Tom's Guide Verdict
Whether you like to walk, jog, circuit train, or hit up a HIIT class, the Skechers Skech-Lite Pro Perfect Time is right for the job. They may not be the most stylish sneakers you can find, but they’ll keep your feet happy for most activities.
Just the right amount of cushioning
Supportive enough for most activities
Outsoles were slippery on first few wears
Clunky, “orthopedic” look doesn’t transition well to casual wear
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Skechers is one of the most versatile footwear brands on the market, with a variety of kicks for all manner of activities. While I had come to know them as a maker of casual flats, slides, and fashionable sneakers, I’m quickly learning that their athletic-based lines are both high quality and reasonably priced — no small feat (or feet?) for a decent pair of workout shoes.
I recently reviewed the Skechers’ GO RUN Lites and was impressed with how well they held up while pounding the pavement. Would the Skechers Skech-Lite Pro Perfect Time, a similar shoe with fewer noteworthy bells and whistles, perform as well as its brethren? And how would they compare to some of the best cross-training shoes available? I decided to find out by lacing up a pair and heading to the gym. Read my full Skechers Skech-Lite Pro Perfect Time review below to see how they fared.
Skechers Skech-Lite Pro Perfect Time review: Price and availability
Most Skechers’ models are relatively budget-friendly, and the Skech-Lite Pros are no exception – at $70, they’re moderately priced if not slightly cheaper than your average cross training shoe. If you have the time and patience to shop around a little, it’s likely you’ll find them for even less than retail value (they’re currently listed for 40% off on Amazon).
The Skech-Lite Pros are available for both men and women, however the men’s options are named a little differently (which seems to be the case with all Skechers shoes). If you’re interested in the men’s versions, you’ll want to search for Skech-Lite Pro Faregrove or Skech-Lite Pro Ledger.
You’ll find the Skech-Lite Pro in women’s sizes US 5.5 to 11, and in men’s sizes US 7.5 to 14. Medium and wide widths are available for both, along with several different color and pattern varieties.
Skechers Skech-Lite Pro Perfect Time review: Design and fit
I’ll be honest — I don’t think the Skechers Skech-Lite Pros are going to win any accolades for cutting-edge style. They remind me of the sneakers my 78-year-old father wears, and he is far more concerned with orthopedic support and functionality than he is with trendy design. It’s possible I just feel this way because of the color I selected (Black), but still – they’re a bit clunky and old-fashioned.
However, there are some major benefits to that clunky design. The midsole boasts a shock-absorbing “Skech-Lite” layer that protects your stride during impact. Providing additional support is Skechers’ trademarked “Air-Cooled Memory Foam” insoles. While not as plush as some of the Skechers shoes I’ve tested (and with fewer of Skechers’ trademarked features like “Goga Mat” insoles or “Heel Pillow” rear cushioning), the Skech-Lite Pros are still very comfortable and actually felt more supportive than the cushier models. That’s a trade-off I’m willing to make — especially while running, jumping, and lifting.
Despite their bulk, the Skech-Lite Pros really live up to the “Lite” in their name. That’s worthy of praise all on its own, as most of the bulkier cross training shoes I’ve tested (like the Nike Metcon 7 or Brooks Adrenaline) start to feel very heavy as the exercise minutes tick by.
The outsoles have a moderate level of flexibility with appropriate grooving and deep lugs, but I should note that they felt a little slippery on the first wear — I’ll go into more detail on that later.
The upper is made from an engineered mesh that, like most Skechers sneakers, makes the shoe machine washable. It’s a breathable material that still provides decent structure, although it did press uncomfortably against a bad bunion I have. To be fair though, that’s an issue I have with nearly every shoe I own. The Skech-Lite Pros’ traditional lace-up system allows for a fully customizable fit, so loosening the laces on those first few wears helped alleviate some of the pain. And on a positive note, it didn’t take much time to break them in and significantly lessen the pressure.
I’m usually a US size 8, and that felt like the perfect choice in the Skech-Lite Pros — I didn’t experience any smashed toes or heel slippage. I have a somewhat narrow foot, and the medium widths hugged my soles appropriately. If you have a more average-sized foot, you might want to try on the wide widths before making a purchase.
Skechers Skech-Lite Pro Perfect Time review: Performance
I wore the Skechers Skech-Lite Pro for all of my various athletic pursuits, from running and HIIT classes to weight training and incline walking. They excelled in nearly every discipline, with only a few notable exceptions.
As a walking and HIIT shoe, the Skech-Lite Pro shines. Their lightweight design doesn’t drag you down on box jumps or burpees, and the Air-Cooled Memory Foam cushioning provides ample protection from impact without sacrificing stability. My high knees and butt kicks have never felt more bouncy.
They work well for light or moderate resistance training too. While completing circuits of high-rep squats and lunges on my leg days, the Skech-Lite Pros kept my feet and ankles supported, stable, and secure. If you’re a fan of boot camp classes or Orange Theory-esque workouts, they’d make an excellent footwear choice.
When it comes to running, the Skech-Lite Pros could probably pass for a shorter-distance shoe option. I donned them for a few two-mile runs, and they always started to feel a little uncomfortable in the last eighth of a mile. I’m a chronic overpronator with non-existent arches, so it stands to reason that they’d be an acceptable sneaker for those with neutral strides and normal feet — especially since they’re so lightweight.
The only activity that the Skech-Lite Pros aren’t well-suited for is heavy weightlifting, but that’s the case for any shoe with cushioning. You wouldn’t want to lift hundreds of pounds while standing on an unstable surface, and that’s essentially what you’d be doing if you wore the Skech-Lite Pros. Powerlifting requires appropriate connection to the floor, which is why most strength athletes wear minimalist shoes or Chucks (or in a lot of instances, no shoes at all).
I mentioned previously that the outsoles felt a bit slippery when I first slid them on. I had to catch myself on the kitchen counter to keep from falling within the first few minutes of wearing them, but as soon as I took them out on the pavement, the bottoms roughened up and they felt a lot more stable. While minor, this is something to keep in mind.
Skechers Skech-Lite Pro review: Verdict
The Skechers Skech Lite Pro is a versatile and inexpensive yet well-made sneaker that’s right for nearly any activity you choose. Their lightweight construction and perfect level of cushioning will energize your walking efforts, add some spring in your step for HIIT workouts, and properly support your feet for light or moderate-weight training.
Indeed, the Skech-Lite Pro’s versatility may not extend to “date night” or “bachelorette party” footwear like other Skechers designs, but they hold their own among the great cross-training shoes that I’ve reviewed.
Jennifer Rizzuto is a freelance writer and certified personal trainer based in Long Island, NY. She covers various fitness-related topics and reviews for Tom's Guide. She also writes sketch comedy and short films, and performs frequently as an actor, singer, and improviser. When she's not writing, working out, or performing, you'll find her trying to convince her husband to get a dog.