Thursday, February 23, 2012

Skechers GO Run Review and Giveaway.

Skechers GO Run

Before I get the review here's a little story of how I got to this point

My History 

Three years ago before the  the book Born to Run had become a best seller and long before  this whole minimalist shoe frenzy developed. I was a shod runner.  I ran my first marathon in a pair of  $9  shoes from Big 5 and I ran my first 100 miler on trails in a pair of saccuony motion controled street shoes that I bought from  in a clearance bin for $30 . For the most part  I was too poor to by expensive shoes and I usually only had one pair of shoes for running at a time that I would I would make do with on all terrains.

My last race in shoes the Javelina Jundred 2009

As I began to run more trail ULtra's
 I switched to running in some  Adidas trail shoes that I could always find at Sports authority for under $50. I suffered a few  injuries at the beginning of 2009 where one thing lead to another limiting the amount of training I could do.  I live pretty close to the beach and it has always been my favorite place to run,.  My training which use to be about 25% barefoot running in the sand now became 90% but I was still racing in shoes using a totally different stride.  (kind of stupid) On Halloween 2009 This culminated into an IT band slash hip injury while racing in the desert.

That day I gave up conventional shoes Cold Turkey.  As my injuries heeled I began running in Vibram five Fingers which I had some success in but they kept falling apart on me and I was too poor to replace them. Next came Luna Sandals which I currently race in to this day.  They have provided me with the best fit and durability of and shoe I have ever owned.  Next to running barefoot they provide me with the most pleasure while I run.  Although I love my Luna's I do realize they are not perfect for every situation.

I don't really like her form but I really like the way she is formed.

It's been a few years since I have given any shoes a chance.  I do keep track of what's new and every once in awhile I actually put on my feet.  I even bought a pair of new  balance Minimus's last summer, which I wore  once and returned because they were way to much shoe me.

Last Year my buddy Christian Burke began to work with Skechers on a minimalist shoe. 
"Skechers really?"
I have a pair of those!
 I got them at the mall 10 years ago. The only time time they go my feet is for a wedding a funeral or court. They serve their purpose well  but needless to say I don't look forward to wearing them.  

"But a running shoe?"
I was extemley skeptical

Over the year I saw various progressions of it's design and became very intrigued.What I saw developing was every bit as good as the current shoes being mass marketed by Nike and New Balance.   In some ways they seemed even better.
But was this shoe really gonna make it into production?
(Christian was so confident in his Go Runs he ran with his eyes closed)

 The dude couldn't stop raving about them!  At the time he was the one of the only people in the world to have a pair.  He was racing in them nearly every weekend  and continuously setting new P.R's for himself

He's still way slower than me!"
(Love ya, dude.)

Unfotunetly Christians feet are a few inches shorter than mine. He's a little guy. (lol)  Although I really didn't have a need for a shoe I really wanted to give it a try but when I tried to slip my foot in  I felt like a fat wicked step sister and Christian was Cinderella

At the same time Christian was testing out the new shoe so was Meb Keflezighi
Silver Medalist in the Marathon at the 2004 olympics and most recently Top U.S. finisher at the New york marathon and top U.S. qualifier for the 2012 olympics, both done while wearing the Go Run.

Skechers is based is in my hometown of Manhattan Beach. 
 One day in September coming home from a beach run I saw the GoRun it the window of their retail store.

I couldn't believe the shoe had made it to production.  I knew the day would come but I was surprised that it had arrived so soon.

About two weeks later  after withdrawing from a 100 mile race  at mile 60 with the lead because of a nagging foot injury I decided maybe running in shoes every now again might not be a bad idea?  I made a call to Christian (whom had moved to Spain in August), he sent out  a couple emails.
Less than a week later I found myself  at the Skechers corporate office with beautiful girl placing the shoes on me feet and one of the head designer asking for my input.
Now I was Cinderella.
(maybe that's not such a good thing but, whatever)

Enough with the Shenanigans
On with the Review

(No they do not come mismatched, I have 2 pairs)

15 minutes after that they were placed my feet and I was testing out on the dread mill at the gym.

The shoes are super light and are specially designed to encourage amid foot strike.
How do they do this?

