Popular running shoe manufacturer Skechers made their mark on the world of footwear when they were first founded in 1992. Since that point, they have been lauded as the second best performing footwear company in the country, earning over $3 billion in 2015 alone. With these impressive stats, it should come as no surprise that the Skechers Flex Appeal is an incredibly popular pair of trail shoes. Skechers are well known for their comfortable and durable running shoes that come in many different fashionable styles, making it easy to understand why the Skechers Flex Appeal is a trail shoe that performs amazingly in all of these categories.
Skechers Flex Appeal
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Pros & Cons
Among many impressive features, one of the most impressive found in the Skechers Flex Appeal is its outsole made from FlexSole material. This proprietary outsole material works in conjunction with the midsole, serving as both ground-contact foam and a sturdy underfoot platform. The result of this unconventional design is a more natural movement style with each stride. Flex grooves along the underside of the Flex Appeal’s outsole also contribute to the more naturalistic feeling, while also improving its durability. This is a deceptively complicated feat of design and engineering that leads to runners almost forgetting they’re wearing shoes at all!
The use of FlexSole material for the midsole aids in providing a responsive and highly cushioned ride. This plush foam material extends to the outsole as well; an interesting design choice that results in a more stable and responsive lower. Skechers Flex Appeal has features making it ideal for neutral runners, as well as those who experience pronation issues. Thanks to an impressive level of balance that preventing injury or discomfort during a run, the Flex Appeal’s midsole/outsole ensures highly competent impact resistance and a comfortable underfoot.
If you are familiar with Nike’s Flyknit material, you will notice some similarities between it and Skecher’s Sketch-Knit technology. This breathable and stretchy woven synthetic material provides upper foot comfort thanks to a few defining features. First, the feet are kept cool and dry even when performing high-intensity exercise or running in warm environments, thanks to its high breathability. Second, it leaves a gentle impression on the skin and naturally conforms to the foot, providing a snug yet comfortable fit. Finally, a memory-foam insole extends that form-fitting comfort to the underfoot with a pillow-like cradle. The end result is an upper so comfortable that runners have frequently worn the Skechers Flex Appeal without socks.
Since sizes are difficult to find, the closest information found about the Flex Appeal’s weight is that a women’s size 7 weighs around 6 ounces. This means that these Skechers running shoes are very lightweight, which will make running in them easier thanks to the lack of obtrusive bulk and burden. Another benefit of the Flex Appeal’s lighter weight is the higher flexibility; after all, less material will translate into more pliability. Finally, while not technically a benefit, it is certainly impressive that these shoes manage to be very durable while providing a lightweight and flexible ride.
With the aid of free-flow and stretch mesh panels, excellent breathability and a strong cooling effect are achieved with the Flex Appeal. This is an important facet of any running shoe’s design, and Skechers knocked it out of the park with this product. The Skech-Knit upper, although derivative, provides the proper amount of airflow to accommodate sweaty feet and hot temperatures without sacrificing comfort or support.
A high degree of comfort was a primary design focus for these Skechers running shoes, with numerous features placed throughout the shoe in order to achieve it. A seamless and highly ventilated upper and FlexSole combination midsole/outsole each contribute to the overall softness of the Flex Appeal in their own way. However, it’s the memory foam insole that makes the biggest impact in this regard. In fact, it’s because of this material that many runners state they can comfortably wear these shoes without socks, stating that the level of cushion offered can easily replicate the same feeling as a good pair.
The seamless Skech-Knit upper construction of the Flex Appeal make them look more visually distinctive than the average Skechers shoe. Some clear comparisons can be drawn between it and some popular Nike shoes; this can be a point either in favor of its style or against it. Several vibrant color options are available, all featuring a modestly sized, unobtrusive “S” logo. Choices in color style range from ombre, floral, neon, and more subdued black and white. Thanks to this versatility in aesthetic choice, these Skechers can serve the dual purposes of both casual footwear and a serious running shoe.
The FlexSole combination outsole/midsole material manages to provide shock absorption, flexibility, and traction. While it may not seem like it at first, these factors help contribute to the Flex Appeal’s durability; traction prevents scrapes from misstepping, flexibility prevents breakage or tearing, and shock absorption prevents damage from customers throwing these shoes into the trash can with disgust. Runners have noticed that they can get quite a bit of mileage out of these shoes without any visible signs of wear. While this can be attributed to the aforementioned FlexSole features, the scratch-resistant Skech-Knit upper is a major contributor to this aspect of the Flex Appeal’s durability. That said, if any portion of the shoe is going to show signs of wear and tear, it would be the rubber sole.
