We knew it was coming and versions of the Skechers GOrun Speed Elite have been circulating for the last several months, but with the Olympic Trials rapidly approaching, it was time to make them publicly available. We got our hands on the Speed Elite and had a chance to run them side by side with the other carbon plated models on the market to see if they could compete. Bottom line, everyone needs to stop with the Skechers hate and go out and try a pair on. They are truly pushing on the status quo and the performance lineup is one of the most innovative out there.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Skechers answer to the carbon plated speed craze
- Weighs in at 6oz or 170g for a US Men’s 9
- Has 23mm of cushion and a 4mm heel/toe drop
- Retails at $190.00 USD and is available now direct and in specialty
The Speed Elite looks and feels a lot like the GOrun Razor 3 and the GOMeb Speed 6, but with a few minor updates. We weren’t all that worried about looks though and instead wanted to really get into that midsole and see how they actually perform. After testing the Next% from Nike and also in test with the Hyperion Elite from Brooks, we were excited, to say the least.
The upper is a mirror image to those other models in that it is super lightweight and has very little support so you can expect your foot to bear the brunt of it. It is tapered like a standard speed/race shoe and will feel very narrow for most people. They are light, like ultralight at 6oz, almost unbelievably so and it so apparent when they are on your foot. It is like an extension of your foot and you can hardly tell they are on. There is some decent amount of cushioning, but at 23mm it definitely isn’t hitting those max numbers like other competitors. This becomes clear in the run…
In a run, these things are monsters and they can definitely go really hard. We ran these at varying distances and in our estimation they are going to be best suited at the half marathon and below levels and even the half is pushing it. The reasoning is that they are aggressive and that carbon plate really helps with performance, but the cushioning level isn’t high enough to save your legs from how hard they go. We would love to run this shoe with another 7-10mm of cushion and see how it feels, so curious to see how this evolves.
Does it help with performance and your timing? Absolutely. We could easily drop time with these, but again we found it best at shorter distances and we definitely would not take them out for a marathon until they get more cushion.
The Speed Elite uses the similar mono-mesh we have seen on the Razor 3 and Speed 6 prior. It is highly breathable, super lightweight, and durable. It is very similar to Nike’s Vaporweave in terms of feel and structure. The toe box on the shoe is very narrow as is the entire shoe itself so this thing is tapered for speed. The lacing is snug and never loosens up during the run. We would hesitate to call this upper comfortable, but more of a thick second skin.
The bulk of the 23mm of Speed Elite midsole comes in the form of their Hyperburst midsole, which is second to none on the market. This lighter and more durable nitrogen injected foam is hyper-responsive and holds up over time. The big addition here though is their forefoot carbon plate which is their answer to the current craze. This makes the shoe more responsive and provides more energy return in stride which inevitably means more speed.
The outsole on the Speed Elite is primarily an extension of the Hyperburst midsole, but with thin targeted rubber pieces strategically placed for durability and drip. The partnership with Goodyear has been great for Skechers and these outsoles have never felt better.
Style & Aesthetics
The Speed Elite looks almost identical to the Razor 3 but a few tweaks and the giant Speed Elite print on the side. It comes in a single colorway and looks aggressive as a good race shoe should.
The Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper is a really solid shoe and currently probably sits second to Nike when it comes to performance runners using the new carbon plated tech. It can pretty well destroy a 10k and even a half marathon for those stronger runners, but it is going to require more cushion to be a true marathon contender. They will also need to widen the toe box a bit to give you a bit more comfort upfront to make it a speed distance speed competitor.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.