Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blisters & Healing; Skechers GoBionic Trail- great shoe

Last Sunday I ran in Merrell Mixmaster-2 (waterproof).   I'd bought a pair looking for a low drop shoe that would not admit grit -  most shoes these days, particularly the minimalist ones, have very breathable mesh-  great for keeping feet dry-  but mesh uppers such as found in the Merrell Trail Glove or Ascend Glove allow sand into the shoe which does not feel too great after 20-30  miles or so.  The Mixmasters were an experiment;  they have a 4mm drop and since my achilles attachments were a bit tender I ran in them on Sunday, and that worked fine.   They keep the sand out (good) but are not very breathable at all (bad);  they fit less like a glove than the Ascends but are pretty serviceable.   I'd previously run a few times in these shoes up to 10 miles, on trail and road.  But on Sunday's 20 miler the small toes got pretty chewed up and I got a blister;  on Monday I tore the blister on the worst toe removing a band aid.  Freshman mistake.  Still by Tuesday the toes were good enough to run 14 miles;  by Wednesday the problem spots were effectively healed.  I attribute that to the effect of the high mileage running (healing mechanisms are in overdrive).  My wife was amazed when i showed her.
Little toe was "all better" by wednesday  On Monday night I thought I was in big trouble.

I received a pair of Skecher Go Bionic Trail yesterday.  THESE seem to have a breathable but pretty impenetrable upper.  I really like the standard GoBionic for roads and non technical trail;  the GoBionic Trail just came out and having received them yesterday I ran 14 miles in them today.  Perfectly comfortable out of the box, no friction spots as the shoes have a big toe box..   I've seen on-line that Merrell has a Goretex version of the Ascend Glove which seems promising for keeping out grit; however what I see on-line lists for $160.  The Gobionic Trail costs $80.  Go figure.  Merrell better watch out, the GoBionic Trail is a hell of a trail shoe and I for one cannot afford $160 for a pair of running shoes.

Here is a photo of the Skechers GoBionic Trail:  So far so good.  I will take these out for a test spin this weekend to see how they do on steep descents and in keeping out sand and grit.

GoBionic Trail.  The inserts can be put in the shoe to convert it from zero drop to 4mm drop
Below is a photo of the standard GoBionics I own:  Note the rocks stuck in gaps between the segments in the sole of the shoe.  These are road shoes but I have been  taking them on dirt roads and non technical trails (in addition to road runs).  The segmented construction of the sole makes it extremely flexible, and a more cushioned/protected ride than, say, the Merrell TrailGloves.  I haven't taken these on technical trail, the absence of lugs makes this seem to me to be a bad idea.


  1. I love following your running adventures, it is inspiring. Your shoe reviews are also great. I have pretty much all the same shoes as you and I'm running trails in similar areas (although not nearly the distance).

    How do the Gobionic feel vs the Trail Gloves / Ascend Gloves? I love my Trail Gloves (V1), but I don't like them on some of the rockier trails. I tried to run Echo Mountain with them and found the traction and protection to be lacking. So then I picked up a pair of Mix Master 2's, but I never liked running with them. They just feel clunky to me. The Trail Gloves make me forget that I'm wearing shoes.

    I found your blog while searching for review on the Ascend Glove. I've since picked up a pair, and I really like them, except for the amount of sand/grit they let in. I'm not running anywhere near the mileage you are, but now that I'm hitting 10 miles, the sand is becoming more of an issue vs just an annoyance. So now I'm searching for another pair of shoes.

    1. Hey Chuck, I am glad you like the blog! I am also grateful that you posted a comment as its nice to know someone else is interested in all this!

      The GoBionic Trail (and the standard GoBionic) are a bit wider in the toe box than the Ascend Glove or the Trailglove. Both feel more cushioned as well (far more cushioned than the Trail Glove in particular). The soles in the Skechers shoes are made of an incredibly lightweight and durable material- not vibram. The Skecher's uppers look cheap but are made of a thin tough material that is smooth and breathable, it appears to me to be a very advanced material. I'm really impressed with the GoBionics. They are far more comfortable than the Mixmaster. The fit to my feet is not quite as good as the Ascend Gloves or the Trail Gloves however. Because the toe box is SO wide my toes slide up on steep downhills. Still, they are really great shoes.

      Hands down, so far, the Ascend Glove is the most comfortable pair of running shoes I have ever put on. At least for my feet they seem to be a perfect fit. After my run up at Mt Hillyer last Saturday, I took them off, cleaned my feet of the sand and grit, and put them back on again. Generally I have found running shoes to be uncomfortable to wear unless running; not so for the Merrells. The only issue is grit! I am a bit worried about the grit despite the fact that I havent gotten blisters or abrasions due to it, the Cramers Skin lube and socks does seem to mitigate the effect of the grit. But AC100 is coming up and 100 miles is a long way and I rather not be cleaning my feet every 10 or 20 miles.

      I plan to trail the GoBionic Trail this Saturday for a long test run, 30 miles or so, to see about the grit issue. Today's runs in the GoBionic Trails were not a fair test - morning run was on streets and it was so humid/moist in Monrovia where I did my lunch time run that I was soaked head to toe at the end of it.

  2. Thanks for the reply and the pics. I have to agree on Merrell shoes in general, I love the Trail Gloves and I even have a pair that I wear nearly all the time as my everyday shoes. I've done a few runs in the Ascend Gloves and so far so good.

  3. Yep- I also wear one pair of Trail Gloves as my day to day shoes in the office etc.