Article by Dominique Winebaum and Sam Winebaum
Skechers GO Run Persistence ($120)
The Persistence is a brand new daily trainer from Skechers. It features a bouncy Ultra Flight foam, a carbon infused partial H-Plate to stabilize and provide mild propulsion, and a copious GoodYear outsole. It is both reasonable in weight at 9.5oz / 269g (men’s US9) for its 34mm heel / 28mm forefoot stack height and very fairly priced at $120.
While not cushioned with Skechers Hyperburst supercritical foam as their other trainers and racers are, it was immediately apparent that this new flavor of UltraFlight, clearly bouncier and more dynamic than I remember Ultra Flight to be and the H Plate promised a solid and fun ride. Did they deliver?
Bouncy, well modulated ride: foam and H plate sandwiched between a stout stabilizing outsole and effective Arch Fit insole: Sam/Dominique/ Mike P
Comfortable, spacious (also see Cons), breathable upper: Sam/ Dominique/Mike P
Reasonable weight for 34/28 stack, outsole coverage, and upper: Sam
Very fair value at $120 for a durable quite exciting daily trainer with a healthy dose of carbon “infused” fun: Sam
Broad heel cup with soft padding and no gusset tongue required a lace lock, very rare for all of us at true to size, with the lock proving effective: Sam/Dominique/Mike P
Breathable upper absorbs quite a bit of moisture gaining weight: Sam/Dominique
Arch support may feel a bit “much” underfoot for some Mike P
Upper is a bit voluminous true to size: Dominique/Sam
Estimated Weight: men’s 9.5oz / 269g (US9) / women’s 8 oz / 227g (US8)
men’s 9.9 oz / 282g (US 9.5), 9.24oz / 262g US8.5
women’s 8.45 oz / 239g US9
Stack Height: 34 mm heel / 28 mm forefoot, 6mm drop
Available now. $120 ($115 at our partner Running Warehouse here)
First Impressions, Fit and Upper
Dominique: The Go Run Persistence™ is a new model and my first pair of running shoes from Skechers although I am quite familiar with the brand. I received mine in blue and the shoe has a minimal stylistic look; nothing catchy but sleek in its simplicity. For a neutral and everyday training shoe, it is quite lightweight – 8.45oz/240g in my size 9. The Persistence™ is extremely comfortable yet the fit is quite roomy in my regular size 9.
I ended up using the lace lock for a more secure fit halfway through my first run in them, which made a big difference in the hold, especially at the heel. Also, to keep my foot securely in place, I have to tie my shoelaces pretty tightly.
The upper is also quite stretchy and has no overlays beyond those to the back of the shoelace system.
In short, the upper is a bit voluminous from a design standpoint. I give the upper a high rating in terms of breathability with its countless ventilation holes although air moisture penetrates and accumulates as well on humid days.
The molded heel counter which is an “additional feature” of the Persistence™ works well for me when using the lock lacing technique, but otherwise is not holding my heel securely in place.
The shoelace system works very smoothly with the shoelaces gliding easily through the eyelets, which also makes it easier to use the lock lacing technique. Yet, given that my shoelaces are consistently in “locked mode” re-entry is a bit tedious as I need to pull each strand in order to get into my shoes for my next run.
Sam: Dominique describes the upper well. It is comfortable, quite wide and forgiving in the toe box (and well held there) but lacks rear hold without a lace lock.
I was sent my usual true to size and it is extremely rare at TTS that I need a lace lock but for sure so here, doing so before even my first run. Yet, once in place the hold quite dramatically improved and further improved with thicker socks. Enough so it was adequate for most moderate pace daily training but sadly still a bit lacking for faster paces as the rear collars are soft and not as supportive as I would like.
The mesh is soft, the tongue also soft if not over plush and there is not much midfoot structure even via logos as often is done. There is no gusset tongue. While there are overlays leading from the lace up to the rear in all the right places it was only with the lace lock that they became effective and my heel was moderately well held.
As said above it is extremely rare that I require a lace lock at true to size but here I clearly did. Contributing to the need to do so is a relatively wide heel opening and soft collar padding that is neither over plush or over thick but very comfortable, too comfortable really to be effective as it could be.
As far as the look of my black pair..I much prefer Dominique’s classy blue!
Sam: Ultra Flight, is an EVA foam that to me feels like a TPU as adidas Boost or Saucony all TPU PWRRUN + or an EVA/TPU blend as PWRRUN is. It has a more bouncy rebound than regular EVA that is for sure. It does not have the springy light feel of Skechers main performance foam Hyperburst, a supercritical EVA being a bit more forgiving here than say in the somewhat lower stack lighter but similar Razor Excess 2.
