Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra Review Facts
Although they enjoyed a brief period of popularity in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, footwear brand Skechers is known nowadays as a tacky walking shoe manufacturer. Although they enjoyed a brief surge of popularity with their notoriously misleading Shape-Up toning shoes, nowadays they have the public image of a second-rate New Balance due to their long history of creating comfortable but bulky walking shoes. When compared to some of the top footwear designers that are currently dominating the world of athleisure, it makes sense that they would want to make a major shift in their product design and brand image. Enter the GoWalk Revolution Ultra, a significant departure from Skechers’ wheelhouse that offers a bevy of new features alongside a few nagging shortcomings.
Although these shoes are designed for the same purpose as Skechers’ many other walking shoe models, the design of their outsole is completely unlike any of their other models. Rather than adopt a pattern of grooves, lugs, or flex
joints, the Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra is made up of a single rubber piece with several elevated pillars. Referred to as Ultra Pillars, these provide a similar design purpose to traditional lugs, but with an overall shape that manages to be more resistant to damage and debris while reducing the product’s overall weight. Although it may resemble something from a science fiction movie, the way it feels on the wearer’s feet isn’t too different from standard outsole design, with the exception of the lighter weight.
The wording used by Skechers when describing the design and construction of the GoWalk Revolution Ultra is vague in regards to specific components. This includes the midsole, which appears to be a single piece combined with the outsole. This design feature is novel but not unheard of, since the Swiss footwear design company On
has created products with a similar style. The same benefits provided by this construction style apply to these shoes, which includes improved stability and a lighter weight. However, this also means that the same shortcomings apply, which is a loss of durability and diminished cushioning. And although Skechers manages to mitigate the issue of support through its Goga Mat insole, durability remains a concern.
Ordinarily, Skechers designs their walking shoes to be very top-heavy. As this design trend has waned in popularity in recent years, so has their products. Presumably, in an attempt to win back lost customers, the GoWalk Revolution Ultra has a radically different upper design to match its redesigned midsole/outsole. Referred to by the manufacturers as SOCKNIT360, this design closely resembles a sock due to its thin and stretchy synthetic fabric design. The 360 in the name of this upper is meant to signify the fact that it provides a full 360 degrees of support
for the wearer’s foot, presumably due to its constrictive fit. Another feature present in this shoe’s upper is the aforementioned Goga Mat insole, which provides some compensatory cushioning and support in addition to underfoot breathability.
The average weight for the Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra is approximately 5 ½ ounces per shoe. This is incredibly low, placing these walking shoes in the same weight class as minimalist running shoes such as those made by Vivobarefoot
. However, these shoes manage to provide a greater degree of support and comfort than those shoes, even when accounting for Skechers’ shortcomings in these departments. Still, it feels as though the extreme emphasis on a lightweight design came to the detriment of this shoe’s effectiveness as supportive walking footwear.
One of the most significant benefits the Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra provides over its predecessors is its breathability. Because of the SOCKNIT360 upper, which is made from a highly ventilated synthetic fabric, air is free to flow throughout the entirety of its insides even while being worn. Even the underfoot has impressive airflow thanks to the Goga Mat insole, resulting in one of the most impressively ventilated shoes of its kind, let alone from Skechers’ catalog. Ultimately, the unprecedented level of breathability provided by these shoes is somewhat unnecessary considering just how light
these shoes are, but their presence helps to make them one of the best walking shoe options in warmer climates.
On one hand, these Skechers shoes feel very comfortable due to how small of a weight impact they have on the wearer’s feet. With such a light step, the GoWalk Revolution Ultra will prevent any undue strain being placed on the wearer’s calves or ankles, which can be a concern when wearing heavier shoes such as trail runners. The fact that this low impact is possible while still providing a modicum of cushioning is even more impressive, comparatively speaking. However, the lack of significant padding due to this stripped-back design means that they aren’t as comfortable as a traditional Skechers shoe, which will likely alienate customers who enjoy their older models.
Although not as important in terms of effectiveness, style can make or break a pair of shoes. After all, what good is a shoe with excellent utility if it’s too ugly to wear outside of the house? Skechers is notorious for their outdated fashion sense which seems to have peaked sometime around 2003. However, the Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra marks their attempt to turn this trend around with a drastic redesign more in line with modern athleisure shoes. In particular, the sock-like upper design is strongly reminiscent of many popular Adidas runners. Unfortunately, the limited amount of colorways offered with this model hold it back from achieving its true stylistic potential, meaning that anyone who would be interested in this style of walking shoe would likely prefer something from one of the big-name brands.
Although they were never really considered a fashionable foot accessory, something that Skechers has been considered in the past is a manufacturer of shoes with decent durability. Thanks to their multiple layers of bulky cushioning, owners of their shoes could walk in them for hundreds of miles without the need for replacement. With the GoWalk Revolution Ultra, however, all of that has been thrown out of the window. The SOCKNIT360 upper, while impressively lightweight, breathable, and stylish, offers a much poorer longevity in comparison to Skechers’ other shoes. While it’s not likely to completely fall apart from a strong gust of wind, it is likely to fray if these shoes are scraped or come into contact with more severe road hazards.
