Skechers Go Run Razor 4 – the ride has changed

Skechers Go Run Razor 4 – Specs

Weight: Actual: 232g in size US 8.5

Stack height (forefoot/heel): 30mm/26mm

Drop: 4mm

For specific values, please check the Shoe Comparator in which you can compare the width for the forefoot, midfoot and heel against other shoes. 

Upper and Fit of the Skechers Razor 4: Simple and roomy

Ivan: I can’t help drawing some parallels to the Skechers Razor 3 as it has been one of my favourite lightweight shoes of all time. Despite a weight of just 178g in my size US 8.5, I used it for a wide variety of runs. Including intervals, tempo runs and even long runs. It has an extremely smooth transition while still providing a decent amount of cushion. So, how does the Razor 4 compare to its predecessor? Having waited quite a while for this update, expectations are high. 
What’s new?
Let’s start with the upper. The one-piece engineered mono-mesh upper seems straightforward. No overlays and just a bit of perforation making it light and breathable. The fit is more generous than in the Razor 3. Personally, I would have preferred a bit more lockdown all around. Especially considering that this is meant to be a tempo shoe. The shoe fits slightly long. It is a bit narrow around the pinky toe but otherwise fairly roomy. Especially around the heel cup and I need to do a runner’s loop to avoid heel slip. The non-gusseted tongue is nice with just enough padding to avoid any pressure from the laces. However, already on my first run, my white socks turned out mustard yellow as the color rubs off from the top part of the tongue. Overall, I think the upper is decent after playing around with the lacing for a better midfoot- and heel fit. The Razor 4 is more than 50g heavier than its predecessor in my size. It is hard to imagine though that this extra weight comes from the upper. I think we might find the answer instead when taking a closer look at the insole, midsole and outsole.
Tim: When I first saw the Skechers GO Run Razor 4 I was quite excited. First by this yellow colorway (which unfortunately will most likely not  be marketed), and second by the price of the shoe. It’s only the second time this year (but also since I run) that I’m testing a plated shoe that costs less than €150 (€145/$145 for the Razor 4). If the excitement was high, the first steps with the shoe tempered my enthusiasm due to the narrowness of the forefoot. I know that I have quite a wide forefoot for my size but I wasn’t expecting it to be as tight. Unfortunately, and as expected, I encountered unpleasant rubbing on my pinky toe during my runs but even with that I consider the fit as being TTS. The Razor 4 only comes in one width and people with wider feet should keep this point in mind in my opinion. This being said I’ve also noticed good points I was happy to find on a tempo/uptempo shoe ; it’s rather low weight as well as the thin and breathable mesh.Nothing specific to report on the laces. They work without being amazing and lock the foot down enough to take turns without being afraid of twisting an ankle. I will not be able to give you much feedback about the patented insole as I mainly use my orthotics instead.

Midsole and Ride: Snappy but less versatile

Ivan:

The step-in feel is quite nice. This is to some extent thanks to the so-called podiatrist certified glued-in ‘Arch Fit’ insole. It is on the thicker side and the arch support is definitely noticeable without feeling annoying in any way.

“Upgraded midsole”

The midsole in the Razor 4 is of Hyperburst Pro while the Razor 3 “just” had the standard Hyperburst. As far as I know, it is still made from expanded TPU pellets and I honestly can’t feel much of a difference in hand. It is lightweight and responsive but the ride has definitely changed.

 

This probably comes down to one main factor. A carbon-infused H-shaped forefoot plate. Despite having a bit more stack height, it makes for a less forgiving and stiffer ride. You lose some of that flexibility found in the Razor 4. What you get instead is some added stability and a snappier ride. The stiffness of the plate clearly provides more energy return at higher paces while feeling a bit less pleasant and smooth at lower paces. This tradeoff is a bit confusing to me. While the last version was a “friendly” riding and extremely lightweight all-around trainer, the Razor 4 is harder to categorize.

 

With the inclusion of the forefoot plate, it feels best at faster paces. But with the added weight, looser fitting upper, and a more build-up insole, it just lacks a bit of agility for that purpose. Even the outsole feels more substantial. It’s thicker and more durable but also adds some weight. That being said, the ride is more controlled, snappy, and provides a superior grip.

