It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

August 27, 2013

Skora Shoe Review-Let's Get Down to BASE(ics)


A month ago, I have to admit, I had never heard of Skora running shoes.  Skora is still relatively new to the shoe market, but in my opinion, they have truly taken the minimalist shoe to a new level.  They are also based out of Portland, Oregon, so I think it's great to support a brand that's made here in the US.

After stumbling across the Skora website, I was intrigued, but I wasn't sure I was ready to spend the $99-$185 retail price for a pair of these shoes that I had had never heard of before.  So, I was excited to get the opportunity to review them.
Super excited to be running in my new Skora Base shoes

I got in contact with Kyle from Skora and we started discussing what I liked and wanted in a shoe.  I had originally wanted to try the "Phase" Model (based on looks alone), but after our discussion we both thought the "Base" Model would be the best one for me to try out.

Skora Base in Coral
Skora has four models of shoes:  Form, Core, Phase, and Base.  All models except the Base look more like a traditional running shoe.  The Base has a very unique look with the Velcro closure and no laces.  I won't lie, when I looked at them online I kind of hated them.  I thought they looked a little like a shower shoe or maybe a cycling shoe.  When I received them in person I was still kind of skeptical.  The color and design of the mesh was cool and they were better than I thought they would be in person.  However, after wearing them several times now I have to tell you that I actually love the way they look.  It's kind of weird how they've grown on me, but I actually think they are really cute now and I am in love with the coral color.

The BASE(ics) about the BASE:
Retail Price:  $99 (some models currently on sale for $59-69)
Colors Available:  3 Colors (coral, light blue & charcoal)
Drop:  Zero Drop
Weight:  6.5 Oz
Other Key Info:  Reflective Details, Sock Like Fit, Elastic heel strap & X-Strap, and Quality Construction

Skora's motto is Run Real.  As soon as you open your box of shoes the inside has the 3 R's

Inside of Skora Running shoe box

  • Reconnect:  Minimal Cushioning to improve ground-feel
  • Reposition:  A natural fit to help maintain proper posture and alignment
  • Rhythm:  Designed to help you have a more natural gait - so you get to that magical 180 foot strikes per minute

  • Color:  As mentioned above I loved the coral color.  It is bright and different than any running shoe I've seen.
  • Wide Toe Box:  One of the biggest issues I've had when trying other minimalist shoes (like Merrell or Vibram) is that they are very narrow.  I have almost completely flat feet, so they tend to be wide.  I can't wear a shoe that is narrow at all.  These shoes have plenty of room and my toes or feet never felt cramped.
  • Sock Like Fit:  From the first time you put them on they truly fit your feet like a glove.  They are soft and comfortable and already feel "worn in".
  • Quality Construction:  You can tell when you first pick them up that they are made well.  When I posted my initial thoughts about them, I had a few people comment who said they put around 1000 miles on their Skoras!  That's incredible.  They put real thought into materials and process of making their shoes with some models made of Pittards Leather.  If you want to know more about the construction of the shoe you can read about it here.
  • Soft Heel:  The one thing that will drive me insane in a shoe is if the heel hits my heel in any way.  The heel is very cushioned and I didn't even notice it.  Loved this aspect of the shoe!  However, if you like a little more pressure on the back of the heel it has an adjustable strap on the heel.
  • Versatility:  These shoes are great for running, but they are also perfect for biking or triathlon.  Since I broke my wrist in May in a bike wreck, I've been a little chicken to ride my bike in my clipless pedals (silly I know).  I had been riding in tennis shoes, and one day I looked down and my shoelace was untied.  I almost panicked.  If your shoelace were to get caught in the gears it would be an instant wreck!  With the Velcro closure, they are great for a cyclist who wants the look and safety of a cycling shoe, but aren't ready to commit to clipless.  In addition they are perfect for quick transitions in triathlon because they can just slide right on and again - no laces to worry about tying or tripping over.
  • Ground Feel - These are a true minimalist shoe and you can really feel the ground.  I could tell when I was heel striking and when I was hitting the ground midfoot.  If you are interested in changing your stride, these would be a great shoe to use as a training tool.
Great for cycling and running
  • Transition Slowly:  I have been wearing what I would consider a minimalist shoe for over a year and a half, but it has a 4mm drop. I know you are supposed to transition to minimalist shoes slowly and I did that when I started wearing the 4mm, but I thought this would be so close it wouldn't matter.  My first run in the shoes I did 5 miles.  I thought they felt great and didn't really notice any pain, but the next day my calves were tight, tight, tight!  I had sore tight calves for several days after. I learned my lesson and have been using them for shorter runs and gradually increasing the distance.
  • Cushioning:  These have basically no cushioning.  They have a very thin liner that you can remove or leave in, but the shoe base has no soft cushioning on the bottom.  It has a hard "plastic" (not sure what the actual material is) bottom.  The bottom of the shoes will make them wear much longer than traditional shoes, but if you are looking for a cushioned shoe theses are not the ones for you.
  • Shoe Bottom:  As mentioned above, the bottom of the shoe is hard.  So, it does make a louder sound when you hit the ground.  It's not so loud that it's bothersome at all, but you just may not sound quite as light on your feet as normal (perhaps it's just my stride).
  • Sizing:  I normally wear an 8.5 everyday shoe, but wear a 9.5 to sometimes 10 in a running shoe.  Kyle recommended I size down a half size from my normal running shoes, so I ordered a size 9. The sizing was perfect even with a thin sock.
You can see the hard plastic on the bottom.  A little dirty,
but no real signs of wear at all.

