Are Skechers D’Lites Good for Running? Comfort vs Support!

Running is one of the most popular and accessible forms of exercise

It’s a great way to improve cardiovascular health, build strength, and burn calories.

However having the right running shoe is crucial to prevent injury and discomfort.

Skechers D’Lites are a popular casual sneaker, but are they suitable for running?

Are Skechers D’Lites Good for Running?

Skechers D’Lites are more casual, lifestyle sneakers designed for everyday wear rather than high-impact activities like running.

For running, dedicated running shoes with proper cushioning, support and motion control would likely be a better choice.

An Overview of Skechers D’Lites

The Skechers D’Lites are a classic chunky sneaker made by Skechers. The name “D’Lites” comes from the fact that they are a lightweight version of the original Skechers “Heavyweights” shoe. Some key features of the D’Lites include:

  • Chunky, retro design – The D’Lites have a thick rubber sole with a rounded toe for a 1990s-style look.
  • Lightweight – Weighing in at 11-13 oz, the D’Lites are lighter than the original Heavyweights.
  • Mesh fabric upper – The upper features mesh fabric panels for breathability.
  • Cushioned memory foam insole – The D’Lites contain a memory foam insole for comfort and shock absorption.
  • Flexible rubber outsole – The traction pattern on the outsole is flexible for casual wear.

The Skechers D’Lites first launched in 1996 and became extremely popular as a comfortable retro sneaker. They are now available in many colorways for men, women, and kids.

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Why Skechers D’Lites Are Not Ideal Running Shoes

When you look at the features that make a good running shoe, the Skechers D’Lites fall short in a few key areas:

Lack of Cushioning

  • While the D’Lites have a comfortable memory foam insole, the overall cushioning is insufficient for high-impact running. The midsole lacks the shock absorption necessary for long distances.

Minimal Stability

  • With their flexible outsole and lack of arch support, the D’Lites are not designed to control pronation or provide stability.

Heavy Weight

  • Weighing 11-13 oz, the chunky D’Lites are heavier than most performance running shoes. The extra weight can cause fatigue over long runs.

Poor Breathability

  • The mesh fabric panels allow some airflow, but the upper isn’t highly breathable compared to running-specific shoes. Feet can get hot during runs.

Mediocre Traction

  • While the textured outsole provides decent grip for casual use, the pattern isn’t optimized for traction during runs, especially in wet conditions.

Lack of Advanced Features

  • Dedicated running shoes offer features like propulsion plates for energy return, guidance systems for gait efficiency, and anatomically shaped footbeds. The D’Lites lack these performance technologies.

So while the Skechers D’Lites offer cushioning and style for casual wear, they aren’t engineered to withstand the repetitive, high-impact forces of running.

The lack of stability, breathability, and shock absorption means they could lead to injury if used for running regularly or over long distances.

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The Risks of Using Skechers D’Lites for Running

Wearing improperly equipped footwear when running comes with injury risks, including:

Knee Pain

  • Insufficient cushioning and support in the D’Lites can lead to knee pain. Each stride sends impact forces through the joints that can inflame tissues over time.

Shin Splints

  • Without proper shock absorption, the constant pounding from running in the D’Lites can cause shin splints – a condition marked by lower leg pain along the shin bone.

Plantar Fasciitis

  • The plantar fascia ligament along the bottom of the foot can become strained and inflamed without adequate arch support. This causes intense heel and arch pain.

Achilles Tendonitis

  • Lack of heel cushioning and flexibility in the D’Lites can overload the Achilles tendon and lead to painful inflammation.

Blisters and Calluses

  • Excessive sliding inside the shoe creates friction that results in blisters or calluses building up on the feet.

Foot Muscle Fatigue

  • D’Lites lack the rigidity to properly support foot muscles and the arches, so feet tire quicker compared to proper running shoes.

Slips and Falls

  • The outsole lacks wet/dry traction optimized for running, so slippery conditions could increase your risk of falls.

The bottom line is running in Skechers D’Lites significantly raises your risk of a running-related injury. It’s best to choose athletic shoes designed specifically for the intense impacts and motions involved in running.

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Characteristics to Look for in Good Running Shoes

Instead of the D’Lites, look for running shoes that offer:

  • Shock-absorbing midsole – Prioritize shoes with EVA, gel, or foam midsoles to cushion impacts from heel to toe.
  • Stabilizing features – Seek stabilizing elements like guide rails, support pillars, or dense medial wedges to control pronation.
  • Breathable mesh upper – Choose an engineered mesh upper to maximize ventilation and moisture wicking.
  • Durable carbon rubber outsole – Look for strategic rubber placement in high-wear areas for extended use.
  • Flexible grooved sole – Deep flex grooves allow the sole to move naturally with the foot stride.
  • Anatomical shape – Contoured, foot-hugging designs provide a better fit and help avoid slippage.
  • Lightweight construction – Advanced materials like mesh, synthetics, and carbon fiber reduce overall weight.

Prioritizing these performance features will provide the bounce, support, grip, and comfort you need in a running shoe to stay injury-free and energized mile after mile.

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5 Top-Rated Running Shoe Brands Other then Skechers

Here are 5 of the top running shoe brands worth checking out:

1. Brooks

Brooks is a running specialty brand trusted for their soft, stable cushioning and smooth transitions. Top models include the Ghost, Adrenaline GTS, and Glycerin.


ASICS excels at combining gel cushioning, support, and breathability in shoes like the Nimbus, Cumulus, and Kayano. They offer options for all foot types.

3. Saucony

Known for their plush neutral shoes and stability models, Saucony is a top choice for serious runners. The Ride, Kinvara, and Guide are popular options.

4. New Balance

Offering a wide range of sizes and widths, New Balance is great for hard-to-fit feet. The 880, 1080 and Fresh Foam More are cushioned models.

5. Hoka

Extremely thick midsoles give Hoka shoes their signature cushy, pillow-like ride. Clifton, Rincon, and Bondi styles provide soft landings.


While Skechers D’Lites are comfortable and stylish casual shoes, they are not designed specifically for running. These shoes lack the necessary features and support that dedicated running shoes provide. The D’Lites have a flat, flexible sole that does not offer enough cushioning or stability for the high-impact nature of running.

Additionally, they do not have the necessary arch support or motion control technologies that running shoes have to prevent injuries and provide a smooth, efficient stride. For casual walking or everyday use, D’Lites can be a comfortable option, but for running or any intense athletic activity, it is recommended to invest in proper running shoes designed specifically for that purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Skechers D’Lites good for any type of running?

No, Skechers D’Lites lack the specific features designed for running. At best, only use them for occasional light jogging. For regular or long-distance running choose an athletic model.

Can I use custom insoles to make my D’Lites suitable for running?

Adding orthotic insoles will help, but can’t make up for the lack of stability, cushioning, and shock absorption built into the shoe. Get running-specific shoes instead.

What’s the maximum distance I can safely run in Skechers D’Lites?

It’s best to limit running in D’Lites to 1-2 miles at most. Any longer and you risk injury to knees, ankles, and feet from excessive impact forces. For real running, get shoes designed to protect you past 5k or 10k distances.

Will adding thicker socks make my D’Lites okay for running?

Thicker socks can help cushion your feet, but only marginally. They won’t provide the stability, pronation control, or shock absorption that true running shoes have. Prioritize the right footwear.

Can’t I just walk in my D’Lites to get cardio vs. running in them?

Yes, walking in the comfy D’Lites is much safer than running in them! You’ll avoid the harsh impacts. Combine walking with jogging intervals in real running shoes for a joint-friendly cardio workout.

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