Sunday, December 3, 2017

Skechers GOrun Forza 3 Review

I have always loved light stability performance shoes.  I find most moderate stability shoes to over correct me while purely neutral shoes eventually give me minor aches.  The light stability category is one I have always flirted with but usually there are not an extensive number of shoes in that fit in it.  Previously I liked the GoRun Forza 1 and 2 (REVIEW), but found the shoes to be a little heavy for my tastes.  The durability was fantastic but again the ride was a little heavy.  The Forza 3 is a completely different shoe.  Lighter, faster, new stability and more.  Let's talk, because this is my favorite shoe. 


Specs 
Weight: 9.3 oz
Drop: 6 mm
Classification: Light Stability Performance Trainer


Fit/Feel

The first thing I noticed about this upper is that it is light.  This really helps with breathability as I first received this shoe in the middle of SoCal summer.  The second thing was how well the ribbed upper stretches with the foot.  This almost feels like a custom fit and while it is not tight, it definitely adapts to the foot and stretches around the different contours very well. The fit is very consistent through the ribbed sections and feels unique. 


There are specific sections of the upper that are designed to increase stability.  The medial midfoot, medial heel and lateral heel are thicker to help guide the foot at those areas.  The rest of the shoe uses a more ribbed pattern to increase flexibility.


I am happy Skechers remembered to put a last eyelet on this shoe (unlike the GOrun Ride 7, but I had no issues there).  However, the fit is great enough that again I have not had to use them.


The sizing of the Forza 3 is very true to size.  I am a size 10 and that is exactly how this shoe fits.  The upper has a medium to snug fit.  This is not a super wide shoe, but the upper is flexible enough that it will adapt to a variety of foot types. 


Ride/Sole

Like the previous Forza, the shoe has a wider base.  That's about it for similarities.  The second density foam now extends from the middle heel all the way into the forefoot.  I very much appreciate any company putting in some additional forefoot stability.  This area tends to get overlooked by many and is often a major contributor to instability in the foot and farther up.  See my discussion on forefoot stability HERE.


There is technically M-Strike in this shoe, but it is different than previous.  Instead of a very large rocker throughout the whole, shoe, the heel is very curved and there is mild toe spring.  The midfoot is fairly consistent, which further contributes to the stable ride.  This creates an incredibly smooth heel landing.  Since the sole is also fairly flexible in the forefoot, the is not as much need for aggressive toe spring, so the ride is fairly smooth up front as well.


As I just mentioned, the forefoot is fairly flexible.  The flex grooves are curved to not only facilitate the forward roll of the foot but to improve toe-off.  Most stability shoes are not very flexible, but the Forza 3 proves you can use flexibility in the right spots to actually facilitate the foot in the right direction.

456 miles.  This is pretty good for me.  Most shoes look like this at 300 miles. 

The Forza 3 was the first shoe I tried with FLIGHT GEN.  This material is very bouncy and durable.  I have 456 miles on my pair and although the sole is finally wearing, I can still keep running in them.  The durability is out of this world and far exceeds the normal 300-350 miles I get out of most shoes.  Thanks to the lighter weight and this foam, I have used this shoe for a variety of workouts including hill repeats and longer tempo runs when I need a bit more stability.  This shoe seems to have several personalities as it is protective but not overbearing when you need it, but responds well to pace increases.  I have used this shoe extensively for long runs and been able to pick up the pace every time toward the end.  For those that need a bit more stability, the Forza 3 may serve as a great long distance racing shoe thanks to the lighter weight and sole. 


Thoughts as a DPT

This is a great example of a shoe that uses many forms of stabilization without relying heavily on second density foam, posting or things that "force" the foot.  There are many aspects of a shoe you can use to facilitate the foot in the right direction.  Mild posting is great and has been used extensively. 


In this case I love that the Forza 3 has a full length medial second density foam that supports the foot without being overbearing. The weave of the upper also creates different spots of tension and holds the foot down well.  The sole having a wide base creates stability automatically.  The flex grooves are placed perfectly in this shoe.  The midfoot and heel do NOT have flex grooves.  They only start as you get close to the metatarsophalangeal joints and phalangeal joints, where sagittal plane motion really occurs.  The flex grooves are slightly curved to facilitate a controlled roll forward and the extended stability system into the forefoot will help assist those who have trouble getting their first MTP joint down (that is supposed to be done by the peroneus longus). 