On the top half of the Flex Appeal, Skecher’s proprietary Skech-Knit tech is used to provide upper foot protection. This woven mesh material wraps around the foot, providing decent protection from the sort of hazards that might be encountered during a lower intensity track or road run. It’s a far cry from the foam and fabric offerings commonly found in trail shoes or other, heavier running shoes, but it gets the job done. On the lower half, the FlexSole provides protection from the road beneath runners’ feet as well as additional protection from running injuries due to its natural gait encouragement design features.
Very few complaints have been made toward the Skechers Flex Appeal in regards to its responsiveness. In fact, many of the design choices made for these shoes provide immediate benefits in this regard. This includes the combination outsole and midsole; combining separate parts into one solid part removes redundant seams that could lead to energy loss. The tight woven mesh used for the design of the Flex Appeal’s upper provides an extremely snug fit, further increasing responsiveness. Finally and most significantly, the surprisingly light weight of the Skechers Flex Appeal enables to provide a sense of responsiveness significant enough to enhance the overall performance of the runners that wear them.
When customers positively describe their experiences with these shoes, support is a common subject that comes up. In addition to impressively lightweight and absorbent material, the subtle curved shape of the Skechers Flex Appeal helps them to provide terrific support for many different foot shapes. Even heavier runners are accommodated here, allowing them to run in these shoes safely and without worry.
The primary intended purpose of these shoes is to provide neutral-footed runners with protection and traction over standard, casual running terrain. The Skechers Flex Appeal perform admirably in these environments, but it isn’t a good idea to try using them on anything more intense than a road or flat trail. Thanks to the comfort and responsiveness, runners may feel invincible enough to conquer any territory while wearing them. However, actually attempting to take these shoes on a mountain run or rough hike will very quickly reveal why this is a mistake.
The suggested retail price for the Skechers Flex Appeal at launch was already on the affordable side of the spectrum when it comes to running shoe prices. However, with time and the release of an updated model this cost has gone down even further, costing significantly less than most other running shoes listed on this site. Because of this, these shoes may be one of the best options for frugal runners looking for a dependable and comfortable shoe. This incredibly low price has attracted skeptics who are concerned as to whether or not these shoes compare well to other brands. While they may have a point when it comes to durability and style, the fact remains that this is an incredible deal for a decent pair of running shoes.
Skechers provides an impressive degree of traction in these shoes thanks to its FlexSole midsole/outsole. The design of the Flex Appeal involves placing reinforced material strategically in areas most likely to suffer from abrasion. The sole unit is also shielded, providing further durability while also enabling a greater grip on running surfaces. Thanks to a decent amount of give, runners are free to bend these shoes with each strike in a manner that also enables a stronger foothold while running.
It’s incredibly important for a pair of running shoes to offer the right amount of flexibility. Too much will cause a decrease in stability, while too little will inhibit the shoe’s responsiveness and comfort. When trying to strike that delicate balance, Skechers, unfortunately, ended up in the former camp. The Flex Appeal, as you may suspect from the name, is highly flexible primarily because they’re so lightweight. In addition to the lack of excessive bulk, the FlexSole bottom provides even more pliability, offering plenty of flexibility but a disappointing stability.
In terms of support, durability and cushioning, these shoes are certainly stable. In addition, overpronation issues are accommodated well with a forgiving insole. Unfortunately, this is where the positives end. For one thing, the heels of the Skechers Flex Appeal is only a half inch wide. Additionally, the unconventional design decision to use a combined midsole/outsole FlexSole results in decreased rigidity. There’s just enough stability to get runners through the average run, but they will be strongly discouraged to use these in any competitive capacity.
For starters, only ½ of material separates the heel of this shoe from the ground. This doesn’t provide a great deal of heel protection in the first place, even aside from the lack of significant heel elevation. Many runners who have a tendency to strike their heels during a run prefer a thicker platform on their shoes. Ultimately, this is a preference that will vary from person to person, meaning that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is reinforced by the fact that no complaints were made by customers about this particular design element. Aside from that, the heel drop of the Skechers Flex Appeal is around 4 mm. What this means for runners is that each strike will favor the midsole over the heel, carrying the benefit of decreasing the likelihood of sustaining running injuries while causing temporary adjustment pains and a slight potential for arch strain.
The Flex Appeal is a solid entry to the Skechers line of running shoes. A stylish appearance hides much more impressive features under the hood, such as excellent comfort and protection. Neutral runners, like those familiar with road running and trail running shoes, as well as overpronators will appreciate the overall design of these Skechers runners. Don’t let the ridiculously low price frighten you; these shoes are still highly reliable and will last a decent amount of time before needing to be replaced. Thanks to an excellent style and superior comfort, these shoes function well for everyday wear. Prior customers of Skechers products will find these shoes to fulfill their prior expectations, while any newcomers may just see themselves becoming overnight fans.
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