Run Safe

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Skecher's Go Run 2-Review

I don't know if I'm in the majority on this or not, but I have to be honest and tell you that I have never thought of Skchers as a performance running shoe.  Come to think of it, I'm not so sure I've ever owned a pair of Skechers in my life!  So, in my recent trip to the running speciality store I was a little surprised when I saw these amongst all the big boys and girls running shoes.  Admittedly, I have some pretty strong preconceived notions about Skechers, none of which make me think running shoes, however I think that might be changing.  Skechers Gorun 2 is marketed as "the next-generation of a serious minimal running shoe. Designed for speed with innovative performance technologies to promote a midfoot strike, it works as a great transitional shoe  to foster a barefoot running experience."  

Shoe Highlights:

Foot room-  This shoe has what I consider the ideal design.  It's wide enough in the front to allow your foot to splay and still narrow enough in the heal to keep your foot feeling secure.  There's also just enough padding around the ankle area of the shoe to provide some cushioning.

Seamless upper-  The seamless upper is definite bonus of this shoe.  The tongue sits nicely at the top of the ankle.  The upper has a very lightweight, comfortable design.   I won't go as far as to claim these are water resistent but in a recent run, I did not try to avoid any of the many puddles along the side of the road.  The shoes did get wet, my feet did not.  I don't think this is something claims to be a feature, it's just my observation.  The laces are a thin, flat design. The shoes come with both the high visibility orange (pictured) and a yellow color.   I didn't double knot these shoes, like I do with most, and so far they have stayed tied.  I think this could easily be worn as a sockless shoe, if properly fitted.

Build- The shoe is a lightweight weighing in at approximately 6.2 ounces.  The forefoot is at 11mm, the midfoot 20mm and the heel is at 15mm, giving this shoe an overall 4mm heel to toe drop.  Apparently the midfoot design was done with the intent of encouraging a midfoot strike.   You might think this design might cause some discomfort but I didn't notice any.  I do have high arches, which probably helps but even other reviews I could find stated the improved design of the Go Run 2 virtually eliminated the "bump" that was felt in the midfoot section of the original.

Soles-  The insole has a firm but comfortable fit however, the shoe does not lack a cushioned feel.  From what I could tell in wearing it the cushioning is a result of the pods in the tread of the outsole.  They layout was unique.  The larger pods were grey and orange.  The grey were firm and the orange were soft.  Then there are smaller circles (4 at the forefoot, 4 at the midfoot and 2 at the heel)  these were softer yet.  I'm sure there some "science" behind the design but whatever the reason it makes of a nice ride.

Price-  With a retail price of $84.95, the Go Run 2 is already a more affordable option than most running shoes.  Add in my VIP discount at the local running shop combined with the sale price and I was able to get these babies for close the $70.  I usually rely on the last year model clearance shoes to get that kind of price on a quality shoe!

As I stood in the store trying to convince myself to buy these I tried to look up reviews on line- not very many could be found.  I actually found the majority on Amazon.  As is my usual approach I quickly read through the 1 and 2 star ratings.  Of the nearly 50 reviews two were one star and two were two star.  Two people actually claimed this shoe to be narrow!  I completely disagree.  This is the one factor that keeps me from trying many pairs of shoes.  This shoe is not narrow.  The other complaints were based on the life of the shoe.  One guys said he has only had the shoes a month and they were already starting to wear.  He then proceeded to say he runs 60 miles per week in them.  This shoe is a minimal design.  I wouldn't expect more than 300 miles out of any minimal type shoe.  So, 240 miles and they're just "starting to wear"...I'll take that.  The last genius explained that he took these on the trail and they were torn after he caught a tree branch.  It's pretty obvious that this is not a trail shoe.   After seeing all of the other reviews were 4 and 5 star I decided what the hell.  They were one of the cheaper pairs in the store and I'm all for trying something, I bought them.

The Run:
My first two runs in these shoes have been great.  The shoe provided a comfortable fit and performed well.  The upper is breathable and as I stated earlier, appeared to provide a small level of protection from water.  The shoe fits great around my ankle.  This is another point of contention with many pairs of minimal type shoes.  Many will have a flimsy design that allows space between your ankle and the shoe.  If you notice in my arial shot, the shoes fit pretty snug.  I don't think this shoe felt as minimal as some people might prefer.  Remember, minimal shoes are intended to all the runner to connect with the ground.  In other words, feel everything and give the runner the barefoot running experience.  The Go Run 2 is not that minimal.  This shoe is categorized as a transitional shoe, meaning there are minimal features but not on the extreme end of a true minimalist shoe.  The ride was similar to that of the Brooks original Pureflow.

