Skechers Performance GOtrail

I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately talking up the new Skechers GOtrail, so let’s dive into some specifics about why I love this shoe. I’ve put about 100 trail miles in the GOtrail, and I’m truly convinced that it’s one of the finest models that Skechers Performance has released so far.

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First, some measurables:

Weight: 9.4 oz (men’s size 9)

Stack Height: 24mm (heel), 20mm (toe)

Offset: 4mm

Previously, I was wearing the Skechers GOtrail Ultra 3 for trail running, a nicely re-imagined version of the GOrun Ultra –  something of a trail/road hybrid that was split into the GOtrail Ultra 3 and GOrun Ultra Road. Still following along? Confusion aside, it was clear that Skechers Performance was making an effort to focus more specialized attention on the trail world, something I desperately wanted since the retirement of the GObionic Trail shoe of yesteryear. I like the GTU3. I had a great experience racing in them for the Capt’n Karl’s Colorado Bend 30k night race, but I found that with my hypermobile ankles, I was often playing with fire on loose rock and steep descents. The extra thick midsole cushioning on the GOtrail Ultra 3 is excellent for protection from trail hazards, but I just couldn’t confidently go fast in them on more technical terrain. Enter the GOtrail.

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The GOtrail is very similar to the GOtrail Ultra 3, but it puts much less emphasis on the large midsole and leans instead upon a sensible amount of cushioning with a new responsive midsole compound and a Dupont Hytrel rockplate in the forefoot. Hytrel is marketed by Dupont as having the “flexibility of rubber with the strength and processability of thermoplastics”, making it the perfect protection for a running shoe without compromising flexibility and comfort. In the races that I’ve run in the GOtrail, I have not experienced foot soreness or felt that I suffered from not having enough cushioning in my shoe. They seem to have hit a Goldilocks spot on this one.

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The outsole is almost identical to that of the GOtrail Ultra 3, with sticky rubber lugs that both dig into soft trails and grip slick rocks. There were several times during the Sky Island 50k that we were leaning way back on steep, rocky descents and I never experienced any slippage.

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The upper on the GOtrail is almost completely seamless and locks down really well while also having plenty of room in the forefoot for toe splay. While I tend to catch my toe when I get tired late in a race, the overlays around the end of the toe box offered excellent protection, so I walked unscathed.

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Even though the GOtraill Ultra 3 is an amazing shoe, I believe Skechers Performance knocked one out of the park with the GOtrail. The shoe is low profile, locks down to your foot for a fast feel, grips extremely well on any terrain, and keeps you comfortable and protected for the long haul. Since wearing this shoe, I haven’t rolled an ankle (knock on wood) or developed any blistering (knock on wood) despite putting in some long miles. Until an update is released, the GOtrail will be my trail shoe of choice for the foreseeable future. Thank you, Skechers Performance for doing such great work!

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