6th August, 2015: Selangor was the official launch of Amnig| I Am Warrior 10km Run. Organized by AG Lifestyle Sdn Bhd and officiated by Mr. Colin Cheang, the Chief Executive Officer of Amnig, this event returns for the second year after a very successful turnout for Amnig | Run To The Max 2014.
Inspired by last year’s event, this year’s theme – I Am Warrior 10km Run’s vision and aspiration is to promote not only running as a healthy lifestyle but also to instill a spirit of warrior facing every challenges with full commitment and endurance to the last. Incorporated into this year’s run are fun activities before and after. We have received many sponsors to collaborate with us.
- Warm up session by E-Fitness.
- Warrior face paint challenge.
- Taping for prevention by WQ Park.
During: Beverage by Suntory at various interval drink station.
- Light refreshments & Suntory Beverage
- Amnig mini runway show.
- Prize Giving.
- Face painting challenge result.
- Lucky draws.
- Amnig : wheel of fortune.
- Speed Kick challenge demonstrating speed, agility, strength.
- Therapist demonstration of preventive and recovering of injuries.
- E-Fitness displaying their services.
And that is not all, goodies bag full of surprises – for starters a specially designed Dry-Fit running T-Shirt awaits you.
With the 4 categories opened for registration, the event has received encouraging response from the running community. The Organizer target to register 2,000 runners over the two (2) distances – 10km and 5km.
Amnig | I Am Warrior 10km Run is scheduled to be held on the 6th December 2015, at West Garden Boulevard, ONE City, Selangor.
Online registration of Amnig| I Am Warrior 10km Run can be made at The Marathon shop. For group registration with discount, register at www.amnig.com or email to email@example.com. Do also “Like” the event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/499920650162887/.
Race Entry Pack Collection
Date : 3rd & 4th December 2015 (Time : 12pm – 8pm); 5th December 2015 (Time : 10am – 6pm)
Venue : Amnig Concept Store @ 83A, Jalan 21/37, Damansara Utama, PJ.
Amnig (a private label) is a sportswear focusing on performance and sports-inspired lifestyle design and make for running, training, wellness / fitness and team sports. The high quality De-Hydrato fabric is used in our “Amnig Maxforce Compression” line for HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) sports e.g. mixed martial arts, boot camp and triathlon.
Amnig’s emblem, the contour of the face of a race horse, symbolising speed, agility and strength inspiring our workmanship/ innovation in material and design to new boundaries by fusing , sports and lifestyle to creating comfortable sportswear for warm-ups (pre-workout) and fashionable for high street lifestyle (post-workout). Shop online at www.amnig.com at an affordable price.
Amnig has kindly offered 9 slots for readers of the blog to participate in the Amnig | I Am Warrior 10km Run on 6th December. This is a fast route, for sure. All you’ve to do is to put a comment under this post that you’d like to run. Simple isn’t it? Do include your valid email so that I can send you the registration form you to complete and return to me before 31st Oct. Thanks Amnig!
Note: Be sure to read to the end of the review to know how you can get the Altra shoes at a special time-limited price!
I’ve been intrigued by the shoes from Altra for a number of years. Alas, they were not sold in the country, and are not as widely distributed in other parts of the world which I’ve visited. What captivated me was the trademark wide toe box (marketed as FootShape) their shoes come in as well as their take on Zero Drop which adopts a cushioned approach as opposed to the “ground feel” approach taken by other companies. The only cushioned zero drop shoe I know before the Torin was Saucony Virrata.
The sizing of Altra shoes are slightly different. For example I typically wear a US10 (exceptions are 10.5 for certain adidas models or even 11 for some of Nike’s), but fit the US9.5 on the Torin. The best way to be sure of your Altra sizing is to utilize the Shoefitr Guide Altra included in their product page. Enter your current shoe brand and size and you’ll get the Altra equivalent.
