Skechers Max Cushioning Elite vs Premier – Which is Best?

For runners and walkers seeking maximum cushioning and comfort from their footwear, two of Skechers Performance Division’s flagship lines stand out: Skechers Max Cushioning Elite vs Premier.

But with similar names and technologies, it can be tough to choose between the two.

I will compare the key features of the Max Cushioning Elite and Premier to help you decide which model best fits your needs.

Skechers Max Cushioning Elite vs Premier

The main difference between Skechers Max Cushioning Elite and Premier shoes is that the Elite has more cushioning and is intended for runners who need maximum impact protection, while the Premier is lighter weight and designed for speed.

Before comparing the specifics, here is an overview of Skechers Max Cushioning Elite vs Premier:

FeatureSkechers Max Cushioning EliteSkechers Max Cushioning Premier
Intended UseRoad running, walkingRoad running, walking
Heel-to-Toe Drop4 mm4 mm
Weight (Men’s Size 9)10.8 oz11.2 oz
Weight (Women’s Size 7)8.8 oz9.2 oz
MidsoleHyperburst foamHyperburst foam
Midsole TechnologyHyperburst foam for responsive cushioningHyperburst foam for responsive cushioning
UpperKnit meshEngineered mesh
Heel CounterSolidSolid
Toe BoxRoomyRoomy
Arch SupportModerateModerate
Price Range$130 – $160$150 – $180

Summary, the Skechers Max Cushioning Elite and Premier are both well-cushioned, comfortable running shoes designed for road running and walking. The main differences lie in the upper material (knit mesh vs. engineered mesh) and weight, with the Premier being slightly heavier and more expensive. Both shoes offer responsive cushioning from the Hyperburst foam midsole and share similar features like a 4mm drop, roomy toe box, and moderate arch support. The choice between the two may come down to personal preference in terms of upper material and budget.

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Pros and Cons

Pros: Skechers Max Cushioning Elite

  • Offers maximum cushioning and impact protection
  • Features Skechers’ most advanced shock-absorbing technology
  • Suitable for high-impact activities and extended wear
  • Provides excellent comfort and support

Cons: Skechers Max Cushioning Elite

  • May feel bulkier and heavier than some other shoe models
  • More expensive than standard Skechers cushioned shoes

Pros: Skechers Max Cushioning Premier

  • Slightly lighter and more streamlined design than the Elite model
  • Still offers substantial cushioning and shock absorption
  • May be a good compromise between maximum comfort and weight/bulk

Cons: Skechers Max Cushioning Premier

  • Not quite as much pure cushioning and impact protection as the Elite version
  • May not be ideal for the most high-impact activities

Which Shoes Are Good for Different Activities

Shoes for Running

  • Skechers Max Cushioning Elite shoes are well-suited for running. They feature a generous amount of high-quality cushioning in the midsole, providing excellent shock absorption and impact protection. The responsive Lightweight Hyperburst cushioning technology helps propel you forward.
  • Skechers Premier shoes are also a good option for running, but the cushioning is not quite as plush and thick as the Elite model. The Premier still provides good shock absorption and responsiveness, but may not be as well-suited for high-mileage running.

Shoes for Walking

  • Both the Max Cushioning Elite and Premier models excel for walking. The thick, cushioned midsoles in both shoes provide exceptional comfort and support for extended periods of walking.
  • The Elite version may have a slight edge in terms of underfoot plushness and overall comfort, especially for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

Shoes for Standing All Day

  • The Skechers Max Cushioning Elite is an excellent choice for standing all day. The generous cushioning and support in the midsole and outsole help reduce foot fatigue and discomfort associated with prolonged standing.
  • The Skechers Premier is also a good option for standing all day, but the slightly less cushioned midsole may not provide as much fatigue-reducing comfort as the Elite model.

Now that you have an overview of the Skechers Max Cushioning Elite vs Premier differences, read on for an in-depth feature-by-feature comparison.

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An Overview of Max Cushioning Technology

Both the Elite and Premier lines utilize Skechers‘ proprietary Max Cushioning technology in the midsole.

This technology incorporates a two-part system:

  1. An ultra-cushioned MStrike midsole compound providing responsive cushioning and durability mile after mile.
  2. A woven highly resilient fabric upper designed to provide stretch and ventilation while conforming to the foot. It adapts to expansion when weight is applied to the midsole for a more personalized fit.

This innovative system offers maximum high-rebound cushioning for comfortable miles without losing responsiveness or stability.

Key Differences Between the Models

While the Elite and Premier share midsole cushioning technology, there are some key differences between the models:


The Premier tends to be slightly lighter than the Elite.

This makes the Premier a bit faster and more suited to longer distances or tempo runs, while the extra cushioning of the Elite provides more shock absorption for recovery days and shorter runs.

Cushioning & Stability

With its additional midsole cushioning, the Elite provides a plusher, softer ride which is also more stable.

The Premier offers a more responsive, lighter feel while still providing ample cushioning and flexibility.

