How I Discovered SKORA Shoes
I had been eying a pair of SKORA shoes ever since last October. It was the Detroit Marathon’s Expo and a company out of Livonia was selling them. I only heard the name before and talking to the salesperson, I became very interested, but I declined to wear a pair. I was afraid that once I put them on, I’d be sold. I couldn’t afford to buy a new pair of shoes on impulse.
I started to ask around on social media about the brand. A couple ultra runners I know (including Dirt Dawg) owned a pair and spoke positive on them. Then a Kyle on Twitter contacted me and pointed me to his review on his blog. After he wrote his review, he went on to become the social media coordinator for the company.
Spring came around and SKORA was featured in the latest Issue of Men’s Health. To celebrate, they gave away a pair of shoes every day for 10 days to anyone who shared the Men’s Health article. I jumped on it and managed to win a pair.
My Thoughts on the SKORA Base
60+ miles later, I’m ready to give my thoughts on the SKORA Base. These were my first pair of truly minimalist shoes. The PureProject line from Brooks felt minimal at the time, but after wearing these, I now really understand the term.
The SKORA Base offer a 13 mm stack height (get out a ruler, that’s pretty small) including a removable sockliner. Take out the liner and it goes down to 9 mm. You can feel quite a bit of the terrain with that little of cushioning. Its a zero-drop shoe, there is no difference in height from heel to toe. The sockliner insole is from Ortholite. The raised bumps on the insole took some getting used to, but I don’t even notice anymore. I have tried, without running, them with the liner removed and sock-less. They felt smooth, with no seams or hotspots rubbing.
The outsole is tough. The website states they use a “high abrasion rubber”. The Base’s outsole doesn’t have any deep treads, but the small-scale texture that is there is still present after 60 miles of wear, which leads me to believe this is some tough rubber. Its a fairly stiff, yet springy outsole. It isn’t difficult to bend, but when you release, it bounces right back to its original form. Due to its lack of deep treads, I’m a little concerned on wearing them in slippery domain, such as mud. Wet pavement, however seems to not be a problem. Pair them up with some Yaktrax come Winter and they will be a nice snow running shoe.
This is where I give SKORA some of my highest praise. I tend to beat the crap out of uppers. My clumsy, Clydesdale hooves always seem to stomp or rub on one another, leaving me with tears in the collar or rips elsewhere. These uppers can take a beating. Its a stretchy synthetic fiber mesh that not only can take a beating, but is excellent in weather. No they don’t repel water; they’re mesh! But they do dry very easily and don’t get water damage. When its raining out or there are post-rain puddles, I opt for my SKORA Bases, knowing they can take it.
Laces? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Laces!
Another plus, no laces! The Base uses a unique criss-cross nylon strap with velcro. It takes a while to get it adjusted right, but once you do, you can slip the shoes on and off without ever undoing the velcro strap. There is also a velcro strap across the heel to further adjust the fit. I haven’t noticed much difference when adjusting the heel strap, but if my feet are swollen and hurting mid race, I’m glad to know that maybe adjusting these two straps within seconds may help relieve pressure.
How About Some Downsides?
The SKORA Base aren’t perfect. The buckle on the X-strap is a little bulky and if I don’t adjust it right, it can bother my foot. My wife tells me my feet are oddly hunched on top, so maybe that’s my problem. Also they offer very little cushion, which the minimalist runners all love. I like it too, but not when I’m on pavement. After about 8 miles on the road, my feet could use some cushioning. On the soft trails, however, I can wear these shoes with no issues at all. One last thing I noticed, is that I have to wear some quality lightweight socks with these shoes. If I wear anything less, my feet heat up fast. I now always wear Injinji Lightweight Performance socks with them and never have any issues.
- Comfortable, sock-like fit.
- Durable outsole
- Weather-resilient uppers
- No laces
- Lack of traction in muddy or snowy terrain.
- Buckle sometimes rubs top of foot.
Recommend To Others?
Absolutely! The SKORA Base seem durable enough to last for hundreds of miles. At a price-point of $90, they are well worth the investment.
About the Company
SKORA is a small, up and coming company based out of Portland, Oregon. Entering the market in 2007, the company focuses on premium, lightweight performance running footwear that encourages a natural stride. Their product line has doubled from two to four different models in the past year. All products are returnable within 30 days of purchase and have a limited 1-Year warranty for faulty material.
The opinions on this review are my own. I was not paid or persuaded in any way to give a particular opinion on this product. I am however enrolled in the company’s affiliate program, which does compensate me for any purchases made through my website. This review was drafted before the program was announced.