In much the same way that the drastic design changes implemented in the Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra had a detrimental effect on their durability, their protective capabilities have suffered as well. As was previously mentioned, these shoes offer no real resistance to abrasions, especially around its upper half, due to the thin and lightweight material it is primarily made from. Just as these shoes are unable to provide protection from damage, they are equally unable to protect the wearer’s feet from injury. The one area in which the GoWalk Revolution Ultra is able to protect the wearer’s feet is on the bottom, thanks to the Goga Mat insole working in conjunction with its ULTRAGO midsole/outsole. Because of these two components, wearers shouldn’t have to worry about excessive strain being placed on the undersides of their feet, even when walking for longer distances.
There are a few design factors present in these Skechers walking shoes that combine to provide them with an impressive degree of responsiveness. The first is the lighter weight of the entire shoe, which provides the obvious benefit of fast response times due to less effort being required to perform movements while these shoes are worn. The second factor is the SOCKNIT360 upper, which provides a sock-like fit over the tops of the wearer’s feet. Because of the comfortably snug fit created by this upper, these shoes are immediately responsive to even minute movements. Finally, the use of ULTRAGO technology for both the midsole and outsole as a solid piece essentially functions as one giant midsole, amplifying its responsiveness further. As a result, these shoes will provide instantaneous reactions to movements by the wearer, almost to the point where they can be confused with running shoes.
Skechers has made an attempt to balance the need for proper foot support with their newfound focus on an appealing style, which is a bold departure from their original design strategy to abandon the latter in service of the former. Now, nearly the opposite is true, with only minimal supportive aspects present in the GoWalk Revolution Ultra’s design due to its greatly diminished weight. It’s enough to handle a casual walking session, but any extended length of time spent in these shoes is likely to cause discomfort for the wearer, especially if they suffer from overpronation or have a proclivity for plantar fasciitis.
The Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra is only really viable for use on a few forms of low-intensity terrain. Due to the use of ULTRAGO material in lieu of a traditional outsole, the undersides of these shoes aren’t particularly resistant to damage from small rocks. This means that walking on asphalt is a bad idea and that walking on poorly maintained sidewalks might even be an issue. Grass is fine, but hard dirt could lead to accelerated degradation as well. Obviously, trails are completely out of the question.
Another reason why some people appreciate Skechers’ products is their affordable pricing. Just about all of their shoes can be purchased for less than $100 and their prices will often drop even further after only a year or two post-release. The GoWalk Revolution Ultra is sold in much the same way, since they also have a retail price below $100. However, they cost a tiny bit more than the average Skechers shoe, presumably due to the increased fashion appeal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s much in the design of these shoes to justify this increased cost.
Although the Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra doesn’t have a traditional outsole or tread pattern, it does provide a modicum of traction through the use of their Ultra Pillars. These take the form of large rounded lumps in key areas of the shoe’s underside and they endow these shoes with a bit of grip while being used on various surfaces. Because of this design style, and because of the material used for its construction, this traction isn’t significant enough to provide suitable grip for running or even walking on terrain that is any more intense than a sidewalk or hardwood floor.
The tops of the Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra are extremely flexible. This is due to their SOCKNIT360 design, which utilizes stretchy synthetic fabric in a manner similar to an ordinary pair of socks. This provides the wearer with a great deal of freedom in terms of how they move their ankles and toes while walking in these shoes. However, the bottom halves of these shoes aren’t nearly as pliable as their uppers due to the fact that their midsole and outsoles have been combined into one thick and rigid piece of plastic.
Skechers has managed to accomplish the notoriously difficult task of balancing flexibility and stability in the design of their GoWalk Revolution Ultra walking shoes. As was mentioned in the previous section, these shoes are much more rigid on the bottom than on the top. This prevents a great deal of give in a section where some wearers may prefer it, but the top half provides enough mobility to offset any discomfort that could be derived from this design. Additionally, the tight fit provided by this shoe’s SOCKNIT360 upper further reinforces the wearer’s feeling of control while donning the shoes.
A visual estimate of the Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra’s difference in elevation between the heel and forefoot would place it somewhere between 4 and 9 millimeters. This increase is typical among running shoes, since it allows the wearer to compensate for heel strikes during repeated impact with the ground. However, the reason for its shallower implementation in these shoes likely has to do with further reducing their weight while also ensuring any impacts with the ground are evenly dispersed across the entire underside.
- Ultra Pillars on the bottom provide traction
- Midsole and outsole combined into one solid ULTRAGO piece
- Goga Mat insole offers support and underfoot breathability
- SOCKNIT360 upper is highly breathable and provides 360-degree support
- Low-cut stretchy heel collar with rear finger loop
These shoes are some of Skechers’ most fashionable, showcasing a radically different direction for their footwear design trends. In addition to their newly acquired fashion sense, the GoWalk Revolution Ultra is also incredibly lightweight and breathable, making it an excellent walking shoe for warm weather. However, there are many negative aspects to its design, such as a disappointing fragility and a lack of comfortable cushioning in comparison to older Skechers models. For this reason, fans of other Skechers shoes will want to give this product a pass.