Road Tested: SKORA

Earlier this month, we shared that Vic and Mer scored SKORA shoes to rack up the miles during our September training. Mer received the SKORA CORE, while Vic tested the FORM model. How did we fare? Read on!

skora1-1Mer:

I’ve heard about minimalist shoes since before I actually started running. A friend of mine (hi Jen!) raved about her minimalist shoes and I have to admit that while I was intrigued, I was also scared as well. I’m a wee bit – what’s the word? – clumsy. Therefore, I’ve always been under the assumption that the more substantial the shoe, the better off I’d be. Au contraire, mon frère!

Let me take a moment to talk about the shoes themselves. The box is pretty. The shoes are prettier! They are super light-weight (apparently mine average 6.7 ounces). The width of the toe-box is something that really stood out to me because usually the front of my foot feels a bit confined. I really like how my toes are able to spread with each step; I feel like it helps improve my stride.

skora2

Hello, my light and airy pretty!

I committed to a running streak for the month of September for our Million Mile Run team; I also planned to give the month to testing out the SKORA shoes. I started with a couple of miles on the treadmill doing intervals. It was raining the first couple of days of the month so I figured it was the perfect time to see how the shoes felt on a flat and, well, monotonous surface.

The sole of the CORE shoes are 11mm, according to the handy dandy comparison chart, and I could actually feel the tread on my treadmill. Crazy, right? The sensation was different than what I was used to but during those first couple of interval runs, I felt really good and was itching to get outside!

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The first day of school was midweek and once both of my boys were on their respective buses, I was ready to run. Being that it was the first test run outside with the SKORA, I decided to do an easy mile. Once I hit the turn around, I was feeling so good that I happily continued on, rounding out the run at 3 miles.

skoraer

From there, it was on! I was blessed with good weather so my outdoor running streak was a go. The CORE shoes are good for “light trail running” and that’s good because I’m not lucky enough to live near many trails. However, when I ran the Electric Run DC, we went from paved road to gravel to grass to gravel to road. Not what I had expected but the COREs did great (and I had a blast!).

One thing I do wonder about is that the COREs feel a smidge big on my feet. I fluctuate between sizes 6.5 – 8, depending on the shoe. When it comes to running shoes, I usually go big with a size 8, since feet can swell during runs. However, I think I probably could have gone with a 7.5 with the CORE model.

With that knowledge, I will say that I’m a SKORA shoe convert. As you might have read, I’m currently waylaid by a quad injury but once I get the all-clear (fingers crossed!) from the orthopedist this week, I plan to return to running. And to my SKORA.

Vic:

When I first ripped open my box of SKORAS, I couldn’t believe how fun they looked. Super cute, right? I tried them on immediately… and was smitten.

formBad-ass girly camo!

I honestly was confused by minimalist shoes well before I heard of SKORA. I only ever pictured those hideous five-clawed contraptions that remind me of the awful water sandals from the mid-90s. You know what I mean, maybe you even had a pair. They were all the rage. *Shudder*

So I first tried my zero-drop FORMs at the end of a 5 mile run. My first few steps really threw me for a loop! My feet fell close to the ground. I thought I’d done something horribly wrong and would soon trip over my own feet. I kept expecting to land higher, and quickly adjusted my stride to avoid “missing” the pavement.

Alas, I did not fall! My feet carried me along and felt incredibly light as I ran. I tripped over nothing and felt like my feet were floating.

The FORM pair boasts a 13mm sole — 9mm if you remove the insole — and are meant for roads or trails. If you are a klutz like me, you want to avoid trail running in the FORMs because while you may feel light on your feet, you may  also feel some rocks and roots.

On the road – where I typically run – I didn’t feel small rocks or anything amiss. Bonus points for you, SKORA! I also got lots of compliments from other runners and walkers on the road. Double kudos, SKORA!

The top portion of SKORA shoes are made of goatskin leather with a water-resistant coating and a soft feel (they actually feel grippy).  The soles are tough rubber.

I noticed that when I ran in the shoes on a hot day my feet became rather warm. Apparently, the leather warms up, resulting in some rather sweaty feet.  This might actually be a bonus in colder weather! Stay tuned.

Minimalist running shoes aren’t for everyone. You will likely have to adjust your running style and build slowly – by walking and running short distances first — or your feet may regret it. Don’t test them out while training for a big race. Wait until your training cycle is over, in case something goes awry.

Since I AM training for NYC Marathon, I only wore the shoes for short runs and walks. I’m a fan! They feel incredibly different than my usual shoes — Mizuno WaveRiders and Adidas Supernova. But different can be good. In my case, It was worth it! I look forward to logging more miles in my FORMs!

We each received a pair of SKORA shoes for review. No other compensation has been given. Our opinions and words are our own.

You’ve heard my thoughts! Would love to hear yours here.