Sole/Ride/Drop: Skechers performance shoes generally use a material called Resalyte, which with first step in feels fairly soft. I was concerned that this would make the ride unstable, but that has not been the case. Combined with the specific placements of durable outsole rubber and once the shoe breaks in after a few miles, the ride becomes both protective and responsive. There is a considerable amount of shoe between your foot and the ground, so do not expect an amazing ground feel. The Skechers GoRun Strada is clearly a training shoe in line with the Nike Pegasus, Saucony Ride, Brooks Launch, etc. That being said, the GoRun Strada runs similar to the Launch 2, Sayonara 3 and other semi-lightweight trainers due to the more responsive feel.
The drop is listed at 8mm and that is approximately what it feels like. I would place it in the 8-10mm range but that is splitting hairs. The midsole does compress quite bit so it may feel lower depending on how much pressure you apply through the heel at loading response and midstance (ie acceptance of weight or landing and when your foot is in contact with the ground under your body).
As with most Skecher's Performance shoes, the Strada can be worn sockless without much issue. I have tried this a few times but due to the shoe fitting a 1/8-1/4 size big (I'm just nit picking) I tend to wear socks. I was initially concerned about the slightly larger fit, but as I mentioned earlier I have not had any slipping issues and do not feel the shoe is long while I'm running. So if you are between sizes you could attempt a 1/2 size down but I would not wear socks. Personally I would stick to your normal size.
Other than the durability issue, this is a great responsive trainer. I have not used this shoe for my faster workouts (I save those for racing flats) but have had fast runs and long runs in this shoe. Once you get going, this shoe has some bounce and it feels very good to run fast. Based on the weight and size of this shoe, the GoRun Strada is still a training shoe that should be used for longer miles and maybe a tempo run at most.
The most interesting thing that stuck out to me was the placement of the more durable outsole foam compared to the softer foam. Because of the full midfoot covering and medial forefoot covering, I feel that the GoRun Strada actually has some mild forefoot stability. There are many ways to introduce stability as I mentioned earlier. The wider base of the Strada already makes the shoe more stable and the more firm medial forefoot rubber compared to the softer lateral exposed midsole material gives it a semi posted structure. It is not aggressive posting but it definitely contributes to making the ride more stable naturally without aggressively forcing the foot to do anything. I would call the GoRun Strada a Neutral Plus shoe given the natural stability elements in the forefoot.
I really wish more companies would introduce shoes with forefoot posting. As a physical therapist, I do believe the priority should be improving biomechanics through strength, flexibility and motor control, but the majority of the population will not spend the time to do that. Additionally, not everyone has excessive mobility and lack of strength in the posterior heel or midfoot. The forefoot is an area that has been untouched in terms of stability in the US in recent years. There are a few racing flats in the Asian market (such as the Asics Tartherzeal TS 3) that do have medial forefoot posting, but that is about it. Definitely an untapped area of the running market.
Thanks for reading and don't forget to Tack On!
These shoes were a provided for free after placing 3rd in the 2015 Santa Monica Classic 10k by Skechers Performance and the LA Marathon. I put at least 100 miles on every pair of shoes before I review them (except racing flats which I put on at least 50 miles). Currently I have 177 miles on my first pair.
As always, my views are my own.
As always, my views are my own.
-Matt Klein, SPT