|Nothing minimal about Skechers' SRR's|
Skechers Resistance Runner- Resistor Run SRRMSRP: $130
If someone had told me a few months ago that I would soon be the happy owner of a pair of Skechers running shoes I might have called them crazy. Skechers was not a brand I'd ever associated with athletic shoes, let alone running shoes. I actually found the concept laughable. When Skechers announced the Resistance Runners (part of their Shape Ups line) I had some fun with the idea, mocking the look and the efficacy of the unstable design. The Resistance Runner was not my only target in that post but I did specifically say I'd only run with them in the dark. Soon after my post, Skecher's offered to send me a pair to review. I asked for my size (10.5) in D width and got a call later that day from the company saying they didn't make their shoes in wide sizes. I told woman that if Skechers is going to be in the running shoe business they better learn that D is not a wide size.
My Resistance Runners arrived in a big fancy box with the shoes tucked into foam cutouts and lots of marketing copy. The shoes don't look like any running shoes that I own but they're attractive in their own way. The black and silver motif is a bit over the top but many running shoes, even the top performing models, sometimes suffer from gaudy design. What struck me first was the weight of the shoes. I couldn't find an official weight on any website but I'd guess that these shoes weigh between 14 and 16 ounces. Compare that to the 7.7 oz. Saucony Kinvaras and right away you know it will be a different running experience.
When I first put on the shoes I found that they were tight compared to other size 10.5 shoes I own, especially in the toe box. I like a more open fit at the front and I was concerned that I'd develop blisters from having my toes restricted. Standing in the shoes was interesting and novel. The asymmetrical mid-sole creates an unstable rocking experience when standing still. Unlike my minimal Kinvaras, the shoe is highly engineered. The mid-sole and out-sole are constructed like a counter-lever and the ride is high. I didn't know what to expect before taking off on my first run but I knew the experience would be different.
My first run with the SRR's actually surprised me. I was prepared to dislike them but instead I found them...interesting. The following is from an EmergingRunner.com post in mid October:
"The SRRs are beefy and you notice them when you run. It reminds me of the articles I've read about soldiers who run marathons with a field pack and combat boots. The shoes are clunky and the stride is a little awkward, yet I found myself appreciating them for this purpose. I could feel the shifting pressure on my legs and calves and I noted that my right upper hamstring did not feel as sore as it has of late. That may not be related to the shoes but it's clear that the SRRs do distribute force differently than a standard shoe.
Between the rain and the heavy running shoes I might have expected to dislike this morning's run. Instead, I found the cool temperatures and light rain refreshing, as well as the feeling that I was gaining some additional training benefits from the more challenging footwear. I guess "not unpleasant" is a pretty good way of putting it."I've now run with the SRR's half a dozen times and I even wore them during the Nissequogue Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. I purposely wore the SRR's to help me mitigate my pace while I ran with my wife and kids. The shoes performed well that day although I had a scare when I landed on the sloped edge of a blacktop path that twisted my foot and ankle sharply. The high ride of the shoes invite these opportunities for unstable misseps. Needless to say, I won't be running with the SRR's on the trails.
While the unstable platform can lead to stumbles I've come to see that the SRR's, with their constantly shifting center of gravity and soft cushioning underfoot, remind me of the trail running experience. I was originally concerned that the unstable SRR's would affect my running form, hurt my knees or aggravate my leg muscles. So far the experience has been the opposite and my legs usually feel energized after a run. I'll continue to run (and occasionally walk) with the SRR's, using them as a tool to cultivate leg strength and flexibility. I wouldn't recommend these shoes as a replacement for a daily trainer and I doubt I'll ever use them for runs longer than four miles but I do think they add value to a runner's routine.
Skechers Resistance Runner - Resistor Run SRR
Unstable mid-sole facilitates variable leg and ankle workout
Weight of shoes contributes to strength training
Running experience is fun and unusual
What could be improved:
Narrow fit in toe box
Less bulk and more minimal construction
This review by the Emerging Runner