The last time I seriously considered purchasing Skechers, I was in kindergarten (and it was my mom who was doing the buying). But a lot has changed at Skechers since the late ’90s, and even in just the past few years. If you haven’t been paying attention to the brand’s resurgence as a serious contender in the running shoe world, you’re missing out. Skechers makes some great kicks, and the new GOrun 7+ Hyper, which goes on sale Feb. 6, shows the company’s commitment to making a high-quality performance shoe. I’m not in kindergarten anymore, but I definitely want this one.
What It Is
The Skechers GOrun 7+ Hyper is a follow-up to the company’s GOrun 7 running shoe—though not a replacement. The GOrun 7 will continue to be sold alongside the new 7+. The new shoe is designed to be a comfortable, flexible, and lightweight trainer, Kurt Stockbridge, Skechers Vice President of Product Development & Innovation, told Men’s Journal via email. Like the 7 (and the speed-oriented Razor and ultra-plush Ride) the 7+ utilizes the company’s cutting edge HyperBurst foam in the midsole.
One of Skechers’ biggest innovations in the past few years, HyperBurst debuted in 2018, and it’s made by exposing EVA—the tried-and-true cushioning material that’s been used in running shoes for decades—to carbon dioxide under high heat and pressure. This causes the material to form a foam with irregularly-shaped bubbles, which makes it lighter than traditional EVA cushioning while preserving its bounce and softness.
Compared to the GOrun 7, the 7+ features a redesigned upper and a new outsole material as well. On the upper, Skechers designers aimed to respond to feedback from runners who had tried the 7 and weren’t in love with its sock-like design.
“Some runners loved the fit,” Stockbridge said, “while others found the upper challenging to adjust in order to make their foot feel secure.”
For the 7+, the Skechers team returned to the circular knit pattern and conventional tongue found on the GOrun 5, which won a devoted following for its light, breathable, and well-structured upper. That’s the main difference between the 7 and the 7+.
“We feel runners are going to really appreciate how the Skechers GOrun 7+ Hyper relates to their favorite GOrun 5,” Stockbridge said, “and how it offers an alternative to the GOrun 7 Hyper sock like upper.”
The 7+ also comes with a new rubber outsole compound—developed in partnership with Goodyear—that’s designed for increased durability and grip.
Why We Like It
There’s a lot to like about this shoe, but I’ll start with this: The 7+ feels great on my feet. Even just walking around, the shoes feel supportive and bouncy, like they’re ready to take off. The HyperBurst cushioning provides a firm, springy platform for picking up the pace, but it still soaks up impact forces and bumps exceptionally well. This was readily apparent on one of my test runs, when I was forced onto some chunky gravel while dodging a blocked sidewalk. I gritted my teeth as I stepped off the pavement and expected to feel the sharp rocks poking up into my feet, or to get thrown off balance by the loose ground. Neither happened. To my surprise, the cushioning absorbed the uneven ground so well that I could barely feel the rocks, and the ride was actually quite pleasant.
The shoes’ emphasis on a midfoot strike zone took a little getting used to (I normally land farther back on my feet), but I appreciate the way the thick layer of midfoot cushioning supports my arches, and the sole’s rocker shape encourages a smooth stride. The 7+ is also quite flexible, especially in the forefoot—something I haven’t experienced in a shoe with this much cushioning. The arch support, rocker sole, and flexibility all combine to help you roll easily from one footstep to the next.
I found the fit to be snug and secure, and it didn’t loosen over the course of my test runs. The new upper does its job well without any gimmicks or funky lacing.
You can certainly find leaner, softer, or more supportive shoes than the 7+, and it’s not designed for trail use. But for a general everyday trainer that feels peppy and comfortable on the pavement, it’s a hard one to beat.
[Available on Feb. 6, $135; skechers.com]Get it
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