in the shoes. After the run my feet felt fine, toes were well protected and the bottom of my feet did not hurt even with the various and sometimes aggressive ground that the course had to offer.
The shoes though look beat up from the top are covered primarily with mud but the bottom of the shoe looks brand new even after taking it to the trails right away. The photos below were taken after Western States.
The GObionic Trail retails for $80 online and comes in 3 different colors. I would say this shoe is a definite winner for it’s early performance testing and price. 

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