Tim: The GO Run Razor 4 features Skechers’ Hyperburst Pro foam, which is composed of supercritical expanded pellets of TPU. Thanks to it, Skechers is promising  a ride more cushioned and responsive than the Hyperburst foam used in the Razor 3. For the cushion part I would say that it’s still among  stiffer foams but I must admit that the responsiveness of the foam is quite impressive. I really enjoy it at a tempo/uptempo pace (3’20-4’00/km) and I can really feel the “pop” effect at every toe off. The addition of Skechers’ H-shaped plate (forefoot only and carbon infused) increases the stability of a shoe which isn’t wide and therefore could lack stability. 

 

Even if I’m usually not a huge fan of the 4mm drop shoe, I have to admit that here it works very nicely for my gait cycle. This could be explained by the pronounced rocker. Unfortunately the shoe didn’t work that well for me at a slower paces or for races where I missed some extra softness and maybe 2 extra millimetres of drop. In these specific instances I found the shoe too demanding and finished my training with too much fatigue in the legs (mainly calf and hamstring) compared to what I’m used to feel with other shoes. Nevertheless, I’ve used the Razor 4 on different surfaces including track, treadmill or concrete and I always enjoyed the ride as soon as I go above my tempo pace.

Tim: The outsole is made of 3 different pieces of Goodyear rubber. They are placed where one could expect some wear and I am quite impressed with their durability as for now and would not be surprised if the shoe lasted over 600km/400mi. I’m pretty sure that the lifespan of the shoe will depend more on the foam and its capacity of being still responsive than on the outsole. 

As it’s 3 different pieces of rubber it saves even more weight on the shoe but on the other hand doesn’t help from a stability standpoint. Regarding this point and the narrowness mentioned above I would not recommend this shoe for runners with high stability issues. 

I also need to describe the grip, which is for me the main drawback of the shoe. When surfaces are dry it’s okay, but as soon as they are wet it’s not grippy enough for me. I trained once on a wet track and in a park with a lot of dead leaves and I would not do it again.

Conclusion

Ivan:

I had high hopes for the Skechers Razor 4. As a fan of the lightweight and versatile Razor 3, I knew it would be hard to beat. At least for my needs and preferences. Just looking at the weight difference and the inclusion of a plate, it was obvious that it would be another kind of shoe. But a better one?

Well, I guess it depends on what you are looking for. The new Razor is now purely an uptempo shoe as I see it. The H-plate in the forefoot makes for a snappy and responsive ride. Efficient runners might use it for longer tempo runs, but the majority will probably use it mostly for shorter workouts/races, intervals, and maybe also some hill repeats. And it’s actually pretty good at that. It just feels a bit too stiff and unnatural underfoot at slower paces. I kind of wish that Skechers left out the plate. The Hyperburst foam is plenty energetic on its own. But it is not soft and squishy enough to really take advantage of the infused plate.

As for the upper, I think a lot of runners will enjoy the roomier fit. I personally think the lockdown could be better. It is something I can easily adjust with a heel lock. I just wished the fit was a bit more “tuned in”. Especially considering that I will be using it only for faster runs. Apart from that, the upper is pretty simplistic and breathable. And I can’t imagine many will be having serious issues with it.

 

Tim: If you have wide feet or stability issues, I’m not sure the Razor 4 is the best option for you. If you need a shoe with good grip, I’m not sure the Razor 4 is the best option either. But if you are looking for a solid allrounder, the Skechers Razor 4 could be a very good partner in crime. As I’m writing this article, 2022 is not over yet and I still have a few shoes to test, but the Razor 4 could be the best value for money option in 2022. 

As it’s a bit narrow for me I will not add the Razor 4 to my shoe rotation but as I truly enjoy running with it, I’m sure I will run with it again soon!

Authors

Alex

27 yo

183cm (6′) – 68kg (148lbs)

Mid/Forefoot striker – Stride runner

Moderate pronator

 

@alexfilitti

Ivan

46 yo

180cm (5’9″) – 63kg (138lbs)

Heel/Midfoot striker – Cadence runner

Mild pronator

 

@runnersgrit

Tim 

29 yo

169cm (5’5″) – 57kg (125lbs)

Heel/Midfoot strike – Cadence runner

Moderate pronator

 

@timtim_ab

Ivan

47 years old

180cm (5’9″) – 63kg (138lbs)

Heel/Midfoot striker – Cadence runner

Mild pronator

@runnersgrit

Tim 

30 years old

169cm (5’5″) – 57kg (125lbs)

Heel/Midfoot strike – Cadence runner

Moderate pronator

 

@timtim_ab

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