The heel of the shoe is 14mm while the mid foot increase to 18mm before dropping down to 10mm.  If  you have been wearing modern running shoes your whole life chances are that you will be heel striker. Most shoes for the past 20 years have a heel to toe drop of 8 to 14 mm. with no increase at the mid sole.
the Go run's midsole is the thickest part of the shoe it encourages your midfoot to strike the ground first making it nearly impossible to heel strike.
A lot of other minimalist shoes on the market are  there to simulate barefoot running.  They do this by providing very little heel to toe drop with no midsole.  This is great for people who are quick learners or who already know how to run barefoot. But for some reason or another a lot of people just can't figure out.

In my opinion the best way to learn to run barefoot is to actually do it.
 I also understand that many people don't see this as a viable option.

Day in and day out I see people wearing Vibram five fingers and they are still heel striking?  Sometimes that little piece of rubber between their foot and the ground is just enough to let people revert back to their bad habits.
For them  the Sketchers GO Run  can aid with the transition to a midfoot strike.  Whether the Go run would teach them good form only who knows but at least they wouldn't be heel striking while wearing them.

What do I think of the GO Run?

 It's been along time since a got whiff of that new shoe smell.
It really is nice shoe to hold in your hand and admire

The Upper

The upper is as nice any shoe I have ever seen (other than the logo but thats just cosmetic).  The tongue is stitched in and the fabric is very soft throughout and extremely comfortable at the heel.  After a few 100 hundred miles and about 75 rounds of disc golf It's got plenty of life left.

Toe Box
The toe box is extremly wide. Not something I need since I have a pretty narrow feet but I know a lot of people that will appreciate this especially people who want to  love their Nike Free's who have wide feet.

The sole
The shoe is super flexible .  It can be twisted in any direction that your foot wants to go and gets even more playable over time.  The sole provides a ton of cushion.  It obtains this from the numerous tall, soft feet back sensors that are much more aggressive than any Street shoe I have ever worn

The fit

The shoes feels very much like a when you put it slipper when you put it on your foot.
Except for one thing.
"What the hell is this giant bump doing in the middle of the shoe?"
From the very second you place it on your foot you will be aware of the midsole.  Walking in this shoe can feel awkward at first but remember this shoe is called the "Go Run" not the "Go Walk".

My running form works for me and I don't think it is ideal for every one.
Almost all of myt training is done barefoot I have developed an extreme forefoot strike a little farther forward than I  would recommend to others.

Flat Slow
Running an flat terrains in the Go run drives me crazy each time my forefoot goes to strike the ground it is interrupted by the the midsole. instead of using my foot like a spring my energy is dissipated as my foot rolls onto the ground.  What would be advantageous to a heel striker actually makes me work harder and it quite frustrating

Flat Fast
Running fast in these shoes I feel pretty comfortable although there is way to much cushioning for my liking.  10 miles in under and hour came pretty easy but I felt slower than I do running barefoot.

Down hill
I abosolutly love these shoes for running down hill.  Never have I felt so fast!  Going downhill I tend to be way too reckless and over stride.  The Mid sole keeps my legs somewhat under control and prevents me from heel striking.

When running Uphill the midsole acts like wedge. It feel like I was cheating.  

My trail  running has been pretty much just running while playing Disc golf.  The nubs on the bottom are very good at grabbing the ground on uneven surfaces.  In fact The tread seems more designed for trail than the road. The heel of this shoe is way too wide.  The added surface area  when it does hit the ground made me more inclined to misstep than need be.

What I like?
 The shoe is very comfortable
It bends better t the cotours of your foot better than any other running shoe I have worn other that the five fingers or the Luna Sandal.
 It's extremely light
 Superb for running hills and decent on a trails

What I don't like
Way too much cushioning.  (but I'm use to running in sandals)
Walking in the shoe is a little awkward at first but gets better over time
 The heel of the shoe is needlessly wide.

What I Think they could improve on?
Sell another version of the shoe without the midsole
(they made me special pair without one and I really dig it)
Zero heel to toe drop.
Decrease the height of the tread by 75% and use a less spongy material

Who else wears the Skechers GO Run?

Posing with mom
Recently at the Sketchers pier to pier Walk
Denise Austin and Brooke Burke wear them.

