Skechers Alpha Tempo Review: Different But Is It Better?

Skechers have some serious shoes which tend to bring a fun factor to running. Huge rockers and comfortable uppers are the vibe. How does the Alpha Tempo fit?

Skechers Alpha Tempo: Same Shoe, Different Name

Andy: Skechers performance line has some fun shoes available in it. I was lucky enough to receive the Go Run Ride 11 and found it a really enjoyable daily trainer with a massive rocker and deep cushion. More recently, I received the Alpha Tempo. I thought the shoe looked familiar out of the box, but I couldn’t find much information about it online. It turns out that it is a familiar shoe, just renamed. Previously it was the Skechers Speed Beast but due to some issues, it has had a rebrand and is back for some up-tempo fun.


From the off, it is not a shoe for wallflowers. The super bright paint job and Romanesco broccoli inspired midsole design certainly don’t make it an inconspicuous piece of footwear. Then, we come to the sheer size of the shoe itself. There is a lot of it! As ever with Skechers, the price is very reasonable. That said, is it any good?

Skechers Alpha Tempo (3 of 22)
Skechers Alpha Tempo (18 of 22)


Stack Height: 40mm in the heel to 36mm in the forefoot

Drop: 4mm

Weight in Skechers sample size: 268g | 9.5oz

Price: $185

Skechers Alpha Tempo (10 of 22)
Skechers Alpha Tempo (17 of 22)

Skechers Alpha Tempo Upper: POW!

Andy: The colour of the Alpha Tempo upper is unavoidable. Whilst it may not influence the performance of a shoe, it does really stand out here. Vibrant nuclear neon green with acidic orange lightning bolts surging through. Oh, and the word SPEED in gigantic font on the lateral side. It’s a shoe that doesn’t hide its purpose. Now we have that out of the way, we can move on to the actual performance of the upper. 


Firstly, it is very comfortable. I found my foot slipping in easily and the material holds the foot as it should while having some gentle elasticity to it for added comfort. As the upper, at least, is a more stripped back affair, there is very little padding included. A very minimal pad around the heel and a thin strip along the tongue are as far as it goes. However, this does not harm the Alpha Tempo’s on foot comfort. What padding there is seems to be just in the right place and when pulling the laces down, the foam in the tongue is well positioned perfectly. 


Whilst not gusseted, the thin tongue sits well and stays in place during runs. The lace eyelets are reinforced with a stiffer rubber to ensure the longevity of the shoe. Meanwhile the laces are fairly standard affairs which do the job. They tie the shoe closed, have a bit of stretch and haven’t popped loose on a run yet. Overall, the upper is a comfortable and breathable material which is padded in just the right place while not overengineered and adding unnecessary weight.

Skechers Alpha Tempo (7 of 22)
Skechers Alpha Tempo (20 of 22)

Midsole: Long Rocker and Upwards Mobility

Andy: Next, we move to the midsole. There is plenty here. Most obviously, we have the dual layer of HYPER BURST PRO. In my colourway, a neon green upper with a white lower layer. Between these, we find the plate. When I first saw this, I was rather concerned. It is not a delicate, thin looking thing. At its thickest point, it looks about 5mm thick. I was worried that the Alpha Tempo was going to be a super stiff and rigid thing with no give at all. When wearing the pair, the plates give an audible clack if they bump into each other. 


However, on foot, they do not feel as thick as they sound. The midsole foam is bouncy and, while nowhere near as soft as other superfoams on the market, it has a pleasant energy return. As with all Skechers shoes, there is a fairly well pronounced rocker which is evident when looking at the side profile of the Alpha Tempo and even more so when on foot. Although, this is where I have a little bit of an issue with the midsole. Whether it is in the geometry or the plate design, the bounce is a little strange. Rather than propelling forwards, it sends the knees upwards. Whilst this does wonders for my very low knee lift, it doesn’t give me the mechanical advantage I am looking for when going fast.


I have used the Alpha Tempo for a range of sessions from short sharp 200s through to longer tempo efforts with 2 km reps or more. Due to the odd nature of the rebound, I was a bit disappointed when trying to hit top end paces. It seemed like more effort was required to turn the upwards lift into forward momentum. However, when I was cruising at a steadier pace, the Alpha Tempo was a fun shoe to run in.

Skechers Alpha Tempo (5 of 22)

Skechers Alpha Tempo Outsole: Asphalt Grabber

Andy: The Goodyear rubber compound on the outsole is a hardy thing which, outside of discolouration from the pavement, shows very little wear after an initial 60 or so kilometres. I have used it in a variety of conditions and never felt like it was going to let me down. If my experience of the same compound in the Go Run Ride 11 is anything to go by, it will last a very long time. 


The coverage is pretty comprehensive for a fast day/race focussed shoe. There is a gap at about the midpoint of the sole to provide a little extra flexibility and the rear half of the sole is bisected by a groove which might pick up a couple of stones if you are unlucky.

Skechers Alpha Tempo (2 of 22)
Skechers Alpha Tempo (22 of 22)

Skechers Alpha Tempo Conclusion: An Outside Bet

Andy: Whilst I have enjoyed my runs in the Skechers Alpha Tempo, it is a shoe which I find hard to fit into a rotation. Due to the upwards bounce of the midsole, it doesn’t ever really make it out as a first choice workout shoe. Whilst on the other hand, because of the stiff plate and lively nature of the ride, it doesn’t make the cut as a sensible daily trainer. If you are looking for a lower price, comfortable carbon shoe which offers a fun ride, this is definitely worth a shot. However, if you already have a stable of shoes at your disposal, this might not find the right niche for you. If Skechers could propel the Alpha Tempo forward rather than upwards in a next iteration, it could be a real contender for its price point.



45 years old

173cm (5’8″) – 66kg (145lbs)

Forefoot striker – (Very) high cadence runner


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