The Skechers GOrun Ultra R2 is a maximal trainer that is meant to log miles but stay light on the feet. If you want to push the pace, it is light and springy enough to go with you.
If you want to slow down and log a long run, the shoe is ready to go without making your feet hurt or get tired. This shoe is one of the better ones I’ve tested at doing it all. Skechers again have hit one out of the park.
Skechers GoRun Ultra R2 General Info
This shoe represents the maximal cushion level for the GOrun Performance line of the Skechers brand. It sits firmly atop the listings, and is really the only real option from the company for those looking for a maximal shoe.
They will compete against Hoka and if you can find sales on max cushion offerings from other companies. However, for the price point, you’re going to struggle to find the amount of cushion or technology that Skechers puts in these shoes.
When they showed up, I was excited to see them, since I loved their trail sibling — GOtrail Ultra 4 — and logged more than 500 miles in those shoes last year as I trained for a trail 50k.
And these shoes didn’t disappoint out of the box. With the same platform and foot shape, these shoes felt great right out of the box and were awesome for a full day of standing and teaching.
Their first run was great, with tons of cushion and spring to push forward. And beyond that, I love the light blue colorway. Great first impression.
Skechers GoRun Ultra R2 Sole Unit
As stated before, the Ultra R2 is the road model and sibling to the GOtrail Ultra 4. Because of this, the sole unit is basically the same as the Ultra 4s with the exception of the outsole.
The sole unit of this shoe is where the shoe gets it’s name – “Ultra”. We’ll start with the actual cushioning then discuss the outsole at the end.
The midsole uses Skechers’ 5GEN foam technology. This foam is both soft and yet responsive no matter the stack height.
This sole unit has a stack height of 30mm in the heel and 26mm in the forefoot, which is substantial but slightly less than the Trails because of the outsole. The cushioning is the exact same. This amount of foam keeps your legs and feet fresh as you put on the miles.
Due to the stack height, I did have an issue on some runs that involved a lot of turning, where there was a little pressure on my ankles. This pressure can be a little uncomfortable, but in rarely showed up.
Something unexpected was that Skechers kept the drainage system from the Trails on these shoes. At first I wondered why, but as I logged the long runs in these shoes I became a huge fan of it.
This technology served the purpose of draining my shoes in a couple of rain run and in the multiple runs through snow/ice/sludge. This drainage system is a beast at expelling the water.
With each step, the sole pushes water through the inserts and out through the drainage holes on the side of the sole unit.
Within just a few steps the water was out of the shoe and the inflow of air helped dry my feet and socks. Still impressive to me after seeing it with the Trails.
The bigger thing with the drainage system for me, though, was when there was no water on my runs. During dry conditions, the drainage system worked as fan in the shoe.
Each step would push air out and bring in new fresh air to keep your feet dry from sweat and cool. I had never though of this as an option for a shoe to do, and now I can’t help but think more shoes shoe incorporate it.
In the GOtrails, the dirt and other substances on which I would run would stop me from noticing this phenomenon. But it was front and center in the R2s.
Now to the outsole. What Skechers did was take the aggressive, sticky, lug-heavy outsole from the GOtrails and just swap them with the very thin blown rubber, parametric web outsole of the GOrun5.
This outsole is underwhelming, and doesn’t seem to have as much grip I would like. Although they never slipped, I didn’t exactly feel “secure” when on ice/snow. At 8.6oz, I think the outsole could be redesigned to add grip, even if it adds weight.
Skechers GoRun Ultra R2 Upper Info
The upper is awesome. Completely seamless with a soft-knit feel. The seamless knit upper uses a hot-melt flat knit construction to provide ample amounts of breathability while allowing for support to key areas of the foot.
This upper is coupled with synthetic overlays to help add support to your important section of your foot.
These technologies mix well together for a supremely breathable — yet not porous — upper that is comfortable in all socks, or no socks. But at the end of the upper is my favorite feature — the Quick Fit Portal is a finger loop.
This afterthought on the back of the heel is a little feature that makes me love Skechers shoes even more. This loop allows for quick entry into the shoe and is a little slice of shoe heaven.
Now this gets us to the one downside I found. The upper advertises a molded heel counter that is supposed to offer added support and secure fit to the heel.
And although this is mostly true, this is also the one place that I found the claims to be questionable.
The heel was secure, and the upper takes a great foot shape — narrow heel, medium midfoot and wide toe box — but the heel can feel a little unsupported when you dial up the speed.
On tempo runs and track workouts, when I pushed the speed and started truly being aggressive on my toe-offs, the heel seemed to slip and didn’t feel as supported as I would have liked.
It was not all the time, but when you are truly enjoying a shoe, you need to nitpick so improvements can be made. No matter how I laced the shoe, there seemed to be some heel slippage on truly aggressive running.
The upper fits true to size in length, and is one of the designed with a runner’s foot in mind. As I said, the shape of the upper is how a long-distance trainer should be designed.
The heel is medium-to-narrow to lock you into the shoe. It widens a bit in the midfoot, and you feel the support of the overlays at this juncture.
Then in the forefoot, the shoe splays out into a super roomy and comfortably wide toe box. This feature is something I hope more shoe manufacturers will do. That wide toe box allows your toes to separate naturally and keep your feet relaxed on those long runs.
Skechers GoRun Ultra R2 Conclusions
In the end, these shoes are great. The combination of technologies make it a wonderful shoe no matter the price. As a fully maximal cushion and only an 8.6oz of weight?
That’s remarkable. Add on a great upper and a drainage system on the sole unit that doubles as ventilation? Better still. Oh, and this shoe retails at $115. That is no typo, the retail price of it is $115. That’s jaw-dropping.
I always like to point out cost-benefit ratios, and the ratio of this shoe is off the charts. I would happily purchase this shoe at $140, and considering I can find it for far less, I will be looking into another pair of them for my summer miles.
Do yourself a favor and check out the Skechers Performance line, and if you are in the market for a maximal cushion shoe, check out the GOrun Ultra R2.
We purchased a pair of Skechers GoRun Ultra R2 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.