The Skechers MaxRoad 3 has a bit of a complex history. Normally, if a shoe company has a successful model, they won’t change too much between the different versions.
Take Nike for example, if they make a second version of a shoe they’ll change something about the upper or the sole, but not both at the same time. Thus, if they change something in the upper in version two, they’ll tweak the sole in version three. However, that isn’t the case with the Skechers Ultra series.
They have changed quite a bit about this shoe in the last few years. The Skechers GORun MaxRoad 3 Ultra are, as the name suggests, the third model in the Ultra Road series.
They have changed the name slightly, because they originate from the GORun Ultra Road and the GORun Ultra Road 2.
And before that it used to be just the GoRun Ultra, before they split it into two separate models by making a road and trail version of the shoe. That the name now has Max and Ultra in the name, seems a bit unnecessary to me.
The MaxRoad 3 Ultra is a neutral and maximalist running shoe. Like most of the Skechers Performance line it has a 4mm drop with a 26mm heel height and a 22mm forefoot height.
It’s a light shoe, especially for a maximalist shoe, only weighing 224 grams. Slightly lighter than the Ultra Road, but it also has less stack height than the Ultra Road, so that’s probably how they reduced the weight.
I’ve owned most of the previous versions of this shoe, including the GORun Ultra Road, but I abandoned that shoe because I really didn’t like the upper and I found that the sole wasn’t flexible and cushioned enough for a maximalist shoe.
But the MaxRoad 3 is made with a different midsole material, or they just renamed it (I’m not entirely sure), so I decided to give it a go.
The upper is made out of a flat knit seamless upper, but around the toe box it isn’t a finely knit fabric like most knitted uppers and the fabric on the toe box isn’t very stretchy either.
Although it is a knit upper, the lack of flexibility in the toe box creates a hotspot on top of my toes where the fabric creases during toe-off. The heel and collar are slightly padded, but the toe box is just a single layer of knit fabric.
The midsole is made out of very light weight Ultra Flight material. It is quite plush, but the energy return isn’t that high.
The MaxRoad 3 has the M-strike technology that helps you land more on your midfoot and together with the rocker shape of the sole it even pushes you a little bit more towards a forefoot landing.
The midsole also has the same drainage technology as used in the Skechers GoTrail Ultra 4, which I found very effective.
The outsole consists of a thin layer of rubber in a spider web pattern underneath the forefoot and underneath the heel.
The midfoot does not contain any rubber and is just exposed Ultra Flight material. The outsole does provide enough traction on wet roads. Something I didn’t really expect due to the lack of profile on the outsole.
The sole is quite flexible, partially due to the flexibility grooves on the lateral and medial side of the forefoot, but the flexibility in the forefoot is actually limited by the stiffness of the knit fabric of the upper rather than by the stack height of this shoe.
The first few kilometers in this shoe were a bit uncomfortable in this shoe, but over time the shoe became a bit more plush and comfortable.
Every time I put this shoe on for a run I had trouble remembering why I didn’t like this shoe that much until I would hit the 10k point in my run and the hotspots would come back and I’d all of a sudden remember why I didn’t really like the shoe.
In previous Skechers Performance models, the durability of the outsole could be an issue, but the rubber outsole of the MaxRoad 3 is pretty durable.
I didn’t have very high expectations of this shoe since I didn’t like the first version of this shoe, so I had my doubts about the third version.
I had sort of hoped that since they’ve changed the shoe quite a bit that I would like the third version of this model, but I don’t. Although I do find the midsole to be quite plush, my biggest objection with this model is still there, the uncomfortable upper.
However, I am looking forward to the 4th version of this shoe, since rumour has it that they will have the new Skechers Hyper Burst foam and hopefully they’ll fix the upper as well.
After reading some positive reviews on this Skechers model and thoroughly loving the Razor 3 Hyper, I was intrigued. I saw them go on sale, and a friend couldn’t stop lavishing praise on the shoe, so I decided to take the plunge.
I’ve got to admit: the first 50 miles have failed to live up to the hype.
Right out of the box the sock-like knit upper certainly catches by surprise! Lacing up was surprisingly easy and offered a snug system that wrapped around the foot. Upon slipping my feet into the shoes, the significant stack height was notable.
At 37 mm with a 6 mm drop, it rides even higher than its competitor the Hoka Clifton. Like the Hoka brand, the rocking sensation also jumped out. This was a bit unexpected as the Razor 3 Hyper offers nothing of the sort.
The upper has been more breathable than I might have expected. My feet dried quickly during a recent run in the rain. While the upper provides a sensation of your foot being hugged, it didn’t offer the support and structure needed.
If running in a straight line, there were no challenges. However, upon executing a turn on a park trail or moving to a perpendicular sidewalk, my foot clearly slides laterally within the shoe.
Additionally, in my most recent 6-mile run in the shoe, the heel collar seam rubbed on my right heel, creating a hot spot and minor blister.