Finally, there is some medial forefoot flare to further improve that medial forefoot stability.  Almost everything that could be thought of was put into this shoe, but none were done extensively.  They all come together to provide stability without being overbearing.  I hope to see more designs like this in the future. 


Room for Improvement

Honestly the Forza 3 is my perfect shoe.  Light stability with full length posting, especially in the forefoot with a smooth bouncy ride that is extremely durable.  For those that are looking for more stability, this shoe may not provide as much as say the Brooks Adrenaline.  The Forza 3 has stability but it is more mild to moderate (at most) than moderate to high.  I think more shoes need to move in the light stability direction as most people need to work on their mechanics more than they need more support.  So one could argue that to have a true support shoe the Forza 4 needs to be more supportive, but I hope Skechers Performance keeps it where it is. 


Conclusion

This has been my primary training shoe for the last several months.  I have not had any issues running in it and the only thing I am disappointed in is that I have to wait a month for another pair (will be released in January 2018).  The sole is so smooth and the stability is integrated very nicely through the full length of the foot.  The upper fits closely without being too tight and adapts to the foot.  Finally, the new FLIGHT GEN midsole is responsive and protective without being heavy or slow.  For those looking for a little guidance in a stable ride, definitely check this shoe out.  It is a fine example of the new direction Skechers Performance is taking. 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to tack on!

As always, my views are my own.  My blog should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care.  If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist.  If you are in the LA area, I am taking clients privately for running evaluations based on my Orthopedic Residency schedule. 

Dr. Matthew Klein, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Casa Colina Orthopedic Resident

Kaiser SoCal Manual Therapy and Sport Fellow 2018

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  I put at least 75 miles on trainers and 25 miles on racing flats.  Currently my pair of GOrun Forza 3s have 456 miles on them.  A big thank you to Skechers Performance for including me in the development of such fantastic performance shoes.  The Skechers GOrun Ride 7 will be available December 2017 to January 2018.  I hope this and the rest of the Skechers Performance 2018 line convince local running stores to consider carry this brand.  

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8 comments:

  1. Thanks very much for the review Matt. Do you have any thoughts on how does it compares to the ride and stability of the Tempo 9?

    Mike

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    Replies
    1. Hello.

      I have personally found the Forza 3 to be more stable than the Tempo 9. Likely due to the wider midfoot, smoother transition at the heel and less toe spring at the forefoot. The ride is as I said smoother for me than the Tempo 9 due to the decreased toe spring and lower drop especially. The asymmetrical structure of the upper fits better on the Forza 3 as well unless you like really narrow shoes (then the Tempo 9 will work better). I have also found the ride of the Tempo 9 to be a bit more stiff, which is why it may make a better long distance racer.

      -Dr. Matthew Klein, PT, DPT

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  2. How do these compare to the Nike Zoom Elite 9? How does Flight Gen compare to Boost? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hello.

      The Zoom Elite 9 is a neutral lightweight trainer, while the Forza has some medial posting for stability. While the Elite 9 runs a little lighter, the FLIGHT GEN feels a little more responsive in the Forza 3. I would use the Zoom Elite 9 for workouts, wehreas I would prefer the Forza 3 as a trainer.

      Compared to Boost in the same amount, FLIGHT GEN feels a little more stable and maybe a hair firmer. Have not gotten confirmation on the material type FLIGHT GEN is, but it also maintains a similar ride over long miles.

      Thanks for reading!

      -Dr. Matthew Klein, PT, DPT

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  3. Thanks for the review Matt! I'm a forefoot striker with some mild instability and I've been really excited for these since I saw the preview on RTR. Glad to hear they live up to those expectations!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! I'm excited to finally get my hands on a new pair!

      -Matt

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  4. How does the flexibility of this sole compare to that of the GoRun 5 and GoRun Ride 6, particularly in the forefoot?

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    Replies
    1. I personally did not like the GRR6. The GOrun 5 is a fairly lightweight shoe that is a bit soft for my likes. The Forza 3 by far has the smoothest ride and seems to combine mild cushion with flexibility AND stability in the forefoot. By far the most stable forefoot but also the easiest toe-off of the three. That's probably thanks to the flex grooves combined with the second density wedge into the forefoot.

      Hope that helps.

      -Dr. Matthew Klein PT DPT

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