Have bought a pair and they are a great shoe. Don't let the branding put you off.
I actually bought them direct from a Skechers store in Birmingham. I was surpised by the service. The staff member was very knowledgeable about the product and asked all the right questions. They did not try to sell it to me as a fashion shoe but as a genuine running shoe.
It seems Skechers are very serious about the entering the market, seeing that they have trained their staff. Most impressed. You don't get that from your local high street retailer selling running shoes.
ITBS can become chronic, there are exercises that can be done, its a case of taking your time, I bought one of those rollers from physio supplies and use that to massage, it seems to be working slowly but surely.
The one thing you do not want is to start getting compensatory injuries, where you start favouring one leg over the other.
Its an individual thing, see how you feel, running is all about confidence, if you go into the half marathon with the thought of ITBS playing on your mind it might do you harm in the long run.
Hope things pick up it is fustrating but good luck.
1 Age is a factor, the same people are running back then are still running now, there seems to be a lack of youngsters in many road races. If you look at most race results the majority of the top 20 or so are vets. This is especially true in longer distance events.
I started running in the Leicestershire Road Running League back in 1987 when i was 17, there was a good crop of juniors back then, now there are none, but the majority of people running back then are still running now 20 or so years later.
2 Today life seems a lot more complicated, there are too many different distractions that can take you away from running, many more people work shifts, there are too many easy options.
I think today we over analyze everything, we just don't run anymore