Since the Torin 2.0 is my very first Altra, I’m unable to comment on how it measures up against the 1.5 or other models although I read from other reviews than the 2.0 has a lower toe box (but same width) than the 1.5. Stack height of the 2.0 are 27mm front and back, so it’s not as close to the ground as most lightweight performance shoes out there. In comparison, the 11.1oz GOrun Ultra Road (US10, reviewed here) has a 30/26 stack height.
The entire upper is made of close-knit mesh. Due to the prevailing air quality issues, I’ve not been able to take the 2.0 on long runs to determine the breathability of the upper. I’ve not had sweaty feet from the couple of short ones I’ve managed, though.
Welded overlays with generous reflective strips go round the shoe. The Torin’s upper has a soft feel to the touch. Lacing is the regular type and the flat laces are non-stretchable. Incidentally, the lace eyelets are pretty snug, so a one-handed approach to removing the laces won’t be as easy.
The Torin 2.0 has a segmented midsole which makes for a soft and flexible ride. Comprising of dual layer EVA with A-Bound foams which Altra claims to result in less compression over time
Finally, FootPod outsole mimics the bones and tendons of the human foot where lugs are mapped to the foot. The pods are both foam and rubber depending on the areas of wear. It’s nice to note that solid rubber are used directly under the toe off zone of the shoe because I expect that area to be stressed the most. Deep flex grooves cut this way and that throughout the outsole, attracting small pebbles along the way.
The wear experience of the Torin 2.0 is unlike any I’ve experienced before. Its pillowy plushness is reminiscent of the Skechers GOrun Ultra (GRU) yet with a lower stack height and a zero drop configuration, the Torin 2.0 provides better road feel (albeit still considerably muted) and added nimbleness to the wearer’s movements. Its interior has an almost sock-like feel. All that in a package that are a couple of ounces lighter than the GRU.
There’s a noticeable midfoot bump when you first put on the shoe but that feeling goes away as you start your run. There’s always a hint of bounce that came along with every midfoot landing and forefoot toe off. At first, I was quite conscious of my gait, this being a zero drop shoe and all, but after a few Ks into the run, my pace started to pick up and I was able to settle into a nice momentum. The smooth and bouncy ride was one that was easy to like. It certainly felt refreshing to step away from the “if-you-don’t-feel-the-road-you’re-not-wearing-the-right-shoe” school of thought because heck, it was pretty enjoyable running in the Torin, short the runs may have been. Once well and fully adapted, the runner should have no problem taking the Torin for marathons and beyond.
Nevertheless, the shoe is still a zero drop and thus, some transition is necessary to work yourself into the new way to run on top of letting your body adjust to the added loading on the achilles. Altra has done a great job in providing plenty of tips and information on how to transition to their shoes on their website. Below is the recommended transition period as suggested by the company.
From the purveyors of Zero Drop and FootShape toe box comes the Torin 2.0, a cushioned and lightweight take on the zero drop movement. In my limited time in them, I really like the roomy toe box and its blend of plush cushioning with bouncy responsiveness. Which is why I’m so darn frustrated of not being able to run outdoors with the continuing smog.
Runners Unite has kindly offered readers of this blog a special 30% discount. All you’ve to do is to quote ALTRAJAMIE when making your purchase online by visiting and sending a PM via www.facebook.com/RunnersUnite or Whatsapp Miss Tan at +60124230661. Offer ends Oct 12th 2015, so if you’ve been wanting to try on an Altra, now’s the time!
Disclaimer: The Altra Torin 2.0 was a review pair provided by the Runners Unite and I continue to be frustrated by the air quality and thus missing out on more runtime in the Torin!
Barely 200m into the race, I turned and told CY that that was the furthest I’d run in a week. The country was so badly hit by smog from Indonesia (allegedly perpetrated by Malaysian and Singaporean plantation companies) that going outdoors was a foolhardy undertaking.
Initially I was quite unaffected by the foul air quality but eventually the inevitable hit – feeling of malaise, body sores, stuffy and watery nose was plain depressing. Around the same time, my lower back flared up with dull discomfort that spread to the glutes. It wasn’t exactly a fun time leading up to what would’ve been a frantic series of races in September. Better now than December, I suppose.
