Shoe of the Week: Skechers Go Run Razor Elite
Skechers adds a flexible carbon-infused rocker plate to its popular Razor, creating an ultra-light speedster that feels spry and smooth at any pace.
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Skechers Go Run Razor Elite Review
Weight: 5.1 oz. (men’s size 9.0), 4.2 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm (27mm heel, 23mm forefoot)
Skechers has been making a name for its light and fast Performance line of shoes for the past 10 years and the new Go Run Razor Elite is the culmination of all of its smart development work. It’s a featherweight performance training/racing hot rod enhanced by a carbon-infused plastic plate in the forefoot that offers a nifty mix of cushion, flexibility and energy in every stride.
Skechers has produced several featherweight shoes with its ultra-light and extremely responsive Hyper Burst foam in recent years (including the Razor 3 Hyper, Razor + Hyper, GOMeb Speed 6 Hyper and Speed Elite Hyper), but of the models with a plate this one is the smoothest and provides the most consistent ride of the bunch. That’s partially because the semi-firm plate is only in the forefoot, and smartly complements the well-balanced mix between cushioning and responsiveness. It’s light, it’s fast and it’s versatile enough to run at a variety of paces.
This Shoe Is For You If…
You’re looking for a versatile, super-light racing shoe that’s ideal for 5K to marathon racing, tempo runs and long intervals on the road or track. For nimble runners who are light on their feet, it could even serve well for longer training runs at moderate paces given the significant resiliency of the copiously cushioned midsole platform. It has a featherweight design, but it doesn’t feel like a minimalist shoe.
When you slip on the Go Run Razor Elite and lace it up, you can feel how light and wispy it is, but you can also immediately sense the plentiful amount of cushioning. On the run at moderate paces, the Hyper Burst foam midsole absorbs the impact with the ground and the slight rocker geometry of the bottom of the shoe allows the shoe to roll forward smoothly and energetically through the midfoot and forefoot. The stack height and cushioning are identical to the Razor +, but the plate makes the forefoot stance feel more stable and the push-off more responsive.
The beauty of the Razor Elite is that it feels exactly the same at tempo pace to race pace, only faster and lighter. Unlike some super shoes with plates, it doesn’t require a fast, forward-leaning stride, and it doesn’t serve up a trampoline-like bouncy ride, but instead feels entirely stable with a smooth, proprioceptive ground connection. There isn’t a distinctive “pop” of energy in the forefoot, but instead it’s a lively ride from touchdown to toe-off with noticeable energy return in every stride. You can really tell there is energy return in every stride based on how good it feels late in a longer run once your foot and lower leg muscles have started to fatigue.
The fit of the Razor Elite is secure and fairly snug throughout (even for a narrow to medium foot width) with a low arch and a tiny bit of extra room in the toe box. The one-piece upper of flexible but non-stretchy mono-mesh provides a clean, secure interface with no overlays, just a smidge of interior reinforcement on the medial and lateral side of the midfoot and thin, subtle padding on the perforated tongue and around the heel collar. Five cut-out segments of Goodyear high-traction rubber on the outsole provide reliable grip while also helping keep the shoe at a minimal weight.
It’s not a rigid, curved, carbon-plated marathon “super shoe,” but the GOrun Razor Elite is a very credible and reliable featherweight speedster that could be a race-day shoe or a workhorse speed trainer — for about $100 less than the top-end racers. It’s hard to compare shoes, but this seems like a smartly designed cross between the ASICS MetaRacer and the Saucony Endorphin Speed, but both lighter and lower drop, without feeling minimal.