There are many brands of performance footwear that fly under the radar. For no good reason at all, manufacturers have been creating excellent shoes that can facilitate a wide range of physical activities that are criminally underrated.
The main reason for this is the monopoly a few high-profile brands have established in the minds of consumers; unfortunately for these lesser-known shoe designers, few customers are willing to venture outside their comfort zone when looking for a fashionable and functional pair of shoes.
However, those few who are willing to look past the big-name hypebeast brands will find a plethora of high-performing, stylish, and reasonably priced footwear offerings, such as the Skechers Flex Advantage 2.0.
The way in which the Flex Advantage 2.0’s outsole accomplishes this feat is through the use of Skechers’ proprietary FlexSole design.
The material was synthesized with the intention of absorbing shock from ground impact while also providing lightweight flexibility, but its tread design is what provides the compensatory traction and stability. This potent combination results in an underfoot plate that provides many seemingly contradictory features, almost like an impossible outsole.
In order to maintain the design theme of lightweight flexibility, the EVA midsole cushioning present in these shoes is a bit thinner than usual; while this would ordinarily cause discomfort, customers have repeatedly stated that there are no issues in that department whatsoever.
Read also about best skechers running shoes.
After all, the traditional increase in rearfoot cushioning is included in this shoe’s midsole design despite its decreased thickness, with a sturdy insole and a thick outsole compensating for any shortcomings that may have come about from this design aspect.
For some of the more basic color schemes, a combination of trubuck synthetic leather and a highly ventilated mesh encompasses its upper half. Alternatively, customers can choose a more vibrant color palette with shoes that offer an upper made entirely from a knit fabric material.
These two upper styles come with their own benefits and drawbacks, but something they both have in common is their high build quality.
While this can be considered a design aspect that contributes to the comfort level of a pair of shoes, often this deceased weight comes at the expense of comfort.
However, Skechers manages to provide their trademark level of comfort while still keeping their weight low, thanks to their use of well-designed lightweight construction materials.
The mesh is perforated to the point where air can easily enter and exit the shoe, keeping internal temperatures low and sweating to a minimum. However, the alternative design that is made entirely from a knit fabric offers a much greater degree of airflow since no portion of its upper is covered by a non-porous material. While either will suffice for the average runner, the latter choice is the ideal for running in warmer weather conditions and climates.
From the lightweight and flexible design to the multiple layers of soft underfoot padding, just about every customer who has expressed their opinions on these shoes have stated that they are comfortable above everything else. Perhaps the most impressive fact about this shoe’s comfort is that it manages to provide such appealing padding while keeping the total weight of the entire shoe extremely low.
Fashion-oriented footwear customers will appreciate the variety of colorways to choose from, and the two different upper layouts split between these color choices offer a bit of additional variety. The general consensus among customers seems to be that the knit fabric version of the Flex Advantage 2.0 is the more fashionable of the two styles, although it is highly derivative of Nike’s FlyKnit footwear line.
The trubuck leather and mesh fabric may not appear as stylish or streamlined as the alternative variety but it will certainly last longer and provide a greater degree of protection. If a runner decides to order a pair of these shoes that come in the knit fabric style, they will have to treat them lightly in order to avoid damaging them during a typical running session.
This tradeoff will ultimately boil down to personal preference since either option comes with benefits and caveats.
These problems are exacerbated if the customer chooses to purchase a pair of these shoes with a knit fabric upper since this relatively flimsy material offers no real support for pronation or general endurance exercises. The insole isn’t designed to be removed, but some tearing and warranty voiding can allow concerned customers to replace it with an orthotic to gain some of that much-needed support.
For this reason, running on an asphalt road isn’t recommended, but running on the sidewalk or a grassy field is. The one form of terrain these shoes shouldn’t be used on under any circumstances is a hiking trail since the harsh inclines and debris can lead to injuries.
But even when these shoes were first released, the price was competitively low. Due to scarcity from Skechers no longer producing these shoes, some models and sizes have artificially inflated prices. However, the vast majority of options can be obtained for less than $100.
The tread pattern on the FlexSole of these shoes ensures that slipping won’t be an issue, but it also isn’t significant enough to the point where the runner feels rooted to a particular spot. This is an important balance to achieve in a pair of running shoes and these Skechers runners pulled it off without a doubt.
While the amount of bend and give that is experienced in these shoes is impressive, the unfortunate downside to its design is that Skechers fails to provide enough stability to counteract it. As a result, running too fast in these shoes on an unstable footing can lead to a nasty fall.
However, there simply isn’t enough stability to provide any reasonable amount of control that would be necessary for serious running. Because of this, these Skechers shoes are better for lower intensity exercises like jogging or walking.
It isn’t as pronounced as an experienced running shoe wearer would be accustomed to, but enough of a difference is present to ensure their heels are protected for repetitive striking.
- FlexSole flexible outsole
- Thin midsole with subtle heel drop
- Trubuck leather and synthetic mesh upper
- Alternate knit fabric upper variant
- Lightweight design
- Non-removable memory foam insole
However, any exercise more intense than jogging on terrains rougher than a sidewalk is likely to cause problems for the wearer due to lackluster stability and durability. Ultimately, these shoes are worth their price as a nice-looking comfortable walking sneaker.