Skechers GoTrail Review Facts
Skechers is a brand of footwear that doesn’t garner the same praise as some of the more popular offerings such as Nike and Adidas. For the most part, this has to do with their focus on delivering a comfortable walking shoe rather than a stylish and lightweight athletic runner. People who are interested in Skechers products seek them out because they are looking for a reliable and comfortable pair of shoes that can be walked in for long distances without any issues. Because of this pedigree, the Skechers GoTrail is a surprising addition to their product line. With some of the same elements found in their successful walking shoes present in its design, these trail shoes are able to provide an enticing combination of comfort, support, and functionality on rough and slippery trails.
The rubber outsole that comprises the Skechers GoTrail was designed with the purpose of providing omnidirectional traction. This was accomplished with a more aggressive lug placement that is a stark contrast to the common design principle adopted by other brands of trail running shoe. In addition to this impressive feature, these shoes have some other tricks up their sleeves that help make the average hiking
or trail running session that much more pleasant for the wearer. This includes a forefoot plate, meant to disperse pressure from repeated impacts, and a midfoot strike zone that emphasizes energy efficiency. As a result of these elements, the GoTrail has an incredibly strong foundation upon which Skechers can build up the rest of its impressive product.
One feature of these shoes that will look and feel familiar to individuals who have owned other Skechers products in the past is its midsole. Much like their popular casual walking shoes, the GoTrail uses 5GEN technology for its midsole, a proprietary Skechers design staple. This EVA foam-based material is manufactured for the purpose of providing higher responsiveness without sacrificing one iota of comfort. Because of this, runners and walkers will feel like they are walking on clouds even while encountering some of the harsh and uncomfortable terrain commonly found on a hike or trail run.
The 3D-printed synthetic overlays that make up this shoe’s upper are completely free of any irritating seams or stitches, helpfully preventing any chafing after extended periods of use. Additionally, this portion of the Skechers GoTrail is extremely resistant to water, which helps to keep its internals and the wearer’s foot dry. This dedication to dryness is amplified by the breathable nature of this upper’s synthetic mesh, which manages to provide adequate airflow while still being large and heavily insulated. Despite all of these impressive aspects of the Skechers GoTrail’s upper, its overall appearance is garish and likely to turn off prospective customers.
Due to the fact that these shoes have been discontinued in favor of newer GoTrail iterations, finding an exact weight
for them is difficult. However, it can be surmised that these Skechers trail shoes weigh slightly less than 16 ounces for each shoe on average, based on the package’s shipping weight. This estimated weight is fairly common for trail running shoes like these, meaning that anyone that has any sort of familiarity with this kind of athletic footwear should expect an ordinary amount of heft on their feet. However, casual joggers and runners who are used to lightweight offerings from Adidas or Nike may experience some extra discomfort and lower leg fatigue when they first use these shoes.
As previously mentioned, the Skechers GoTrail manages to pull off the impressive feat of being breathable while also offering excellent moisture resistance. This is no easy feat since these two design elements are often at odds with each other. And while Skechers is one of the few manufacturers able to pull this off, it does emphasize water protection to a greater degree than ventilation. Because of this, trail runners and hikers may not want to wear these shoes in excessively warm environments.
This is Skechers’ bread and butter and the reason for their popularity among a particular demographic. People who walk regularly for long distances may do so because of medical concerns that prevent them from running, such as a cardiovascular ailment or some sort of repetitive stress
injury. While the reasons for their adoption of this low-intensity exercise may vary, one thing they all have in common is that comfort is essential. Skechers understands this and consequently designs all of their shoes, including these trail runners, with multiple layers of protective and soft cushioning.
While there are a plethora of features that are sure to entice prospective customers into purchasing a pair of these shoes, one glaringly obvious design element that is sure to provide the opposite effect is the GoTrail’s style. Despite offering a reasonable amount of color options, not a single one of these colorways could be described as elegant or fashionable. Colors clash with seemingly no eye for proper coordination, and the rest of this shoe’s awkward and bulky shape doesn’t help in this regard. What’s most unfortunate is that many of these available color options aren’t available in particular sizes due to the fact that Skechers discontinued these shoes a few years back.
Aside from protecting the wearer’s foot and ensuring a solid grip on the surfaces beneath their feet, a good pair of trail shoes needs to possess the durability to last over hundreds of miles on rough terrain. The rubber outsole and 5GEN midsole found on the Skechers GoTrail manages to accomplish this task, but its upper isn’t so resilient. According to some reviews left online for this product, the stitching and fabric on this shoe’s upper tends to fray and come apart from the rest of the product after a short period of time. This damage is negligible, easily fixed, and a relatively rare occurrence, but it’s still worth mentioning.
