While the GORun Ultra (GRU) may seem to have been around for a number of years, it’s hard to imagine that the thickest shoe in the Skechers Performance range only made its debut a year ago. In fact, I got my hands on v1 in time for the 2014 Titi 50. 2014 saw 2 releases of the GRU, the v1 and the Nite Owl version. Both the v1 and Nite Owl brought me to the finish lines of Titi, P50 and many long slow training runs with no injuries.
A year on, it was time for an update on the GRU and that came out of the blue a couple of weeks back. I knew an update was forthcoming and have even read the early reviews of some shoe geeks in the States but didn’t expect to find the GRU2 on our shores that soon after the Stateside release. I opted for the black-yellow colorway because I thought they looked pretty badass. Nick’s blue/lime green shods look pretty sweet too.
The GRU2 is essentially the same shoe as the v1. Sure you get the flashy upper (which I’ll dig in shortly) but everything else is the same. From the Resalyte midsole down to the outsole and position of the plugs. As with all the company’s performance models, the GRU2 comes with extra laces and removable Agion infused sockliners.
Because the GRU2 sees no changes other than the cosmetics, the wearer will still enjoy the typical smooth and plush ride of the GRU. The toebox is generous in width and height, easily accommodating the runner’s swollen feet as they toiled under the hot sun and hard tarmac (painful memories of P50 are flooding back now!).
The GRU2’s flashy upper has been updated with the large Skechers S occupying most of the lateral and medial sides. Other motifs such as little triangular bits keep to the current theme of the performance series. What were previously basic strips of overlays and mesh are now complemented with larger pieces of synthetics. The heel counter now even sports a faux-kevlar piece. It appears that the mesh layer is more covered up in the GRU2 than earlier versions. I’ve not ran in the shoes yet, so the question about breathability remains to be seen.
The outsole configuration sees no change as you can see from the photo below. No addition of rubber plugs for added durability either.
The GRU2’s weight has been bumped up to over 10oz for my US10. It was 9.25oz on the GRU and 9.75oz on the GRU Nite Owl. The only explanation for this would be the use of the triangular design elements over the mesh underlay and the faux-kevlar heel counter. All these bits add up and the scale doesn’t lie.
I was a little disappointed with the update, honestly. The enhancements to the outsole that I thought should be introduced didn’t happen yet the upper was updated to the point where the weight was compromised. I’d have pretty much preferred the old upper and add a few thin rubber plugs to high-wear areas. As it stands I find the Nite Owl to be the most practical between the 3 iterations. However, if weight isn’t that much of a concern and a smooth and plush ride are what you seek, then the GRU2 warrants a tryout. For something lighter yet still providing a cushy ride, do also consider the GOrun Ride 4.
Disclosure: The Skechers GOrun Ultra is a media sample provided by Skechers Malaysia. The GRU2 is already available in Skechers stores in the country and retails for RM419 and RM399 for the men and women models respectively.
Originally published: Feb 9, 2015