The forefoot has a carbon infused “H-Plate” for stability and some propulsion which I found effective in combination with the copious full coverage outsole, actually surprising me as I expected the shoe to be slappy, stiff and firm. Lo and behold they quite rapidly developed some snappy front flex ahead of the ball of the foot plate, something I like in a plated or shanked trainer.
The foam feel is energetic and fun, plenty soft enough and not mushy or unstable. It is kept under control by the thick outsole the length of the shoe and up front by the H Plate. A really pleasing and relatively fast ride underfoot with none of the instabilities of the Max Road 5, at the heel especially, or the more dull and thick feel of the Skechers Ride (RTR Review), also still a fine daily trainer.
Dominique: With my first step in the Persistence™, I noticed the added arch support from the insole, Skechers® ArchFit®, which is podiatrist-certified and designed to mold your foot for better shock absorption and weight dispersion.
The insole is not designed for energy rebound like the beaded “boomerang” type in Inov-8 and Craft shoes, however, it is in a league of its own by cuddling the arches and potentially helping reduce foot injuries – a feature that I value greatly.
The Ultra Flight midsole foam, is cushiony and has more rebound than my prior test running shoes, the Puma Run XX Nitro (compared in more detail at the end of the article). I am enjoying the feel of the midsole which is very comfortable and protective along with being bouncy, but not overly so. The midsole includes a carbon-infused forefoot plate to promote stability and to enhance energy return at the toe-off, a feature that gives the Persistence™ a definite edge for a trainer in the lower price range.
Dominique: A Goodyear® outsole is a first for me and a fairly new collaboration for Skechers. One can expect the outsole to be extra durable and for sure provide great stability and traction.
Sam: The copious outsole should prove very durable. Its full coverage, including at midfoot adds stability to the platform and plays well with the Hyper Arc rocker profile. Ultra Flight foam and H Plate with even given the quite rigid platform no slappiness.
Dominique: The Persistence™ has a rather stiff platform given the HyperArc™ rocker and carbon-infused forefoot plate enhancing the stability of the shoe and which also generates
some energy return at the toe-off. Yet, the cushioning is extremely comfortable and offsetting the stiffness of the shoe. With my lace-lock in place, I have been enjoying the ride which is steady, comfortable, and bouncy, all in equal amounst. I can count on my Persistence™when picking up the pace, or when just enjoy the ride on most runs.
Sam: The ride has a very nice balance of pleasing softer bounce, stability (outsole and plate), with some propulsion from the plate of a more mellow than most variety as up front it also has some flex. It is a versatile, forgiving ride with plenty of excitement and especially so for a $120 shoe. I found it handled, laced locked with thicker socks most daily training paces and is fine for recovery runs as it doesn’t require a distinct mid to forefoot strike to roll along. It could easily handle faster paces and tempo if the upper had better hold for me and could also could be a really fine budget marathon shoe option.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Dominique: I have adjusted to my Persistence™ being overly roomy by using the lace lock system and by tying the shoelaces pretty tight, though I would agree with Sam’s recommendations regarding several improvements in the upper to create a better hold. I also appreciate the extra toe room, however, the upper itself is overly roomy in my regular size 9.
Though extremely comfortable, the upper is my main concern, otherwise, my experience has been a positive one overall from the cushiony and responsive midsole, enjoyable ride, to the durable and steady Goodyear® outsole.
This is my first pair of running shoes with a carbon-infused plate, albeit in the forefoot, so this is kind of exciting for me and for runners who can’t justify the “real thing”. Once in a while, I run with my friend Karen, which means I go from my usual 11 m/mile pace to a 9:30 m/mile pace for 4 miles or so which I was able to do running in my Persistence™. Indeed, this corroborates with Sam’s description of the ride as “fun and fast” as well as very stable too. It’s a running shoe in the lower price ranges with many perks!
Ride: 9.6, Fit: 8, Value: 9.6, Style: 9.5, Traction: 9.6, Rock Protection: 9.7 Total: 9.33
Sam: While the ride, expected durability, and value are all top notch, and top scoring, something had to give to bring the carbon infused plated, fine foamed, copious outsole, excellent insole, all playing well with each other in at $120 as such the Persistence will score lowish on Fit but high in Ride and Value.
Now the upper and Fit. For sure the upper is very comfortable, breathable, and roomy upfront but it is asking for a gusset tongue and better heel and midfoot hold as well as maybe a bit stiffer, less soft and easy going mesh and collar and tongue padding and foot opening.
Wider higher volume feet may find a good fit and hold but it is very rare I have to resort to a lace lock to secure the rear, and here, while it improved the hold, things were still a bit too “casual” for me but got yet better with thicker socks in the mix. If you intend the shoe for walking and easy running and if you have wider higher volume feet you likely will be fine and happy.
