Skechers continues to be a perplexing one for us. Their site is littered with the heavy consumerized models for walking and some running that most folks roll their eyes at, but just under the hood and below the fold of most of their pages is where you find the performance lineup. And to put it plainly, these shoes are phenomenal. The latest example of this is the new Skechers GOrun Ride 9. For most people, this shoe will tick all the boxes as a daily trainer yet it can also deliver performance as well. The challenge we see is that their Innovative and compelling shoes are getting placed under the same umbrella and getting lost. But we are here to give it a little more air time to those performance models because they are solid.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- A very capable daily trainer that ticks a lot of the boxes for a wide array of runners.
- Weighs in at 8.4oz or 238g for a US Men’s 9, 6.5oz or 184g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 34mm of cushion and has a 6mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $130.00 USD and comes in 4 colors for Men and Women.
At this point, we can stop waxing poetically about Skechers and how undervalued we think they are. Instead, let’s focus on the Ride 9 itself and how it runs. The first half of 2021 is definitely the year of well-cushioned daily trainers that are still light enough to be performant. The Ride 9 fits perfectly into this category and can take on most of those other shoes head-on, including shoes like the HOKA Mach 4, the New Balance 1080v11, and more.
The initial on-foot experience is quite comfortable and will sell the shoe for most. The multi-layer upper design leads to a nice soft interior feel and one could almost go sockless if they wanted. The collar is really well cushioned and once you lace it down, the heel does hold you in place quite well. The forefoot is more open than you might expect providing a decent amount of toe splay and width and the shoe overall delivers a fairly stable base both on the front and rear.
The run is where the Ride 9 really shines through. The shoe is incredibly comfortable, no question about that, and that extends into the run, but that Hyperburst midsole is what delivers and it is still one of the best out there providing cushion and responsiveness. The Ride 9 delivers 34mm of in fact, with a nicely balanced 6mm drop which for us is coming in right at that sweet spot. What this also means is that you can take on really any distance you want to. For everyday casual runners, it’ll work for anything under 10 miles really easily. For those that want to go farther, the Ride 9 delivers equally as well. This can truly be an amazing first half marathon or marathon shoe to get someone into. It has a nice amount of breathability, it’s quite light on your foot, there is plenty of cushion, and it can still turn over really well. It ticks all the boxes.
Now don’t expect it to be a speed shoe or think it will deliver lower times. Instead, think of this as the shoe that you could give to any first-time runner and they would love it. Also, know that you could also give it to an experienced runner to use on their lighter load days and they would also really enjoy the run experience. Bottom line, check your insecurities about Skechers at the door and give these a look.
The upper is a highly breathable multi-layer mesh that is airier up front and then more built up and secure from mid-foot back. Those diamond patterns that you see provide flexibility giving you room to move just a touch, both laterally and vertically. The tongue is non-gusseted, but moderately padded and stays in place quite well due to the position of the lace control being higher up the tongue. The collar is well-padded and the internal heel counter extends up words right to that heel pull is locking you in place and providing solid control.
The love affair with Hyperburst continues on the Ride 9 with 34mm of cushion being delivered. This supercritical nitrogen-infused foam has wowed us since day one and almost every other reviewer as well. It truly is one of the unsung midsoles on the market and it delivers a cushioned and responsive experience with very little degradation over time. It also has quite a nice rocker to it, so heel strikers will find a bit of help through their stride.
The outsole on the Ride 9 uses a nice bit of Goodyear rubber across the entire face of the Soul with only a few exposed areas of Hyperburst. This leads to a very well-connected Road feel providing ample grip and control while also being quite durable.
Style & Aesthetics
Styling with Skechers is always challenging for some reason. They lean too far back into their traditional lineup for our liking and wow some folks actually loved our test colorway. It is polarizing, to say the least. There are other colors available, but we’d love to see something a little different in the performance business.it might be the color usage or the logo, there is just something…
While Skechers does continue to grab some attention in the running market, it saddens us that there isn’t more time spend on them. We recognize why historically this is the case, but we would love Skechers to really pull the performance lineup out of their main repertoire and treat it independently. The shoes simply aren’t the same in terms of performance or quality and putting them together diminishes the quality of the performance models. The GORun Ride 9 is a fantastic shoe and most runners will find it highly appealing as an everyday trainer. It features their balanced Hyperburst midsole platform, a decent amount of Goodyear rubber for traction and durability, a breathable yet well-structured upper, and a well-padded rear foot. Skechers does need to work on their color variety and aesthetic, but the shoe performs.
Note that Skechers provided these shoes for review without compensation and this in no way affected our judgment as it relates to the construction or performance of 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.