Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper Intro
The wait is finally over! Skechers has officially entered the carbon fiber war.
The GOrun speed elite is Skechers Carbon fiber infused racing flat that has been in development for well over 2 years, and I am here to say they are well worth the wait.
In a time where high rebound foams married with carbon plates forged into a rockered shape are the standard for top tier racing shoes Skechers brings its version that not only keeps pace but is uniquely different from the huge slabbed foam shoes currently available.
With a low stack height and resilient Hyper Burst foam the speed elite is light, low, responsive, and built for speed.
Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper First Impressions
Out of the box I was absolutely floored by how light the Speed Elite is, about 6.0 oz for my size 10.
Over the years I have run in many racing flats and shoes, I can say with the utmost confidence that this is lightest shoe that has ever graced my feet and is currently around the lightest amongst its competitions by roughly 40g.
Once on my feet there is no doubt that the shoe is strictly built for speed as they are very minimal, particularly the upper, with no excess anywhere.
The rocker design and the plate are very pronounced with a very defined roll that was far softer than I expected. The fit is snug but not uncomfortable and true to size.
Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper Sole Unit
The Speed Elite midsole features Hyper Burst EVA. Hyper Burst is critically infused with CO2 and nitrogen to expand the base EVA foam into it final midsole product.
This process forges a network of bubbles that creates a light cushioned foam that is very energetic.
Skechers introduced Hyper to a select few shoes in 2018 but has now found its way into all their shoes, and I have become a huge fan this midsole foam.
I love the cushion and springy responsiveness that it provides in such a light material. Within the Hyper foam is where the real magic happens in the form of a carbon fiber infused polymer plate.
This is not a full-length plate similar to those found in the Hyperion Elite, Next %, or Carbon X.
The plate of the Speed elite has a unique 3 dimensional design with medial and lateral wings that are connected by a H shaped bridge that is firmly seated only in the forefoot.
This design allows for stiffness with little use of material, weight savings, but also deflects underfoot which provides awesome energy return and the thicker wings provide lateral stability.
This design compliments the HyperBurst EVA which not only allows for the lower stack height but dampens the harsh ride of the carbon plate.
All of this paired with the rocker shape gives the shoe a gentle roll with explosive toe off that requires little effort. I am consistently impressed with the quick turnover of this shoe.
The outsole of the Speed elite like the rest of the shoe is very minimal. It is composed of two thin layers of Goodyear rubber and a lot of exposed EVA.
The rubber is strategically placed in the critical wear areas at the ball of the foot and outer heel edge. It is very apparent that the goal here is less weight and performance, and has nothing to do with durability.
The outsole provides good traction in both wet and dry conditions and holds well through tight corners.
The speed elite is made to go fast and feels best at those paces. I found that the shoe feels really awkward at easy or moderate paces.
However, the faster I go and the more midfoot to forefoot I land the more the shoe rewards me with a smooth forward roll and dynamic bounce.
Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper Upper Unit
The Speed Elite uses the same thin mono-mesh material used on the Speed 6 and TRL. This ripstop material is semi-rigid that holds its shape providing a simple performance fit.
The thin translucent material is very light and airy with thin laminate underlays at the midfoot that provides an added layer of support and lock down that is simple and effective.
The heel is very spartan with little structure. There is no rigid heel counter like the Speed 6, the only structure comes from a small amount of strategically placed padding.
I have had no issues with rubbing or slippage from the heel. Keeping with the simple performance design the upper is finished off with a thin tongue and laces.
The tongue has a tendency to migrate but it didn’t seem to affect the comfort of the shoe.
Initially I found the shoe felt a bit narrow, but after my first run It loosened up and on subsequent runs I hardly felt like I had any shoes on at all.
Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper Conclusion
What a win for Skechers with this shoe! The speed Elite was almost 3 years in the making and now that its here its easy to see why.
The overall design, materials, and its attention to detail are really a testament to the time, testing, and runner input that went into its development.
Kurt Stockbridge described the speed elite as not just a shoe but a piece of equipment designed to help elite runners win races.
Holding true to that frame of mind Skechers has produced the next generation race flat that adds another layer to the carbon fiber war.
I love the fact that this isn’t the high stacked maximal racer that are currently being produced but a streamlined no compromise fast light shoe.
However, this could also be its limiting factor with some runners, as those wanting a maximal racer and don’t posses a consistent mid/forefoot stride might be disappointed.
For those, like myself, that want a more balanced cushion to speed shoe I would highly recommend giving this true racer a try.
We purchased a pair of Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.