RoadShoe Reviews

Skechers GoRun Persistence Review: Stuck in the Middle With You

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 9.2 oz. (260 g.) for a US M9 / 7.2 oz. (204 g.) for a US W7
  • Sorry HyperBurst, but Ultra Flight is back
  • Did someone say H plate?
  • It’s a stealthy shoe if you’re into that
  • Available now for $115

ADRIENNE: Persistence. It’s an ideal. It’s required for success in running, or well, anything. Now, it’s also a shoe from Skechers — a brand that’s persisted despite plenty of doubters when Meb rocked his original GoRun down Boylston St. I’ve run in/reviewed several Skechers models to date, and to be honest, the ride and construction of these bad boys don’t deserve the stigma the brand has struggled to shake in the running world. Just ask Robbe what he thinks of the Maxroad 5, his favorite shoe of 2021.

In comes the brand-new Skechers GoRun Persistence, which is both more of the same and something a little different. The brand touts it as an ultra-comfortable, neutral daily trainer. Oh, and did we mention it has a carbon plate in it? Stop. Is the plate effective? Or is this like a second coming of the New Balance Lerato? We’ll find out.

The Persistence features a new “podiatrist certified” arch support insole on top of Skechers’ Ultra Flight foam — a throwback to pre-HyperBurst days. Ultra Flight even appears in Skechers’ cross-country spikes, oddly enough. Based on my experience with the stupid-light and fast spikes I’ve tested from Skechers, the TPU-based foam is quite alright. But how does it work in larger doses?

My US W9 weighed around 7.1 oz. — not terribly heavy, with a stack height of 34mm in the heel and 28mm in the forefoot. So basically, is it a reboot of the pretty fantastic Razor Excess 2? Not exactly. Ultra Flight and HyperBurst (in the Excess) are members of the same family but behave quite differently. Let’s just say one is, ahem, more “hyper” than the other. The GoRun Persistence includes impressive outsole coverage by Goodyear Rubber in a pattern that reminds me of the Nike Pegasus of old — it’s a grid system. Up top, an engineered mesh and a molded heel counter create a solid lockdown that’s not too loose and not too snug on my narrowish feet.

Oh, and there’s a carbon-infused forefoot plate to promote stability and energy return, along with the HyperArc seen in the Razor Excess. Like many of the trainers etched out of Skech, the GoRun Persistence is best used by mid to forefoot strikers.

Given the purpose of the Persistence, I took the shoe out on some daily and recovery runs and found it transitions fairly smoothly, breathes decently, and has a nice, gentle roll. My pair arrived as I finished the Hoka Bondi 8, and I can see some similarities, despite the lower profile on the Persistence. Neither is prepped to set the world on fire, but both will roll down the road with you at a leisurely pace.

ROBBE: Adrienne covered all the basics in this shoe, and yes, if you’re a real running shoe nerd, you know that Skechers has been putting out quality trainers for some time now. Their bread and butter is the nitrogen-infused HyperBurst midsole. They were the first to do it, and while many brands have tried to replicate it, nobody has yet to hit the perfection found in a Skechers supercritical midsole. Of course, the Persistence does not have that midsole; rather, it has a TPU-based foam which is quite different.

Skechers tends to mix and match their technologies to stretch their offerings further, using combinations of HyperBurst midsoles, rocker geometries, H-plates, and outsole patterns to achieve different models. As a result, you get things like the Razor, Razor+, Razor Excess, and various other subsets. Skechers is certainly getting the most milk out of this combination cow, but will the well soon run dry? We’ll see.

Nevertheless, we Persistence, so here’s the review of a shoe that may or may not make sense in the real world.

RYAN: I like getting a shoe in its very first version. If nothing else, it gives a good point of reference when the second one comes around. That’s how I felt when I heard I’d be getting the Skechers GoRun Persistence. It’s not my first Skechers shoe of the summer, but I figured there had to be something to set it apart from the Ride 10.

It turns out that, yes, there are a few things to set it apart, both in good and bad ways. Both Robbe and Adrienne covered the tech pretty well and the fact that Skechers likes to shuffle features around, so I don’t have much to add there. However, this was my first venture with Ultra Flight, so I guess there’s that. Can you tell that my excitement isn’t exactly bubbling over?

Anyway, on to the next part.

The Good

ADRIENNE: This shoe should live up to its name in the durability department. Only a small area of the midsole is left exposed, and the rest is covered in tire tread, I mean Goodyear rubber. I ran in pretty sloppy and horrifically humid conditions but had no issues with traction. For a neutral shoe, the Skechers GoRun Persistence also has a good amount of stability, and mild overpronators shouldn’t have a problem with this model.

I did find the step-in to be an upgrade from the Razor line’s mono mesh, which is breathable but tends to be scratchy. The Persistence is a little plusher. Also, HyperArc continues to be effective, as the shoe transitions fairly smoothly. If you’re a fan of a stiffer forefoot, then this shoe is for you. Without HyperArc, however, I don’t know how this shoe would fare… I guess let’s jump to the next section…

ROBBE: The shoe is very comfortable upon first step in. There’s plenty of padding around the heel collar and lots of comfort walking around. If nothing else, this would make for a very good walking shoe.

I took this for a 14-mile long run out of the box, and the overall ride was enjoyable in a standard way, thanks mainly in part to the HyperArc rocker. I’ve always hit my stride just right in Skechers models, and this is no exception. It also makes up for some of the lacking parts of this shoe.