Even Mr. Ultra Slim fast himself Tommy Lasorda had on a pair.

Maybe that's not the best P.R. Move

Over the past few months I have seen quite a few people wearing the Go Runs at least one person every day.  At my gym about 1 out of every 8 people wear Nike Free's 1 out of 75 wear vibrams and 1 out of every 150 wear the Go Run.  Skechers does a lot for our community and since they have a retail store Just a block up from the pier there's probably more people wearing the Skechers GO run in Manhattan Beach than any other city in the world.

Even Dog's Like em

Other Peoples opinions
I've talked to about 20 people whom I have bumped into while they were wearing the shoe including jocks, little old ladies, big fat dudes, to stoner teenagers.
Universally they all loved the shoe.
(if they didn't like it they wouldn't be wearing it. right)
Most of these people were quite aware of the midsole but some just bought it because of they it looked pretty.
"The best shoe I have ever owned." Said Peter
This dude  told me that Vibrams didn't work for him.  He use to run in motion controlled Asics and now wears the Go run exclusively.
Over half the people I talked to had owned Nike free's in the past and now preferred the Skechers.
When asked "What do you think of the Midsole?"

The most common response was that it took about week to get use to but now they don't realize it's even there.

I got my sister a pair.  She use to run in apair  of Brooks that weighed twice as much but now likes the Skechers even more.  Although  she did add a orthotic.  Something I wouldn't recommend but it works for her and I think that's great.

Many of the top woman runners in the community are racing in them.  Including the beautiful and talented Annie Seawright.


It's very hard for me to be happy wearing a shoe.

 This is a great shoe for runners who wish to learn proper running form.  I don't plan on giving up my Luna Sandals anytime soon but I think I could be successful racing in the GO Run.  It has become my Disc Golf shoe of choice and it is the shoe I wear to the gym when I don't feel like sneaking around in my sandals.  It's very comfortable on my feet and the midsole which annoyed me at first while walking, I hardly even notice anymore.
Running is this shoe is nothing like being barefoot and the idea of any footwear calling itself a barefoot shoe I find pretty stupid. It is not a barefoot shoe! It is light weight and lets your foot move somewhat freely but in nothing like running barefoot..
Some people may be too pretentious to take Skechers seriously as a running shoe company.  Nobody expected Vibram would make a good running shoe either.

 If you like a Nike Free style of shoe I highly recommend that you give the Go run a try.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised

  Skechers did good job with design but there is plenty of room for improvement.
I looked at their drawing board and tested out a few shoes that are on the horizon and really excited about what they are coming up with and I see bright future for them in the running world.

I can't wait to watch Meb kick some butt at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Would you Like to win a pair of Skechers GO Runs?
I'll be giving away 2 pairs.
Two ways to win

Contest one will be random drawing.
How to enter.
For each of the following that you do enter  a seperate comment below.

 Follow my blog or remind me that you already do (1 entry).
Post  a link to this review, on facebook, twitter, or your own blog or website (1 entry for each)
Like Skechers Fitness on facebook (1 entry)
Do something nice for someone else and tell me what you did (2 entry's, post your comment twice please)
Make a donation to Norawa's  (5 entries, post your comment 5 times please.)

Winner will be picked In about 2 weeks when I get back from the Copper Canyons

Contest 2

I recently read the book Ready Player One.  In repect to how much I enjoyed it I have hidden a link on an random page within my blog.  The link will you you take you another page where you must unlock a secret code and email to the address provided.  If anyone ever succeeds the first person to do so will get a free pair of shoes.  I may proivide some clues in future blog posts if nobody has won.

Good Luck!

If all else fails here is sure fire way to avoid the dreaded heel strike.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Redondo beach Superbowl 10k 2012

What better way to start out a day  than by running a few races with some debauchery thrown in between
The 10k starts exactly one hour after the 5k begins. One of the perks of running in the event is free beer.  Not the all you can drink type that Stone offers at the San Dieguito Race (Next weekend 2/12/12 ) but a couple of Michelob ultra's.
(If you can you really call that beer?)

