If you’re a runner looking for a versatile daily trainer with a new-age midsole, the Razor 4 is a great option. It has a stable ride and provides arch support for flat feet.
If you’re looking for a really fast, stiff speed trainer, the Razor 4 is not for you. It’s also not for runners who need a wide, accommodating toe-box.
The Razor name is one of those which has been used so often by Skechers that the product line has become really confusing. First, there was the Razor 1, 2, 3 and 3+. Then came the Razor Elite which was a lighter, faster version of the regular Razor and a Razor TRL, a trail version.
In the last 2 years, the Razor Excess 1 and 2 were also launched and they were more cushioned versions of the Razor. Now, they have dropped the Excess name and they are back to the Razor 4. Skechers says that the Razor 4 is a combination of the regular Razor and the Razor Excess but that it was still designed for speed training and racing.
Last year I tested the Razor Excess 2 and I found it to be an excellent speed trainer for runners who don’t like stiff, carbon-plated speed trainers. I enjoyed how smooth its transitions felt and how it offered arch support for flat feet.
The Razor 4 is the first Skechers shoe to feature the new Hyper Burst Pro midsole foam which is a supercritical TPU foam. The Razor 4 has a forefoot carbon-fiber plate but it’s interesting that on the Skechers website, there’s absolutely no mention of the plate which is normally one of the key features of a plated speed trainer.
The Razor 4 now weighs 8 oz (227 g) for a men’s US9. This is an increase of 0.8 oz compared to last year’s Razor Excess 2. Skechers has the incorrect weight of 6.4 oz listed on their US website which is false and misleading. The stack height remains the same as it was in the Excess 2, 30 mm in the heel, 26 mm in the forefoot.
The price is $130 on Running Warehouse but $145 on the Skechers website which also doesn’t make any sense.
The first time I tried the Razor 4 on, it was in my regular size but the toe-box felt alarmingly narrow. I could sense that this could cause me problems so I decided to size up. Skechers doesn’t bring in half sizes into Malaysia so I had to go a full 1 cm larger than my regular size.
My first run was a 12 km steady-paced run and I was really glad I sized up. The fit felt slightly long but still very comfortable.
I was impressed with the ride of the updated midsole: it felt softer and more cushioned than the Razor Excess 2. Transitions felt smooth and the ride felt more bouncy; more energetic.
The new midsole reminded me of the PEBA foam in the Endorphin Speed 2 however the Razor 4 felt a lot more stable than the Endorphin Speed 2.
It didn’t feel as fast as its predecessor because of the softer ride but it felt much more comfortable and fun at slow paces.
Skechers uses a new poly-mono blend for the upper with a low water based dying process which uses almost no water. The new upper material feels softer, more comfortable and more premium than any other Skechers upper I’ve felt.
It has a flat, non-gusseted tongue which slides slightly downwards during runs and it has a lightly padded collar area which is very comfortable around my ankles. Heel lockdown is great although I do have to use a runner’s knot to get a good lockdown.
The Razor 4’s biggest drawback is its super narrow, pointy toe-box which even runners with really narrow feet will find uncomfortable. I had to go up a full size from my normal size but it feels abnormally long, almost like clown shoes.
The midfoot and forefoot are accommodating but it’s still not a shoe for wide footed runners due to the narrow toe-box.
Skechers brags that their Hyper Burst Pro midsole foam is 100% supercritical TPU. The reason that they use Hyper Burst Pro in the Razor 4, and not regular Hyper Burst (which is supercritical EVA) is because Hyper Burst Pro is lighter and more responsive.
I really enjoy the ride of Hyper Burst Pro and I prefer it to Hyper Burst: it compresses more and it rebounds more. I find that it has a softer, less dense feel and it’s more engaging. Even though it’s softer than Hyper Burst, it’s still firmer than the other super foams like ZoomX, Fuelcell, FF Blast+ and Nitro Elite.
The Razor 4 can now be classified as a daily trainer because it’s soft enough for easy/recovery days. It has a more flexible forefoot than the Razor Excess 2 so it feels more relaxed and not as snappy. The forefoot carbon plate is barely noticeable.
For intervals and tempo runs, you can still use the Razor 4 because it has a relatively light build with an energy-returning midsole but it feels more sluggish than the Razor 3 and the Razor Excess 2 which had firmer rides. I feel that the Razor 4 is more suited to easy or moderate runs.
The Razor 4 has a lot more long-distance comfort than the Razor Excess 2 due to its softer ride so it’s a much better long run and marathon shoe than any of the previous Razor models. It’s definitely more versatile. It also has a prominent rocker geometry which feels energy-saving and efficient.
Arch Fit arch support is also a feature of the Razor 4. It’s an insole which is built-up on the medial side to provide gentle arch support for runners with flat feet such as myself. I find it really comfortable and not at all intrusive.
The outsole rubber on the Razor 4 is thicker and more abundant than its predecessors. The rubber now covers the high wear areas on the outer heel so the midsole foam has more protection. There is very little wear showing on the outsoles of my pair and grip is very good even on wet surfaces.
Overall, the Razor 4 feels like it has a higher build quality than previous Razor models which had hard, scratchy uppers and midsoles that felt like plastic.
Skechers designed the Razor 4 for speed runs and racing but I honestly feel that it functions better as a daily trainer for runners who don’t like soft, mushy rides; it’s stable, cushioned, and efficient.
It’s not as snappy or fast as previous Razor versions but it does feel more bouncy and more premium due to its Hyper Burst Pro midsole and upgraded upper material.
There’s not a lot to dislike about the Razor 4: it has a really narrow toe-box but you can remedy this by sizing up. The carbon plate in its forefoot is not very noticeable so it doesn’t provide much speed assistance and it’s also heavier than previous Razors. It’s still very light for a daily trainer.
I’ll continue using the Razor 4 in my rotation when I want to use a daily trainer that feels fast and energy-saving.
It’s a better option than a Pegasus, Ghost or other similar traditional daily trainer because its midsole foam is so much more advanced- more bouncy and more versatile.