I've only put about 15 miles on them so far, so a future update will have to be added but for now I'm enjoying my new shoes.

And, as far as my hang up with the fact that I now actually own a pair of Skechers shoes, I think my friend and fellow RunJunkEe Jeff summed it up best with his observations.  "Skechers to me 

will always be light up shoes for 3 year olds and then those rocker things embraced by senior citizen 

hipsters. Glad to know they've actually broken out of the shell. Be curious how they hold up. They look 

great. May have to go try a pair on."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"You Run Too Much"

Recently, a friend was venting about his "concerned" family member who was lecturing him about running too much. That it wasn't good for him. That it was going to kill him. 

As a person who has spent the majority of their adult life as a sedentary slug and only a runner for the last several years I feel I have a fair perception of  this topic. 

While out on my run yesterday I started thinking about writing a post on the subject.  This is when I seem to have my best thoughts however, by the time I finish I've usually forgotten all of the great thoughts I had.  So this time I decided not to let my emotions and thoughts pass me by.  I pulled out my phone and recorded a short blurb of what I was thinking and feeling at the moment.  Well, really it's more of a message. A message to all of those people that are so concerned about my well being. 

 It's not scripted, it's not perfect and I made no editing to the clip but its from the heart.  You can listen Here.  

Enjoy the run. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why You Should Not Be Too Embarrassed To Run

While out for my early morning run today, I happened across a fellow runner.  He was a big guy and I would not be exaggerating to say he was obese.   It looked as if he was doing a run/walk/run method.  He wasn’t going very fast and I saw him take at least one walk break.  By no means, was he “slacking”.  It was very apparent this guy was putting effort into what he was doing.  As I got closer I couldn’t help but be filled with a sense of admiration.  I said good morning as I passed and continued on my run.
It got me thinking about a conversation I had with another fellow runner, not too long ago.  This lady, who was also overweight, was struggling to “keep with it.”  She told me she would only run on a treadmill because she was “too embarrassed” to be seen in public.  When I asked her why she would be embarrassed for trying to better herself she told me she just didn’t feel like a runner and felt she would be ridiculed by other runners.  I’ll share with you what I told her.
If you are a new runner or even a walker (non-zombie type) aspiring to become a runner DO NOT feel embarrassed by making the effort.  As an experienced runner, I’ve learned that you will encounter two types of people (generally speaking); runners and non-runners.

Photo from
Runners will support you.  Runners respect the effort.  Runners, both new and experienced, will admire you.  Most runners had to learn to become runners ourselves.  I promise you that most do not care about your pace nearly as much as you do.  Runners will tell you “good job” not because they are just trying to be nice, but because they truly understand that what you are doing is not an easy thing to do.  Runners truly are the GREATEST and the most supportive group of people you could ever want to be around.  Slow or fast, runners are filled with pride when they see you making the effort.   Now don’t get me wrong, just like with anything there are those small percentages of runners who think they are God’s gift and that their shit doesn’t stink but I can assure you those are not the majority. 

The first time you stand amongst the crowd at the start of a race you will discover how different each of us are but how much we all have in common.  It's an unforgettable experience and the reason why you don't hear of very many people who only do one race. 

There are really two groups of non-runners which I affectionately refer to as the lovers and the haters.
  • The lovers admire you just like the experienced runners do.  They are soul searching and have that desire but have not been convinced enough to believe that running is a possibility.  When the lovers see you, you are their role model, their inspiration.  And you are a far greater source of inspiration than the experienced runners.  You’re more relatable.  You’re the person they look at and say “Well hell, if they are doing it, maybe I can too!”
  • The haters are the true non-runners.  They have no desire, no interest and are perfectly content spending their life being sedentary.   They are not to be confused with people who are active in some other form of physical activity.  I’m talking about the people that see you while you are running on the side of road and as they pass you in their car they flick you off, drive a little closer to you or even swerve in your direction.  Yes, those people do exist.   As an experienced runner I can assure that these people will laugh and taunt me just as much as they will you.   The topic of safety while running is another thing worth looking into.
You’ve probably seen it worded and phrased in a number of different ways but all of the sayings are trying to tell you the same thing.  If you run, you’re a runner.  It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you’re still lapping they guy/girl on the couch, etc., etc.    The best piece of advice I can give you is to always remind yourself of who you’re doing this for.  Why do you run?  Do you run for that person driving past you?  Are you running for the guy running faster than you in a race?  Are you running to impress “experienced runners”  I think once you start to be honest with yourself about why you run, you will have a much easier time dealing with all of the other negative thoughts that my seem to discourage you.  
So the next time you're out their making the effort don't feel embarrassed, feel proud.  I can assure you there are far, far more people who are being inspired by what you're doing than not.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My First 3sum- An Altra Review