Both years I ran straight through the finishline and and pounded my beers as fast I could.  A couple fizzy yellow beers between races really had no effect on me.  
After the 10k I had to go and open my big mouth to a local reporter that maybe I should try a six pack instead
(Great idea Pat! )
I forgot all about this but my friend the reporter did not. When I came up with idea I was not sponsored by Stone.

Might as well give it a try, and since that fizzy yellow beer is for wussies I'll be drinking

My walet was pretty damn empty as usual and I needed to find a way into both races.  If I couldn't I had a back up opportunity to pace a 3:05 group at the surf City marathon held the same day.
Lucky for me
 My friends at the Village Runner were kind enough to sponsor my entry to the event.  They are the premiere running store in the South Bay and I was  stoked to be running for them.
(Is it possible to be both the village runner and the village idiot at the same time? We shall see.)

They also happened to be one of the events sponsors.

So how's my health you ask?

I thought I had gotten over my shin splint and that is why I did the Super Spartan race the week prior. On that occasion it felt great  Unfortunately for me earlier this week it began to hurt again.  I decided to take it easy Thursday Friday ans Saturday before the event.

Saturday Race Expo

Both of my nephews and my sister would be running in the 5k which would make things a lot more fun.  Even Grandma (my mom) was gonna come down and watch 
(although I don't suppose she was too proud of my decision to drink a six pack)
Any time spent with the family
Is time well spent!
At the expo we did our best to loosen up our muscles.
My Nephew Lucas tried to teach us some tricks
but Thomas and I were pretty hopeless.
I also gotta hang out with my buddy Jeff from village runner
We grabbed a bite to eat at Ruby's which was in same parking lot.  While there Lucas proudly showed me his art work an the wall.
The weather was freaking beautiful so we headed to the beach to go sledding.
A little frisbee was in the cards as well.
Nice diving catch dude!
Pretty sad that I'm the smart one in the family.
(at least on this day)
Nobody else worth their bathing suits
That did'nt stop my nephews from going for a swim
We all felt pretty good and were excited about the race cumming up the next morning.
Lucas felt so good he decided to play some music for us.
February in Southern California is pretty rough.

Race Day
We arrived to the race at the crack of dawn to get parking.  It was warm in the car so we stayed there until the dog started farting.  "Wait a second there's no dog in the van?"  
(SHHH don't tell!)

Costume contest

Easiest costume ever.
No costume for me just staying comfy in my PJ's
They must be from Hermosa Beach
Lucas loves Panda's
Defenders of the Ale
These dudes didn't even know there was a costume contest, a race or that it was even Superbowl Sunday.  What I like about them is that instead of dressing like the usual frat house fizzy beer warrior they actual chose a few craft beers.  Notice the Stone Ale breast plate, and shield.

Time To Race

I lined up near the front as usual.  A few kid's snuck in front of me but I didn't really care.  I wasn't feeling all that confident and my belly was growling for some food.

Normally before a race even a short one I have about 500-1,000 calories for breakfast.  Everything I read says not to do this so I only had about 300. I was starving but I wanted to see if it would help. 
I took off pretty fast as ususal and held the lead for the first 1/2 mile before getting passed by some old dude who was running really strong.  As for me I didn't really have any gusto in my tank.  A couple other dude's jumped in front of me and we flip flopped positions cruising along,
 the old dude ran away with the win.

It was a race I could of won on a good day. 
"You get what you get and you don't get upset."
I strolled into the finish line finishing in 3rd place out of 3,151 finishers
 a sore shin.
Time to drink
By the time I got to my beer's (about 45 seconds after finishing the race) they were pretty warm. My plan of pounding them in about 7 minutes would be tough.

The first beer took longer than expected taking over 15 seconds
(Much more difficult than during my beer mile)
In my rush to open the second on I snapped the top of the bottle off.
(an inauspicious sign of things to come).  

Fizzy yellow beer may be for wussies but drinking glass in the third grade!

Back when I was about 8 or 9 years old myself and few friends  stumbled upon a 12 pack of Budweiser in the bushes at Sand dune park.  This was back before they  had twist off caps.  We were pretty nieve kids, we weren't excited about finding the beer because we wanted to get drunk, we only knew we weren't supposed to have it which made that much more enticing.  Nobody had a bottle opener so we opened them the old fashion way?
Yep we smashed the tops of the bottles  off on a rock and hurried to get the warm foaming beer into our mouths glass and all.
"Aah, the good old days!"

