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The Razor+ Hyper is a next-gen lightweight trainer that feels good at all paces. It could be a daily shoe for some runners, and a workout and race-day go-to for others. Its outside durability is vastly improved over that of the original GORun Razor 3 Hyper, so most runners should be able to get hundreds of miles from the shoe. If, after all this time, you’re still hesitant to try running in Skechers, this would be a good place to start.
Stack Height: Moderate
The Razor+ is more of a spin-off than update of the original Razor 3 Hyper. The shoe’s upper is more pliable, its outsole is more durable, and it has more toe spring. Skechers also altered the last, producing a shoe that’s straighter and more tapered than its predecessor. It’s still a go-fast shoe that excels on workout days and, for some, in races. But the changes are substantive enough that the Razor+ is more versatile, and could be used as a daily trainer by runners accustomed to lightweight models.
Weight: 4.9 ounces (women’s size 7); 6.4 ounces (men’s size 9)
Offset: 4 mm
Stack Height: 27 mm heel, 23 mm forefoot
Midsole: Hyper Burst foam
Outsole: Goodyear rubber overlays
Upper: Ripstop mesh
The original Razor 3 Hyper is one of my five favorite running shoes from my 40+ years in the sport. For the last two years it’s been my go-to shoe for workouts as well as distance runs when the company I’m keeping means I’ll be going faster than usual. The tuning of the Hyper Burst midsole is, at least for me, perfect — cushioned but not squishy, responsive but still forgiving. I do almost all of my hard workouts on the roads, so I love a shoe that performs just as well when I’m warming up and cooling down as when I’m doing repeats or a tempo run.
The main drawback of the original Razor 3 for me was its durability. The thin, strategically applied blown rubber outsole wears through to the midsole in less than 200 miles. I keep running in the Razors once this happens, but eventually I have to retire them even while the Hyper Burst continues to feel as good as new. Once I’m running only on the midsole, the rate of wear accelerates, and I start feeling too creaky the day after wearing the Razors. So I was excited when I heard earlier in the year that Skechers was going to update the Razor 3 with a Goodyear outsole.
I was a little less excited when the shoes arrived. As noted above, the Razor+ is narrower and straighter. Although Skechers says the stack height hasn’t changed, it feels a little higher than the Razor 3. I put on a pair of my thinnest socks, tweaked the laces, and took a perfunctory jog around the house. That inimical Hyper Burst midsole felt the same — what a relief! But I was still dubious about real-world conditions.
100 Miles In
I’m happy to report my misgivings were misplaced. The mesh upper accommodated my wide forefeet almost immediately. The more narrow platform sacrificed little of the Razor 3’s ground feel and stability. What to me feels like a few extra millimeters of midsole didn’t seem to get in the way when I was running faster, and was appreciated on longer or slower runs. “Enjoyably versatile” was the phrase that kept coming to mind.
Once I started considering the Razor 3+ as a potential do-it-all shoe, I figured I should put the idea to the test. My first 100 miles in the shoe included wearing them for every run of a 61-mile week. The runs that week were:
- Easy 7 miles on roads the day after going long;
- Moderate 7 miles on roads and trails;
- 8 miles on roads, including 25 minutes worth of repeats at 5K race pace;
- Moderate 7 miles on roads and trails;
- Easy 2 miles on trails with my dog (she’s neither a road runner nor a fan of long runs);
- 8 miles on roads, including a 20-minute tempo run and eight 1-minute reps at mile race pace;
- Easy 2 miles on trails with my dog;
- Easy 6 miles on roads and trails;
- Moderate 14 miles on roads and trails.
At no time during that week did I wish I had on a different pair of shoes. Sure, I might have gone a little faster on the short reps at mile pace in real racing shoes, and I wouldn’t wear the Razor+ if there are ever again road 5Ks to race. But for putting in basic work, they were an appreciated companion regardless of pace and surface.
The photo below shows the outsole after 105 miles. There’s ever-so-slight wear on the lateral heel. This amount is typical, or perhaps even a little less than typical, for me these days for my middle-aged flailing around. It’s a vast improvement over what the Razor 3 outsoles (and those of many other modern lightweight trainers) show after the same mileage.
In addition to being accommodating, the mesh upper was surprisingly protective. The coldest temperature in which I’ve worn the Razor+ so far is 21 degrees Fahrenheit, and my feet were fine throughout the 70-minute run.
There’s the Rub
Of course, no shoe is perfect. While the shoe doesn’t feel as narrow as it looks, those of us with wider feet will need to regularly adjust the lacing before runs to allow for better toe splay, given the shoe’s taper.
You might also want to be aware of the non-removable sockliner. It’s flat. When combined with the straighter last of the Razor+, it could cause arch problems if you’re used to more support in that area.
One other “yeah-but” thought: Is Skechers slicing the pie a little too thinly? The Razor+ is one of four models now offered in the Razor line. The Razor 3, with its love-it-or-hate-it all-caps “SPEED” on the lateral upper, is still available, for the same price as the Razor+. For $20 more, you can get the Razor 3 Cloak, which is the same shoe as the Razor 3 except for a zebra-pattern upper that loses the large lettering. There’s also the Razor+ Elite, the lightest in the line, a cushioned racer with a carbon-infused forefoot plate. Fine shoes all, but at $135 to $155 a pop, how many fast-day/race-day shoes does one runner need? Not to mention the thinner, faster Speed 6 and Speed Elite models.
My recommendation: Start with the Razor+, see how much of your normal running it’s suitable for, and then, if warranted, keep investigating from there.
A versatile, durable lightweight shoe that feels fantastic at all paces. It could be a daily trainer for some, and a workout/race-day model for others.
Scott Douglas is the author or co-author of several running books, including Running is My Therapy, Meb for Mortals, and Advanced Marathoning. His next book, The Genius of Athletes, will be published in the spring. Follow him on Twitter.