My evolution of running shoes started with Converse and ended in Skechers GOMeb Speed 2 shoes. How did I ever get here? Why was I ever running in Converse?
Well in college, I was still in my teen angst anarchy RAH RAH RAH phase and everyone knows that the only way you can rage against the man is with a pair of Chuck Taylors. Nevermind the fact that you’re raging against the machine in a brand owned by Nike at that time. Let’s ignore that part altogether.
So when a friend asked me to go for a run on the Charles my senior year of college, I put on the only pair of shoes I had at the time. It didn’t get me very far, but I did make it out the door.
I will not get into an argument about minimalist vs. maximalist shoes since I am not an expert on everyone. However, I know that for me personally, I’ve found great benefits in alternating between racing flats and my more cushy shoes. The cushy shoes, I’ve been using for long runs and marathon racing, while for treadmill and shorter races, I’ve been using my lighter Skechers.
I know, Skechers? Who even knew they had running shoes before Meb won the Boston Marathon this year.
Actually, I have to confess I did. I first got introduced to Skechers when I won 2nd place at the Malden 10K in 2013. So for about a year, I’ve been playing around with these guys as people gave me weird looks when I told them they’re Skechers. I don’t know why, but runners can be so judgmental sometimes.
So when I saw Meb win the Boston Marathon in almost the same pair of shoes as I was training in, I felt vindicated at last! If a professional elite runner not only wins a race, but also achieves a life time PR, the first thing you look at are his shoes! Suddenly, my running friends had an interest in what I had to say about Skechers.
Okay to be honest, Meb was actually running in a model that won’t be available until Fall 2014, but he used to run in my shoes.
How did Skechers go from the crazy Spice Girl platform shoes, to Meb? Well, from what I heard. A bunch of smart people from some of the other large running shoe brands had some ideas, but change is always hard to push. Skechers Performance Division on the other hand was looking for a way to become more competitive in the running shoe part of the business, so they took these individuals with their new bright ideas and let them go for it!
So when I had the opportunity to test out the Skechers GoSpeed Meb 2, I couldn’t wait!
When you take them out of the box the first thing you notice is that they are incredibly light.
I thought the bottoms looked super funny, but I think that’s what keeps them so light and bouncey
- Super light at 5.6 oz while still being supportive
- Independent circular GOimpulse sensors for a more responsive running experience
- M-Strike Technology™ promotes a midfoot strike
- New printed nearly seamless mesh fabric upper – A little cold for me in the winter, but feels great in the hot humid summer
- Resalyte™ Midsole – Proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
- Dupont Hytrel™ Stability plate in midfoot for a supportive and secure run
- Seamless interior with microfiber lining maximizes comfort
- 4 mm drop
And they’re just so pretty!
- They run a half size too big. Not completely a bad, but just be aware when trying to figure out your size. I usually run in a size 7, but it ended up being too big. I then tried a size 6. It fit, but would feel tight once my feet swelled in the heat. Finally I tried a size 6.5 and it fit perfectly! Skechers was kind enough to work with me until we found a size that works for me.
- Shoe laces kept untying until I triple knotted. I didn’t have this issue on my old pair, so maybe it was just a fluke
- Nothing else, I absolutely love this shoe. I wouldn’t use it on a trail or gravel road, but a paved road or treadmill feels great!
Transitioning to the GoSpeed & Benefits
The first time I put on minimal shoes, I ran 2 miles before my legs felt awful and my calves wanted to die. Yes, the girl who runs 20 miles on a whim, felt drained by 2 miles.
I actually put the shoes away for about 2 weeks before I tried to give them a second chance. The second time around, it didn’t feel as bad. I got through 2 miles. The next time 3 miles. Since I run both outside and on the treadmill, I kept these for treadmill runs. Eventually, I was running my hour long runs without any problems. I can’t even imagine doing tempo runs in my heavier shoes anymore.
- Start out slow – My speed was about 30 seconds slower per mile
- Start out less time – You can do mileage or time. I started with 20 minutes, moved to 30 minutes and now I’m up to two hours with these shoes
- Alternate shoes – I found that running in flats puts a little more impact on my skeletal mass, so I use other shoes for recovery and trail runs.
- Racing flats initiate quicker turnover and studies demonstrate that lighter shoes reduce energy costs up to 3 percent! So a marathon that typically takes me 3:30 to do can be cut to 3:24! When seconds mean a PR, I’ll take a few minutes
- Closer connection to the ground and form. If my running form starts to fall apart, I feel it right away and make sure I correct my running posture.
Overall, as it’s getting hotter and hotter each day in Boston, I’m falling more in love with the shoes.
And because they’re so awesome, I get to give a pair to one of my readers! Entry will be open until Saturday. Sorry, US residents only.