It is time again for that brand that everyone seems to love to hate on but continues to prove everyone wrong by being the first to innovate across so many different areas. They were one of the first brands using a nitrogen base midsole, they found a way to make higher cushioned shoes lighter than ever before, and now they innovated again with a new TPU based midsole that takes it up another notch. This brand, of course, is Skechers and while they get a bit saddled by the name perception, the Performance shoes are phenomenal once you try them. The shoe today in question is the New Skechers GOrun Horizon Vanish 2 and as always, it lives up to the hype.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Speedy and super lightweight, but somehow still has really solid cushioning.
- Wider and thicker feet need not apply.
- Weighs in at 5.5oz or 156g for a US Men’s 9, 4.4oz or 125g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 29mm of cushion and has a 4mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $110.00 USD and comes in 2 colors for Men and Women.
At first glance, the Vanish 2 will feel visually a lot like shoes we have seen from Skechers over the last couple of years. The upper bears a striking resemblance to the Razor Elite, the Speed Elite, and others, and the feel remains very similar. The shoe overall however sports a whole new non-Hyperburst based midsole and is lighter than ever before. In fact, we are getting to the point where it is almost crazy the weight we are seeing given the level of cushioning. We are hitting track shoe territory.
The Vanish 2 fits almost exactly like the Razer Elite. The mono mesh upper design is super breathable and flexes in the toe box enough to allow you to spread out just a bit. The overall platform is definitely going to land on the narrow side because the shoe overall skews to speed day or tempo day workouts. There is basically no heel counter and what they have done instead is extend the color padding around where a counter normally might sit. The lip of the collar has no padding so it kind of blends right into your sock. Almost every performance-oriented shoe is doing this now, basically removing collar padding and lightening up their heel counters. Make sure your feet, ankles, and Achilles are ready for this.
Performance-wise, these things can haul and it may be due to the midsole, but more than anything it feels like it’s the weight. They feel like nothing under your foot, yet that 29mm of midsole cushioning prevents a lot of ground feel and gives back as much as you put into it. Normally when you get into a lower weight shoes this means you will feel the road more as stack heights drop, but here you still stay well cushioned. Again to be clear, this is a speed oriented shoe so things like side to side stability are handled more by year foot strength instead of materials or design elements. The Vanish 2 have a good amount of bounce and we are now honestly debating whether we like Hyperburst better or this Ultraflight. There are moments when Hyperburst feels bouncier and more responsive, whereas these tend to feel firmer and nimbler.
As to where this fits in the lineup, this will be best for your speed days and even tempo days given the cushioning level. It will favor stronger legs and feet and of course mid or forefoot strikers. Also, wider feet really need not apply, this upper will just not allow you in fully or comfortably. If you wanted to race in them, then it would probably be something half marathon or under but it can be easily paired with one of Skechers carbon plated shoes because the upper feel is so similar. It is a really fun shoe to run in and when you start experiencing weights like this, it kind of blows your mind.
The upper is a hyper breathable mono mesh design, but it is also really resilient. Despite the see-through look, it is actually quite durable. As we mentioned, there is really no heel counter other than padding that has been extended down from the collar, but there is no structure to it so nothing locks you in place other than your lacing. The tongue is not gusseted, but because of the design, it moves very little and thus is almost unnecessary.
We are not sure how we feel here because we’ve been loving on Skechers Hyperburst for so long, but the Ultraflight feels solid as well. This midsole is TPU based which as we know now offers shock absorption, cushioning, and a balance between responsiveness and performance. The TPU is also more durable and typically unaffected by weather. It does feel firmer and this is where people will jump ship for Hyperburst. If you prefer a softer or bouncier run then check out the upcoming Excess instead of the Vanish 2. This also has their M-strike plate at the midfoot which is designed to help with efficiencies and adds some stiffness right at the center of the foot.
The outsole is a mirror image of what Skechers has been doing for a while now. In partnership with Goodyear, they have a custom rubber blend placed in a pod-like design which does a good job covering the entire underside of the shoe and also provides ample grip. It also does all this without affecting weight all that much.
Style & Aesthetics
We actually got a lot of great comments about the styling of the Vanish 2 when we started teasing them, but our test version is actually not the launch version. Instead, Skechers is going with this fun red design which will turn some heads and our version will be a fast follower. They don’t typically do a lot of color variations in their performance lineup, but we really liked the styling on ours.
As always, we are so grateful that Skechers sent us the GOrun Horizon Vantage 2 to test out. We think Skechers is kind of an unsung innovator that deserves a lot more credit than they get. There is a wave in the running community that is rising and does sing their praises, but obviously more work to do here. As for this shoe, it is a super fun run. If you haven’t run in a sub-6-ounce shoe, are looking for a bit of cushion, have a narrower foot, and like a firmer ride, then it would be a great time to try Skechers. I can see people throwing these on the track for speed days and truly just loving the feel. They are entirely performance-oriented, so don’t expect to wear these every day, but for what they’re meant to do they do really well.
Samples were provided by Skechers for review at no charge and with no obligation, this in no way affects the honesty or integrity of the review as every shoe goes through the same testing process before we provide a point of view. We want to thank Skechers again for the opportunity to review the shoe.
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.