In any event, the air quality was fantastic as I drove to the USJ6 Shell station at 5am. I was glad to have made the decision to arrive early since more and more cars started to pour into the location, looking for valuable parking spots. I munched on a cereal bar and drank from a bottle while slowly taking the time to gear up.
A couple of hours later, we were flagged off by MPs Hannah Yeoh and Wong Chen. The plan was to run really easy and not let the stress take its toll on the recovering body – am still on meds after all. The crowd wasn’t that big and most elites were either at the BHP Run or had run the Firefighters’ Half the evening before. However as the roads opened up, so did the crowd and I was able to stride along nicely. Zijill, CY, Nick and Choo were just behind. By the time we turned into Persiaran Setia, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to sustain the 4:44 2nd K and thus picked a cup of drink and simply stood aside waiting for the rest to catch up. From that point till the 8K mark, we ran together.
Without a word to Zijill, Nick, CY and I conspired to pull her along to what we had hoped, a podium position. We had counted the number of women in her category on the other side of the road and thought from the looks of their expressions and form, she would be able to pick them off one by one.
And that started a fun, and thankfully distracting pastime for me, working with CY to pull Zijill past the other women. It was fun playing the stalking game. Heck, if I wasn’t able to race satisfactorily, I might as well help a (hopefully) future GCAMer along to a good finish.
That we did, passing one after the other until she moved from 10th to 7th. Eventually, I couldn’t sustain the pace and the increasingly warm weather (the smog had also returned) was taking its toll. I had to let her go on her own after the final water station. I peered behind but CY didn’t make the move to take over. I spotted 2 more women ahead which I wasn’t sure if she eventually dropped.
CY caught up with me as I ran the final 200m on the track and the result was the goofy shot you see above. Overall, it was a well organized race. Naturally when the organizers decided on a 7:30am start there was going to be traffic management challenges. Subang Jaya is a mature and thriving township, and we did encounter a few intersections where the motorists weren’t as willing in sharing their roads. If only we had started at 6:45 or 7am, it would’ve been a win-win situation for most people.
I rushed back to the car and brought out the MPIG Run flyers for distribution – the gang thankfully helped in the distribution (thanks guys!). That done, it was back home for the familial duties.
Having evaluated my present circumstances, I will log a DNS for SCKLM in a couple of weeks’ time. It’s just too much too soon for me. I’m in no condition to run especially when the air quality remain poor. Instead I’ll focus on getting well and slowly work myself back to race fitness once the smog blows over.
Most runners know Saucony from the Lexington-based company’s best seller, the Kinvara. The Kinvara continues to work well for me, having worn it for 2 of my best marathons to-date. It offers lightweight responsive cushioning in a 4mm drop configuration that’s neither too minimalist nor overly engineered monstrosities.
But Saucony has a few stalwarts in its stable of shoes too, from the dependable workhorses like Ride, Guide, Hurricane to the Triumph (review by CY here). On the lighter end of the scale, there’s the Endorphin Racer, Fastwitch (both of which unfortunately aren’t sold in this country) and Virrata. And now, there’s another which is a little harder to peg, the Zealot ISO.
Released as part of the 3-shoe ISO series (the other 2 being the Triumph ISO and Hurricane ISO) in early 2015, the Zealot is a completely new shoe. Some say it replaces the Cortana (not related to a certain IT company from Redmond!) but I’ve no experience in the Cortana to comment on that. It’s a harder shoe to define, since it’s a little of everything – it doesn’t appear as performance-based as the Kinvara, yet the Zealot is lighter than Ride (and just 0.2oz heavier that the Breakthru). Plus, it has an offset of 4mm, similar to the Kinvara. Let me try to break it down as simply as I can, starting with the upper.
