In the running shoe industry, it’s not very often that you see something completely new. Sure, there have been countless updates and tweaks to different shoes (read: Mizuno Wave Rider) to improve them based on the latest technologies and research, but when was the last time you saw a company from outside of the running industry enter, collect countless amounts of feedback and data points, and then mature its product line to a legitimate power? For most people, that answer is almost certainly “never.” That is what Skechers has done with their Performance Division, and the GOrun Strada is an extension of that maturity.
If you’ve followed my blog and writings for long, you’ll recall that I have an opinion that rotating running shoes helps to prevent injury, and rotating a traditional trainer into the mix is an important part of that. When I say “traditional trainer,” I am referring to a shoe that maintains a decent amount of structure and cushioning, and doesn’t buy into the ultraflexible or supercushioned fads that have come into the marketplace. For a while, the closest thing that Skechers had to this type of shoe was the GOrun Ride, a very soft and cushioned shoe that maintains most of its structure though a thicker midsole than the GOrun. Now, we have the GOrun Strada – a traditional, cushioned trainer that is everything I’ve been looking for.
To date, I’ve spent 108 miles in the Strada, and it’s only getting better with wear. The Strada is heavier, more structured, and less flexible than any other Skechers shoe that has been released, but that’s one of the reasons that I like it so well. The outsole has been fitted with regions of denser foam that help to mitigate the foot’s naturally overzealous movements while still allowing for full range of motion, although less destructively when your body needs to be recovering from hard effort workouts. This also improves the durability over some of the other models that have a primarily soft foam outsole. I enjoy putting this shoe on for easy and long runs, and believe that the Strada is proving that it is more than up to the miles. So far, this shoe is showing no signs of wearing down anytime soon.
In terms of opportunities for improvement, I would say that I’d like to see the Strada drop a little bit of weight to hold up to some of the other traditional trainers in the class. For example, the Mizuno Wave Rider is 9 ounces and the Saucony Zealot is 8.3, almost 2 ounces lighter than the Strada. Weight doesn’t make a huge difference for a high mileage trainer that you’re not gearing to go fast, but it makes for a better experience overall. I also found that the early miles (first 20 or so) in the shoe were a bit stiff, and took a little bit to break-in to start feeling the buttery smooth ride. This is pretty typical of shoes in this class for me, so it’s less of a complaint and more an observation.
Weight: 10oz (men’s size 9)
Stack heights: 25mm (heel) 17mm (toe)
Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm
Pick up the Skechers GOrun Strada to help round out your training rotation. They’re an important addition to my Boston Marathon training, and will continue to be part of my arsenal beyond Patriot’s Day!