If you’re looking for a highly cushioned, efficient trainer and you aren’t worried about weight, the MaxRoad 6 is a great choice. It has versatility and comfort in spades.
If you have wide feet or you’re looking for a super light trainer, the MaxRoad 6 is not for you. If you like firm trainers with lots of ground feel, the MaxRoad is also not for you.
In case you couldn’t tell by the name, the MaxRoad is Skechers’ max cushioned trainer for road running. It’s a relatively new series compared to the other max-cushioned stalwarts, the Nimbus, Glycerin and Triumph which have all been around for over 20 years.
The Skechers Performance brand is one of the least popular of all the major running shoe brands. This stems from the old stereotype that all Skechers shoes are cheap, casual shoes for old people or young kids. I’ve tested over 8 Skechers running shoes over the years, most of them exceeding my expectations, and in my opinion, Skechers is the most underrated brand.
The MaxRoad 4+ was the one exception. It was my last experience with a MaxRoad, and it wasn’t a good one. It caused me ankle pain because the lateral side of the heel wasn’t supportive enough. It’s a shame because I liked the ride and it weighed under 8 oz (227 g) which was crazy light for a max cushioned trainer.
So here we are, 2 and a half years later with the MaxRoad 6. The entire shoe has been updated and it gets some brand new tech like a Hyper Burst Ice midsole and an Arch Fit insole.
It has picked up an enormous amount of weight, 2.6 oz (74 g), which is the biggest weight gain that I’ve ever seen. Its price remains $145 on the Skechers website but you can get it for $130 at Running Warehouse which is $30 less than you’d pay for the average max cushioned trainer from another brand (Nimbus, Glycerin, Triumph etc).
My first run was an easy one. It felt completely different to the MaxRoad 4+, it was smoother, it was more efficient and there was less ground feel.
I enjoyed how prominent the rocker felt and how stable it was when turning corners. It felt comfortable from the get go and didn’t need to be broken in.
The shoe that it reminded me of most was the ASICS Nimbus 25. Both shoes have a wealth of cushioning depth but the MaxRoad felt firmer with a more prominent rocker.
The MaxRoad 6’s upper is your typical max-cushioned trainer upper with plenty of padding in the collar and tongue. It feels a lot plusher and more comfortable than previous MaxRoads but it also feels warmer.
The mesh is soft, thick and very warm. After my long run, I noticed that my socks were soaked with sweat- this rarely happens to me. The fit is true to size but it’s very narrow so I don’t recommend it if you have wide feet.
Foot lockdown is good when using a runner’s knot and the thick tongue isn’t gusseted but it stays in place during runs. Another thing I don’t like about the upper is that the laces feel really soft and cheap- they fray very easily.
The MaxRoad 6 is a lot more versatile than it looks. I was really impressed with it during my tempo long run which was at marathon pace. Normally I’d pick a faster, lighter shoe for this type of run but the MaxRoad felt effortless for 33.5 kilometres. It also feels great at slower paces because of how stable and soft it feels.
It’s a bit firmer than other max cushioned trainers like the Nimbus, Triumph and a lot firmer than the Invincible Run but it’s still a soft, very cushioned ride. It measures 41 mm in the heel so technically, it’s illegal for World Athletics races but not many fast runners will be choosing the MaxRoad 6 to race in.
The MaxRoad 6 is equipped with a heel to toe rocker which is best suited to heel strikers because they benefit from the entirety of the rocker. Transitions feel very natural to me and I can feel it assisting me through transitions.
I’m a heel striker and I find it to be a very efficient, energy-saving shoe for long runs. This comes from its rocker geometry and its carbon-infused forefoot plate. I’m normally against plates in easy day shoes but this plate makes sense because all it does is it makes the forefoot stiffer so that the rocker is more prominent. It’s a winged, H-plate which is situated in the forefoot.
I really like the new midsole setup which has soft Hyper Burst Ice in the centre and regular, firmer Hyper Burst surrounding the core. Footstrikes feel energetic but stable at the same time. The ride feels more lively than Skechers midsoles which are made of only Hyper Burst.
The Arch Fit insole also makes its way to the MaxRoad series for the first time. I first experienced it in the Ride and Razor series. The insole is built up under the arch to provide more support for runners with flat arches and I find it to be really comfortable. I’m still unsure if it helps me with overpronation though.
The pillar pods on the outsole of previous versions are gone and have been replaced with a flatter outsole resembling the Skechers Ride series. This makes the ride much smoother and more durable.
The foam is protected by very thick, Goodyear outsole rubber which is hard-wearing and provides excellent grip. The entire MaxRoad 6 feels very durable, and built like a tank. There’s some wear on the ‘S’ that’s situated under the rearfoot but it doesn’t affect the ride.
The MaxRoad 6 is my favourite Skechers Performance running shoe to date and the best max-cushioned trainer that I’ve tested this year. Not only is it soft, cushioned and stable but it’s also surprisingly versatile.
I don’t think there’s any other max-cushioned trainer which I could do a tempo long run in. I wouldn’t do an interval workout in it because it’s far too heavy but it’s satisfying to know that it can pick up the pace if you need it to.
Some might stay away from it because it’s a Skechers shoe or because of its 10.9 oz (309 g) weight but I don’t mind either. Its prominent rocker makes it feel efficient and a lot lighter than it actually is. Max-cushioned shoes are built for slow running.
To decrease the weight, Skechers can create a deep decoupled groove under the centre of the heel/midfoot. This will also make transitions feel more energetic.
The best thing about the MaxRoad 6 is its incredible price. At only $130, you’re getting a max cushioned trainer which is the price of a daily trainer.
It also has a carbon-infused plate which normally makes a shoe more expensive. It’s much better value than something like the Ultraboost which costs $60 more or the Invincible Run which is $50 more and far less versatile.