ISOFIT, if you’re unaware, is Saucony’s fitting technology, an inner sleeve or bootie that wraps around the foot. The sock-like fit is then complemented by the external cage which functions like fingers extending upwards from the midsole providing a semblance of structure and support to the shoe. The ISOFIT sleeve has a soft spine running down the middle (in blue) and ventilated mesh on either side of it. The construction and choice of material of the ISOFIT allow for a fit that’s just right, never constrictive nor overly snug. The use of mesh means ventilation isn’t compromised either. The vamp sports a zigzag patterned mesh and the upper is held together by soft PU and welded overlays, as well as harder plastics towards the rear.
The cage looks like a stencil cut-out. Since the material used isn’t as thick as those from Salomon or adidas, the weight of the shoe is kept low. The Zealot’s flat laces are minimally stretchable and secures the shoe well in all my runs without coming undone. I’ve tested this via single or double knotting and I always ended my runs not having to stop to re-tie my shoes.
Although the fit is near perfect for me (forefoot is a little roomier than the Kinvara), some could experience minimal bunching of the ISOFIT spine should they cinch the laces a little too tightly. When auditioning the shoe, just try out several sizes to be sure you get your best fit.
At 8.95oz (254g) for my US10, the Zealot would be in the sweet spot for many runners as their marathon shoe. In contrast, Asics Nimbus 17 and Cumulus 17 weigh 11.4oz and 12.6oz (US9) respectively. Each ounce of weight saved without having to compromise on the support and cushioning counts a lot over the course of 42KM. Running light is even more crucial if that 42KM comes after a tough swim and an energy-sapping bike ride.
The all-round padding isn’t excessive. Saucony wisely left the plusher treatment to the Triumph ISO. So what we get on the Zealot feels just nice. RunDry material around the collar is standard in the ISO Series and Kinvara, so you can find the same here as well. Since the tongue is part of the ISOFIT system, you won’t be annoyed by any slippage.
Around the back, an external heel counter cups and locks the heel down nicely. I like the fact that the piece of plastic is configured differently – broader near the base for support and in strip form towards the collar. Again, weight savings without compromising the support.
Still on the upper, there are plenty of large reflective elements all over the shoe, even on the outsole. Added to that is the ViziOrange colorway that will ensure you stand out under all lighting conditions.
There’s a considerable amount of midsole flare here, just like what you would see on the Kinvara.
The perforated sockliner is removable and sits on top of a layer of thin foam.
The task of support and cushioning falls on the PWRGRID+ (Powergrid+) midsole. The crash pad, the yellow section in the photo below, is made of SRC (Special Rebound Compound), and it’s meant to offer a smoother heel to toe transition.
The outsole is largely a full contact one. As you can see, the instep is filled in (blue triangular foam in the arch area) resulting in a pretty stable shoe. While there are scuffing marks there – it’s made of foam anyway – other sections of the outsole are without a doubt durable. The yellow lugs, interspersed with deep flex grooves, from the front to midsection are made of IBR+ (Injection Blown Rubber) which is the firmest form of blown rubber I’ve experienced. The orange bits at the heel section are Saucony’s XT900 carbon rubber, which are even harder to the touch. So how does it all come together?
I’ve logged over 50K in the Zealot and one of the reasons why I nearly always reach out for it is because of its versatility. It’s built like a traditional shoe, but has a 4mm drop similar to that of the Kinvara (my favorite marathon shoe). At the same time it’s at least 2 ounces lighter than most trainers in the market today. It has a plush step-in feel but takes on a different character the moment you take your first steps, which is when you’ll notice the firmness of the outsole. Thankfully, that initial jarring effect is tempered by the softer Powergrid+ midsole, so the firmness never gets into uncomfortable territory. The same could be said of the heel where the slight stiffness goes away once you get into a groove.
This is a shoe that will be enjoyed running at a brisker pace due to that responsive nature. Toe spring is moderate but enough to get you a smooth and snappy toe-off.
The longest distance covered in the Zealot was a 21K of varied pace and elevation. It’s light enough that I’m able to get into a quick cadence going up the hills and protective enough to dampen the shocks coming down the other side. I encountered no hotspots nor any irritation of any sort from the ISOFIT sleeve. A friend has even worn it for a 60K road ultra and raved about it.
