JEREMY: Skechers’ previous marathon-geared racer, the Speed Elite, was highly-anticpated as a carbon-plated racer from the performance divisions of the Joe Montana brand. (Hey, he had ‘cool’ in his nickname, that’s good enough, right?). However, the consensus among runners was that it was actually more of a 5K to 10K kind of shoe. Pretty fast, but pretty firm. The Skechers Performance team took that feedback to heart, updated that shoe with a lot more Hyper Burst (their nitrogen-infused foam) and a HyperArc rocker, put it in a new package, and called it the GOrun Speed Freek.
While previous Skechers prototypes have come out in the now famous (or infamous) ZebraFlage colorway, the Speed Freek features an abstract red and black design inspired by Dazzleflage. All that to say, we know Skechers can drop some fire colorways, but does the performance live up to their shoes’ now-lofty expectations?
JORDY: Razzle dazzle in the new red and black Dazzleflage Skechers GOrun Speed Freek. After testing through a variety of workouts, this shoe shows that it’s a versatile addition to the Skechers Performance line.
MERCER: This is my first ever Skechers shoe, and I gotta say, I’m impressed. From the history lesson of a color palette to the Hyper Burst midsole and carbon winglets, this shoe has me itching to try out some of their other stuff. The updates elevate this shoe to star status and hopefully give Skechers Performance street cred among my Gen Z peers.
JEREMY: The Speed Freek fits true to size and rides very smoothly. There’s a lot to like here, including the 34 mm stack of Hyperburst, 4 mm drop and HyperArc rocker geometry. This shoe felt fast on both my long runs and workouts as I found myself striking on my toes more than usual. On multiple occasions, the Speed Freek helped me get into a fast cadence and feel like I was absolutely gliding on the roads. This shoe also showed that it can drop the hammer during track workouts and short intervals.
Another surprise with the performance was just how soft the Speed Freek felt underfoot. It toed the line of soft-but-not-too-soft beautifully as my legs rarely felt fatigued after longer or harder runs, a great sign for a marathon racer. The Goodyear rubber outsole is solid as usual and provides sufficient traction on wet roads.
JORDY: Overall, the Speed Freek is a heck of a shoe. This mono mesh upper hits the trifecta of being nearly weightless, breathable and durable. Forget heel slippage, as you’re locked and loaded to log miles with this midsole underfoot.
Speaking of which, the 1-2 combo of Hyperburst foam and HyperArc rocker allow me to get up on my toes a lot easier for a quicker stride. To top it all off (or bottom it off), a classic Goodyear rubber outsole provides phenomenal traction on the roads and around the track. This midsole is exactly what I’ve been looking for to take the pounding off my knees as I’ve recently been battling pain in my legs. ‘Fatigue’ is not in the Speed Freek’s vocabulary. This shoe feels like I’m standing barefoot on pillows, that’s how soft we’re talking.
MERCER: Out of the box, I took this shoe out for 12 miles with paces ranging from 7:45 all the way down to 5:50 and it performed well at every stride. The HyperArc rocker allows you to cool down a little for a HOKA Clifton feel, and the shoe has hints of the Endorphin Pro when picking up the pace. It’s almost like a Frankenstein shoe, but this Frankenstein drops the hammer on straightaways instead of villagers.
The Hyperburst midsole doesn’t feel like any other midsole on the market (again, first timer here). It isn’t the most responsive foam but the plate and the HyperArc do all of the work in the shoe. The foam is there to keep legs feeling fresh and it does just that. I tested on roads, track and some crushed gravel and the outsole did its job every time.
The mono mesh upper feels amazing on foot. It molds well to the foot and is almost water-resistant like Nike’s Vaporwave uppers. I would like a little more breathability but I’m not losing sleep over it.
ADRIENNE: The Speed Freek is very comparable to one of my favorite shoes out there, the Razor Elite. Both have carbon plates and Hyper Burst midsole and are very lightweight. Somehow, these shoes feel quite different. First, the plate is designed differently. Skechers eschewed the full-length carbon plate for a simple, H-shaped forefoot design. According to designers, his was done in order to maximize efficiency and increase stability in the forefoot. The ride is very smooth on this shoe, though a little firmer than I would’ve expected with the amount of Hyperburst.
Neutral runners who mid-foot strike will appreciate the HyperArc rocker geometry most, while heel and fore-foot strikers will still feel at home. While the outsole is not completely covered in rubber, the strategically placed Goodyear performs well over any surface… with the exception of gravel.Shop Speed Freek – Men Shop Speed Freek – Women
JEREMY: The mono mesh upper has a tendency to create foot blisters. I had a similar issue with the Razor Elite with this same upper design, so if you’re in the same boat I’d stay away.
Another minor complaint I have is with the outsole’s durability. While the rubber parts will last, I’m not so sure about the exposed parts of Hyperburst. With under 100 miles run, I’m already seeing significant signs of wear.
JORDY: No complaints here. I’m hoping to see more Dazzlefage colorways, though.
MERCER: The toe box is extremely shallow. I’m having problems with my right big toe rubbing the upper, so I won’t be reaching for these more than twice a week.
I think the Speed Freek could benefit from a full carbon plate as its more smooth than springy (think Carbon X2). Making the winglets longer along the back or providing another technology may add a little more snap.
ADRIENNE: While not a deal-breaker, I developed a small cut on my right big toe from the abrasive upper (I run sockless, don’t judge me!). This is something to keep in mind for those of you who leave your socks at home.Shop Speed Freek – Men Shop Speed Freek – Women
JEREMY: The Skechers Speed Freek is an excellent performance shoe. It’s a much better option for the half and full marathon compared to the previous Speed Elite, and overall sits in the middle of the pack in the Carbon Wars. I’d say somewhere between the Saucony Endorphin Pro and the Brooks Hyperion Elite 2, and not in the same tier as either Nike shoe.
JORDY: While born out of a need for speed, the Skechers GOrun Speed Freek excels at dropping the hammer on tempo days while providing plenty of cushion for long runs on the weekends. This is a super versatile shoe that carves out its own spot in any runner’s rotation.
MERCER: I’ll be excited to see how many people line up this fall wearing the Skechers GOrun Speed Freek. It’s not a Swoosh-killer, but it does sit in between the Saucony Endorphin Pro and Rocket X. This is a fun shoe that I can’t wait to put more miles in.
ADRIENNE: While the GOrun Speed Freek looks and rides nothing like the models of the past, Skechers steps up to the marathon game in a big way. If you like the Razor or Razor Excess, this can be a good option to pair as a racer. Fast(ish), light, fun, and well-cushioned, the neutral runner looking for a different take on a Super Shoe should check this one out.
You can pick up the Skechers GOrun Speed Freek at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Speed Freek – Men Shop Speed Freek – Women