I’d also point out that the weight is surprisingly light. I expected this to come in around the 10.5 oz. range for a US M9, but it was actually a lot lighter. No issues at all there, and it felt good on the run.

The Goodyear outsole is always a nice selling point from Skechers. Plenty of grip and durability there.

Also, at $115, the price point is fairly reasonable these days.

RYAN: I’d agree with my fellow persisters, the shoe is very comfortable. It has plenty of padding, even if it’s warm in the summer. The HyperArc does its job, too, though I tend to find that I need a few runs in a Skechers shoe before my foot remembers how to strike in it. Once I get there, however, it’s usually pretty smooth sailing.

Like Robbe said, this is a pretty great price considering that most daily trainers start at least $15 higher — if not more.

Shop Skechers GoRun Persistence – Men Shop Skechers GoRun Persistence – Women

The Bad

ADRIENNE: Is it just me, or do these shoes look kinda like something you’d referee in? Maybe it’s the Gray/BLU colorway. I don’t know. Not that looks define performance at all.

Unlike the lighter racer models, Ultra Flight cushioned generously but didn’t give back the energy I was expecting. As I mentioned earlier, HyperArc kind of bails it out (and feels almost similar to the slow rolling sensation of the Bondi). Also, if you’re looking for a super-shoe feel from the carbon-infused plate, I didn’t find it here. The denser foam and placement of the forefoot plate serve more as a stability feature than anything else here. Not that that’s a terrible thing, it’s just different. If you’re looking for something a little peppier for a protective trainer from Skechers, I suggest checking out the Maxroad 5.

ROBBE: If you want to disappear into a Where’s Waldo tableau of Disney dads, boy, do I have a shoe for you. The look of this shoe is best described as non-existent. Skechers’ design department has had some interesting choices in the past: good, bad, and overwhelmingly “meh.” This firmly falls into the meh/ho-hum category. I think that alone is enough for a lot of people to move on to another shoe.

The Ultra Flight midsole is fine, it’s just very pedestrian. After being blessed with the bounce of the Hyper Burst for so long, this is just… okay? It works. It’s just not something to get excited about.

My biggest issue with this shoe (and a lot of Skechers shoes) is the room in the toe box. I had issues getting my foot locked in and developed a sizable hotspot over my long run in the shoe. This has been a common complaint of mine and the same thing that I didn’t enjoy in the Max Road 5 and Skechers Razor+. It’s not like it’s even roomier, there’s just baggy, excess material.

If you’re taking this shoe out in warmer temperatures, the upper also retains more sweat than most, so be aware of that.

Lastly, I don’t understand the purpose of this shoe. It’s a neutral shoe that’s only $10 less than the Ride 10 but doesn’t have a Hyper Burst midsole, and the carbon plate offers nothing aside from marketing hype.

RYAN: George Mallory said he climbed Mt. Everest “because it was there.” The Skechers GoRun Persistence is kinda the same — it’s just there. It’s tough to lump much praise on it, but it’s also tough to tear the shoe apart. I can say without a doubt that the styling is a miss. This is, perhaps, the most boring-looking running shoe I’ve ever worn.

There are ways to do an all-black shoe, but they rarely involve a white midsole. If Skechers had blacked out every last inch of the Persistence, it might have gotten some points from me. Skechers sent us a copy of the tech sheet, which lists other colorways, but they aren’t much better. On the bright side, the look doesn’t take away from the feel.

I also think it feels a little redundant next to the GoRun Ride 10. The shoes look almost identical, but the Ride’s HyperBurst without a plate feels much better than Ultra Flight with a plate. Maybe the solution is to slap a plate in the Ride 11 — that would be a fun shoe.

Shop Skechers GoRun Persistence – Men Shop Skechers GoRun Persistence – Women

Skechers GoRun Persistence Conclusion

ADRIENNE: The Skechers GoRun Persistence stands for dependability, durability, and comfort. One can expect to get a lot of miles in the shoe in relative comfort doing so. Just know that what you’re getting is a deviation from their line supercritical HyperBurst foam.

Those who don’t think the Razor line has enough arch support may find the fit of the Persistence more to their liking. While this shoe isn’t like the other plated ones on the market, it can be a dependable workhorse in someone’s lineup.

ROBBE: As Adrienne said, this isn’t a special shoe by any means. It’s a workhorse for filler miles at a somewhat reasonable price point. I hate writing these reviews because there’s nothing really remarkable or terrible about the shoe. It’s just a simple running shoe. But when you have that type of shoe, I feel like you need to differentiate by design or colorway, and this most certainly doesn’t do it.

I recommend getting the GoRun Ride 10 over this, which has a long legacy of being a great daily trainer and continues with this newest version. And if you like more cushion, try to track down a pair of Maxroad 5.

RYAN: Right, so, to sum it all up… why, Skechers? Why? I’m a little lost on the GoRun Persistence. It’s fine as a filler shoe, but there are so many filler shoes on the market that there has to be a feature to set it apart. The plate could have been that feature, but the TPU foam negates it. It’s not stylish enough to get by on looks alone, like some wealthy trust fund baby.

I’d follow Robbe’s lead in recommending the GoRun Ride 10 or Maxroad 5 over the Persistence. Maybe the Persistence 2 will have a personality of its own.

You can pick up the Skechers GoRun Persistence for $115 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Skechers GoRun Persistence – Men Shop Skechers GoRun Persistence – Women

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