Tuesday, January 15, 2013


SKORA BASE- the minimalist shoe you have to have.

I have to confess, I love shoes.  If I see a shoe I like, I order them.  It started when I was young. I would go into a sneaker store, and just want everything.  I'd try and get my parents to buy me a new shoe all the time.  Once I find a shoe that I think is comfortable, I keep buying the same shoe over and over again.  But I'm so picky when it comes to my running shoe.  I'm always willing to try a pair, but I seem to keep coming back to certain shoes that I know works.  I end up buying about 5 paris of the same shoe in case I dont like the next years version.  So my wife keeps yelling at me that I have so many shoe boxes with new shoes in one of our closets.  But that stops here.

A few months ago, I reached out to Skora Running about their shoes.  I saw a few of the pairs and they looked interesting so I wanted to get my hands (or feet) on a pair so I can see if they are for me.  What I can tell you is that, I will not be looking any further for another pair of running shoes. I put the Skora Base's on a few weeks ago went out for a run, and refuse to take them off.

First impressions:
The shoes are yellow.  Like, ALL yellow.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love bright things. Yellow is my favorite color, and every time I can wear something in yellow for a race, I will.  Looking at these shoes, you notice that they are bright yellow.   How can anyone think they arent some of the coolest looking shoes on the market?  These will definitely get some heads turning.
These things are cool
Next up is the notice of no laces.  To me, this is a positive.  I always take the laces off of all my shoes and put Lock Laces on them.  I like the idea of being able to slip them on and off whenever I want.  Especially helpful during triathlons, but also easier in day to day life. So by not having to do this step makes my life easier. Once you dial in how tight you want the straps, you dont have to change this, ever.

And while there are no laces, there is a heel strap.  I really like this option.  I can dial in the shoes to make it roomy in the toe box, but have a little more snug fit in the heel if I want.  I havent seen this on many other shoes, so when I put them on, it impressed me.
Heel strap

When I slid my foot in the shoe the first time, it felt like I just put on a slipper.  I'm not kidding.  The Skora Base are incredibly light and airy.  A lot of minimalist shoes are light, but not as light as the Base's.  Ive run in the Saucony Kinvara's, Newton Distances among a few of the shoes, and the Base's are by far the lightest shoes I have run in.
 Something to notice is that the Base's have 2 possible insole options.  One insole adds some cushioning to the shoe.  The insole is thin, but packs a punch.  There are some dimples in the insole.  What this does for me is it actually makes it feel like the insoles with dimples are massaging my feet every step.  Ive heard people not liking the insole in since it feels like a golf ball turned inside out, but I prefer to leave the insole in.
Insole in

Dimpled Insoles
Insole taken out
If you decide to take the insole out, then there is a perforated synthetic material which provides enough comfort if you want to wear the shoes sockless.  Both are extremely comfortable, but I prefer to leave the insole in.

On the run:

Ok, now that I've described the shoe, you want to know how it feels on the road.  Very simply put, this is the most comfortable shoe I have ever run in.  I dont say that lightly.  I've tested shoes for multiple companies, tried out hundreds of different shoes from very cushioned, half cushioned, minimal shoes, track shoes, trail shoes.  Hands down, these are the best.

As I mentioned, with the insoles in, it feels like I am getting a massage with every step.  So of course that means I'm gong to keep running if it feels that good.

I read an article recently that stated that most new runners are heel strikers.  Something like 80% of new runners and over 75% of experienced runners are heel strikers.  Up until 2 years ago, I was a heel striker.  Because of that, I had so many injuries from IT Band syndrome (ugh, that hurts so much), hamstring injuries, and tight hip flexors.  2 years ago, I changed my stride and became a mid foot striker.  This had made my life so much easier.  I have been injury free since I made the change, but I am also faster.
Why the Base's are great is I can feel the ground so much more now when I land and I completely land on my midfoot. I can react immediately since my foot is so well connected with the ground that even if I revert back to my old self, I'll know it immediately and fix it on my next stride.  These shoes definitely force me to land on my midfoot
When I was asked about my impressions about the Base, my exact comments were, "I am so much faster with these shoes on".  I noticed that my turnover is a lot faster in the shoes.  I cant explain it, but I know my stride cadence is higher.  But the twist is, Im running easier and am not getting winded as early.  On my second run in the shoes, I went out on a long run of 10 miles, and since it was my off season I wanted to take it easy.  I told myself to slow and and enjoy the run.  I didnt look at my GPS watch once during the run since I didnt care about how fast I was going.  But when I finished my run, I felt I could go another 5 miles at that pace without even noticing anything.  When I finally looked at my watch, I had run my fastest 10 mile split in over a year.  I was shocked.  So I tried it again 2 days later on a tempo run of 6 miles, and I ran my second fastest 10k of 2012, but this one I was trying to go slow.  I spoke with Kyle at Skora running and he was impressed.  The shoes keep continuing to impress me.  I cannot imagine running in any other shoe at this point.

Other things I noticed on the run were how comfortable my feet were in the shoe.  The toe box of the Base's are extremely ventilated.  Which would make it great for the summer months, but might scare people during the winter.  Well, its pretty cold up here in NY in December/January, but my feet are able to breathe with the ventilation. They also help when I wear wool socks in the really cold weather that my feet dont get too hot or sweaty.

Very breathable


I cannot recommend this shoe enough.  I truly believe that everyone can wear the Skora Base.  It is comfortable for both short speed work, as well as those long slow training runs and anything in between. For those who havent entered the minimalist revolution, I would recommend mixing this shoe in with your normal running shoes for a few weeks so you can get used to them.  Once you do that, toss those heavy shoes away and throw on your Skora Base.  The cost is $110 for the shoe, but its well worth it.  They will last a lot longer than your normal shoes and be twice as comfortable.
On top of that, the customer service team and people who I have spoken to at Skora have been some of the best in the business.  If you have a question, they respond in no time.  One quick shout out is to Kyle Kranz at Skora Running.  Without him, I wouldnt have been able to get my hands on a pair of these bad boys. He's been amazing to work with, and every company would be lucky to have a guy like Kyle working for them. 

Feel free to check them out at  Skora Running.  If you arent a fan of the Base, they also have the Forms, and are coming out with a few more designs in the upcoming months. 

Since this blog is to bridge the bond between my newborn baby and me, I figured its never too early to get him running, and more importantly learning how to Run Real.

Riley's already singed up the 2035 NYC Marathon

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Jared, it means a lot to hear good comments about the shoes and us as a company :) Love the photos!