Some runners need support from their shoes, especially on longer runs when their legs and form start to fatigue. Although Skechers entered into the performance running category with lightweight, low-to-the-ground neutral shoes, it’s now venturing into models with more stability-enhancing structure. The Forza is a well-balanced high-mileage stability trainer with a modern rendition of a medial post (it’s an integrated design that spans the heel to the metatarsal heads), a responsive two-layer foam package, a sleek, seamless upper and a slightly wider footprint. It’s a super sturdy shoe, but all of that stability and support is hidden in a comfortable, smooth-riding cruiser with a touch of responsiveness. You can feel the support, but it’s not oppressive or gait-altering and clunky as it sometimes is with other shoes in this category. It’s certainly a stark contrast to most of the previous shoes Skechers has released in the past five years (including the GoRun Strada), but it will be appreciated by runners who want more support under their feet. (And that includes two-time Olympian Kara Goucher, who trains in this shoe and played a role in designing it.)
The GoRun Forza has a plush interior that securely wraps the midfoot/arch and locks down the heel (with an internal heel counter) but still offers a bit of wiggle room in the toe box. The stitchless upper is made from a combination of stretchy mesh material reinforced with welded-on flexible thermoplastic polyurethane overlays. The wide cushy tongue works in concert with the shoe’s flat laces and adds to the snug fit and feel. Although the supportive ride is completely unique to the Skechers line, the shoe’s fit and interior share some similarities to the GoRun Ultra Road. (Our testers preferred the mesh upper in the GoRun Forza because it flexes and moves with a foot much better than the woven mesh of the GoRun Ultra Road.)
Our wear-testers lauded this shoe as a reliable high-mileage and long-distance trainer or a shoe that could be used for moderate racing paces in the 10K to the marathon. It’s not overly energetic, but it is lively enough for tempo runs and progression runs.We liked this shoe enough to give it our Editor’s Choice—Best Debut award (tied with the Mizuno Wave Catalyst) in our Spring 2016 wear-test review. “This an ideal workhorse shoe for a half-marathoner or marathoner for a runner who needs and wants to feel support under their feet,” says wear-tester John Byrne.
Weights: 10.8 oz. (men’s 9); 8.2 oz. (women’s 7)
Heel-toe offsets: 8mm; 30mm (heel), 22mm (forefoot)
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