The most protection provided by the Skechers GoTrail can be found on its lower half, thanks to its sturdy rubber outsole and highly responsive midsole. Thanks to these two design elements, wearers of these shoes won’t have to worry about any damage to the undersides of their feet, even if they tend to favor striking the ground with their forefoot or if they suffer from pronation discrepancies. The upper portion of the GoTrail isn’t quite as impressive, but the water-resistant coating helps to protect the wearer’s feet from excessive moisture. Furthermore, small reflective elements along either side of its upper increase the wearer’s durability, which can protect them from accidents while running in the dark.
This is a mixed bag when it comes to these trail running shoes. Right off the bat, the Skechers GoTrail comes at a disadvantage in this department as a result of its higher weight. This means that it will require more effort on the part of the wearer in order to take a step, but this is fortunately not as extreme of a concern as it may present itself. For starters, this shoe weighs much less than a similarly cushioned shoe would; furthermore, the 5GEN midsole found on the lower half of the GoTrail makes up for this extra heft by providing extra responsiveness baked right into its design. These are ultimately not going to be viable shoes for sprinting or general speedwork, but the level of responsiveness they do offer is passable.
Skechers is known for two things that they do best in the design of their shoes. The first is the comfort, which is provided through the multiple layers of protective padding inside the GoTrail. The second is support, which is where this same design feature demonstrates an additional benefit for runners or walkers that require additional assistance in key areas of their foot. Whether an individual suffers from a stress injury such as plantar fasciitis or if they have abnormalities with their gait and pronation, the many supportive elements that accentuate this shoe’s already supportive cushioning ensure that nothing goes wrong for hikers and trail runners, even if they have extremely sensitive feet.
It should go without saying that these trail running shoes are best suited for running on trails. This means that the Skechers GoTrail are intended to function at their greatest potential when used on a hiking path or a steep incline. Thanks to the moisture-resistant features present on its underside and upper, these shoes are even able to handle these environments during rainy weather. Since they are able to handle the harshest running terrains, some customers may be inclined to believe that the Skechers GoTrail can also handle more casual terrain such as a sidewalk or road. Unfortunately, the design particulars of this product make it perform in a diminished capacity in these environments.
When these shoes were first released, their asking price was just over $100. This is high when comparing its cost to that of casual running shoes, but it is extremely reasonable when compared to other trail running shoes. The inflated costs of these products has a lot to do with the extra material needed in order to construct thicker outsoles and greater quantities of padded material. And while the Skechers GoTrail does feature ample amounts of both, its price manages to stay competitively low. What’s even more convenient for the frugal shopper is the fact that these shoes have seen a significant price drop after being rendered obsolete by newer models, meaning that these are some of the most affordable trail running shoes on the market.
Ordinarily, trail running shoes are designed with a greater degree of traction than their casual running shoe counterparts. Despite this extra effort, however, the vast majority of them are designed in a similar way that prioritizes one direction of movement. The Skechers GoTrail bucks this trend by designing their trail running shoes with an omnidirectional outsole. The result of this design choice is a running experience where the wearer is free to move in all directions with enough grip to maintain an impressive degree of control. While this will come at the cost of speed and responsiveness, the benefits this feature provide for safety and stability are well worth the tradeoff.
As a bulky shoe, wearers of the Skechers GoTrail shouldn’t expect this product to feel as flexible as a lightweight training or casual running shoe. For instance, anyone used to Nike’s Flyknit or Adidas’ Primeknit lines of runners and trainers should expect a much different experience once they don a pair of these shoes. However, when compared to other trail running shoes on the market, many customers have remarked that the Skechers GoTrail feels much more flexible than they expected. This is extremely impressive when considering just how much padding went into its design.
Thanks to the aforementioned omnidirectional outsole, the Skechers GoTrail is able to provide an impressive feeling of stability under the wearer’s foot, even when attempting to move in a variety of directions. The tight-fitting design of this shoe’s upper further reinforces this stability, since it ensures that the wearer’s feet don’t shift while running in these shoes. And while the 5GEN midsole that was used in the design of this shoe is intended to increase its flexibility, the EVA foam that comprises its construction provides tangible stability benefits that don’t go unnoticed.
No specific information can be found for the difference in elevation between this shoe’s heel and forefoot. However, the manufacturer has mentioned that it is on the lower side, meaning that its design encourages a more neutral spread of energy throughout the entirety of the wearer’s underfoot. This is a feature that is sure to impress trail runners, but casual street runners and joggers may need to adjust.
- Rubber outsole with omnidirectional lug placement
- 5GEN midsole with enhanced flexibility and responsiveness
- Water resistant and highly breathable upper
- Four different color schemes
- Supportive features for the forefoot and midfoot
- Low heel drop
The Skechers GoTrail is an interesting take on the trail running shoe that is likely to be a big hit for novice trail runners. Thanks to its excellent comfort and stability, less experienced off-roaders can get a lot of mileage out of these shoes. However, people who are already familiar and comfortable with trail running may want to shell out a bit more money for something that offers higher durability, greater responsiveness, and a better sense of style.