If you’re looking for a speed trainer but you don’t like the feeling of a stiff carbon-plated trainer, the Razor Excess 2 is a great choice. The Razor Excess 2 has more cushioning than its regular Razor series.
If you have a wide foot and you want a rigid, plated trainer which feels like a super shoe, the Razor Excess 2 is not for you.
The Skechers Performance Hyper Burst range can be confusing with many shoes filling the same role. In the neutral category, you have the excellent GO RUN Ride 10 daily trainer which I reviewed last month. Then, you have the GO RUN 8 which is also a daily trainer but a lighter, faster version of the Ride 10.
For speed, you have the Speed Freek which is the long-distance racer, the Speed Elite Hyper which is the short-distance racing flat and then you have the Razor which is for uptempo training runs. So then where does the Razor Excess fit in?
The Razor Excess is a spinoff of the popular Razor series and is designed for those runners who still want a fast ride but find the regular Razor too firm. I’m definitely one of those who felt like they couldn’t run a full marathon in the Razor 3. I liked how light the Razor 3 was but I prefer plusher, more forgiving rides for longer distances.
This year’s Razor Excess 2 has been upgraded with a new, more luxurious upper and a carbon-infused forefoot plate for an even faster ride. It also has 4 mm of extra foam in the heel and forefoot for more cushioning and it weighs 7.2 oz which is the same weight as the Excess 1.
The Razor Excess 2, being a lightweight, plated speed trainer has plenty of competition in a very crowded category. It goes up against popular training companions such as the Endorphin Pro 3, Magic Speed 2, Zoom Fly 5 and even the upcoming Razor 4.
My first run in the Excess 2 was a 30 km weekend long run at a steady pace and I was satisfied with how it performed. I wouldn’t describe the ride as being fun or exciting but it was “pleasant”, with just enough cushioning depth and long-distance comfort. It didn’t feel extremely snappy but it did feel faster than the average daily trainer.
Even though it has the new carbon-infused H plate in its forefoot, ride transitions still felt very natural because the forefoot has a decent amount of flexibility. The new plate made it slightly easier to pick up the pace during certain segments of the run.
Transitions felt super smooth because of how flat the outsole is. The rubber lugs are recessed into the midsole foam so they lie flush with the Hyper Burst midsole. The H plate in the forefoot didn’t feel lumpy even though it’s top-loaded and lies on top of the midsole foam.
The new upper material felt really comfortable and miles better than the hard synthetic material that they’ve been using in recent years on their speed trainers. I noticed that the toe box felt really narrow because of how pointy the Excess 2 is in the front and I regretted not wearing thinner socks on that run.
The cheap, hard, plastic-feeling material of the Excess 1 has been replaced by a much softer, much more comfortable mono-mesh material which conforms to your feet. The mono-mesh has average breathability but it also doesn’t absorb much water the few times I ran in the rain.
The tongue of the Excess 2 is flat and not gusseted but there isn’t any tongue slide. It’s also padded enough to protect the top of your foot from lace bite. The heel counter isn’t very stout but the heel lockdown is still excellent.
The lateral side of the toe box has reflective dots for low-light visibility, a feature that we also saw on the Ride 10. The Excess 2 fits true to size but it has a narrow forefoot and tapered toe box so I don’t recommend it for wide-footed runners. It’s also not available in a wide version.
Even though the midsole of the Excess 2 has gained 4 mm of extra foam in the forefoot and heel, it’s still a trainer for runners who prefer a ride on the firm side. The Hyper Burst supercritical foam doesn’t compress much and only shines when you pick up the pace to below 5 minutes per kilometre (8 minutes per mile).
Its midsole doesn’t have much squish underfoot so it’s not a great easy day shoe for me but if you don’t mind a firm-riding daily trainer then you definitely could use it for that purpose because it feels stable enough at slow paces.
The Excess 2 has enough cushioning for the full marathon distance so it can be your race day shoe if you don’t like stiff-midsole racing shoes which are the trend right now. It doesn’t feel as fast as a stiff, full-length carbon plated trainer but the benefit is that it feels like you are in control of the shoe.
The new Arch Fit, podiatrist-certified insole is an excellent addition to the Excess 2. The arch support is not as prominent as in the Ride 10 and it never bothered me. As a flat-footed runner, I find the Arch Fit really comfortable unlike the poking arch sensation in some shoes from other brands.
If you lift up the insole, you’ll notice that there’s only a very thin, transparent mesh separating the insole from the midsole. It doesn’t provide any additional cushioning so your foot basically sits on top of the Hyper Burst and has direct access to it. The midsole has large, circular holes in it which comes with weight-saving benefits. In the forefoot, you can see the new H plate which sits on top of the foam and adds additional stiffness to the forefoot.
The low, 4 mm drop of the Excess 2 makes it feel more like a racing flat. I usually prefer a higher drop of 8-10 mm for a trainer for easier heel-to-toe transitions but I didn’t notice any calf stiffness from running in the Excess 2.
The Excess 2 fits into my rotation as a steady or moderate pace trainer- those days when my legs feel fresh and I want to pick up the pace slightly. I don’t use it for tempo runs and intervals because I prefer a stiffer ride with more speed assistance. In the Excess 2, you have to work harder when you increase your speed because there’s no rocker or springboard propulsion.
There’s a decent amount of Goodyear rubber coverage on the outsole of the Excess 2 but I’ve noticed significant wear on the midsole foam in high-wear areas because the rubber pieces are not raised. The rubber lugs have a flat profile so grip in wet conditions is not great.
Apart from the very narrow toe-box, there isn’t much to complain about with the Razor Excess 2. It’s a much better version than the original because of its improved upper, higher midsole stack height and carbon-infused H plate. Just like the GO RUN Ride series, the Excess 2 feels much more polished and it feels like a more premium product than its predecessor.
The Razor Excess 2 makes a lot more sense to those runners who don’t like the ride of a stiff, full-length, carbon-plated trainer. For those runners, the Excess 2 can be used for speed training as well as full marathons due to its lightweight build and its high level of cushioning.
I would much rather use a stiff, plated shoe for racing or speedwork because I’m used to rigid midsoles and I enjoy the speed assistance that I get from them. The Excess 2 doesn’t feel as fast as the Endorphin Speed 3, Deviate Nitro 2, Zoom Fly 5 etc. because of its flexible forefoot.
The way I see it, the Excess 2 is a direct competitor to versatile daily trainers which can also be used for speedwork: trainers like the Hoka Mach 5, Brooks Revel v3 and the On Cloudmonster. The Excess 2 has a firmer ride .