Considering the Skechers GOrun Ultra R 2 is in its first generation, Skechers did a nice job introducing a super-light, maximum cushioning trainer to its lineup. The GOrun Ultra R 2 was by far the lightest maximum cushioning shoe of the test and perhaps on the market as a whole, but it lacked the performance seen in other running shoes such as the Hoka One One Clifton 4 or Altra Paradigm 3.0. Our testers described the ride as too soft, impacting its ability to feel responsive and speedy.
The GOrun Ultra R 2 has more soft underfoot cushioning than any other shoe tested, even the Hoka One One Clifton 4 and Altra Paradigm 3.0. Combined with a surprisingly low weight of only 8.6 oz for men and 6.7 oz for women, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing a maximum cushioning shoe. Testers wished the virtually seamless knit upper was more comfortable, often saying it felt stiff and unforgiving and didn’t provide adequate airflow. Padding on the tongue and ankle collar was minimal, which contributed to the stiff feel as well.
One tester described the fit, as “the best aspect of the shoe,” which does a nice job summarizing the GOrun Ultra R 2. The shoe fit extremely well compared to others tested and offers a healthy medium between the narrow Hoka One One Clifton 4 and wide Altra Paradigm 3.0. The stiff upper, which reduced comfort, catered to a secure and tight fit around the midfoot. The heel was locked down with a stiff and shaped heel cup and featured a “Quick Fit” tab for easy on and off.
The 5GEN midsole was way too soft to offer any hint of responsiveness in the GOrun Ultra R 2. Multiple testers used the word “mushy” to describe how the shoe felt underfoot. While the midsole was one of the best to protect against hard ground impact, any force placed against the 5Gen midsole was immediately absorbed and then stopped with little energy to assist with push off. Skechers placed three pronounced groves in the forefoot of the midsole to aid in flexibility during toe-off.
If it wasn’t for the non-responsive midsole, the GOrun Ultra R 2 would be an extremely fast cushioned trainer. Weighing in as the lightest shoe in the comfort category by over half an ounce, moving the GOrun Ultra R 2 through your stride is light and effortless, however, once the rubber hits the road the inefficient midsole stole speed.
The noticeable rocker design in the midsole from Skechers M-Strike technology helped promote a midfoot strike, but due to the soft nature of the 5Gen midsole, getting a smooth and even transition was lost during impact. Ride quality was directly correlated with how much the midsole compressed; the less the level of compression, the better the quality of the ride, making it more ideal for lighter runners. Heavier runners will most likely fully compress the 5Gen midsole.