If you're interested in dipping your toes into maximalist running shoes, but you don't want to be shunned from your friend group for wearing painfully unattractive Hokas, the Skechers GoRun Ultra 2 is a good shoe to consider. Unbeknownst to some other brands, a road running shoe can have high cushioned comfort as well as be pleasing to the eyes, and Skechers accomplishes just this and more with this release. Now, we don't consider this shoe to be quite a maximalist shoe, though it does have a super cushioned ride and we feel is a good transition shoe if you're wanting to move towards maximal cushioned footwear.
Skechers Go Run Ultra 2 Review
Cons: Low durability, loose fitting
Our Analysis and Test Results
We initially enjoy the plush softness of the landing, though after about an hour of running in the Skechers GoRun Ultra 2 it feels comparable to playing a fiddle with gloves on. This shoe seems overly cushioned to us and lacks the lasting comfort, sensitivity, and responsiveness of a top rated road shoe.
Considered responsive among the rest of Skechers performance running shoe line-up, the GoRun Ultra 2 falls behind on this metric when we compare it to the rest of the shoes in our group. Using only their super soft Resalyte midsole and a slightly more rigid ResaGrip outsole, Skechers completely negates the use of any firmness on the midsole or outsole. This design gives high flexibility and softness that in turn lowers the shoe's responsiveness, feeling nowhere near as reactive as the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 or our Top Pick winner, the Saucony Kinvara 6. This neutral road shoe is so flexible we can nearly roll it into a ball.
Of all the road shoes we tested, the Skechers GoRun Ultra 2 certainly has the softest landing. So why don't we give it the highest score in our landing comfort metric? We look for a ride with lasting comfort, not just comfort for the first few miles. Initial comfort is off the charts, though we find the ride to be too soft for runs of longer duration. Many feel that running shoes using this high amount of cushion is energy saving, though we stand strong in our belief that a lot of energy is actually lost. Picture running every step on a much softer surface like sand or wood chips, and you can see how this affects efficiency.
The "MStrike" landing pad Skechers uses for the outsole provides a slight curvature on the heel and a more dramatic curvature on the forefoot. This unique design among various Skechers footwear vaguely reminds us of the Skechers ShapeUps from a few years back. The goal here with using a U shape curve is to facilitate the runner to land on the midfoot to toe-off instead of heel first to toe-off.
The upper fit is comfortable as well as quite loose. Similar to the Altra Torin 2.0, our heel is able to wobble side to side with very little effort, even when we have the laces extra tight. We like the plentiful room in the toebox and also feel Skechers should adjust the midfoot through heel area on future versions of the shoe to be more snug to accommodate a wider variety of runners. Also, we see the upper fit as the complete opposite of what we described the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 locked-in feel to be like.
Having such a loose fitting upper on the Skechers GoRun Ultra 2 helps give our feet some breathing room, as well as offset the rest of the unnecessary busyness that we don't care for on the upper, and we give an average score in this metric. We feel Skechers could easily tweak a few small things on the upper to see a vast improvement in breathability. We can't imagine many runners taking advantage of the integrated sock liner or the plastic flair that's surrounding the logo.
Being as heavily cushioned as it is, the Skechers GoRun Ultra 2 is still one of the lighter shoes we tested at 9.3 ounces, just 0.4 ounces behind our second lightest shoe, the Altra Torin 2.0. Even though it has the highest stack height of the group at 30mm, the weight is kept to a minimum from using an all foam midsole and outsole.
Durability is the major low point on the GoRun Ultra 2, which scores the lowest for this metric. It is made to be versatile and used on both roads and trails, though we find that even moderate trails eat up the outsole like a knife through butter. If you decide to take this shoe off-road, you'll want to stick to the well groomed trails only. The ResaGrip outsole is a more rigid material than the midsole, but abrasion resistant rubber is nowhere to be found.
This shoe is best for neutral runners who are looking for a crazy soft, flexible shoe designed to be used on the road or on light trails.
This model is available at the modest price of $89, likely because of the noticeably low durability.
In a nutshell, this highly flexible road shoe provides a high amount of rich cushioning, flexibility, and an overall unique ride that we find is best used on recovery days and shorter runs.
GoRun Ride 3
- Very similar though geared more towards only running on the road
- A good option if you're looking for a more cushioned road shoe at a reasonable price
— Jimmy Elam