The Skechers GoTrail Ultra 3 is a shoe that was designed to get you off the beaten path and keep you going. Specifically designed for ultra runners, these shoes are made to take a pounding.
With a low heel-toe drop and a very pronounced curve to the sole, they really push you forward and make you want to push the pace. However, due to the high heel stack, these shoes can be a little treacherous on narrow, technical trails.
Skechers GoTrail Ultra 3 General Info
The skecher GoTrail Ultra 3 is one of Skechers’ highest offerings, and possibly their premier trail shoe. Although very reasonably priced, this shoe can compete with many of the higher priced, max cushioned trail shoes.
This shoe competes against the likes of Hoka One Ones or the Salomon Sense when it comes to cushioning. Upon unboxing, I loved the color way, but knew that they would not keep that bright blue/yellow/green look for long.
When I first put them on, it was like slipping into a cloud. They just seemed to swallow my feet up and support them. On the first trail run in these shoes, they were supremely comfortable and so light that I almost didn’t notice they were there.
Skechers GoTrail Ultra 3 Sole Unit
These shoes use Skechers’ Resalyte® midsole with flex grooves to give a maximum cushion feel while still providing great flexibility.
However, the highlight of this sole unit is the inclusion of a designed perforated insole and strategically placed drainage technology system throughout the midsole that allowed air in during dry runs, and water out when faced with rivers/streams/just rain.
The outsole uses a webbed design and aggressive lugs to give you great grip on almost any surface — the only place it faltered for me was in mud.
However, this outsole wasn’t so specific that I couldn’t use the shoes on concrete when I needed to. On longer trail runs, you’ll hit concrete from time to time, or have to use a road to get to another trail head.
It allowed for great grip on rock, cedar, crushed gravel, and dirt trails.
The only drawback I had while wearing these was that the high stack height made for unstable running on single-track and when the trail got truly uneven. This was something that my ankles protested when I hit up my local technical trails.
Skechers GoTrail Ultra 3 Upper Info
The upper is one of the best I’ve seen on any shoe. Using a tight woven soft material, the upper is breathable while also retaining water protection.
It fits perfect to size while giving you the feeling you want — tight on the heel and wide on the toe. Although not fully rain proof, the upper is so tightly woven that it keeps most water out.
The upper doesn’t use many overlays to lock in the foot, and this is due to the great fit with which the shoe begins.
Skechers GoTrail Ultra 3 Conclusions
The GoTrail Ultra 3 was a good trail shoe for those looking to get off the concrete for a spell or those who want to log long miles on the trails.
The overall feeling is a great one, and when I took them on the normal double-track trails in my area, they were wonderful.
On my longest run — 15 miles — they held up remarkably well, and my feet still felt comfortable. Because of the max cushioning, my legs still felt fairly fresh upon completion. This made these shoes my go-to for any double-track excursion.
With that said, on the technical single-track trails, or when I would encounter a truly uneven path, the stack height made it tough to keep my footing while trying to keep my pace up.
This problem meant I didn’t feel comfortable taking these shoes out on the technical trails to which I could travel.
Overall, these shoes are great options, and I will continue to use them in the right setting.
However, they have their drawbacks and people looking for ample ground feel will not enjoy the ride. But if you’re planning to log 20+ trail miles in one go, this is a good option without breaking the bank.
We thank the nice people at Skechers for sending us a pair of GoTrail Ultra 3 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.