ModelWeightCushioningIdeal Use
EliteHeavierUltra-PlushRecovery, shorter/slower runs
PremierLighterPlushLonger distances, tempo runs, faster paces

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Outsole Lug Pattern

The outsoles vary between models with the Premier featuring more aggressive lugs for varied terrain while the Elite has a smoother road-focused outsole. Both provide good traction.

Upper Material

Both models have knit uppers, however, the Premier features more open-knit mesh for enhanced breathability while the Elite utilizes a tighter knit for a more supportive feel.

EliteRoad-focused, smoothTighter knit, supportive feel
PremierMulti-surface, aggressive lug patternMore open-knit mesh, highly breathable

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Now that we’ve compared some of the key features of the Skechers Max Cushioning Elite and Max Cushioning Premier models, let’s take a deeper look at each shoe individually.

Price Comparison: Elite vs Premier

Here is a price comparison for Skechers Max Cushioning Elite vs Premier shoes:

Shoe TypeElite Price RangePremier Price Range
Walking Shoes$70 – $120$50 – $80
Casual Sneakers$65 – $100$45 – $65
Work Shoes$85 – $140$55 – $75
Athletic Shoes$100 – $160$60 – $90

As you can see, across every category the Skechers Max Cushioning Elite models cost more than the Premier line – sometimes as much as double the price.

Key things to note:

  • The Elite walking and work shoes retail for over $100 due to more performance features
  • Casual wearers can save $20+ going with Premier cushioned styles
  • Serious athletes will invest more in the long-term durability of Elite maximal cushioning

So consider if you prioritize budget, lifestyle use, or hardcore training before deciding between Skechers cushioned collections.

Premiere supplies cushion at lower prices but compresses faster over time versus Elite stability and support lasting 500-800 miles.

User Reviews: Elite vs Premier

User reviews comparing Skechers Max Cushioning shoes:

ReviewersRatingSkechers Max Cushioning Elite Skechers Max Cushioning Premier
User 1⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐“As a heavier guy, I need both cushioning and support which can be hard to find. The Elite walking shoes with air-cooled memory foam are perfect. Soft yet responsive cushioning and stability features provide just what I need for exercising without foot or knee pain.”“I tried the Premier nursing clogs hoping for the ultimate comfort for my long hospital shifts. But I found them too softly cushioned almost like walking on loose sand. They lack the bounce-back responsive support of my Gel Kayanos. While the Premier cushioning feels wonderful standing, I prefer more stability when moving for 10+ hours.”
User 2⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐“The Elite athletic sneakers with max cushioning are my new go-to gym shoes now that I’m getting older and want to protect my joints. The knit upper and memory foam combine to take pressure off my feet during floor exercises while the stabilized heel gives me the support I need for stability moves without wobbling. An all-around comfort gym shoe ideal for this 50+ fitness fanatic!”“As a preschool teacher constantly on the move, I chose the Premier work line hoping to save my sore feet. Unfortunately the Ultra Soft foam packs down after just 3 months flattening the cushioned feel I initially loved. Yes, they are soft, lightweight, and require almost no break-in. But in my experience, the Premier just can’t withstand full shift wear day in, day out.”

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Skechers Max Cushioning Elite walking and athletic shoes provide durable responsive support.

But the Premier line’s soft density foams tend to compress excessively over time for occupations needing all-day stability.

Choose your purpose carefully based on reviews. Casual wear favors the plushness, while consistent athletic activity demands more support.

Conclusion & Recommendations

So should you choose the Skechers Max Cushioning Elite or Premier?

Here are our recommendations:

The Elite is ideal for recovery days and shorter runs at easy paces where you want maximum cushion without worrying about speed.

Its extra midsole padding absorbs more shock while the snug upper locks the feet in comfortably.

The Premier gives you more flexibility in your training with its stable yet agile feel.

It can pick up the pace when needed while providing great cushioning and traction in a lightweight package built for mileage.

Its breathable upper keeps feet cooler over long distances.

Both models are top choices – it just comes down to your priorities. More speed and snappy response? Go Premier.

Want a supremely soft feel for easy miles? The Elite has your back. With their Max Cushioning technology, responsive midsoles, and comfortable uppers you can enjoy plush comfortable miles in either model.

Give them a run – your feet deserve it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Elite or Premier better for walking?

Both models provide excellent cushioning for walking, however the extra padding in the Elite helps absorb shock with each step making it better suited for longer walks. But the Premier is still very comfortable with good flexibility and breathability.

Are they suitable for workouts like HIIT or CrossFit?

We would not recommend either model for these types of high-intensity workouts which require a lot of stability for lateral movements. The Max Cushioning models are better optimized for forward motion like running rather than fast side-to-side motions.

How is the sizing? Do they run small?

The sizing is quite true-to-size in both models, but the Elite’s knit upper material allows it to accommodate slightly wider feet better while the Premier has a more locked-in fit. Getting properly measured at a running specialty store is best to ensure an ideal size selection.

Do they work well for treadmill running?

Yes! Both models perform excellently on treadmills. The smooth outsole of the Elite glides nicely on a treadmill belt while the Premier has a bit more responsiveness. So treadmill runners would do well in either option depending on their cushioning needs.

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