The Zealot is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile shoes out there. Some may feel that not having a standout quality is a sign of weakness but just look at the football giants and their utility players who can play in any position, covering end-to-end and plugging holes in the team. There’s always room for such players in the clubs. And there’s always room in the crowded shoe cabinet for a shoe like the Zealot.
Disclaimer: The Saucony Zealot ISO is a sample pair provided courtesy of Saucony Malaysia. It is available now from Running Lab and Stadium outlets for RM469.
Note: Be sure to read until the end of the post, to find out how you can purchase the adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7 at a very special price.
The second half of the year is typically extremely busy. As such, I very much prefer my key races to be over and done with in the first half. Exceptions, however, can be made for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) since it’s the home marathon and the organizing team is one which engages fellow runners instead of just focusing on reeling in the numbers.
I was invited by adidas Malaysia to the launch of the official licensed merchandise of the SCKLM yesterday. Since I was going to be out of the office to settle a few pressing matters in the Bangsar area, I took the opportunity to first spend an hour at the adidas outlet in Gardens. One of the products to be featured was the Supernova Glide Boost 7 (SGB7), a neutral cushioned trainer.
adidas first debuted the Boost midsole material on the Energy Boost and has since updated many of their shoes to the midsole platform with much success. The Boost midsole has been one of the best I’ve experienced and if there’s one downside, it would be that their shoes are increasingly generic looking. The SGB7 is as generic as they come. To the casual observer, it could very well have been the Sequence Boost, Response Boost or even the grand-daddy Energy Boost. While I don’t have the Sequence and Response, I’ve enjoyed wearing the Boston Boost 5, Adios Boost, Energy Boost, and Ultra Boost [review]. And also plenty of other brands. So hopefully I can put the SGB7 into perspective.
The SGB7 isn’t a flyweight shoe. At 11.25oz for US10, it’s a full ounce heavier than the Energy Boost [review], the extra baggage comes from the additional layers of mesh (see photo below where the green layer peeks out from under the top layer mesh) as opposed to the Techfit upper used on the Energy Boost.
The toe box is surprisingly roomy, uncharacteristic of adidas. My toes were able to splay and the upper is a little stretchy. As such there’s no restriction even if you dorsi-flex your toes. There’s a thick welded overlay across the front of the toe box and moving to the midsection of the shoe, the 3 stripes work in unison with the lacing system to give a secure fit. There are no
The external heel counter is quite substantial, similar to that found on the Energy Boost. There are plenty of reflective elements all over the shoe, with the branding stripes, and the logo and model name providing different levels of passive shine.
Step-in feel leans towards soft rather than plush and the same feeling extends to the toe-off as well. The SGB7 isn’t as plush nor pillowy soft as the Ultra Boost but your feet will still be pretty pampered, with the dampened road feel. I’d say that the forefoot cushioning sits nicely between that of the Ultra Boost and the Energy Boost.
The tongue is integrated with the upper in the form of a sleeve/bootie, so there’s no chance of it sliding around over the course of a run. Since the bootie is pretty thin, the shoe’s breathability isn’t compromised. The SGB7 isn’t as airy as the GRUR but at least I didn’t end up with a soggy shoe on a very hot run.
The SGB7 has a flared midsole especially towards the rear of the shoe, which provides some degree of stability. If it isn’t obvious enough already, you’ll notice that the shoe’s midsole comprises of 2 layers of foam where a firmer green EVA layer sits on top of the softer Boost. Interestingly the green material doesn’t cover the entire forefoot – I discovered this after removing the sockliner (a thin material carpets the surface under it) only to reveal 2 cutaways exposing the Boost foam instead of the green material which I now believe occupies only the fringes of the forefoot section. This setup creates a softer push-off for the runner, with the road feel in that area more muted than that experienced in the Energy Boost.
