ROBBE: Last year was my first experience with the Skechers Maxroad shoe, a max cushion road shoe in a very lightweight package. Like this year, we got it in at the tail end of summer and its knit upper had my foot feeling both hot and bothered. I loved the fit of it, but it was one of the warmest shoes I’ve ever worn. It actually worked great as a winter running shoe, and indeed I used it a lot during the colder months.
So what’s changed with the Skechers GOrun Maxroad 4+ Hyper? Well, not the absurd naming conventions. Instead of a Mad Max shoe, we now have a Mad Math shoe that uses most letters and numbers in the Roman system. Play a game of telephone with this name and, well, the last person will be dead by the time you get to them.
Aside from that, we have a new upper. Gone is the grandma’s sweater knit of 2019; instead, we have a mono mesh and polyester upper which is indeed more breathable. We still got that sweet Hyper Burst midsole, one of the best in the game. And the weight is pretty phenomenal for the level of comfort in the shoe– a mere 8 ounces for a US M9.0.
How does the shoe perform? Read on to find out.
ADRIENNE: Let’s put this out there: I have no experience with a Skechers road shoe. This is not to say that I did not have any preconceived notions beforehand because Hyper Burst midsole tech has got a lot of positive press– my coach is a total Skech fanboy, and people like Meb and King Ches run in them.
I reviewed the Speed XC models and had a ton of fun and some racing success in them last year, but could only guess how the Hyper Burst would feel stacked up to some of the other super foams I have run in. The Maxroad 4+ is listed as a maximally cushioned, neutral daily trainer that has a twist of being super lightweight for its construction. Obviously the Maxroad 4+ is a different animal than a cross country shoe, so let’s see what makes it so…
JARRETT: I’m providing an abbreviated review, since I’m a 2E shoe guy and this shoe does not come in 2E sizes. Thomas gave me his size 10.5 regular width and said they may work. I found them to be a bit too tight in the midfoot and toe box when exceeding 4 miles and therefore can’t recommend to my wide friends. I’ll still be saying what I liked and disliked without taking the width into account.
ROBBE: As I mentioned before, the weight on this shoe is bonkers. It is a very comfortable ride with that awesome Hyper Burst bounce and cushion, and it weights an astonishing 8 oz. for a US M9.0. That’s comparable to the HOKA ONE ONE Rincon 2, another well-cushioned, lightweight shoe. However, the Rincon for sure dies around 150 miles.
The upper improvements are mostly solid. Like I said, it’s more breathable, but it’s still somewhat warm. Just a much better improvement over last year’s version. It also has more of a structure, especially around the ankle, which was sorely needed. The knit upper of last year provided zero support for a high stack shoe that is fairly unstable.
In terms of the outsole, while it looks like an 80’s video game, the circular and oval Goodyear rubber pods provide more than enough traction. Weird design, but good effect.
Comfort-wise, yeah you’ll love this shoe. Hyper Burst is one of the best midsoles in the game, and I’m down with riding that train for awhile. Feels great underfoot, for as many miles as you want to put on.
ADRIENNE: The midsole is the best part of this shoe. Hyper Burst is the real deal and it is here in spades. After feeling a little blah and sluggish on the first outing in the Maxroad 4+ (maybe it was just my tired legs??), it woke up nicely and showed some energetic, quirky, and surprisingly quick personality. I found the nitrogen-infused EVA fun and effortless running across the pavement and no end to the cushioning in sight. The forgiving ride makes hard surface running a different experience. These shoes may also work for when the legs are feeling a little beat up because of the great protection at such a light weight.
I could tell just by looking at the Hyper Burst material and curiously poking at it that this shoe is anything but boring. Skechers’ M-Strike tech is obvious in this model, you notice a thick midfoot and it’s really, really hard to heel strike. Deep flex groups leading to a podular outsole round out a unique and fun-riding lightweight trainer. It’s effective and very flexible. My first run was in the rain and I cornered and accelerated with no hesitation. I mean, how can little circles hold the road so well?!
If I haven’t mentioned it enough here, this shoe is a lot of fun to run in. They also look pretty cool (the women’s colorway, at least), and the midfoot hold for my narrowish feet was substantial. Another bonus, the removable sock liner that gives a more custom fit, and a bit more of a performance feel for such a chunky sole; plus, the shoe seems to breathe and drain better that way.
The upper is pretty clean in appearance and looks pretty nice. Skechers in 2020 seems to be toning down the lettering and design of their kicks as there are no ‘Speed’ or ‘King Ches’ callouts here. According to Skechers, this upper design is supposed to be both more supportive and breathable. A previous complaint of no reflectivity is remedied here as a reflective pull tab completes the look. It is finished out with a thin, yet effectively padded tongue that also probably saves weight.
The Maxroad 4+ to me seems to feel great using both a midfoot and forefoot strike. There’s plenty of cushion to go around and for as much of it as there is, I found the shoe surprisingly stable. This is likely a result of the polka dots and the forward-rockered motion. Transitions are not the quickest on the market here, but they are smooth, and I did not have to put much effort into them. One thing to note is that these shoes felt most natural to me at moderate paces, and they stay outta the way running strides as well.
JARRETT: The upper is a combination of mono mesh and polyester. The polyester is soft, and the mono mesh gives more structure while allowing it to be breathable. It’s kind of weird since I’m so used to engineered mesh. I’m indifferent to it.