For me, the upper keeps the shoe from ranging into the faster side of daily training which is unfortunate as the platform is certainly up to it and then some. It reminds of the similar unstructured Brooks Glycerin 20 regular upper, super comfy to try on but lacking in support. These upper negatives aside, for some the comfort and spacious fit may be more of a plus.
The Ride is fast and fun and plenty stable underfoot for a neutral shoe from its excellent well integrated combination of the Arch Fit insole, quite bouncy UltraFlight foam, just right plate and GoodYear outsole.
Sam’s Score: 8.95 /10
Ride: 9.4 Fit: 8 Value: 9.5 Style: 8.5
Index to all RTR reviews: HERE
Skechers GO Run Razor Excess 2 (RTR Review)
Sam: The Excess has a 30 mm heel / 26 mm forefoot so 4 mm less stack height at the heel and 2mm less at the forefoot. The Razor Excess is 1 oz lighter and features a Hyperburst foam midsole and the same H Plate and has less outsole coverage. The Persistence is softer, more easy going and bouncier compared to springier somewhat firmer Excess. Persistence makes a nice easier days complement to the Excess. I wish the Persistence had the Razor Excess’s more secure and lighter upper and if it did I would clearly prefer it as a daily trainer over Excess which for me leans more uptempo.
Skechers GO Run Ride 10 (RTR Review)
The Ride has an identical 34mm heel / 28 mm forefoot stack height and weighs 1.15 oz / 32g less as it swaps Hyperburst for UltraFlight, has a lighter and more performance fitting mono mesh and polyester upper, no H-Plate and a more segmented but still nearly full coverage outsole. It shares ArchFit with Persistence. Some of our testers thought it had a narrow toe box fit. I ran the 9 and not the 10 with the difference in the upper. They also felt it had a dull forefoot which for sure the H-plated Persistence does not have. If the Persistence upper fit works for you it is a better value and more exciting shoe and one costing $25 less than the Ride.
Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 (RTR Review)
Sam: Overall no real contest here and for road and not just trail, the Pegasus Trail 4 has a superb secure upper with plenty of rear and midfoot hold and toe box room, if not quite the easy stretch yet secure toe box of the Persistence. The Peg 4 is lower in stack height and about 0.25 oz heavier. Underfoot, it has very energetic React foam in a softer flavor than usual reminding a lot of the Ultra Flight here There is no plate in the mix and no rocker but it does have a firmer flex at the back of its front outsole. Yes, it leans trail more than road but also ends up a superb road trainer as well and even though $20 more is a better and more versatile value. The tables might change if Persistence could approach Nike’s upper.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 39 (RTR Review)
Sam: Nike’s classic daily trainer has a superb secure upper similar in toe box width and volume to the Peg Trail 4’s but a bit more structured and lower feeling. It is considerably firmer than the Persistence at the heel and has a thinner (by stack and feel) front of the shoe with its front air unit providing the response along the same lines and in the same place as Persistence’s H-Plate. The Skechers front (and rear) cushion and propulsion is more forgiving and deeper than the Peg’s making the underfoot platform suitable for a wider range of daily run types than the Nike, including for longer easier runs. Again the Skechers upper..but in this match up its issues outweigh the benefits of its ride compared to the Peg so it gets a slight win.
Puma Run Nitro XX (RTR Review)
Dominique: As stated by Skechers’ Senior Development Director, Tony, in an RTR Preview Video (December 2021), the Persistence™ was initially designed as a shoe with women in mind. “What is it that ladies want in a shoe”? Yet, the Persistence™ is not designed specifically for women unlike the Puma Run Nitro XX, which set them apart. Similar in their price range, the Puma is slightly more at $130. Both are extremely comfortable and protective with each having their pros and cons. In regards to the Run Nitro XX, the fit was perfect for me with a great foothold, however, the midsole lacks a bouncy feel, and the outsole may not be as as durable. On the other hand, the fit is too voluminous in the Persistence™ with the need to use the lace lock system in order to secure my foot. A voluminous upper that is not keeping my feet securely in place, however, a more enjoyable ride than the Puma with a much more pronounced bounce and an outsole made with Goodyear® rubber that is bound to be very durable.
Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running with a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he is lucky, training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.
Dominique has run for over 40 years, consistently about 25 miles per week at paces between 10 and 11 minute miles. She races rarely, but always surprises more hard core runners in her age group when she does. She has a 1985 marathon PR of 3:16 in her second marathon which at the time put her on the top 10 Swiss women’s lists. She is the mother of two grown children, both runners post college, and enjoys nordic and alpine skiing, hiking and trekking, and gardening.
The Skechers Persistence is available now at Skechers and Running Warehouse below
Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’
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