The midsole is growing on me. From my prior Skechers experience and the shoe being labeled as high cushioned, my first few runs were highly disappointing.
I found the cushion to be firm and lacking the energy return I expected from the Hyperburst material I had come to love. On my first three runs, the contour of the sock liner was causing substantial discomfort in my right arch.
It became so bad that I had to stop, sit on the curb, fully take off my shoe and massage my foot momentarily before attempting to run again. Now, I will say that the shoe has come a long way.
I have had no arch pain since the initial 15 miles, and the midsole seems to have broken in considerably. I am trying to utilize the shoe for long slow days and recovery runs but am not having the pleasant experience of many high cushioned shoes within this category.
I was unsure of what to make of the tread pattern, but it is smooth and typically provides sufficient traction. I have taken the shoe on two rainy runs and noticed significant slipping on the first run, but my traction was not compromised in any way on my most recent wet run.
The rain volume was higher in the first run. Still, I would absolutely not feel comfortable wearing this shoe in icy or wintery condition as well as would avoid any runs on smooth wet sidewalks or similar surfaces.
As you can see from the images below, some wear is beginning to show, which is somewhat disappointing after only 50 miles of wear.
I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising as Skechers has tried to cut back on the heavier rubber outsole to achieve the 8.4 oz weight it boasts. It also seems to collect rocks, which can be a minor nuisance.
Overall, if I had to assess based on my first wear, it would not have been very positive! However, as the shoe has broken in the performance is improving. If you can get a good deal on the shoe, it could be worth giving it a go.
However, there are many shoes in the max cushioning category at the exact same price point ($135) that I would turn to. I love the shoe conceptually, but the performance has left much to be desired.
With a better usage of the terrific Hyperburst midsole and a more traditional upper (and hopefully a gusseted tongue), this shoe could easily compete in the category. Fingers crossed for positive changes in next year’s model!
- The Skechers GOrun MaxRoad 3 Ultra is a running shoe that’s designed for those who appreciate the supportive benefits of max cushioning systems and configurations optimized for contests and extended running sessions. It serves as the successor to the GOrun Ultra Road series, employing a lighter and more streamlined design to appeal to modern tastes.
- Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of the full-length ULTRA FLIGHT™. This foam has a substantial thickness to support the foot properly and to receive the full brunt of the forces generated by the striking phase. A knitted fabric serves as the upper unit and it’s created to be more breathable than the ones used in other Skechers running shoes.
Standard sizing methods were used during the conception of the Skechers GOrun MaxRoad 3 Ultra. Runners are welcome to utilize their usual choices of size when making a purchase decision. However, it is generally recommended to test the shoe first to achieve a pleasant in-shoe hug.
When it comes to width, the available options are D - Medium and B - Medium for men and women, respectively. Low to medium foot volumes are the ones that are welcome to test this product.
The high-wear areas of the heel and forefoot of the Skechers GOrun MaxRoad 3 Ultra are covered with rubber. This layer serves as a protective shield against the abrasive nature of the surfaces. Also, rubber has a naturally grippy characteristic which allows it to adhere to the ground with ease.
Flex grooves line the forefoot section of the external pad. These shallow channels are designed to allow the natural movement capacity of the toe joints. The forefoot lift is the action that benefits the most from such inclusion as it is the part of the gait cycle that involves bending the most.
The midsole unit of the Skechers GOrun MaxRoad 3 Ultra is made of ULTRA FLIGHT™, a full-length cushioning unit that offers shock attenuation, energy transfer, and lightweight response. This foam also is also made to be durable enough to handle extended running sessions.
The M-Strike is a Skechers technology which entails a midfoot section that slightly curved outwards. Such a scheme encourages midfoot striking, a stepping method that is touted to be more efficient and less straining on the foot than the full heel-to-toe motion.
A knitted fabric serves as the upper unit of the Skechers GOrun MaxRoad 3 Ultra. This cloth-like material is tasked with hugging the foot and keeping it secure. It has small breathing holes to permit the flow of air into the interior chamber, thereby maintaining cool and dry coverage. Knitted uppers are popular features that grace many of today’s running footwear, including the well-received Nike Epic React Flyknit line.
Synthetic prints reinforce the instep and the sides of this running shoe. These add-ons are meant to bolster the durability of the facade. They also help the lacing system when it comes to securing the foot in place and staving off in-shoe wobbling.
A traditional lacing system graces the instep. This feature adjusts the tightness or looseness of the wrap. Print-reinforced discreet eyelets are the portals through which flat laces crisscross. The familiarity of the fit modifying method can allow for precise customization.
A finger loop is stitched onto the back of the shoe. This tab helps the runner to widen the opening of the upper, thereby easily facilitating the foot into, and out of, the interior chamber.
The padded tongue and collar cushion the ankles, the heel and the bridge of the foot. These parts of the silhouette also aim to prevent the foot from slipping off the interior unintentionally.
Size and fit
How GOrun MaxRoad 3 Ultra compares
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