While the tongue isn’t attached, the laces go through it to hold it in place. I really like how soft and thin the tongue is. The combination allows it to lay on top of my foot and makes me forget it’s even there.
The Hyper Burst midsole is still the shining star. The cushion is next level, while still being bouncy and enjoyable. I found I was able to run easily through my stride with the help of the M-Strike rocker, which kept me from heel striking as much. I’m actually kind of upset that Thomas gave me these because ignorance is bliss. If these fit me better, I’d be wearing them all the time. But they don’t. Now I’m sad.
In my opinion, the Maxroad flexes better than the GOrun Ride 8 Hyper thanks to the decoupled outsole and also feels softer. The outsole is covered in Goodyear rubber pods which provide that sticky icky grip.
Lastly, Skechers did a great job with the weight coming in at 8.6 oz. for the 10.5.
MEAGHAN: I’ll keep this short since most of the details were covered above. The upper is simple. It’s lightweight and fairly breathable, and has just the right amount of structure and support. I love the fit. It accommodates my wide feet, but the lacing system allows for a locked-in fit.
The midsole is the talk of this shoe, and rightly so. The Hyper Burst foam is bouncy, light, and just fun to run in. Also worth noting is the Goodyear rubber pillars on the outsole– this is a very grippy shoe and one that I will definitely recommend for rain runs or slick surfaces.Shop Skechers – Men Shop Skechers – Women
ROBBE: I hated how warm the upper was last year in anything above 40 degrees F. But it fit great. So while my foot was cooler during these runs, I just didn’t find the fit of the upper to be secure. I felt like there was a lot of room up front and couldn’t get a great lockdown. And it felt a little stiff to me. I’d say it’s on pair with an average upper. So while the Maxroad 4 made me feel all Danish hygge-like, this version made me feel like I’d just rather eat a Danish.
I have one spot on the medial part of my right foot behind my big toe where I’ll get hotpsots from time to time, depending on the shoe. Felt it in this one. I don’t know why, but thought I’d note it.
Oh also, the grey men’s colorway has to be one of the worst-looking shoes we’ve ever seen. I’ve made this comparison before, but it looks like Soviet-era bloc housing, but if it burned down and was just a pile of ashes. I know Skechers aren’t the “cool brand,” but you don’t have to purposefully try and make it worse for yourself.
The women’s colorway is actually kind of nice.
ADRIENNE: Maybe I’ve just become a snob, but polyester? I tried to hold social psychology professor’s jackets out of my head as I laced up the shoes. I mean, it holds the foot well, but next go-round I suggest Skechers just go with some reinforced mesh and call it good. Fortunately, when held up to light you can see through the shoe, so it passes the eye test. All that being said, I found breathability to be average. I also noticed some wear on the rubber after my first run. I thought there was so much riding on my tires (sorry, bad Goodyear pun).
JARRETT: I’m hoping it’s just cosmetic, but the Hyper Burst outsole is already getting ripped up around the Goodyear pods. If the rubber fell off, I think it would become pretty noticeable. That’s a hypothetical though, and you know what happens if we assume…
I understand that there are a lot of buyers using shoes for multi-use purposes. However, ignoring the fact that some people are wearing them to walk around in and probably don’t want neon, the colorway I have is (ashy grey) is by far the most “wide shoe” colorway I’ve ever seen. Except it doesn’t come in wide. Having a colorway this bad not come in wide almost feels like false advertising.
MEAGHAN: I’m struggling to find much to complain about… I’m enjoying this shoe quite a bit. Colorway included.Shop Skechers – Men Shop Skechers – Women
ROBBE: If you want everything in one package (great cushion, comfort, responsiveness, and speed) and are looking to try Hyper Burst for the first time, you’ll certainly enjoy the Maxroad 4+ Hyper. For a faster and more fitting ride, check out the Skechers GOrun Razor + Hyper.
ADRIENNE: This thick-soled, lightweight trainer has a fun and smooth ride and can make daily runs more interesting. It’s also surprisingly quick. A rocker shape that makes heel-striking difficult and deep grooves work together well with the Hyper Burst midsole. It’s bouncy, but I didn’t find it overly aggressive. You get what you put into your stride and get a smooth, slightly forward-moving return.
Fantastic and fun midsole, light, and surprisingly quick. The Maxroad 4+ is best suited for daily and long runs of easy-moderate paces but can probably be used for tempo work as well. Unlike HOKA or other maximal shoes, this shoe can work for a lot of runners and feels very efficient. It can handle daily mileage, long runs, and maybe even a marathon for those who need a good amount of protection. Minus a few remaining quirks, I didn’t find this shoe very skechy at all. Thanks for putting up with all my bad puns and still reading this review.
JARRETT: As I said, I wouldn’t suggest the Maxroad 4+ to people who legitimately need wide shoes. If Skechers did offer it in wide, there’s no question this would be in my rotation. The midsole is incredibly comfortable and cushioned, yet still rolls through well with the rocker. It’s a no brainer easy/recovery day shoe that can still move.
MEAGHAN: I’m a fan of the GOrun Maxroad 4+ and will keep these in my rotation for easy days and longer runs. The Hyper Burst cushioning is not only fun to run in, but it will last hundreds of miles. If you like max cushioned shoes, definitely give this one a try.
The Skechers GOrun Maxroad 4+ Hyper releases on 9/15 for women and 9/20 for men for $140. You can pick it up at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Skechers – Men Shop Skechers – Women