Skechers GOrun 7 – Understanding the hype behind the Hyper Burst 

I’ve been wearing Skechers running shoes for years, ever since I started running five years ago. They were the first brand of running shoes I owned and the GoTrail Ultra 4 is still one of my favorite running shoes of all time (I have owned 4 different pairs of those). But other runners have often reacted in surprise when I mentioned Skechers in the same sentence as running shoes. A lot of people assume that a brand like Skechers couldn’t make decent running shoes, even though I tried to convince them otherwise. 

That all changed last year when they released the GoRun Ride 7 and a lot of runners liked the shoe. But the image of the brand really took a turn at the end of last year when they released the Razor 3 Hyper and that kicked off the hype. Everyone was raving about the midsole and some even claimed it was better than Nike, maybe even better than the Vaporfly 4%, which for running shoe geeks is quite the claim. 

So, I obviously wanted to try them for myself and see what the hype was all about all of a sudden. But the Razor 3 Hyper have speed written on the side and since I’m everything but a fast runner, I decided to order a pair of the new GoRun 7 Hyper, which is Skechers second model with the Hyper Burst material. 

The GoRun 7 Hyper has a 13 mm forefoot height and a 17 mm heel height, giving it a 4 mm drop, like basically all the Skechers Performance shoes. But due to the new midsole material and the knit upper, the shoe is super light. It only weighs in at 185 grams, which is 10 grams less than the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2.

Upper

The GoRun 7 Hyper has a one piece knit mesh upper. I’m not a huge fan of knit uppers, on the one hand they do mold to your foot, but there are often also less options for adjustments. There often aren’t any extra eyelets to adjust the laces and if you lace them tightly the fabric often folds over itself, which isn’t that comfortable since the fabric is quite snug. This is also the case with the GoRun 7 Hyper. You can’t really adjust the laces that much and you can’t lace them very tightly. It has a lockdown webbing lacing system to provide some support, but it isn’t much. The end of the webbing is also used as the eyelets to put the laces through. 

I was surprised by how stretchy the knit fabric of the toe box is. I like it when the fabric on the toe box stretches, since it gives your toes enough room to splay. There are enough knit uppers that aren’t that elastic. The Flyknit from Nike isn’t that elastic and the knit upper on the Skechers MaxRoad 3 wasn’t flexible at all. 

Midsole

The most impressive feature of the GoRun 7 Hyper is the new Hyper Burst midsole material. Hyper Burst is a lightweight foam that is supposed to be not only durable but also very responsive. This midsole material is based on EVA, but it is produced in a different way. Normally EVA is blown into shape, but Skechers heats the foam under pressure which creates a new kind of material that is more durable, lighter and more springy than regular EVA. The Hyper Burst material does keep its shape better than the Nike Zoom X foam. The Zoom X foam flattens a bit when you land on it and then returns to its original shape when you toe off. 

Outsole

This shoe doesn’t have that much of an outsole. There are some rubber pillars on the outsole to provide some traction, but the traction is kind of lacking when the road gets a bit wet. 

Fit

I’ve struggled with the fit of these shoes. Lengthwise they are the right size for me, but in general, they feel a little too big. I’m not sure if I could have gone half a size down or not. They also do not have the most stable upper. I’ve tried lacing them really tightly, but that means the knit folds in on itself, which creates a pressure point. I’ve also tried double lacing them through the webbing system as I’ve seen some people do, but that didn’t make it more comfortable. 

I also tried to put in another insole on top of the one that was already there, but that wouldn’t leave me with enough room in the toe box. 

Performance

The midsole Hyper Burst material does have quite a high energy return, but the shoe is lacking in stability. The knit upper does not lock your foot down enough nor does it provide much stability, which also makes it difficult to make sharp turns in this shoe. Because your foot isn’t locked down enough it starts sliding over the midsole when you make a sharp turn, which then slows you down.

Conclusion

I can understand the hype around the Hyper Burst material. I do really see the potential in it. The most popular midsole material used to be Boost from Adidas, now it’s ZoomX from Nike and in a few years, it might be the Hyper Burst from Skechers. They might be able to turn the running world upside down after all. You could really make a great shoe with this material, but you really need a different upper to do so. Luckily, Skechers is releasing more models with the Hyper Burst midsole later this year, so I’m looking forward to those. 

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