As a happily married man I would have never expected to be writing a post titled "My First 3sum". Suffice it to say, I'm appreciate Altra affording me the opportunity to do so, even if it is only in regards to their new tri shoe.

Although, as luck would have it, I did find this to be one sexy looking shoe.  As a shoe that was designed with the triathlete in mind I was not sure if these would be a good fit for me.  But after logging about 50 miles in these shoes I've found that they can work for us running simpletons, as well.   The 3sum is a lightweight shoe built on a semi-firm 18mm zero drop platform and offers a comfortable ride most suitable for short to mid distance runs.  While it's true that some minimalist shoes can have a zero heel to toe difference ratio, not all Altra Zero Drop™ shoes are minimalist.  They actually offer a wide range from minimal to cushioned shoes.  You can learn more about Altra here.  
When I first tried the shoe on, I did so with thin sock.  There was some noticeable slipping in the heel, despite the good forefoot fit.  (as a side note this shoe was not as wide as the Superior, which was a bummer for me but they were still more roomy than most traditional shoes)  I switched to medium thickness sock and this took care of the slipping but made the forefoot area feel tighter.  Finally, I gave in and tried it sock-less.  The seamless upper, built in tongue and padding in the heel area make this a shoe that appears to be built to be worn sock-less.   After doing a couple of test runs both with and without socks, I found the ride more enjoyable and the fit more secure without socks and the problem of the heel slipping was no longer a factor, once I was running.  I was a little leery about blisters from running sock-less but after several runs, with one has far as 10 miles, in the heat, that has not occurred.  Outside of my one, what we will call "dork run" in which I wore a thin sock on one foot and sock-less on the other, all of my runs in these shoes have been sock-less.   In the dork run I didn't notice any significant difference in the overall fit of the shoe, however the shoe did seem more breathable on the sock-less foot. 

built up cushioning in the heel.

 These shoes come with a quick lace system by a company called Yankz which allows for a quick easy on and off when transitioning. The quick lace system can be a bit intimidating if you have not used them before. However, once they are properly adjusted it is a nice added feature. The key to the adjustment is not to make them too tight.  After they are adjusted properly it's recommended that you knot and cut off the excess lace.  Rather than doing that I chose to tuck  the extra lace in the laced area in hopes that I can use them in my next pair of shoes. I replaced a quick lace with a traditional shoe lace just to see if it changed the comfort or fit.  I didn't see any noticable difference in the two.  So +1 for the lazy side of me that doesn't want waste time tying shoes. 

A couple other features of this shoe which were a bit out of my norm were the eyelet holes at the tongue and in the heel, the higher heel counter and the holes in the sole of the shoe.  I learned more about these from my expert triathlete friends, the Midwest Misfits
  • The eyelet holes at the tongue and heel are designed to assist with getting the shoes on quickly when transitioning during a triathlon.  But it also suited me well, from a laziness stand point (another +1). 
  • The higher heel counter is due the eyelet in the heel but if you fold that down, which is called "training" your shoe, it will keep it from rubbing on your skin.   These folded easily and stayed down.  Apparently with some shoes you need to use a rubber band, when not wearing them, to help reshape the heel.   That wasn't the case here. 
  • The holes in the bottom of the shoe are intended as drainage holes.  I didn't get an opportunity to run through any water so I can't say how well they do the job.

"Trained" shoe with the insole removed

As with anyone new to the minimalist or zero drop running it's a good idea to make a slow transition into these shoes.  Visit the website to learn more.  At 8.2 oz and a performance like feel, I think Altra nailed it with these!

And, just in case you were wondering what these bad boys look like after the first 50 miles