Continental rubber outsoles used on several Boost models have proven their durability and traction qualities, and it’s nice that the SGB7 is accorded the same treatment as well. AdiWear rubber is used in the heel section. Connecting both forefoot and heel is the TPU torsion shank. Again, these are typical configurations used on adidas shoes. Forefoot flexibility is adequate.
The 7th version of the Supernova Glide Boost is a fine shoe for long runs. It offers a good balance of durable cushioning and support, and substantially cheaper than the Energy Boost. I’ve read from other reviews that other comparable shoes are the Saucony Ride 8 and Nike Pegasus 32 but it pretty much comes down to your preference of fit, responsiveness, cushioning and weight. If you’re running the Standard Chartered KL Marathon and are interested in snagging the SGB7, be sure to read the offer stated in the Disclosure below.
Disclosure: The adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7 is a media sample provided courtesy of Adidas (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Initial review is based after running and walking in them for close to 30K. Its available now at Adidas boutiques in the country, retailing for RM430. For a limited time only, the shoe is offered at a special price of RM299 to registered runners of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon. All you need to do to enjoy the price is to show proof of your race registration when purchasing the shoes at the adidas stores.
I’ll say this upfront – I signed up for this year’s PJ Half due to a change of route. As race day got nearer, the importance of getting the mileage under the belt became greater, what with an unplanned marathon to be tackled before 2015 comes to a closure.
The organizers certainly pulled out all the stops to have a unique, if challenging, route. The race started from Dataran PJ (in front of the Civic Center), heading to NPE, back to Old Town before Jalan Templer, SS1, SEA Park, Jalan University, Padang Timur before finishing where we started. There were so many major road crossings that I truly doubt that the traffic management could be pulled off well, if at all. A minor fiasco at the REPC didn’t add to the level of confidence and by the time I toed the line at 5am (I was awake since 2:40am!) with Zijill and Frank, my expectations were quite low. Nick had opted to accompany his wife in her 10K since he wanted to keep things on the conservative side for the time being post-injury. All of us were so casual about it that we were positioned near the very back of the start. In hindsight, it was a mistake, even if we had wanted to keep things easy.
The roads were not fully closed and it was hard running with the large crowd within the coned confines of the allocated lane. Congestion was so bad that I found myself fast walking at one stage.
It was easier to up the ante once we hit NPE since the roads were much wider. Until then, Frank and Zijill were never too far away and it was good to run together, pulling each other along. I chugged from my bottle of Gatorade and thus was able to skip a few water stations. Up until this point the marshalls and water station crew were doing a fantastic job, as were the uniformed officials.
Training has been extremely patchy but I found myself progressing pretty steadily. I’d bumped into many familiar faces which was a welcome diversion. The pee break I had just before the Honda dealership helped tremendously in reducing the feeling of discomfort from a bloated gut, undoubtedly from overdosing of fiber (from the copious amount of veg I stuff myself) the night before.
The route was tougher in the second half of the race, first with the climb past the cemeteries at SS1, followed by the devilish bump at SEA Park before the very long incline along Jalan University. I was able to negotiate those pretty ok, but the average pace dropped by 10 seconds in those sections. The morning was cool but humid so the plentiful sponges were helpful.
The legs eventually got as heavy as lead, as I ran pass Taman Jaya but with the finish just a KM away, there was no point in taking the foot off the pedal. Rounded the corner and gutted out a 1:55.28 finish.
The timing was to expected with my time spent training at a premium lately. Added to the challenging route, it was a fair result. More important was to be out there with friends while getting the workout done.
The organizers generally did a great job with traffic control and marshaling, and as a result prove my fears to be unfounded. The route was a nice change, albeit pretty tough.The start and finish were efficiently handled and I liked the fact that the Half Marathoners were diverted away from the larger crowds of the 5 and 10K categories. The bummer was the reported lack of finisher medals for some runners. I’d have given them mine if I’d known but it was a misstep on the part of the organizers.