Overall I thought the Skora Base was a great versatile shoe that will last a long time.  I'm not sure if it will ever be a distance shoe for me, but I can definitely see me wearing this shoe in shorter road races and in triathlons.  As a matter of fact, I guarantee it will be my go to triathlon shoe in the future.  Even if you aren't into minimalist running, I still think it's a great shoe for biking (if you don't use clipless pedals) and would be an excellent training shoe to help you improve your stride due to the awesome ground feel.

If you're interested in the Skora running shoes now is a great time to buy!  They are having an end of season sale with select styles and colors 30-40% off and shipping is free with minimum purchase.  While they don't have a huge "in store" presence they are available in some local running stores.  Check their website to see if there is a store near you.

Want to learn more about Skora?  They are very social.  You can find them online, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram, etc.  Below are a few helpful links, but you can find more on their website.
Do you wear a minimalist shoe?  Do you wear Skora, if so what model?  Would you be interested in trying them?  Tell me what you think!

Disclaimer:  I received a pair of Skora Base shoes from Skora Running to review for this blog.  I was not compensated for this review or asked to provide a positive review.  The thoughts and opinions shared are my own.


  1. I'd totally want to try these, if I could go minimalist again. Hopefully soon. Glad you liked them!

  2. I'm glad you liked them--I love mine! I think they have designed really great shoes. And I've had those same tight calf muscles from overdoing zero drop before, believe me!

  3. Those are really, really different! What was it about the Base model that they thought would be best for you?

    1. Mainly my issue with the heel. He told me these had the least pressure on the heel. But also I because I did triathlon.

  4. I'd never heard of Skora before I saw them on your blog. Now I'm wondering how long it'll be till we start seeing ads for them in the Australian running magazines.

    1. We do not currently have a presence in Australia, but we're of course working on it :)

      Kyle @ SKORA

  5. Ive never heard of them either! I have a friend who run minimalist, but Ive never tried it. (Im so afraid of change!) Silly me!!

    1. They're not super minimal, them being zero drop may be a bigger change for you than the low stack height. The 13mm stack height is a nice intermedium between really thin ~8mm shoes and more traditional ~20+mm shoes :)

      Even if you don't see yourself doing much running in them, all of SKORA's models are super comfortable for casual and gym work.

  6. Good luck in your half. Be safe in that heat.

  7. Barefoot is best but a minimalist shoe protects the feet.

    We have learned how to make some slouch shoes that do the job and are great for walking and running.
    Check them out at :