Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Skechers Gobionic Trail Shoes Review

Skechers are fairly new to the running shoe market but have been having great success.  I have been running in various road models for the last year and really like the light weight flexibility of the shoe a well as the amazing colours they come in.  I have run marathon PBs and 24 hour races wearing the Gorun range so am defiantly a convert.  I was very excited to receive a pair of their new Gobionic trail shoe which has been on the UK market for about a month now.

My trail running shoe/ experience background

I don't do a lot of off road running because I am not very good at technical terrain but do like canal/ woods. Most of my trail running also involves tarmac so I need shoes which are suitable for mixed terrain.  My current trail shoes are inov8 320 for when there is a lot of tarmac as they are more cushioned or inov8 295 when I need a bit more grip and when there is less tarmac as these are hard work on the roads.

First impressions 
have never been excited by trail shoes - they tend to look a bit boring but when I took these out the box I couldn't wait to go out and try them - those who know me will know it must have been a special shoe to get me excited about off road running! They were:

Very light (UK size 6.5 227g compared to 325g for my inov8 320 on my kitchen scales)
The material of the upper is very soft
A pretty pink and purple which look much nicer and more interesting than other trail shoes (other colours available)
Felt comfortable walking about the house
Wide toe box so plenty of wiggle room for the toes 
The fit is probably marginally bigger than my Gorun ride.


Over the last few weeks I have been wearing the shoes for short runs which are a mix of tarmac, woods and trail.  At the weekend they had a proper test on a 40 mile race which was mixed terrain and even included about 6 miles on the beach.  

Although the shoes are light they have a decent amount of cushioning so felt fine running on the long stretches of tarmac, often trail shoes feel quite clompy but these didn't, whilst they were not as nice as road shoes they are the best trail shoes I have had for the tarmac sections.  

On the trails the shoes performed well, they have good grip; felt stable; responsive and were very comfortable.  Although light they offered sufficient protection on the trails both underfoot and   upper-  I didn't feel every stone like my Gobionic ride ( more minimal road shoes) on a similar route.  They were good running on the hard sand but when it got to the large pebbles I did feel them through the shoes but I think only Hokas would have protected me from those!  

The shoes have a 4mm drop so you feel close to the ground - you can take out the insole to make a 0mm drop but I haven't tried that.

The grip was good on the sticky parts.  I ran through a lot of damp areas where road shoes might have slipped and didn't have a problem.  Due to the dry weather there wasn't any proper mud to test them on but I did deliberately run through some short mud sections and found they had good grip. 

At the end of my 40 mile run I had no blisters or rubbing and was not despite to take my shoes off like I often am at the end of long runs as these were so comfortable.  

I have done around 70 miles (picture below taken after 70 miles) so too early to comment on durability but so far no signs of wear and tear.  Looking at the sole I don't think these would be very good for hard core trail running with steep muddy slopes but they are perfect for what I want which is a light shoe with good grip on easier trail, enough cushioning to protect the feet from brances/  good on the tarmac sections.  I really love these shoes, they have encouraged me to go on trails more because I want to be wearing them, that has to be a good thing.

 Below is the men's version (see website for other colours)

Spec from the website

Women's Go Bionic Trail Running Shoes

Our nature-inspired design is now built for the great outdoors. The Skechers GObionic Trail features a new Resagrip outsole with multi-directional traction for superior control over uneven surfaces.


  • GObionic engineering uses nature and organic inspired design for a more natural movement
  • Watershed Mesh drains moisture quickly in wet conditions
  • Lightweight Rock Diffusion Plate disperses pressure to protect against rough terrain
  • Resagrip outsole is a proprietary durable, lightweight and flexible compound with traction control
  • Engineered to promote a midfoot strike
  • Decoupled geometric lugs on outsole elevate flexibility and grip
  • Breathable stretch mesh supports in extreme environments
  • 2 in 1 custom fit - wear with insole for a 4mm heel drop plus enhanced cushioning and protection, or remove the insole for a zero-drop barefoot-like experience
  • Ortholite integrated anti-microbial sockliner helps inhibit odor


  • Ultra lightweight mesh and synthetic upper
  • Lace up front
  • Smooth comfortable interior for barefoot wear
  • Weight: 6.1 oz. per shoe in a women's size 4

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