The GOrun Ultra has been Skechers’ softest riding shoe, its thick midsole sets it apart from its more cousins such as the GOrun 4, GOrun Ride 4 and GOMeb Speed. The GRU’s soft ride make it a popular shoe for long runs yet many may not know that the GRU was designed with the trails in mind. That, however, didn’t stop most fans from wearing the GRU over the course of road ultras more than in the trails. Among the few flavors of the GRU, I like the Nite Owl edition most. With the glow-in-the-dark upper, it’s the most practical shoe for the long slow runs for me, despite not being known for its durability.
There is now a road specific version of the GRU. Called simply the GOrun Ultra R (R denoting “Road”), runners who want a soft ride but can’t fit into a Hoka (which generally fits narrow) have a alternative.
The GRUR is built from the GRU platform and for the most part retains many of the characteristics of its predecessor in that it’s still a thicker shoe, very cushioned and geared to protect the wearer over long distances. The GRU platform a gradual increase in weight over the years. The original version weighed in at 9.25oz, the GRU2 breached the 10oz mark, coming in at 10.05oz. The GRUR is even heavier at 11.10oz. Only the Ultra Boost was heavier at 11.35oz albeit at a half size larger. There’s certainly no allusions then that the GRUR is meant to be a long haul shoe than a nimble feet performer.
There are differences, of course. The most striking of which is the Fitknit upper. The colorway is one of the best I’ve seen in an upper recently but I felt that Skechers missed out on making it great. You see, the knitted mesh is overly stiff to the touch. The GRUR still flexes and fits at the right places but the Fitknit is hardly as refined as that implemented in the GOrun Ride 3 Bolt. If a wearer dorsi-flexes his toes, they will feel the roughness of the Fitknit material on the inside. The knitted upper is also very breathable, which could pose problem if you typically run on gravelly and dusty roads. I large pores will let dust, sand and small pebbles (not Nick’s pooch!) in. And you can peek right into the interior of the shoe.
It goes without saying that water goes right in too but in this case, the GRUR has a trick up its sleeve in the form of 2 large (everything is large with the GRUR!) down-facing drainage ports on each side of the shoe. Positioned just below the perforated and removable sockliner, water will drain right off just as quickly. Weather’s been hazy and dry for the most part and I’ve been unable to test the drainage features out.
There’s plenty of reflective detailing on call – 2 on each side of the heel counter, 2 in front of the toe box. Being a runner who hits the road at 5am on weekends, it’s a welcome feature. I fail to understand why shoe companies choose to omit this simple touch.
The GRUR employs a dual-density Resalyte foam midsole with the black layer you see in the photos noticeably softer than the orange layer. It has a 30mm/26mm heel/forefoot stack heights for a 4mm offset.
While there are exposed parts in the outsole there are no drainage ports located under the sole and since the shoe is of thicker stack heights, there’s a little bit of protection should you step on puddles. Water will definitely enter the shoe from the upper but not from the outsole.
Rubber plugs for high wear areas are present. I counted 21 nubs excluding the front rim bits. As the nubs are thin, I don’t think they’ll see extraordinarily long service. Nevertheless, the GRUR’s durability will still be several notches above the GRU’s.
The responsiveness is quite apparent. Make no mistake, the GRUR is still a soft shoe, just not as pillowy as the GRU. Personally I like the new tuning as it helps with faster pace running segment (I’ve logged a 6K at 5:10 pace in them) inserted into a more languid long run, without the sinking feeling. I’ve mentioned about the stiff upper which needs to be improved and the GRUR is certainly not a shoe to go sockless in. In fact, it’s best to go with medium bulk socks to add a little more comfort and protection to the twinky toes and nails. Other than the above, the GRUR is a purpose-built shoe for those long sweaty days on the roads which is equally suited for jaunts in the tropical thunderstorm when you simply can’t miss a workout.
Disclosure: The Skechers GOrun Ultra Road is a media sample provided by Skechers Malaysia. The GRUR will be retailing at RM499 and RM469 for the men and women models respectively and are expected to be available in Skechers stores in the country in mid-September.