To all of you Skechers naysayers out there, this might be the shoe that really changes your mind. Lightweight, responsive, and with the perfect amount of cushion for long days on the trail, it’s time to take a serious look at Skechers for your next trail shoes. For this review, we’ll be focusing on the Skechers GO Run MaxTrail 5 Ultra.
- Weight: 6.7 oz, Size 7 (Tested, Women’s 9)
- Category: Neutral
- Drop: 4mm
- Stack Height: 26mm (heel), 22mm (forefoot)
- Fit: true to size (i.e., your normal running shoe size)
- Upper: Virtually seamless flat knit upper; super breathable
- Knitted collar; good fit with sort of a mini-gaiter action
- Midsole: Ultra-lightweight, responsive ULTRA FLIGHT cushioning, dual density with sidewall design to promote stability in variable conditions. Drainage technology allows for air and water flow.
- Outsole: Aggressive 6mm lug design for a variety of surfaces.
What’s good about the Skechers GO Run MaxTrail 5 Ultra: The new, differentiating, or simply well-designed aspects of the shoe.
The knit collar wraps nicely around the ankle and is super comfy right out of the box. It’s almost like a mini-gaiter and does a decent job of keeping trail debris out of your shoe. But what I like best about the knit collar is its sock like feel. The upper provides padding around the back and side of the heel, adding to the comfort of the shoe. There are two stiffer pieces of material on the sides of the shoe that are attached at the back of the heel and are pulled tight as you snug up the shoe [see side image below]. This allows for great customization and support, depending on how tight you lace the shoe. Flat laces complement the design and seem to hold tight without double knots.
After crossing a creek, or going through a particularly big puddle or two, it’s a huge bummer to feel like you are sloshing around in your shoes for miles and miles. Skechers added drainage ports to the sole of the shoe, which allows you to pump water out of the shoe with each step. Before you know it, your shoes are water free, and with the lightweight knit upper, you’ll find your feet drying in no time.
The aggressive lugs on the sole can really stand up to a variety of conditions—thick mud, rocky trail, gravel—the Skechers Max Trail 5 handles them all quite well. I took a couple of steep downhills on a wet day and felt like I had great traction. You can even head onto the roads for a number of miles without feeling like the lugs are beating up your feet too much. Although, I freely admit I accidentally wore these on a 15 mile road run (grabbed the wrong shoes) and that was a bit much. My feet were really feeling the lugs by around the 10 mile mark. The outsole is cushioned enough to let you go the distance, but still retains some of the responsiveness that is frequently lost in maximal shoes.
What could be improved: Tweaks or improvements that could improve the shoe.
In a perfect world, I would love to see a bit more width in the toe box and a little less of a curve. I’d like to have more room for my toes to splay and really be able to engage on the downhills. That said, the toe box didn’t feel overly tight, and I was still comfortable at the 20 mile mark of my longest testing run. I was just beginning to feel a bit of rub on the pinky toes. But this totally depends on how you like your shoes to fit.
When to use it: The situations or scenarios where the Skechers GO Run Max Trail 5 excels.
Dry, sloppy, technical—this shoe really does it all well.
Should you purchase? My overall recommendation on whether to purchase this shoe or not.
Yes. I really like this shoe. Right out of the box I took them on a 15 mile run and was just as happy as could be. They were comfortable, grippy, light, and overall fun to run in. The maximal cushioning will help your feet stay comfy for a long while without sacrificing much in the way of responsiveness. At $125 they are middle of the road pricing wise. After 120 miles logged on mine, I’m seeing minimal wear.
Purchasing Information: where to go to purchase the Skechers GO Run MaxTrail 5 Ultra.
If you are interested in purchasing these shoes, check out your local, independently-owned running specialty store. Independent stores are vital to our community and need all the help they can get. Thanks!
Your Reviewer: Sarah Bradham
I started my love of gear as a climber and as I turned my attention to running I shifted from carabiners, ice tools, and crampons to hydration packs, midsole foam types, compression clothing, and everything in between. After several years of foot injuries, I’m enjoying getting back to my beloved muddy and rocky trails near my home in Portland, Ore. In my work life, I enjoy coordinating an annual Mountain and Ultra Running Camp at the base of Mt. Hood with Yassine Diboun, Amy Sproston, Joelle Vaught, Krissy Moehl and Jeff “Bronco Billy” Browning.