 I'm not as tough as I used to be  when I was 8.
I decided against drinking that beer.  ( if I had some kind of filter I probably would have.)  Now I was totally out of my rhythm and only had five beers to drink.  I drank beer number 2 and 3 pretty slow realizing maybe this was not such a good idea.  

I was taking longer than expected on beer 4 and I had wanted to see my family finish the race.  By now it had been almost a half an hour since the race had began .
I figured my nine year old nephew to come in between 28 and 35 minutes

Way to go Thomas!
I asked him what his time was but he had no clue.  He looked like he given it his best effort and I was totally proud of the little dude.

Then he pulled up his shorts showing me his right knee coverd in blood. (My heart went out to the kid) then I saw his other knee covered in blood and finally his left hand witch was also dripping with blood (poor guy)
since his shorts were rubbing on his knees he had to run the second holding them above his wounds. Still finishing in 29:00 a new PR.

I guess sometime during the second mile he took a spill. (he didn't know what to and had nowhere to meet his family till the finish line) He sucked it  up and ran an awesome race.  I could tell he wanted to cry but toughed it out
 (In no way would I have thought less of him if he did!)  
I took him the medical station to get cleaned up .Thomas never complained and the medical crew were really friendly and helpful.
I love that you want to follow  in your Uncle's footsteps  although I wish you wouldn't shed blood like he does.
While I helped thomas Grandma went off to watch my other nephew finish.
Way to go Lucas!! You totally beat your mom with that sprint to finishline
Good job sis! and Nice Shoes.
What happened to the Panda hat?

Mom's can make everything feel better.

By now it was a about 10 minutes till the 10k was about to start.  I had only drank 4 beers when I remembered that  I was entitled to 2 free Michelob ultra's.  I sprinted about a 1/4 mile to the beer garden pounded the beers in about 30 seconds then ran to the Village Runner tent to switch my bibs. By the time I meandered my way throught the masses of people to the the front of the starting line I only had about 3 minutes to spare.
There I ran into my buddy John Megeff.  I had decent buzz going and I'm sure John couldn't wait to get away from my drunken babble.

On your marks, Get set BURP!

Unlike usual I did not take off flying.  Running at about a 5:45 pace I was surrounded by people I knew. I exchanged pleasantries with at least 10 of them.

"Pat this isn't social hour this is a race. Focus Damn it!"

My pace was all over the place depending on when I burped.  5 people would pass me then I'd burp and go  zooming past them down hill screaming "wee."

My performance was pretty crappy but at least I was having fun.  That is until halfway through the second mile my shin really began to throb.

Just before reaching the third the third mile I took off my bib and walked off the course.   Finishing the race wouldn't have proved anything to myself.  I was frustrated by the injury but not upset with my decision to withdraw.

I took a short cut back to the finish line to rejoin my family whom were staring at the course wondering why I hadn't come in yet.  By now  45 minutes had passed and they had expected me much sooner.

I snuck up behind my nephew and asked "Has Uncle Pat come in yet?"

Without turning his head he answered in a disappointed voice " No he hasn't."
Not knowing it was me that asked the question.

I gave him a rub on the head and got a huge smile when he turned around.
"Come on guys let's go get some free beer."
Unlike normal beers I think you only have to be 5 years old to drink Michelob ultra
(too bad Lucas forgot to open it)
Nice Jersey
Nice Pat"riots" shirts
I have been a Patriot fan for about 20 years (ever since I found out there was a team called the Pat's)

Just before leaving the event I headed back to the Village Runner booth to thank them once again for their support.
I love the village runner so much I wear their shirt backwards to display a bigger logo. Because of this beautiful women came from far and wide to embrace me.
(Well, at least one did)
Just a couple of classy dudes drinking some world class beer.


Although a lot of things went awry, racing wise it wasn't my best day, both my nephew and I got banged up and my team lost the Superbowl.
Tomorrow is another day for something great our wounds will heal and baseball season is just 40 something days away.
(Go Angel's)

and most importantly
As I mentioned earlier in this post

"Any time spent with the family
Is time well spent!"